HARUKANA RECEIVE!!! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!
Why do I love this show so much? There’s (sort of) a lot going on (at least in my notes), but when one boils it all down, it’s really about two girls who
want to play beach volleyball together.
The episode starts with Haruka’s classroom introduction to her new school, having transferred from Tokyo, and I think this is a really good starting point because it builds Haruka’s character even more than what we already had. While the characters are all (for the most part) built through the first three, we really get into who Haruka is, and where she differs from Kanata through our beginning episodes.
Haruka makes a fool of herself (in a way) and seems to embarrass Kanata (who is in her class)
Now, this is a good point to actually talk about something, but I should continue the review…
Anyway, Haruka transfers, and seems to gain some new friends who want to take her out for some fun. Haruka seems happy, yet she also seems worried about Kanata. She apologizes and says she’ll go another time because she has volleyball practice.
Well, this is where things get interesting in character differences. While we have distinct body types and personalities, we get more into the personalities of our characters in this episode, especially when Haruka sees Kanata practicing pokeys outside.
Claire comes up to Haruka and says she’s going to coach her while her sister Emily coaches Kanata. I love this because we’re getting to split the personalities and focus on each person in a more immediate way instead of having four characters to deal with at one time–which can get bogged down.
While talking to Claire, Haruka also tells her that she’s upset Kanata uses the suffix -chan when referring to her. This may seem odd to non-Japanese people, but it truly has a different emotional meaning in Japanese culture. I could go on about that, but I don’t remember much of the honorifics and how they’re used any more (it’s been a while since I’ve taken any official Japanese lessons). Perhaps Haruka doesn’t think Kanata trusts her enough yet?
But!! Haruka also uses -chan, so who’s the culprit here?
Anyway, with that said, we’re given some volleyball lessons during Haruka’s practice, which shows how to split the court during a match and who should cover what area. I actually like this because it gives Claire a deeper importance within our character dynamic and in the show overall. With that, Claire has Haruka practice jumping…
And that’s where our episode dives into its second portion!!
There’s really not much to say about this portion of the episode. We get our distinct personalities, with the lovable Haruka going for frills, Kanata going for something practical, and the Thomas twins being opposite spectrum people…
Oh, and before that ends, we meet Ai and Mai. Mai, the short, shy, yet determined younger of the volleyball pair. and Ai, the taller, older, and more reasonable of the two. There’s a rock paper scissors game between Haruka and Mai for a specific swimsuit that Haruka wanted, but in my mind that’s not the part of that means anything–it’s just showing us Haruka’s character (i.e.–over-dramatic, silly, etc).
Haruka lose to Mai…so Mai and Ai get the swimsuits.
Kanata acts as the voice of reason here, even though we get something that I love about this show. KANATA BACKS DOWN TO MAKE SURE HARUKA IS HAPPY!!!
Let me say that again: Kanata backs down. To make sure Haruka is happy. Oh My (insert word here).
Kanata, the voice of reason for Haruka, wants to do whatever she can for Haruka to be happy and for Haruka to trust her in some way, even if it’s just letting Haruka pick their uniforms out. While all of this is happening we’re getting character differences and really diving into who these girls are and what they’re striving for at a specific time. While Kanata is happy about having her choice of swimsuit, I think she’s worried about Haruka at all times and wants to make sure there’s something between them that’s more than just “we play volleyball as a pair.”
After this portion there’s a thing about an Okinawan minsa (spelling issue on my part here?) being added to their blue swimsuits, which means “forever,” but is also a symbol of “expressing ones love for another romantically” I guess. While Haruka didn’t know that, I think it adds an element that we’ve been getting at in this episode–trust. Trust me Forever, is what I think Haruka was trying to go for when she showed Kanata and the twins what she did. And I love that.
We’re shown a bit of Narumi going over strategies after this, which confused me for a bit, but then it makes sense when she gets insanely happy and smiles. Somebody is making sure her former partner is happy and willing to strive for a goal with another person–Haruka.
Now, we’re thrown back into a secret practice with Haruka and Claire.
But what’s this?!? The Thomas Twins mess that up!?! Emily brings Kanata to the practice! This is where things get emotional, and the whole honorific thing comes back into play.
Kanata is upset that Haruka didn’t tell her she was going to practice and WANTED to practice. Haruka didn’t want to tell Kanata because she thinks Kanata is way ahead of her in skill, so she was trying to get better FOR Kanata.
Oh the miscommunication…or avoidance of communication, I guess. But what is this episode supposed to be built on? Answer: Trust!!
While I think this portion of the episode worked, I also think it got a bit melodramatic when Kanata and Haruka talked things out and dropped the honorifics. They repeated each others names so much it was a little odd, but I’m an American so I don’t truly understand the importance behind said honorifics. Either way, it worked.
And then….my favorite part of the entire series. The part that got me completely hooked on this show.
The episode was built on Haruka not thinking Kanata trusted her enough, and throughout two portions of the episode, we’re shown that she really wants Kanata to trust her more than she does. She doesn’t just want to be a volleyball pair–Haruka wants Kanata to be HERS. And don’t take that in a loving way, but the way you’d think of a team that had played together, a group of writers who can talk to each other about how they want a story to go, a team that goes through the ups and downs and is always ready to stick it out with each other no matter what.
A SINGLE HIGH FIVE!! A single high five brought the word trust to a completely different level and I think Harukana Receive did an amazing job on this episode–from how they showed the Harukana pair individually, to when they picked out swimsuits and Kanata let Haruka do what she wanted (because she wanted to make her happy), to how they now realize that without the other they’re not as strong.
Oh my…I could go on and on about this episode and what an amazing job they did with using a single word to shape the episode, drive the story, and form the characters and their interactions based on the first three episodes. But, I won’t. I’ll leave it at that.
Harukana Receive episode 4 really put the entirety of the show on its back thus far and showed us that things are moving forward, the characters are there for each other, and the interactions that they have are true within not only themselves, but in relation to their friends and partners as well.
Kamekichi the Turtle Sightings: 2!! Amazingly cute sightings, too!!
That’s all from me for episode 4! I hope you enjoyed this lengthy review, or rant, or whatever it turned out to be!!!