Kongming showcases some stats regarding the rival groups that are vying for the Summer Sonia slot. The team to watch out for is Azalea, whose lead singer is incredibly talented. To come out on top, Kongming instigates Operation: Plan for Peace Throughout the World. Everyone has their missions now. First things first though, Eiko needs to polish up her new song and Kabetaijin needs to defeat his longtime rival Sekitoba in a rap battle rematch. How will our duo fare in their respective tasks?
You know…I was just thinking to myself while watching the INCREDIBLE OP for this show, that I wonder when these cool peeps are going to show up.
The wait is over! Azalea is here and they are our arch rivals for the Summer Sonia slot (delicious alliteration…so satisfying).
Before I move forward to the review, I just need to say…I freaking LOVE the idea of Kongming discovering the joys of Powerpoint.
Episode 7 is a massive setup but it allows me to compliment what I talked about in Episode 4 (this time featuring Kabetaijin!). Kongming is a tactical genius but he’s just that, a tactician for his new age “Generals”. He ultimately isn’t the one going out on stage at Summer Sonia, so Eiko and Kabe need to work hard on their collective ends! Kongming sits on the sidelines and does what any good tactician would do: he scopes out the enemy and he comes up with a battle plan. From there, he instructs his team to move forward and most importantly, he trusts them to succeed. I love that the show understands that trust is a a two way street here.
Kabe’s revenge battle with Sekitoba is the least interesting aspect of the episode. There’s a few shots of him muttering rap lines to himself while he downs energy drinks (dude…your stomach ulcer…remember?), but that’s about the extent of his screen time. I’m dubious if we’ll even see this rap battle showdown and honestly, I get the feeling we just needed Kabe preoccupied while we honed in on Eiko’s plight.
Eiko gets the lion’s share of the episode and crashes into a very important wall: Finding her own unique voice. When she goes to the studio to meet with Lord Cakethrower: The DJ (Steve Kido), he has her sing a song from her icon, the incredibly named Maria Diesel.
Afterwards, he drops on her something she needs to hear to move forward as a creative. She’s got beautiful vocal skills and is effective at copying, but doesn’t have a distinctive style of her own. Girlfriend, you need to figure out your own style and you’re gonna have to do it in less than two weeks! Thankfully she’s got Kongming’s three step plan for ultimate success and she’s met a new friend!
I think it’s great that the writers have thrown in this monkey wrench for Eiko. She’s been singing in a club of patrons that know her already (or are too drunk to care who’s singing). That’s fine for small time livin’ but if she wants those 100,000 likes, she’s gonna have to make people want to hear her distinctive voice.
As a last note, the show continues to look great and I enjoy the music when it appears. Nanami’s acoustic street performance was very pleasant, and very Engrish. I continue to be amazed at the sheer amount of English in these songs. I’m excited for Operation: Plan for Peace Throughout the World and I can’t wait to see what complications arise now that Eiko unknowingly made contact with “the enemy”. As a super last note, I think it’s adorable that the ED song’s animation has changed to include chibi Nanami’s appearance at the bar. Such a nice little touch of detail!
This episode is more setup but it gives us some great storytelling bits. Kongming fully trusts Eiko and Kabetaijin so he’s confident that they can succeed in their respective tasks. It’ll be interesting to see what Kabe discovers in the vein of “true strength”, but I’m unsure if we’ll get to take part in his rematch rap battle. Eiko’s quest to find her distinctive voice will hopefully lead to some great character building. I’m excited to hear Eiko’s final song once she’s rediscovered herself and I’m super curious how Operation: Plan for Peace Throughout the World will look in action.