Because I have a tendency to remember how I feel about a book more slowly than an anime (and because I want to avoid what happened with Tart Magica.. D:), I’m reviewing an anime I just finished. Which one? NEW GAME!
New Game is a slice of life/comedy anime about a girl named Aoba who just graduated high school learning the ropes of making video games. Specifically, art for video games, since that’s what she does.
The anime itself is, surprisingly for an anime based on a 4-k0ma, good. I normally don’t touch 4-koma based anime because they tend to be random, which I hate in an anime. This one surprised me by genuinely being funny, being quick paced, and following a plot. Yes, a PLOT. Something 4-koma anime also hate.
It starts off with Aoba getting hired, she meets the team, and over the course of the first few episodes, we get to see Aoba learn how things work in the gaming industry/a job. In their world, anyway. Most of the show focuses on the ups and downs of working for the game industry, perks of actually having a job, how things work in the game industry, what kinds of jobs there are, and that kind of thing. During this, the other characters are also introduced and attempts are made to flesh them out some. Another rare plus in an anime like this. I looked forward to watching this every time I had a chance to watch anime. I wasn’t able to simulcast watch it because I was so far behind that it was impossible to get to the current episode on my schedule (which I don’t remember how I got that far behind, other than I started watching it late), but I binge watched several episodes of it at a time. Not to even try to catch up, because I knew I couldn’t, but because I legitimately wanted to know what happened next.
Art-wise, the anime is well animated, and well drawn. The colors are really bright, the lines are smooth, nothing is really badly drawn, and I didn’t see any horrible animation anywhere. It looked great. The style is kind of distinctive, I guess, as I don’t see eyes drawn this way, or hair shaded like it is in NEW GAME anywhere else.
The music.. is there even background music? If there is, I don’t remember any. The opening song is super catchy, though. The ending song, not so much. I would recognize it if I heard it, but I can’t think of the melody offhand. The opening song started running through my mind the second I started typing this review, which is.. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, really.
However, regardless of how much I actually enjoyed this series, it did have flaws that I didn’t like. I didn’t like parts of some of the later episodes, and during those episodes, I actually sometimes didn’t feel like watching the next episode. There were some parts that were the usual random stuff I hate in 4-koma based anime. I mean, they weren’t awful and didn’t take away from the plot, but I didn’t enjoy the series as much when it did this. Examples are the ‘everyone brought in donuts’ story, and the ‘Umiko likes guns, let’s use that as a joke for too long’ plot points. They were kind of drawn out.
I also didn’t like the random fanservice/yuri stuff the series would do from time to time. Somewhere in the middle, there was random yuri stuff that, honestly, was unnecessary. There are hints at yuri that isn’t even a thing in the actual anime. None of the characters have feelings for one another other than friends/co-workers, and none of their actions show otherwise. But yet, there are times where suddenly, shoujo-like romantic camera angles appear, and the colors change to those that are romantic. It’s like the characters are saying one thing, but the anime’s art team is like ‘hey guys, let’s make the male otaku believe these characters are in love with these fake hints. It’ll sell more’. I didn’t get the impression that anyone was in love with their co-worker in the series, so the pandering wasn’t necessary. By the way, before anyone says it, I’m not anti-gay/lesbian. I just don’t like it when hints are done just to make otaku drool. Which was the case with this one, unless there actually ever is an indication through WORDS and ACTIONS that the characters do feel that way. And there wasn’t.
The other thing I didn’t like was the random underwear fanservice. It wasn’t really necessary. And I’m not just referring to the fact that Ko Yagami (one of the major characters) sleeps in a shirt and underwear. There is seriously part where one of the characters, Nene, purposefully looks for underwear shots in the game. Just kind of a pointless fanservice moment, IMO. Though Umiko’s and the rest of the staff’s reaction to it is about what mine was: SERIOUSLY? Theirs includes the fact it’s extra work, but it also covers the fact that it is USELESS. I also believe there was more than that, but I don’t remember off the top of my head. Other fanservice is shown, kind of (a bathing scene where we literally see nothing, and it is done for a reason), but it is never that pointless. The last thing didn’t really affect my enjoyment of the series, but I wonder why it was never mentioned that Eagle Jump (the company Aoba works for) is an all female company. There don’t seem to be any male employees. It was just odd, that’s all.
Overall, like I said, I enjoyed this series. It isn’t one of those ones where everyone in the universe will love it, but if you’re into games and like comedy anime, check this one out.