It was a fun ride into the workforce.
New Game offered a unique perspective having its main character, Aoba Suzukaze, entering the workforce. It’s not very often that anime offers a look at daily work, because daily work is dull and generally not very entertaining. The only other anime that I can think of that offers some perspective of entering the workforce is Clannad After Story. I actually find it fairly fascinating to have a story like New Game, even though it’s not my usual flavor of adventure and fantasy anime. For starters I really enjoyed following the character of Aoba as she integrates into the work environment.
Aoba decides and gets accepted to work at Eagle Jump. Her main motivations seem to be that she wants to follow in the footsteps of a character designer, Ko Yagami, who worked on her favorite game that also works at Eagle Jump. She idolizes Ko and finds out later on she will be working under her to help develop the game.
Their working relationship is that Ko is the lead character designer, and Aoba works as part of her team. Ko mentors Aoba into a competent and confident character designer, never allowing Aoba to accept mediocre as the standard. She continually pushes Aoba to achieve her best. Ko is one of those rare individuals that inspires and improves those working underneath her. But as the show continues we learn that Aoba’s idol, Ko, is not a perfect person.
Ko works frequent late nights, sleeps overnight at the office, and refuses to wear pants after the rest of the working staff has gone home for the evening. She strives for perfection in her work, even though she herself works long hours and has no meaningful social life outside of work. Ko is a workaholic. Aoba does her best to pick up Ko’s good work habits.
The story does a good job of presenting a hypothetical work environment that has a good management staff and team. Aoba is lucky to be working for talented and competent individuals. But the story also presents some of the darker elements of working life in Japan. Long work hours seem expected and sometimes necessary. The story touches on elements that full time workers don’t get the same pay benefits for working over the weekend that part time workers are entitled to. Aoba herself is at times too exhausted to function correctly or efficiently. Aoba becomes a cog part of the production machine. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to become a useful and valuable member of a production machine. That is how business works. Many would agree though that there should be a healthy balance between work and life, I am one of the many.
In the end when all is said and done Aoba helps develop a new game that we get to see hit the shelves. In the after party Aoba also helps Ko understand that she can become a successful art director, though Ko has failed in that role in the past. It’s an endearing story of integration into the workforce, and Aoba is lucky to work for the company that she does with a team that supports her and develops her into a talented member.
Agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!
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