Follow TV Tropes

Following

Manga / New Game!

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/117451l.jpg
Video game developing has never been this Moe.
Advertisement:

Aoba Suzukaze is a fresh high-school graduate who is easily mistaken for a middle school student. She quickly joins Eagle Jump, the game company that produced her favorite game as a 3D artist, and has many cute antics as she gets her way through work and deals with her rather wacky co-workers.

New Game! is a 4-koma format manga by Shotaro Tokuno, published by Houbunsha in 2013 and serialized by Manga Time Kirara Carat. While it leans heavily on a cute aesthetic, it also portrays how the video game industry works in a realistic yet light-hearted way. Since this is a 4-koma, expect lots of hilarious moments. Seven Seas Entertainment will release the manga in English in 2018.

An anime adaptation by Dogakobo and directed by Yoshiyuki Fujiwara (Engaged to the Unidentified) premiered in July 2016. An OVA was released on May 3, 2017. A second season aired as part of the Summer 2017 Anime lineup. The series is streamed in most of the English-speaking word by Crunchyroll. In North America, New Game! is licensed and dubbed by Funimation. The episodes can be watched here.

Advertisement:

New Game! provides examples of:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: After Aoba is appointed as a character designer for a game, she gets in over her head and tries to act like a senior even though she's not as experienced as the others. Hifumi manages to talk her down.
  • Acronym Confusion: When Rin first introduces herself to Aoba, she says she's an AD. Aoba first took it as the Assistant Directornote , then Rin corrects it to Art Director.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime adds some extra scenes along with its chapter adaptations. Examples include Umiko's rooftop airsoft range and Episode 9 of the first season, and Shizuku's maid cafe diversion in the second season.
  • A.K.A.-47: In Vol. 2, Nene wins an N16 assault rifle from Umiko in a raffle. When Nene expresses disinterest in her prize, Umiko quips that a BK-47 would be a better fit for her.
  • All of the Other Reindeer:
      Advertisement:
    • Subverted with Haijme Shinoda, who works in the character design area despite being part of the animation team. When Aoba asks why, the way Hajime begins makes it sound like she was shunned by her team, but the real reason is that the animation team's area is all filled up.
    • Ko was a target for bullying when she became a lead character designer at 18.
  • Ambiguously Bi: While the entire cast counts as Ambiguously Gay, several of them discuss boyfriends during Aoba's official welcome party.
  • Ambiguously Gay: More or less everyone, though special mention goes to Rin who is often hinted at being in love with Ko, and at one point even becomes jealous of Ko and Aoba's mentor relationship.
  • Amusing Injuries: Characters react to getting shot by Umiko's airsoft guns, but typically no further effects occur, not even a welt.
  • Ascended Glitch: In episode 9, the fact that the player can see Panty Shots of characters when there is a Skirts and Ladders Situation. Since it was never on the specs, Umiko declares it a bug, but the Covert Pervert Producer Hazuki overrules Umiko, and rather requires the graphics people to go overtime to make sure the panties are rendered properly.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The anime's opening makes it look like Aoba, Hajime, Yun, and Hifumi are a Four-Girl Ensemble. The series largely focuses on Aoba, and the latter three are supporting roles at most.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Ko and Hifumi think Aoba has a sadistic side beneath her cheerful exterior, after they see Aoba send a picture of delicious donuts to Nene to make her jealous.
  • Billing Displacement: Invoked. In Chapter 49, Christina ordered Ko, instead of Aoba, to draw the key visuals for Peco, so that the project can be billed under well-known veterans to ensure sales.
  • Birds of a Feather: Hajime and Nene bond over their shared otaku interests.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • In Chapter 20, Tentendo, Suny, and Macrosoft stand in for Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft.
    • In Episode 1 of the anime, Red Gull stands in for Red Bull, Autodesk Saya stands in for Autodesk Maya, PZ3 stands in for PS3, and NEO for NEC.
    • In Episode 2, there's Calorie Mets! for CalorieMate, the market-dominating meal replacement bar. In the manga, it's called CalorieMake.
    • Episode 5 has several examples when Aoba and Hajime visit the electronics store: Mocom for Wacom, Toshida for Toshiba, and UVC for JVC, among others.
    • Episode 11 of the anime has "Will U" briefly appear on a video game magazine cover.
    • Masshirosoft Visual C++ stands in for Microsoft Visual C++ in an error message Freeze-Frame Bonus in Season 2 Episode 1.
  • Brick Joke: In Episode 3, Aoba imagines a situation where Ko punishes her for being late by forcing her to stay overnight in her underwear. At the end of the episode, while facing the prospect of having to work overnight, Aoba blurts out that she doesn't want to sleep in her underwear in front of Ko.
  • Canon Immigrant: Hazuki's cat Mozuku started off in the anime, but is introduced into the manga in Chapter 52, serialized when the anime is running.
  • Cerberus Syndrome: Those who have only watched the anime would be surprised at the arc between Chapters 49 to 51.
  • Character Development: Some characters develop significantly as the series progresses.
    • Nene is first shown as someone who can't stay focused. She later takes up programming and shows skill at it.
    • Hifumi goes from barely being able to speak face-to-face to becoming the character team leader and showing competency at her role.
  • Chekhov's Gag:
    • In Chapter 27/S2E1, Umiko agrees to become the chief programmer on the condition that she gets to flick Shizuku's forehead if a specification change is made. Umiko makes good on that promise in Chapter 37/S2E3.
    • Two gags in Episode 6 have importance later in the manga. Specifically, the fact that Eagle Jump chooses character designers by internal design competitions and Aoba's cute bear sleeping bag. In Chapter 30, Aoba's winning entry for Eagle Jump's new project is inspired by her sleeping bag.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Falling sakura petals and a flower viewing happen in Chapter 43/S2E1, signifying the start of Aoba's second year at Eagle Jump.
  • Club Stub: In the Prequel, Hotaru was the only member of the art club.
  • Color Failure: A brief flashback in episode 6 shows Hajime in this when she struggled to hand in a submission for an internal design competition.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In chapter 45/S2E04, Hajime is unable to get a ticket to the Moon Rangers concert. It's fortunate for her that Yun managed to acquire four tickets, for herself, her younger siblings, and her father, and her father offered to give up his ticket so Hajime could go.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The world of Peco, Eagle Jump's latest project, is a soft and fluffy world that follows a cute female protagonist who kills other characters, skins them, and then wears the skin as a disguise to easily kill others. Saved from being gory because everyone else in Peco is a living stuffed animal.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Shizuku really likes her cute colleagues, to the point that she chooses staff based on that. This way, she can forgive their mistakes.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Chapters 32 and 42 focus on Nene and Umiko, who get together to review Nene's code in both chapters.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Stinger of episode 4 makes it look like Rin and Ko went off to have sex, before revealing they were at a spa getting heat massages.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The anime's opening and ending themes are performed by fourfolium, which consists of voice actresses Yuuki Takada (Aoba), Ayumi Takeo (Yun), Megumi Toda (Hajime), and Megumi Yamaguchi (Hifumi).
  • Dramatic Wind: In episode 12 of the anime, Aoba's and Ko's hair fly into the air when Aoba says she'll stick by Ko no matter what. This happens inside a building, with no fans nearby.
  • Emoticon: Hifumi uses those heavily, not only in groupware but also in some written materials, which annoys Ko.
  • Excited Show Title!: That's New Game!, with an exclamation point. The name of season two of the anime adds one more exclamation point.
  • Fanservice: For a show about working girls they all end up naked or in just their underwear a lot. The anime is also full of Male Gaze with long lingering shots of butts, stomachs, chests, and feet. Ko and Hifumi get the lion's share of leg and breast shots, respectively.
  • Fanservice with a Smile: Invoked in S2E08. Shizuku attempts to use the new staff welcome party as an excuse to have the team do a Maid Cafe for her, to the team's annoyance.
  • Feud Episode: In Chapter 21/Episode 10 Aoba and Nene have a fight and spend most of the segment fuming over the other. They make up by the end.
  • Fictional Video Game:
    • Fairies Story, the series which inspired Aoba to join a game company in the first place.
    • Peco, the second project Aoba works on at Eagle Jump. It's a game that runs on Power Copying and Rule of Cute.
    • Nene Quest, a personal project of Nene's that she made while learning how to program.
  • Finale Title Drop: Aoba's monologue at the end of the final episode of Season 2:
    Aoba: I want to make even more wonderful games. Working together once more on a new game!
  • First-Name Basis:
    • When Hajime first introduces herself to Aoba, Aoba initially addresses her as "Shinoda-senpai". Hajime finds that too embarrassing and asks that Aoba just call her Hajime.
    • Umiko insists on being called by her first name, as she doesn't like her surname Ahagon despite it being written differently from its usual meaning. Ko doesn't really care and calls her by surname anyway.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In-universe, Nene discovers a couple while Beta Testing Fairies Story 3, including:
    • Ice weapons inexplicably dealing high damage to a Frost Giant
    • The ability to prevent Sophia's scripted death by moving her into a corner of the map and killing the enemies as they approach (this sort-of breaks the game, as enemies are continuously spawned until she dies).
    • She also discovers that you can get a panty shot of female NPCs in certain areas. This is actually turned into a feature, much to Umiko's annoyance.
  • Funny Background Event: In Episode 11 of the second season of the anime, when Ko remarks that she worries about what Aoba's like on the inside after seeing some stuffed-bear cannibals, Hifumi can be seen off to the side with a shocked expression on her face.
  • Gilligan Cut: When everyone plays rock-paper-scissors to decide who gets to play the debug version of Peco, Momiji quietly hopes that she'll lose. One cut later, she's in the player's seat, lamenting that she won.
  • Guilty Pleasures: Nene sees Moon Rangers as this. Since the latter is a children's series, she'd only take her Childhood Friend Aoba to watch it rather than her college friends, lest it strengthens the view that Nene's extremely childish.
  • Hard-Work Montage: Chapter 61/S 2 E 11 has a montage of Nene and Tsubame diligently squashing bugs in Tsubame's code.
  • Harsh Word Impact: When Hifumi tries to comfort Aoba about not contributing to character design discussions more, Hifumi says that it's obvious that Aoba is still inexperienced. Aoba is then pierced by an arrow labeled as much, and Hifumi quickly apologizes.
  • Heroic BSoD: Aoba is significantly shaken after she is lashed out at by Ko, whose character designs were entirely rejected at a recent inter-office contest. It's enough for Aoba to question her job and the path she took.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Nene, who is introduced as Aoba's goofy, troublemaking friend, later takes up programming and shows some skill at it.
    • There are moments when Hifumi isn't shy at all. That's when she cosplays, to the point that her coworkers can't recognize her. She eventually is promoted to character team leader and proves capable of filling the role.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Most of the time, but what takes the cake is Aoba getting trapped outside the office because she didn't have an ID card. Twice.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Sophia's death is an non-traditional example of this; what the Knight character faces in that battle are just garden-variety mooks, but they would spawn indefinitely until Sophia dies.
  • Hot Springs Episode: One half of chapter 29/the OVA focuses on Aoba and co-workers in a hot spring.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • When Aoba asks her co-workers what they do on their days off, Yun quickly says what she does is a secret, which Hajime teases her over. When Aoba asks Hajime the same question, Hajime replies that it's a secret.
    • Nene takes a swig of a strong energy drink and complains about its taste, and Aoba says she's just like a child. When Aoba takes a sip of the drink, she gags and tears up over it.
    • Umiko chides Ko over eating at a ramen restaurant, while sitting down and ordering a bowl for herself.
  • Imagine Spot:
    • While Aoba is on the train, anxious after having overslept, she imagines a situation where Ko punishes her for being late by forcing her to stay overnight in her underwear.
    • In Chapter 18/Episode 8 Nene goes to apologize for eating someone else's pudding, but then has a brief spot where she imagines getting told off by Ko and Rin, and Aoba getting in trouble by association.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Everyone the manga focuses on is a woman. Aoba brings up that the department she's in is staffed entirely by females during her evaluation where we learn that Shizuku purposely only hires women. The Prequel manga further explains this; the company as a whole might be equal-opportunity, but team assignment isn't.
  • Ironic Echo: In Chapter 9/Episode 4 Rin catches Ko stripping down in the office and tells to be more careful, and to be glad it was her who saw that. The next morning, Ko sees Rin stripping down and repeats what Rin said back to her.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: After Umiko lays into Aoba for some errors, Aoba doesn't have the best opinion of her. Ko says not to worry because Umiko's probably thinking she went overboard. In the very next strip, Umiko says she probably went overboard saying that Aoba looked like an apologetic monkey.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: Umiko frequently carries around an airsoft pistol and gladly uses it to shoot anyone that annoys her.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: Yun is from the Kansai region. Her speech in English scanlations is rendered into pirate fashion.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Zig-zagged. Aoba almost always wears the same suit to work, but outside of work she changes up her wardrobe. Ko almost always wears the same clothes because she sleeps at the office often. Everyone else wears different outfits.
  • Maid Cafe: It's a point of discussion in Chapter 35, when Shizuku says she's like to visit one as part of a company dinner. Its anime adaptation in Episode 8 of the second season also has Shizuku drag Aoba, Yun, Hajime, and Momiji to the cafeteria for a demonstration.
  • Measuring Day: Chapter 16/Episode 7 focuses on a company-sponsored physical, and naturally taking measurements is one of the events that occurs.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Of course this is also the case in real life video game studios, but there are a few specific examples:
    • In Chapter 19/ Episode 10, when Aoba and Hifumi go to Umiko's cubicle to give her some donuts, they noticed Umiko's two coworkers at the programming department have crashed, with at least 7 energy drinks visible.
    • Chapter 22 is basically about Umiko asking Nene (and Aoba) to buy energy drinks for the whole debug team, since Umiko expects the entire team to work overnight.
  • Name Order Confusion:
    • The romaji on Eagle Jump's staff ID cards follow the Eastern order.
    • Seven Seas Entertainment's translation also has the cast's names in the eastern order.
  • Never Trust a Title: Episode 6 of the anime adaptation is titled "The Release Is Cancelled?!" This does not happen, and the mere possibility of Fairies Story 3 being cancelled is only brought up in passing.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: In the Afterword to Vol. 2, the author states that Umiko handing out a shotgun shell as a gift is based on something that actually happened.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Ko and Rin stay overnight in the office in a state of undress, Aoba comes in early and catches them in a compromising position. They were just trying to keep quiet.
  • Odd Couple: The goofball Nene and the straight-laced Umiko eventually bond in a protege-master style.
  • Oh, Crap!: Nene has a look of utter dread on her face after she accidentally unplugs Umiko's computer.
  • Older Than They Look: Aoba and Nene are sometimes mistaken for middle schoolers.
  • Orphaned Punchline: In the manga and the series, A Stinger features a police traffic camera catching the girls walking home drunk. After Ko walks face-first into a street light, a thoroughly-soused Rin cracks a joke about Ko-lateral damage. However, since Ko's actual name was bleeped out to protect her identity, the pun is lost on anybody who isn't a New Game watcher.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Aoba quickly learns in season 2 that despite her improving art skills, she's still nowhere near the level of where Ko is, evidenced by their mock art contest in episode 6 where Shizuku allows them to draw a piece of art to be used as a promotional piece for gaming magazines. She ends up crying when she sees how much better Ko's work was compared to hers, though Ko at least tells Aoba her piece isn't half-bad either.
  • Panty Shot: Invoked in an anime-only part of Episode 9. Nene noticed under specific conditions, players may be able to see this through an application of Skirts and Ladders. Umiko immediately declared it a bug, but Hazuki overuled Umiko, which in turn made the character graphics team going overtime just to make sure all characters have their panties rendered.
  • Paying Their Dues: In-Universe. This may be why Aoba is more accepting than Ko regarding the Billing Displacement in Peco.
  • Periphery Demographic: In-Universe.
    • The Show Within a Show Moon Rangers is targeted to children. However even the producers noticed its adult fanbase, so the concert discussed in Chapter 45/S2E04 has two sessions—an afternoon session for the children, and an evening session geared towards the adults.
    • Both Hajime and Hifume are fans of the children's Sentai show "Insect Five".
  • Perpetual Poverty: This is implied for Momo and Naru. Justified because they are originally from Hokkaido, coming to Tokyo to learn game making and only interning at Eagle Jump.
  • Pose of Supplication: Aoba in the first chapter, when she gets Rin's title wrong.
  • Power Copying: This is the concept behind Eagle Jump's new project Peco, where the protagonist can wear different animal suits and attain that animal's abilities.
  • Prequel: Volume 5, which is only available in collected volumes, is about Aoba, Nene, and Hotaru's high school lives.
  • Product Placement: In the anime's second season, Ko's favourite energy drink is no longer given the Bland-Name Product treatment—it's Red Bull, alright.
  • Public Bathhouse Scene: In Episode 9 Aoba, Hajime, Hifumi, and Yun all visit a bathhouse after finishing some overnight work.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: Invoked Rare Female Example in episode 1. Since Aoba sees herself an "adult" as she gets her first job, she asked for black coffee—rather than orange juice—when she first reports to work. To keep this trope straight, she couldn't stand the coffee.
  • Real Place Background:
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Inverted with rivals Aoba and Momiji. Although Aoba has a cool color palette and a name that means "blue leaves" and Momiji has a warm color palette and a name that means "red leaves", Aoba is the friendly and compassionate one while Momiji is the quiet, withdrawn one.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter:
    • Hifumi's pet hedgehog, Sojiro, is the only thing she could smile towards for the longest time. It's because he's one of these.
    • The Mooks in Peco are adorable, five foot teddy bears.
  • Romantic Spoonfeeding:
    • In Chapter 37 Shizuku attempts to tease Umiko by offering some food to feed to her. Unfortunately for Shizuku, Umiko was in a similar situation previously and eats the food without hesitation.
    • In Episode 9 of the anime, Ko makes some porridge for a sick Rin. When Ko refuses to return to work, Rin demands that Ko feed her.
  • Scotty Time: Aoba is asked by Hifumi about her progress on an assignment. Aoba admits that she's behind schedule and asks for a two-day extension, of which Hifumi grants immediately. Aoba is forced to admit that she can actually get it done a single day; she'd padded her estimate because this trope was always in effect under Ko.
  • Ship Tease: A lot between various pairings, though some get more pushed than others.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the opening, Hajime twirls her hand and points at the camera like Haruhi.
    • Eagle Jump usually work with a game publisher called "Hobundo." The series' publisher is called Hobunsha.
    • In "Lunch Break 2", a bonus story for the second manga volume, Aoba decides on an item from the grocery store by exclaiming, "I choose you, Kombu!"
  • Show Within a Show: Since the show/manga revolves around a group of girls who make video games, obviously there's bound to be some of this.
    • Large chunks of the narrative are taken up with the development of Fairies Story 3, PECO, and to a lesser extent Nene Quest.
    • Moon Rangers, a Magical Girl anime of which Hajime, Hifumi and Nene are fans of. On the other way, even Yun and Aoba watch it frequently, being dragged by siblings and Nene respectively.
    • Insect 5, A Sentai-styled show about colorful crime-fighting insects.
    • Dandy Max, a pastiche of Golgo 13.
    • In the episode "That's How Many Nights We Have to Stay?", Hajime waits in a lounge and watches a kid's show about talking animals.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Tokuno realistically portrays the usual working conditions in Japan in general, and the Japanese video game industry in particular, although he had to tone it down in order to give the manga a Lighter and Softer feel.
    • Japanese workers are known for being much more hardworking than your average worker, so pretty much the reason why they try to lighten up the mood all the time by goofing off once in a while is to relieve all the pent-up stress from working all day and all night.
    • Some, like Ko (and later Rin and Aoba), are shown to sleep in the office in order to be able to work long hours and meet deadlines faster.
    • Many in the tech industry may take issue on Aoba's easy entrance, or the series' sugar-coating of workload issues, but they do appreciate the series' depiction of groupware use.
  • Sick Episode: In Episode 9 of the first season of the anime Rin falls ill and leaves work early. Ko later goes to Rin's place to take care of her.
  • Sneeze Cut:
    • While Aoba and Nene are in a theater to watch a Magical Girl movie, Aoba mentions that another co-worker might be into this kind of thing. A little while later, Hajime, who's in the same theater, sneezes after Aoba remarks about her some more.
    • In Episode 9 of the anime, the character design team decides to work overnight and Nene blames herself for it. Umiko says not to do that because the blame lies with Shizuku for changing the game's specs on a whim. Cut to Shizuku sneezing and looking rather confused by it.
    • While Aoba works through the night with her co-workers she wonders how Ko does it. Yun agrees and remarks that Ko looks thin and weak. At that moment, Ko, who is at Rin's place, suddenly sneezes.
    • Momiji frets because Ko hadn't told her if her employment at Eagle jump would continue. She says that Ko's pretty irresponsible, to which Aoba agrees. The two then yell that Ko is a jerk, and Ko, who happens to be elsewhere, suddenly sneezes.
  • Somewhere, an Entomologist Is Crying: In episode 2x09, the leader of the "Insect Five" Sentai team is named "Spider", which is not an insect. It's lampshaded by some background chatter.
  • Spit Take: Shizuku spits out her coffee in Chapter 26/ S2E01 after Aoba asks why Eagle Jump only seems to employ females.
  • Squee!: In the anime Nene is overjoyed to meet Ko in person.
  • Super OCD: Ko has the tendency to redraw the same things many times to change even the slightest details. She even takes too long to take Aoba's ID picture because she finds Aoba's suit irritating to the eyes. This is somehow Deconstructed; her stint as the art director for Fairies Story 2 was extremely bruising for her partly because of this trope—she was seen to be an overly demanding superior.
  • Status Quo Is God: Averted, compared to other slice-of-life works. As fitting for a work environment, new people are hired, some are promoted, and even some people leave the company for various reasons.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: In the anime, Shizuku often appears out of nowhere, surprising those around her. Sometimes she'll even have helped herself to some of their snacks beforehand.
  • Stylistic Suck: Averted in the anime. The quality of the video games and most of the computer models depicted are at least on par with the anime and those in an obviously different, 3D style are comparable to what you'd expect in a real-life video game.
  • Take My Hand: While Aoba and Yun are running to work because they're late, Aoba begins to fall behind. Yun reaches her hand back and tells Aoba not to give up. Aoba reaches for Yun's hand... and slips and falls on her face.
  • Teen Genius: Ko became the lead character designer at age 18, which made her a huge bullying target among her older co-workers back in her younger days.
  • Ten Paces and Turn: Non-lethal variant. When Umiko challenges Ko to an airsoft pistol duel, they take the expected ten paces, but neither allows themselves to actually get hit after shooting.
  • Title Drop: The ending theme Now Loading!!!! doubles it up with this line:
    New game is now loading, now loading, now loading...
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Hajime and Yun mess with each other and exchange barbs, but they're amicable enough that they're willing to spend time after work together.
  • Wham Episode: The end of Volume 6/Season 2 shakes up the status quo significantly when Ko leaves Eagle Jump to work at a French game company for a while.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ko gets quite upset in episode 6 of season 2 when she's told by Shizuku and Christina that she'll be drawing the promotional art for their newest game, despite Aoba being the lead character designer and the person that would normally also do the promo piecenote . However, Rin also sides with the two, since Ko had name recognition and would garner much more interest from the public than Aoba could. Aoba even reluctantly agree with the committee's decision, but asks to have a small contest with Ko anyway. Shizuku allows it, on the condition that Ko's work was still going to be used regardless of who won. Though Aoba understandably loses, she does at least accept the decision with no regrets, and Ko even compliments her piece since it was one of Aoba's best so far.
  • Yonkoma: Enforced by being serialized in Manga Time Kirara Carat.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Hifumi usually wears Grade A black socks.

Top