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.
This show is filled with all kinds of disgusting and cringe-worthy elements of the most vile kind, things that will make your skin crawl, including but not limited to:
-Fan service (oh god, the horror)
-Sexy ladies in bikinis (ugh!)
-Yuri moments (No, please, no!)
...but you know, it turns out that crazy people like me greatly enjoy all of those despicable things, and if you do too, this is probably a show for you!
Satire aside, Harukana Receive is a competent show. My opinion on the show has not changed since I originally wrote this review; from an ecchi perspective, the girls are all very attractive
and, much like Keijo, the show has found a good excuse to get the audience their fan service in copious amounts without needing to push the believability out almost at all.
The story is nothing particularly spectacular, though the general framework of girls playing beach volleyball works perfectly well in serving its efforts to develop the characters. Two episodes in, we had an understanding of where each girl was coming from, their relationships to each other, and what the general drama was between them. That main story is retained as the main focus in future episodes while gradually introducing new characters, which is enough for me to consider it competent, especially since dramatic narrative is (and perhaps even should be) used a plot-mover more than a feature in these types of works.
I would say the main things to like about this show are generally obvious to any respectable ecchi fan, particularly all of the things I listed at the beginning of this review. As far as whether non-ecchi fans would enjoy this, I would say the girls' cute personalities, decent artwork, and the sports aspect could certainly be appealing enough to make this an enjoyable watch. However, if you actively dislike fan service, this is not a show for you.
Some other things of note that may sway your opinion one way or the other:
-The show appears to be all-girls. At this moment in time, the only male is a pet turtle.
-Because of the first point, it should come as no surprise that the girls are occasionally flirty with each other with potential for actual yuri to occur (though we all know how that usually turns out in shows like this)
-Things move fairly quickly so far in terms of the main girl's improvement at the sport; probably the writers opting to focus more on the characters in the 12 episodes they have. However, what we've seen so far in terms of actual volleyball matches have been pretty fun to watch.
tl;dr I definitely recommend this show for ecchi fans who like an all-girl cast. Non-ecchi fans may get enjoyment out of the cute (though tropey) characters and the sports aspect, however I do not recommend this show if fan service is something you dislike.
*This review is completely tasteless, and should not be read by anyone*
There is something very visually pleasing when it comes to women playing volleyball. Watching how cute, sportic ladies give their best in highly sportsmanship-like sport while occasionally hugging each others or falling over each others and "accidentally" groping some tits while doing so, is definitely the core of any sports.
However, Harukana Receive is about beach volleyball, which is a bit different from normal volleyball because you play it on sand, outdoors, in pairs of two, and apparently make cute anime girl sounds whenever hitting the ball. This show is not a masterpiece of ecchi
like Keijo is, nor a beastiality wish fulfillment like Uma Musume, but hits the fanservice bucket with sexy women wearing bikini so hard it could as well be the censored version of both hentai series: Fault and Nudist Beach.
The characters are incredible. The other one is a tall girl with big boobs and the another short girl with small boobs. Since it's a 2 person game, this is clearly the best route when it comes to design. I am personally prepared to receive just about anything from any of them.. possibly even volleyballs. Both of them do have personalities, and are supposed to be friends, but they prove to be quite distant. Then they discover this sport and start becoming closer. This is a pretty good excuse for the series, tbh, and it's been handled in rather comfy manner which serves the atmosphere for sure.
The approach of our ecchi fanservice is respectable. If you are watching this show for what it is, there is little to no reason to criticize it for its content. For one, all our cast is fun to follow, and moreover, their personalities are always prioritized over their sexy bodies. For that matter, Harukana Receive has done good choices. None of our characters is a nympho. They all are sports ladies whose favorite past time is indeed playing beach volleyball and not sucking dicks. I approve.
The art is beyond bright, and has a real summer feel to it. Lot is put in consideration when the games take place at the beach. The water is constantly present, the bikinis are pretty, and same can be said about the skin of our girls. As a person who has been rewarded with a fetish for tanlines, I am hyped. All of these bring out the sexiness --that this show promotes-- rather well. The weirdest part is how they manage to play any of it without wearing sunglasses.
As a conclusion, watching those balls bounce all-around might shock some viewers, so I would rather recommend watching this anime instead of watching me watch the anime.
I'm not sure why this anime is ranked so low. Without taking my personal entertainment into consideration, I believe this anime should be a solid 7.5.
There's been a MAJOR lack of representation of women in sports animes. So when I saw Harukana Receive and Hanebado coming out this season, I was so excited! I had low expectations going in, especially with the ecchi genre tacked on to it, but I'm having a great time so far.
The animation is absolutely gorgeous!! The sand particles are animated to perfection and the different camera angles help to capture the difficulty and excitement of this sport. Even if
the story was crap (which it's not), the animation alone makes this anime a treat to watch.
The voice acting and music in the anime is nice, with some numbers shining more than others. I wouldn't say any of the music's going to end up on my playlist, but it's pleasant and adds to the scenes.
Despite one of the genres being listed as an ecchi, there is a surprisingly minimal amount of fanservice. I'm not sure if this will increase as we continue, but I kind of doubt it as the anime has set itself up to be mainly about volleyball and character development/relationships. I know, surprising right? A sports anime with women as protagonists that is ACTUALLY about the sport they're playing?? Revolutionary.
Now mind you, yes, there is fan service. There are butts and boobs, and they do wear bikinis. But all of this is pretty normal in beach volleyball. Now just hear me out...
As someone who's played court and beach volleyball for about 11 or 12 years now (and participated in both tournaments and school matches), I can positively say that this anime is surprisingly accurate to beach volleyball. Yes, we wear bikinis when we play. Yes, we do tend to wear tighter bottoms and tops so everything stays in place better. And yes, we get to pick the matching bikinis we want to wear so it can be as conservative (if a bikini can be that) or scandalous as the pair wants. I was excited to see how much accurate information was given about the sport from the outfits to the actual rules and shots themselves. You can actually learn a lot about beach volleyball and how to play it from this anime.
I also love how it's women playing beach volleyball. I have loved both volleyball and anime from a young age, so I've been waiting for a volleyball anime with women in it for a very long time. We got Haikyuu, which I was happy about, but was still frustrated with because they even made it a conflict in the beginning how their middle school didn't have a men's volleyball team because it's such a female dominated sport. So if mainly women play it, why not have a sports anime about women instead?
Overall, I believe this anime deserves more love. It has surprisingly minimal fan service but plentiful and accurate information about beach volleyball. I think this anime will surprise people with it's focus on character development and the relationship development between the pairs. People who want to enjoy an anime with gorgeous animation about how some girls love playing beach volleyball while learning about beach volleyball with the main character as she develops into a full-fledged player, and doesn't mind a little fan service along the way, should watch Harukana Receive.
Here's the thing. If the fanservice bothers you that much, then this show is not for you.
While the fanservice is here to stay (not that I'm complaining), I hope that won't stop you from giving this show a try.
What makes Harukana Receive different from other sports anime this season is that it's light and fun to watch. It's one of those shows that you can watch after a tiring day or when you just want to watch something and relax. The plot isn't complicated and that isn't a bad thing. They just enjoy playing beach volleyball.
I also like how the show introduces a number of
jargon in beach volleyball. People who don't know anything about volleyball are being introduced to different terms like 'cut shot' and 'pokey'.
Let's not forget the awesome soundtracks. It's lively and energetic. It gets you hype for the show.
If you just want to watch a light and easy to watch anime without some over complicated plot or some cringe-worthy characters, then go ahead and give this show a try.