Akatsuki no Yona – 04-06

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The power of shota compels you

3 more episodes in and I’m still pretty impressed. …I’m not entirely sure where the plot is going to go from here, but I’m still impressed.

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Hak seems to be flirting more with Yona now, which is quite a change from how he acted before the betrayal. Maybe this is because he’s free from the social restrictions they had in the palace (plus her main interest just kind of killed her father, though Hak doesn’t seem like that much of an opportunist). Instead of coming off as creepy though, his attitude seems to work. Yona barely seems to react to his advances, and he’s obviously still trying to protect her with everything he has. Plus in the situations he’s gotten more familiar with Yona, it’s always been for her sake (like checking her resolve or protecting her).  The two characters seem to work well together, and Hak seems to be a great motivator for Yona. Sure, him motivating her during the cliff fight wasn’t the ideal situation, since Hak was injured and fighting for his life, but Yona’s maturity grew pretty fast. Hak is pretty much all she has left, so of course she would want to protect him.

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But damn, Yona certainly is coming along as a character. It might have happened kind of quickly since Yona wasn’t in the Fuuga long, but I guess one doesn’t need to see a whole lot of people suffering for no real reason in order to change. What this does prove though is that Yona has a lot of empathy and heart. Normally the maturing of the princess-type character seems to take a while to set in, but Yona made her decision pretty fast and didn’t think twice about humbling herself before a child. She isn’t the type to sit around and wait for things to change around her, if her situation isn’t good, she acts. This is great to see. And as things went on Yona doesn’t seem to feel any sort of regression either. When Hak told her to stay and be quiet, her realization that her sitting there and waiting for Hak to solve things is no better than her waiting in the village came pretty quickly. Yona even attempted a sword fight (something that the plot has shown that she’s never done, since Il wouldn’t allow her to touch weapons). The heroine having this much self-awareness and bravery is making Akatsuki no Yona great to watch and hopefully the anime keeps this up. Maybe the impromptu haircut was a little cliche (since cutting one’s hair in Japanese culture is a symbol that the person has undergone some dramatic change), but it worked with the situation. Plus long hair is pretty inconvenient for battle anyways.

Though not every character seems to be so well rounded. The warriors of the Fire Tribe were pretty much there just to act as a mob against Hak, and they really seemed to have it out for Yona, considering that she was just supposed to be “apprehended” and not “killed”. Tae-jun is more of an interesting case, since he just seemed like a generic villain until episode 6. Everything seemed to be there just to point out how despicable that side was. Or maybe “despicable” is too a strong of a word choice there, but they’re trying to retrieve Yona, so they attack her? Normally one doesn’t try to kill the person they’re attempting to save and/or bring back alive. Like I said before though, they did end up making Tae-jun slightly better at the end, with him telling them not to attack her (seriously, what is with these warriors in this tribe) and I guess he did get upset over them firing a poisoned arrow at her earlier. The fact that he wanted to be punished finalized that he wasn’t totally a bad guy though. Sure, Tae-jun seemed like a bit of a selfish asshat, but when he thought he killed Yona, he truly did seem upset about it.

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Then there’s the mystery of what Soo-won wants. He never said anything about killing Hak or Yona and pretty much everyone seemed to ship Soo-won and Yona together. Again, maybe his plan was to marry Yona after killing Il, but her witnessing the murder kind of messed that up. Or maybe his guilt from killing her father would have prevented that development anyways. That aside though, Soo-won doesn’t seem like too bad of a king. The Fire Tribe seemed to the ones behind the idea of blocking off the river (or at least, all Soo-won said was to “prepare for war”, though maybe I’m giving him too much credit here), and his main concern seems to be keeping the peace of Kouka. He could have ordered full on war with the Wind Tribe to try and bend them to his will, but that wouldn’t exactly have done much for the kingdom’s integrity (…just look at Game of Thrones). Soo-won seems to want everything as united as possible, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He really seems like he wouldn’t be such a bad guy, if not for the whole murdering Il thing.

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…Plus the manservice helps. 

Everything so far seems pretty realistic in the sense that nobody seems to use magic or anything, but with the appearance of Ik-su, that seems to be changing maybe. It might not be anything drastic in terms of the world building, but the fact that Ik-su seems to get messages from the gods suggests that gods might actually exist in this world. Maybe he could be lying, but Ik-su knew exactly who Yona was, what she had decided, and what happened in the castle, despite the rest of the area (or at least the Fuuga, which is probably better connected to the castle than any other place in the area) not knowing what went on. Ik-su doesn’t seem to have any ulterior motives, so he’s probably not lying. They mentioned the gods during Soo-won’s coronation as well. Maybe they just mentioned the gods since things like coronations normally do (especially ones based in older time periods like this), but maybe the gods will play a bigger part in the direction the plot heads as things go on. …I’m only saying this because the end preview had dragons.

Well, now we know where the budget they saved on the OP is going; those fight scenes with Hak looked pretty fluid and pretty much every closeup of Yona had her hair animated nicely. The plot and the emotional impact it has is going pretty well too, though I feel like I say that every post. Really, all of the characters are pretty loveable so far. …Okay, maybe not the unnamed enemy characters and Tae-jun, but after seeing him so upset over Yona’s “death”, I can’t bring myself to hate the guy. Fuuga had such a great atmosphere as well. It was kind of a generic “safe-haven” place for Hak and Yona to stop in, but you really felt how welcoming they were to Yona, despite her being a stranger (minus the fact she came with Hak). Yona’s time at the village seemed a bit short and maybe some time lapse was cut out in the manga’s transition to the anime, but it still worked. Even the way the plot inserts the comedy portions works well, even if they pop up in the middle of more serious situations. Though that might be because none of the characters are truly awful people deep down (so far anyways).

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Now to learn why there are suddenly dragons. Unless they’re a metaphor for something or folklore. Probably folklore.


University student and the one at Metanorn who's known for wearing glasses. Likes blood, insanity and plot twists, but also plays otome games and adores cute romance anime. It balances out... somehow.
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21 Responses to “Akatsuki no Yona – 04-06”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    The power of shota… too strong… cannot resist!

    Also, where is Gugure Karakkuri-san? 😛

    • BlackBriar says:

      I’d love to see a certain type of war erupt here. LOLis vs. shotas. Who will win?!!! 😉

    • Karakuri says:

      …Sometimes I think I’m a shotacon in denial.

      Possibly maybe sometime in the near future there could be some Gugure. I’ll see what I can do.

  2. Joojoobees says:

    “He really seems like he wouldn’t be such a bad guy, if not for the whole murdering Il thing.”

    The thing that bugs me (and we might get a reveal that explains this at some point) is that I bet Soo-won could have had everything he dreamed of, if only he hadn’t killed the king. Now maybe the creepy advisor will be revealed as having convinced him to go through with this plan, but it really seems unnecessary, and was the very thing that prevents him from having Yona and Hak on his side.

    I bet they had all those hair animations because now, with her hair cut, they can’t do it any more. I can almost hear the director saying, “Last chance, folks; let’s do it right!”

    • Highway says:

      If Soo-won hadn’t killed Il, he would never have been king. He would never have married Yona, who was the princess, and Il said that straight up. We don’t really know why yet, but there is some reason for it. I do wonder if his actual plan was to kill the king, make it seem like someone else had done it, and then married Yona, since the only one against that idea was Il. But Yona ruined that by walking in when she wasn’t supposed to (ironically, to try to convince Il that he should let her marry Soo-won).

  3. Highway says:

    I just love this show. It’s one of those shows that ends and you’re like “no, that’s the halfway point for the commercial break, right? Dammit, that’s the end.”

    The damming of the river was slightly annoying to me, just because that’s not how dams nor rivers work. The water will go around and past your silly little dam, right back into the river channel. But oh well.

    I just love Yona’s character throughout this show. She’s making all the right moves, even if Hak doesn’t want her to sometimes. Tae-jun, tho, he’s terrible. Craven and pathetic. He wasn’t upset about Yona dying because he’s a good guy. He was upset *only* because the girl he had a huge unrequited crush on was dead. The girl that his huge unrequited crush pressured to fall off a cliff. All of his ‘penitence’ was based on that, not any sort of heart that he has.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Tae-jun, tho, he’s terrible. Craven and pathetic. He wasn’t upset about Yona dying because he’s a good guy. He was upset *only* because the girl he had a huge unrequited crush on was dead.

      You hit all the right aspects of his detestable personality. Up to now, he shows no redeeming qualities so I’ve come to categorize him as the type who should be tormented for as long as he lives. I couldn’t help but scoff as he asked Su-won to punish him because the object of his desire was rendered permanently out of his reach. I’m sure he wanted capital punishment or anything similar. No way. Death would be too kind of a reward for someone as rotten as him. Living on with nothing but misfortune and regrets is a more fitting punishment.

      By the way, I just noticed, congratulations on reaching 5000 comments, Highway!! 😀

  4. HannoX says:

    It does seem like Soo-won could have had everything if he’d just married Yona and shown some patience, but I can think of reasons why he didn’t.

    Earlier he said King Il murdered his father so he wants revenge. And once Yona saw him kill her father, she had to go.

    If he had married Yona and waited, he could have been waiting for a very long time since King Il could have lived for many years yet and Soo-won didn’t feel like waiting.

    It has been said that many if not most in the kingdom thought Il was a weak king because he was opposed to war and all violence. And it has been hinted that their kingdom isn’t a large or powerful one and that some of their neighbors are starting to take an interest in what’s going on there. It’s not safe to be seen as a weak nation or one with a weak ruler when your neighbors may have ambitious to expand. So Soo-won and his supporters (and he does have 4 of the 5 tribes backing him) may have decided they needed a strong king RIGHT NOW and Il was almost certain not to be willing to abdicate (heck, for all we know he might have been given the opportunity and refused) so there was only one option.

    I agree that Soo-won doesn’t seem like your standard villain and he could be a very good king. But in a world like that when it’s decided a change of kings is needed and the old one doesn’t simplify things by just dying, there’s only one way to make the change. It could be he felt he had no choice.

    • HannoX says:

      Damn it, ambitions, not ambitious.

    • BlackBriar says:

      The road to power is a very bitchy thing. Because in the process of obtaining it, you’re likely to destroy the things you once held dear. Su-won, along the line, became aware of such consequences before becoming king.

    • BlackBriar says:

      It’s not safe to be seen as a weak nation or one with a weak ruler when your neighbors may have ambitious to expand.

      What you said made me recall something. Those who are aware of the Naruto universe know that Itachi Uchiha wiped out his own clan. The reason behind his actions is what made it so important. After being subjected to intense suspicion and constant monitoring, the Uchiha planned a coup d’état on the Leaf village but Itachi thwarted it in earnest. Had they succeeded, it would’ve lead to infighting and instability, making the village as a whole appear weak and easy for the taking. At the same time, giving the other nations incentive and opportunity to move in and take over, resulting in unimaginable casualties.

      • HannoX says:

        Yes, and I’m sure that’s why the Wind Tribe whose leaders if no one else know that Soo-won has staged a coup and committed regicide hasn’t rebelled against him. After they’ve torn themselves apart in civil war it’d be too tempting for a neighboring country to move in and pick up the pieces. But if the story follows the arc it seems set upon, then when Yona returns to reclaim the throne the Wind Tribe will throw in with her.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Better for the Wind Tribe to play it safe by waiting for developments before making any moves.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    It amazes me how well this series continues to progress. Episode 5 was the best in my opinion as Yona stepped forward making a resolve. For a girl who’s lived nothing but a sheltered life, she is surprisingly brave. Like the soldiers in front of her, I felt something unnerving with the look in her eyes as she was glaring.

    All these flashbacks of a more pleasant time with Yona and Hak make it difficult to completely resent Soo-won for he’s currently doing. The fact he yet clings to them is more so. It makes one wonder if it had to come to this type of development and if there wasn’t another to gain what he wanted. I can agree with the intention of uniting the people but the way he’s goes about doing so is transparently wrong. One thing that is undeniable is if the king were still alive with his pacifist tendencies floating about, he would’ve proved an obstacle.

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