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Sports anime have popularized sports like basketball and soccer for thousands of people, but it has also allowed sports that aren’t all that well known to gain an audience, like what 2017’s Two Car did for side car racing. Harukana Receive will do that for beach volleyball, the less popular cousin to the sport that starred in Haikyu!!.
Harukana Receive is based on the manga of the same name, a comic that details the story of Haruka and Kanata, a beach volleyball pair. Haruka approaches Kanata in desperation, needing a partner to compete in competitive beach volleyball. Although Kanata gave up on the sport, on account of the pressure she was subjected to on a daily basis for her short height, Haruka is able to win her over.
I’ll be frank; this is a story that focuses on a beach volleyball tournament with a very large character roster of young women competitors. Ecchi themes (sexual fan service) are a regular part of the manga, and I have no doubt that they will be prominent in every episode of the anime. That’s going to turn off a lot of people, but this anime will be so much more than a sexy variation of Haikyu!!.
As someone who has played a lot of competitive beach volleyball, I can confirm that the Harukana Receive manga does a good job breaking down the fundamentals of the sport. It also helps inform the differences between volleyball and beach volleyball. The story of Haruka and Kanata’s growing friendship is also pretty good (and very cute), and watching Kanata work past her short stature to succeed at a sport that demands height (even more so than regular volleyball) works through some pretty heavy character development.
No details on when the anime will air, but it is scheduled for 2018.
Fans have been waiting for Citrus, a yuri (story with heavy romantic or sexual love between women) manga, to become an anime for years. In 2018, those prayers will be answered.
The story focuses on Yuzu, a pretty carefree and fashionable girl, who transfers to a new school after her mother remarries. She gets all dolled up for her first day, hoping to find a cute boy that she’ll be able to make into her first boyfriend. She soon discovers that her mother has enrolled her into an all-girls’ school that is both strict and very conservative. She is repeatedly berated by the stern student council president Mei all day. Upon arriving home, Yuzu realizes, to her horror, that her new stepsister is Mei. The surprises don’t stop there though, because the day ends with Mei secretly kissing Yuzu without an explanation. What follows is, quite possibly, the cutest love-hate relationship to come out of Japan since Toradora.
Citrus is one of those love stories that claims that opposites attract. It flirts with the notion that love and hate are closely related, implying that one can naturally lead to the other. It’s also no secret that the manga’s audacity to toe that line between what’s acceptable when it comes to love is a large part of why it’s so popular (and why the anime will be too). Having relations with a step sibling that comes from a completely different marriage isn’t technically incest after all, but it’s just bizarre enough to attract a questioning eye. It also makes for quite a few comical situations and embarrassing misunderstandings.
If you’re interested in watching Citrus, then you can find it on Crunchyroll this January.