Among the premiers I have watched so far, Hanebado! is the only one that really kicked things off with a bang. Everything else has been pretty lacklustre. Harukana Receive found itself in the same boat with its relatively calm and light-hearted opening, however it did what it needed to set the show’s objective and make me excited for is what to come.
I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of fanservice, there are plenty of opportunities to abuse it, but based on what I have seen, it will not be the main focus of the show, which is a good thing. It makes me excited there will not just be one, but two sports titles this season that will be focusing on a female cast!
Our heroine is Haruka, an upbeat girl who has moved from the city to Okinawa to live with her grandmother and cousin while her mother travels abroad. What I really liked about Haruka is her enthusiasm. She is super excited about having moved to Okinawa and is all set to embrace all sorts of new experiences, Beach Volleyball just so happens to be the first. She is a competitive girl, a bit of a cocky one, but it quick to recognize her short comings and respectfully learn from her mistakes. She learned the hard way how in order to thrive in the sport of Beach Volleyball, you need to be in sync and at the same level as your partner or else you’ll end up dragging them down. It takes two to win. This is why Narumi told her there’s no ace in this sport.
Her cousin Kanata is the same age, but hasn’t grown much since they last seen each other. After her parents have passed, she has been raised by her grandmother, and appears to have stopped playing the game ever since. She and Narumi also appears to have been partners before she had quit, leaving Narumi left to study in Kyoto and pair up Ayase. The two of them are currently the High School Champions of Beach Volleyball.
By the look of it, I am under the impression Narumi wants Kanata to come back to the sport, but I don’t think it has to do with rekindling a formal partnership. Sure it probably stings that Kanata had quit and probably left her behind, but I get the sense more than anything, she doesn’t want to see Kanata’s potential go to waste. With Haruka’s enthusiasm to learn the sport, it seems she sees a lot of potential to become Kanata’s hope as well. Ayase was surprised she was willing to have a rematch, but Narumi had wisely set the conditions so that the next time they play, Haruka will be adverse with the rules and will hopefully have at least the general gists of the basics.
If you never played beach Volleyball, it’s easy to forget how much the change of environment actually affects the gameplay. The forecast and the sand heavily influence the game in a way it can’t in an indoor arena. Haruka learned that the hard way, but was quick to adapt to the changes of the environment, learning as she went along. It was fun to watch her adjust, and even just play. It made me want to go out to the beach and play with some friends as well. Actually now that I think of it, when was the last time I played volleyball…. I need to play again.
Overall this was a good start! I think of the things we have to appreciate though is the fact Haruka wasn’t some “genius” who could beat these Champions right off the bat. She lost her first game, and now she gets the chance to learn the basics. This is will definitely be on my watch list this season, but for blogging, I will have to wait and see whether or not this is up my alley in terms of suiting my writing style. So for now I will give it three episodes to see how I fare!
Possibility of Blogging: Moderate
Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
PS: I’m going to laugh so hard if I end up only picking up sport titles this season!