Fanservice isn’t that bad, trust me!
I’ve been seeing a lot of people who have dropped Harukana Receive for the sole reason of fanservice. Now I know that fanservice turns off a lot of people. Hell, even I get turned off by too much fanservice now and I used to like it. After a while, it sure does get old. Anime titties exaggeratedly jiggling just from them breathing, and those accidental main character slip-ups that somehow strips girls fully naked. It’s outdated and overdone.
But Harukana Receive is different.
So first of all, what is Harukana Receive about?
It’s about Haruka’s butt.
Ok I was kidding, but I’m just going to use MyAnimeList’s sypnosis for this one.
The story takes place in Okinawa, where Haruka forms a beach volleyball pair with Kanata. Kanata, who couldn’t handle the pressure put on her by her short height, had given up on beach volleyball already but is convinced by Haruka to step back on the sand once again and aim for the junior tournament.
Cool, so Harukana Receive is a show that revolves around beach volleyball. And with beach volleyball comes a lot of skin. For those of you who have not watched a game of women’s beach volleyball, players commonly wear bikinis but are not limited to it. They can also wear long sleeves, tank tops, or short-sleeved shirts. And NO, they don’t just pick bikinis to look provocative or anything like that. Bikinis are often the most ideal attire as players can move around more efficiently with nothing blocking their motion. Add to the fact that they usually have to play in hot weather and it’s perfect to keep them cool.
Going back to Harukana Receive, I think the level of fanservice isn’t so excessive where it’s inappropriate. It’s actually pretty natural as it is inherent to the girls wearing bikinis. There aren’t any upskirt shots, no running and boobs jiggling uncontrollably, and no clumsy male main character that magically pulls down every females’ piece of clothing. The angles they use might be questionable, as it focuses a lot on ass shots so far, but the context is there. You can’t expect someone to play beach volleyball and not see a lot of skin, you know. That would be like watching an idol anime and not expect there to be any singing and/or dancing. In fact, I think that the balance between the game and fanservice is perfect.
The fanservice doesn’t undermine the plot (yes, I’m talking about the actual plot.) and the characters in any way either. Haruka, the main character, is shown to have physical prowess. We see this as she picks up beach volleyball fairly quickly and even being successful at doing a cutshot just from a week of training. Of course, I am excited about what more Haruka has in store since it is fairly obvious that she has a lot of potential.
We also find out that Haruka’s partner, Kanata, is going through struggles that are stopping her from playing beach volleyball to her fullest. Just from the flashbacks, we see that Kanata was someone considered to be an exceptional player. However, she has been discouraged by minor drawbacks instead of finding a way around it. Years later and with Haruka by her side, she slowly overcomes them by developing a more flexible playstyle to cover up for her weaknesses.
Harukana Receive also does a wonderful job of giving off that summer atmosphere. The OST plays a crucial part in this as they use a lot of upbeat tracks that just screams “WE’RE AT THE BEACH!!” The show also uses a lot of bright colors to emphasize summer. Even the characters are all cheerful and you can tell that they are enjoying themselves playing volleyball at the beach. And even though the show does get a little serious sometimes with Kanata feeling discouraged, these elements still make it feel like they can get through any obstacle as it just feels so uplifting!
So in conclusion, I think you all should give Harukana Receive a fair chance. A lot of people let fanservice distract them from the actual story when in fact, Harukana Receive executes a story the same way as any sports anime would: about friends aiming for the top with the power of teamwork.