Episode 3 of Harukana Receive introduces a couple of new characters, who Haruka is very eager to play beach volleyball against. Kanata doesn’t seem to be entirely thrilled about the prospect, though.
The episode begins with Haruka gazing out of a window and seeing a blonde girl dragging Kanata along by her arm. Haruka goes out to confront her, but Kanata explains that she is a friend she used to play beach volleyball with.
Marissa, Claire and Emily’s mum, used to coach Kanata, which was why they played beach volleyball together. Claire says that they should all play together, and they’d even move closer to becoming an official club if Haruka and Kanata join them.
Haruka is enthusiastic about it, whilst Kanata just meekly agrees. Claire is eager for everyone to start practicing, but Emily is less keen.
Beach volleyball partners are supposed to wear matching swimsuits, but Emily is very reluctant to wear the same one as Claire – she thinks that they may as well just play in their underwear.
Once they finish with that argument, all four girls head out to the beach and decide that they should just jump right into playing a match.
The match starts out fairly evenly, with the score soon reaching 1-1. However, that ends up changing – Haruka finds it tough to contend with Claire’s intense spikes.
As the match continues, Emily does something called a ‘pokey’. She scores a point with it, and Haruka asks her about it afterwards. She explains it, and it seems that Haruka gives some thought to trying it out herself.
No matter how hard she tries, Kanata cannot just get her spikes to go through. Emily picks up on this, and asks why she isn’t using pokeys. She then decides to start taking their practice match a lot more seriously, and tells Claire to block all of Kanata’s spikes.
Kanata doesn’t say it aloud, but the reason she doesn’t use any pokeys is because if she doesn’t make a spike then she isn’t playing like herself.
When Haruka scores a second point by using a pokey, Kanata finally snaps out of it. A point is a point – it doesn’t matter how it goes over. With Kanata back in the game, she uses a pokey. She gets it over the block, though it just goes out.
After the match, Haruka and Kanata agree to join the beach volleyball branch – there’s even a tournament coming up for them to participate in.
After that, we get a couple of flashbacks – one showing how Kanata and Narumi ended up meeting Claire and Emily, and another one showing how Kanata first met Narumi and started playing volleyball with her.
Once Kanata has finished telling Haruka about them, Haruka has a question she wants to ask Kanata.
Haruka asks Kanata to officially be her partner for beach volleyball. Kanata happily agrees, which brings us to the end of episode 3.
The Thomas sisters are fun characters – particularly Claire. I like the similarities between her and Haruka’s personalities. Watching Emily having to put up with her sister’s antics was pretty amusing, too.
Haruka is having a really good influence on Kanata, as this episode shows. She thought she had to play a certain way, but Haruka was able to pick up on that and demonstrate that what she was thinking was wrong.
The dynamic between out two lead characters is very good, and I’m enjoying watching them grow with the help of each other.
Claire and Emily certainly provide some very solid competition, but Haruka still remains my number one out of the girls. I feel like Kanata grows on me even more each episode as well, so I’ll just say she’s number two.
As for the other two pairs we’ve seen – as of this episode, I prefer the Éclair sisters to Narumi and Ayasa.
Kanata overcame an obstacle that was holding her back thanks to a little help from Haruka, and two fun characters were introduced – all in all, I’d call this a very good episode.