Welcome to yet another week of New Game!!!, and yet another very misleading episode title. This week’s episode contains some serious drama, so if you’re used to watching this light-heartedly, brace yourselves! Serious stuff is about to happen!
Japanese Original Episode Title: あぁ…… すごいなあ……
Peco’s production is going really well and the design team (including Hajime, of course) is getting excited about its release. Aoba is working hard, and to her surprise, she finds out that as a lead character designer, she will be drawing the ‘key visuals’, as in the main promotional material for the game’s release. Outside work, Nene has finally finished producing her game and is planning to show it to Umiko very soon. However, she starts by telling Hotaru (and, later, inevitably, Aoba), and they all try out the game together in a café while eating ice cream. Life can’t get much better than that, but Aoba is overwhelmed with stress thinking of the responsibility of drawing the key visuals.
Back at Eagle Jump, Shizuku is being visited by Christina, who seems to be carrying the bitchy tradition the name has to offer pretty well, and is the harbinger of some very unpleasant news for both Aoba and Yagami: the company wants Yagami to draw the key visuals, since she is more famous than Aoba, and the game will be marketed using her name. Yagami is naturally furious and Aoba is ready to cry, so they agree to let them compete against each other (again) just for the sake of it. Aoba spends days and nights working on her design and lacking inspiration, but of course Yagami’s work is far superior and witnessing it brings her to tears. Obviously, Yagami’s design gets chosen.
Hajime’s consumerism: Always buying things online to use them as ‘references’ for her work… that is a pretty amazing excuse, I have to admit. Wish I could find one for myself, but the truth is I’m just a sucker for buying useless crap online.
Nene’s finished her game: I was so happy to see her game completed, not just because Nene herself is super-cute (besides her slightly over-the-top high pitched voice) but also because I’m hoping she will find herself working for Eagle Jump under Umiko’s wing; and they’re a hilarious combination of characters.
Outstanding visuals: I guess I’ve said it before, but I believe New Game’s design and animation are probably the best of this anime season. There is not a single shot where things don’t looks adorable and polished to perfection. That’s some amazing consistency of quality work right there.
Christina and the corporate: Unlike her counterparts working in Eagle Jump, Christina is a strict professional that comes around to boss everyone into submission and bring news from the people funding the game. By far the least playful of tje characters (even less than Umiko), she’s not a very pleasant presence in the overwhelming bubbliness that is the Eagle Jump team.
Yagami is still far ahead: A recurring theme in the show, and one that still doesn’t have a very clear purpose in my head, is the constant comparison between Aoba and Yagami’s skills. It’s blatantly obvious to everyone that Yagami is so much better at illustration and design than Aoba, but still Aoba is somehow the center of attention. I’m guessing it’s a ‘work hard to achieve your goals’ type of setting.
Themes & Trivia
Yagami’s skirt: She has been wearing the horrible skirt since Season 1, and the only excuse I can come up with is that it’s a really, really comfortable skirt. But it’s still so ugly.
Intense season: I believe that compared to the last season of New Game!, this one seems to be giving things a slightly darker point of view. The constant competitive atmosphere at work and the imposing of corporate over creative priorities is shattering the ‘gaming design paradise’ image a bit.
That’s why you need to go indie
I guess Aoba found out the hard way that she may not be able to reach her full potential and fulfil her dreams working for a company like Eagle Jump that, in the end of the day, is more worried about profit that artistic expression. Maybe that’s the reason why so many people are far more interested in working for start-up companies and indie games instead of climbing the game industry career ladder. Food for thought. See you next week for another New Game!! episode review.