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  • Genre:  Moe, Slice of Life
  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Doga Kobo


Everything is coming up Aoba! Aoba has dreamed of becoming a video game designer ever since falling in love with the epic RPG Fairy Story back in grade school and has since dedicated herself entirely to her singular goal. And wouldn’t you know, despite the fierce competition in the field, Aoba manages to land  that exact job right after graduation. Not only that but it’s at Eagle Jump, the studio behind her beloved fairy story AND she is immediately assigned to the team working on the latest installment of the franchise. Getting a highly anticipated AAA assignment right off the bat is truly a rare gift but Aoba is “special”. Ok so there’s a persistent atmosphere of sexual predation from the top (really where isn’t there) and new employees seem expected to literally spend the night at the office for no overtime pay but all of these are small prices to pay for the job of your dreams. I’m not being sarcastic, I’d do it.

Whenever I claim to be unfamiliar with a particular genre, I usually immediately prove myself wrong by posting on nothing but said genre. This time, after mentioning it in my Pan de Peace review, it seems I am on a cute girls doing cute things streak. Of course New Game is no Pan de Peace but let’s face it, there’s a chance Pan de Peace is no Pan de Peace.

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Now to create “review”

New Game is another one of those shows I had seen artwork for all over the place without really knowing where it was from. Obviously people are loving the style. It’s pretty in that Kobayashi, Gabriel DropOut sort of way. And I mean exactly in that way, the visuals could be interchangeable. I found the designs here to be the most generic but that’s to be expected with no supernatural element. The production was well made with no real quality loss at any point.

It was a shame that the creative team behind new game opted to have everyone wear pretty much the exact same clothes every day despite there being no reason for it. It’s even mentioned at several points in universe but I guess no one wanted to design dozens of different outfits for the girls. I personally would have appreciated a bit more variety but thems the breaks.

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Aoba did have an alternative outfit

New Game! may be the first time I really paid attention to a cute girls show (I haven’t seen K-on) and I gotta say, I sorta get the hate. New Game is very cute and nothing else. Actually that’s not entirely fair, it’s also mildly sexist.

New Game! is just a moe Slice of Life. By that I mean that shows like Yuru Yuri or Gabriel DropOut, which ostensibly also fall into that category, do have some pretense of comedy. There are actual jokes, a set up, delivery, punchline structure, with the intent of making the audience laugh. Whether or not the goal is achieved is highly debatable but it remains that this was the aim. As far as I can tell, New Game! just shows a series of cutely designed girls doing random very ordinary tasks with unjustified and unneeded optimism and a good dose of helplessness in an attempt to make the audience go “awwww”. It’s like a showing us a basket of puppies for 12 episodes, except it’s not like that at all OMG going to go watch a basket of puppies now – bye!

we all want a basket of puppies

I don’t mind the cute for cute’s sake premise but it does get boring pretty quickly if you take it at face value. However, there is something much worse than the moe overdose going on here. I have at some points in my life interacted with other human beings and I’m aware of the very odd notion that helplessness (politely called innocence, less politely called stupidity) is considered by some to be attractive. You would think natural selection would have weeded that out of us but apparently we still don’t think of resourcefulness as hawt. I do. A lot.

Aoba is supposed to be above average. She is offered such a unique opportunity in her industry because she probably did very well in school in the exact field which she applied for, she is noted to be a very hard worker, very dependable and quick on the uptake. Many different characters plainly explain how good she is at her job. As such she is presented as a model heroine who still has a lot to learn but is definitely someone to aspire to.

And yet, we consistently see her acting like a complete idiot without the show ever acknowledging that this isn’t normal behavior. On her first day, she locks herself out of the office (by forgetting her pass) twice. These things happen. Her solution is to sit down on the floor and start crying until someone eventually comes out on unrelated business, both times. Knocking was seemingly beyond her grasp. This professional game designer had never heard of FPSs, not only the acronym but the actual concept. This professional game designer never even thinks of asking why her software keeps indicating there are multiple errors with her 3d model. This professional game designer and lifelong RPG enthusiast has never heard of NPCs and needs to be explained the concept and purpose of non-player characters….

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She’s shocked that the character that looks exactly like her is based on her…she designed the character…

I don’t know why these moments were added in (there are a lot). They aren’t presented as jokes but maybe it was a super subtle troll. The most cynical part of me thinks this is actually an attempt to comfort that part of the audience that believes womenz do not belong in the gaming industry by saying – sure we’re portraying a completely female game production studio but see, they don’t even know the basics. Nothing to worry about. This is probably an unfair take on my part, most likely the almost as depressing concept of stupid is adorable is what’s at play here. I didn’t find it offensive or anything but it did annoy me.

Let me paint you a word picture: At one point two characters are having a friendly chat. One of the girls says: Sometimes I can do some stupid things. The other response with: That’s ok I can also be a complete airhead. The first comforts her by saying: It’s ok that you’re an airhead because you’re cute, flustered by the compliment, the first quickly responds: Oh but you’re cute too! This very slightly paraphrased exchange (only because I can’t guarantee I remembered the exact wording) is basically the most accurate description I can give you of the entire show. If you are dying to find out how this conversation played out, by all means go watch New Game! now.

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If that gun was real…

Then there’s the fanservice. There’s a particular type gleeful glaring fanservice in something like NGNL. When you watch a show like that you feel a bit like that cartoon wolf with it’s eyes popping out of it’s head. The fanservice itself is part of the narrative, very obvious and is played for laughs. Then there’s the commercial fanservice of Fairy Tail where the girls are just continuously dressed ridiculously and take on pinup poses for no particular reason. That fanservice is just a cherry on the sunday and although it can get pretty stupid at times, it remains mostly harmless. Admittedly, I am a fan of both types.

In New Game!, the camera would pan up to girls’ panties, like we were about to give them a gynecological exam, as they were asleep and helpless. There’s something that feels very nonconsensual about this particular type of “peeping tom” fanservice, and the fact that the show doesn’t even acknowledge its existence (no gags, not part of the story in any way, no other characters mention it) makes the entire experience a bit more predatory feeling than I’m comfortable with.

Let’s be clear, I’m not saying this show advocates sexual predation or that people who enjoy it are in any way comfortable with such things. I’m saying that that’s the personal feeling I got from it which really turned me off the series in general.

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I’m not saying it’s not attractive

I’m thinking I missed something here though. The series is well rated and generally well reviewed. There are a few people whose opinion I respect who enjoyed this show a lot. Statistically, there’s a good chance you might too. I have been thinking about it and I could not tell you why. I slogged through the show because the thought of abandoning a series midway gives me hives but I will definitely not be picking up season 2.

The actual game itself – i.e. Fairy Story 3 did look dope though and revived an itch I’ve been having for some good ol’ traditional JRPG action. I’ve heard good things about Tales of Berseria. I haven’t played a tales title in a while but Vesperia was my jam! You guys have any suggestions?

Just wanted to add a pic of her (Blood type AB)

Favorite character: Umiko Ahagon

What this anime taught me: I am overqualified for the gaming industry 

My father always said- “the day I can’t do my job drunk will be the day I hand in my badge and gun”

Suggested drink: Final Fantasy shot

  • Every time Aoba is self-conscious about looking young – take a shot
  • Every time Hifumi blushes – take a shot
  • Every time Aoba “sparkles” – take a shot
  • Every time Yun has food – take a snack
  • Every time we see the cat – take a shot
  • Every time Hazuki is inappropriate – take a shot
  • Every time we see Sofia – take a shot
  • Every time anyone says “senpai” – take a shot
  • Every time we see in game footage – take a shot
  • Every time we see panties – take a shot
  • Every time someone cries – drink some water

39 thoughts

  1. While I didn’t hate this, I too felt like it was lacking in flavour and the panty shots were unnecessary. The second season doesn’t fix that either.

    It did remind me of a time when I really wanted to go to Montreal, since Ubisoft was looking for game testers. My parents wouldn’t allow me though and since I couldn’t drive at the time and it’s in another city it made sense. If only I could be a game tester in real life. *sigh*

  2. Maybe the girls wear the same outfits because they are like Steve Jobs? They own multiple copies of the same clothes so they don’t have to think about what to wear to work each day.

  3. Good points about the voyeur-cam and the peculiar notion, “helplessness is moe and desirable.” I’ve started tuning out that sort of camera perspective after watching too many of these sort of series, but it’s clear that I need to consider that more. H=m is also rather prominent and I need to think more about that, too.

    At any rate, I am sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the series. You’ve brought up good points, however, and I find myself ambivalent towards the series as a result. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Thank you for the review~

    1. Helplessness is one thing if it makes sense but willful stupidity is another. In real life a character unable t grasp such basic concepts would probably be considered challenged and unfit to live independently… That just doesn’t scream sexy to me…

      1. Fair enough. Your words about helplessness being acceptable in certain cases reminded me of something I wrote over a year ago. Oh, dear. You’ll find out soon enough.

        But, yes, Aoba’s behavior isn’t sexy. Or cute. In my opinion, anyways.

  4. I mentioned that I enjoy the CGDCT genre when you reviewed Pan de Peace, yes. Well, I do. And I can say you discovered the genre’s greatest weaknesses: the voyeur cam, and the helpless-is-cute nonsense. They’re very common. They’re so common that my auto-anime-filter edits them out, and then someone watches me watch a show like this and…

    Same outfits are also really common in the genre, with different outfits only being drawn for effect (usually on special occasions: the swim suit, the yukata…). In fact, the only show I remember where the girls wore different casual wear each episode is Joshiraku (they did wear the same stage outfit every week).

    So. Did I enjoy New Game? Yes, I did. Enough to make it through both seasons, but slightly less than avarage it appears. It’s also not very memorable. I thought I’d tell you what I liked about it, but I simply can’t remember. Well, you can’t blame me. Season 2 finished almost 2 months ago. I remember a generally avarage show with enough strong moments spaced out well enough so I don’t lose interest, so the overall impression is slightly positive.


    I want to play Versperia one day, but it never came out in Europe. The PS3 is region-free, but I’d have to import and I’m not sure whether TV format is compatible or not. Of the Tales-games I played Tales of Graces f was my favourite.

    I’m really fond of the humor in the Disgaea series, with Disgaea 4 being my favourite. I wish they were still making Suikoden games; Suikoden 5 on the PS2 was great.

    1. of Suikoden was AWESOME!!! I still dream of that game. Garces was fine but Still no vesperia – I’ll have to look into Disgaea.

      As for the series – My biggest gripe with i – and this is completely personal of course, is that it was almost painfully boring. Even writing a snarky post about it wasn’t any fun…

      1. Vesperia is one of the two Tales games that gets the best reviews (the other being Abyss, which I also haven’t played). One day, maybe.

        Disgaea is a rather odd series of games. I never played the first two installments. When bad people die, they go to hell. You probably knew that. What they didn’t tell you is that you’ll be sewn into a penguin suit with demon wings and two peg-legs that explodes when thrown. Thus clad, you’ll do all sorts of awful jobs for little to no pay, and you’re pretty much sure to be mistreated by any lowly demon you meet. Prepare to get thrown, a lot. This doesn’t sound appealing, and so you generally get to play a demon instead. It’s very ideosyncratic and I’m not sure you’ll like it, but it’s more fun to talk about than New Game – I’m fairly sure about that.

  5. Great review. Having an anime about the video game industry could be really fascinating, but they don’t need to resort to sexist implications or moe blobs by the chock full. As per other reviews, I definitely enjoyed your humor in it while still making intelligent comments about why something does or doesn’t work in an anime.

  6. Hmm, I’m getting a bit of a deja vu here for my review of Ergo Proxy. Also a show I should normally have liked a lot, and was also highly rated by a few highly respected bloggers. It happens some times I guess.
    As for cute girls shows: have you seen School Life? That one I highly recommend. It’s cute girls mixed with a zombie Apocalypse (and not in the way Highschool of the Dead does that). Highly recommend that one 😀

  7. I remember personally enjoying the first season (haven’t watched the second season). Then again, it’s a forgettable show and I never ended up thinking about the anime. But now that you mention it, the fanservice is kind of overly intrusive.
    Oh no! I am getting flashbacks of Nenecchi’s voice. I had to turn my earbuds’ volume down everytime she came on- I can’t stand that high pitch.
    Anyway, really well worded review!

  8. I enjoyed the first episode of this (haven’t got around to watching the rest of it yet), but then I like moe moe super cute for cute’s sake anime; I just switch my brain off and don’t concern myself about it making any sort of deeper commentary. My thought process is something along the lines of “Cute girls? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh…” and then pleasant fluffy marshmallows for the next 20 minutes or so. Yuru Yuri was especially good for this. Absolutely nothing of note happened in three seasons, and I loved every minute of its vapid nonsense.

    I appreciate it is not something that is to everyone’s taste though, and thank you for expressing the fact you didn’t like it without casting aspersions on people who do, which is unfortunately something that happens all too frequently with anime and Japanese games in particular, though thankfully not within this pleasant little circle in which I appear to have found myself.

    As for JRPGs, I haven’t played Berseria yet, but I understand it’s supposed to be good. If you have access to a PS3, the two Tales of Xillia games are excellent, too. And for RPGs and Japanese games more broadly in general, I believe you’ll find my site to have a nice big library of recommendations 🙂 for everything I’ve covered, for stuff I’ve written about in particular detail. SHAMELESS PLUGGING! You love it.

    1. I adored Yuru Yuri! One of my favorites and one of the very rare series I rewatch.

      You know – Xillia was ok but not quite Vesperia to me. FFXV is actually pretty awesome too and I haven’t finished it yet but I have gamer ADD

      1. I haven’t played Vesperia yet, to my shame — the two Xillias were my first (and to date only) Taleseses, so that may explain why I liked them. My recommendation of Berseria is based on the enthusiasm of a die-hard Tales fan for it, though, so take that with confidence 🙂

        I liked FFXV a lot as well (extensive enthusing may be found at I’m tempted to have a look at the multiplayer shenanigans which is out… today, I think? On the other hand, I still have to finish Rance VI if I’m going to write about it next week. And there’s a whole pile of games laughing at me from my shelf. And now I kind of want to watch Yuru Yuri again.

        Oh, woe, what shall I do with this embarrassment of entertainment riches?

  9. I went into this one without expecting anything… well perhaps a little on the aspect of game design. Ended up with too much moe (but still acceptably above moderate), which by episode 2 I felt that this is one series that can’t be taken seriously (and then later, Yuri-ish).

    My brother studied game design before, and one of the only things in the series that seem more realistically relevant is the crunch-time close to the delivery deadline (But ain’t most private companies like that? Overwork..overwork..overwork)
    ^ Now that I think about it, they actually make overwork seem like a holiday (when people in Japan are dying from it) – scary… (;´∀`)

  10. I definitely agree with you on this! I love my fill of moe cuteness (Sometimes it’s just what I need) and I enjoyed the 1st season for what it was but the 2nd season seemed to drag because it was like a copy of the season 1 which ended up getting really old really fast! Really enjoyed this review! 😊

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