I wonder if any point, Haruka just thought to herself, “Geez, maybe Kanata should stop using pokeys”. Clearly, this speaks to extent of trust in this partnership.
Then again, the joke must be on me since the strategy ultimately does work. Ai and Mai get slower, thereby allotting Harukana some free out of bound points, and this lets Haruka more comfortably improve her blocking. The constant pokeys prove to be a pretty risky strategy though as the second set got really close in points. Still, a winning strategy is a winning strategy and to Kanata’s defense, it made a lot more sense once Claire explained it all. Because the pokey is so predictable, you’re naturally inclined to keep countering it no matter how far it goes. It’s psychological warfare that results in eventual fatigue which is pretty smart. It’s no wonder Haruka and Kanata didn’t get exhausted at the same rate and ultimately won the match.
Last episode, Mai bragged about her being a libero to taunt Kanata. Now, I realize that Kanata’s war of attrition was, at least partially, a response to such pride and a show of resolve. By forcing Mai to keep countering her pokeys, Kanata brings to light that all the former does is defend and that can be in of itself a weakness. It all refers to Harukana Receive’s general message of taking risks and stepping out of your own shell. The pokey strategy is, as I’ve said, risky but it is also a far cry from when Kanata would cower at the mere thought of receiving the ball. And no matter how hard Mai tries to get under her skin, Kanata doesn’t break, keeps doing the strategy, and she ultimately does win as a result. It’s hard to tell if Mai takes any of this to heart but this was nevertheless a great moment for Kanata.
A shame that Harukana doesn’t get past the second round but then again, that’s a sports anime for you. It’s the smaller victories that count the most. Haruka got her first real experience in beach volleyball and Kanata is enjoying the sport again. Their partnership is stronger than ever before (and no, I still won’t buy the romantic subtext despite some serious bait thrown at me). Even Ai and Mai seem closer despite losing the game; the two resolve to keep at it until they win a match together. Overall, I’d say this is a win-win situation even if it isn’t technically so.
Boy am I glad that Harukana Receive now explains some of those secret gestures everyone does during volleyball. I should’ve looked it up myself but then I wouldn’t get the joy of seeing a turtle show how much smarter he is than Haruka. Talk about sass.
Far more important than that though is that it seems that next episode, we’ll get know about the fifth, mysterious girl. How convenient that she goes to the same school as everyone else in the principal cast. What kind of role will she play?
SimulDub Update (Ep. 3)
Because Harukana Receive is a slow burn when it comes to introducing its principal cast, I wanted to give another update. Commenting on dubs is a new thing for me so I hope you’ll bear with me here.
With Episode 3 dubbed, I can now comment on Emily and Claire. As I had hoped, there’s nothing fancy with how they speak which is good since they sound fluent in the sub. Amber Lee Connors and Bryn Apprili both sound great as Emily and Claire respectively. Their voices are a bit different from their seiyuu equivalents but they still suit the characters they’re playing and play off each other well whenever the twins bicker.
There was one funny moment at the beginning where Haruka is stumped to meet foreigners (what with them being blonde and blue-eyed as per usual). The ADR crew did a good job retaining the one-off joke about language barriers but it may be funnier since they are now all speaking English. Yes, I’m sure the potentially English speaking foreigners will have no issue speaking English to you, Haruka.
As for the performances I’ve already commented: so far, so good. I will admit that, at this point, I like Kana Yuuki’s performance as Haruka too much to readily accept someone else in the role but I don’t think Tia Ballard is doing an awful job either.
Thanks for reading!
For all of my Harukana Receive Episode Reviews, check out the show’s archive page!
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