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ATTACK CHANCE!

Asahi Broadcasting Corporation Game Show that's aired weekly since its debut in 1975, best described as a cross between 4-player Jeopardy! and the board game Othello. Sometimes shortened to just "Attack 25."

Four players, symbolized by four colors—red, green, white, and blue—answer trivia questions and solve brainteasers to fill up as much of a 5x5 game board with their color as they possibly can. Along the way, players "attack" their opponents' panels on the board (hence the name of the game) by attempting to surround them on two sides. Doing so flips the surrounded panels to their color.

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The basic rules of capturing:

  • You must capture an opponent's panel, if you can.
  • If you cannot capture, you must attack an opponent's box (so that you are set up for a capture on your next turn).
  • If neither of these things are possible, you may capture any panel adjacent to anything that has already been captured.

If a player answers a question incorrectly, he or she must sit out for two questions.

When 20 panels have been filled on the board, a bell rings, signaling the Attack Chance. The next player to give a correct answer captures a panel as usual, but then attacks one of their opponents' boxes, turning it yellow. That box can then be recaptured by any player who can capture it on his proper turn.

Whoever captures the most territory on the board wins the game, some prizes, and the right to play a Bonus Round for a trip.

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It's probably easier to understand if you watch the game in action.

It's a Long Runner in Japan, debuting in 1975 and airing weekly ever since. Hosted by Kiyoshi Kodama until April 2011, when he was forced to step aside for health reasons—he died the following month. Yasuyuki Urakawa, who had served as substitute host while Kodama was sidelined, became the permanent host thereafter.

Urakawa stepped down in March 2015. Actor Shosuke Tanihara took over starting with the show's 40th anniversary on April 6, 2015.


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Game Show Tropes in use:

  • Bonus Round: The winner is given a series of clues that led to a location. The catch here is that the player could only see through the panels they had captured in the first part of the game. Correctly identifying the place won them a trip (these days, a 6-day trip to Hawaii).
    • In more recent years, the subject of the final puzzle could also be a famous person or a year (where the clues would depict various events that occurred during that year).
  • Celebrity Edition: Usually averted, as the show is one of the few remaining Japanese game shows (if not the only show) to use civilian contestants. That said, however, there have been several celebrity doubles matches over the years.
  • Confetti Drop: For Bonus Round wins in the '90s.
  • Consolation Prize: The runners-up receive lesser prizes, and all players receive ¥5,000 as an appearance fee.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: And this one's really weird: the first six months' worth of shows had no Attack Chance!
  • Golden Snitch: The Attack Chance can be one if played right.
  • Home Game: For the PC, PS1, and PS2, featuring Kiyoshi Kodama.
  • Losing Horns: Type A for bonus round losses, Type B for incorrect answers during the main game (which followed a buzzer).
  • Personnel:
    • The Announcer: Several, Always Female. Usually doubled as a Lovely Assistant, though they could also be considered hosts in their own right, as they read all the toss-up questions. As of April 2015 it's Akiko Kato. Past announcers include Yuki Akawa, Kyoko Nakamura, Junko Aizawa, Miyuki Toshima, Hiromi Soma, Mikako Sawaki, and Yuki Kadono. Kato had previously served as announcer from 2009-2013, making her the only announcer to span three hosts.
    • Game Show Host: Kiyoshi Kodama from the show's debut in 1975 until his death in May 2011; Yasuyuki Urakawa until March 2015; Shosuke Tanihara thereafter.
    • Lovely Assistant: Several until 1985, when the position was eliminated entirely.
  • Retired Game Show Element: The first question of the game always awards control of the center box, panel #13. For a short time in the '80s, however, this was changed—the player who won the Opening Quiz selected their first box via a Press Your Luck-style randomizer that was stopped with their buzzer. This proved unpopular, however, and was quickly scrapped.
    • Also, getting a question wrong used to knock you out for three questions instead of two.
      • This could, albeit very rarely, result in a player playing a question all by himself!
  • Think Music: If a player hasn't buzzed in by the time The Announcer reads the full question, players get 5 seconds of this before the question is thrown out.
    • Also during the Bonus Round, while the clues are being shown.

This show provides examples of:

  • Badass Mustache: Kodama had one in his final year or so as host.
  • The Cameo: Since Urakawa took over, many celebrities (and in some cases, characters) have presented the first question. In recent years, the game always starts with one such question.
  • Catchphrase: "ATTACK CHANCE!"
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The four players. They're even referred to by their colors, rather than by name, when buzzing in.
  • Downer Ending: Very few players have managed a Flawless Victory, thus being able to see the bonus round clues in their entirety...and still couldn't solve the final puzzle.
  • Fan Remake: Greggo does a version at anime conventions, which is about as close to a Transatlantic Equivalent as the USA is going to get.
    • Greggo's a little more lenient with the penalty for an incorrect answer, though. Whereas on the real show, a player is knocked out for two questions regardless, Greggo allows a player to rejoin the game as soon as another correct answer is given.
  • Flawless Victory: When one player captures all 25 boxes on the board. Has been achieved just 13 times in the show's 40-year history. The first Tanihara-era perfect game was also the very first perfect game played from the blue position.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Games can have a tendency to end this way, although the Attack Chance usually makes sure that doesn't happen.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • The aforementioned "ATTACK CHANCE!"
    • And, when calling for the final available panel: "Last call!"
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Normally the game ends when all 25 boxes have been captured, but there is the rare occasion when time will run out before the board is completely filled. At that point, the player who has captured the most boxes wins the game.
  • Once an Episode: The Attack Chance.
  • Player Nudge:
    • Kodama (and Urakawa, to a lesser extent) sometimes does this when a player opens up a corner, and especially would point out potential consequences of the Attack Chance after it happens.
    • Tanihara has taken to pointing out open corners pretty much as soon as they present themselves.
  • Product Placement: In recent years (since Urakawa took over, anyway), the show has added some designated questions:
    • The Opening Quiz is usually presented by a celebrity (or, in some cases, notable characters) via pre-recorded video.
    • After 15 panels have been captured, the next question is a movie question, usually showing footage of a recently-(or soon-to-be-)released film.
  • Sudden Death: On the rare occasion when a tie for the win happens, this decides who plays the bonus game.
  • Tick Tock Tune: During the main game, after the full question is read and if nobody's buzzed in by then.
  • Title Theme Tune: "Attack! Ni-jyu, gooooooooo..." (Ni-jyu go is, of course, Japanese for the number 25. Doubles as a Title Drop.)
  • Voice of Dramatic: Kodama—not just during his signature "Attack Chance!" Catchphrase, but also during the game...especially if a player captures a lot of panels in one turn.
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