The Chinese Influences Behind Ya Boy Kongming Explained

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The Chinese Influences Behind Ya Boy Kongming Explained
Credit: P.A. Works

Ya Boy Kongming is one of the surprising isekai anime of the spring season. It is an underrated anime with an absurd but entertaining premise and a memorable opening song that set it apart from the rest. While the anime has been warmly received by the public, it was once regarded as a contentious show due to its Chinese aspects. Apart from Kongming himself, here are some of the Chinese influences behind Ya Boy Kongming explained.

Related: The Best Chinese Anime To Watch

Table of Contents

Ya Boy Kongming’s Use of The Three Kingdoms

Ya Boy Kongming Chinese Influence Use of The Three Kingdoms
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Credit: P.A. Works

Ya Boy Kongming is an anime that loves to romanticize The Three Kingdoms. The anime uses it as a reference for the show's running gags, in addition to having it mentioned in the show from time to time. This is an important aspect of Kongming's background in the modern world.

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Aside from Water Margin and Journey to the West, the events of The Three Kingdoms period are well-known in Japan. So, it is a no-brainer that the anime has been perceived well by the Japanese anime community due to its accurate representation.

Yuto Yotsuba, the mangaka behind Ya boy Kongming, did an amazing job integrating The Romance of The Three Kingdoms into the anime’s premise.

If you haven’t seen at least one material about The Three Kingdoms, it is one of the bloodiest periods in the history of China. A civil war ensued during this period, which culminated at the end of the Han dynasty. The novel, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, is one of the four great classical Chinese novels.

Ya Boy Kongming’s Use of Chinese Historical Figures

Ya Boy Kongming Chinese Influence Use of Chinese Historical Figures
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Credit: P.A. Works

Ya Boy Kongming’s main character is Zhu Ge Liang, who is popularly known as Kongming. In the anime, Kongming sports his traditional Taoist robe and a hand fan made from crane feathers. This is a direct reference to the respected Chinese tactician's wardrobe from back in the day.

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Kongming, as seen in the anime, is a very intelligent person. His knowledge is supported by his prior experience and stratagems in his previous life.

Historically, Kongming was a statesman and a military strategist who is often compared to Sun Tzu, the author of The Art of War. In modern-day Shibuya, Kongming utilizes his expertise in promoting Eiko’s career to new heights.

Kongming’s reputation earned him the title of "Crouching Dragon" or "Sleeping Dragon." He is a silent strategist who attacks his opponents in a slow-burning method. This is also depicted in the anime as Kongming often works in the shadows to catch Eiko’s rivals off guard.

Aside from Zhuge Liang, the name Eiko Tsukimi is a direct reference to Kongming's real wife, Lady Huang. Eiko Tsukimi's personality and characteristics, on the contrary, are more akin to Liu Bei, Kongming's warlord.

In the anime, Kongming serves under Eiko’s orders. Because of this reference, it will not be surprising to see if Kongming and Eiko end up together in Ya Boy Kongming.

Ya Boy Kongming’s Use of Stratagems

Ya Boy Kongming Chinese Influence Use of Stratagems
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Credit: P.A. Works

In the anime, Kongming frequently mentions his 36 stratagems. The 36 stratagems are based on a Chinese essay, which is used in politics, war, and civil interactions.

Stratagem number seven is one example: create something from nothing. It appears in Ya Boy Kongming Episode 3, where Kongming manipulates the situation in Eiko's favor.

The 36 stratagems are as devious and cunning as Kongming. Some of the more well-known stratagems include:

  • Tenth: Hide a Knife in a Smile
  • First: Fool the Sky to Cross the Sea
  • Fourth: Relax While the Enemy Exhausts Himself
  • 31st: Use a Woman to Entrap a Man.
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It will not be surprising to see more of these ploys in Ya Boy Kongming. After all, the show does an excellent job of elaborating on these strategies.

Related: Why Ya Boy Kongming's Opening Song is the Best of Spring 2022