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Based on a comic (manga) by Chikako Urano. Atakku No. 1 (Attack No. 1 or Attack Number 1)was featured on girl's weekly comic magazine "Margaret" from 1968 to 1972 and started the volley ball craze in Japan of that time. This anime series first aired 12/7/68 in Japan and continued for 104 episodes. After it was aired in Japan, the animated series was syndicated over seas and became the favorite of youth from many countries. It was this anime series that became the seminal influence for the Olympic volley ball player Francesca Piccinini to start playing volley ball at the age of 9.
Story plot revolves around a high school teen age girl Kozue Ayuhara. Kozue came to Fujimi middle school due to health reason from a school in Tokyo which is famous for its volley ball team. Kozue finds slow moving pace of Fujimi middle school somewhat boring until she's challenged to play a volley ball match between the school's official volley ball team and the team made of renegade students who she befriends. Through some twists and turns, Kozue becomes the team member of Fujimi middle school's volley ball team and goes on to play in the inter-Jr. high school volley ball tournament with the stake of becoming Japan's number one Jr. high school volley ball team. She eventually becomes the captain of the team and due to her amazing talent as the team's ace attacker, she is nick named "Attack No. 1" (The nick name never appears during her career in Jr. high school but it's revealed in the story that this was her nick name in Jr. high school after she enters high school - confusing ?). After Kozue graduates from Jr. high school, she continues her volley ball playing career in high school, but not without some trials and tribulations in the beginning. Since it was created over 30 years ago, some of the machines and gadgets which appears in this series looks arcane, such as the "computer" which is programmed to figure the weakness of each player is still being programmed by punched tape reader.
This series made by Tokyo Movie ( All 104 episodes of this anime in Japanese is available as streaming video from Tokyo Movie's home page www.tms-e.com ) for Fuji television network was the first girl's sports animated series in Japan. Nearly 40 years after this series aired, a live action remake of this series aired in Japan in 2005 starring Aya Uyeto in the role of Kozue Ayuhara. Simultanously to the airing of this TV series, the original comic reprint became available in 7 volumes set and is available from Amazon.co.jp for those of you who would like to see the original manga version of this animated series.
The author of the comic Chikako Urano went on to write "Shin (New) Atakku No. 1" in 1976 which depicts Kozue after she graduates from high school, and more recently in 2004 a different artist named Hanao Ozawa is writing a manga in bi-weekly "Margaret" magazine also titled "Shin Atakku No. 1" (Sample issue of this manga can be seen at "http://margaret.shueisha.co.jp/attack/").
Even after 40 years this series has the power to move its viewers, and the more recent remake of Aya Uyeto is also energy packed volley ball saga that has moved this viewer. Everything about this anime is incredible, and you have to see it to appreciate it. Incredible energy packed animated series with beautiful background artistry that can't be dismissed as mere children's entertainment.
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