In the same year, Yomiuri TV began broadcasting an anime adaptation titled Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl!, which ran from October 16, 1989 through September 21, 1992 for 124 episodes. Each episode ended with a countdown of days remaining to the start of the Barcelona Olympics. The anime, produced by Kitty Film with animation by the Madhouse studio, aired on Japanese television contemporary with Kitty's Ranma ½ but achieved higher ratings than Ranma ½, despite the latter series being better known outside Japan. AnimEigo licensed the TV series for North American distribution in August 2006.[5] However, as of April 2010 AnimEigo has been unable to license the remaining episodes of the TV series for North American distribution.Yawara Inokuma is a girl who aspires to an ordinary life but due to her innate talent is forced to practice judo by her authoritarian grandfather, Jigorou Inokuma, with the aim of achieving the championship in Japan and the gold medal in the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games. Because of the pressure from her grandfather she has a generally bad attitude about judo, avoiding it as much as she can. However, over time she comes to understand why her grandfather loves judo and appreciates it more. Characters Edit
Yawara Inokuma (猪熊 柔 Inokuma Yawara)
Voiced by: Yuko Minaguchi
Yawara is a girl who aspires to an ordinary life but who is forced to practice judo by her grandfather. She is always having romantic daydreams; her biggest dream being to find a boyfriend. (Inokuma means "Pig Bear"; Yawara is the same Chinese character as "ju" in "judo".) Although she has a lot supporters and very close close friends such as Fujiko, sometimes she acts selfishly and does not appreciate their commitment toward her (e.g., almost failing to help Fujiko in her All-Japan Selection match).
Jigoro Inokuma (猪熊 滋悟郎 Inokuma Jigorou)
Voiced by: Ichirou Nagai
Jigoro is a seventh-dan Judo Master (though he often inflates this to eighth- or even ninth-dan) and five-time national ch