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Manga / Harukana Receive

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"Beach volleyball is a two-person sport. Thinking like an ace is not beach volleyball."

Haruka Ōzora is a high school girl who is conscious about her height. When moves to Okinawa, she meets with her cousin, Kanata Higa. Shortly after arrival, Haruka becomes enthralled with the beautiful beaches and the prospect of being able to swim, surf and dive. She encounters two other girls, Narumi Tōi and Ayasa Tachibana, practising for their beach volleyball tournament. Haruka learns that Kanata was once a beach volleyball player, but had given up because of her short stature. With Haruka's encouragement, Kanata returns to beach volleyball: between her experience and Haruka's height, the two partner up and practise with the intent of making it to the junior tournament.

Harukana Receive (はるかなレシーブ) is a manga written and illustrated by Nyoijizai, which was serialised in Manga Time Kirara Forward from 2015 to 2020. In North America, Seven Seas Entertainment has licensed the manga.

The anime adaptation was released as a part of the Summer 2018 anime lineup. It is directed by Toshiyuki Kubooka and is produced by C2C. Funimation's Simuldub of the anime series premiered on July 24th, 2018. The series can be watched here.

Harukana Receive provides examples of:

  • Ambiguously Gay: Kanata frequently ogles swimsuit-clad girls, and also describes Haruka's backside as sexy.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: With her experience, Kanata is able to accurately predict and assess each of Akari's moves during their one-on-one competition, besting Akari at every turn.
  • Big Little Sister: Kanna Aragaki is slightly taller than her older sister, Youna.
  • Birds of a Feather: Haruka and Claire share similarly outgoing personalities and rapidly befriend one another.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • A rare aversion for a sports manga. Nyoijizai explicitly asked Mikasa Sports (the makers of the official FIVB beach volleyballs) for a licence to use the likeness of their VLS300 Beach Champ ball (the aforementioned official ball) in the manga - and the executives agreed. See Product Placement below.
    • The volleyball that Marissa gives to Haruka in Chapter 16 as a gift can also be bought in Real Life, albeit only in Japan- it's a Mikasa VMT-5 Marta Menegatti Limited Edition volleyball. If you look carefully at the ball during that chapter, you can actually see the flowery arabesque pattern on the panels.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Emily and Claire both sport blonde hair and wear American flag motifs, leading Haruka to assume they're English speakers. When she converses with them, however, she's surprised that they can speak Japanese fluently.
  • Book Ends: The final episode ends with the same monologue Haruka delivered at the beginning of the first episode.
  • Chromosome Casting: Males are entirely absent in the series. Haruka's class is entirely female, and no males are seen in the airport or the shopping mall. Kanata's grandfather is only seen from behind once and has no dialogue.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: In the second episode, Ayasa tells Haruka that she has no intention of allowing Narumi to play alongside Kanata again should Kanata resume playing beach volleyball.
  • Color Failure: Haruka is shocked when Claire tells informs her that swimsuit bottom is ill-fitting, with "flashes of what's underneath" being quite visible.
  • Cooldown Hug: Ayasa hugs a devastated Narumi from the behind as second episode draws to a close, after Narumi sees that it took someone else to get Kanata back into beach volleyball.
  • Cranial Eruption: Emily does not hesitate to set Claire straight with force, hitting her on the head whenever she steps out of line.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Claire is occasionally depicted with fangs, befitting of her energetic and mischievous character.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening theme is sung by Kana Yūki (Haruka) and Saki Miyashita (Kanata). They also co-perform the ending theme with Atsumi Tanezaki (Claire) and Rie Suegara (Emily).
  • Drives Like Crazy: Marissa's driving is terrifying, and she performs manoeuvres that are quite over-the-top. Having grown up with her, Claire and Emily brace themselves for a rough ride that leaves Haruka, Kanata and Akari visibly worse for wear.
  • Eagleland: Marissa displays very American traits, driving a Hummer and outfitting her daughters with Stars-and-Stripes bikinis for their childhood beach volleyball tournaments.
  • Embarrassing Nickname:
    • Kanata grows embarrassed whenever Haruka refers to her as "Demon Coach".
    • Akari doesn't like being addressed as "Shii-chan", as the name reminds her of her role in a commercial she'd done as a child.
  • Evolving Credits: Akari is included in the ending credits from episode seven onwards, where she tries to wake up Haruka when the latter is sleeping in the classroom.
  • Family Eye Resemblance: Both Haruka and Kanata's eyes are precisely the same colour despite their vastly different physical appearances.
  • Fanservice: Comes with the fact the manga focuses on beach volleyball (the only sport that has a maximum clothing limit in Real Life - and yes that means that the women play in bikinis even in major competitions), but the vast majority of it comes from Haruka and the Thomas sisters.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Among the Thomas twins, Claire is the airheaded Genki Girl, while Emily is more serious and taciturn.
  • Flirtatious Smack on the Ass:
    • Prior to their rematch in episode two, Ayasa slaps Haruka's ass and compliments her on having a nice posterior, to Haruka's embarrassment.
    • Claire spanks her sister to tease her, much to Emily's embarrassment.
    • Claire does it again in episode nine, this time to Kanata in order to get her to cool down before the tournament.
    • Emily teases Claire with a slap to the backside in the finale, causing Claire to blush.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Haruka, Kanata, Emily and Claire are very close friends both on and off the court, but that doesn't mean the girls won't give it their all when they face off.
  • Genki Girl: Haruka and Claire are friendly and outgoing girls, which contrast well with their teammates: Kanata is gloomy, while Emily is more serious.
  • Gorgeous Gaijin:
    • The Thomas sisters have the most curvaceous bodies, are blondes and also very tall for their age.
    • Their mother, Marissa, qualifies as well. Haruka and Kanata confused her for another sister, but compared to her daughters, she's even taller.
  • Height Angst:
    • Haruka finds that her height makes it difficult to shop for clothing, and also makes her stand out in a crowd.
    • Kanata is unhappy with her diminutive height (151cm / 5') and wishes she were taller because it affects her ability to play beach volleyball. In particular, Kanata was considered tall when she was in grade school, but grew little during puberty, leaving her shorter than average.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Most of the beach volleyball players are taller than average, since height confers an advantage in this sport. Haruka stands as being one of the tallest in the cast, at 172 cm (5'7½").
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode title takes its name from a line of dialogue from that episode.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Akari's desire to become a volleyball idol stems from her wanting people to speak with her.
  • Intellectual Animal: Kamekichi is able to flawlessly answers Kanata's volleyball hand signal quiz by walking across the table in the appropriate direction corresponding to the signal.
  • Male Gaze: The camera frequently focuses on the girls' chests and posteriors.
  • Mum Looks Like a Sister: Claire and Emily's mother, Marissa, appears youthful enough to be the twins' sister despite being their mother.
  • Naturalised Name: Among the Japanese, Emily and Claire are respectively known as Emiri and Kurea, and their family name, Thomas, remains unchanged.
  • One Head Taller: Haruka is a head taller than Kanata.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: During the match between Harukana and Eclair, Akari not only doesn't mind being called "Shii-chan", she actually dances the Happy Shequasar song in order to cheer for her classmates.
  • Parental Abandonment: Haruka moves to Okinawa from Tokyo because her mother is working overseas. Kanata's parents are both deceased.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: The Thomas twins have blonde hair and blue eyes.
  • Portmanteau: Beach volleyball teams are often named as a portmanteau of its members' names. For example, the titular Harukana consists of Haruka and Kanata, while Emily and Claire's team is called Eclair.
  • Portmantitle: "Harukana" is a portmanteau of Haruka and Kanata's names.
  • Product Placement: Mikasa Sports branded volleyballs are used in the Animated Adaptation.
  • Real-Place Background: The series is set on the island of Okinawa. Haruka and Kanata play beach volleyball on the shores of Kinbu Bay. In the distance, the Henza, Miyagi and Ikei islands are visible, along with the distinct red tower of the Kaichu Doro Bridge. Haruka and Kanata purchase swimsuits from Aeon Mall Okinawa Rycom, which is the largest shopping centre in Okinawa.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Haruka is Red, being energetic and outgoing, while Kanata is Blue, with her quieter personality.
    • Claire is hot-headed and bold, being the Red oni to Emily's Blue; Emily is more rational and reserved of the two.
  • Scenery Porn: The azure oceans, brilliant skies and white sands of Okinawa's beaches are stunning, conveying the sense of warmth and tropical air that Okinawa is known for.
  • Schoolgirl Series: Harukana Receive follows a group of high school girls and their aspirations to compete in the junior beach volleyball tournament.
  • Serious Business: Akari takes protection from the sun very seriously. She typically wears long-sleeves as a part of her outfit and when in a swimsuit, judiciously applies sunscreen.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Claire doesn't mind wearing skimpy swimsuits or walking about in revealing outfits, to Emily's chagrin.
  • Sibling Team: Besides the Thomas sisters, Youna and Kanna Aragaki are sisters and also a beach volleyball pair that make an appearance in episode nine.
  • Spit Take: Akari spews out her drink after Haruka openly asks her if she feels lonely.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Marissa Thomas is taller than Haruka and as a consequence of constantly training, is in excellent shape.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: The Thomas twins look very similar to their mother, Marissa.
  • Team Spirit: Narumi immediately mentions to Haruka that in beach volleyball, there are no aces, and that teamwork is what determines victory on the volleyball court.
  • Tender Tears:
    • After losing to Haruka and Kanata, Ai and Mai cry; Mai feels as though she'd been holding Ai back, while Ai feels she's misled Mai about volleyball being a sport where shorter people can still perform. The two reaffirm their intention to continue playing together as a pair.
    • Haruka, Kanata, Emily and Claire shed a few tears following the qualifiers, having fought one another with their best in the knowledge only one team would advance to the nationals. In the aftermath, their friendship lets them cheer up and become even closer.
  • Unknown Rival: When Kanna Aragaki confronts Claire and states her aim of defeating her, Claire does not recall playing her until Emily jogs her memory
  • The Unreveal: In the final episode, the scene immediately cuts to Kamekichi right before Kanata and Haruka's grandfather's face is shown.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: As a series about beach volleyball, the cast is frequently seen in their swimsuits.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: After Claire alerts Haruka that she's exposing her bottom half when jumping, Haruka is prompted to make some adjustments.