is one of the earlier sports anime and Spiritual Successor
to Attack No. 1
and is equally centred around a female volley-ball team.
You Hazuki is a feisty and insistant Passionate Sports Girl
, specialized in volley ball, who comes to Tokyo to live with her father and her adoptive brother, Sunny. She gets trained by the abusive and tough as nails coach of the feminine team called 7 fighters
, Daimon. Despite her rocky debut, she soon becomes one of the top players of her team and gets the attention of the media and many high-ranking national coaches. Her biggest wish is to become part of the National Team and compete in the Olympic Games of Seoul.
Along the way, You meets Nami Hayase, a co-player with whom she forms a lasting friendship. She also meets Eri Takigawa, her arch-rival with whom she has a Worthy Opponent
/ Friendly Rivalry
thing going on.
In addition, she's trying to get the attention of Sho Takiki
, the head player of the masculine team, on whom she has an enormous crush and who is also the object of Nami's affactions.
The show is typical of the 80's sports animes (such as Captain Tsubasa
) and, true to its nature, it garnered its main success in Europe, especially France, Italy and Spain
. Even though it is considered a classic in its native Japan, its fame up there is nowhere near as big as it is in the aforementioned countries.
The show provides examples of:
- Alpha Bitch: Nami, specially at the start. She mellows down later.
- Arrogant Volley-Ball Girl: Quite a few but the most prominents are Monia and Yuria.
- The Bechdel Test: The show is one of the earliest depictions of how friendship between women works in a sports setting.
- Big Eater: Both Yugina and You. It even becomes a plot point.
- Big Sister Worship: Sunny towards You.
- Bowdlerize: The Italian and French dubs cut some scenes where Daimon applied Corporal Punishment to his pupils, as well as some shower scenes. Curiously, the Spanish dub didn't censor anything.
- Butt Monkey: Yugina, though the writers throw her a bone from time to time.
- Canon Foreigner: Sunny and You's Missing Mom only appear in the anime.
- Character Exaggeration: You wasn't that Hot-Blooded in the original manga.
- Cheerful Child: Sunny, to the point of being rather annoying sometimes.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: You towards Sho, sometimes verging on Stalker with a Crush.
- Cool Big Sis: How Sunny sees You.
- Corporal Punishment: Daimon, in the anime. Specially seen when he slaps each girl across the face merely for letting a rival team score a single point.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
- You starts as this, but gradually evolves into The Ace.
- Yugina has her moments.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Many times, You's opponents end up befriending her after getting defeated.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Nami.
- Determinator: Pretty much everyone, but You is easily the biggest example.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Coach Daimon. It should be noticed that he was much nastier in the anime than in the manga.
- Fat Girl: Played straight with Yugina. Even though she's supposedly skilled enough to join a professional team, her inability to lose weight gets her consistently sidelined. See below.
- Fiery Redhead: You, even more so in the anime than in the manga. Mostly averted with Eri, though.
- Follow the Leader: The series owes a lot to Attack No. 1.
- Friendly Rivalry: Eri and You are rather cordial and loyal to each other, despite being rivals in the stadium. In the end, both end up as team mates in the Olympic team.
- Funny Foreigner: Averted with Heinz and Crosby, two players of a very powerful team known as Saiei, who are treated as rather serious threats to the 7 fighters team due to their size and power.
- Genki Girl: You, especially in the beginning.
- Hands-Off Parenting: You's mother.
- Invincible Hero: Aside from a few meaningless exceptions, You rarely loses. Very, very rarely.
- Jerkass: Quite a few characters deserve to be mentioned, but Coach Daimon is a particularly nasty one.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nami obviously, but actually almost everyone who is initially mean and condescending towards You later shows a nice side as well. See Defeat Means Friendship.
- Love Triangle: You, Sho, and Nami.
- Missing Mom: You's mother left the family a long time ago. She's actually Kanako Tajima, the volleyball commentator and ex-player that You fangirls.
- Opposing Sports Team: Mainly the aforementioned Saiei team, whose members are nothing but a bunch of bitchy, arrogant and contemptuous assholes who love nothing more than belittling their opponents.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Even the hair color matches their personalities. The redheaded You is a Hot-Blooded Genki Girl, while the blue-haired Nami is much more calm and serious.
- Passionate Sports Girl: You, Eri and Nami are obvious examples but most of the named characters count at some level.
- Secondary Character Title: Played ridiculously straight in the Italian dub. In Italy the anime is known as Mila and Shiro, the "Italian" names of You and Sho. Even though he is You's Love Interest, Sho is a minor character at best and his name certainly doesn't deserve to be in the title along with the protagonist.
- Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Averted with Nami who is rather confident and serious.
- Skilled, but Na´ve: Played totally straight with You in the beginning, being a naturally talented volleyball player, but also very inexperienced and clumsy. She gets better.
- Team Spirit: The whole show is mainly about this and often makes individualists "pay" for their selfishness.
- Underdogs Never Lose: Inverted. Yugina, the local Fat Girl of the team is also the least likely to be successful, mostly because her weight hinders her moves. Made all the more ironic since her sister, who is part of the Saiei team, is just as pudgy as she is but far more talented.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Do you remember Meiko/"Chibi", You's best friend (as well as teammate) in Hikawa High School? She abruptly disappears after You joins a professional team. To a lesser extent, there's Sho, You's love interest, who is eventually Demoted to Extra, but unlike Meiko he still makes occasional appearances and is sometimes mentioned by You.
- Worthy Opponent: Eri to You, big time. Both harbor a deep respect for each other despite being arch-rivals in the stadium.
- Would Hit a Girl: Daimon has no problems with it at all.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Nami