The head of Art Fest Live, Tsuyoshi Kondo, gets charmed by Eiko’s performance and seeks her out for one of the larger music festivals he’s involved in. Given a choice between the smaller Live Festival in Fukuoka and the massive Summer Sonia, the answer seems obvious with relation to boosting her popularity. The catch with Summer Sonia is that Eiko must participate in a bargain. If she can get 100,000 likes by the start of the event, she will truly be extended an invitation. If she can’t, her failure will be widely known throughout the industry, and her career could be smothered before it ever has a chance to take off. Driven by a newfound vigor to succeed, Eiko chooses Summer Sonia. Thus begins her and Kongming’s quest to garner an army behind her 100,000 strong!
Just because Brendan and Dan mentioned it: Gentleman…please…
Are you both certain you want to compete against ME, who boasts the most exceptional lack of historical knowledge?! It’s a miracle I know what Romance of the Three Kingdoms is thanks to hearing about it tangentially in a literature class. Oh well, I don’t need any of that to have fun watching Kongming tear up the J-pop scene!
Let’s just start this review the way Episode 4 starts. With the coolest man ever.
My favorite part about the interaction with Tsuyoshi Kondo is that his assistant (who speaks for him after he whispers in her ear) changes the tone of her voice to sounds more machismo. It’s a subtle thing but it made me laugh.
Ya Boy, Kongming represents the first time that we are trying a comedy show. With this in mind, I don’t want to complain too much about plot or character arcs and instead, I’m just looking for the show to make me laugh and give me some slick tunes. Thus far, the show has delivered.
This episode is a setup but it does some important things that I feel are worth praising. The first is that Kongming realizes that Eiko needs another element to elevate her music. It’s a well thought out notion on the writers part that while Eiko is skilled and works hard, it takes more than a pretty voice to reach a wide audience. The element mentioned is a rapper, and getting one involves some reconnaissance.
I like that Kongming doesn’t just magically have a way to will a skilled rapper into existence (Strategem 42: Manifest a bitchin’ rapper outta nowhere!). He actually has to spend time working the music scene to gather information. The payoff to all this ends up being great, as we get to see him rubbing elbows with cool characters and sweet hunnies later in the episode. I also just can’t stop smiling at the idea of a second/third century Chinese military strategist clubbing in Roppongi.
Kongming being preoccupied with his sweet new nightlife means that Eiko is left on her own to contemplate ways to garner followers. Since Kongming withholds the details of his networking plan, she works on a new song to pass the time. I like that Eiko is taking an active part in her own success here. While I understand we signed up for this show for Kongming’s antics, I’d be a little put off if Eiko herself is just a accessory to his strategies. This is her dream after all, and she made the choice to shoot for Summer Sonia. She’s gotta put some effort in, and the show seems to understand that.
The touching sequence of Eiko opening up to Kongming was a lovely added bonus here. Her backstory in Episode 1 seemed a little…intense for a show that’s mostly full of fluff. Losing the only person in her life that supported her music and suddenly having her passion be shunned could definitely drive a person to a dark place. It was heartwarming to see Kongming encouraging her to be more confident and praising her new song.
The show continues to look and sound great. I expect no less from P.A. Works, as I feel that they are insanely skilled. Just to nitpick here, I do wish we’d get to see some of the in-between processes of our protagonists rise to fame. Kongming’s networking is done offscreen and Eiko’s song creation is completed via montage. It will wear out its welcome if Eiko/Kongming just continue to magically manifest success without us being a part of the “difficult journey” that keeps getting brought up. Like Dan, I’d also like to see a little failure or defense against an unknown element. It builds character!
This episode is a setup but more happens here than you would expect. Eiko and Kongming have a sweet bonding moment, Kongming wears more amazing glasses from Donki and we even get a new song at the end! I’m glad Kongming has to work to add a person to Eiko’s dossier, and it was nice to see Eiko having a hand in her quest for more likes. I really enjoy the music in this show, and I’m definitely having a good time with the comedy bits. I feel the only thing I’m missing when watching this show is some hip, eccentric eyewear.