New Game!! – First Impressions

This is written having only seen the first episode. There will be spoilers for the first episode of ‘New Game!!’

Before it aired

Before ‘New Game!!” aired I was obviously very hyped, this wasn’t just some new show after all but a sequel and the first had been loved by many. So hype was there, and the second season had a lot to live up too. If you’ve read my ‘new Game!’ Review then you’ll know that I gave it a 10/10 so obviously it had a lot to live up to, despite that though I am able to be realistic, it is just a first episode and will be judged as such.

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Play by Play

We open very similarly to the first season with good ol’ Aoba heading into work on the train, getting off and waving though un-detailed people before reaching eagle jumps building. And to continue the parallels she even has an embarrassing encounter with Rin as she stands out the front trying to think of what she’ll say to the new employees now that she can be a senpai in the workplace. However her dreams are crushed as Rin informs her that there will be no new employees this year as eagle jump isn’t that big of a company to hire new full time people every year.

We are then treated to some more parallels as Aoba runs into Kou sleeping in her panties and we get a tracking shot of said panties as Kou moves into a sitting position, it’s a little intense but the show did its fair share of it last season so it’s not too surprising to see. Rin offers Aoba a coffee and this time she asks for milk and sugar and explains to Kou that she thinks black coffee tastes bad. Which is great at showing the mutual respect they share for each other now as Aoba doesn’t have to lie and try silly things to try and make herself seem more mature.

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Then of course we need to go through the thing every first episode goes through and that’s just briefly reintroducing the characters to us. It’s the usual stuff, they show up one by one and just do a little something to show off their personality, a situation is created for their full name to be said aloud and then the next person comes along, I get why it needs to happen and I can’t really fault the show for it, plus the characters are as lovable as ever so seeing them just being themselves isn’t really an issues and it’s not too far off how the show goes on a normal basis anyway.

First off is Hajime who comes in and shows off her outgoing personality as well as showing excitement for new recruits, it actually makes a lot of sense for Hajime to think there would be new recruits as she’s only been at the company for two years and they got Aoba last year so as far as she’s concerned they should get at least someone. So Hajime kinda jumps around and acts eccentric and it’s ended off with a nice boob bounce because of course it is.

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After this Yun shows up and before she even gets to show off her personality Hifumi shows up and starts freaking out about the new people and what if they’re awful and that kinda stuff, and again I really don’t like Hifumi and I don’t like that Yun kinda got side stepped so they could show basic bitch be a basic bitch for a few seconds.

We are treated to the girls wondering what the next project will be before Umiko shows up wondering where Hazuki is like usual, as always I love Umiko and her deadpan dialog. Kou wonders why Umiko would want Hazuki to see her work so soon as they’ll have plenty of time to be busy once a new project stars and that for now they can mostly take it easy.

This of course is used to set up a discussion of what the girls should do to relax and although we still need a beach episode they end up going with doing a Cherry Blossom Viewing instead. Which is fine as long as we do get a beach episode later, cause that just has to happen at some point.

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Then we see Hazuki concerned about the next project as she seems to not have ideas or something of the sort as we don’t actually get to see her finish the thought before she starts freaking out over seeing Hifumi smiling and thinking it’s cute and of course in her usual Hazuki fashion she starts taking photos of Hifumi, she also asks what style of game the girls would like to work on next. This scene plays out in a flat chibi style that I really enjoyed, as usual the animation is consistent and good throughout.

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Now this next part is where the episode gets to the best part and keep in mind I’m totally bias with this. We see Nene spying on Umiko from across a road and based off her dialog we can conclude that the two are meeting up but Nene wants to try and surprise her. I also like that during this scene she uses a scope from a gun to watch her, I assume it’s from the gun that Umiko gave her at the end of the last season.

Then Umiko spots her, calls her and messes with her for a bit, point out how she’s behind Nene only for her to turn and see nothing before Umiko then appears behind her. I love seeing the two interact and it was my favorite dynamic from the first season and I still love it here, the two are so different but they work so well together and Umiko has a smile on her face the whole time and Nene while annoyed that she was found seems to have enjoyed it anyway.

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They then go to a cafe together and it’s totally a date, I don’t care what anyone says they’re definitely going on a date together and they’re both super gay and I love them. We then get more adorable gayness as they feed each other food, Nene is cute and adorable the way she openly leans forward saying “ahh!” as well as how she reacts to tasty food and Umiko is adorable the way she acts super shy but still totally enjoys whats happening.

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But what’s really the purpose of this meeting, well it was Nene that has called out Umiko because she wanted help with a hobby project she was doing. Which is actually making a game and she can’t quite get something to work right and then Umiko being the programming pro she is points out the issue and Nene starts to work on it and this might mean that eventually Nene is going to work for eagle jump as a programmer under Umiko in the same division as her and if so, I’m on board for that, I just thought they would keep bringing her back for play testing but if she becomes a full time employee and can be a part of the project from the beginning then all the better.

Also Nene still has her Shark bag, this is important!

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The show seems to want to focus on Hifumi some more which if done right is a good thing, for starters I really didn’t like her in the first season because she was super basic and generic, that’s why I called her a basic bitch earlier. The whole shy girl thing is just way too overdone in anime and after the first few episodes she just become irrelevant anyway. Now she’s getting some development that’s related to here being less shy and more open and if the show actually sticks with it then that would be really cool and maybe I won’t dislike her as much, the only reason why I think this might not actually go anywhere is because a lot of people like Hifumi and it’s cause she’s a basic bitch so they might not actually get her out of that fully.

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Next we are treated to more character moments as Hazuki and Rin interview all the main characters (and I assume the other employees) asking how they felt about the recent project and any feedback for the next one. I’ll touch on them all as lightly as possible as I know this has been a bit story telly but I feel like it’s the best way to review single episodes like this, run through it and praise or condemn it when hitting those points.

During Aoba’s interview only point of interest is her asking why there are only girls and then Hazuki says if Rin would be able to handle a guy coming in and possibly stealing Kou away which then pays off during Kou’s interview as Hazuki points out the good chemistry Kou has with Rin and then Rin ends up having an outburst saying that if Kou ever decides to get marry she should just be honest about it while her eyes are watering and I’m a bit surprised by this scene. I could be wrong but I don’t remember the last season being this openly gay, it was definitely gay but the show doesn’t feel like it’s just undertones anymore, seems way more apparent overall.

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Hifumi gets offered to become the lead character designer which makes sense since Rin is moving on to producer and Kou is taking over as art director, Hifumi gets way to shocked over this to respond and it’s never addressed again within the episode, but someone has to take over the role so I can only assume that it’s going to be Hifumi or maybe one of the new characters we saw in the promotional art that didn’t show up in the first episode at all but I find that unlikely.

Umiko gets promoted to lead programmer however she takes it under the condition that she gets to forehead flick Hazuki every time she changes the specs in order to make her more responsible with changes and not do them all the time whenever she felt like it. Which actually leads to a really good line as after Hazuki agrees she then internally thinks “I, Hazuki Shizuku, had no idea then that I would come to rue the day that I blithely agreed to have my forehead flicked.” which gave me a really genuine and good laugh.

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Hajime actually hands in a game proposal that obviously gets rejected as its got way too many base problems to even be considered but Hazuki says it’s good that she has passion for it and asks that she continues to try and improve the proposal and would look at them once improved. Hajime also looked really cute too as she nervously sat there waiting as the proposal was being read and then as she was hearing the feedback.

Yun also gets an interview but nothing much at all really happens but she says that her little siblings liked the game and it made her happy and it also made me happy. She also talks about kinda landing in the job by chance and not really sure of her position or what she should do which I can relate to strongly at the moment.

Lastly we have the cherry blossom viewing which doesn’t really have too much going on for it except a few people getting drunk, Aoba trying to act like she can handle wasabi and Hajime has already revised her game proposal, again showing her passion for it. Hopefully one day the proposal will get good enough and we might actually see them make it. Lastly we find out that there’s going to be a character design competition held within the company and Aoba seeing this as her chance to design a main and important character decides that she’s going to aim for it. Also by the way companies actually do this all the time, I saw some people say it seemed weird but it’s actually common practice to hold competitions within a company so that lower ranked employees or people from different divisions can have influence on different parts of a game.

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Presentation

The Animation is as good as it’s always been, it has its moments where the animation gets overly good for a moment just like last time and overall it’s pretty much the same and that’s fine as it still looks great.

All the voice talent is the same so again no chances there it’s as good as always and I’m just really happy with everyone’s performance, they all understand their characters well and have the perfect voice to fit them. From Umiko’s more deep and deadpan voice to Nene’s cute high-pitched voice to Kou and Rin who sit somewhere in the middle of those two and even the slight ways people say things always seems to fit perfectly and I love it.

Ending

Then we get treated to the ending theme and it’s pretty good, we get to see a bunch of different short skits based off different dynamics within the show, stuff like Rin making Kou try on a series of different clothes and then taking photos of her in those clothes, the 3 girls of the art team and Hajime talking and it looks like working on the competition, Nene walking past Umiko’s work space and tripping over a wire which pulls it out of the socket, stuff like that.

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We also see some shots of the two new characters we saw in promotional art that didn’t show up. Ones with Nene and they smile at each other and then the other new girl looks off from a distance and seems upset or mad. Which makes me worried that these two girls might like Nene which I would most definitely not like. As I made clear earlier I really like Umiko and Nene’s relationship.

But just like with the first season the ending theme is really good and pretty and I love it, like most of the show I guess. Overall I really enjoyed this first episode, I had a big dumb grin on my face the whole time and I can’t wait for the second episode even though I’m ending this kind of late and the second episode is out by the time I’ve posted this.

I don’t enjoy giving out ratings but I guess I need to give it something for people who feel the need to see one, in that case for the first episode as a first episode I give it a perfect 10/10, I enjoyed it a lot, it gave me more then I was expecting and I love the characters as much as I always have and the presentation is still great.

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