In episode 6 of NEW GAME!!, Aoba discovers that her role comes with a lot of pressure. Meanwhile, Nene finally completes the project she has been working on and shares it with her friends.
The episode starts with Yun and Hajime chatting with Aoba about their favourite designs. The topic soon turns to key visuals: as Aoba is the lead character designer, she will be responsible for drawing them. With the key visuals being an incredibly important part of getting the game to sell, Aoba feels the weight of responsibility.
After six months, Nene has finally finished her game, Nene Quest. She invites Aoba and Hotaru out, and reveals it to them. Aoba and Hotaru enjoy it a lot, even going back to it for multiple attempts.
When Nene asks how Aoba is doing at work, the latter remembers that she has to come up with key visuals.
A meeting is called, where it is revealed that Eagle Jump’s new game will be called PECO. Christina also reveals that she wants Ko to do the key visuals, as PECO is being promoted as a collaboration between Shizuku Hazuki and Ko Yagami, the Fairies series’ director and lead artist.
Ko protests, saying that Aoba should be responsible for them as lead character designer. Aoba admits to being upset by that news, and asks for another competition between herself and Ko. Shizuku gives her blessing, but Aoba is told that the result is already a foregone conclusion.
Aoba struggles to come up with anything for the key visual. Her colleagues quietly offer her their support, letting her focus on her work. Ko also checks up on her, playing a little trick. Aoba then downs the black coffee, saying that a couple of bitter experiences are nothing she can’t handle.
During the weekend, Aoba works from home. She recalls what Shizuku said before about doing what works best for her and applies it to her drawings.
Aoba is able to have drawing after recalling Shizuku’s words, and she is able to put together a key visual. Once again, Hifumi, Hajime and Yun offer her their support. Ko also compliments her on it. Aoba asks to see Ko’s drawing, and she complies.
Aoba pushes Ko away before she can comfort her, and insists on getting back and working on her own illustration.
The end credits roll after Aoba returns to her desk, but there is one more scene after them. One of the key visuals is used for a magazine, and it is also revealed that PECO will be released in the winter. Looks like things will be getting busier at Eagle Jump.
This episode was mostly focused on Aoba’s struggle with the key visuals. Aoba meeting Nene and Hotaru provided a small reprieve from that. It was an enjoyable reprieve, and it was great seeing Nene’s hard work being met with positive reactions from her friends. Nene may not be an artist, but there must be some talent there if Aoba and Hotaru kept wanting to give Nene Quest another try.
I liked seeing Ko getting worked up on Aoba’s behalf when Christina revealed she wouldn’t be doing the key visuals. That shows that Ko has faith in her, and that she wants Aoba’s work to be recognised. Unfortunately, the publisher’s main priority is selling the game rather than recognising talent.
The previous episodes have been dripping with yuri subtext – or maybe just text in some cases – but this one put that aside for now in favour of focusing on the continuing development of PECO. I’ve been enjoying watching PECO come together, even if we are only really seeing a part of the entire game development process.
The drama here results in some nice character moments, and it never feels over the top. As things stand, I still believe that this second season has managed to surpass the first. Considering I think pretty highly of the first season, that is impressive.