The ‘Attack no 1’ drama is based, somewhat loosely, on the classic shoujo sports-anime of the same name. The original ran to 104 episodes so, even with 11 x 50 min episodes, the drama is somewhat shorter.
The story re-uses elements from the anime in what, one has to say, is something of a mish-mash, and adds some significant new plot elements. It would be tedious to compare and contrast all the changes, but if you have seen the original (better known in Europe as “Mila Superstar”) you could figure them all out for yourself. Enough to say that in the drama, Kozue Ayuhara (girl in red shorts at far left of pic) is a senior high school student at Fujimi High, and a member of the volleyball team. She isn’t the captain or the most highly regarded player so there is shock when she is called to the National training camp instead of her friend Midori, by the notoriously severe coach Inokuma.
Here she finds herself pitted against a number of skilled and experienced players, and Inokuma, for reasons of his own, makes her acting Captain, a role for which everybody including Kozue feels she is unfitted! However Kozue wins over the players, including the unpleasant but gorgeous Sanjo, who turns out to be .. but lets not disclose that spoiler. Kozue soon falls foul of Inokuma’s ruthless tactics, and there are several more anime-style plot twists before the end. In the last episode, the National team plays in an international tournament.
The original anime Attack no 1 was essentially a straight drama, even if the action occasionally seemed a but implausible, and rather than depicting volleyball realistically, it aimed more to be about the psychology of playing competitive sport. (The anime Attacker You contains more realistic animated volleyball.) The drama is constrained to show real girls knocking real balls about, but off-court, which is most of the time, has an anime-like plot which if anything is more over-the-top than the original… It certainly has quite a light feel and one is left with the impression that one isn’t meant to take this drama entirely seriously.
Whether one has seen the original or not, this drama is great fun to watch, and a knowledge of the sport is not required. Comparison with the “other” sports-drama derived from a classic anime is inevitable, and while both are worth watching, some think that “Aim for the Ace” is the better of the two.