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Anime / Attacker You!

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Attacker You! is one of the earlier sports anime and Spiritual Successor to Attack No. 1 and is equally centered around a female volleyball team.

You Hazuki is a feisty and insistent Passionate Sports Girl, specialized in volleyball, 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, 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 Tachiki, the head player of the masculine team, on whom she has an enormous crush and who is also the object of Nami's affections.

Inspired by Attack No. 1, 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 Italian dub even decided to connect it to Attack Number One and stated both series' main leads were blood cousins. This alteration to the storyline carried over into the French and Spanish dubbed versions of the anime and caused confusion to spectators from countries where this version was distributed and the other was not.

The anime was produced by none other than Knack Productions of Chargeman Ken! infamy, becoming by virtue of the show's success in Europe its biggest international success. While the animation in some episodes approaches Chargeman Ken! awfulness, it's quite good in many others. Shiro Sagisu, later Studio Gainax and Hideaki Anno's go-to composer, provided the musical score.

In 2008, a sequel named New Attacker You was realized 24 years after the first airing. Being a Japenese-Chinese co-production, it's set in China. It has some of the old show's main characters (You, Eri, Nami, Sho, coach Daimon, and coach Mitamura), but all of them (even You) were left largely Out of Focus in favor of the new cast and given totally different personalities (especially You), to the point of being a sequel In Name Only.

Attacker You! provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Saburo who become a You's fan in love with her. She is not happy and often punch him.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The original manga has only 3 volumes.
  • Alpha Bitch: Nami, specially at the start. She mellows down later.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: All dubs except for the Portuguese dub, the Portuguese dub was the only international dub that kept "Seishun Prelude" as the opening
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Monia (Reiko Takami) and Tullia (Hikaru Kaido) act like Arrogant Volley-Ball Girls.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: Based on the opening sequences and especially the theme song lyrics of the Italian, French, and Spanish dubs, one would be given to think a "romance" between You and Sho (aka Mila and Shiro, Jeanne and Serge or Juana and Sergio) is the central point of the show. It isn't - in fact, Sho isn't even the only male character You develops a crush on. (The Italian OP takes the original Japanese sequence and added scenes from the series itself to make it seem more like a romance than it really is, including a kiss between them that was just one of You's fantasies).
  • Big Brother Worship: Sunny towards You.
  • Big Eater: Both Mineko and You. It even becomes a plot point.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The original Japanese includes a number of puns regarding You's given name and its similarity to the English word "you." One from episode one:
    Teacher: [off screen, leading class in an English lesson] "You are my friend."
    Sunny: [in English, to himself] You are my friend. And my sister.
  • Bitch Alert: Not that many but Heinz and Corsby from the Saiei team make it clear from the get-go that they are just the jerks everyone say they are. Later in the series, Hikaru, a rather confrontational player who often gets in fights with You, also makes it clear that she's too gifted to be nice about it.
  • Bowdlerize: The Italian and French dubs cut some scenes where Daimon applied Corporal Punishment to his pupils, as well as some shower scenes and Panty Shots. Curiously, the Spanish dub didn't censor anything, despite Spanish dubs at the time being just as cut-friendly as the other two.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mineko, 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.
    • Mineko has her moments.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Many times, You's opponents end up befriending her after getting defeated.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • Nami. Initially cold, arrogant and dismissive of You, she later becomes her best friend.
    • Mineko, Reiko Takami, and Hikaru Kaido also went from hating You to becoming her friends.
  • Demoted to Extra: After few episodes, Sho rarely appears in the anime even if he's You's Love Interest.
  • Determinator: Pretty much everyone, but You is easily the biggest example.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: In addition to trying to position the series as more of a high school romance that just happened to involve sports, the italian dub created a connection between this show and Attack No. 1 that wasn't present in the original Japanese, by making You (Mila/Jeanne/Juana) a cousin of the earlier series' heroine, Kozue Ayuhara. To make things even more confusing, in the German dub of Attack No. 1, Kozue is named Mila (You's Italian dub name) and the theme song is the same as the Italian/French/Spanish theme song for Attacker You, which curiously has never been broadcast in Germany.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Coach Daimon. It should be noticed that he was much nastier in the anime than in the manga. Some of his more brutal moments were censored in the European dubs. For example, there's one scene where Daimon slaps Nami at least 10 times in a row and makes her bleed, while in the European version he only slaps her once.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: When the show aired in Italy, to capitalize on the success of earlier volleyball anime Attack No. 1, You is often referred to as a cousin of "the famous Mimi Ayuhara", which was the Italian dub name of Kozue Ayuhara (star of Attack No. 1). When the show was brought to France and Spain straight from the Italian version, this caused confusion to French/Spanish viewers who were not familiar with the name "Mimi". In fact, in these countries, Attack No. 1 was broadcast after Attacker You (despite being much older) and the heroine Kozue has different dub names (Alice in France, Julia in Spain).
  • Dub Name Change: Many of the characters' names were changed in foreign dubs, especially in French and Spanish (less so in Italian, where Nami, who became "Peggy" in French and Spanish, is still Nami), which was the norm at the time. Oddly enough, this only applies to the first names, as almost all the characters keep their Japanese surnames.
  • Fanservice: The anime feature several Shower Scene with the girls naked (displaying nipples occasionally) and many Panty Shot with You.
  • Flat Character: Most players of the Seven Fighters, You's team for most of the series. Aside from You and Mineko (the overweight and overconfident Butt-Monkey who is Vitriolic Best Buds with You), all the other teammates can be described as "generic nice girls who are decent players but not as good as You, and are always supportive of You, no matter what she does".
  • Fiery Redhead: You, even more so in the anime than in the manga. Mostly averted with Eri, though.
  • 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.
  • Gratuitous English: One of the hooks from the Japanese opening song is sung completely in English - "Yes, I'm a sunshine." There's also a Bilingual Bonus involving You's name and its Romanized spelling and pronunciation, which are the same as the English word "you" - in episode one, Sunny overhears an English lesson emanating from a classroom at You's school.
    Teacher: [in English] You are my friend.
    Class: [repeating] You are my friend.
    Sunny: [to himself, sadly, in English] You are my friend. And my sister.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: You's mother.
  • Invincible Hero: Aside from a few meaningless exceptions, You rarely loses. Very, very rarely.
  • Japanese Delinquents: Saburo and his gang.
  • Jerkass: Quite a few characters deserve to be mentioned, but Coach Daimon is a particularly nasty one. He is brutal and behaves violently toward his players when they make mistakes or fail to live up to his expectations.
  • 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 over.
  • 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.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: You, Eri and Nami are obvious examples but most of the named characters count at some level.
  • 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.
  • School Sport Uniform: The shirt-and-bloomers version is used by just about all the girls who play the sport.
  • 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. Ditto for pretty much all the other foreign dubs of the series that are based on the Italian one (French, Spanish) and have similar Name and Name titles.
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Averted with Nami who is rather confident and serious.
  • Skilled, but Naive: Played totally straight with You in the beginning, being a naturally talented volleyball player, but also very inexperienced and clumsy. She gets better.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: You's mom in the manga is dead. In the anime is alive and she's actually Kanako Tajima, the volleyball commentator.
  • Team Spirit: The whole show is mainly about this and often makes individualists "pay" for their selfishness.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Inverted. Mineko, the local "fat girl" of the team is also the least likely to be successful, mostly because her weight hinders her moves. Made even more ironic when her sister, who's quite not the twig and also a volley-ball player, is actually much more successful than she is.
  • Weight Woe: Played straight with Mineko. She is very insecure about her weight, mostly because it hinders her a lot as a volley-ball player. Therefore, she's almost always sidelined when a serious match is playing. However, she smashes even harder than You herself due to being indeed the physically strongest of her team.
  • 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.

The 2008 sequel provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Tan Tan Chung, the team's main rival and apparently one of the most talented players in the country.
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Catherine in the first episodes, but she later evolves into a Lovable Alpha Bitch.
    • Tan Tan, even more so. She's never shown being anything other than unpleasant, until the last episode. She has a Freudian Excuse though.
  • Ascended Extra: Zigzagged with Sho Tachiki. In the old show he only appears in a few episodes, while in this sequel he's assistant coach and appears in all of them. On the other hand, in the original series he was You's Love Interest and she was crazy about him, especially in the early episodes. In this sequel You couldn't care less about him, and most of the time they don't even talk.
  • Big Eater:
    • Just like You in the original series, Glin is shown eating a lot during breaks.
    • Ming Hua, the huge Brawn Hilda, is also this, and the other girls are suprised to see that she's able to eat even more than Glin.
  • Ensemble Cast: This is the main difference between the old series (focusing on just one person) and this sequel (focusing on the entire team). In the old series You is the main character in every single episode, everything is from her point of view and we don't even know the names of most of her teammates. In this sequel everyone in the team is a well-developed character and gets a significant amount of focus.
  • Flat Character:
    • You, of all people. She completely lost her energy and outspoken Fiery Redhead attitude from the original series, to the point that she barely has any personality, other than liking volleyball.
    • Eri and Nami also lack the strong personalities they had in the previous series. While You is still something of leader to the team (though a flat Standardized Leader), Eri and Nami are just there and more Out of Focus than all the other characters. Nami is even Put on a Bus eventually.
  • French Jerk: Catherine is French and very bitchy compared to her teammates, though she's kind of a Lovable Alpha Bitch.
  • Gentle Giant: Ming Hua is a female example. A huge Brawn Hilda and former sumo wrestler, who is polite and friendly despite her intimidating appearance.
  • In Name Only: It's completely different from the original show.
    • It's set in China instead of Japan.
    • You is no longer the main character, and the story focuses on all the girls of the team equally.
    • You is calm and stoic insteam of being a klutzy, energetic Genki Girl.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Catherine and Jin Mei. Catherine is introduced as a French Jerk and the Token Evil Teammate, but later episodes have her being more sympathetic and caring. Jin Mei is stubborn and rude initially, but she also gets better after Character Development.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Ming Hua looks very different from the other girls. She's very huge, masculine and lacks the Generic Cuteness of everyone else.
  • Older and Wiser: In the original series You was always a pretty goofy character who provides plenty of funny moments with her antics. Now she's always mature and serious, and her comic relief role is given to new unofficial protagonist Glin instead (although Glin isn't as goofy as original You).
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Glin gets the Jerkass Ball in one episode. She was always portrayed as a perfectly nice person and supportive of her teammates. In one of the later episodes, a new girl joins the team and Glin suddenly turns into an Alpha Bitch and starts picking on the Na´ve Newcomer only because she's a "mediocre player". At the end of the episode she apologizes and makes up with the new girl, but still...
  • Out of Focus: The characters of the original series, You, Nami and Eri. They are still there but overall they get less focus and development than the new characters.
  • Secondary Character Title: You. She's not the protagonist at all, all the girls in the team share this role (though Glin has a more central position than the rest and many see her as the unofficial protagonist).
  • Worthy Opponent: Tan Tan, to the whole team, but especially Glin.