The tournament is approaching, but there is still plenty of training to do. Oh and swimsuit shopping too.
Here’s my review!
I know I probably say this every week, but honestly this was the best yet. There were so many things to like about it, from Haruka’s cute intro to her class, the girls buying new swimsuits, all the absolutely glorious angles when buying the swimsuits, the bouncing, and finally the confession. They packed so much into this ep so let’s take it slow and talk about it.
The tournament that Haruka and Kanata have entered is happening soon so it’s something weighing on their minds, maybe more Haruka as she’s never been in one before and she still feels like she’s not as close to Kanata as she should be. While the two are partners they’re still a bit distant and also still refer to each other with “-chan”. Haruka wants that to change though as she pointed out Kanata calls Claire, Claire and not Claire-chan or Emily, Emily-chan. Haruka wants that intimacy with her partner but that’s not something you acquire in one day, but in Haruka’s case she needs to train more and hone her skills so she can be a better partner for Kanata. True she’s got the height and power, but she’s not as good as she could be. Enter Claire to help her train.
This brings us to the next point, training and bouncing, glorious bouncing. Claire wanted to work on blocking with Haruka. We all know she’s got the power to send the ball hard into the opponents end, but she’s not the best when it comes to blocking. While practicing jumping with Haruka, Claire spots something… well, not good for a player in this sport. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say Haruka’s bikini bottom’s weren’t as tight as they should’ve been and jumping makes them show off that area down there. This is a problem and one they need to fix before continuing training, so it’s off to the store to buy new swimsuits!
Normally the swimsuit buying sequence in anime is a great event where viewers are teased about the upcoming beach or pool ep of the series. Harukana however is a beach ep every ep so while buying new swimsuits may not sound as exciting when they’re in swimsuits all the time, they still found a way to make this scene just as special.
Haruka of course has an incredible body with wonderful features and can pull off probably any swimsuit with ease. The first one she picked out was bright yellow with frills that bounced when she jumped. She liked that about the swimsuit. I liked it too. I liked it more when there was a close up of said frills bouncing. I wasn’t paying attention to the frills anymore at this point. I doubt you were either.
But while it’s a nice feature and watching them bounce is great and all (I’m talking about the frills here) it’s not the most practical for playing in, as Emily points out. Sorry Haruka, you look so incredibly sexy in that bright yellow bikini with bouncing frills, but it’s not what you need to play in. I hope she still bought it to wear at some point, or even just to watch the frills bounce again. Swimsuit shopping is tough but to find matching ones for you and your girlfriend can make it even tougher. However they did find a cute pink (or is it more red?) pair that would work better. Kanata wasn’t all the crazy about how much skin the top showed off but she was fine with it if Haruka really wanted to get it. Haruka’s reaction is mint.
The problem though it that when returning to buy the other swimsuit, Haruka find the swimsuit on another body. Actually both of them were on other bodies. These bodies belonged to two other beach volleyball players, Ai and Mai. These two are also entering the tournament, looking to bounce back from a loss in the last one. While Ai and Mai don’t stick around for long, they are there long enough to win a thrilling round of rock-paper-scissors that decided who would get to buy the swimsuit. Haruka was heartbroken she lost but Kanata was a little relieved as she now doesn’t have to show off so much skin. In the end they go with door number 3 while was the swimsuit Kanata picked out originally. It’s simple, cute, and most importantly practical. It’s the one we see them wearing in the opening flash forward of ep 1 along any promotional posters.
What you probably didn’t notice about their swimsuit in the flash forward or promo posters was the blue patterned stripe on the bikini top and waist band of the bottoms. It’s a mod that Haruka made for the swimsuits, adding it in as she thought that the minsa pattern meant “forever”, which it does, but traditionally a woman would give this to the man she loved. So with that said, Haruka sewed this pattern into their matching swimsuits and gave Kanata hers. What she’s just done is a declaration of love towards Kanata, who realizes this and is silent this whole time. What happens next is amazing.
After realizing what she’s done, Haruka rolls with it. “That’s great!” she says, following it up with the big thee words “I love you”. Haruka just confessed her love to Kanata. This show literally made my week right here. What I liked about it though was that Haruka didn’t try to just laugh it off or something when she found out what the pattern meant, there wasn’t any cop out or “oh I didn’t actually mean it that way” line, she just went with it and expressed how she felt towards Kanata. I can honestly say this caught me off guard as I wasn’t expecting the yuri to reach these heights so quickly, but hell yes am I happy they did.
We close out the ep checking back in with Narumi and her girlfriend Ayasa as she receives a text from Emily regarding how Kanata and Haruka have joined the club and are working really well together. She also mentioned that she was able to fulfill her request she made years ago. We get a quick flashback to what she was referring to here which was to help Kanata get back on her feet if she ever found a new partner that really worked with her. Haruka was just that partner and they’ve become really close too. True Narumi still would like to be with Kanata, but as things progressed the two moved further apart, but to Narumi if Kanata was able to step back onto the court again and return to the game, that would make her happy.
The ep ends with Haruka and Kanata finally coming closer as partners, paving the way for them to work better together in future matches and hopefully win some matches too. With the tournament just around the corner, this was exactly the boost they needed to make each game count. Now let’s just hope all this hard work is actually worth it.
So there you have it, an amazing ep that once again reminds me why I love this show so much. Haruka and Kanata are such a good couple and it’s great to see Haruka confess her love like that too. A few additional points I didn’t really touch on during the core part of the review was the appearance of a currently unnamed new girl on the escalators along with Kanata also training and practicing her pokey skills for her next match. She’s working hard too to get ready for the upcoming tournament.
All in all this was a fantastic ep and one I thoroughly enjoyed watching and writing about. I’m guessing next week the tournament will happen, so that’s gonna be exciting. I hope you can join me for that one too.
So that’s it for me this week. What did you think of this ep? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter and we can talk about it.
As always thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week!
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