With New Game!!’s plot finally beginning to move forward at a steady pace, it’s a shame to see it slow back down again in episode eight. The first ten minutes were simply an excuse to dress the main cast in maid outfits and had little bearing on the episode’s story. However, the audience does get to see Aoba continuing to try and prove that she’s a professional.
Aoba struggles to find a place for an out of work gathering that is suitable since every member of the office has a different idea. But ultimately, they go somewhere fairly casual. Considering that the Eagle Jump office is relatively relaxed, this seems like a smart decision, and everybody is happy with it.
This episode takes the opportunity to develop Momo’s character further.
In the last episode, she came across as prideful, perhaps even arrogant, but this time she cares about how she’s perceived. When Momo finds herself left alone with Hifumi at lunch, she makes an effort to be more social. Of course, this means that Hifumi has nobody to talk to anymore, which is a shame because she’s come out of her shell this season. She may end up believing that she drove Momo away by talking to her when in reality, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Momo does have a bit of an attitude problem, however. She seems to take pride in doing only what is assigned to her. This mindset would be fine for a retail or manual labor job, but a games design team has to be able to rely on its members to pick up the slack.
There’s an interesting character dynamic here.
Hifumi is going to have to learn the difference between speaking as a friend and speaking as an authority figure. Momo is new at the company, and she could cause tensions down the line if she refuses to help at a crucial moment.
Later in the episode, Momo finally addresses her issue with Aoba. She thinks that she has something to prove since Aoba is the same age. Of course, the new, confident Aoba isn’t one to back down from a challenge, having been good enough to stand alongside Yagami just a few episodes ago.
Episode eight of New Game!! has a rocky and disappointing start, but managed to redeem itself with some insight into Momo and Hifumi’s characters. The workplace grudge with Aoba is likely to be a highlight of the episodes to come, but Momo may have to accept that Aoba is her superior, whether she likes it or not.