What’s the important information? Harukana Receive is a Summer 2018 sports anime that aired 12 episodes between July and September. It is based on a Seinen manga series by mangaka Nyoijizai.
What’s it about? Haruka is a city girl who has moved to the island prefecture of Okinawa to live with her cousin Kanata, together they bond over beach volleyball and with American twin sisters Claire and Emily Thomas form a beach volleyball club with the intent on competing in tournaments and becoming the best in Japan.
Why did you watch it? I don’t know if you know this about me already but I’ve kind of got a thing for anime girls, so a whole series of cute anime girls in bikinis playing beach volleyball is right up my alley, heck I’d watch a show about cute anime girls painting a house if they were cute and scantily clad enough!
Did you enjoy the show? Despite my usual dissatisfaction with sports anime in general I did enjoy this show, while never truly reaching the heights of greatness it was always entertaining, always fun and always had something appealing to look at, whether it be the pristine Okinawan scenery or the girls themselves.
What was your favourite episode? As much as I enjoyed how exciting and legitimately tense the season finale’s final match between Haruka/Kanata and Claire/Emily, I can’t help but be drawn to the more slice of life centric episodes and as such Episode 4’s “Isn’t This Perfect For Us?” which centred on the girls buying swimsuits and trying them on and also introduced side characters Ai and Mai was probably a personal favourite.
What were your most favourite things about the show? The friendships formed between the girls were genuine and heartfelt and each girl had something unique and fun about their personality that made them interesting to watch and interact with one another. Also the boobs and butts.
Wbat were your least favourite things about the show? While I often overlooked it in my episodic reviews of the series some of the animation during the beach volleyball segments felt lazy and static, with an over-reliance on slow-motion footage of the volleyball and reaction shots rather than fluid animation.
Who was your favourite character? As mentioned above, all of the girls had something likable and endearing about them, in addition to being unfailingly attractive. But for some reason I was always drawn back to Emily Thomas so she wins as my favourite character.
Thoughts on the OP (opening), ED (ending) and the soundtrack in general? From my limited experience sports anime ~usually~ have pretty bangin’ OP’s but unfortunately “FLY two BLUE” by Kana Yūki and Saki Miyashita is a rather ordinary song, it’s okay but nothing special. The same can be said for the ED; “Wish me luck!!!” sung by the cast, it’s ~slightly~ better but only just. HOWEVER, a recurring insert song “Rise” by Rasmus Faber is infinitely better than both and should have definetly been used in lieu of either song!
What’s something unique about this show? I’m sure I’ll get some pushback from some people on this, but I feel like despite the fact the show’s a 12 episode long beach-episode the fan-service feels unobtrusive and naturalistic to the point where it never felt like it was being intentionally perverted or leering. Maybe my view on this is skewed as a male, and someone who watches a lot of significantly more ecchi shows, but this series was rather matter-of-fact with its depiction of the girls in bikinis. Yes there were close-ups of bikini-clad butts on occasion but it never lingered and never indulged in over-sexualised soft-focus.
What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? For a straight up comparison to another show where cute anime girls played sports ‘Scorching Ping Pong Girls’ is a natural comparison but the two shows feel too different to say if you enjoyed one you’d just as clearly enjoy the other. I think thematically ‘Uma Musume: Pretty Derby’ is more of a closer sibling series and has the same ~loose~ definition of what a “sports anime” entails.
Who would you recommend it to? Obviously anyone who likes to watch cute girls in bikini’s, but more than that anyone into the CGDCT genre are sure to find something to endear themselves with this series and these characters. Strictly speaking this isn’t a CGDCT show, but it shares more DNA with shows like that than perhaps it does with the more ~hardcore~ of sports anime.
Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘Fun in the sun with cute girls doing sport, among other things’.
Final score? 84 out of 100.
Previous Harukana Receive Reviews:
The Nicest Receive – Episode 1 Review
Sundrenched Tears – Episode 2 Review
Slow Balling – Episode 3 Review
Wardrobe Malfunction – Episode 4 Review
Little Resistance – Episode 5 Review
I Was Wrong – Episode 6 Review
Idling Idol – Episode 7 Review
The Wrong Finger – Episode 8 Review
Dirty Tactics – Episode 9 Review
What Happened To Grandpa? – Episode 10 Review
A Friendly Rivalry – Episode 11 Review
Chance Ball – Episode 12 Review
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