Fuji TV announced that Yuto Yotsuba and Ryō Ogawa’s Ya Boy Kongming! comedy manga will be receiving a live-action drama adaptation! The series is set to broadcast on Wednesdays at 22:00 [JST] in Fuji TV’s Shinsui 10 Drama timeslot starting this Fall 2023!
Shūhei Shibue is one of the directors for the Ya Boy Kongming! drama series, with Nonji Nemoto as the scriptwriter. Osamu Mukai (Paradise Kiss, Nobunaga Concerto) takes the role of Zhuge Liang, or Kongming, a famous military strategist who is reborn to modern Japan and begins a second life in a rather funky way.
The live-action series undoubtedly stays true to its manga reference as according to a short interview with the actor, the extravagant costume’s hat alone brings the total height of Kongming to an impressive 210 cm (6 ft 11 in.)!
Ya Boy Kongming! follows the story of Kongming, a General of the Three Kingdoms, who had struggled his whole life, facing countless battles that made him into the accomplished strategist he was. So on his deathbed, he wished only to be reborn into a peaceful world… and was sent straight to modern-day party-central, Tokyo! Can even a brilliant strategist like Kongming adapt to the wild beats and even wilder party people?!
The series was serialized on Kodansha’s Comic Days website from December 2019 to November 2021 and later in Weekly Young Magazine. It has been collected in 13 tankōbon volumes as of April 2023. It also inspired an anime season in April 2022 via the streaming service HIDIVE, with translations from prominent translator Jake Jung. A second season was confirmed recently.
▍ Ya Boy Kongming! Live-Action Series – Osamu Makai Interview
Q. When you first received the offer, what was your initial reaction?
A. It has been a long time since I appeared in a Fuji Television drama series, and I have special feelings for Fuji Television productions, as I have many memories of them. I also felt a connection with the producer and other staff members that I will be working with this time, so I decided to accept the offer.
Q. After reading the script of Ya Boy Kongming!, what were your impressions?
Ya Boy Kongming! has a high hurdle to overcome in order to be made into a live-action film. I thought it was interesting because of the difficulty of how to film it. I am looking forward to seeing how it will be portrayed and how it will actually be filmed. Also, this drama is about music.
Although Zhuge Liang is the main character in this drama, it is not only a historical drama. It is also a story about a strategist, a military strategist, who produces and grows artists. I believe that having the actual artists in the film will add to the reality of the story. I am very much looking forward to witnessing such scenes for the first time as one of the cast members.
Q. About Zhuge Liang’s role…
It is rare for me to play a role with such a strong character at my age, so I hope to enjoy playing it to the fullest! I try to read books about the strategies and tactics that appear in the film, but I think the most important thing is to read the world expressed in the script and make it even more interesting. Rather than trying to create a special role, I would like to face the script, deepen my understanding, and think about how to make the role of Zhuge Liang my own, how to express it, and what is the best way to deliver the lines.
Q. What were your thoughts on wearing the costume for the first time?
A. If you factor in the height of the hat, the costume alone comes close to 210 cm (6′ 11″). It is very voluminous. I think I was able to create an extravagant view of the world through many costume fittings. The question was, how could I play Kongming convincingly? It is possible via the help of costumes and makeup. [Costumes are] heavy and hot, but it’s this kind of work that makes it worth it! (laughs)
▍Ya Boy Kongming! Live Action Staff
Original Work: Original Story by Yuhto Yotsuba and Manga by Ryo Ogawa [serialized in Kodansha’s Young Magazine]
Screenplay: Nemoto Nonji
Planning: Yuka Takagi (Fuji Television Network)
Producer: Kasumi Yao
Direction: Shuhei Shibue and others
Production Cooperation: C&I Entertainment
Production Copyright: Fuji Television Network, Inc.
▍Ya Boy Kongming! Live Action Cast
■ Osamu Mukai Starring Zhuge Liang