New Game! is a four-panel manga written and illustrated by Shotaro Tokuno. It began serialisation in Hobunsha’s seinen manga magazine Manga Time Kirara Carat from January 2013. New Game! is licensed in English by Seven Seas Entertainment.
The manga received an anime adaptation, consisting of two seasons.
The story focuses on Aoba Suzukaze, who starts working at a game company.
A gamer girl’s dream job!
Suzukaze Aoba may look like a middle schooler, but she’s actually fresh out of high school and starting a new job on the character team of a game company. Not only is she working for the company that put out one of her favourite games, she also gets to spend her days modelling and creating characters. Follow her adorable shenanigans in this 4-panel slice of life as she learns the ropes of the industry and gets to know her co-workers.
New Game! introduces us to Aoba Suzukaze, and the employees of Eagle Jump. One thing I noticed, though, was that the company is never referred to by name in this volume – either that comes to be in a later volume, or it was something that the anime established.
This first volume of New Game! serves as our introduction to the character team (and Hajime Shinoda from the motion team). Each member of the team’s personality is established here, such as the timid Hifumi Takimoto, or the otaku Hajime. Quite a notable character is Kou (or Ko, depending on who you ask) Yagami, who first appears sleeping in her underwear – that becomes a recurring theme.
Even this early on in the series, we get to see the relationship between Kou and Rin Tooyama – even new starter Aoba is quick to pick up that the two ladies are very close.
Aoba learns quite a lot about her colleagues shortly after starting work.
After learning 3D modelling, Aoba’s duty is to create villagers for an area in the game the company is working on. That is followed up by creating a key NPC, which leads to Kou just showing how strict she can be. However, it is all in the name of making Aoba a better character designer.
New Game! has a got a great sense of humour to it, as well. It works in plenty of funny moments, whilst the team strive to meet their objectives. It’s a fun office manga, which is exactly what Shotaro Tokuno was aiming for.
There is one other character who appears in this volume that is not affiliated with the company that Aoba works at (at least not yet, anyway): Nene Sakura, who Aoba calls ‘Nenecchi’.
She is Aoba’s close friend. The two share their experiences over the phone, and this volume is capped off with the two going to see a film together – amusingly, both are mistaken for being much younger than they actually are.
Kou is a source of fanservice in New Game!, with one notable occasion that has Rin joining in on that as well. That’s about it for the first volume.
New Game! is off to a great start with its first volume, introducing an interesting cast of characters and giving an insight into the world of video game development. Definitely one that I recommend.