You can be my receiver anytime.
I’ve seen others say that Harukana Receive‘s talk of volleyball teams is a parallel to romantic relationships and I haven’t given that much stock. There is some subtext that I could see one buying into, particularly with how Haruka and Narumi talk about Kanata. Even the team names (i.e. Harukana, Eclair) feel like something you’d give to popular shippings. Perhaps the reason why I don’t want to completely buy into the romantic angle is because, well, a lot of these teams involve familial relationships. Harukana are cousins. Eclair are twin sisters. I don’t know, implying incestuous pairings just seems really weird here, even by anime standards.
That said, partnership is clearly a big part of Harukana Receive no matter how you look at it. A goal Haruka sets herself this episode is to feel closer to Kanata and no, I don’t mean it like that. Some of her efforts are pretty simple such as trying to ditch the honorifics and finding the right matching set of swimsuits for her and her cousin. The big one however is improving her skills until she’s up to par with her partner so that she won’t be a burden during the tournament. Even considering how quickly Haruka learns, that’s a big commitment and it was a little alarming when she had her fingers taped due to over practicing.
Kanata’s reactions were pretty interesting to watch. The swimsuit scene was a balancing act between wanting something she’d be most comfortable with wearing versus something that would please Haruka. While she relents to Haruka, I’m glad that the latter lost the swimsuits to new characters Ai and Mai. That proved to be a win-win situation since it makes Kanata happy and that’s what Haruka wanted anyway. Haruka later adding minsa patterns to their swimsuits was a nice touch, even if she didn’t realize it was a declaration of love. I was afraid that Kanata would be annoyed or offended by that but are the clear-up, she seems appreciative that her cousin would is so adamant about the bond they share. The strongest moment comes at the end when Emily reveals to Kanata that Haruka has been training under Claire. I’m glad the cat got out of the bad since it was actually counterproductive of Haruka to keep a secret from her partner.
Narumi surprisingly makes an appearance this episode. Turns out, she asked Emily to keep tabs on Kanata in case the latter gets back into volleyball. It’s sad that Narumi won’t have a chance to play with her old partner again though she at least seems happy that someone like Haruka came into the picture. Frankly, I’d rather have this than make things all melodramatic with Narumi either pissed or mopey. Hopefully, when she and Ayasa (what would their team name be?) play against Harukana again, it’ll be a very friendly match.
Simuldub First Impressions
Now I can appreciate the “plot” in English…what?
Out of all the characters we’ve met so far in Harukana Receive, I was most curious about how Haruka would sound in English. I’ve been enjoying Kana Yuuki’s performance — a surprisingly somewhat soft voice for an otherwise very upbeat character that can still vary in volume for comedic effect. There’s so much charm to Yuuki’s delivery that it was actually a little hard for me to imagine someone else in the role, even for a dub. I think Tia Ballard is a potentially good choice though. Sometimes she sounds too old and sometimes she sounds too soft spoken but that might iron out as time goes on. One thing Ballard has however nailed is any time Haruka’s voice exaggerates like when she gets fired up. Those deliveries are pretty entertaining.
Everyone else in the cast looks promising. I particularly thought Sarah Wiedenheft fits Kanata perfectly, capturing the same reserved personality that Saki Miyashita does. Felecia Angelle makes Narumi sounds a lot older but I actually really like that interpretation. It conveys the experience the character has under her belt.
Obviously, Claire and Emily haven’t appeared yet. I’ll be shocked if ADR does anything fancy with their speaking since Atsumi Tanezaki and Rie Suegara make their characters sound very fluent in Japanese. Maybe I’ll write another update about the dub when it gets to Episode 3.
Thanks for reading!
For all of my Harukana Receive Episode Reviews, check out the show’s archive page!
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