Harukana Receive (Episode 9) – This Is How I Feel

Harukana Receive Title

Akari has picked up the schedule for the Okinawa national qualifiers and only one team can qualify! How can she tell the others without causing a rift in the group? She’s only just found her home and now it might be over!

What happened?

The thought that the group that accepted her in will have to go head to head to see who will compete in nationals is tearing Akari apart. She doesn’t know how to tell them and in a panic calls Ayasa and Narumi for some guidance. Narumi offers some blunt advice about it being a competition and not to worry about it, but luckily Ayasa is able to convey a more helpful idea. With that piece of advice, Akari finally takes the schedule to the others and explains the situation.

Of course, the girls were disappointed, but that’s not going to be enough to break up the group. If nothing else, it just makes them more determined to meet in the final. Then, to top things off, they plan on having a beach party after the tournament to celebrate the club.

Harukana Receive Episode 9 Haruka and Kanata versus Youna and Kanna

Anyhow, it’s time to get to the tournament and at least, they won’t meet until the final. There’s just the matter of some other teams to get past first. They each easily win their first match and while they are taking a break another team arrives to challenge Claire and Emily. It’s a revenge match from a couple of years ago, however, Kanna and Youna Aragaki are scheduled to play Haruka and Kanata first. Amazingly, they’ve already decided that it will be an easy match much to Haruka’s annoyance.

The game begins with Haruka serving and she drives the ball down the middle and Youna is unable to return it. Then, when they finally manage to set themselves up for a spike, Haruka leaps into the air and blocks the shot. Youna can’t help but make the comparison between Haruka and Claire. Haruka and Kanata take the first set with ease and things move on the second set. This is when Youna reveals her secret weapon – topspin. However, even that’s not enough. Haruka and Kanata move on to face Claire and Emily in the final!

Harukana Receive Episode 9 Kanata diving for a return

What did you think?

It’s quite to blow to the team to discover that only one pair will move on to nationals and after all the work Claire and Emily have put into helping Haruka and Kanata, you’d imagine there would be some bitterness. However, true to the spirit of this show, they quickly put it behind them and focus on competing in the tournament.

Now, I’ve always been quite competitive… all right, super competitive, but my biggest rival is me and always has been. Even on a losing team, I’ll try to do better than I’ve done before. Sure, I don’t like losing, but it’s more bearable when the atmosphere is like this one. The focus of sport should be about competing in a fair and fun manner. I have no time for the gamesmanship that is too prevalent in sport nowadays. However, I also believe that there should be winners and losers, especially as it’s the people that are losing for the first time that seem to have the hardest time dealing with it maturely.

Harukana Receive Episode 9 Haruka Kanata Claire Emily and Akari

What have you learnt?

The change to the tournament has thrown quite the spanner in the girls plan on competing at nationals together. You would almost think that it might be out of place in a series that focuses on the fun side of competition, and it almost does. However, much like some of the earlier tropes that I’ve mentioned that this series has flipped at the last second, this sets up the biggest one of them all. We know now that Haruka and Kanata will play Claire and Emily in the final. It’s not going to be easy for anyone. Knowing how it all ends, makes this observation that much more satisfying and I can’t wait to explain what I mean in more details, but I will as it will be worth the wait.

Harukana Receive Episode 9 Haruka Claire and Youna

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  1. I’ve always viewed this as something of a filler episode. Sure, the not-competition content is important has heck, but that left a good chunk of airtime to fill. Aokana filled that gap by “recycling” (reusing) earlier opponents. The matches still felt weighty, because you knew the opponent was capable, and also allowed for the demonstration of main character’s growth and the results of the practice they’d put in.

    Harukuna… punts and instead recycles the “steal our opponent’s techniques in mid-match” plot device. So the match portion of the episode was something of a waste of the viewers time. We learned nothing really new about any of the (four) main characters.

    But… This is where introducing Akari late in the game paid off. She can say the things that the hyper competition focused main characters won’t, or can’t. She grounds them and reminds them at the end of the day – they’re still friends. (And really, friendship and bonds are one of the driving themes of the show after all.)

    It’s a good episode taken as a whole… But in all honestly, probably the single weakest in the series.

    Also “Hey, look. It’s the giant.” and “I know that hateful little voice!” (For some odd reason on of my favorite scenes in the whole series.) Mai and Ai return! Keep your eye on Mai over the next few episodes…

    • Yeah, it’s a bit of light relief before the big game. I still enjoyed it regardless.

      Akari starts out fairly annoying, but I think she really grows on you, and definitely keeps the group together.

    • Oh, I certainly enjoyed it too! There’s no actually bad episode in the series. Didn’t mean to imply otherwise…

      Just looking at it as part of the narrative structure.

    • For sure, I didn’t mean to imply that you didn’t. As much as I love right stories without any wasted time, this was more than welcome.

      It’s like Maple and Sally in Bofuri, I could watch Haruka and Kanata doing pretty much anything.

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