More filler than plot
New Game!! episode three fails to keep the momentum built up last week. That said, the theme of inadequacy is once again explored, albeit in a different way. Unfortunately, it has more filler than the other episodes this season, and the main plotline doesn’t progress in any meaningful way.
Aoba is having trouble adjusting to her new role as character designer. Ultimately, although she is good at creating the characters, she knows very little else about the game design process. Early on, Aoba tells Hifumi to use a fur effect which looks good but causes severe lag. As the rest of the team brainstorm, she finds herself unable to contribute to the discussion due to her lack of experience. This situation echoes Nene’s struggles in the previous episode – all that separates them is a position of authority.
Fascinating take on the development process
This episode does have a fascinating take on the development process of games, however. Both Umiko and Nene are trying to create a fire effect in their respective games but go about it in very different ways. Nene can implement the effect, but she hasn’t optimized it and as a result her game lags and stutters. Conversely, Umiko can create a great looking effect that works, but which still falls short of what is expected from her.
As always, New Game!! tries to be as close to real life as possible. Nene is seen studying a book which teaches C++, and there’s even a giant Photoshop Creative Cloud tome in the animator’s office. These small touches show the audience that the show’s creators have done their research, and lend it an air of credibility.
On the character development front, Eagle Jump’s resident agoraphobe, Hifumi recognizes her social skills is a weakness and decides to take action. She invites Aoba out for coffee and tells her that she’s too inexperienced to be giving anyone orders. Bearing in mind that Hifumi was barely capable of saying hello last season, this is a huge improvement for her. She’s a very talented 3D modeler, and her input is critical to the success of the game, so it would be nice to see her open up some more as the season progresses.
Next week: Better pacing?
This episode has a lot of promise, but its pacing is too slow, especially considering that this is a busy time for a games development team. The show will likely gain traction as the game begins full development, but until then the cast is stuck doing paperwork. Next week’s episode should pick up the pace as the team finishes up the character designs.