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The second season of New Game! Is currently streaming as New Game!![1] and the show has already achieved things that the first season didn’t.

Not to mention that PECO, Eagle Jump’s new game, has a really creepy premise that I haven’t seen anyone else discuss yet. 

Resonance

I commented in my review of New Game! that the finale didn’t quite manage to be a tear jerker when Aoba asks for Ko’s autograph. S2 episode 6 Wow… It’s So Amazing managed to deliver what S1 missed[2].

Essentially Eagle Jump are busily designing and developing a new game based on a new idea. Early on there was a competition to select the main character designer which Aoba won (sort of). So PECO is in development using Aoba’s character designs as refined by Ko.

Enter the money people. The backing company wants to promote Peco heavily and needs key visuals to put into ads etc. Normally, as the character designer, this would be Aoba’s job.

But PECO is a new IP, and Aoba is an unknown in the industry. So the producers tell Ko to do it.

Aoba manages to get a chance, another competition, but is told straight to her face that she will lose because she’s up against 8 years of Ko’s reputation and track record.

And, yes, she does lose, and fairly.

But the way that Aoba accepts the loss, with a determination to catch up one day to Ko is just beautifully handled, and delivers that resonance I mentioned.

Character Development

Another good aspect of the season to date has been solid character development for most of the cast. Pretty much all of the core cast have been getting a decent run in the 9 episodes to date, with special mention needing to be made of Hifumi. Hifumi’s slow emergence from her shy shell has been well managed and, more importantly, been demonstrated as something that Hifumi wants to achieve.

Agency in good characterisation takes many forms, and it’s been great to see this one.

Fanservice

Once again the fanservice levels in New Game!! are high enough that I can’t show it to most of my friends, despite the interesting subject matter. The two worst offenders in this sense being episode 5 Hey! Don’t Touch Me There! and episode 9 At Least Put a Shirt on![3]

PECO

OK, so I mentioned above that the new game Eagle Jump are building is called PECO. I’d like to talk about the creepily cute premise for the game that no one in universe seems to be bothered by[4].

Peco is a young girl who finds herself in a world of plushies controlled by an evil queen (the only other human in the world). To get through the game Peco has to:

  • Disembowel/Flay the plushies she meets with scissors; and
  • Wear their skins to gain their powers.

No, really.

I’m not making this up you know. It’s even hinted at in the key visual with those scissors Ko is wielding.

It all looks really cute, at least the fragments seen in the anime, but dear lord is that a creepy concept for a game.

Verdict

Overall I’m really enjoying New Game!! due to the solid character work and continuing examination of Japanese employment practices (albeit through an anime lens). I could probably do with less fanservice, and I’m bemused by how creepy PECO is, but if you liked S1, you’ll enjoy S2 more.

Here’s the OP, featuring a smol(er) Aoba right at the start:

And here’s the first ED which is a huge amount of fun but when you switch to chibis you lose the Aoba is a smol gag:

[1] Note the 2nd exclamation mark. I presume any hypothetical 3rd season would be New Game!!! but as far as I know this season will catch up to where the manga is. So I wouldn’t be expecting that in a hurry.

[2] The episode titles are usually dropped as dialogue in each episode. With episode 6 the title is damn near an accurate review of the episode as well.

[3] As before the episode titles are spoken dialogue within the episodes so… yeah. Also, especially with respect to episode 9: Boobs Don’t Work That Way (She lies down, her chest doesn’t).

[4] I haven’t seen any bloggers commenting on it either but I haven’t been looking terribly hard