New game is an anime about a video game development studio and its employees. Other anime of this nature have gone deep into the process of the industry they cover, and while New Game does give a small amount of insight into the video game industry, and the development process behind it, it instead takes a more light, comedic approach that just happens to be set in a video game office, and while I may have preferred more, there still remains much to love about this show.
New Game stars Suzukaze Aoba, a girl straight out of high school, who somehow gets hired as a character designer for a video game development studio called Eagle Jump Studios, creators of popular game, Fairies Story, which Aoba just happens to be a huge fan of. There she meets her boss, who is a famous character designer that inspired her to get into the industry, and the rest of her team. For some reason, she’s hired without any prior knowledge of making games, and is instead handed a textbook and asked to start learning… This doesn’t make much sense to me in any way, but that’s the way it happens in the show, and so I suppose we just must accept it. Again, this show doesn’t take the development aspect very seriously.
Instead, the real star of this show is its eccentric cast of characters. To name a few, Yagami Kou is Aoba’s silly, laid back seeming boss, who actually is a hard worker. She works so hard in fact, that she often spends the night there, and can often be found sleeping under her desk in her underwear… More on that later. Takimoto Hifumi seems like a cold, unsocial jerk at first, but really, she is just very shy. Her personality is best exemplified through text message where she’s much more bubbly, and friendly, despite her blank expression. Umiko Ahagon is a fan of First Person Shooters and model guns. She spends her free time in shooting ranges and playing in fake wars, and isn’t afraid to shoot you directly in your face if you make her angry. These are just a few of this show’s wild cast. Their personalities, plus their bond of wanting to make the best game possible all come together in a variety of situations to make for all sorts of fun moments that will have you smiling and laughing.
There are a few sparse serious moments in this show, however. Aoba really does love games, and works very hard to be able to live up to her boss, who started at her age as well. Throughout the show, she learns much about how laborious game development can be, and how much hard work it takes to make something worthy of being in a popular game. Your first shot is never good enough, and your work must be quality, or you will have to redo it, and risk dragging down the rest of your team. In video game development, many people come together and create many small things in order to create one final product. They are like cogs in a machine, and if one small thing goes wrong, and Aoba makes a small programming mistake, it could ruin or slow down the work of other teams as well. I really appreciated how the show went into this as well, even if it doesn’t go to far into it. Likewise, in game development, there’s a period called crunch time, where developers work in sometimes horrid conditions, and work unhealthy hours in order to complete a game on time. This too is lightly dabbled in, showing the characters of the show working overnights to reach deadlines, but again, the show doesn’t go far into it.
If you haven’t noticed already, all of this anime’s characters are female. That’s right, not a single male employee exists at Eagle Jump Studios. This show definitely goes for the cute anime girl, moe blob vibe, and while that may not be intrinsically be a bad thing, it comes off a bit too strong in the form of unnecessary fan service that feels extremely out of place. As mentioned earlier, there are several shots of Kou in her underwear, because that’s the way she likes to sleep, but throughout the show, many other characters are seen stripping down as well, and for no real reason. Just so you can see. The scenes where that happens, funny or not, for the most part could have played out in a different setting and we wouldn’t have missed anything. On top of that, there’s one or two close up butt shots that are just really off putting in a show like this. For me, at least. If that’s your thing, then feel free to enjoy that, but for me, fan service has its place, and that place is not in this show.
As mentioned earlier, New Game might have benefitted more from taking a deeper look into the video game industry. Instead, it feels like a small peak. However, this is not the show’s goal, and cannot be faulted for that. Instead, New Game is a charming Slice of life anime that’s good for a large dose of laughs coming from lovable characters. If you’re into that sort of thing, definitely give New Game a shot!