General Information


Greetings fellow Yawara! fanatics and curious visitors! This homepage celebrates the wonderful manga and anime series know as YAWARA!

YAWARA! was created in 1987 by Urasawa Naoki (artist for Master Keaton and Pineapple Army, and the creator of Happy! and Monster) where it was published in the weekly manga magazine Big Comic Spirits (the same one as Maison Ikkoku).

The manga's popularity led to creation of the YAWARA! television series in 1989. It was shown on Nihon Television, animated by Mad House (Juubei Ninpuuchou [Ninja Scroll], Youjuu Toshi [Wicked City]), produced by Yomiuri TV & Kitty Films and distributed by Kitty films as Ranma ½ Nettouhen's sister show. YAWARA! blew away her sister show ratings wise, always earning a spot in the top ten anime list and often within the top five!

The television series ended in September of 1992 after an impressive 124 episode run. The manga series continued well into 1993 where it finished up the story after an equally impressive 29 compiled volume run.

A live action movie was released in 1989, An offshoot, one-shot manga, "Jigoro!" was released in 1994 and a 90 minute television special, featuring Yawara at the Atlanta Olympics, aired in July 1996.

Yawara! has made an even bigger impact. Tamura Ryoko, 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist and 1996 & 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist and Japan's 48kg Ladies Judo Champion, was nicknamed "Yawara-chan" by the press.

The General Story

Yawara! is a sports anime laced with comedic and romance elements. It starts off with Yawara Inokuma, a high school girl who is most interested in doing the things that your average Japanese high school girl does. However, she has been trained in Judo for years by her grandfather, Jigorou (A former Japan Judo Champion), who has much grander plans in store for her as a Judo superstar. He manipulates matters so that Yawara ends up having to perform in matches and tournaments. His final plan is for Yawara to "Win the Gold Medal in the Olympics and be awarded the Nation Medal of Honor".

Yawara becomes the interest of Matsuda, a sports report, who happens to see her stop a purse thief by using a judo throw. Being a fan of great sports legends (Which he believes Yawara has the capacity to be) and also a reporter looking for a scoop, he persues her and eventually becomes interested in her.

In a chance encounter, Yawara and Jigorou meet Sayaka, the snobbish daughter of the powerful Hon'ami family. She is also a famous sports figure who has become the best in whatever sport she has entered. She's is bored now, since she can't seem to find her equal. Jigorou sees this as perfect oppourtunity to give Yawara a rival, so he throws Sayaka giant bodyguard. He also mentions that there is a girl about Sayaka's age who's even better than he is. This sets things in motion and Sayaka enters the Judo world.

During a bus ride, Matsuda tries to get more information from Yawara. After becoming quite rude, he is thrown from the bus by Kazamatsuri, the playboy ^_^. It's love at first sight for Yawara and Kazamatsuri takes her to out for some coffee. What Yawara doesn't know is that Kazamatsuri has just become Sayaka's Judo coach.

Yawara is also haunted by the possibility that her throwing of her father, Koujiro, the current All Japan Judo Champion at the time, when she was five years old was the cause of his disappearance.

JudoGirl.Com: © 2001 Created by Jei Fubler Harvey. All images © Urasawa Naoki/Kitty Films