Summer 2018 Grab Bag Week 1: Hanebado, Harukana Receive

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For convenience, let’s just call today “sports” day. First grab bag of the summer season…let’s do this.

Hanebado Episodes 1+2

Badminton is a sport that I think is fun to watch, so I figured I should check this series out. It comes up a lot when I’m in China, and I’ve played casually (poorly) in the past. Honestly, I’m not entirely convinced by the first two episodes. The concept the hard-working player and the naturally talent player being forced to work together isn’t anything new, but I have mixed feelings about the message.

The idea that you can face trouble regardless of whether or not you have the talent is something I think is interesting. I tend to like that kind of duality. However, I somewhat dislike the way Ayano is forced back into the game. I don’t fully agree with this idea that her natural talents mean that she somehow “owes” anyone. I’m sure this message will get swept aside later with a revelation that she enjoyed badminton all along, but that doesn’t really make it better.

The first episode, in particular, was pretty tough to watch. I get that it’s probably meant to make Nagisa’s change in mentality more drastic, but watching her act like a jerk for nearly the whole episode isn’t exactly fun. The second episode tones that down a lot, and became a lot easier to watch. In that sense, I’m glad I waited to watch both episodes at once, because I might not have otherwise. Still, the series feels like it has gotten past the worst of it, so I’m curious enough to keep watching. Specifically, I think the new coach’s explanations are entertaining.

Harukana Receive Episode 1

I was expecting a lot of cringe, but this first episode ended up being okay. The episode had an excellent array of reaction faces (which is incredibly important for me). Similar to Hanebado, you could see the serious tone hidden in the background with the mystery of Kanata’s conflict with Narumi, but the series generally didn’t seem to take itself as seriously. It felt like an easier watch despite being a show covering a sport I honestly don’t care about.

I mean…at least there’s an attempt to explain why Haruka might be okay at beach volleyball.

Did anyone else think that the sand looked really weird?

Maybe this is also a cooking show in disguise.

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