Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Review: Ya Boy Kongming!

I read another couple of chapters of online manga Ya Boy Kongming! on the Mangafire site. Written by Yuto Yotsuba and drawn by Ryo Ogawa, Kongming is a third century Chinese military strategist who is reborn as a young man in present day Shibuya, Japan. Here he sets out to use his knowledge of military strategy to help Eiko, an aspiring singer he has befriended to become a star. It’s a cool story, and I just read the fabulous scene where Kongming participates in a freestyle rap takedown against a troubled rapper who doubts himself. I first encountered a version of the manga when I was staying in Hiroshima last year. The live action version, called Paripi Koumei, was on in my hotel room, where I was enjoying a quiet beer and delicious taiyaki (with premium custard!). I saw the main character, complete in third century Chinese regalia and head dress, enter the Shibuya Tower Records store to do research for Eiko, and I was hooked. I had been to that Tower Records store just a week before. Ya boy!

I read some more of the manga Ya Boy Kongming! on mangafire. Eiko befriends a singer who it turns out, surprise surprise, is a member of what will be her rival group for a place in the upcoming mega concert. I’m still liking the manga, and I applaud the mangaka’s attempts at that very Japanese pursuit of eliminating conflict at every turn, but I do wish Kongming would stop quoting The Art of War by Sun Tzu. I’m not a fan. I know it’s probably appropriate considering who Kongming is, but instead of Sun Tzu, I’d rather Lao Tzu.