New Game! – Preview
Original Air Dates: Jul 5, 2016 to ???
Synopsis: Aoba Suzukaze is fresh out of high-school but still easily mistaken for a middle school student! Lucking out, Aoba gets a job at a nearby game company that produced her favorite game of all time: Fairy Story. Now Aoba must learn the ropes of 3D art design as she has to deal with her wacky and not quite normal co-workers!
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Aoba is pure and simply adorable. She’s a plucky, gung-ho, fresh out of high school go getter ready to tackle her new dream job– and yet a bit inept at it from the get go. She’s appealing because of this can do attitude, clearly designed with the moe-fans in mind. I personally found her a fun character, but it’s easy to see how Aoba might be boring for those less enamored or out right sick of moe anime. Aoba is brimming with those design choices (doesn’t look her age, makes adorable silly mistakes, etc.) and currently exhibits little else to draw away from that criticism.
Linny: Aoba really is the classic moe protagonist and the personification of a moe fresh faced and inexperienced high school graduate trying to survive her first day at work. Seeing her struggle so much at her actual game making work made me wonder how she even got employed in the first place but the show makes it clear that the company seems to have a habit of hiring young candidates and I’m going to presume she landed it through her drawing and design skills, rather than her ability to work with the company’s software and the process itself.
Tom: The other girls Aoba finds herself working alongside each have their own gimmicks. For example Hifumi is the office shy girl who has difficulty speaking outside of chatting via the in company messenger, making for some hilariously awkward moments. There’s then Hajime who is embarrassed about having a Kohai (understudy/pupil) but wants to be friendly to Aoba all the same. Then there’s Kou the lead artist who is so unkempt with her life she sleeps in her panties at the office and still often forgets her more administrative duties. Thankfully, the show doesn’t play too hard with these ideas, never harping on them and leaving plenty of room for the characters to grow outside of these one note jokes they’re introduced with. There’s several other characters as well, such as the Art Director, Rin, the Game’s Director Shizuku, etc. We’ve got a decent size cast to draw from here that should give Aoba, and us, plenty to experience as she adjusts to the life of game development.
Linny: Going all out with its moe theme, the show has an all moe cast of cute female characters so I’m expecting a fair share of fan service. No, I don’t mean the sexual kind even though we do get to see a woman sleeping in only a t-shirt and her panties in the first episode itself. What I mean is that this show is probably going to do its darn best to make these girls be as quirky and cute as possible and have them do really weird and strange things in an attempt to portray that.
Tom: New Game offers a really simple and cute take on the inner workings of Game Development and Aoba’s first experience working in the industry. It’s not meant to be a story you analyze too hard and, as Linny pointed out, it’s already got a few glaring plot holes that require some serious suspension of disbelief for anyone more familiar with the games industry. It’s really just a feel good comedy with plenty to enjoy thanks to evenly spaced gags that keep the episode flowing with a steady pace of humor and moe fan service.
Linny: What little we get to see will be mainly through the eyes of Aoba. Given how vague most of the actual game development references were in the first episode we aren’t ever going to get as practical and honest a look at the industry like we did with shows like Shirobako or even Sore ga Seiyuu. The main focus will most likely be on the personalities and personal experiences of our characters. There was a hint at the darker aspects (long hours, sleeping at the office) of game making in the first episode but it’s limited to a single sentence that then gets played off as a gag.
Tom: New Game doesn’t seem interested at providing tidbits of knowledge behind the day to day struggles of developers, but rather the humor of the everyday office type life. Surprisingly, Girls Beyond the Wasteland from earlier this year may end up the better of these two for someone looking to develop an understanding of the Japanese games industry.
Linny: Pick this show if you want to watch moe girls be their moe selves in a game development office setting. If you’re amused and content with the cuteness of the girls themselves, rather than exploring the details of game development then New Game should be a fun watch.
Tom: New Game is based on a 4-koma manga, which probably explains why the comedy comes in at a fairly quick rate. This adaptation is reminding me a lot of Nozaki-kun in the sense that they’ve taken a 4-koma manga and made a startlingly well done transition between the two formats. I’m excited to see where New Game will be going as the season progresses and I think it’s one of the better moe/comedy offerings this summer.
New Game! is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.