The dark horse of spring 2022

It’s always a pleasant surprise when a show pops up out of nowhere and finds its way into some of the most respected anime. Ya Boy Kongming is one of those titles. Airing in the spring of 2022, it had managed to make a name for itself, despite almost no hype behind its title.

Ya Boy Kongming opens with the famed tactician Kongming Zhuge, or Zhuge Liang, who had been reincarnated in modern-day Shinjuku. After meeting our protagonist Eiko Tsukimi, he is enchanted by her singing and eventually becomes her manager. The series then follows her quest to fulfill Eiko’s dream of performing in Voicell Land.

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Spring 2022: Fierce Competition

With shows like Spy x Family, Kagua-sama: Love is warand Komi can’t communicate, the spring 2022 season is full of great titles. With all the celebration behind Spy x Family, in particular, many shows currently airing have been overshadowed, despite being incredibly good.

One of these titles was Ya Boy Kongming, a show that wasn’t on anyone’s radar in early spring 2022. Of course, standing among the giants is incredibly difficult to stand out and make a name for yourself. Despite, Ya Boy Kongming managed to rank among the top 5 most voted anime on the /r/anime subreddit, as well as rank #4 on myanimelist for shows airing in Spring 2022.

A huge reason why people give Ya Boy Kongming a shot is its incredibly catchy title. The original Japanese title Paripi Koumei is slang for someone who is an avid clubber. Instead of going for a literal translation, the localization was quite liberal with its changes and decided to keep the same fun and exciting energy. This change was well done, as many people decided to check out the first episode based on the flashy title it had.

What makes Ya Boy Kongming so appealing?

There are several reasons why Ya Boy Kongming appeals to many anime fans. One of the first reasons involves a change from the standard Isekai formula. Instead of being transported from a modern setting into a fantasy world, Kongming is transported from the past into a modern era. Modern settings have been sparse, making Ya Boy Kongming a breath of fresh air.

The plot of Kongming centers on Eiko, who found music to be his salvation and his main driving force to continue living. This dedication and passion for music may strike some viewers on a personal level. Even if you don’t personally identify with Eiko, there is something very admirable and vexing about someone who dedicates everything to pursuing their dream. Watching Eiko grow up and slowly reach her dream is a captivating and touching experience.

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As for the characters, Ya Boy Kongming offers an incredibly healthy relationship between Eiko and Kongming. The two meet by pure chance as Kongming discovers her singing at a random nightclub. Hitting a wall and failing her auditions, Eiko is about to give up on her dream of becoming a singer. As she is trapped in her despair, Kongming shows up and offers her salvation.

To top it all, Ya Boy Kongming focuses on Eiko’s quest to become a top-class musician, and he does his best to portray that journey. With a ton of insert songs, the show is bursting with life with its incredibly immersive soundtrack. Instead of telling the viewer that Eiko is a talented artist, the show shows us exactly what Eiko is capable of through its extensive use of songs sung by Eiko herself.

Will Ya Boy Kongming live up to the hype?

In the current state of affairs, Ya Boy Kongming gets off to an incredibly strong start despite the complete silence surrounding the show before its release. The combination of music, characters, and the endearing relationship between Kongming and Eiko brought a ton of attention to this previously unknown anime. That being said, with all the new attention that Ya Boy Kongming won, will it live up to the hype it produced?

Because very few people have read the source material of Ya Boy Kongming, no one knows how the show will end. The production studio Ya Boy Kongming, PA Works, is known for producing mostly original anime works. To many it may come as a complete surprise that Ya Boy Kongming is a manga adaptation.

Despite the series’ unknown future, it’s hard to see how it can fall short of the expectations it has set for itself. Unlike other shows that are heavily dependent on landing their ending, Ya Boy Kongming promises nothing spectacular. Simply following Kongming and Eiko’s relationship as well as Eiko’s path to stardom is all the show has to offer. In other words, as long as it keeps doing what it’s already done, it should end up among the top shows airing this season.

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