I didn’t know I needed this anime in my life until I did…Hello everyone and welcome back to Otaku Thursday. So, at the beginning of the season, you know how Star and I put together a list of everything we were planning to watch? It’s here for reference. ANYWAY, when we were looking at anime we came across Ya Boy Kongming! and I said–and I quote– “Literally only watching this because of the name. But also it’s a comedy so it might be good–if there’s anything we learned from The Vampire Dies in No Time, it’s that it may just be stupid enough to be funny.” Now. All I have to say is thank all the stars I gave this anime a chance because Kongming isn’t just funny, it’s an absolute delight of an anime and actually a very strong runner for best anime of Spring 2022. Let’s break it down.
Ya Boy Kongming! is a very unique anime in that it’s kind of a reverse isekai. So, most isekai are about someone from our current times dying and either going into the past, future, or alternate world. However, this anime is about famous Chinese military strategist Zhuge Liang (courtesy name Kongming) who dies and wakes up in our time period in Japan. Having been isekai’d, he finds himself in the middle of a Halloween party where party-goers get him drunk and he finds himself listening to a girl with a beautiful voice singing at a club. This singer is Eiko, and she essentially gives him a purpose in his reincarnated life. She saves him from being passed out on the street, teaches him some basic things about Japan, helps him get a job, and even confides in him on her struggles as an artist. Kongming is touched–by her story and her singing, and therefore vows to make her dreams of being a singer come true–he wants her voice to be heard around the world. The entire show then becomes a story of how Kongming becomes her personal tactician (aka manager). The premise is super simple but also super unique. Whoever thought Kongming + EDM music is genius. It’s just interesting enough to pique people’s curiosity.
Now, the story doesn’t just rely on comedy and light humor to get through it. Because the story actually revolves less around Kongming learning new things about the world, and actually focuses quite heavily on the characters from our time Eiko–the rapper who shows up later on–a rival singer. Kongming is there to really help and support the main cast in ways where he doesn’t just come in on a horse to save them all the time, he gives them opportunities to grow on their own by challenging and encouraging them. It’s because of this that we not only get a good mix of drama and comedy in the anime, but we also get really well fleshed out characters to become attached to. The dynamics between characters are also built on–so it’s not just that Kongming supports them. No, they all have their own support systems they have and build and rekindle as they move forward with achieving their dreams.
I also think the fact this is a show that, at its heart, is about passionate people working towards their dreams, is one of the reasons I like the anime so much. Because I’ve always taken delight in stories where we see people honestly working hard at what they’re passionate about. It’s honestly why I also like Heroines Run the Show! this season. I guess to me, stories like these never get old.
Aside from good characters and story, Ya Boy Kongming! also has two essentials: good animation and great music. Honestly, I’m a little surprised at the quality of animation here. Now, while I’m not an animation expert, to me it’s one of the better animated this season from both drawing styles to how scenes flow. It’s got some really beautifully directed and animated shots. But of course, more important to the animation is music. Because music is at the heart of Ya Boy Kongming!, it had to be good. And boy is it. Every song that we’ve been shown so far, while repetitive if hearing it multiple times is SO catchy. Like, this isn’t a show where we get new songs left and right like Carole & Tuesday, but the ones we do get are lit–including the opening and ending. But in all fairness, the opening and ending songs are like practically covers of pre-existing songs (or heavily inspired by). Still good though! Honestly, I often get the opening, ending, and insert songs stuck in my head all the time. Which again, is great because as an anime that is surprisingly musical, we’ve got to really enjoy the songs.
Overall, I have really been enjoying Ya Boy Kongming! more than I thought. Every episode goes by so fast because I’m honestly enjoying myself so much. For an anime we really started watching purely based on the title, it’s miraculous we like this as much as we do. So I have to recommend it if you haven’t seen it. It’s a good time, a likeable story, good music, and great characters. You will enjoy yourself. I promise. This is one anime you really shouldn’t miss.