(Spoilers in this review) Part one has Nene finally completing her game, NeneQuest. Afraid that Aoba will look down on her finished product, Nene nevertheless decides to show Aoba the game and is completely off the mark since her childhood friend is impressed with Nene’s dedication and drive.
Time sure flies in New Game. It’s already been six months since Nene finished her part-time job as a debugger at Eagle Jump.
The second part of the episode takes a more serious tone. Despite being the lead character designer, Aoba is told that she will not be the one to draw the key visuals for the upcoming game everyone’s been working on (said game is to be marketed under the name “Peco”) and that Yagami will take her place instead. After all, Aoba is a nobody whereas Yagami is a big name. Marketing is cruel, basically.
The others have accepted it or deemed it as necessary, Yagami is against it, and Aoba is unhappy but understanding of this situation. Be that as it may, Aoba proposes that another competition should be held between her and Yagami so she can truly accept this turn of events. Shizuku allows the contest to happen, but she specifies that the results of said contest won’t change anything even if Aoba creates a better key visual. And so Aoba pushes herself and produces an excellent key visual, but in the end she sees the huge gap in ability with her own two eyes and admits defeat. But Aoba kept true to her words in episode 2 (of New Game!!) because she didn’t regret losing after giving it her all. And thus Yagami is the one who wins the contest and Yagami’s key visual is the one that’s used to promote the game.
This cour seems intent on depicting the harsher moments of human mentality (and on making Aoba go through a lot of trials and tribulations, the poor girl). How many of you have considered yourself inadequate or inferior? I know I have. That made watching this episode more difficult to watch, but Aoba’s mindset is so incredible that I feel inspired to tackle any challenges that come my way. It’s amazing how an anime episode can make viewers feel that way.
In short, the characterization and character development continues and we’re left with an episode that hits hard but resolves beautiful as Aoba stays true to herself.