The second season of workplace comedy New Game! is off to a strong start. The original season dealt with the ups and downs of video game development, and the sequel, New Game!! looks to be no different.
The main character, Aoba, has been an employee at Eagle Jump for a year now. She’s looking forward to mentoring the company’s new recruits, but her idol, the character artist, Kō Yagami, informs her that they aren’t hiring anybody.
Disappointed but eager to work, Aoba joins the rest of the team as they discuss their next project. After the release of Fairies Story 3 at the end of the last season, everybody has a different idea as to what kind of game they should create next. Aoba suggests another fantasy title, Yun wants to create more serious content, and Hajime suggests a Super Sentai-esque game, something she creates a plan for the very next day.
The closest we come to realism in this episode is during Umiko’s evaluation meeting. She agrees to become the head programmer for the new title, on the condition that the game’s specifications don’t change too often. In real life, these frequently change as features are adopted or dropped, and as Umiko says to her bosses, this requires a lot of code to be rewritten, leading to morale problems and time delays. Shizuku and Rin agree to work together and try and keep any changes to a minimum.
Things are happening outside of the office, too. Aoba’s high school friend, Nene tracks down Umiko and asks for help debugging a game she has created. She’s new to coding, but the game has real promise, and Rin asks Nene to show it to her again when it’s a little more polished.
The episode closes with a cherry blossom viewing party. Here, Shizuku announces a character design contest. Any member of the team can submit character art which meets the specifications, and the winner’s designs will be featured in the final release of the game. Aoba questions whether she’s good enough to participate, and is told that Kō did almost immediately after joining the company.
Aoba’s self-confidence will likely be the driving force of the plot over the next couple of episodes. Aoba’s designs received praise over the course of the previous season, so she has talent, even if she doesn’t know it herself yet. Her competition is likely to be fierce, though; if she slacks off, she’ll be left behind by Hajime, who wants to win. Make sure to check back with Around Akiba in a week for our take on next week’s episode which airs on July 18th.