“The story takes place in Okinawa, where Haruka forms a beach volleyball pair with Kanata. Kanata, who couldn’t handle the pressure put on her by her short height, had given up on beach volleyball already but is convinced by Haruka to step back on the sand once again and aim for the junior tournament.” -MU
Harukana Receive first got my attention with beach volleyball and the cute art. After that, it hooked me with the wonderful story and characters. While the story is pretty straightforward, it’s simplicity is what makes it such a great watch. Haruka and Kanata aim to reach for nationals and the story is constructed around that introducing new rivals and friends along the way. It’s a simple yet charming story that’ll get you a lot more excited than you’d think. But just because it’s a simple story doesn’t mean the volleyball are casual, the last match, in particular, is a very emotional and aggressive showdown!
Artwork & Animation:
As simple as the artwork was for Harukana receive I still enjoyed the colors, character designs, and the animation. There were some awkward animations thrown in here and there (such as the sand animation) but other than that, the artwork and animation were great. I loved the extra lines that were used to define each characters’ figure, it helped differentiate them apart and gave more diversity to the cast as a whole.
It’s easy to see that the Haruka and Kanata pair are the main stars of the show but the beginning focused a little too much on Kanata. Like the first two matches were all about Kanata overcoming her weakness and while this is great character development, for two important matches to happen in such a short time span of each other made it feel repetitive. But other than that the entire cast of characters all have their place in the story: rivals, friends, and family in a meaningful way.
Sound (OST & Voice Acting):
Haruka and friends mainly play around in Okinawa, which is known for its beautiful beaches. SO it’s not surprising that a lot of the soundtrack has a tropical vibe to them which include a lot of bongos, acoustic guitars, maracas, harps, and marimbas! For the volleyball games, the soundtrack switches it up a bit, at times using electric guitars to give a tense and edgy vibe and other times using upbeat drums. There are also a number of tracks with vocals that are just too good to only be background music. I love the Harukana soundtrack and would encourage listening to it by itself!
I’m going, to be honest, I felt a little spoiled with Haikyuu (another volleyball anime which you can read the review of the latest season right here) so I needed to take a step back before I wrote this review. While Harukana Receive doesn’t come to par with Haikyuu in action, story, and art it’s still a very good show in its own right. It’s as intense as any other sports anime (especially that last match!) and I wouldn’t shy away from it just because the art looks cute and fluffy!
Overall: Score 9
Harukana Receive isn’t just any other moe anime, it’s a SPORTS MOE ANIME. Joking aside, Harukana Receive’s wonderful art and characters, paired with an amazing soundtrack, and an underdog story makes for a very well done anime.
Best Girl: Oozora Haruka
Haruka is your typical energetic tall girl but it’s her hard work and determination as well as trust in Kanata that really made her special in the show. Most of the character are already seasoned player and for Haruka to catch up in such a short span of time shows her strong will and it’s hard to not root for her!