Mistaken Impressions in New Game!! (Episode 9 Review – “At Least Put a Shirt On!”)

(Spoilers in this review) The way I see it, the episode was split into 3 parts.

The first part had Hajime accompanying Yun and her younger siblings to a tokusatsu show (and Hifumin happens to be there, as well). Hajime runs into Akki, a high school friend, which rouses Yun’s curiosity. It turns out that Hajime tried to hide her power level otaku hobbies from her high school friends and that she was rather fashionable back then. Meanwhile, Yun didn’t have many friends in high school and was…not so fashionable. The two both opted for an image change when they moved to Tokyo, with Hajime becoming more tomboyish and casual while Yun aiming for a more dressed-up image. Feeling encouraged from how the two of them were in a similar situation, she decides to confess to Akki that she was an otaku — only for Akki to reveal she already knew.

These tokusatsu scenes / movie scenes do little for the narrative other than promote the glorious cruiser known as Hajime x Yun. And I’m okay with that. I can see why some individuals consider these segments to be ultimately unnecessary, however. But I would argue that this sequence, like many of the depictions of a work environment in this season, is relatable to many viewers. Unfortunately, anime fans feel compelled to hide their hobbies in order to not be judged by their judgemental friends and family. A lot of us do not have it as easy as the employees in Eagle Jump, who are free to proudly demonstrate their interests at work without fear of judgment or slander. Thus having Hajime and Yun be concerned about their reputation makes the series resonate with viewers all the more – it’s cute to see the girls be unabashedly passionate about their hobbies at Eagle Jump, but many viewers simply lack such a welcome environment.

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A reunion between high school friends!
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A girly and fashionable Hajime?!
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YUN!
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It’s not subtext at this point.
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How nice of Akki to not reveal Hajime’s “secret.”
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Aw, they match!
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It’s text.

The second part has Momo receiving an assignment from Hifumin. Meanwhile, Tsubame receives an assignment from Umiko and said mini-game is going to be put into PECO. Nenecchi, on the other hand, is going to be making a mini-game that won’t be putting into PECO.

Tsubame, who takes programming very seriously, ends up lashing out at Nenecchi since she feels like Nene is only fooling around and that Umiko played favorites by temporarily hiring her. Nene resolves to take things seriously and promises Tsubame that she’s going to become a SUPER PROGRAMMER.

…Tsubame had a point but the way she said it really strikes a nerve. It’s probably because she’s also partially wrong since she lacks context – Nenecchi had put in a lot of work into Sakura Nene Quest and she does take things seriously. I had thought Tsubame was a good girl, but being this spiteful is a little off-putting. To be fair, though, Nenecchi really did make it sound like she’s just playing around. At any rate, relations between the programmers are currently strained and it’s now a total reversal compared to how it was in the previous episode since the other team is warming up to Momo.

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Momo demonstrates her skills and thus gets work assigned to her.
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Tsubame became a programmer so she can make games with Momo, who’s always been a good artist.
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HATESPEECH
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Nenecchi imagining how it would feel to be praised by Umiko, who she admires.
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Good Girl Smile. Might Guy, eat your heart out.
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Momo is confident she can handle this assignment.

The final part has Momo lazing about as Tsubame cooks up some grub for dinner. The girls freak out after Momo spots a black thing (implied to be a cockroach) scuttling about while Tsubame was taking a shower. Tsubame manages to capture the bug using Momo’s bowl, but she ends up catching a cold since she’s wearing nothing but a towel for an extended period of time. As a result, Momo heads to work by herself and Aoba can’t help but comment on her “different” (more like sloppy) image.

Tsubame is still a bit upset about Nenecci, which Momo picks up on despite Tsubame’s denial. The two sort of have a similar dynamic to Rin and Kou since Momo thinks that Tsubame’s cooking is the best (never mind, Kou is insensitive and thinks Rin’s cooking is only decent). That, coupled with Tsubame admitting that she became a programmer to support Momo’s dream, basically solidifies the ship for me. Momo even speaks to Tsubame in a different tone of voice. She just sounds sweeter and more open. Kudos to her seiyuu for conveying that! If you consider that Tsubame takes care of Momo by feeding her, making sure she dries off, and doing her hair (if the end of the episode is anything to go by), this ship is basically confirmed!

I don’t know if people actually can catch colds like that. Personally, I was always told to dry your hair before heading outside so you don’t catch a cold, but aren’t colds a result of germs and stuff? At any rate, it’s a common enough occurrence in anime so I shouldn’t be questioning. Maybe.

We learned a bit about Yun, Hajime, Momo, and Tsubame in this episode. While my opinion of the first three have improved, my stance on Tsubame has spiked several times in this episode. Why do the girls with natural reactions that are actually relatable cause me, and possibly other viewers, to feel this way? Perhaps seeing such an unflattering side in a character is unsettling. Little progress was made for PECO in this episode, but that can show up in a later episode. Not the strongest episode considering how the first segment could be considered unneeded, but some additional characterization for the new characters is always appreciated, even if it complete throws off my earlier considerations regarding Tsubame.

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The amount of fanservice in this episode was a bit off-putting.
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Childhood friends? College roommates? MOTHER AND CHILD? LOVERS?
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Momo is so slick with words.
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THE BIG BLACK THING
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RIP Momo’s bowl 2017-2017
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“You’re on your own, girl.”
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She’s wearing pajamas and lacks her usual hair decs. She’s hopeless without Tsubame!

 

 

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