Minami TakahashiSatomi AkesakaAkari KitoKanae Ito
Harukana Receive
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2018: H
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2018
Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka
Writer: Touko Machida
Original creator: Nyoijizai
Actor: Akari Kito, Atsumi Tanezaki, Chisa Kimura, Chisaki Morishita, Eiko Yamada, Haru Teranishi, Kana Yuki, Kanae Ito, Minami Takahashi, Miyuri Shimabukuro, Nao Fujita, Rie Suegara, Riko Koike, Saki Miyashita, Satomi Akesaka, Suzuka Kimura, Umeka Shouji, Yoshino Aoyama, Yuki Kaneko
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=20318
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 3 January 2020
It's a beach volleyball sports anime. Does anyone take beach volleyball this seriously? Google, google... answer: yes. It's an Olympic sport, with professional players and an international governing body.
Anyway, this anime is a bit on the light side, but likeable. I enjoyed it. I can't imagine myself ever rewatching it, but it kept me happy even though I normally avoid sports anime. I liked the cast. The tone is light and upbeat. It's affectionate and engaging, but also has deeper emotional content. Obviously there's a certain level of fanservice since it's all about girls in bikinis, but there's no inappropriate content.
Ep.10 is a tournament final and so perhaps a bit skippable, but the show paradoxically won me over by ending the episode on a cliffhanger and continuing that match all the way through ep.11 as well.
Our heroine is Haruka Ozora, an unusually tall girl who's full of charm and enthusiasm. She's never played beach volleyball before, but it looks like a laugh and Haruka's always been good at sports. She's not the deepest thinker, but she's not an idiot. She moves to Okinawa and teams up with her much shorter cousin, Kanata, who used to be a top player until she quit for reasons unknown. (Kanata's ex-partner, Narumi, still hasn't really got over it.) There will be other characters too, of course, but Kanata has the most deep-seated issues.
It's a season of two halves. The first half has lots of lesbian suggestions, with a beach volleyball partner being likened to a romantic one. (This is one of those shows with no male characters, incidentally. The show even makes a mild joke of that with Haruka's never-onscreen grandfather.) Kanata has to break through her inability to get back into the sport, while Haruka doesn't even yet know the basics. They've got a journey ahead of them to be able to play meaningful games against good players. Once they've reached that level, though, the show shifts emphasis and becomes more about the sport. The lesbian undertones fade. They really do just want to hit a ball over a net. This half of the season is good too, though, with interesting friendships and lots of supportive, nice people.
...and that's it, really. It's a sports anime that might appeal even to people who don't watch sports anime (e.g. me). It's a winning mix of fluffy happy warm feelings and darker past trauma. You'll see lots of beach volleyball, obviously, but I think you'd need pretty extreme feelings about sports for that to be a problem. (Except at worst in ep.10, a bit.) They're jumping about on a beach. Looks fun. If you were there, you'd join in.
Would I recommend this? To a weak extent, maybe. It's good at what it does. There's absolutely no need to watch it, but it's a comfortable twelve episodes. You could try ep.1, which is reasonably representative. If you enjoy that, you'll probably enjoy the show.