New Game!! Season 2 Review – Promotions and Pitfalls

Promotions and Pitfalls

  • Episodes : 12
  • Genre : Slice of Life, Comedy
  • Airing Date : Jul 2017 – Sep 2017
  • Studios : Doga Kobo

Contains Spoilers


New Game!! Introduction and Story (Spoilers)

New Game!! picks up its second season right as Aoba Suzukaze and her coworkers from Eagle Jump are beginning their next ambitious gaming project. A year has gone by since Aoba started working at the company, and she feels more at home there now. Eagle Jump must now determine what project they want to work on next, through a contest to decide on character designs. And with her mentor Kou Yagami competing, Aoba doesn’t believe that she has a chance. However, with Kou’s help and a little of Aoba’s characteristic determination, she is able to win the contest after all!

At first, Aoba doubts whether she will ever be able to fill the role of character designer effectively. She has always looked up to Kou, and taking on the same position her mentor once held is a bigger task than she expected. However, with each problem or setback, Aoba begins to grow more confident in her position. Although she may not always get the recognition she deserves, Aoba is supported by her coworkers and friends through it all.

Along with all the old cast from the first season, New Game!! brings in two new characters aspiring to join Eagle Jump. These two newcomers, Momiji Mochizuki and Tsubame Narumi, are students taking on temporary internships with the game company, while hoping to claim a permanent spot on the team. Momiji in particular butts heads with Aoba, since Kou Yagami inspired both girls to become character designers.

Through much struggle and growth, the characters come to the final release date for their new game, called Peco. Aoba is finally able to get some of the recognition she deserves through Kou herself. Yet, this final episode has a bittersweet moment, as Kou reveals to her coworkers that she is leaving to work for a game company in France. Aoba and her friends say their goodbyes, sad but hopeful that Kou will return in a few years to work alongside them once more.

What We Liked About New Game!!

Not only did New Game!! double the exclamation points for its second season – it also doubled the enjoyment we felt watching this anime! Doga Kobo did a fantastic job with the animation style yet again. The art was gorgeous to behold, and made the characters feel even more real to us. And with each of the characters getting more attention this season, New Game!! allowed everyone their own spotlight. You could pick any scene from any episode and still find it just as beautifully done as the next. Aoba’s designs for Peco were adorable and make us wish the game was a real project. If you liked how the first season was animated, you won’t be disappointed with this one!

Another aspect that is drastically improved in New Game!! is the character development. Each of the characters is given an opportunity to grow in some way, both in the company and in their own personal development. Hifumi becomes the overseer for character design, overcoming her hesitation in speaking a bit by taking charge. Hajime designs her own mini-game for Peco, allowing her imagination to guide her in more than just motion design. And of course, Aoba becomes the lead character designer for Peco, moving just one step closer to her mentor Kou. These characters have always been endearing, but as they continue to press onward to their goals, we can see a bit of our own hopes and dreams in them.

While the finale was one of the most heartwarming and bittersweet moments in this series, there were plenty of other scenes that tugged at our heartstrings. Hifumi accepting her new position as leader of the group in her unending efforts to improve herself was inspiring. And Aoba is dedicated as always, striving towards her own goals. Of course, all serious work is always dispelled the moment that Shizuku Hazuki arrives on scene, especially when she persuades Aoba and friends to dress up for a maid café!

Discussion Time

Now we’re going more in depth about why you should watch New Game’s second season. The animation and story for this anime meld together well, allowing the audience to truly get immersed in what is happening. From the first season, the characters have become a lot more human as well, with character development that is surprisingly deep for a slice of life comedy! Aoba in particular, changes into a much more relatable character, showing a more emotional and vulnerable side. That being said, New Game’s short season length does have its hang-ups - especially when the episodes are trying to show as many sides of their characters as possible. Without further ado, let’s get into more specifics!

Why You Should Watch New Game!!

1. Aoba Suzukaze’s Tears of Determination

Aoba is the well-deserved protagonist of New Game!!, even while this season brings her more hardship than the first one. She’s hard-working and dedicated to her dream, no matter what problems may pop up. And after Aoba becomes the lead character designer for Peco, there are plenty of problems for her to deal with. She normally takes it all in stride, accepting that she should just try her hardest, that she can do no more than her best.

However, in episode 6, Aoba experiences the bitterest disappointment of all. She discovers that Eagle Jump wants Kou to do the key visuals for Peco, and that Kou will be noted as character designer on all advertisements for the game. Aoba tries her best not to act too upset, instead challenging Kou to another contest for the best key visuals. She remains upbeat throughout most of the episode, even telling Kou, “A couple of bitter experiences are nothing I can’t handle!” Yet when she sees Kou’s finished product, Aoba breaks down in tears, if only for a moment. We loved this scene, as it makes Aoba more of a relatable character and shows her depth. We all suffer disappointments like Aoba’s, and finding the strength to struggle on is something she exemplifies well for viewers.

2. Growth of All Characters

One of the most important improvements New Game!! made from its first to its second season was in the way the characters were allowed to grow. It is through the characters that we can see our own room for improvement and our own room for growth. With even the smallest side characters given their own moment in an episode, New Game!! really takes pride in this aspect. Even though we talked about this a little bit previously, it is important enough to be mentioned again here.

The shy Hifumi steps out of her comfort zone to become a leader in her own right. Hajime takes steps toward designing ideas for the game, rather than just motion design. Aoba grows by leaps and bounds, learning from each problem she faces. Even characters like Rin and Yun are given tiny promotions in their workload, as they achieve their own personal growth. This is the reason Kou steps away from Eagle Jump in the final episode – she wants to continue to improve, just as Aoba strives to do. Yet the characters never step too far beyond a believable amount of change; they are always themselves. That is the mark of truly well-written, loveable characters.

3. Simple But Beautiful

We mentioned the art before as one of the reasons New Game!! is so phenomenal. The animation style used in this show is one of simple beauty, focusing on the sharpness of characters and details in the background. As we said before, you could pick out any random scene from New Game!! and be blown away by its gorgeous art. And the anime’s story reflects the art in this way as well. It is simple, but beautiful and moving.

New Game!! is easy to watch. The more serious moments are perfectly interspersed with moments focusing on the adorable characters, or in moments focused on comedy. It is obvious that the creators put a lot of effort into each episode!

Why You Should Skip New Game!!

1. Too Much of Nenecchi

Between all of the other characters given their time to shine, Aoba’s friend Nene Sakura is given a definite highlight in this season. Admittedly, the creators probably wanted to spend more time on Nene to show a different side of video game creation. After all, Aoba and the character team are only one part of the process – the programming team plays an important role in game creation as well!

However, it sometimes felt like the show was focusing too much on Nene and her placement on the programming team. In the previous season, she was a part-time debugger for Eagle Jump, giving her enough screen time without getting in the way of the main plot. Yet this season, Nene was highly involved, to the point where her high-pitched voice started to become a bit annoying. Since she is an important part of Aoba’s life, and now Eagle Jump, we can overlook most of her shortcomings as a character. However, many of the scenes where Nene was the focus made the story slow down for a moment, causing those episodes to be a bit tedious.

2. Not Enough Time for New Characters

New Game!!’s previous season gave Aoba and her friends a whole twelve episodes for the audience to grow attached to them. With only half as many episodes from their introduction this season, it is no wonder that the two newcomers seemed mostly overlooked. The writers did their best to make Momiji and Tsubame compelling, but in the end they fell a bit flat.

In addition, the depth of character growth this season made new characters Momiji and Tsubame feel rather forced at times. Momiji was meant to be a sort of rival to Aoba, as Tsubame was for Nene in programming. However, Momiji didn’t seem to do a whole lot other than repeatedly glare at Aoba, who is so kind and good-natured that she was rather oblivious to the whole thing. Nene and Tsubame’s rivalry definitely felt more real, but both Tsubame and Momiji ended up more overlooked than anything else. Perhaps with a bit more time to shine, they would have made more of an impression. But in the face of characters like Hifumi and Yun, who we got to know last season, they just didn’t stand a chance.


Final Thoughts

New Game!! is definitely one of the best slice of life anime we saw this season. Overall, this show has more good aspects to it than drawbacks, so we think it is definitely worth your time watching. You might even find yourself inspired to go into video game creation after watching the determination of Aoba and her friends!

Did you love this show as much as we did? Or was this one anime that you passed on watching? Let us know what you thought of New Game!! in the comments!

Meghan May Dellinger

Writer

Author: Meghan May Dellinger

Konnichiwa! I'm a writer/daydreamer who gets a little lost along the path of life from time to time. I love watching anime and playing all kinds of video games - everything from RPGs to first-person shooters. I hope to be an author someday, but until then, I'll share my words with the world any way I can! I love making new friends, so don't be afraid to leave a comment!

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