Do you like games? Do you like cute girls? Do you like games and cute girls? But the girls aren’t in the game…they MAKE THE GAME. It’s getting spicy, read on for my review of this summer’s colourful comfy couch “New Game!”.
Dive into the colourful offices of Eagle Jump in the shiny new anime from Doga Kobo, New Game! Aoba, fresh out of high school, is hired at a video game company where she will be working on the sequel to her favorite childhood game, Fairies Story. Over the 12 episode run we see her hi-jinks in the office, as she works along side a cast of wacky cute characters. Rather then provide you with “insider” info, New Game! focuses on creating a comfy setting. Most of the episodes focus on pretty minor day to day subjects and it’s a pretty chill environment. The majority of the series is set in Eagle Jump’s office, the characters going over various struggles with the creation of the game, with the end goal of a finished product. There is not a strong narrative, but everything leads to something and there is some form of emotional pay-off in the end. It’s not all just cutesy fun and games however as strict characters like airsoft obsessed Umiko, keep the tom foolery in check…only to engage in more tom foolery. What a bunch of hooligans.
A show like New Game is not focused on it’s plot and rather rides on the strength of it’s cast. We have a pretty decent selection of characters in this show. Aoba is a fresh faced 18 year old, new to the working world. At times she is quite relatable, and can present an ideal version of one’s first job experience. As the show progresses she becomes more comfortable around her friends, and begins to show new sides of herself. Yagami is the hardest working character. Her desk is littered with red bull and energy drinks and she often sleeps at the office. In her panties. Hifumi is super shy and Shizuku is the weirdo director. Some of the characters are less memorable, however none of the cast felt one note, and they all had a certain level of depth to their personalities.
Besides the fluffy fun there is a fair bit of good fanservice in the show, mostly focused on wonderful butt shots or changing room sequences. We see Aoba’s pink underwear a good 3-4 times. The medical exam episode is the most ecchi filled and even features…ab rubbing. The spicy content tones down from episode to episode and it never felt invasive or distracting. There is a yuri feeling flowing through the offices, Rin and Yagami are straight up a couple. Aoba feels great affection towards Yagami as well, but more in an admiration sense. The ecchi is put in the show naturally and all of these themes work together in the overall vibe.
The art for this show is colourful and pretty. The designs are flashy and bright. The overall artstyle is simple but the characters animate very well and stay in model the whole time. The quality is consistent. The show often has sparkly filters as well along with some classic cartoony elements like taking speech bubble heads. The look of New Game is great. Voice acting is also worth noting. The main four are vocied by rookies, a similar practice that Doga Kobo did on their last show Sansha Sanyou. They all do a great job. Yoko Hikasa plays Yagami to excellent results and fellow veteran Eri Kitamura does great as Shizuku. The OP song ‘Sakura Skip’ is super catchy and upbeat. The ending song “Now..Loading” is more typical but still good.
Overall I had a good time with New Game. It was a pretty fun show that slipped into a good groove over time. You set into the office just as Aoba does, adjusting to the characters and their quirks. There is a fair bit of ecchi but it’s never forced, just be aware of that if it’s not your thing. New Game! is made to appeal to a more otaku type audience but I feel it can be enjoyed by anyone who likes a good cute girl show. It’s not the bets ever but it’s entertaining. Those who aren’t as affectionate for the genre might like it for the art, but overall I feel this is one for those into these kind of shows. It’s fun, nothing serious or insightful, but a comfy ride with bright colours and good characters!