Okay, so, we’ve established that the *number one* most important thing for a sports hero is a rival who pushes them to their limits and beyond. In Volume 1 and Volume 2, we established that Sayaka is meant to be that rival for Yawara.
However, in Volumes 3 and 4, we learn that Sayaka is nowhere near Yawara’s level and the comparison isn’t even a fair one. But! (There’s always a “But!”) a new rival arrives – and this one is definitely exactly what Yawara needs to light the fire of competition in her heart. Jody Rockwell, a large, friendly, energetic Judoka from Canada arrives, plants herself in Yawara’s yard and challenges her to a fight. Yawara resists, but Jody’s good nature and genuine enthusiasm – and a little subterfuge, courtesy of Yawara’s grandfather – finally break through Yawara’s resistance. For the first time, she has fun doing Judo.
When Jody leaves, Yawara decides to compete in Judo to be able to once again have a match with her but, oh no! Jody’s career is derailed by the evil Russian who stands in Yawara’s way. Stay tuned for revenge.
There is no Yuri, really, but Yawara opens her heart to Jody in a very touching way. Sayaka’s rivalry with Yawara moves to the field of love, as they battle for Kazamatsuri but, while Sayaka is always watching Yawara, to be honest, Yawara still barely notices she’s there.
Art – 7
Characters – 6, now that Yawara’s into Judo, she’s more interesting
Story – 8
Yuri – 1
Service – 5
Overall – 8
Once more (and not for the last time,) my sincere thanks to Ana M.! Thanks for sponsoring today’s review and several hours of fun anime viewing!