Episode 7


main component of Hey Boy Kong Ming! We are just accustomed at this point to the tendency of the titular tactician to not allow his calculations fully in what his plans entail. The same reasoning he had for this with Eiko still holds in this episode, and we now find that it applies to Kabe as well: As the performers within this music department, he wants them to focus as much as possible on that music, as Kongming acknowledges that the success of his plans still hinges on their skills. So in this episode, as we begin the actual plot of amassing the seemingly insurmountable 100,000 likes in a very epic storyline, making it clear from the title that this is only “Part 1”, Kongming himself drops out of focus. It’s in the true ‘Shadow Tactician’ of this mode that we see how he encourages Kabe and Eiko to better themselves in time for critical performance, and question how much they actually get in their way. calculated for.

We just went through a big story introducing Kabe, so his part of this episode isn’t quite as involved as Eiko. Mostly we catch up with him, seeing how returning to performance, playing in the club with Echo, has been such a positive turn for him. His stomach ulcer seemed to have faded to anyone, with Nare now mentioning it (it’s unfortunate that Kongming’s amazing medicinal abilities didn’t, you know, save himself from death at the time), and it was noted that his collaboration with Eiko was already doing well in attracting more From people to place. Given what we heard in the demo for Eiko’s new song, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t incredibly curious about what the final version, properly blended with Kabe’s rap, was. He advised Kong Ming Kap to indulge in his match again. Sekitoba would be fun to see too – I’m glad the surrounding character and his relationship with Kabe were not forgotten after the introduction ended.

The key turn Kabe gets is in line with most of the information we’ve provided regarding Kongming’s actual long-term plan here, which Kabe (along with Eiko) needs to “evolve”, focusing on the audience that appeals to them. Cap has gone great at representing the strong and confident rapper on stage, but is he cultivating that “inner steel” necessary to “save people” as Kong Ming advised him to do? The point of seeing Kabe take the first step even in trying to defend a bullied child is not how good he is at dropping or standing up correctly in the face of bullies; In fact, it ended up awkwardly, funnyly bad. But the bad guys choose to leave anyway rather than even deal with it, exemplifying the lesson Cappie could have learned on the way back when he was too afraid to get up and perform: just appearing reliable, is more important and effective than any ‘cultivated grudge’ ‘.” It’s no coincidence, at least in terms of storytelling, that both Kabe and Eiko’s major steps toward growth in this episode involve simply being there for someone in trouble.

This brings me back to my main question from the beginning: How much of this did Kong Ming actually plan in full? I bet he probably didn’t put some schoolchildren on standby to bully outside the store, and his advice to Cappie on this “inner steel” was just something he was supposed to simmer until the opportunity presents itself. But the machinations around Echo’s side seem a lot more complicated. To just start, she’s got the numbered bags that Kongming sends her to form a delightful storytelling gimmick. They make for an odd mix of Chekov’s Guns and Mystery Boxes that somehow still seem to fit right in with this character and the series. However, they also come with one of the usual caveats to this show, which is the feeling that Aiko is not in complete control of her own efforts, and is instead being led by Kongming’s layered schemes even when he’s not around physically. So we get things like Producer Steve Kido (just what Aiko needs in her life, another eccentric) only motivated to work with Aiko right now because, coincidentally, she asked Kunming Pudding to buy it. Sure enough, Eiko should eventually win Kido with her own skill, not just being there for her efforts in this episode. Thus, her skill development, voice, and the aforementioned “inner steel” also becomes apparent as a cross-line for her arc here as well.

This is why the great stunt of this episode, the way it comes as a serious part of Eiko’s journey even with all of Kongming’s gouging, still serves as its heart. It is uncertain whether Kongming’s motivating Iko to audition for a street performance (something I must say I’m surprised to hear she’s never been to before) was entirely with the intent of confronting and cooperating with Nanami – the divination with which he eventually appeared, apparently reacting to “The Sworn Friends Sign even surprises him. But even if he somehow interpreted it, like some music-producing Xanatos, the gist of the job was still on Eiko: She needed Nanami’s help getting out with the cops who were harassing her, and she had to be. Willing to let a rad drummer sing the song for his performance, showing Eko how someone’s voice could really sound. It comes as a more balanced iteration of the trust-based understanding that Eiko and Kong Ming were working toward a few episodes ago: Kong Ming may have been leading this tour, but it’s still Eiko’s journey, and the choices she makes in several steps of her are surely going to be her own.

This performance at the end of the episode between Eiko and Nanami, regardless of any Kongming complications that might have led to it, is what sells this episode to me. Eiko and Kabe seem to work great together on stage, and they were purposefully produced together. But Aiko and Nanami have a more realistic and gentle harmony, delivered through the mediocre and effective episode presentation of their poor street performance. The setup almost ends up serving as a fitting parallel to Kongming’s one-sided ability to always carry out his plans, as this shows how much he can trust Eiko to do the right thing that will set her, and those plans, on the right track.


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Chris is a freelance writer who appreciates animation, action characters, and additional arts. He can be found in hindsight posting screenshots on his site Twitter.

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