The satellite television station WOWOW announced on Friday that it is producing a live-action series based Grappler Baki BL de wa Nai ka to 1-Nichi 30-Jikan 30-Nichi Kangaeta Otome no Kiroku (Notes of a Girl Who Spent 30 Hours a Day for 300 Days Thinking “So Baki The Grappler is BL, Right?”), sociologist Junko Kaneda’s essay book about Keisuke Itagaki‘s martial arts manga Baki The Grappler. The series will premiere in August, and will star Honoka Matsumoto as protagonist Akane Kojima.
Kaneda wrote the essay when she first read Baki The Grappler and thought that the manga “smacked of BL (boys’ love)” and read it with that lens.
In the live-action series, protagonist Akane Kojima works under a stationery company and maintains a normal life, while keeping her fujoshi (female fan of BL) life a secret. When she first reads Baki The Grappler, she is drawn in by the physical beauty and alluring attitudes of the characters, and begins imagining BL encounters between the characters. At work, she performs her work flawlessly, but at home, she draws comfort from imagining her ships. But between her colleague Takeno’s upcoming work presentation, her boss Kashiwara, and her reunion with her old classmate Shibamoto, her life starts getting unstable.
Kaneda published the original essay as a book in November 2019.
Itagaki’s original Baki The Grappler martial arts manga ran for 42 volumes in Weekly Shōnen Champion magazine from 1991 to 1999. The manga has more than 63 million copies in circulation. The Baki sequel manga ran for 31 volumes from 1999 to 2005. Media Do releases the manga in English. After Baki, Itagaki published the 37-volume Hanma Baki manga in Weekly Shōnen Champion from 2005 to 2012. The first Baki-Dou manga, the overall fourth manga in the franchise, launched in Weekly Shōnen Champion in March 2014 and ended in April 2018 with 22 volumes. The new Baki-Dou manga uses different characters for “Baki” in the title from the previous Baki-Dou manga, although it retains the name “Baki-Dou.” The new manga launched in Weekly Shōnen Champion in October 2018.