- Title: アタックNo.1
- Title (romaji): Attack No.1
- Genre: Sports, Human Drama
- Episodes: 11
- Viewership ratings: 13.1%
- Broadcast network: TV Asahi
- Broadcast period: 2005-Apr-14 to 2005-Jun-23
- Air time: Thursday 21:00
- Opening theme song: Attack No.1 2005 by Fukuda Saki
- Ending theme song: Yume no Chikara by Ueto Aya
What does it take to become the ultimate volleyball player? The smash hit manga spikes its way onto the TV screen for the first time!
A smash hit manga spikes its way onto the TV screen for the first time! Kozue, a positive and cheerful high school girl devotes her entire energy toward her school volleyball team. Extremely severe practices designed by the strict head coach Inokuma, highly competitive matches against the toughest top players, friendships and rivalry among teammates with strong characters…. Can Kozue's genuine love toward volleyball make the impossible come true?
Japan High School Selection Team
Fujimi High School Volleyball Team
- Screenwriter: Morosawa Kazuyuki (両沢和幸), Satake Mikio, Takayama Naoya
- Producer: Miwa Yumiko
- Director: Inohara Tatsuzo, Tokuichi Toshiyuki (徳市敏之), Tamura Naoki
- Music by: Umebori Atsushi
Smells Like ACE o nerae
Do you remember ACE o nerae which aired last winter? It was a drama based on a manga/anime about tennis starring Ueto Aya; and it turned out to be quite a big hit. There really wasn't anything more that could be done with the ACE o nerae story, since I guess they finished the entire story of the manga in the series and special which aired last summer. Instead, they decided to cast Ueto Aya in another drama based on a different sports anime/manga called "ATTACK no. 1". And since TV Asahi first started airing the previews for this drama, it was obvious that they were attempting to repeat the success of "ACE o nerae" with this drama.
This time Ueto plays Kozue, a high school girl who is a member of a volleyball team which is considered one of the best high school teams in Japan. However, Kozue is far from the best player on the team and makes mistakes quite frequently. She does get a bit of time in the spotlight at the beginning of the first episode when she is suddenly added to the lineup at the end of an important game and makes the deciding spike. Still, she has only modest confidence in her abilities and looks up to the more skilled members of the team such as her best friend, Midori.
However, this year Kozue is chosen to play on the national team instead of Midori, who was chosen last year. No one on her high school team can believe this, since she is not even the best on the team let alone national level material. Her teammates suddenly become quite hostile toward her, and even her best friend, Midori becomes distant and jealous. Despite a lacking level of self-confidence, Kozue decides to participate in the national team since it's too exciting an opportunity to pass up.
The coach of the national team turns out to be Inokuma Daigo (Funakoshi Eiichirou if you can believe it), who is a big scary-looking guy with sunglasses who kicks girls off the team left and right, dragging them out of the gym by their hair as they kick and scream. (Funakoshi looks really different with the facial hair and sunglasses.) He also used to be the coach of the boys national team many years ago when the coach of Kozue's high school team (Nakamura Shunsuke) was playing. Nakamura's character hates Inokuma, and he blames him for the death of his friend who apparently died from overexertion after being named captain.
Kozue meets a lot of talented players on the national team, and she has to do her best to keep up and rise to the same level as them. There is even one girl named Sanjou who hates Kozue and resents her very presence on the team. She hates her even more when the coach suddenly names Kozue captain of the team. Again, Kozue doesn't feel she is right for this role, but quickly rises to the challenge - even when given difficult responsibilities such as choosing the starting lineup of the team. If that weren't enough, to test Kozue's loyalty, the coach decides that their first practice match will be against Kozue's high school. Now Kozue will have to face all her friends, who are just as desperate to win as the national team is.
This drama even has a few common cast members with "ACE o nerae" besides Ueto Aya. Sakai Ayana and Morita Ayaka were in ACE o nerae too. Not only that, but the story is so similar it's almost fair enough to call it the same thing except the sport is volleyball this time, instead of tennis. Once again, Ueto plays a young athlete who is far from the best in her sport, but is given special privilege and is chosen by a ruthless coach who sees high potential in her. Once again, she is ostracized by her teammates because of the special treatment she gets. And once again, she will have to rise up from her humble beginnings to achieve greatness by the end of the drama.
There are a few minor differences in the story of course. This time, Hiromi - I mean Kozue - adjusts to her position on the national team and raises her skill level relatively quickly. Whereas in "ACE o nerae", Hiromi could hardly even hit the ball until the last few episodes when she is suddenly one of the best. (I thought they could have showed her progress more smoothly in that one.) This time, her love interest is a guy who works at a ramen shop, instead of a fellow athlete who she looks up to as in "ACE o nerae". Since volleyball is a team sport, teamwork is a major theme of "ATTACK no. 1" that wasn't covered much in "ACE o nerae". And, finally, I feel as if "ATTACK no. 1" is a bit more perverted than "ACE o nerae" since there seems to be more emphasis on girls wearing tight clothing and Ueto's status as an idol. (I really hate the part in the middle of the opening sequence when Ueto's voice suddenly comes in and says, "But I still cry, because I'm a girl." It almost reminds me of old 80's idol shows like "sukeban deka".)
Last year in Japan, volleyball achieved surprising popularity when a large percentage of Japanese tuned in to watch the Japanese women's volleyball team compete internationally. That's probably why they decided to choose a volleyball manga this time (though it's a bit late now). It's pretty obvious that this show is just another rehash of "ACE o nerae" using a different sport. And while that may sound like a very negative statement, you also have to keep in mind that I really enjoyed "ACE o nerae" a lot. How could I possibly dislike a show so similar? Actually, I'm very happy that TV Asahi decided to make this show. It gives a chance to explore the same theme using a different sport and slightly different circumstances. The main story is quite similar, but the events of each episode are still going to be new. I'm very excited to see what happens, and I really hope that TV Asahi continues to make even more dramas based on sports manga in the future. They don't necessarily have to star Ueto Aya though.
- Ep 01: 15.7%
- Ep 02: 12.9%
- Ep 03: 13.1%
- Ep 04: 12.9%
- Ep 05: 11.6%
- Ep 06: 12.7%
- Ep 07: 12.1%
- Ep 08: 12.7%
- Ep 09: 13.3%
- Ep 10: 13.7%
- Ep 11: 13.7%