First Impression: Harukana Receive

There’s an area of Japan named Okinawa, and that’s where Harukana Receive takes place. It starts off with the story of Haruka, who goes to live with her cousin Kanata while her mom leaves to travel. Once she arrives, the sight of the ocean and beach leaves her jumping for joy and immediately gets into the water. She finds two girls, Ayasa and Narumi, playing beach volleyball and decides to watch them, eventually joining in. Kanata shows up and they decide to have a match between the two, where if Haruka’s team scores one point they win but the other girls have to score seven points. Of course, Haruka loses, being it’s her first time playing, so she makes up her mind to have a revenge match.

Since I am not familiar with many sports anime, especially beach volleyball, I wanted to give something new a try. At first, I hesitated to watch this show as I imagined it was just a fanservice anime but thankfully it’s not! The fact that the setting is on the beach and it’s airing during the summer makes it more fun to watch. Haruka’s character didn’t impress me much, as her motivation for playing volleyball wasn’t enough to pull me in and interest me. It was just a nice show to watch and enjoy the water, palm trees, and sand that was beautifully displayed throughout different scenes. I recommend this one for those that enjoy beach or regular volleyball, or if you just want something to chill out in the hotter months.

stardf29: First of all, I should note that the original manga this anime adapts was serialized in Manga Time Kirara, best known for all those super-moe cute-girls-doing-cute-things shows; specifically, it comes from the more plot-focused Forward line (as opposed to the slice-of-life works in other lines). I mention this because it would be apt to describe this show as a cute-girls-doing-cute-things take on a beach volleyball anime, not just in the characterizations and character designs, but also in how surprisingly laid-back the show is. Even the pseudo-match in the episode plays out in a very drawn-out way, with the climax being a slow-motion playout of Haruka’s last chance to score a point. This does feel a bit at odds with what one would expect from a sports anime, especially with how fast-paced beach volleyball normally is. That said, with an overall calming atmosphere, solid characters and the potential for a good story focused on the relationship between a team of two, this show definitely interests me. “Iyashikei sports anime” might sound like an oxymoron but this show could just make it work.

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