A new year arrives in the eighth volume of Shotaro Tokuno’s New Game! manga, and with it comes a new project for Eagle Jump to work on. A new game means new characters, so there is another contest afoot.
This volume starts with colour pages showing some of the main cast taking each other on in a fighting game – not much connection to the plot, but certainly a treat for the eyes with the characters being dressed up as the characters they are playing as.
The plot proper begins with the new year rolling in, and taking a look at how various characters happen to spend it. It is also made pretty clear that the events in this volume take place over the course of a few months, as we also get Valentine’s Day. That particular part focuses on Nene and Tsubame discovering that they actually have a lot of competition when it comes to giving chocolates to Umiko.
Of course, Eagle Jump’s next project is the main focus of this volume. It is in its early stages, and as such a character contest design is held – a chance for Aoba and Momiji’s rivalry to be brought to the forefront. They aren’t the only ones who enter the contest, though.
The contest is a chance for the entrants to discover that it can still be pretty difficult for them to achieve their goals. Even so, that doesn’t stop them from providing support for each other.
Besides the character contest, there are also decisions to be made about the makeup of the team. The director for this particular project really struggles with that, as she perceives everyone performing their duties admirably. Still, what she sees and what her team members actually think happen to be different things.
There are teething problems as the new project gets under way, but the staff of Eagle Jump approach them with the same fervor as before – even without a certain someone being around. This volume is all about Aoba, Momiji and the others facing their obstacles head on, and overcoming them – with each others’ support, if need be.
Outside of Eagle Jump, Eagle Jump’s games allow a new friendship to blossom. Something we only get to see because of certain characters being in certain places, but it is a nice touch to see how much of an impact a game can have across the globe.
There is plenty of serious stuff going on this volume, but it is balanced out with some more fun stuff, too. The aforementioned Valentine’s Day, for one, but also, Aoba is now old enough to drink – so naturally, she gets drunk with her friends and colleagues. Amusingly enough, the most sensible person when it comes to drinking is unlikely.
New Game! is still a really fun read, and seeing characters rise to challenges and overcome them, thus growing in the process, is always rewarding. Things may have changed at Eagle Jump, but Aoba and her colleagues are still able to handle what comes their way.