So here we are: the long awaited match between Harukana and Ecclair. A real one for once, since all we’ve seen before with these two teams was just practice. It’s even two-part event as well. With how much importance Harukana Receive is giving it and what little runtime we have left in this cour, I expect this to be the last match in the anime. I suppose that means the last few episodes will reek of non-ending but to be fair, this is a reasonable point to stop at. You at least get one good look at all the main characters before the show ends…and I mean that in terms of the story.
Not that there’s stiff competition but this match is, so far, the finest one Harukana Receive has put together. For starters, there really isn’t much of a gimmick incorporated. No handicap, no spamming secret techniques; just the characters giving the match their all. Some things do get abridged and Kanata still pulls offs pokeys like there’s no tomorrow but other than that, the whole experience was quite exhilarating. There’s a couple of surprises to be had here such as Emily taking offense in the second set and Kanata performing moves you don’t normally see her do. The presentation is solid too; I mean, Harukana Receive has been consistently good in that department but it really shows here.
If I didn’t know any better, I’d be wondering if these characters are even friends. Not that there’s hostility but everyone sure is passive aggressive here. It seems that playing against Kanata is unearthing some hidden feelings in the Thomas twins. Emily remembers it’s her team’s loss to Kanata and Narumi that inspired her to become a more active player and not rely on her sister all the time. Claire really wants to beat Kanata now that the latter is in the zone for the first time in a while. Kanata isn’t slouching either, foregoing the meekness you saw her express back at the start of the story and not making things easy for her opponents. At the end of the day, I know they are all friends…but boy are they venting here.
I guess Haruka is kind of just there since she’s the newbie in the roster, let alone privy to the old drama getting unearthed. Maybe if you replaced her with Narumi, things might start to get even more personal though that would be logistically tricky to do in the first place. Still, Haruka does a solid job backing up Kanata and you can tell she’s come a long way as a volleyball player. If she can throw Claire off from time to time now, I’d really like to see her go against Ayasa and Narumi again.
No one is stuck more in the middle more than Akari though since she’s left to just spectate the whole match. It’s expected that she wouldn’t take sides though I still liked that she didn’t, acknowledging everyone as her friends and cheering them both on to do their best. Her doing the shequasar dance, however, does a feel a little out of place. I get why she does it but it just felt more like she was doing a commercial plugin than expressing encouragement.
I do kind of expect Harukana to win if only because, ideally, you’d want the main team to go against Narumi and Ayasa again in a legitimate match. Ecclair does win the first set though if you want things to get even more intense, you’d have Harukana win the second one and then have the two teams duke it out on the third. Maybe the prospects are predictable though I’m enjoying how things play out so I look forward to the rest of the match next episode.
Thanks for reading!
For all of my Harukana Receive Episode Reviews, check out the show’s archive page!
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