The Importance of Nene in New Game! (TBR/W post)

After much hyping up, let’s get this series of posts started.

Welp, here’s where I’m at with TBR/W posts, using the updated list from this post. I think Shiki might disappear from Crunchyroll at the end of June, so I’ll prioritise that and then get back to these.

  • Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist
  • Amagi Brilliant Park
  • Garo – Vanishing Line
  • Inari Kon Kon, Koi Iroha.
  • Chihayafuru
  • Clockwork Planet
  • Outbreak Company
  • No Game, No Life
  • Acchi Kocchi
  • New Game! <<<< Here!

Reminders:

  • I’m only sticking to the anime lineup, so no manga here.
  • As for what I’m intending to do with each post…I’m thinking of doing my typical editorial-style posts, although the exact topic will change depending on the content.
  • For shows which are 2 seasons or more, I’m probably just going to do a post on the 1st season’s info.

After watching an episode of New Game! (episode 8), I spotted a Crunchyroll comment saying Nene was annoying. As much as her childishness does make her somewhat irksome, I believe there’s some good reasons as to why Nene is the way she is.

She gives another dimension to the comedy

New Game! is clearly trying to be nice to viewers who are newbies to the game scene, since Kou explains to Aoba what an NPC is early on, even though she should already know what one is if she’s landed the job.

However, between Aoba and her coworkers, the one dimension that’s missing is an outsider’s look into the industry. Not an “I’ve never played games before” kind of outsider’s look, or else there would be no justification for Nene to be there (as she herself realises when she accepts Umiko’s gun in episode 12), but rather someone who shows passion for games in ways the others don’t, such as through attention to detail in the Fairies Story games. Thus, by having Nene join as a temporary stint, she brings some naiveté into the Eagle Jump offices, which make her easier to play off Umiko, instead of having Umiko interact with Hazuki only.

She further develops Aoba as a character

Since Aoba is the protagonist, she’s kind of flat in a way that some protagonists are. Having Nene in the Eagle Jump offices not only builds on her characterisation from the next episode segments prior to her induction as a debugger, it develops both Aoba and Nene as characters in their own right. This is especially prevalent when Nene mentions she was bullied, which is a strangely poignant moment in a show as bright and cheerful as this.

Having Nene be even more of a klutz than Aoba also serves to up the ante on the comedy by juxtaposing the two and showing why they’re friends in the first place – because of their major similarities.

She fits right in

Unlike Hifumi, whose quirk is that she doesn’t know how to communicate and so she’s often on the side, Nene is able to jump right in and befriend everyone in the cast with relative ease, so she coaxes a reaction out of most characters simply by being there. (The exception is Hifumi, but Hifumi hasn’t really gotten to know Nene throughout the latter’s debugging job, so it makes sense character-wise.)

Nene’s tearful farewell at the end of the first season ended up injecting a lot more sentimentality into this show, which is a lot more than what can be said for the cast without her. I’d attribute that to her relentless energy, which makes her steal the spotlight every time she appears (and this is probably why people find her annoying in the first place). She is willing to share that spotlight though, and that’s what matters when the core job of the show is so much about teamwork.


New Game! functioned pretty well as a workplace comedy, but I really wish there weren’t so many awkward scenes for “shipping” or cheap attempts at humour like the time Nene points out it’s possible to perform panty shots of the game characters.

Gripes aside, do you think my arguments are valid? Do you think I should do more “in defence of [character]” posts, or does that make me seem like I’m imitating other bloggers?

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “The Importance of Nene in New Game! (TBR/W post)

Add yours

  1. I’m biased as a fan of Nene, but I think your arguments are sound and solid.

    Hmm I don’t think you’re imitating other bloggers with this sort of post. I would be happy to see you write more.

    Like

  2. As a fan of New Game! I totally agree with what you’ve said here. I never really sat down and thought through what, exactly, Nene herself brings to the table, even though she’s actually quite a nice character for the show to have. She’s super fun and really plays off of the other characters in interesting ways, and only gets better in season 2. Thanks for the awesome analytical work, as always!

    Liked by 2 people

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