Manga: Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl
Yawara and her manipulative grandfather.
Yawara Inokuma is an Ordinary High-School Student
. Well, she'd like to be
. Unfortunately, she's got a judo-obsessed grandfather
and natural talent
for the sport. Her grandfather, Jigoro, is determined that she'll win gold at the Olympics, and has been training her
all her life for just that. He's not above using any method to manipulate, trick, or force Yawara into competing.
When a chance encounter (that is, almost being run over by) with bored rich girl
and sports fanatic Sayaka Hon'nami
, Jigoro jumps at the chance to set up a proper Rival
to get Yawara excited.
With over three years left to go before the Olympics, will Jigoro succeed in sparking Yawara's competitive spirit
, or will his forceful methods raise her stubborn streak? It doesn't help to have a sports reporter
sniffing around for a scoop, either.
From Naoki Urasawa
, the creator of Master Keaton
, and 20th Century Boys
. Yes, really
Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl provides examples of the following tropes:
- Accidental Misnaming: In Episode 90, Jigoro keeps calling Davis "Debeso".
- Almost Kiss:
- Yawara and Kazamatsuri in their first date, but they're interrupted by Jigoro, Sayaka and Matsuda.
- Even worse between Yawara and Matsuda. At the last episode, Matsuda almost kisses Yawara, but he was pushed by drunken Jigoro and their friends.
- Anime Accent Absence: Subverted in Jody Rockwell. Yawara has to correct her Japanese frequently, although it does improve over time. Some of the other world-class athletes have to use translators, and some try to use English. At least one picks up enough Japanese to trash-talk.
- Arranged Marriage: Sayaka and Kazamatsuri.
- Art Evolution
- Asskicking Pose: Subverted, in that they all use a real judo stance.
- Attention Whore: Jigoro
- Babies Ever After: Fukuko, Fujiko and Hanazono's baby daughter.
- Beach Episode: Subverted, in that the trip to the beach is for the traditional pulling-a-tire-while-wearing-iron-geta-and-running-in-sand training.
- Beta Couple: Fujiko and Hanazono.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Yawara is polite to everyone, including her opponents. This infuriates Sayaka.
- Big Eater: Jigoro, although it seems to run in the family as Kojiro is the same way. Yawara even shows signs of this, much to her own disgust when a friend points it out. Toudoh does this as well. Subverted in Coach Yutenji, a huge man who can't keep up with Jigoro's appetite, but is too polite to refuse offers of just one more.
- Bland-Name Product: There's a Game Boy lookalike called "Tennento Game Bozz".
- The banners in tournaments like JVD and Koniko are present too.
- Bound and Gagged: Jigoro pulls this on a member of a high school judo club to trick Yawara in to doing a match.
- Burger Fool: Subverted. Yawara and Fujiko both take fast-food jobs, but it doesn't last very long thanks to Sayaka's attempt to start a Bar Brawl.
- Calling Your Attacks: Of the "That's the legendary such-and-such-and-something-or-other technique!" variety, where themselves never actually call their attacks, but the announcers do. Justified in that modern judo moves do indeed have names.
- Can't Stay Normal: Yawara repeatedly quits judo, but over 15 years of habit can't be broken that easily, so she keeps her practice routine going until she gets drawn back in.
- The Casanova: Kazamatsuri, although he walks a fine line between this and Handsome Lech. Played for comedy in the anime, but he comes across as more dangerous in the manga.
- Caught in the Rain: Yawara and Matsuda take cover in the telephone booth. Matsuda accidentally holds Yawara's hand.
- The Chessmaster: Kojiro
- Christmas Episode: Episode 117.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Sayaka and, minus the cuteness, Kuniko.
- Club President: Hanazano and later Fujiko.
- Combat Commentator: Justified in that these are modern professional sports matches.
- The Confidant: Kazamatsuri and Matsuda to Yawara.
- Cool Bike: Matsuda has this but it was accidentally fell on the river once.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Kojiro abandoned her daughter and his wife since he discovered her daughter's natural talent in judo. Matsuda then convinces Yawara that his father still cares for her and continues to watch her in tournaments.
- Dance Battler: Subverted in Fujiko. Her flexibility from her past experience in ballet makes her extremely hard to pin, and she uses ballet music to time her moves, but her judo isn't particularly dance-like at all. Inverted when Jigoro uses judo and karate moves at a disco.
- Date Peepers: Yawara and Kazamatsuri out together attract Matsuda, Sayaka and Jigoro.
- A Day in the Limelight: Jigoro
- Defeat Means Friendship
- Delinquents: Several show up at various times, Sudoh in particular.
- Determinator: Matsuda
- Disappeared Dad: Yawara's father Kojiro has been off on a training journey since she was 5. Frequently turns into Parental Abandonment as her mom is usually gone looking for him, but they have a normal relationship when she's home.
- Diving Save: Yawara does this to catch a kid who trips. And his ice cream cone.
- Does Not Like Men: At least sometimes. Nanda joins the judo club in order to beat up the guys who keep dumping her.
- Double Knockout: Sayaka and Kim both collapse from exhaustion after their practice match is over.
- Dresses the Same: Yawara and Sayaka meet near the changing room while trying on the same dress. Given Sayaka's normal buying habits, this is more than odd.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Yawara does this once during what's supposed to be a celebratory dinner party. With rather expensive wine.
- Early-Bird Cameo: That girl in the boat in episode #6? She'll be back MUCH later (somewhere around the mid 50s.
- Engagement Challenge: Subverted. Jigoro uses this on several of Yawara's suitors, but never intends to follow through.
- Evasive Fight Thread Episode: Yawara's first match with Jody Rockwell, although it does eventually get resolved
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The taxi driver from Zegrab.
- Eye Catch: Courtesy of Jigoro with this sentence.
"Lovely and cute Mr. JIGORO INOKUMA is a fantastic judo boy!"
- Fangirl: Yawara in particular gets some of these.
- Fighting Series: Unusually, actual judo moves are involved here. This means Yawara isn't really learning new moves, but later on fights opponents that require more than a quick Ippon Seoinage.
- First Kiss: Subverted. Yawara is expecting one of these, but Kazamatsuri is really just trying to figure out how skilled she is at judo. Three years later, it happens.
- Five-Man Band: A tournament judo squad has five members. When Fujiko goes recruiting to form a judo club at the college, she forms a classic set (plus Yawara).
- Flexible Tourney Rules: Averted in that standard judo tournament rules are used. Though there are two different types of team duels, and Hanazano once asks for a switch from the agreed on one to the other to try to protect Yawara.
- Funbag Airbag: Matsuda bumps into Yawara this way when he rushes out in his room.
- Game-Breaking Injury: Teleshikova and Jody's first match.
- Generation Xerox: Several characters in Jigoro's stories look similar to the present day counterpart.
- Kaneko, Yawara's grandmother and is able to do judo. Much stronger than Jigoro.
- Although not related by blood, Matsudaira looks like Matsuda and is the exact same sports reporter...only he's a friend of Jigoro and Kaneko.
- There's Saimonji, a rich man who wants to marry Kaneko. He was beaten by Jigoro just in time to stop the wedding.In the present day, the tale is hinted that Yawara will never marry Kazamatsuri.
- Girl Posse: Sayaka seems to attract these.
- Gonk: Toudou, although it is on purpose. She wants to weigh as much as possible since she practices power judo. Sayaka always calls her Todo (no long vowels) = sea lion/sea cow.
- Hair Decorations: Yawara wears bands or ribbons frequently, especially in tournament.
- Heir to the Dojo
- Huge Schoolgirl: Played in an unusual way with Fujiko.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Yawara, most of the time.
- Instant Fan Club: Lots of people try to join the judo team at Yawara's high school, until she scares them off. Sayaka gets a huge cheering section of her own as well.
- Intrepid Reporter
- It's a Costume Party, I Swear: Sayaka invites Yawara to a party, specifying casual attire while everyone else is in formal wear.
- It's All My Fault: Yawara blames herself for throwing her father when she was five years old, leading to have family problems. This is one of the main reasons why she wants to quit judo.
- Late for School: Sayaka finds out that Yawara is a judo master when she tries to delay Yawara when Yawara is in a hurry to get to school.
- Lingerie Scene: Happens a few times to Yawara. This is a Seinen series, after all.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Sayaka, whose interest in sports seems to be largely sheer boredom. Somewhat unusually, she's far more interested in becoming The Rival than she is in becoming True Companions.
- Look What I Can Do Now: Subverted. Sayaka tries this, and does become stronger during her training. Just not strong enough.
- Love Confession: Yawara and Matsuda in the Grand Finale.
- Love Letter Lunacy: Parodied. Yawara writes a challenge letter to Sudoh, but has never written one before. The rather polite message makes Sudoh think it's a love letter.
- Love Triangle: A few overlapping ones.
- Mad Love: Kuniko towards Matsuda.
- Magic Skirt: Averted.
- Make Way for the Princess: Sayaka expects this when she visits Yawara's school, planning to challenge Yawara. However, she gets hit on and has to show her stuff.
- Manly Tears: Hanazono
- Martial Arts Uniform: Yawara and most other judo practioners in her series wear judogi when practicing or participating in tournaments.
- Meaningful Name:
- Yawara's name is the first character of "judo". Yes, it was on purpose. No, she doesn't like it.
- Also, the founder of Judo was Jigoro Kano.
- Miniature Senior Citizens: Jigoro
- Miracle Rally: Played straight, subverted, averted, lampshade and justified, all more than once. This series likes to play with this one.
- Moment Killer: More than once, to more than one pairing.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Justified in that this is the whole point of Jigoro's style of judo, that skill beats pure strength. Lampshaded in most of the open weight class fights, since Yawara is in the extra lightweight class, but most of her opponents are heavyweights, so people comment on this frequently.
- Nervous Wreck: Fujiko
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Sayaka
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: One of the main reasons Yawara doesn't want to continue judo is her worry about this.
- Not What It Looks Like: Kuniko sets up a lot of these to discourage Yawara.
- Ocular Gushers: Hanazono cries like this whenever he sees Yawara winning. It also happens to many characters who are watching the championships.
- Office Lady: What Yawara becomes after she graduates from college.
- Official Couple: Yawara/Matsuda and Sayaka/Kazamatsuri in the series finale.
- Oh, Crap: Kazamatsuri, especially when he deals about marriage with Sayaka.
- Ojou: Sayaka
- Old Master
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Any number of Yawara's opponents.
- Ordinary High-School Student
- Panty Shot: Yawara delivers a number of these, since something like wearing a skirt doesn't stop her from using judo. Her first real publicity involves one , as Kumoda gets a shot of her subduing a purse snatcher from... an angle that doesn't show her face. Oddly enough, Yawara never seems bothered about the picture making the front page of one of the sports papers.
- Paparazzi: Matsuda and Kumoda get stuck doing this when nothing more interesting is going on, and hate it.
- Parental Abandonment: Not complete, but Yawara's father has been out on a training journey since she was five, and her mother is frequently out chasing rumors trying to find him.
- Porn Stash: Subverted in that when she discovers it, Yawara keeps cleaning like it isn't anything unusual. Matsuda is the one who panics.
- Present Day
- The Promise: Yawara promises to fight Jody Rockwell again in a tournament somewhere, the first time she actively agrees to a real tournament.
- Recap Episode
- Rich Bitch: Sayaka, of course.
- The Rival: Played straight and subverted in Sayaka, who sees herself as one and is seriously frustrated when Yawara doesn't really think that way. Jigoro sets her up as a rival for Yawara in an attempt to encourage Yawara's fighting spirit. She does eventually become one, along with a number of world-class judo athletes from other countries.
- Save Our Team: Hanazano to both Jigoro and Yawara.
- Screw Politeness Im A Senior
- Shipper on Deck:
- Jody and Fujiko are supportive of Yawara/Matsuda.
- Seems that Sayaka ships the pairing as well. She once asked Matsuda if he's tired of following Yawara.
- Let's not forget the taxi driver from Episode 90, who encouraged Matsuda to get close in the stage.
- Shotgun Wedding: Fujiko and Hanazono.
- Show Some Leg: Subverted in that Yawara isn't doing it intentionally, and in fact the only reason she wins the matches is because the guys she's fighting are so obviously attempting to sneak a peak that she gets creeped out and forgets her intention to lose quickly. Played straight with Miririn, who even gets disqualified from a match for it.
- Shrinking Violet: Kyon-kyon, who joins the college judo club because she thinks it'll help her stand out more.
- Signed Up for the Dental: Yawara takes a job at a travel agency for the travel discount, to help find her travelling father.
- Speed Stripes: Some of Yawara's throws generate these.
- Springtime for Hitler: Yawara tries to throw her first big public match to defuse the media attention she's getting. It doesn't work.
- Squash Match: Yawara is really good, bordering on Invincible Hero. If she isn't distracted or facing one of the top 5 in the world, the other judoka is going to be looking at the ceiling quick. Her first tournament fight with Sayaka... lasts 2 seconds.
- Survival Mantra: Fujiko chants this mantra whenever she wants to concentrate on her movements or to calm herself. She even says this when she's giving birth to her baby.
Fujiko: "Une, deux, trois... Une, deux, trois... UNE, DEUX, TROIS!"
- Tears of Joy
- Theme Tune Cameo: In Episode 57, Jigoro sings the opening theme while he's in the bath.
- Thinking Out Loud: Kazamatsuri
- Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Sayaka does this to Yawara... on national television.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Jigoro and his wife Kaneko.
- Took A Levelin Badass: Sayaka. Come on, a pampered rich girl becomes more than a match for a judo princess, granddaughter and daughter of legendary judokas and trained since birth, just after some months/years of (admittedly hard, and administered by some of the best masters in the world) training?
- Toplessness from the Back: Subverted, in that Kazamatsuri is the one involved.
- Tournament Arc: Lots of them, justified by the fact that the series largely involves modern professional judo, which is in a tournament format.
- Training from Hell: Justified. Olympic-class athletes train in a manner that qualifies as Training from Hell for the non-obsessed. Those in the series never quite reach Charles Atlas Superpower levels.
- Translation Convention: We hear Kim's withering list of insults to Sayaka in Japanese. She's actually speaking Korean and the translator declines to repeat anything she says.
- Trash of the Titans: Matsuda's apartment.
- Tree Cover: Matsuda and Kamoda do this around few times to get the latest scoop from Yawara.
- Trust Me, I'm an X: Jigoro, who works as a bone-setting doctor.
- Unnecessary Roughness: Subverted, in that Yawara's about the only one who thinks so. Even the main target of this argues that it's all part of the sport.
- V Sign:
- Sayaka frequently shows this pose before the match.
- Jigoro, (like in the picture above) does this too whenever he wants to get attention.
- Who Needs Overtime: Averted. Several matches run out of time, and go to decision.
- Wrong Guy First: Yawara falls in love with Kazamatsuri for years before she realizes that she truly loves Matsuda after reading his old articles.
- You Fight Like a Cow: Sayaka and Tohdoh both get in trouble for this during a match.