Harukana Receive – Season One

Haruka moves from the big city to live with her cousin, Kanata and their Grandmother in Okinawa. Upon arriving she goes to the beach and stumbles across a pair of girls practising beach volleyball. One offers to show her how to play, but when Kanata catches up with Haruka, they are challenged to a match and they only have to score a single point to win.

They lose, but Haruka has caught the beach volleyball bug and challenges them to a rematch. She is determined to improve so that the next time they play they will win. Kanata, however, has long since fallen out of love with the sport and is hesitant.

At school, they meet Clare and Emily Thomas, twins and the only members of the beach volleyball club. They convince Haruka and Kanata to join and help them train. Nationals is on the horizon and all four girls are determined to qualify.

I originally put this on because I needed a show I could watch when the kids were around. Beach volleyball, sandy beaches, and the ocean, sounds ideal. For a brief moment, I was worried I’d got it horribly wrong. Beach volleyball includes very small bikinis…

Turns out I had nothing to worry about. In reality, there was probably slightly fewer bum shots than real beach volleyball. Also, it had a clear and easy to follow story which was really engaging. All of the characters were unique and interesting. I also hadn’t noticed until the last four episodes, but there were no male characters at all. I think we saw Grandpa’s knees once.

One of the most refreshing things about this series was that there was no over the top drama. There was competitiveness aplenty, but all of it good-natured. I love playing sport, but it’s always the overly competitive dicks that spoil it for me. Play hard and fair, and everyone can get along afterwards. I shouldn’t be, but I’m still quite surprised at how much I enjoyed this series.

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