Ya Boy Kongming involves its titular character, famous Chinese military strategist Zhuge Kongming, being reincarnated into modern Japan following his death in Three Kingdoms era China, where he chooses to lend his tactical talents in helping struggling singer Eiko Tsukimi become successful in her craft. The series has two angles to its storytelling with exploring Eiko's efforts to give her singing talents more attention and Kongming's tactics being utilized from using some of his famous battle strategies in creative ways. Eiko's efforts to draw more attention to her singing can be seen as relatable and believable for those within that realm as being within the industry itself is a difficult path, with some being cutthroat enough to attempt going over others to boost their own fame or sacrificing one's creativity to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. This is explored with some secondary characters whom Eiko and Kongming encounter throughout Ya Boy Kongming's 12-episode run as reminders of how careful they need to be in their efforts to gain fame, also lending the series a decent amount of depth in exploring the musical profession. Kongming's character is also a hoot to see with how strongly he sticks out from other characters due to his attire and very character, lending his fair share of humorous moments in reaction to seeing the modern conveniences that serve as culture shock to him, the implementation of his military strategies for plans to help get Eiko over with fans, and even one memorable scene where you get to see him try out rapping. Only major sore spot I have with the series is its lack of a proper conclusion due to its manga source material still being ongoing as of the time I make this review, as Eiko's quest to become a successful singer is still ongoing. Still in spite of my initial assumptions of this being more a gimmicky title milking Kongming's eccentric character, I was surprised with the series having quite a bit more meat to its story than I was expecting and found myself quite entertained with what it had to offer up.
Last updated Wednesday, October 25 2023. Created Wednesday, October 25 2023.
(Three episodes watched):
The moment where Kongming vows to be Eiko's manager made me sit up and take notice of what had previously seemed a pretty unremarkable and unfocused show. I almost quit watching in the first minutes, when the Three Kingdoms era was mentioned, since my experience of anime dealing with ancient Chinese history has not been pleasant. Fortunately, this show is definitely taking place in modern Japan and won't be about martial arts or anything like that. Kongming's initial impression that maybe he has gone to hell were sort of funny but not LOL so. The thought occurred to me that maybe it would have been a good idea if, instead of making it clear that this really is the resurrected Kongming, a strangely dressed and confused guy had simply turned up in Eiko's life and for all we know he might just be crazy. It seems that this show is not shooting for the stars but rather is making a modest attempt to be entertaining. It seems like a comedy, but Eiko has been absolutely despondent in the past. I still don't know if this is clever enough to work; at least it doesn't seem corny or hokey, but that's about as much praise as I can give it so far. The premise has just been revealed, and it won't be until episode two that we get a good idea of how it will be handled. A patently absurd scenario--a famous historical leader shows up and becomes a talent manager--could be great fun (precisely because it's patently absurd), but we will have to see.
In episode two Kongming puts his tactical genius to work to draw a crowd to a performance that Eiko gives. I didn't completely understand how his trick worked, and I doubt if it would have worked in real life, but I did get the sense that the makers were at least trying to make it plausible--which is more effort than we get from most anime. There seems to be something of a story to this show, rather than just the minimum plot needed. That is, this show wasn't just cranked out because something had to fill a half hour timeslot on TV.
Problem is, the tactics that Kongming comes up with to get people to attend Eiko's performances aren't always brilliant and probably wouldn't make all that much of a difference in real life. And therefore they aren't all that intriguing. Sort of like a mystery solving show where the solutions are pretty easy to guess--or maybe one where they aren't easy to guess, because they don't seem to make a whole lot of sense. This show will need something more than these to be worth watching. Will Kongming remain the modestly amusing but inscrutable third century tactician, or will he start to have feelings for Eiko? I hope it's the latter. But I decided that this show was getting tiresome and didn't sense much of a plot coming together, so I quit watching.
Last updated Monday, November 14 2022. Created Saturday, April 02 2022.