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From Tama-Chan Scan's Site:
Yawara Inokuma is a talented judoka raised and trained by her grandfather Jigoro. Her grandfather says she's supposed to become the hope of Japan's judo team in Seoul in 1988, but she has different plans: to finish high school and find a boyfriend...like all her friends. But being a normal girl and an olympic champion are two different things. Which path will she choose to follow?
In 1990 Yawara! received the 35th Shogakukan Manga Award for general manga.
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Irritating Main Character
Note: I've only read up to Vol. 5 at this point. Who knows, it might improve.
Just as the editor says in the last editor's notes in Vol 5, Yawara is friggin' irritating. She has this great talent, great coach, and all sorts of proof that people are mainly interested in her for her judo (which she doesn't dislike all that much either, as Matsuda finds out), and she keeps going on and on and on about wanting to be 'normal' - by which she means free to fall in love with all the pretty-boys she likes. Sayaka Honami is so much more interesting as a character! Despite her vanity and manipulation, she actually has ambition, determination, and tenacity. Watching all these people trying so hard to get Yawara to compete when she's so ambivalent about it - and then for her to win with such ease despite her complete lack of interest - is completely offputing. There's also a complete lack of suspense because Yawara is built up to be so strong that there is no doubt she'd win, probably without any difficulty.
That said, Jigoro's character is fairly entertaining and there are some funny bits here and there, even if some jokes (such as
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Sayaka's continually falling false tooth
) get old fast. I definitely won't call it a must-read, but if you've got time to waste there are worse series out there.
Please, just quickly finish this awesome manga
I don't care, i'm in nerd rage mode because i really don't understand why they still hasn't been finishing this manga since what? 6 years ago? damn, seriously , are you guys at manga scanslation project really want to finish this scanslation or not? if not, just drop it , and please do not give us ( readers) a false hope. Thats all. For manga itself, i don't have any opinion i gave it 10 / 10 . Reason? i leave that to your imagination.
The first Urasawa's work that I read
Hmm, when I read this one. Its memorable when I was in Junior High School, rent and read Yawara! Its funny, comedic and this is a human drama. But at the time, I didn't recognize how wonderful "Naoki Urasawa"'s work this day.
The bad news is, the publisher doesn't continued released this book and stop at volume 9 or 10 (I forget it) and then ... this story is forget able because I don't have the book (just rent at that time) until I recognized his work on Monster and 20th Century Boys and search on internet .. and I surprise Yawara! is one of Urasawa's work. Ah, the 2nd bad news ... only 5 volumes from 29 volumes I've found on scanlation (Thanks to Tama-Chan). But, I wish read it to finish this work from Naoki Urasawa.
From Yawara's Vietnamese fan...
Thanks Tama-Chan Scans for continueing this project. Many thanks to KUWA-JIJI, NEITHAN-KUN... especially GP for doing your great work in YAWARA series. I love Yawara when i was a child, but it was difficult to find a full series of this manga with english in Vietnam. Now i am very glad that you are willing to continueing this project. I always look forward to the next chapters and your funny notes at the end of each. Finally, i'd love to thank our late Urasawa Naoki to creat our great manga!
Good Yet Irritating
Spoiler (highlight to view)
The story is a good one. Entertaining, charming characters. Or rather charming main character. The main male lead however is irritating. Primarily because of how he is nothing more than a pathetic loser boy, without any balls whatsoever. That this great girl falls in love with this stupid coward, and eventually reaches a point where she herself can't win unless her love interest is around, is beyond irritating. Why she couldn't have found a man, rather then the pathetic loser she picks is truly sad. Even the playboy would have been a better pick for her then the girlyboy Matsuda. It wouldn't have been so irritating if she would have had a friend who would smack her upside the head whenever she started obsessing about her love interest. Instead we're forced to watch her dwell whenever Matsuda isn't around for one of her matches.
Overall its a good story, but when it starts to focus in on Yawara and Matsuda, the story goes off the rails, and becomes more of a chore to read then it is entertaining. Good until they head to Yugoslavia, then just skip to the end.
This story has charm. I don't know how else to put it. It's individual elements work well together. It isn't a burning passion shounen story, nor a shojou, wall banging, story either. Its hard to pinpoint why you should try this manga. It has humour, the characters are likeable enough. I've seen some elements that it has in other manga but its the right combination of ingredients that make something palpable.
It's Urasawa, need anyone say more?
Reading Yawara has fundamentally been an interesting experience for me. Even in Happy!, Urasawa uses a lot of human drama and doesn't rely very much on his comedic edge, but despite that he's quite witty. Yawara has made me laugh out loud a few times, and the characters are all sort of endearing thanks to their quirks. More importantly, however, there's a sense that the characters could be types that you would see in reality. Their thoughts never tread outside of something plausible. This makes the series into something more than just the quaint little sports story that it initially sets out to be, and I honestly don't think you can ask for much more than that when it comes to entertainment. I look forward to reading more.
I'm really grateful to Tama-Chan Scans for sticking with this project. After reading Urasawa's heavier work, I was surprised at Yawara's lightness -- but never fear, Urasawa brings his trademark storytelling to this tale of sportswomen and innocence. What I loved about this manga was its warmth. It's obvious how much Urasawa loves his characters in this, even the really minor ones. Little details and bits of dialogue are done to perfection. Everyone feels so real.
So even though this is light-hearted compared to some of Urasawa's other work, that shouldn't stop you from reading it. The key word with Yawara is charm -- the story grows on you, and Yawara herself charms her way into your heart. Surprisingly thrilling matches and judo tournaments are interspersed with little gems of comedy and gentle humor.
Please give this a try. You won't regret it!
... Last updated on June 24th, 2007, 9:21pm
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