For a second week, Matt and I share very different views about the latest ecchi sports anime entry. I will be in bold this week. I have carefully chosen and captured all these screencaps in honour of my very esteemed collaborator!
Last week, I gave you guys a riddle to solve.. Did you guess who picked this show, yet? How ‘bout that fan-service though?! Can it be called fan-service if bikini’s are part of the sport? Yes, if it’s Harukana Receive it can be…
We are back and better than ever! And so is Harukana…well it is back! Hooray! I was looking forward to this all week!
Second episodes are usually kind of rough. The production team usually invest a lot in the opening episode, making it look particularly beautiful and putting all the most interesting and fun bits it can fit in without needing the audience to be familiar with the story yet, so that it can get as many people as possible to invest in the full season. I know there’s the whole three episode rule trope but a heck of a lot of folks will drop a show at ep1 if they don’t see anything that interests them. I thought this episode looked better than the first, but then again maybe I was distracted…
As a result, second episodes are often lackluster and stuck with the thankless job of setting up the plot. Harukana seems to be trying to counter that by throwing in a whole bunch of light ecchi fanservice. Yes lots of fan-service in this episode, this is the more the show I was expecting it to be when I first heard about it!
I don’t actually know what qualifies as ecchi…. This one was pretty fanservice heavy.
I thought it was too bad all the fanservice was form the same girl. It was a little lopsided (get it…) Oh I don’t know about that, still got some nice ‘cheeks’ from the other girls–though I guess since Harukana is the lead they want to exploit showcase her the most?
They are still doing the super slow animation and a lot of “bullet time” and action obscuring close ups during matches. I hope that changes – I love dynamic gameplay animation. Then you’d love Hanebado! But we shouldn’t really be talking about another currently airing anime in this review, the show might get jealous!
Everyone says Hanebado! is where it’s at. From the screencaps they seem to have to have a leg up on the fanservice as well. Do you think Harukana will suffer from airing at the same time as another ecchi all young girls sports show? First of all, no Hanabedo! will be the show people remember, also there’s no way I’d even call Hanebado! even remotely fan-servicey, let alone ecchi, trust me when I say you don’t even notice it when it’s in motion.
As a whole I have to say I much prefer the art in Harukana Receive, to the animation. The cute girl designs are probably some of my favorites in recent history. They are a little similar looking but I think they are quite pretty and I enjoy that chromatic eye effect. They are particularly gorgeous girls, I was thinking how nice they would look on my wall–as a poster! Geez, don’t get the wrong idea!
The black haired girl is pretty hot. If you’d made me pick which girl I thought you’d like the look of the most it would be her, you have a type. Yup: Hot…Hot is my type. When she grows up she will be an attractive woman I bet!
On the other hand, the animation is clunky and a little lazy. When the girls move around, only one part of their body moves, maybe you get a booby jiggle for fanservice or some hair waving in the wind but otherwise it looks like their muscles aren’t related to each other and their clothes exist independently. I didn’t notice it that much in the movement, but I did notice they did the whole ‘long shot talking scene while chibi faces in bubbles did the talking’ rather than bothering to animate close up conversations. I think that qualifies as lazy?
The CG is still horrible but they used less. I’ll probably get use to it. I hardly saw it anymore by the end of Grancrest. If it’s just stuff for particle effects it honestly doesn’t bother me at all…The ball is CG as well which makes the matches less visually cohesive to me. I feel like I’ll have to watch it again because I didn’t even realise the balls were CG… guess I was focusing on some other big round things too much…
I’ll be honest, I’m still looking for something that would make me want to watch more of this. I haven’t quite found that one thing that piqued my interest yet. See, I was the opposite this episode got me in the right place (and too the irlwaifu, I heard her ‘awwwing’ from beside me) it was during the scene before the “big” match, when Haruka was speaking to Ayasa about Kanata, the fact that Haruka is so committed to Kanata was heart-warming! My partner’s reaction was considerably less positive with a lot of “really?? This is what you want to invest time in??” only not this polite
For me the volleyball explanation is just way too basic to be interesting and the animation is a huge drawback there. There is no comedy to speak of. And I’m not yet attached enough to these characters to resonate with the drama. Again I disagree, I thought the scenes early on with Kanata trying to adjust Haruka’s bikini were adorable, her reactions totally got a giggle out of me. Also Haruka’s “cut shot pose”! Sexualization is sort of hit or miss and really depends on the viewers personal tastes. I really tend to prefer it in adult characters so I’m pretty indifferent to it in this show.
One of the reasons is that they have somewhat upended their personalities in this episode. The derpy goofy big girl turns out to be a genius strategist that not only instantly grasped the finer points of the game but also was able to play mind tricks on her opponent. Her quiet and reliable cousin is a ball of insecurity and yuriservice. The harsh tsundere is apparently in the middle of some sort of nervous breakdown and the fun sociable one is a possessive jealous girlfriend. Haruka was still a derpy goofball, there’s no reason she can’t be both, she said she played normal Volleyball last episode so it’s not like having an eye for strategy is completely out of character. As for Ayasa I don’t think she was being jealous and possessive for the sake of it, I sense she’s got trust issues maybe revolving around having a sports partner leave her before–I don’t know if I’m just inferring something that isn’t there but I’d be surprised if they left the characterisation that two-dimensional. The only reason I say that though is because the manga it’s based on is definitely considered under the Sports genre and the magazine it appears in isn’t some shallow ecchi heavy publication but has a few vaguely serious series’.
Don’t get all defensive, none of this is a bad thing. Adding gap moe now simply hasn’t allowed me to see these girls as people I recognize from real life so I can’t form bonds or instinctively relate yet, is all. I guess that’s where we differ in that I don’t recognise anyone from anime in real life because I’ve got like 2 irl friends, so pretty much everyone in anime is a potential friend… man that sounds really sad that I’ve said that out loud…
I really have no problem with any of these or with switching personalities around, it’s just that so far, I can’t say I know any of these girls. There’s still time for that. I think it’s telling that it’s been two whole episode without an OP or an ED, almost like these two episodes have been the prologue before the real ‘Sports!’ show starts!
This said, it’s not like I dislike the show either, more like I’m still trying to figure it out. We can figure it out together! I don’t think it’s anything remarkable yet (though the fan-service is pretty damn good) but I can see the potential in this series!
Just for fun let’s give a round to last year’s world champions. Congratulations Brazil!
Obviously I used all the fanservice pics in the post…right?!?