When it comes to living up to high expectations established by a popular first season, the second season of New Game!! did better that I could have wished for. Not only it beautifully continued and expanded on Season 1, but also kept the quality standards as high as its predecessor.
New Game!! Season 2 follows the daily lives of female game developers, mostly focusing on the character designer Aoba Suzukaze and her struggles with overcoming her incredibly skillful supervisor, Yagami Ko. Having made a game together already, the show’s characters get ready to make a second one, and Aoba finally gets her break: she becomes the lead character designer for Eagle Jump’s upcoming and promising new title, PECO. As the plot develops, new characters join the team, and we get deeper insights in the world of the gaming industry.
Plot & Story
New Game!!’s story is so well paced you won’t even realize how things are progressing as time goes by. Being involved in the girls’ little shenanigans, their company drama, and worries about food and bugs, you will barely remember that they’re actually working on a game that is in fact progressing in time, unlike the game in Season 1. The two most remarkable events in this season were Aoba’s experience with a cruel corporate environment and Ko’s departure. With Aoba being the main character designer and having her dreams jeopardized because of the promise of future sales, both her and Ko had to deal with something much more intimidating that hard work or lack of talent: profit. I loved how Ko not only defended Aoba when this whole thing happened but how she also turned the tables at the PECO event in the last episode. Also, her decision to leave the company and her home country is not only a great (and again, well-paced) plot twist, but also greatly (and accurately) adds to Ko’s character and personality, that of an ambitious professional artist with just the right dose of crazy. The addition of new characters to the Eagle Jump team was another little nice perk, although I found Momiji to be a bit boring and rather stereotypical, without as much to add to the show as the rest of the cast.
Art & Music
I just love New Game!!’s visuals. Even though I don’t usually find myself enjoying cute aesthetics and pastel palettes, in this occasion I really have to tip my hat off to the show’s illustrators: everything is genuinely beautiful in this show. The character animation is just as lovely, my favorite part being the girls’ hair, even smoother and more fluid in movement than in Season 1. The CGI parts for PECO are adorable, and the plushies all looks squishy and fluffy. Combine this to some top notch voice acting, with Shizuku (voiced by Eri Kitamura) and Umiko (voiced by Chitose Morinaga) being my personal favorites, and you have a recipe for success.
As far as the music is concerned, I can’t really say I enjoy this type of animusic in particular, the vocals being too high pitched and the overall instrumentation way to cheerful for my taste, but I guess this is only appropriate for a show like this.
Themes & Trivia
A plethora of Japanese and anime tropes are present throughout the show. Inside views on the gaming industry and its structure, promotional events, Power Rangers’ style street performers and anime-inspired pop idols, visits to the hot springs, plenty of food, a certain awe towards the French capital… where do I begin? Personal favorite trivia, though, is the fact that Aoba used her sleeping bag from Season 1 to model her PECO main character costume.
Should you watch this show, having first watched Season 1? Hell yeah. Totally worth it. Should you watch New Game!! anyway, even if you haven’t had any contact with it so far? Probably. It depends on what you like, really. This is not the type of anime that will bring you any sort of life-changing experience, but it is relaxing, cute, entertaining, and definitely beautiful.
- Illustration and animation
- Umiko and Nenechi, best possible character combination
- PECO looks like a great game
- Some excessive fan-service
- New recruits being a bit bland
- Rin not confessing her love to Ko
But hey, what do YOU think? Did you love or hate this season’s most hyped anime show? Let us know in the comment section, and don’t forget to check out the Fall 2017 weekly anime reviews on MANGA.TOKYO!