Learn Japanese with Anime: “Harukana Receive” (Elementary Level)


Webmaster Review

71% Excellent

The fun of this animation is the unique combination of cute character design and passionate story development. The character design is a little peculiar, but the inside description is polite and all the characters are attractive. The beach volleyball scene is dynamically generated by effective 3D, and the beauty of the ocean in the background is fully expressed (I am concerned that the background painting quality is not stable for each scene.). I am impressed by the youth story in which characters grow through sports and develop friendships. This is an excellent animation I would recommend to you.

  • Story/Worldview 75 %
  • Character 80 %
  • Animation/Background 70 %
  • Songs/Sound 60 %
  • Originality/Enjoyment 70 %
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0 %


1. Information

Title (Eng)Harukana Receive
Title (Jpn)はるかなレシーブ
Aired Year2018



2. Synopsis

In beach volleyball, there is no room for aces. To achieve victory, each player must find their one, irreplaceable partner that they can rely on in the court of sand. At least, that is what Haruka Oozora learns on her first day in Okinawa after moving in with her grandmother and her cousin Kanata Higa. While touring a nearby beach, Haruka stumbles upon some girls practicing beach volleyball and is quickly invited to join. This friendly practice game suddenly turns into a match when one of the girls, Narumi Tooi, notices Kanata approaching the court.

Although the two suffer a devastating defeat, Haruka finally realizes the reason for her cousin’s quiet and distant behavior. Kanata and Narumi used to be an exceptionally talented beach volleyball duo, until Kanata quit due to her short height causing problems for Narumi. Now, with the Junior Tournament just weeks away, Haruka must learn the intricacies of competitive beach volleyball and help Kanata overcome her crippling anxiety towards the sport that she once used to love.

Source: https://myanimelist.net/anime/35983/Harukana_Receive?q=HARUKANA%20RE



3. Character’s Way of Speaking

Oozora Haruka says, “xxx だよ” and “xxx よね” in a friendly, girlish tone. When she first met Ayasa and her friends, she spoke in honorific language, but when she knew they were the same age, she began to speak without honorific language. It is exactly the same in Japan that when you don’t know whether the other person is older than you, you speak in honorific language, and when you know that the other person is the same age or younger than you, you speak as usual. This is a very realistic and Japanese way of communication, so I hope you will use it as a reference when learning Japanese.

Higa Kanata says in a girly tone, “xxx だよ” and “xxx だね”. When she met Haruka again, she was deliberately speaking in honorific language because her complex height was pointed out. I want you to understand the characteristics of Japanese that can create a sense of distance with others by using honorifics like this. This is an extremely important means of communication.

Thomas Claire says “xxx だ” and “xxx ぞ” in an active girlish tone. She is cheerful and has many comical lines. Because of her clear pronunciation, she is a good character for listening to Japanese.

Thomas Emily says in a girly tone, “xxx だ” and “xxx ぞ”. She speaks softly and calmly compared to Claire, but sometimes she uses young language like a high school girl when she is in a hurry. I want you to listen to the difference between Japanese and Claire. You can understand the difference in personality from the difference in the way you speak.

Tooi Narumi says in a girly tone: “xxx の”. When it comes to beach ball, she sometimes speaks in a more forceful manner or makes statements to keep others in check. She is a little strong-minded as a whole, though she is based on feminine language.

Tachibana Ayasa says in a girly tone: “xxx なんだ” and “xxx だね”. She also speaks friendly to Haruka, whom she just met. Female Japanese learners can practice listening and emulating her way of speaking.

Ooshiro Akari says in a girly tone: “xxx だよ”. To seniors, she speaks in simple honorific tones, “xxx です” and “xxx ます”. In one scene, she used humble language to describe Claire and others as “試合を拝見しました”, (しあいをはいけんしました, I saw your game). I hope that Intermediate Japanese learners will be able to use respectful words and humble words properly like her.



4. Terms and Talking Contents

Since this animation is based on the theme of beach volleyball, the rules of beach volleyball and terms related to competitions such as “Serve” and “Match Point” often appear. The terminology is relatively easy to understand because there is a scene where the characters explain the beach ball beginner Haruka. It is easy to understand because the pronunciation is based on English, not Japanese.

The names of the teams are nicknamed after parts of their names such as “ハルカナ” (ハルカ and カナタ) and “エクレア” (エミリー and クレア). Even in Japan, such nicknames are often given based on the names of the players in a pair competition. In addition, although I am not experienced in beach volleyball, it is a common sight in Japanese schools to be as enthusiastic about club activities as they are. This animation will give you a glimpse of a part of Japanese school life.



5. Elementary can Learn Japanese with This Anime

Since all the characters speak in a normal way, it is an animation in which you can concentrate on listening to Japanese with great peace of mind. There are not many honorific expressions that bother Japanese learners. Only Akari uses simple honorific expressions to her seniors. Difficult terms have a few idioms like “場数を踏む” (ばかずをふむ, to go through a number of occasions), “仕切り直す” (しきりなおす, repartition), and “腹を探る” (はらをさぐる, to probe one’s abdomen ― probe one’s abdomen), and the difficult terms occurrence rate is very low: 3.5 terms/episode. As ballet terms are written in katakana based on English, they can be easily understood. Since the conversation is simple, it is an animation recommended for elementary Japanese learners.


Difficult Terms Occurrence Rate 3.5 terms/episode= 41 / 12
Difficulty Level12th grade= High School
Total Difficulty Score42.0 points= 3.5 * 12
Comprehensive JudgmentEasyin 30.0 to 69.9 points
Recommended Japanese LearnerElementary 


The List of Difficult Terms that Appear in this Anime (=41 terms)



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