After a wonderful premiere last week, Harukana Receive is back with its second ep. Does the hype continue for this sizzling summer show?
Here’s my review!
I’m serious, this show is my favorite of the summer season so far. Everything about it clicks with me and by far it’s the most fun to watch. Okay at the time writing this I still have a couple other shows to check out, but still I think this one will continue to hold that title. Anyways, let’s dive into this ep and find out how things went.
So last week Haruka and Kanata played a game against high school champions Narumi and Ayasa and lost. But that wasn’t the end, Haruka enjoyed herself so much that she wanted a rematch against the champs to settle the score. However Narumi gave them a condition: train for a week and know how the play the game, then it won’t be a complete blow out again. So here we are, training.
The first part of the ep really dives into the sport of beach volleyball and while it was mainly for the characters to train, it also helped us viewers to get to know the sport a bit better. Now like I said last week I’ve played some volleyball in school way back when, but not enough to provide any serious insight into it. However I liked how the ep kinda taught us the bare bones of the game and how to play. Yes I know it’s not everything you need to know, but with what they gave us I feel like you could go out and put in a pretty solid effort if you tried.
Haruka has played volleyball before in school, normal volleyball on a wooden gym floor and not sand, so she’s got to get familiar with how this surface works and use it to her advantage in a real game. The ep opens with our two lovely girls back in their swimsuits and training on the beach. I feel like this ep totally made up for the lack of bouncing boobs in ep 1 as there were some prominent shots of Haruka’s incredible chest as she dashed across the sand and dove for flags.
Another aspect covered in this training arc was the need to make some adjustments to Haruka’s swimsuit. As pointed out by Kanata, there is no real uniform like most sports, so the players wear normal swimsuits but make slight mods to them so they’re tighter and don’t let as much sand in. A favorite scene of mine from this ep is of Kanata examining Haruka’s butt up close and personal. It was a great moment and you can tell Kanata totally enjoyed getting to do that. Haruka’s chest also gets more quality time here as Kanata alters her top a bit so make it tighter. Now with an improved swimsuit, Haruka is ready for more training!
As with all sports there are tons of different ways to score points on your opponent by using a variety of shots, in this sport Kanata teaches Haruka the “cut shot”. It’s not like a spike which is in a direct line, rather you hit the ball so it goes diagonally, hence the term “cut shot”. It’s not really a beginners move but going up against champs like these two girls, they’ll need all the tricks to beat them. So with some basic knowledge under her belt and a modified swimsuit, Haruka is feeling a lot better about this rematch. But while she’s riding the enthusiasm, Kanata is dealing with some unpleasant flashbacks.
The drama picks right up in this ep as we’re treated to a flashback of when Kanata and Narumi were partners, or as my good buddy OG-Man puts it, when they were dating. We get the story via a conversation Haruka has with Ayasa, Narumi’s current partner. Basically Kanata doesn’t have the height needed to play this game. It held her back and made her quite insecure, so her relationship with Narumi began to struggle as Narumi started doing all the work and Kanata started to fade away. Eventually they broke up and Narumi found Ayasa while Kanata gave the sport a rest. This whole conversation is overheard by Kanata actually and while she’s initially even more depressed about hearing this brought up once again, her spirits are lifted when Haruka says that regardless of what may have happened in the past, she still believes in Kanata and wants to continue by her side. Looks like their relationship has grown even stronger. One quick point to also mention is that Ayasa is pretty relieved by Haruka’s words, as this means she can stay with her girl Narumi. And yes, even Haruka mentions like this whole conversation sounds like they’re dating. The yuri is strong. I believe!!
The final part of this ep is the main event: the rematch! Time to see if all the training and swimsuit modding was worth it. Speaking of swimsuits, I liked how Kanata brought out her old swimsuit that she used to wear when playing with Narumi. it showed her she still has that spark deep within her and her confidence has been built up by those kind words Haruka said earlier too. So here we are, back on the beach once again to play another game. The rules are the same, they’ll play to 7 points but if Haruka and Kanata can manage just 1 then they win.
Right off the bat Narumi shows how serious she is though, getting a running start before leaping up in the air to hit the ball with some serious power. It’s looking like this game will be another blow out win and all the training was for nothing. But wait, Haruka decides it’s time to crack out the special move, the cut shot!!! However what she may how envisioned happening ended up being extremely different from what actually did. In reality Narumi and Ayasa saw right through their play and were able to defend against it scoring another point and moving one step closer to victory.
With the end well in sight and down 6-0, Haruka put her full faith in Kanata to deliver and bring them to victory. Her plan was to catch the others off guard by placing Kanata in the receiving position, something she used to do back when playing alongside Narumi, but since then she’s been afraid to make that play. But with the game nearly over it was now or never to overcome her weakness and make the play.
And boy did it work. Kanata totally caught Narumi off guard and completely stunned her, leaving Ayasa scrambling to block the incoming shot, only to be also caught off guard by Haruka’s suddenly dumping the ball into their side instead of setting it up for Kanata. You see, Haruka was never taught how to set the ball, so she just saw a chance to hit it and went for it. And with that our two girls got their win.
It’s an emotional moment for the losing team as at this point it’s not just about the game, but also the relationship between Narumi and Kanata. Now all that Narumi can think of is that she might have been looking at this the wrong way the whole time. The drama is far from over though as this sudden development has shaken Narumi right to the core. I wonder how she’ll be able to bounce back from this?
We end the ep with two unfamiliar faces overlooking the beach. Two cute blonde girls, one with glasses too. Claire and Emily have arrived. The Hype Twins are here.
Another ep in the bag and an even longer review this week. That wasn’t fully my idea but that’s just how things ended up. So after 2 eps this show is so good. I’m enjoying it so much and I cannot wait for next Friday for more exciting beach volleyball action. Also I was a bit surprised to not see the OP and ED in this ep at all. I thought for sure we’d have those by now so hopefully next week we’ll get to hear what those are like.
Anyways, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the ep if you’ve seen it so be sure to leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter and we can talk about this awesome show. As always thank you so much for reading this and I look forward to see you back here next week!
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