After putting it all on the line, who would come out victorious?
Here’s my final review.
We’ve finally reached the end of this thrilling match, both sides having played their hardest and given it everything they could possibly give. But with how this year’s tournament went, only 1 team could advance to the Nationals, so the stage was set for one hell of a final match.
The first half of this ep is pretty much this one final play here in the match. You may be wondering, much like I was, that the final match was to 15 points, but in the ep they reach 15 and keep going. Why is that? Well as I don’t know the rules of beach volleyball that much, I had to look up why this happened. So a match is to 21 points and 15 in the final set, but the team that has a 2 point lead is the one that wins in the end. Harukana and Eclair are tied at 14, meaning that even if they score that 15th point, the match continues as there isn’t that 2 point spread.
Both sides trade points though and now we’re tied at 15 before Harukana get that 16th point. Now the real match point is upon them. See if they score once more then there would be a 2 point lead and that would mean they win, so this final serve is the deciding one. If Eclair score, the game continues but if Harukana get the point it’s over. Wanna guess what happened?
It was a thrilling final rally, action on both sides, but the biggest play in that rally was the absolutely save by Kanata to keep the rally going. Without that Eclair would’ve gotten another point and they’d be tied up again, so that save was huge. Another moment that was just as big was the massive block by Haruka on Claire, stopping that last attempt and ultimately scoring the winning point. But really though, in the end it was a team effort that got Harukana the win, they played their hearts out and edged out the second best in the country for the win. Great job girls, you did it.
Of course winning still comes at a cost, that is bearing the burden of Emily and Claire, both had their sights on finally being better than second place this time, but in the end came up just a little short. But even though they lost the match, Claire and Emily are still both incredible players and deserve a ton of credit. Being the second best at something in the whole country is still a huge accomplishment and one to be extremely proud of. But it’s not the end of the line for them, there is always next year to get that coveted position as best in the country. I’m sure they’ll make it next time.
So now we reach the back half of the ep, which is the after party. It’s around this point where I couldn’t put my worries off anymore and started to continually check the time left in the ep. The after party happens, everyone is happy about the efforts put into that match and even if the results weren’t in everyone’s favor, it’s still a time to be happy for the couple going to the Nationals.
But then the ep ends and the credits start to roll. No Nationals, no long awaited rematch against Narumi and Ayasa, nothing it just ends. It left a lot to be desired especially since ep 1 opened with that match everyone was expecting it to close on. After all that hype and thrilling matches, I honestly have to say that I was pretty disappointed with how things turned out. Granted if an S2 announcement happens in the near future I’ll take this all back, but as of right now I gotta say this just wasn’t cutting it for me.
I know this is an ongoing series so maybe that hasn’t even happened in the manga or whatever, but still I felt that after seeing this match in the first ep the rest of the anime would be leading up to that point and we’d have the ultimate face off, but no that’s not what happened. It does bring the overall enjoyment of the final ep down that much so, but it’s not a complete disappointment in all regards. I still enjoyed seeing the conclusion to the Harukana vs. Eclair match, which ended up being the best match of the anime, and I enjoyed the after party moments with the girls finally enjoying some time at the beach for a change and not battling it out on the court. But even so, it’s hard not to overlook the obvious missing element of this ep. They may have won this match, but the game continues and the Nationals loom in the distance. I just wish we’d get to see this happen.
Even with the ending leaving a lot to be desired, the overall enjoyment of the show is very high. By far Harukana Receive is my number 1 pick for favorite show of the summer. It was the show I looked forward to the most each week and the show I had the most fun watching. Each week was always a treat to watch and it was also great to talk about this show with friends on Twitter too. I’ve had plenty of great conversations about this show, and the girls, over the past few months and it was just really brought a smile to my face thinking of this show. But at first glance it can be easy to pass off as another ecchi sports show with nothing but(t) fan service and no real story. Well here’s where you’re wrong.
It’s true that this show does have quite a bit of fan service. Every ep is a beach ep, every ep has the girls in swimsuits, every ep has great angles of their bodies as they jump and hit the ball, or stretching pre-game, but the thing is it all felt normal and natural. I can only think of maybe a few times where they went a bit out of their way to show off the sexiness of the girls, but for a good 90% of the time everything felt in its proper place. What do I mean by that?
Take the hand signals for example. Even in irl beach volleyball you get these ass shots as it’s part of the game and the strategies used by the players, so in the anime they took the time to make sure each hand signal was correct and showed it to you. Of course leaning forward and having their hands behind them, naturally this means their butt will be in the shot when showing these hand signals, and while the first few were quite enjoyable over time you understood that it was an important part of the game that needed to be shown.
Then you have all the jumping and bouncing and sweaty bodies, another thing that comes naturally when playing beach volleyball under the hot sun. So while it’s sexy and exciting to see at first and can come across as endless fan service, as the show progressed it felt like it had a place in the show as that’s just how the game is. They easily could’ve spent unneeded time showing their breasts bouncing uncontrollably during each serve or spike, but that’s not the focus of the show. I like seeing anime boobs bouncing as much as the next guy, but for a show like this that’s keeping physics grounded for a change, it’s nice to see the focus be put on making the volleyball scenes exciting and intense to watch, while at the same time still acknowledging the overall sexiness of the sport too. Everything was done in moderation and it all fit together perfectly in the end.
Another point I liked about the show was the art and animation. The show basically took place on a beach, so all the colors and everything were nice and bright. The sand looked amazing, the water sparkling blue, and the skies were rich and endless. Also the general animation of the girls playing and the character movements all looked really great and fluid too. You could really feel the intensity of the game as they took time to really make each match thrilling. It’s a sports show at it’s core so if it can’t deliver that intensity and excitement when they play, then ultimately it’s failing at doing its job.The character designs were also very good, each girl looking wonderful, toned and very sexy. I’m sure everyone has their favorite, Haruka, Emily and of course Marissa stand out for me as my top favorites.
I don’t usually make a big point of talking about the yuri aspects in shows, but this show really does have some great moments and couples. My good buddy OG summed up pretty much my exact feelings about this in the second to last paragraph of his review, so I’ll just point you to his blog as he puts it in a much better way than I can. But if I were so say something quick about the yuri side of the show, in a word: glorious.
Moving on from the art and animation, I’d like to say a quick something about the music in this show. Rasmus Faber. Yes he’s back and working his magic again for another anime. Honestly this guy is so good and I just love his music so much. While Rasmus was only working on the OST this time, he did another fantastic job and I can’t wait to hear all the song when the OST is released in the coming days. The OP and ED are also very good and two of my favorites of the season as well.
Lastly we arrive at one final point I’d like to mention that this show did that I liked: the lack of drama. From the few sports shows I’ve seen they usually have a heavy focus on drama and honestly after a while it just feels so boring and like it’s holding the show back, forcing all this drama and whatnot on. Thankfully Harukana Receive was nothing like that. It’s a breath of fresh air as the drama is very minimal and not something that makes you feel like you’re just slogging through each ep. My tolerance for that is diminishing faster and faster each season it seems. So yeah, if you’re looking for a sports show with very little drama, this is one to watch.
So looking at Harukana Receive as a whole it’s honestly such a delight to watch. True I may have had issues with the final ep and they do make it falter a bit, literally everything up to that point was flawless and simply wonderful. Saying this last ep ruins the show is totally false and while I’d have liked things to play out differently, things still ended on a positive note overall. So looking at it all, taking it all into consideration and tallying up all the points, I’m giving Harukana Receive a well earned 9.5/10.
That’s it for this show and this season. The remainder of shows will be ending in the next few weeks, then we’ll start it all back up in October with another new set of shows to be excited about. I personally won’t be reviewing anything next season, I had thought about Release the Spyce, but I’d like to take time off anime blogging and do some other stuff for a change. As for the rest of the team I’m not fully sure, we’ll be having a proper fall season plans post coming out soon, so look forward to that for what we’ll be doing for next season.
So yeah that’s it for another show. I had a blast writing about it each week and I hope you had a good time reading my thrown together thoughts about this show. As always I’d love to hear your final thoughts about this show so leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter if you wish to as well. Either way I’ll be sure to reply to you in a timely fashion.
Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you guys later!
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