Friends go up against friends in a passionate match of beach volleyball.
Overview (Spoilers Below):
The finals of the Okinawa Qualifier have arrived, which means the time has come for Kanata and Haruka to go up against their mentors, Emily and Claire. The matchup is one for the ages, featuring a tight game that takes up the entire episode. And it isn’t over yet. The episode ends with Emily reflecting on the fire in Kanata’s eyes – this is the girl she’s been wanting to fight!
After episodes full of building up the relationship between Emily and Claire and Kanata and Haruka, the time has come for the two pairs to face off. Sure, they battle often in practice, but it’s not the same. As Kanata quickly realizes, the stakes are higher than ever before, and Emily and Claire aren’t going to settle for anything less than complete and total victory.
Pretty much the entirety of The One I Wanted to Fight is taken up with the girls’ beach volleyball game. The actual gameplay isn’t significantly different than prior matches in previous episodes. What sets this one apart is the history these girls have together – what’s going on behind the scenes. The trainees are taking on their trainers. Going up against the team that has inspired and taught them so much is a very difficult thing to do, and Kanata and Haruka do so admirably. They’ve agreed to just go into the match with confidence, believing in their own abilities as a team rather than trying to compare themselves to Emily and Claire’s skills. Interspersed throughout the episode are flashbacks to the two of them planning and talking about their strategy. I liked this approach, as it felt more interactive and interesting than merely a single scene placed at the beginning of the episode.
The game itself is a fairly well-directed affair. From the tense opening coin flip to Claire’s aggressive serves, everything looks okay and conveys a good sense of tension. That kick move from Claire and Emily was especially impressive! As an observer states, since the girls know each other so well, the difference will lie in their experience. Only a true pro could come up with an unorthodox return like that. Kanata and Haruka may have some strategy, but I’m not sure they’ve got the solid experience to back it up. Kanata may have grown, but so has Emily. She picked up a thing or two from the younger girl about being an equal team member with Claire.
The dub was solid, including some nice lines like: “That giantess and her partner are in trouble!” and this gem from Akari: “The first set goes to eclair.” Akari is definitely the most reliable cast member in terms of quotable one-liners.
Episode 10 of Harukana Receive is a tension-building tale of the students and their masters going head to head in a battle that will decide who moves on in the beach volleyball finals. It was interesting to see the dynamic at play, in which Kanata and Claire both found and utilized things they’d learned from the other in order to aid them in their game. At this point, it seems like Claire and Emily have a slight advantage, but who knows? We may just see an upset next week!