New Game!! (Season 2) – Anime Preview
Synopsis: After graduating high school, Suzukaze Aoba joins Eagle Jump, the game company that developed Fairies Story, the game she obsessed over as a kid. On her first day as a working member of society, Aoba heads to work swaying in a packed, morning rush hour train. She manages to get to the office building all right but hesitates, wondering if it was really okay for her to take that last step and go inside. That’s when a senior member of staff, Toyama Rin, shows up at work and safely leads Aoba inside the offices of Eagle Jump. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: New Game’s new season seems slated to be another fan favourite as it returns with everything you loved about last season. Everyone from the old cast is back and their interactions are as adorable as you remember. However, rather than working on releasing a major game sequel, this season seems to be about the company’s effort to come up with a new project and potentially dip their toes into game genres they aren’t as familiar with. The first episode also interestingly enough, casually addresses the reason why it’s an all female company, something that might interest or amuse fans or further earn the ire of those who had an issue with it in the first place.
Tom: This first episode is less about setting up the season, although there is some of that, and more about ensuring you the entire cast is back. There’s no real through line, no introduction of new characters, but just excuses to bring everyone back in and make sure you know they’re all here for another round. The end of the episode does tease Aoba’s potential advancement in the company, marking an exciting character journey for her as she works to try and secure the position as lead character designer for Eagle Jump’s next big property.
Linny: Although the premiere episode has characters insisting that they’re a small company and thus will not be taking any new hires this season, the credits sequence clearly has two new characters we have never seen before. Adding to the potential of an expanded cast is the fact that this season might have even more Nene- Aoba’s friend, as she seems to have taken up programming as a hobby and is working on a small project of her own for fun and seeking counsel from Umiko Ahogan, New game’s resident programming team leader. And for anyone worried about a stagnant main cast, Hifumi Takimoto, the resident shy girl, seems to be really working hard on her desire to be more vocal and brave about interacting with her coworkers and superiors. It’s done with a note of sincerity that does still have notes of moe but overall looks to be offering some actual personality growth and development.
Tom: The episode crams in the entire cast, ensuring you everyone is returning and a few are even going through a bit of development as Linny pointed out. Some of the girls feel a bit exaggerated compared to where we left them last season, like Umiko Ahogan. She’s always been a bit of a violent girl, but this seems toned up a notch in a few ways, as if they’re playing into that aspect of her character much stronger this time around.
Linny: If you’d been pleased with the moderate to no fan service last season, do be aware that this season seems to take more advantage of Yagami’s tendency to be sleep in her panties at the office with the camera lingering a lot longer on her ass and crotch area. It’s still tame by anime standards and yet noticeable enough to irk anyone who’s uncomfortable with fan service.
Tom: It’s not just Yagami and her habit of sleeping in the office. This season takes the opportunity to put Takimoto in a sexual light as well. Either when she’s lounging at home half-undressed or when she’s at an office meeting, we get very prominent views of her chest. Any of these instances feel like stuff we wouldn’t really have seen in Season 1. It’s still not as bad as it could be however, and keeps itself tame compared to other offerings this season. It’s still a shock for a show that was ultimately so tame before.
Linny: As someone who remained mainly neutral to New Game, my feelings of ambivalence remain as steadfast as ever. While I was not and continue to not be crazy about the show, I have zero negative feelings about it this time around as well, save for the rather unnecessary extended shots of Yagami’s lower body parts. If the show keeps up its bright and adorable animation, and continues its theme of moe girls doing moe things at a game studio, there’s no doubt it’s going to continue being well loved by its fans this time around as well.
Tom: If you were like me and enjoyed New Game!! as a low key slice of life it looks like little has changed. There may be a slight increase in fan service, and a few characters are a little more wrapped in their most distinguishable quirks, but otherwise its very much a continuation of what made New Game! so appealing originally.
New Game!! is available for streaming via Crunchyroll