This level of attention to detail is how you know you’re dealing with a consummate professional
Kongming goes on reconnaissance with Eiko to a show put on by the relatively popular Mia Iriomote – afterwards, the pair make their way backstage to say hi and exchange pleasantries as fellows in the industry. When Eiko mentions that she is herself a relatively unpopular singer, Mia attempts to capitalize on this meeting by inviting Eiko to perform at the same event, but on competing stages. Kongming assesses the venue, and hatches a plan for Eiko to make the most of this backhanded opportunity.
Like many an American nerd, I suspect, the vast majority of my knowledge of Three-Kingdoms-era China (and of the exploits of Zhuge Liang in particular) comes from the Dynasty Warriors series of video games (shout out to any other old-timers who got started on that PS2 demo disc with a timed mission from Dynasty Warriors 2!). To me, then, the greatest delivery that this show can make on its premise is for it to take any gimmick that I dimly remember from my days of mowing through hordes of mooks on a CRT television and making it relevant to the J-pop idol scene. This episode does exactly that, so I’m excited to keep watching.
I confess that I don’t have any strong feelings about the in-show music, neither from an instrumental or lyrical standpoint, though a lot of the musical numbers are somewhat truncated or layered into the background, just as a matter of logistics (and I don’t do a lot of live shows, so I’m not sure what kind of adaptations are expected). The amount of English in both Eiko and Mia’s work is surprising, and the amount of it that’s Engrish is just enough to be amusing.
I know there’s a lot of Christmas creep here in the states, but I’m really curious how much time has passed since Kongming woke up on Halloween and this event, where nobody bats an eye at three Christmas trees in an auditorium.
The internet indicates that Japan does have Labor Thanksgiving Day around the same time as American Thanksgiving (late November, near the midpoint between Halloween and Christmas), but I assume its cultural significance is closer in magnitude to our Labor Day than to our Thanksgiving.
This episode proves that it can execute the comical application of serious tactics to serious business – if it can keep this up, I think we’re in for a good time.