「恥ずかしいところを見られてしまいました……」 (Hazukashii Tokoro o Mirarete Shimaimashita…)
“Of All The Embarrassing Things To Be Caught Doing…”
NEW GAME! is back, and nothing’s changed. That’s a good thing.
The first episode of NEW GAME!! (note the crucial second exclamation point, since punctuation is how we do these things nowadays) could be accurately divided into two different parts: the recap, and getting on with it. The first part, the recap, was honestly rather boring—though part of that could be that I only recently watched the OVA, so already memorable characters were fresh in my mind, and thus the recap felt like a waste of time. The nice thing is that it didn’t waste much time, if that was your feeling, and by the time we were learning that Nenecchi has developed a serious interest in programming, we were off to the races. That’s where everything really got going—got going back to where it always was.
Look. I’m not one who rails against change. Viva la change, I always say! (I said that once.) But when it comes to moe as fuck slice-of-life, change should be gradual if it’s present at all. That wonderful sense of warm continuity is what makes them so inviting, so it’s exactly right and proper that it doesn’t feel like much has changed. Aoba is still childish, Hifumi is still shy (best girl), Hajime is still energetic, Yun is still unsure, Kou-chan still doesn’t wear pants, Rin is still super gay, Umiko is still scary serious, Hazuki is still irresponsible (best woman), and Mozuku still has the most wagamama body. The latter half of this episode was like slipping on an old pair of slippers. It’s warm, comfy, and pleasant to the core. Good stuff.
What it isn’t good at is all the things it doesn’t try. Ain’t no drama here, dear readers, nor any epic battles aside from Umiko’s airsoft survival games. About the most notable events were Nene’s aforementioned interest in programming and the character design contest; even all the promotions are expected, and thus don’t rock the boat. (Well, aside from Hifumi’s boat.) This is turbo moe slice-of-life. What else do you want me to say? Aside from an awkwardly long male gaze camera pan on Kou-chan’s butt—we get it, we get it, she doesn’t like to wear pants, what is this, a Fast and the Furious movie?—everything was exactly as a good moe slice-of-life would have it be. It’s firmly ensconced in its genre, but it’s doing its genre well, and none of that has changed. I see no reason not to watch if you enjoyed the first season, and plenty of reason to watch it if you missed it the first time around.
I don’t know if we’ll be blogging this—though it’s unlikely, due to our oft-stated reminder that blogging pure slice-of-life shows is super hard—but I’ll damn sure be watching every episode of it, because Stilts-oniichan has a stressful life, and there ain’t nothing for relaxing after a long day like some moe. Well, that and beer. Hifumi gets me. So does Hazuki-san. That’s but one reason why they’re best girl/woman!
- “When anything’s on the table, it can be hard to decide.” Swiftly seconded. Nothing is more intimidating than a blank sheet of paper. I mean, other’n like a gun pointed at your forehead, but you know what I mean. Having too many options can be paralyzing.
- To summarize why the cast is all female: Because the author wanted it that way. That’s what I drew from Aoba’s question and Hazuki/Rin’s answers. Don’t think about it past that, it’s not supposed to make sense, but it also doesn’t matter. Just enjoy the moe!
My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for exclusive content. At stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: I get it now!; Guardians of the Galaxy, Glee, & Firesign; That’s not supposed to go there . . .; and The Carcer Principle.
Full-length images: 02.
OP: 「STEP by STEP UP↑↑↑↑」 by fourfolium (Takada Yuuki, Yamaguchi Megumi, Toda Megumi, Takeo Ayumi)