Aoba has the opportunity to achieve her dream of becoming a character designer by entering a design competition in the second episode of NEW GAME!!, but she has to compete against the experienced Ko.
Let’s see how my favourite Eagle Jump employee gets on.The episode starts with a flashback to when Ko was chosen as the character designer for the first Fairies Story game. When we return to the present, Ko talks to her colleagues about the upcoming design competition.
Aoba is eager to start designing, and Yun notices her enthusiasm.
Aoba actually agrees that Ko winning is the most likely outcome, but she isn’t going to let a fear of failure hold her back.
Yun doesn’t think she’s good enough to enter, and Hifumi says she’d rather concentrate on 3D modelling.
After that, Aoba begins working on her designs.Aoba struggles to come up with ideas, so she decides to go and take a look at how Ko is doing. Being a veteran character designer, she already has a few designs. When Aoba examines them, she can’t help but feel inadequate.
Hajime comes into work yawning her head off, leading Aoba to believe she stayed up all night working on her own design work. Hajime did pull an all-nighter, but not for work-related reasons.
Hajime eventually comes clean about why she’s so tired to Aoba, Hifumi and Yun. She isn’t so forthcoming with Ko and Rin, though…
Aoba continues to struggle with coming up with any ideas, even contemplating staying overnight.
The time for the results of the first competition to be announced arrives, and Ko is called up first. Ko’s work is rejected, because her designs are too close to that of Fairies Story. Shizuku wants Ko to experiment more, rather than sticking with something she’s familiar with.
Shizuku notices that most of Aoba’s designs pretty much imitate Ko’s style. However, there is one that she takes particular interest in. She asks Aoba to polish that design by the time of the next competition.
Aoba struggles to come up with a way of improving on her design, so she decides to get advice from Ko.
After having all her designs rejected, Ko is understandably frustrated. However, as a result, she ends up snapping at Aoba. This leads to Aoba doubting herself.
Yun congratulates Aoba on the results of the first competition, and admits that she thought it was foolish to enter. She thought the same about Hajime’s proposal as well. However, Yun realises she was only making a fool of herself by not trying to move forward. She decides to enter the next competition, though she doesn’t want Hajime to know that.
Aoba joined Eagle Jump because she looks up to Ko, so seeing her behaviour after the competition results were announced really upset her.
Aoba isn’t the only one upset with that turn of events, though.
Ko regrets snapping at Aoba – in fact, that upset her more than having her designs rejected. Rin reassures her, and knows that she will make the right decision it comes to Aoba.
Ko goes to Aoba, and helps her out with her character design.
The results of the second competition are announced, and a collaborative effort sees Aoba and Ko secure their places as character designers for Eagle Jump’s next project.
That’s it for the second episode of NEW GAME!!, and it probably won’t come as a surprise when I say that I enjoyed it. It was nice to see Yun get a little more development here. Everyone else had been pushing forward, whilst Yun felt she wasn’t good enough to do anything else. She still may not have a lot of confidence in herself, but actually entering the design competition is better than doing nothing.
The main point here is the design competition, though. Even though Ko is an experienced character designer, sticking with what she knows really didn’t work out in her favour this time around. The development of Fairies Story 3 in the first season was a relatively straightforward process – it’s nice to see that this second season is giving both veteran and inexperienced characters obstacles to overcome as Eagle Jump start their new project.
I’m glad Ko’s frustration won’t be dragged out over multiple episodes. Her frustration was justified, but having a go at Aoba was going too far. Ko knows that, though, and I’m glad Rin was there to talk to here and help resolve the situation.
This episode wasn’t without its fun moments. Hifumi offering chocolates to Hajime was particularly amusing, and Aoba’s imagination certainly resulted in some nice images.