New Game continues chronicling the adventures and misadventures of Eagle Jump’s character design team. This week’s episode starts off with Aoba witnessing her first design being brought to life by Hajime’s animation skills. Of course, not before Yun pokes fun at Aoba for being so attached…
Our first “dramatic” turn of the episode is that Toyoma’s tablet pen is dying and so Yagami sends Hajime and Aoba out together to pick her up a new one. Hajime is pleased to be Aoba’s senpai, and is ready to show her the ropes when she realizes that she dropped her wallet. Her dreams of being a reliable senpai now dashed, Hajime wallows in self-loathing at the service counter before Aoba returns with her wallet.
The next day, the team finds themselves mired in a thermostat war when Hajime arrives to work wearing a spaghetti strap shirt and shorts while the office is cranking the air conditioning. When she adjusts the thermostat to her comfort, Yagami finds herself uncomfortably hot and lowers the temperature. The battle continues for a while, and in the midst of it all Yun finds herself enjoying the hotter temperature because she can “sweat off the pounds”.
Toyoma eventually gets to the bottom of their shenanigans and forbids them from messing with the thermostat, and the chastised culprits slink back to their desks.
Finally, we learn a bit more about Yagami’s early years at Eagle Jump, and how her personality has changed. While she was initially very quiet and reserved, since she’s acquired a team of her own she’s continuing to grow and learn how to be a good leader. Hifumi comments on how she’d like to change as well, though Aoba assures her she likes her just the way she is.
Once again, New Game delivers a perfectly light and enjoyable episode, though the lack of a substantive storyline can be annoying at times. Sure, it’s fun (and funny) to watch Hajime lament her failure as a role model for Aoba, but it could have been just as engaging/interesting if they took the opportunity to spotlight some of Hajime’s past and what got her into animation in the first place. I know that New Game can do more character development than what they did in this episode, so seeing opportunities like that go to waste can be frustrating.
The animation remains clean and light – once again setting itself apart as an easy to process series that’s great for a mind-rinse following shows like Re:Zero, 91 Days or Berserk. It’s still an endearing and light-hearted show that continues to entertain, though fans looking for more substantive iterations of the industry would be better suited by Shirobako.
Here’s hoping next week’s episode gives us a bit more meat to chew on!