Since childhood, Aoba Suzukaze has loved the Fairies Story game series, particularly the character designs. So when she graduates from high school, it is no surprise that she applies to work at Eagle Jump, the company responsible for making her favorite video game. On her first day, she is excited to learn that she will be working on a new installment to the series: Fairies Story 3—and even more so under Kou Yagami, the lead character designer.
In their department are people who share the same passion for games. There is Yun Iijima, whose specialty is designing monsters; the shy Hifumi Takimoto, who prefers to communicate through instant messaging; Hajime Shinoda, an animation team member with an impressive figurine collection; Rin Tooyama, the orderly art director; Shizuku Hazuki, the game director who brings her cat to work; and Umiko Ahagon, the short-tempered head programmer.
New Game! follows Aoba and the others on their adventure through the ups and downs of game making, from making the perfect character design to fixing all the errors that will inevitably accumulate in the process.
New Game is a joy to watch, medicine for the mind, the perfect cure after a long day of work. It doesn't do anything too notable, but at the same time, never really needed to in the first place.
Where most slice-of-life anime fumble and stumble in an effort to figure out what they want to be, New Game knows from the very start what it is. It is a cutesy tale of the mundane, a cross of sorts between Shirobako's look into the world of production, and K-ON's more fluffy elements. It is heart-warming when it decides to take
a more meaningful turn, and never ventures into the realm of melodrama. Even if it may not contain the same depth and insight into the industry as Shirobako did, it very much succeeds in being simple, yet well-crafted entertainment.
Cute slice-of-life anime are a dime a dozen, but ones like New Game are noticeably rarer. We do not often get anime with exclusively adult characters. It is something the industry needs more of, too, as high school and middle school club activities are inherently less interesting than those of a working adult. Rather than focusing on the video game industry from the eyes of a bunch of kids who play Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy after school, it takes an insider's perspective as a result of the setting, a glimpse into the art of game production. It just never really develops beyond that glimpse, with the vast majority of the anime focusing on Aoba and friends' daily adventures rather than their actual job as game developers. More often you'll see the girls fight over pudding or air conditioning rather than, y'know, developin'. It would have been nice to see New Game do something more substantial with the setting, as it can sometimes feel more like a stage than a real place. Even as incompetent as they all are, they still end up producing an excellent, finished product by the end. If New Game were an accurate representation of game development, their game would have gotten delayed so hard it would give The Last Guardian competition.
If there is one issue with regards to the characters, it is that they never truly behave like adults. Heck, most of them could even pass for primary schoolers, a fact that New Game does not hide away from, what with most of the cast dressing as kindergarteners in the ending sequence. If lolis are your thing, hey, enjoy! But if you are expecting ladies in their early-to-mid twenties to have an interest in the opposite sex and actually behave their age, you may find yourself a bit disappointed. I think, to some extent, it is justified, as the worries and the activities of the average adult are at odds with the light-hearted, relaxing nature of the genre. To ask for change would be to ask for change entirely. And I don't think New Game needs change.
I say this because New Game is more than just pudding fights and lolis-who-also-happen-to-be-adults. There are some honestly beautiful moments throughout the show - frequent enough to be notable, but never incessant to the point that it feels like it is beating you over the head with themes of friendship and healing, as some (many) slice-of-life anime do. What is there in New Game is subtle: in one early episode, Aoba is speaking to her friend about her recent experiences with game development, and the movements and crossing of her legs suggest that she is actually very excited about what's been going on, despite her casual tone over the phone. It doesn't sound like a whole lot, but subtle moments like these are effective and heart-warming all the less. It demonstrates a great deal of talent and effort on the animators' part, and makes the case for why the quiet often rings louder than the dramatic. You don't need crying and arguing and death and angst to make us care for the characters-- you only need to show that they are human beings like us. As idealised as New Game's characters are, they feel more human than the vast majority of anime characters today, even if they may all be lacking a wee bit in the brain cell department.
New Game has ample amounts of cuteness and sexiness, if that is your sorta thing. Occasionally there will be moments such as Aoba changing clothes in the bathroom, but rather than zoom in on butts and boobies to the point of blindness, it will focus on more tasteful (and less creepy) areas like the neck and the legs. The fanservice does not ever reach the point of feeling desperate, so I think, maybe, you can watch it without feeling too bad about yourself? Aoba is also, without a doubt in my mind, one of the cutest anime ladies my eyeballs have witnessed. Her adorable smile fills me with joy and sunshine. If it weren't for miss Yazawa Nico, well...
As I've gotten older and more experienced with anime, I've started to ask myself what it is I truly look for in an anime. There are some absolutely beautiful stories out there, and there are also fun little shows like New Game which provide a laugh and a smile after a long day. There are many anime fans who swear themselves to one or the other, or battle, much as I did, over which is more meaningful. I think the answer I've come to is a bit simpler: we need both in our lives.
Nay. I should rephrase that: I just need Aoba in my life.
The CGDCT (cute girls doing cute things) genre is something most people should be quite familiar with by now. It has been one of the most time-tested and consistently successful types of anime in recent years, very rarely leading to disappointment. In particular the most popular ones tend to be those adapted from series published in some edition of Manga Time Kirara, and once again this trend has been upheld with New Game. In fact this anime isn’t just very good by CGDCT standards, but it’s possibly the best slice of life anime I’ve seen in the last year.
First and foremost, what really separates New
Game from most series of its genre is that it takes place in adult society. Specifically it takes place at a fictional video game company called Eagle Jump, where 18-year-old Suzukaze Aoba seeks employment as a character designer after having just graduated high school. The show follows Aoba and her senior coworkers in their daily lives at the office where they’re currently working on the third installment of one of Aoba’s favorite childhood games.
Of course seeing as this is a CGDCT anime, naturally all the employees at the company just so happen to be female. Does that seem a bit overly convenient somehow? Maybe, but who cares. New Game never tries to be an accurate representation of what working in the multimedia industry is like. If that’s what you’re looking for, go watch Shirobako instead. New Game is simply about a group of lovable characters interacting with each other in a somewhat unusual setting in order to keep things a bit refreshing, and it accomplishes that goal almost flawlessly.
Aoba is extremely cute and fun to watch with her bubbly and enthusiastic personality. She’s perfect in the protagonist role for a show of this nature as she’s naturally able to generate amusing interaction between the girls, even if she’s not the one doing the talking all the time. In other words she helps the other characters shine as well, and it really shows. As far as the other girls go, there’s Aoba’s mentor Yagami Kou, who acts somewhat boy-ish a lot of the time, sleeping half-naked in the office instead of going home after work and always poking fun at others whenever possible. Then there’s her counterpart: the art director Tooyama Rin, who is a very sweet and caring person who also has a rather blatant crush on Kou. We also have the quiet girl Takimoto Hifumi who always feels uncomfortable talking face-to-face with other people, but instead is surprisingly talkative in chats, spamming emojis whenever possible, as well as a couple other girls. All-in-all, it’s a pretty diverse but wholly enjoyable character cast who pretty much never fail to entertain.
Another thing that tends to happen almost unavoidably with shows like this is subtle yuri shipping between its characters, and New Game is no exception. The most obvious example is, as briefly mentioned earlier, the relationship between Kou and Rin. While they’re supposed to be best friends who joined the company at basically the same time, the way they act around each other always seems to suggest something... more. Especially Rin always gets incredibly jealous and/or upset at little things that make it pretty clear that she isn’t looking at Kou the same way as she does the other girls. The show also provides quite a few scenes with a rather lovey dovey atmosphere just for the two of them. There are also a few other potential couplings with how Hifumi and especially Nene tend to act around Aoba for example, but these reactions feel a lot more friendly than romantic in comparison.
Something that definitely surprised me with New Game though was the unexpected amount of fanservice it has. I’m not talking about the typical moe-type fanservice you’re used to in CGDCT shows, but rather the ecchi type. These girls actually aren’t afraid to show some skin on camera. However, while I’m usually against the idea of throwing in ecchi scenes in anime where it doesn’t feel like it belongs, in New Game’s case it actually only makes the show even better, because this is honestly some of the best usage of ecchi I’ve seen in a long time. First of all it’s not very explicit (most of the time), but most importantly it actually feels natural. You never get to see a service shot when it doesn’t make sense. It’s only going one step further than they normally do in CGDCT anime by actually putting the camera inside the shower or the dressing room etcetera instead of outside it. So it never interrupts the story progression or feels forced, it just provides some eye candy along the way, and it does so without devaluating the characters at all. It doesn’t make them appear like sluts or cheap cash-ins, all it does is show off the fact that these girls are actually quite attractive physically speaking on top of being likable in person. That’s never a bad thing. Also, though this is more of a personal matter, I’m pretty sick of seeing so many physics-defying watermelon boobs flying everywhere in your average ecchi anime, so getting to see some skin on girls that actually look like normal people is actually pretty refreshing. That’s a bit of a sad realization when you think about it but oh well.
Speaking of which, another factor that makes the fanservice scenes so enjoyable to watch is how good the art is. Doga Kobo has in my mind always been one of the absolute best studios at drawing cute girls, as they’ve shown in the past with shows like Yuru Yuri, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei, Plastic Memories and Himouto, and they’ve done a great job with New Game as well. Their art always looks so clean and shiny, truly emphasizing both the cute and sexy sides of all the characters at the same time. On top of that we also get easily the catchiest OP of the season and the only one from Summer I never skipped once, so there’s an overwhelming amount of good points for this anime all-in-all.
It’s hard for me to label a CGDCT show as a masterpiece given the simplistic concepts of the genre, but New Game comes close enough. Or at least there really isn’t a whole lot left to ask for from an anime of its kind. It has a fairly original setting, an overall great character cast, fantastic art, catchy music, and some surprisingly impressive usage of fanservice. I guess you could argue that it isn’t very realistic and provides a rather skewed image of what working in the video game industry is like, but honestly I can’t think of that as valid criticism because the anime was never about that at all, nor should there have been any reason to believe it would be given the manga’s origins. So ultimately I can only give this anime a full recommendation for fans of slice of life, comedy and/or moe... and who knows, maybe even ecchi.
PS: That ass shot of Kou in episode 6 is still one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen, holy- O///O
While I was quite disappointed that this show didn't turn out to be like Shirobako, I still ended up enjoying this anime so much and it's now one of my favourite slice-of-life anime.
(If you think my reviews are too long, scroll down and read my "Pros and Cons" list or my [VERDICT]. They're basically a summary of my review)
(My Review will contain some SPOILERS)
New Game!, in short, is basically a "cute girls doing cute things" show but it takes place in a game development studio. Before this anime started airing, I was expecting the show to be like Shirobako, an anime about making anime.
I loved Shirobako because it isn't just some simple slice of life show about cute girls making anime. Oh no, it was more than that but that's all I'm going to say since I'm writing a review about New Game! and not Shirobako.
New Game! still shows you what goes on in the game development studio but they only show you the gist of it. They don't show you what really goes on behind developing games. In other words, New Game! only shows you the simplistic side of what goes on behind developing games. They don't show you the shitty side (time constraints, delays, huge stress in staffs and etc) of the game industry and they don't show you how hard it is to even work in the game industry. Well, to be honest, they do show you some like how some of the characters in one of the episode stayed up all night to finish said tasks but the show finds a way to make the situation more enjoyable for them and enjoyable for us to watch. We're not going to watch the scene and be like "Oh shit, just look at how stressed these characters are" or "This industry is a hellhole to work in".
The story, while simplistic, is surprisingly well done. The story of the show is about an 18-year old girl named Suzukaze Aoba, who just graduated high school and joined a game company named "Eagle Jump". It follows Aoba and the staffs working on a game called "Fairies Story 3".
The premise is a bit unbelievable but I learned to just roll along with it and the story never got dull or boring. It was really fun watching the slice of life moments and at the same time, watching the characters develop a game in a span of 12 episodes. Yes, I was also shocked. There was a story in this show about them developing a game and finishing the game in the final episode. Usually, slice of life shows are setup in a way where they'd introduce a story in the first episode and just forget about it to focus on cute, moe girls but in New Game!, they also focused on the cute, moe girls but at the same time, making sure that they don't forget about the story. Take in mind though that the story is really subtle because it mostly focuses on the slice-of-life moments
The comedic aspect of the show was amazing. I pretty much laughed at almost every funny moments in the show and none of the funny moments fell flat. For example, the scene that I found to be one of the most hilarious is the "AC temp. changing" moment in Ep. 5. That scene, where Hajime and Kou were constantly changing the temperature of the AC without them being aware of it, killed me. Another example is a favourite joke of mine where, Aoba and Kou were talking about how part-time workers generally get payed the same amount as full-time workers but they work less hours plus they get paid more on their overtime and Aoba realizing that full-time workers are just a loophole to keep the wages down. That scene had me dying.
The conversations between the characters were also fun to watch. Like watching Rin and Kou together was just too adorable or watching Aoba and Hifumi trying to have a decent conversation was too cute and hilarious. Also, that "first paycheck" conversation between the characters was really interesting to watch and it made me feel nostalgic for whatever reason.
The pacing of the show was well-done. I never felt bored of the show. Not even for a minute. For a 24 minute episode, each episode felt like 5 minutes. They made sure that the characters have always something interesting to do and that's one of the reasons why I found the show to be enjoyable. I also surprisingly enjoyed New Game!'s fan service. I generally hate fanservice scenes in general but New Game! is an exception. I can't explain it properly but I just found New Game!'s fanservice scenes a lot better than 90% of the ecchi animes out there.
Ever since Sansha Sanyou (Another slice of life show from Doga Kobo), the studio's visuals have been pretty amazing and New Game! is no exception. The show's visuals are top-notch and the character designs are amazing. Now this is the kind of character designs that I'm looking for in a slice of life show, even though Aoba and Nenechi's character designs looks really young for their age. The show is self-aware of the fact that they look like middle schoolers even though they're 18-19.
In general, I love the soundtrack but there's that one soundtrack that really stood out to me and I ended up falling in love with that OST. I don't know the name of the OST but the OST sounds like something that you'd hear when you get this "feeling of accomplishment". If you have the name of the OST, please Please leave a comment on my profile with the name of the OST because I really want to know. Now the OP and ED theme song(s).
The OP theme song is "SAKURA Skip" by fourfolium. I straight up loved this song the moment I first heard it. The song, in a whole, was really catchy. Especially the beginning part of the song where the characters were singing in front of their computers.
The ED theme song is "Now Loading!!!!" by fourfolium. The ED theme song was decent but when I went ahead and listened to the full song, it sounded much better. I even have the song downloaded on my phone. The Full ED song was much better than the 1 and a half minute version that we got.
You most likely have noticed this already but I'm just going to say it anyways but New Game! doesn't have a single ounce of male main/side character. You may see one but they're just forgettable background characters. No guys in a game developing company? Almost no guys plays video games in this universe? Haha.....right..... I'm going to let that one slide since this is just a slice of life show about cute girls doing cute things.
Besides the slice of life on a game development setting, one of the reasons why I really enjoyed this show are the characters. The cast of characters are enjoyable to watch. Their personalities are absolutely lovable and the character dynamics and character interactions are perfect. For example, one of the character dynamics that I enjoyed watching was Aoba and Hifumi. They both have different personalities (Aoba is a sweet, kind, and almost-naive girl and Hifumi is the cute introvert with a steaming hot body) but when they're both having a conversation, it leads to a whole array of cute/sweet/heart-warming/hilarious moments between them.
But...The character dynamic that I really enjoyed the most was Kou and Rin. Yea, they've been best friends for a long time but I enjoyed watching the "Yuri undertone" between them. They may not be an official couple but when they act like a couple, I just scream like some shipping fanboy. They're both sweet and adorable when they act like a couple.
Also, as you may already know, in every slice of life show, there's that one annoying female character with a squeaky voice. That character, folks, is Nene Sakura or "Nenechi". At first, I found her to be really annoying and when she joined the Eagle Jump company, I was like "Oh God". Surprisingly, she turned out to be one of the best characters in the series. She made me laugh, her personality is a bit-childish but still enjoyable to watch and the character dynamics between her and Umiko (the military enthusiast girl) was spot-on.
I know someone's going to ask me this so I'm just going to leave this here. Who's my best girl in the series? Hifumi, hands down, is my best girl. It's mostly her introverted personality that I find cute but when they showed her naked-censored body in one of the "Bathing" episodes, I decided on the spot that she's my best girl in the series.
I just want to say that I really enjoyed this show. This was a show that I'd looked forward to every Monday and now that it's over, I'm, once again, experiencing an "Anime withdrawal symptoms". I'm probably going to go ahead and read the 4-koma manga now that I finished the anime.
"New Game!" is a slice-of-life series that I almost discarded because I came in expecting it to be like Shirobako. While it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to be, I still enjoyed this show so much. The premise may be a bit unbelievable but the slice-of-life moments are well done and surprisingly, the show has a story. The story may be subtle but we still kind-of see the progress of them developing a game and finishing it on the last episode. The characters is what takes the cake though. I didn't find any of the characters in the series unlikable. They all had unique and likable personalities. The character dynamics is perfect and is one of the reasons why I ended up loving this show. If you're a fan of slice of life shows/CGDCT type of shows then this is for you.
Now I have one more request for Doga Kobo.. Please, please make Season 2!
+Enjoyable Slice of Life series
+Comedic aspect of the show is well done
+Amazing Visuals and Animation
+Fun cast of characters with enjoyable personalities
+Character dynamics are perfect
+One of the few series with enjoyable fanservice
-Main Character, who is an 18 year old high school graduate, immediately joining a professional game company is a bit questionable and laughable.
I hate to simply reiterate what others have been saying, but no other phrase fits this anime more perfectly than "cute girls doing cute things." Anime like New Game are usually classified as moe, a genre that is one of the most common out there, with multiple titles airing every anime season. While enjoyed by some, others have become exasperated over seeing what is essentially the same basic thing continuous done over and over again in these shows without much difference between them. So what did New Game's author do to add a little flair of originality to his work? He changed the setting.
right, instead of taking place in a high school, New Game takes place in the frightening world of adults, specifically at a game development facility. Now we all know that this hardly changes anything, just the motivation and goals of the characters. Oh, wait, since the girls are in their twenties (besides eighteen year old protagonist Aoba, who looks like an absolutely adorable thirteen year old) it does mean that the girls in this moe anime can legally get drunk, which they do often.
Now at this point it may seem like I'm disappointed with this anime because it isn't "different enough." However that is not the case. I didn't watch this anime to find something "new" and "innovative," and you shouldn't either. Instead, come in to this anime expecting a bunch of lighthearted entertainment. New Game does a great job of being what it was designed to be, and that's a show filled with adorable characters, well executed comedy, and fun situations.
New Game follows protagonist Aoba as she experiences the benefits as well as hardships of life after school. She is very determined to succeed and enters work directly after high school (I'd personally wait until I received a college degree, but each to his own). After receiving a position at her dream job, Aoba assimilates herself into the work force. She is initially nervous about meeting her co-workers, but is relieved to find that they are all very kind, though incredibly quirky, people, who also happen to be all young attractive females. I'd love to have a work environment just like that when I eventually get a job. And by that I mean having friendly co-workers. I'm definitely not referring to the "quirky and attractive girls" bit. Essentially the anime follows the daily lives of Aoba and her friends as they work to produce video games. While this anime has many adorable moments, no significant plot details can be found, hence my mediocre scoring of the plot section. Of course, some "elitist" anime watchers may nod their heads in disgust at the simplicity of the story presented in this anime, and I agree that it is quite basic. But once again, I'll iterate that for shows like New Game, one shouldn't consider the plot to be as important in scoring as it is for more advanced anime such as Fate/Zero and Steins;Gate. Instead, simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the cuteness of this show.
Art and Animation: 9.5/10
The gorgeous visuals of New Game are the reason why I started watching it in the first place. The very beginning of the first episode was animated beautifully, and the quality of the animation remained strong throughout the entirety of the anime. The characters are designed with many vibrant colors that allow them to stand out against the fastidiously animated scenery. The girls are drawn in a lovely manor, and I particularly appreciate the detail on the eyes. When Aoba is occasionally shown walking outdoors while surrounded by cherry blossoms, the entire scene looks absolutely breathtaking due to the high quality of the art. The only reason why I can't give this category a perfect score is because there aren't many backgrounds in this show, with the most reoccurring one being the somewhat simplistically designed office room where the characters work at. While it doesn't look bad, the office room is rather plain, especially when compared to the outdoor scenery.
New Game has a group of seiyuu who manage to make their characters sound as adorable as possible, especially Yuuki Takada, the voice actress of Aoba, who is only in her second anime role. Also the more experienced Yoko Hikasa, who voices Kou Yagami, does a great job as well. The soundtrack provides a lighthearted feel to the anime and the opening and ending themes, while musically basic, have a cute and upbeat vibe. The sound is all around fine, but nothing particularly stands out.
It is quite apparent that many of the characters seem to possess the same qualities as characters from similar shows. However one must understand that there must be a reason that the same personalities are constantly reused (and I vehemently refuse to believe that it's just lazy writing). It's probably because these traits just work the best for the characters in these settings. Each girl in New Game has her own little quirks that are fun and cute to watch, and it just works. While they may not be anything special on their own, the girls in this show manage to keep the viewer entertained throughout the course of the anime, and I'd call that a success.
This was a fun show to watch. I smiled and sometimes even let out a little chuckle during a few of the scenes. Each episode was filled with the adorable cast getting themselves into funny and cute situations as they proceed with their daily lives. Each episode is structured in a similar way, so, depending on the individual, watching this show can get boring as it progresses. However I personally feel like each episode provided fresh comedic material and new and interesting situations, so I remained entertained throughout the majority of the anime.
By now you should realize that New Game and shows like it don't have any deep and significant plot elements and don't boast characters with ample portions of development and depth. However that's not their point. They're made to provide tons of lighthearted comedy and entertainment and showcase adorable and lovable characters doing, well, cute things. New Game is a nice show all around, and while it did not bring anything "awesome" or "epic" to the table, it was still enjoyable to watch.
What better way to show how the anime industry works than through anime? Shows about the anime and video game industries are gaining popularity, and feature everything from voice acting to hentai game creation. Hold onto your hats, things are about to get meta over here.