Series Review – New Game

Written by Bananaowns

Images courtesy of Doga Koba

I am not a fan of slice-of-life shows.  I prefer something with a solid plot and hopefully some action.  However, I did fall in love with one of these shows in the summer season.  New Game focused on a group of cute girls working on a video game and the antics of this group were highly entertaining to watch.  I am Bananaowns and this is an Otaku Youth anime review.

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Story and Characters

Aoba Suzukaze is a recent high school graduate that has just been hired by a local video game developer named Eagle Jump, as a part of the art department.  She is a very big fan of the game series known as Fairies Story and it turns out her superior at the company was the character designer for this video game series.  As Aoba learns the ropes, she becomes acquainted with the female employees at Eagle Jump and they get into all sorts of wacky shenanigans.

This series will inevitably get compared to Shirobako.  However, while it does go into some game design basics, it never goes into the same level of detail as Shirobako.  Problems with development are addressed, but they are not the main focus of the series.  New Game focuses solely on the characters.  From Rin’s habit of sleeping in her underwear to Hifumi’s love of her pet hedgehog, each character has their own interesting quirk that makes for a highly enjoyable comedy series.  At the basic level this is a show about cute girls just having a good time.  As a result, it is mostly comedic in nature.  Luckily, the show is great at putting the characters into situations where comedy can arise.  For instance, a lot of comedy arises at seeing the characters attend an after work drinking session.  It’s moments like these that showcase the charm of this series, which makes for a great watch.

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Animation and Sound  

The animation matches the comedic nature of the series with its bright aesthetic.  Each frame of animation carries the cheery tone of the series perfectly.  The animation quality is actually really high for a slice-of-life series.  There are several moments where I was actually amazed at the animation quality.  These moments managed to surpass the typical laziness that I usually associate with this genre.  The character design is one of the strongest aspects of the series.  Each character has a striking design and multiple outfits that they wear throughout the series.  For instance, Rin usually is in jeans, but will move to a skirt in a variety of episodes.  It can get tiring seeing the same outfit over and over again and the changing wardrobe in this show was refreshing.  Based on my earlier comments, it’s quite apparent that I really enjoyed Hifumi’s character.  The animation along with her interesting character design captures her shy personality to perfection.

The sound design isn’t really anything special though.  The opening and ending songs are rather generic and the series itself does not have any memorable music either.  As for the voice acting, each member of the cast does an excellent job, but the nature of some characters is generic as well.  There’s the hyperactive one, the serious one, and the shy one.  There’s nothing bad about these performances, it’s just that there is nothing that really makes them stand out compared to the glut of shows in this genre.  The sound design is the weakest part of the series.

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Final Thoughts

New Game was an absolute delight to watch.  I was highly entertained by the quirky cast of characters.  In a season with some rather heavy shows, New Game was the perfect way to just relax and have a laugh.  I give New Game my Watch rating.  It’s not a perfect show, but I can simply describe it as fun, which makes it worth a watch.  Thanks for checking this piece out and come back next week for another review.

Watch Rating

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Summer 2016 – Anime Recommendations Part 2

Written by Bananaowns

Images courtesy of Studio Bones, Doga Kobo, TMS Entertainment

It’s time to look at the next three recommendations for this summer season.  This part has quite the eclectic mix of shows.  Next week will be the third and final part.  As always, if any of you have more recommendations, be sure to leave a comment below.  I am Bananaowns and this is an Otaku Youth anime feature.

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Mob Psycho 100

From Studio Bones comes the adaptation of another web comic created by ONE.  This series features an eighth grader named Mob, who happens to be an extremely powerful psychic.  So far, the series had mostly followed Mob as he works for a supposed master psychic named Reigen.  Half of the comedy of the series has come from Reigen’s attempts to hide the fact that he is actually a fraud.  Mob Psycho 100 possesses the same comedic styling as One Punch Man.  It also has a rather unique animation style that is a close adaptation of ONE’s drawings.  Despite the goofy appearance at times, the animation is of a high quality.  This just hasn’t drawn me in yet.  I can’t exactly describe it, but I’m not falling in love with it as quickly as I did with One Punch Man.  Hopefully, the next few episodes will change this feeling.

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New Game!

This series wins my award for the show that I did not expect to watch this season.  It’s a show about a workplace which inevitably brings comparisons to Shirobako.  However, it’s in the slice-of-life genre.  So it would be correct to say it’s more like K-ON than Shirobako.  The series features a recent high school graduate as she begins to work at a game development studio as a CG artist.  Of course, you have a bunch of cute girls working on a video game.  There is no deep plot here, but the show is oozing with comedy from the interactions between the characters.  While it’s not an intense look into the development process, there has been a decent foray into explaining some of the concepts of making a game and Japanese work culture.  The animation has an expected quality.  It’s very bright and emphasizes the cute character design.  Overall, this show is my guilty pleasure of the season.

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Orange

In my First Look piece, this was the show that I was the most excited to check out.  So far, this anime has lived up to all of my expectations.  The main protagonist, Naho, receives a letter from her future self that details a list of regrets.  Her future self asks her to do things differently.  Most of these tasks involve preventing a tragedy that involves a new transfer student named Kakeru.  As expected, the series has been quite emotional already as Naho realizes her feelings for Kakeru.  There also is this sense of dread as time goes on because of the real fear of failing to prevent whatever happens to him.  In terms of plot, this show has been excellent so far.  The animation is also very well done.  The backgrounds are especially beautiful.  The facial expressions are also a highlight.  It’s a very bright aesthetic for what’s likely a heartbreaking anime.

You can check out all three of these shows on Crunchyroll.  I’ll be back next week to finish my anime recommendations for this season and as always, thanks for checking this piece out.