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Back in my Summer 2016 round up, I didn’t expect a lot out of New Game! but did actually end up enjoying it a fair bit. As I said at the time:

Between the all-female cast, and the excessive fanservice, this show isn’t going to be on the level of Shirobako by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s still some hope that this show will have some things worth saying.

That’s more or less where New Game! ended up being: a light comedy about working in a creative environment, with occasional commentary on Japanese work practices[1]. It did have some good points to make about the issues of creating art to schedule, whilst also learning the tools of your trade.

New Game! managed to be consistently funny, but it did highlight how unnecessary the fanservice was. New Game! was funniest, and often hilarious, in the episodes where the fanservice was skipped. Those were probably the episodes with the most pointed commentary on employment conditions as well.

However, between the comedic focus and the fanservice, New Game lost out on the emotional resonance that Shirobako delivered at the end. Both series end with an after party for the release of the game and delivery of the final episode respectively.

Whilst the Shirobako finale is a real tear jerker, the New Game! equivalent raises a few laughs, and is amusing enough, but doesn’t really have any impact. Not even when Aoba asks for Ko’s autograph on her copy of Fairy Stories 3.

When you consider that Ko’s character designs for Fairy Stories 1 were what inspired Aoba to become a character designer for games herself, this is the one moment that really should have resonated with the viewer. As it was: amusing, but no great impact.

Ultimately that’s where New Game! ended up for me: amusing enough, but not really much more than that.

I’ll finish with a subtitled version of the really fun OP, which does give a good indication of the level of fanservice in this show[2]:

[1] Sometimes this commentary was in the episode titles: e.g Episode 10 is titled Full-time Employment is a Loophole in the Law to Make Wages Lower. Not a lot of subtlety there.

[2] Which at least makes it truth in advertising: Fun, but beware.