NEW GAME!, Episode 2 | Why I Dropped NEW GAME!

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Before I get into why this show is dumb (I don’t like it), I want to say that I’m going back on my decision to review this episodically. Instead, I think I’ll go for the much more appealing ReLIFE, of which I’m actually starting to really enjoy. It’s funny how the first episode of a show can tell you almost nothing, and how stupid it is to try and judge a show based on one episode. I of course already knew this (super pretentious), but I thought I’d make a game out of it and test my luck. That failed, as I picked what was in hindsight the obvious loser. So with that said, I’ll be reviewing ReLIFE week by week starting with a two episode review special to catch up. Should be a fun time, and my first episodic review of a rom-com series! It’s my absolute favorite genre, so you can expect my write-ups to be unapologetically biased.

Episode 2 begins by reintroducing each of its characters with a short bio of each person, spoken in the mind of the main protagonist: Token Purple-haired Twintails Girl. Does she have twintails or are those pigtails? Like, I think they’re close enough to the front of her head and higher up to be considered twintails, but also far enough back to be defined as pigtails. I’m not entirely sure the official parameters of what constitutes either, so if someone could explain this to me in the comments, it would be much appreciated. Anyway, they reintroduce everyone…but it’s the 2nd episode. They were already introduced in the first episode, you know, the “introduction” to the series. Are these brief introductions going to be a reoccurring thing because the cast is obviously not memorable enough on their own that the someone creating or producing this show thought it would be necessary? I won’t be sticking around to find out, but it seems like that might be the case.

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We move on from this intro to…well, to basically nothing. This show is just a series of pathetically weak gags and mundane observations without any sort of delightful or original thoughts accompanying them. What’s worse is that almost none of it has anything to do with game making, but more on why that’s important later. Right now I want to talk about a missed opportunity for a really easy and what I think would be funny joke. In this week’s episode, there’s a part where Hifumi notices Aoba and freaks out because she’s super anxious (Hifumi’s my favorite btw). The earbuds she has plugged in accidentally get ripped out from her flailing about and the music she was listening to starts blasting out loud. This could have been a much better delivered and executed gag, had someone with an actual imagination or decent sense of humor written it. Aoba would think about what kind of music Hifumi listens to at some point. Later on, Aoba could have a reason to approach her and cause her to freak out, ripping out her earbuds in the process and revealing that she’s listens to something unexpected like heavy metal, or if you’re feeling really crazy, ASMR. But no, this show is too prudish to ever do that, so instead we just get pop music and an embarrassed look on her face.

And sadly, that was the highlight of the episode. It was the only thing I saw any potential in, the rest was all just pointless crap that taught me nothing. They have a drinking party and Aoba struggles with the idea of underage drinking only to end up not doing anything. Aoba and Hifumi have a conversation about her hedgehog that, while kinda cute, was completely meaningless. And these three examples are the only things I could consider being even remotely “memorable”.

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Now, I’m not the kind of person who judges something based on what they think it should be. That sort of judgement is kind of hollow and unfair, and so I try be critical of what’s there, not what isn’t. That being said, this show shouldn’t take place in a video game studio. There’s no reason for this to be the setting if we’re not going to learn something about game development. I guess I was just hoping this show would be like Shirobako, even just if it was just a little bit. Instead I got absolutely no insight into what a real game industry job might look like, nor did I learn about the challenges or overall life style that can come with the career choice. Basically, this show isn’t educational, dramatic, clever, or funny. And that’s why I’m dropping it.

But ReLIFE is looking pretty good, so at least I have that. Thanks for reading.

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