Attack No. 1


Attack No. 1 was a popular manga series in Japan. It also became the first televised female sports anime series in the shōjo category. It was also referred to as "Mila Superstar" when aired across Europe.

The story is about Kozue Ayuhara, the new girl who transferred to Fujimi College, who tried out for the school volleyball team. Her friendship with Midori would develop, and her talents would impress coach Honga more and more each day. Though she showcased extraordinary volleyball skills, she would make enemies with Yoshimura, the star of the current team. Kozue would discover that being at the top would bring stress, incompatibilities and other dilemmas into her life. Her high expectations of becoming the best volleyball player in the school, Japan and eventually the world, would set the tone for the drama to follow.

The anime is an adaptation of Chikako Urano's 1968 volleyball manga serialized in Weekly Maragaret Magazine under the same name. Chikako was considered one of the founders of shojo anime. And the series was introduced not only to push the older female manga fan base (as opposed to the significantly younger audience for magical girl series such as Sally, the Witch) into the anime mainstream, but also capitalize on the boom of the gold medal Japanese women's volleyball team in the 1964 Olympics. The show did stand out in an era dominated by shōnen adventures and sci-fi animes, and was well received in the anime-friendly television markets of France, Germany and Italy.

This series was practically responsible for the explosion of the shojo subgenre from 1960s and on. There were countless series that followed the same concept, but shifted the focus to different sports. Ace wo Nerae! for tennis, Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl for judo are just some examples of series that appeared immediately after the fading of this series.

The show have received numerous awards. On September 23, 2005 it was voted "TV Asashi Top Anime" placing 61 out of 100. On October 13, 2006 it was voted "Japanese Favorite TV Anime" placing 9 out of 100 among celebrities.

This show also had a profound impact not only for being a sport spirited (supokon) anime in Japan, but had a strong influence long after the series ended. Italian professional volleyball player, Francesca Piccinini, is one such example of someone inspired by the series[5]. (In Italy, the anime was shown on TV in the 1980s under the title Mimi e la nazionale della pallavolo. It was also known as Mila Superstar in Germany and other countries, Les Attaquantes in French, La Panda de Julia in Spanish and TAKKITAKKI in Uzbestikan.)

Despite the show being called Mila Superstar when aired across Europe, the main character of Attack No. 1 in Japan was never called Mila. The name came from the immensely popular Italian version of 1984's Attacker You!, in which the main character, You Hazuki, was renamed Mila.
In addition, the screenwriters for the Italian version of Attacker You! created a relationship between that series and Attack No. 1 that was not present in the original Japanese: they rewrote You Hazuki (Mila) as a cousin of Kozue, who was renamed "Mimi Ayuhara" in the Italian dub of Attack No. 1. This Voltron-style reworking of the story of Attacker You! by the Italian dubbing staff carried over into the French and Spanish versions of the anime. To compound the confusion, the heroine of the Attack No. 1 spinoff Attack on Tomorrow is named Mimi in both the Japanese and Italian versions.

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