Not all anime series will receive high ratings or feedback, and Ya Boy Kongming! is no exception to that.
The anime industry has succeeded thus far in 2022 with consistently high quality anime for fans to enjoy. This spring has ushered in a new anime titled Spy X Family, which features the beloved fan-favorite character Anya Forger. Other recent anime such as Summer Time Rendering and Love After World Domination also gained a devoted fan following shortly after airing.
As expected, there were some anime from the lineup that was overshadowed, one example being Ya Boy Kongming.
Written by Yuto Yotsuba, the story begins in third-century China, during the historical Battle of Wuzhang Plains. It follows Zhuge Liang Kongming, a prominent military strategist during his time. As he succumbs to defeat in battle, he longs to be reincarnated into a world and time period filled with tranquility. His dream comes true, as he is reborn several centuries into the future, ending up in present-day Tokyo. While he no longer has to worry about war, Kongming is not prepared for all the vehement partying and mayhem his new life may entail. This proves to be true when he stumbles into a nightclub. There, he encounters a young woman named Eiko Tsukimi, who dreams of one day becoming a famous songwriter.
The anime is affixed in the isekai subgenre, which is when the main character all of a sudden ends up in a world different from their own, whether it’s a fantasy world or a different time period. Popular examples include Inuyasha and Sword Art Online. Despite the fact that isekai has risen to popularity in the last decade, Ya Boy Kongming is still underrated for a multitude of reasons. One aspect that was not well received by fans was the role Eiko played in the story.
While the first episode establishes the fact that Kongming is indeed the protagonist, he and Eiko’s positions are swapped right after he meets her. The show begins to focus more on Eiko and her aspiration of being a singer, causing her to take up more screen time while Kongming is just there. Understandably, this would upset fans who would rather see more of Kongming and his attempts to fit in with the unfamiliar world around him, especially since he is the title character.
Another factor that contributes to Ya Boy Kongming’s low reputation is not gaining enough hype to rival other anime. When a new anime is released, there is the question of it will be among the big-name titles, such as Jujutsu Kaisen, My Hero Academia, or even the recent Spy X Family.
Not only does this require a compelling, well-written story and a unique, likable cast of characters, but also great timing and in some cases, luck. Unfortunately, Ya Boy Kongming does not seem to meet the latter two conditions. It was released just four days before Spy X Family, and with the latter’s continuously growing popularity, the former was unfortunately left behind in its shadow.
Even though Ya Boy Kongming never retained significant recognition, it is something that anime fans should still consider watching in their free time, or after they finished watching another series. Full of hilarity, it is quick to initiate the plot and the dynamic between Kongming and Eiko, both of which are likable in their own ways with their aspirations.
It can also be a breath of fresh air for those who enjoy isekai anime, since the genre typically involves characters entering worlds that are considered back-in-time from their own and not the other way around. On top of that, the opening and ending songs are easy to fall in love with, as well as the high-quality animations and artistic faithfulness to the manga.