In the collection of my manga that I have still to get around to reviewing, I have a couple of yuri one-shots to take a look. One of those one-shots is Now Loading…!, a yuri manga about the video game industry.
The story and art of Now Loading…! is by Mikan Uji, and Seven Seas Entertainment are the ones who released published it in English. There are five chapters in this single volume, as well as some extra four panel comics.
Love is a Two-Player Game
Takagi just started her dream job at a gaming company! Not only that, but she’ll be working for her idol, the famous game designer Sakurazaki Kaori! When Takagi finally meets her hero, she’s in for a shock: Sakurazaki is harsh, blunt, and better at playing video games than dealing with people. As Takagaki and Sakurazaki work together, the two women grow closer and even fall in love. Can they keep it professional, or will the whole workplace find out?
I’m going to start by saying this, just to get it out of the way: Now Loading…! definitely takes some cues from NEW GAME!, the most blatant being a designer that wears gothic lolita clothing. Thinking of Now Loading…! as NEW GAME! with the yuri turned up isn’t too far-fetched, really.
The synopsis suggests that Takagi and Sakurazaki try to hide their romance from their colleagues, but that’s not actually how things go. It would be more accurate to describe it as Takagi coming to terms with her feelings for Sakurazaki, whilst everyone that they work with can clearly see that there is something between the two women.
On the subject of romance, it’s not just Takagi and Sakurazaki who have something between them. The aforementioned gothic lolita-clad designer, Sahara, always seems to be arguing with Samezu. In reality though, they do seem to care for each other quite a bit.
Sahara and Samezu’s relationship is pretty much just a side note though, with it only really brought up once or twice. The main focus here is very much on Takagi and Sakurazaki.
It’s not just a love story unfolding here, as the girls have to develop games – you know, like you’d expect a gaming company to do. Their focus is more on apps, so Takagi is tasked with coming up with events and such. Everyone has their own specific role to play, but Takagi feels that she’s not doing enough.
Overall, Now Loading…! is a cute yuri story that just so happens to be set within a gaming company. Of course this is going to draw comparisons to NEW GAME!, but Now Loading…! manages to get at least one over on that with at least a couple of kisses. Those who wanted a little bit more from NEW GAME!‘s yuri may find just what they are looking for with Now Loading…!.