Harukana Receive (Episode 1) – We Don’t Need Aces

Harukana Receive Title

Haruka is moving to Okinawa to live with her grandmother after her mother had to go away for work. There, she’s reunited with her cousin, Kanata. Not long after arriving, Haruka stumbles upon some girls playing beach volleyball.

What happened?

When Haruka’s mother had to move away from Tokyo for work, she went to live with her grandmother in Okinawa where she would also be living with her cousin, Kanata. It’s been years since they’ve seen one another, but they’ll have the entire summer to get reacquainted. In their time apart, Haruka has grown to be tall and athletic, however, Kanata has grown much at all. This appears to create some tension between them.

Haruka quickly forgets all about that when she sees the crystal blue sea near her grandmother’s house. With no time to lose, Haruka strips down to her bikini that she wore under her clothes for just this occasion and runs into the sea. Kanata hurries home to change so that Haruka isn’t alone. While Kanata is gone, Haruka runs into two girls playing beach volleyball and asks to watch. Before long, she’s been roped into having a go.

Unfortunately, Haruka gets a little ahead of herself and offends Narumi. Things take an even more unexpected change when Kanata returns and appears to have some history with Narumi. To make things even more complicated Narumi then challenges them to a match. If Haruka and Kanata can score just one point, they will win. Haruka is fired up, but this is also her first time playing. They are soundly beaten, but Haruka demands a rematch. Narumi agrees but gives them a week to practice.

Harukana Receive Episode 1 Narumi Tooi about to serve

What did you think?

Summer 2018 was the first season that I really started to follow seasonal anime and this was one of my favourites. The first thing you’ll notice with Harukana Receive is the warm and relaxed vibe. Just seeing all that blue sky, sandy beaches, and crystal clear water makes me feel happy. That might be why I decided to rewatch it now. It’s cold outside and this seems to be the perfect remedy. As with the first time I watched it, I have been absolutely captivated by the series.

There are some incredible animation sequences that centre on the volleyball match. It’s just a joy to watch. Before this, I was never really into slice of life or sports anime, but I think Harukana Receive may have opened those worlds to me. It helps that it’s on a beach and full of pretty characters, but that shouldn’t diminish its achievements.

What have you learnt?

As warm and relaxing as this episode was, it did a great job of introducing some of the characters and setting things up. The fact that there is going to be a rematch alone should be enough to keep people watching. On top of that, there’s the history between Kanata and Narumi which needs to be explored. There was a scene at the end of the episode where Haruka was talking with her grandmother and asked about Kanata’s past with volleyball. Her grandmother asked her to watch over Kanata as she’s been through a lot. Of course, we then see Kanata looking at a shrine to what was presumably her parents.

I liked how it added lots of little elements that will make you want to find out more. However, one of the major factors is Haruka. She embodies the typical overly enthusiastic rookie who has just discovered a new sport and she’s already a lot of fun to watch. It’s one of the things that reminded me of this series while I was watching Iwakakeru!: Sport Climbing Girls.

Harukana Receive Episode 1 Haruka Oozora and Narumi Tooi agree to a rematch Kanata Higa and Ayasa Tachibana

Other reviews in the series

Related Items

Harukana Receive Manga Volume 1

from: Right Stuf, Inc.

Harukana Receive Manga Volume 2

from: Right Stuf, Inc.

Haruka Ozora Harukana Receive Figure

from: Right Stuf, Inc.


  1. Harakuna didn’t get a lot of attention when it aired… Dismissed as a jiggle-and-bounce fanservice show after the first episode, and anyhow we had the Hanebado premiere – and WOW! Kind funny to think about it now, when Hanebado is remembered mostly as a spectacular piece of crap that imploded mid season.

    That being said, this is a pretty decent first ep. Does a great job of setting the stage, and there’s things introduced that won’t matter until much later.

    I recently rewatched and realized something that I hadn’t before. That’s not Eclair in the match at the beginning of the episode. It’s a match that won’t happen until (at least) the second season we’re probably not going to get.

    Also, Haruka Best Girl.

    • You are not wrong, especially with your best girl selection. Good to see you got your autocorrect fixed.

      I watched both Hanebado and Harukana when they aired. Both had some amazing games in them, but Hanebado was a toxic dumpster fire outside of the games where as Harukana is just a joy to watch.

  2. Harukana Receive brings back memories. I remember during its airing, a self-proclaimed Manga Time Kirara mega-fan found this one to be “too fanservicy” and dropped it, but I’m glad I persisted through: lots of screenshots to talk about.

    The manga is also excellent, too. I managed to catch up collecting them a ways back, and we’re now going onwards into the material after the TV series ended. Finally, I’ve been a Haruka fan since day one. Besides her can-do personality and energy, she has other attributes that make her particularly appealing 😉

    • Yeah, I had a lot of fun watching it the first time and if we’re being honest, it’s not that much more fan-service that actual beach volleyball.

      I will have to look up the manga one day and Haruka is a treasure. She personifies everything that is good about this series.

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