PA Works, the studio that produces the high-quality slice-of-life anime The Aquatope on White Sand, is attracting the attention of anime-loving audiences through an exciting series called Ya Boy Kongming!. As a work in the anti-isekai genre, Ya Boy Kongming revolves around the character Zhuge Liang, a famous military strategist in the Three Kingdoms period, who accidentally travels to modern Japan.
Ya Boy Kongming! is a critically-acclaimed series when it first appeared on the Kodansha online platform in 2019 and was immediately licensed to release an English version in 2020. The manga by two authors Yuto Yotsuba and Ryu Ogawa was selected to adapt an anime in 2021 and air the first episode in the spring of 2022.
Ya Boy Kongming! begins when Khong Minh lies on his hospital bed and regrets his unfinished dream of reunifying the Three Kingdoms. He wishes to be reborn in a peaceful, bloodless world. After taking his last breath, instead of being reincarnated, Khong Minh traveled through time to modern Japan in a youthful form with his memories still intact. In modern Japan, Khong Minh sees bars and brightly lit skyscrapers and mistakenly thinks he has been exiled to hell. Experiencing a series of troubles when he could not adapt to his new life, Khong Minh met street singer Eiko.
The talented strategist realizes the girl’s potential and wants to help her realize her dream of becoming a professional singer. With tricks and calculations that were only used in ancient battles, Khong Minh helped Eiko step by step, proving his talent. Ya Boy Kongming! received positive reviews from the audience when skillfully using both building characters and creating situations so that a character as seemingly unrelated to singing as Khong Minh had the land to act. Through helping Eiko pursue her dream of being a singer, Khong Minh perfectly fulfills the role of a veteran strategist when applying war tactics to the music war, from observing singers’ skills to players, learn how to arrange the concert area and bar space according to the bagua map to the techniques to attract fans, all of which are bold in the Three Kingdoms but still extremely humorous. Besides, the anime also adds a lot of new details compared to the manga. The singing scene in the film is preserved, while Kongming’s strategies are explained from an educational perspective, providing knowledge to the audience.
Like most anti-isekai anime, Ya Boy Kongming! It is a combination of fantasy and reality. It breaks out of the typical ruts to laugh and convey a positive message with completely new creations. So from the historical to the musical aspect, Ya Boy Kongming! is the perfect example of how amazingly creative anime manga writers can be.
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