Office drama, numerous experiments on illustration, sleepless nights, and food talk… Isn’t that what we all expect to see in New Game!!? Well that is exactly what the episode is about, faithfully following the lightweight storyline of the girls’ struggle to make another new game.
Japanese Original Episode Title: これじゃあただのコスプレだにゃー!
The drawing competition for character design is on, and it’s open to all Eagle Jump employees. While Aoba and Hajime get excited, Hifumi and Yun prefer to either focus on something they’re already working on or simply not compete with Yagami’s work, since it’s almost certain that she will win. However, in the first round, all of Yagami’s drawings are rejected regardless of their quality because of their resemblance to the Fairies Story series, while Aoba’s work is encouraged to be developed and revisited next week. Aoba struggles and asks Yagami for help, but Yagami is going through a personal crisis and snaps at her. Following Rin’s advic, she later apologizes and helps Aoba in polishing her work. On the day of the deadline, they present the final designs together and get approval for their project.
Bitter Losers: One of the things that was not very dominant in the previous season was the element of competition in the office environment and how the girls, especially being friends with each other, are dealing with it. In this episode, we get to see bot Yun feeling discouraged to enter the competition because of Yagami’s skills, and Aoba worrying about Yagami’s work if she gets to win the contest to the point where she cries about it. I mean, it’s just work… Maybe you should spend some time outside of it.
Hifumi talks!: In this episode, Hifumi’s behavior and wording seems a lot more relaxed and eloquent compared to the previous season’s. She probably started to feel more comfortable around her colleagues and even her confidence was boosted because of her promotion.
Aoba’s VS Yagami’s brainstorming: While Yagami is doing pretty standard professional work, the visualization of Aoba’s ideas in the very beginning almost made me cringe. Still hilarious though; a very good example of failed illustrations.
Loving Hajime: When she showed up late, I just thought she was drunk. Her colleagues thought she spent the whole night working… but she actually just binge-watched her favorite show. Just goes to show how everyone is judging others by their own standards I guess… I love how everyone was extra supportive because they thought she needed encouragement to keep working.
Unexpected serious drama: I was a bit thrown off by the fact that Aoba was crying because she worried about how Yagami is going to deal with having her work rejected. I mean, this is still an office space, and this is still supposed to be a pleasant anime… Maybe her tears were a bit of an overreaction?
Themes & Trivia
KUMA BED IS BACK: My very favorite Season 1 moment, the adorable and hilarious Kuma-bed is back; laying under Aoba’s office, it’s now going to develop into a game character! Yay.
Teamwork wins: A very common anime trope is the value of friendship and teamwork (I would reference the long disturbing talks about friendship in Yu Gi Oh! but who wants to hear about that, right?). In the end of the episode, when Aoba and Yagami work together, their work receives great feedback compared to when they worked individually.
Senpai-ism: Yagami says ‘Now I’m the evil senpai’, referring to the fact that as her senior in the company she is supposed to help and guide Aoba, who is her kouhai. You can read more on how this hierarchical system works here.
I’d rather have had a different ending to this episode
I feel like it would have been more deserving of both Aoba and Yagami to have won individually, based on their separate work. Especially Yagami went from being a super-illustrator to a panicky rookie, and getting bad feedback in your designs in order to improve them is quite essential. The ending of this episode felt a little bit of a compromise to me, something to keep everyone happy. Oh well. Tune in next week for the next episode’s review!
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