When we’re kids, we always have that one job that cycles through our list of what we want to do when we “grow up” no matter what age we are. For many, myself included, that job involved working on video games. New Game!, a slice-of-life series populated by adorable characters, highlights what happens next. Recent high school grad Sukuzabe Aoba gets a job at Eagle Jump, the game company behind one of her favorite childhood games, Fairies Story. Inspired by the character designer, Yagami Ko, she makes it her mission to work on video games and succeeds in landing her dream job.
The series opens with Aoba’s uncertainty of starting the job to begin with. Standing outside, she practices her introduction quietly to herself until she’s interrupted by Art Director Tooyama Rin, who tells her that the office isn’t open for field trips as she mistakes her for a student (nice first impression). After some clarification, Rin apologizes and leads her inside, where she’s introduced to her boss, the one and only Yagami Ko.
A workaholic, Yagami often sleeps at the office (in her underwear of course – New Game! doesn’t miss an opportunity for some fan service), and leads the character design team. Aoba goes on to meet the other members of Yagami’s team:
Hifumi Takimoto – quiet and shy, but more than happy to answer Aoba’s questions via the company internal messaging service. Hifumi is often overwhelmed in social situations and only seems to smile around her pet hedgehog, Sojiro.
Yun Ijima – One of the more responsible members of the team, Yun is often busy chastising Hajime for her antics or making sure the team is eating and staying energized.
Hajime Shinoda – Boisterous and energetic, Hajime is a klutz and often finds herself tripping and injuring herself or others.
Together with Aoba, these 4 women work under Yagami to bring the characters of Fairies Story 3 to life.
While episode 1 focuses on introducing the team and Aoba’s journey into adulthood, episode 2 gives us a closer look at the company culture at Eagle Jump games. Aoba is making steady progress in her 3D animation studies and is given her first project by Yagami. She dutifully dives into the task, forsaking lunch and having to rely instead on snacks to get her through the day. The day wraps up with her welcome party as the team indulges in alcohol and gets to know their newest colleague.
Overall, New Game! is a must-have in your rotation this season. The plot is very easygoing and fun, with a healthy bout of comedy so far. I don’t anticipate the story taking any dark turns; the heaviest points of “drama” is when Yagami chastises Aoba for using the company messaging system to chat too casually with her superiors or other work-related issues. We’re certainly nowhere near Clannad territory here.
With a lighthearted and strangely informative plot, endearing characters and solid animation, New Game! is an entertaining and welcome break from some of the heavier series this season (I’m looking at you, Re:Zero).
You can watch New Game! on Crunchyroll every Tuesday!