Image source: TVアニメ『NEW GAME!!』公式 on Twitter

New Game! is a slice of life story about video game development. The first season originally aired in the summer season of 2016. Now, one year later, the second season, New Game!!—note the second “!”—continues the story. The first episode was streamed during a special online event and Anime Now! got a chance to check it out.

The original New Game! centered on the protagonist, Aoba Suzukaze joining the game developer, Eagle Jump to work as a character designer for their upcoming game, Fairies Story 3. The first season ended with Fairies Story 3 being successfully released. Now, the second season begins with a fresh clean slate.

Now, a year after the start of the first season, it’s spring again, which means it’s hiring season in Japan where fresh high school and college graduates enter the job market. Aoba looks forward to no longer being the rookie of the dev team, only to learn that Eagle Jump will not be bringing on any new recruits this year.

Every April, the company undergoes staff interviews to allow the employees and management to express their opinions on the development environment, reevaluate their performance, and discuss their future goals in the company. In this way, we see where everyone currently is after the events of the first season.

Image source: TVアニメ『NEW GAME!!』公式 on Twitter

In addition to that, the project director, Shizuku Hazuki announces that for the next project, they will be holding a competition for who will be the lead character designer. For Aoba, this is a chance for her to not only evolve as a character designer but also to get one step closer to Kō Yagami, the company’s lead character designer and inspiration for Aoba.

Aside from the main staff of Eagle Jump, we also see that Aoba’s friend from high school, Nene Sakura, is taking a page from Aoba’s book and trying to make her own games. She seeks advice from Umiko Ahagon, a programmer at Eagle Jump.

Overall, the first episode sets up the status quo for the new season. Where the original New Game! started mid-development cycle, New Game!! starts out from step one. It’s literally a “new game,” or, considering that the characters retain all the experience and skills gained in the first season, a “new game plus.” I look forward to seeing where the characters will go from here and what sort of new development hurdles they’ll have to overcome this time around.

New Game!! is scheduled to begin airing in Japan on July 11, 2017. There is currently no simulcast information.

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