NEW GAME!! is the second season of the anime adaptation of Shōtaro Tokunō’s manga of the same name. The review for the first season can be read by clicking here.
You can differentiate between the two seasons with the number of exclamation marks in the title: NEW GAME! is the first season, whilst the second season is NEW GAME!!. The second season has twelve episodes.
Yoshiyuki Fujiwara once more returns to direct the anime, and Fumihiko Shimo is credited with the writing again. The same studio that produced the first season also produced this second one: Doga Kobo.
NEW GAME!! aired during the summer 2017 season of anime, and both seasons are available to watch on Crunchyroll.
NEW GAME!! focuses on the employees of Eagle Jump as they develop a new game that goes by the name of PECO. Most points brought up in the first review still stand; the characters still retain their personalities, and there’s more than a couple of times when we get some fanservice.
Whilst the girls are still the same loveable bunch we saw in the first season, there is some character development present. Most notably for Hifumi – she starts opening up more to her fellow employees at Eagle Jump, and even takes on a role with a lot of responsibility for the development of PECO.
Yun also gets a bit more time devoted to her. In the first season, she was just sort of there. In this second season, she actually opens up a bit about her insecurities, and she gets a fair amount of screentime together with Hajime.
Whereas the first season really lacked any drama, that has proven not to be the case with this second season. NEW GAME!! shows that it is able to handle the drama fairly well and the first example of that we see is Aoba struggling with feelings of inadequacy.
More drama arrives in the shape of two new additions to the cast: Momiji Mochizuki and Tsubame Narumi.
The addition of these two to the cast is a bit iffy. For a start, their arrival pretty much relegates Hifumi to becoming part of the supporting cast. Then there’s the fact that they don’t initially really get on with their co-workers.
It’s not so bad with Momiji, as her arrival gives Aoba a rival to compete with – Aoba may aspire to be like Ko, but having someone her own age really pushes her to do her best.
Tsubame joins the programming team, under Umiko. Nene also happens to be working under Umiko, and Tsubame wastes no time in having a go at her for the circumstances of how she got chosen.
The first impressions of these two girls are not good. However, more is revealed about them after their introduction, and they are eventually able to settle into their roles. It takes a little while, but they do become more likeable.
Hifumi isn’t the only character who has less of a role to play in this season. She is more prominent during the first half, but the same can’t really be said of Rin. She barely gets to appear at all – apparently she’s been out of the office a lot during the development of PECO.
Though her appearances are limited, the anime still manages to drop some not-so-subtle hints about the relationship between Rin and Ko.
Since this is NEW GAME!!, there is also plenty of subtext between other pairs of characters.
Though Rin and Ko may be the most blatant, the like of Aoba & Hifumi, Nene & Umiko and Hajime & Yun shouldn’t be discountered. Even newcomers Momiji and Tsubame have this going on – they live together, and Momiji is very reliant upon Tsubame.
NEW GAME!! doesn’t shy away from fanservice – that hasn’t changed from the first season. At the start, we get a reminder that Ko is still very much Ko, but the fanservice isn’t limited to just Ko. In fact, the majority of the cast end up providing some kind of fanservice at one point or other.
NEW GAME!! may lessen the role of some much-loved characters, but it also shows that it is capable of handling drama. Besides, its not like those much-loved characters have disappeared completely – everyone does have a specific role to play, just some are bigger than others.
Whilst watching the development of Fairies Story 3 during the first season was fun, the drama involved as well as the addition of new characters makes the development of PECO in the second season just a little more compelling.
NEW GAME!! is arguably an improvement on NEW GAME! (confused yet?), particularly with the drama that the first season lacked. Even with the drama, it still retains its light-hearted look at working for a games developer, but this season gives the characters obstacles to overcome and specific objectives to work towards.