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  • Joined Jan 5, 2015
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New Game!

Aug 1, 2018

We should get this out of the way first: New Game! is to lesbian undertones what being burned alive is to slight discomfort. Now that this is done with, New Game! is the anime equivalent of a cute sitcom without any bite but a whole lot of cute. There is no negativity, only some fan service and cuteness. There is no real drama, only people liking their job and cuteness. There is nothing edgy, but there is a mildly quirky cast and cuteness.

You may have noticed my subtle hint, and by hint I mean blatant repetition, that New Game! goes about as all-in on cuteness as possible without an adorable kindergartener. Suprisingly though, it works rather well. There is clarity of vision in this show, where everything feels like an organic development around the core concept. Once you watch the first episode, you don't need to see the rest... but you kinda want to even if it isn't what you're looking for.

I don't think that New Game! is unique or groundbreaking or anything like that. But I can also appreciate a show that doesn't need to be, which is what they were (obviously) going for. Sometimes we don't need something to be in our face, deep, clever, or even particularly interesting to have some fun. As such, the show is tastefully done for what it sets out to achieve.

New Game! is not a show that you need to put too much thought into. People can mock how people like going to work in it, but it's not out there (surprise: there are people who enjoy their work). There is talk about the thinly veiled lesbian themes but those don't come at the expense of what the show is all about. The fact that everyone gets along (and even when they "don't", they actually pretty much like each other anyway) just adds to a carefree vibe that is at the heart of the show. It tries for light hearted fun and cuteness and succeeds.

Writing (Story and Characters):

The writing of New Game! is solid. It sets out to achieve very little, but succeeds unequivocally. That's all there really is to it. This show doesn't try for a complex plot, but is strictly into the character based side of things. All the situations are setups to show how a bunch of cute girls handle it by working hard and together. For the most part, it's a strict episodic structure, meaning that there are no grand setups beyond who the characters are.

That being said, even in such a case where a show is aimed at showcasing the characters personality, the story has to succeed in doing that. New Game! doesn't fail with this. It is not a high bar to clear, because the structure and idea behind the show makes the requirement be "don't utterly fail". There are some generic challenges for the characters, they do not feel out of place or forced, and that's all that was needed.

So, the cast. There is an all girl cast, and men are mentioned abstractly (never a specific one) maybe twice in twelve chapters for a total of three sentences or so. The girls offer various shades of cute, basically the entire gamut of standard quirky girls in anime. It works. The show is about showing cute girls being cute, and the cast manages to be cute while doing cute things. Shocking, I know. They aren't boring, and their interactions are pretty fun, and that was the entire point.

Perhaps I haven't made it clear, but New Game! has decidedly unambitious but well executed writing. This is a good thing, because even if this show isn't exactly to your taste, it is solidly written entertainment, which is not a given. Don't expect the writing to wow you, but also don't expect a moment where you just say "welp, I'm done" and quit because of it.

Artwork (Animatio and Sound):

Pretty darn good. New Game! has very simplistic writing, and as such, would be a failure if the artwork wouldn't hold up. It does. The writing is given just as much life as it needs, with crisp execution and solid design throughout. This is not a show with an infinite budget, but it manages to feel surprisingly close to one.

Visually the show looks sharp. The character designs are solidly executed, the use of cliches is light hearted and well done, the animation feels lively when needed, and the backgrounds are well thought out. That being said, things are reused a lot, be it the main backgrounds and the character designs - but that fits with the writing pretty well, making it into a strength rather than a flaw. There is not much in the way of wow-factor, but the show excels when needed.

What I really wished for is strong voice acting, but it is instead just pretty good. It's not something that I feel is completely fair, pointing out that I am looking for more charisma in roles which don't really need it... but I just feel that it could have kicked this show up a notch. That being said, the voice acting is good, the soundtrack and effects are decent, and while I don't really like the OP, it isn't bad.

This is perhaps one of those cases where the solid execution in art makes a show that would otherwise be completely forgetable move into the realm of "actually pretty solid". New Game! is brought to life very well, and this is important when we're talking about a bunch of cute girls sitting in place most of the time. This show needed that injection of liveliness, and succeeds very well.


New Game! is simple: cute and enjoyable, with a dash of fan service and lesbain themes to spice it up. There is nothing more to it. There is nothing objectionable (except said fan service if you don't like fun), and there is nothing complicated. If you're looking for generic cuteness and positivity, this is made for you.

5.5/10 story
7.5/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
5.5/10 characters
6.4/10 overall

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