It’s here!! My most anticipated show of the summer season has finally started!!! Was the opening ep worth the hype?
Here’s my review!
I usually don’t go in for sports anime, which is strange as I like sports and enjoy playing sports, but watching anime about sports has never really appealed to me. But this one did appeal to me, and yes I’ll admit largely for that reason you’re thinking of right now, girls playing beach volleyball. I mean… yeah that’s enough to get my attention and hold it for a considerable amount of time. Plus I don’t think there has been an anime about beach volleyball yet so this is pretty cool to see. But back to the matter at hand, was Harukana Receive all that I wanted after it’s opening ep?
Of course! You really think I’d say otherwise? Literally from the moment the show began and I heard the music I knew right away this was a good show. I’m not even 10 seconds in yet and I’m already super excited for it and eagerly awaiting to see how the ep unfolds. Speaking of music, the second reason I’m so excited for this show is because of the music. I like taking a look at the staff and cast of a show I’m interested in, so when looking at the staff for this one I saw a name that stood out for me. Rasmus Faber. Yes he’s back again and doing music for anime. So it kinda goes without saying that the music will be top-tier. I can’t wait to hear the OP and ED too as I’m such those will be fantastic. Moving on then to the ep itself, let’s take a look at how that went.
Haruka Oozora is staying is Okinawa with her cousin for the summer break because her mother is going away on a business trip. After a quick flash forward to an event that happens later on in the show we officially meet Haruka arriving at the airport in Okinawa where she’s already taking in the sights. We learn here that Haruka is quite a tall girl too, stand well above other girls she walks by thus getting attention for maybe being a model or something. I’m reminded of GGO‘s Karen (LLENN) as she was a tall (and cute!) girl too. Personally I like a tall girl, maybe that’s just because I’m tall, but anyways it’s cool to see another anime with a tall lead girl. I also really love Haruka’s bright and cheerful personality. She’s so happy and positive that it’s hard not to smile just watching her enjoying herself so much.
There at the airport to meet Haruka is a not so tall girl Kanata Higa, her cousin. But while she’s nowhere near as tall as Haruka, she’s still a very cute girl and I do like her a lot too. Haruka was given a picture of Kanata by her mother so she could look for her upon arriving. However that pic was of a 4th grade Kanata and Haruka was expecting to find a much different looking Kanata, but it turns out she looks pretty much the same. It’s a bit awkward now during the ride back as Kanata was bothered by how much her cousin had grown and how much she didn’t. Don’t worry Kanata, you’re still young and will grow some more!
While taxiing back to Kanata’s house, Haruka takes in the sight of the ocean up close and feels like going for a swim right away. Haruka leaps out and makes a beeline to the beach for some fun in the sun. We’re treated to a very nice moment where Haruka takes off her dress revealing a lovely blue bikini underneath. I also really liked Kanata’s reaction at Haruka’s sudden undressing. I’ll let the gif do the talking here as you just really need to see it.
So yeah, that’s a treat of what’s to come in this show.
But it’s not just that action we’ll be getting, we’re quickly reminded that this is a sports anime about beach volleyball. While Haruka is off playing in the water, Kanata goes home to change into bathing attire as well before coming back out to join her. As she was off getting changed, Haruka’s fun quickly turns into a realization that she didn’t put any sunscreen on and is getting baked out there on the beach. But as she looks for some shade she runs into two other beach beauties playing volleyball, Narumi Tooi and Ayasa Tachibana. Right away we get the feeling these two aren’t just out having fun at the beach, playing a little volleyball and enjoying themselves, no, they radiate a more serious vibe.
From here the ep really takes off and we’re introduced to the volleyball action we’re all excitedly waiting for. Now I haven’t played volleyball since school (which was a while ago) so I can’t bring any insight into describing the plays and such, but I know a few things about it so that’s gonna have to be good enough I guess. Haruka at first joins Ayasa and Narumi for some practice but things suddenly take a more serious turn when Kanata shows up and that atmosphere I mentioned before becomes way more apparent. From what’s said, and not said, Narumi and Kanata were old teammates but have since split due to various reasons. There’s some tension here that Haruka has unknowingly walked into and now finds herself right in the middle of a friendly time hitting a volleyball around to an actual game.
The game is to 7 but if Haruka and Kanata can manage at least 1 point then they win. Okay that sounds easy enough. Well no, it’s not. Playing volleyball on the beach is much different from in a gym. There are so many more factors to take into consideration that you normally wouldn’t think of, so couple that with Haruka not really knowing the rules all the much, the game in a blowout win for Narumi and Ayasa. Although Haruka gave Narumi a quick glimpse of something special as she and Kanata combined for a good play. Even though they lost, Haruka had so much fun that she wanted to play again right away, but Narumi told her to come back in a week once she had brushed up on the rules and how to play. Fair enough. Oh and Kanata also mentions that Narumi and Ayasa just so happen to be high school champions at the sport, so there’s that too.
The ep closes with Haruka and Kanata back at home enjoying a meal together and some family time. We learn a bit more about Kanata and why she’s not playing volleyball anymore, the death of her mother seemingly being a factor in things too. But I’m sure there is plenty more that we’ll be revealed to us as the show progresses. One final point I thought was cool was Kanata has a pet turtle, something you don’t often see.
So all in all this opening ep really brought the hype to the summer season as it checked all the right boxes for me. The music, art, fun characters and beach volleyball action really made for an enjoyable 24 minutes. And just one final point, even though the girls are in swimsuits for pretty much the whole ep, it’s actually not super crazy fanservicey like you might think after taking a quick look at what this is about. So that was nice to see.
That’s going to wrap it up for me and this opening review. Sorry for it being on the long-ish side, I had a lot I wanted to talk about with this ep. Going forward reviews probably won’t be this long unless I rant about something, which I don’t think will happen. Anyways thank you for reading, if you’re also watching this I’d love to hear your thoughts on it so drop a comment below or tweet me and we can talk about this exciting summer show!
Thanks once again for reading and I’ll see you right back here next week for ep 2!
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