I like video games and anime. An anime about making video games? That sounds right up my ally! That’s what both I and many others thought at the start of the season when New Game started. Something a lot of people didn’t seem to notice is that New Game is based of a 4koma gag manga (which most season charts would have listed) and on top of that a cute girls doing cute things show (I don’t think any guys even showed up until like episode 9 or something and they were just cameos) so a lot of misplaced expectations came from people thinking they were going to watch a Shirobako for video games. I put this at the start to let you know I did know the source going in (actually played a part in me watching) so any complaints I have aren’t coming from misplaced expectations.
New Game follows Aoba Suzukaze, a fresh high school graduate who gets employed as an artist at Eagle Jump, a fictitious game company that developed her favourite series, Fairies Story and her first game ends up being Fairies Story 3! She quickly gets acquainted with her co-workers including Rin Tooyama, the organized art director, Kou Yagami, the disorganized character designer that Aoba looks up to, Hifumi Takimoto, the quiet senpai who only talks through online chats, Yun Ijima a senpai who has a weight complex despite, like usual with these types of characters, isn’t even close to being overweight and Hajime Shinoda who joined at the same time as Yun and is energetic and part of the motion team. Aoba’s friend (attending college) Nene Sakura is also a regularly occurring character as well as the director Shizuku Hazuki and the programming chief Umiko Ahagon (who hates her last name).
The story, as should be expected from a gag manga, mainly has short episodic segments however we do see points of Aoba’s growth as an artist as well as progress through the game which does help give some sense of time not usually found in these types of shows. The gags, while all funny, aren’t anything special. There’s nothing particularly standout (besides maybe the check-up episode) . One moment I did like from the first few episodes was how they ended with a phone call between Aoba and Nene and I wish it kept up. It gave some nice closure for the first 3 episodes.
The voice acting was what you’d expect from this type of show. Aoba is happy sounding all the time, Hifumi has a soft voice, Kou and Hajime have loud voices, etc. They weren’t bad but the cast didn’t feel unique which is quite weird as only 3 of the characters I listed above have seiyuu that have done a large amount of roles and one is Yoko Hikasa who I happen to really like. The music was fairly forgettable. Even while typing this up I honestly can’t remember how either the OP or ED go nor can I remember any background track.
For a minor complaint where is Fairies Story 2? There’s posters for the first and we see Aoba play it in flashbacks and they’re currently working on the 3rd so why is there nothing for 2? It’s presumably their latest game as I can’t see Eagle Jump being big enough to do 3 lengthy JRPGs with other releases in-between in 7 years. The finale does give some insight on why the art team might not have posters about it but there’s nothing anywhere.