Akatsuki no Yona 07-16

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The best reason the gather a harem: because god told you to.

Well, it’s time for me to finally to talk about Akatsuki no Yona again (and hopefully be able to blog it more frequently from here).

They just kind of threw the mythological aspect into the plot, but it was good world building. This is obviously a fictional country, so why wouldn’t they have their own unique legends? Plus it seems to all be true, as proven by all of the dragons recognizing something in Yona. It would be interesting to hear about the other legends that this country has. The origin one seems to be true, so maybe the other ones are too. Though Hiryuu’s story seems to be the most important one in regards to the plot, so maybe they won’t go into others. As for more world building, King Il’s assassination seems to be making more and more sense. …Or maybe not, since Soo-Won still seems like he could have had so many other options. But the kingdom definitely doesn’t seem to be as happy or prosperous as the beginning of the anime made it look. Yun’s childhood looked absolutely miserable, apparently that isn’t an isolated case, Yona walked by people complaining about royalty, and Soo-Won noted a lot of corruption in officials. So maybe the kingdom did need a better rule, and maybe Soo-Won is the person to do it since at least seems to be aware of the kingdom’s suffering. Though at the same time, that doesn’t seem to be a reason for the murder of the old king.

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Plus Akatsuki no Yona seems to have moved on from Soo-Won’s initial betrayal at the moment (I’ll talk about what the plot is doing with him later). They spent an episode on a travelling montage, but that was important too, in a way. Obviously, Yona had to learn how to use a weapon eventually, and then on top of that, she probably wouldn’t be able to kill some one (or some animal) that easily. Having her character jump from being a princess to being a warrior probably could have been done, but would it have been believable? To be fair, she’s jumped from being a somewhat spoiled girl to being a great character in little to no time. Though maybe it’s just that she never had a chance to demonstrate her strengths before this since she never had a need to, and we saw very little of her palace life. Or like Yun said, Yona isn’t isn’t naive, she’s just uneducated. She just needed to learn more about how the world worked. As of the plot right now, Yona is great to watch (…though I feel like I say this in every post). She really wants to take action despite varying results, since there’s only so much that she’s capable of, and despite being formerly upper class, she doesn’t seem to judge herself better than other people. That’s, of course, what won Yun over and what got Sinha to join the party.

It’s interesting how Ik-Su claimed that Yona’s life was going to be full of conflict when Soo-Won originally wanted her captured alive, and nobody at the time was trying to kill her. Not that I’m doubting what Ik-Su said. His predicts seem correct, since Yona seems to be the king the dragons are looking for and the mythology in the country is true as well (so gods more than likely exist). But maybe Yona fighting is a self-fulfilling prophecy? Surely she could have settled in some small town somewhere and lived a low profile life. Nobody was really looking for her, and Soo-Won thought she was dead. Or maybe there’s some other conflict coming up.

They seem to be pushing that Yona needs to do something important. It’s one thing that she decided that she wanted to survive, but since the dragons are recognizing something in her that they absolutely need to serve, it would be kind of pointless if it ended with her just running around the country just trying to live. Of course, Yona said straightforwardly that she just wanted the dragon’s assistance to save Hak’s life, but there’s more than likely going to be something more important going on in the future. The story has more direction now than it did in the beginning though. Other than Yona travelling to meet the dragons, there’s that hint of maybe a larger plot, in which Yona and the dragons will save the country (or something). Soo-won is working from the throne to try and fix things, but from what he said, it sounds like it will take more than him to work out whatever the corruption problem is. Plus from the beginning scene where it showed Yona and her harem group taking on an army, there’s maybe some bigger conflict that will occur.

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Life is hard.

Yun is a good addition, since he’s more intellectual. Ki-Ja has been pretty sheltered (and other than acting as a dragon compass and more muscle for the team, he’s kind of useless) and Hak seems better suited for fighting than other things. Sure, he took care of Yona when they were on their own, but Yun seems extremely efficient as a doctor and cook of sorts. He’s used to taking care of people after so many years with Ik-Su, and he seems better for knowledge. Hak isn’t nearly as sheltered as Yona, but he didn’t grow up with nearly as much hardships as Yun did. So it’s no surprise that Ki-Ja felt a bit useless when he joined the team. Yona kind of gets away with not doing much because she’s not really allowed to fight, and she’s the reason people are joining the group in the first place. On the other hand too, Ki-Ja came along surprisingly easy and his personality wasn’t really looked in to, other than that he really wanted a purpose in life. Having him struggle with not being able to help Yona as much as he wanted to, it helps define his character more.

…And then they added in harem antics. Though Hak has the childhood friend status, and then there’s also Soo-Won (maybe), so Ki-ja has a disadvantage there. Or maybe it just seems like love since Ki-Ja is constantly arguing with Hak (who undoubtedly is in love with Yona), but he hasn’t even known her for that long. At the beginning, it was probably more that he wanted to be the most useful to Yona (or maybe he just wants her attention the most) since she’s his master, and he’s been waiting his entire life for the opportunity to be useful. Though that’s changed by now, since Ki-Ja has gotten to know Yona a bit better (and learned how great she is). His addition isn’t necessarily bad though, since it gives the romance side of things more variety. Hak hitting on Yona (and her being too naive to really know what he means) couldn’t have gone on forever. Or if it did without any pay off, it might have gotten a bit stale. Now let’s just hope that Ki-Ja and Hak fighting for Yona’s attention doesn’t get too stale (though at least they’re acknowledging each other’s strengths now). Plus the dragons seem to be joining at a fast pace, so maybe the harem antics will change up more, preventing things from repeating too much.

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It’s interesting how the dragons live vasty different lives, even though they share the same origins and live in the same country. Ki-Ja was very loved and was protected by the villagers since he was so important. Yun pointed that out really obviously though. Ao (and Sinha by extension) obviously had a much harder time, and therefore, had a much worse attitude towards his dragon heritage than Ki-Ja. Luckily, Sinha didn’t hold any animosity towards Yona or being a dragon, he just seemed to want friends. I’m still waiting for a dragon to be well educated with is origins, but then at the same time, not want to join Yona for one reason or another. That could offer a more interesting scenario with the current focus of the storyline, since the dragons themselves have all joined the party and accepted their role of having to serve Yona rather easily.

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But for now the plot is back to Soo-Won. While it was a bit jarring from having the plot go from dragon gathering to Soo-Won’s way of running the country, this is giving Soo-Won more development than “he killed Yona’s father for some reason, but doesn’t seem like an awful person”. It was to be assumed that Soo-Won wasn’t a person to underestimate from his actions in the very beginning, but this was pretty much confirmation. Soo-Won’s strength seems to be in that he’s able to convince others that he’s helpless, even if he really isn’t and that he’s really great at manipulating things behind the scenes. This probably sheds a lot of light on how he was able to kill King Il, even though he never showed any signs of his intentions. But for now, it seems to be playing a large part of how he’s uniting Kouka. Again, Soo-Won doesn’t seem like a character we’re supposed to dislike (unlike, say, the fire tribe’s leaders) and instead, he seems like the right person to run the country right now.

Ah, I’m not sure if I covered everything I want to say about this show, but I think this is a lot for now. OTL I really like how they’ve opened up the story from the initial premise though! There were a lot of possibilities of where it could have gone. Maybe the plot seems a little Fushigi Yuugi from how the heroine has a convenient harem that she has to gather, but I like what Akatsuki no Yona has done with the characters so far, so I’m looking forward to where they go from here. Plus Yona basically just doesn’t want Hak to die and she’s not afraid to tell people her intentions about gathering them. Will they do something more with the plot than that? Probably. Though at the same time, will there be enough episodes for anything beyond gathering the dragons? It’s taken the plot more than half of the allotted episodes to get to this point (unless they’re going to make the anime go on longer than 20-something episodes, which seems unlikely). I just hope the anime doesn’t try to squish everything past getting the dragons together in to the final couple of episodes.


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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19 Responses to “Akatsuki no Yona 07-16”

  1. Irenesharda says:

    Wow, I didn’t know if you were coming back with these, but I’m so glad you did! 🙂

    I love Akatsuki no Yona so much, and it is up there as one of my favorite historical fantasy reverse-harem shoujo series.

    There is this complexity to it, the way that nothing is really set it stone and that nothing is really black and white. Yona, Hak, Soo-won, none of these characters have only one facet about themselves and it makes the story that much better.

    I’m actually really enjoying the search for the dragons via divine prophecy. It makes more sense to me than for the handsome guys to keep joining up with the princess just for the sake of her being “nice and kind”. It was very interesting seeing that the dragon’s blood that they hold calls out for the blood in Yona, and when they touch, they are basically divinely contracted to serve her and be loyal to her for life.

    However, because the dragon’s blood is passed on through generations and the legend sometimes gets lost along those generations, the lives of Ki-ja and poor Sinha were so vastly different. Both having the same mission, but Ki-ja knew all about his divine background and calling and was honored because of it, while the villagers of the Blue Dragon had forgotten the background and so thought the dragon’s blood was a curse. Sinha couldn’t have held any resentment for Yona, because he never knew anything about the dragons, the myth, or who she was to him or why his blood responded to her. He reminds me of a young introverted boy rather than the man he is, but that’s mostly because of how he was horribly treated as a child. My heart broke for him during his arc, it was just so sad the hatred and fear people can have of things they don’t understand. And I really feel sorry for all the Blue Dragons that had come before him. I wouldn’t be surprised if many murdered babies and mothers committing suicide had haunted that village. 🙁

    As for Yona herself, I really like that she is become gradually a stronger character and taking initiative. She’s pretty different than when she started, and she’s determined to help protect herself and those around her. I’m wondering where her journey will lead her. As you said, I don’t think her mission to gather the dragons to her will just lead her to try a coup that may or may not be successful, or to just keep traveling around forever. So, I’m thinking something is coming that she’s being called to deal with.

    As for Soo-won, well there’s one of the most multi-faceted antagonists I’ve seen in a long time. He’s a young man that so strong in his convictions and his idea of vengeance and justice, that rather than take the easy road and marrying Yona, he was willing to sacrifice his most prized relationships, to kill the man that not only he believed didn’t deserve to be king, but also the man that he whole-heartedly believes murdered his own father. And this being another story, told from another perspective but still at this ancient world of swords and battles, his move would actually have been seen as the right one, and he would have been the hero.

    However, because we’re seeing it from Yona’s point of view and her view of her father, we see Soo-won as an antagonist. But even then, there is too much to his character and revelations about Yona’s father, that allow us to push him into a black box marked “villain”.

    Despite being a murderer, Soo-won is really the king this kingdom deserved. While I admire King Il’s principles, he held up way too long in his palace and became disconnected with his people and the land. He’d rather sacrifice than make waves. I kind of like how Hak put it. While Il was in no way a coward and had his good points and was in essence a good man, he was at the same time, believing in an ideal, a pipe dream. He was a good man, but not a good leader. You can have a pacifist ideal, but you also have to face the facts that there are countries around you that don’t feel the same. And unless you defend your people and show that you are strong, the other countries, like bullies, will run right over you. There’s a difference between being against violence and being a rug. He was a good man, but a weak king. Soo-won is a not so good man, but he’s okay with that and has come to terms with it, but he’s a strong king, that’s not afraid to look weak.

    In this latest episode, he could have won that battle in seconds, we’ve seen how good of a fighter he is. He could have paraded what he’d done in their faces and took all the glory. However, he did everything silently, his mind on the bigger picture. He put the cogs in motion to get the Earth tribe out of it’s rut and didn’t even stay to accept any of the thanks for it. He could have destroyed Guen-tea on that battlefield, but he lost on purpose to help the man save face and win. He’s a king that cares for his people and his land, and actually does something to help it grow.

    Suffice it to say, so far, Soo-won is shaping up to be a better ruler than his predecessor. And while Yona is becoming a better woman in her own right, I’m not sure if she has the knowledge or fortitude to be able to rule over a nation. And that’s if her country even allows that, as the throne wasn’t supposed to pass on to Yona anyway, but to her husband.

    In someways, it might come down to what is right for the nation, versus personal vendetta. I’ve heard that is the manga it’s more obvious, but it’s hinted that there are probably many in the kingdom that suspect Soo-won for killing the king, but they either don’t care, or see it as a good thing. That’s what’s so sad about Yona’s position. People are actually ready to accept Soo-won over her father and they are ready to forget him and her. What is she to do other than just live as best she can? Even if she would try to usurp him, would she even find any support from her people who seem to be doing better under the younger, sharper mind of her cousin?

    This series seems to be going away from the cliches and putting new twists on them, so I honestly don’t know what will happen to our characters. However, I’m very interested in finding out.

  2. HannoX says:

    Spammy ate my comment. And this time it was a long one.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Indiscriminant beast. He doesn’t play favorites.

      • HannoX says:

        I think he does. Irenesharda regularly posts longer posts than I do (her post now is twice as long as mine he ate), but doesn’t seem to have as much trouble with him.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Irenesharda’s comment popped a while ago and it’s huge!!! Now that is a wall of text!! Spammy must’ve had a ball with that one.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Oh, I almost forgot. Aside from Irenesharda, I was a particular favorite of Spammy one time so you shouldn’t be that shocked about the size of her comment. I made one on the MetaVerse 18 post and it got way larger than I planned. To my everlasting embarrassment!!

        • Irenesharda says:

          Hey, I had like 9 episodes worth of comments to say. 😛

          But, yeah, mine got eaten by Spammy too, but here’s the trick. If the comment counter under my name goes up by one number even though my comment didn’t show and even the counter on the side of the screen didn’t show the count going up, then I know that my comment’s okay, it’s just temporarily hiding. 😀

          And just in case, I have an app on my computer called Lazarus that saves anything that I type in a text field as I type it. So, if something happens, like Spammy permanently eating it, I can click on it and have it restore what I had written. It helps a lot, especially after having so many comments getting mistakenly erased, I was tired of it.

          • BlackBriar says:

            Hey, I had like 9 episodes worth of comments to say. 😛

            Hahaha!! That’s insane! Imagine the size if it was for a whole series review! Your comment for Shiki wasn’t this big and you posted it on the show’s last episode review.

            • Irenesharda says:

              Well, when a show ends, I can just condense my thoughts to only being about the series as a whole. And depending on the series, this might take a long review or short. There was just so much in the last 9 episodes that it was a lot more to say than I thought. 🙂

    • Highway says:

      Sorry, this time it’s not around. I was out most of the day, and it wasn’t in the spam filter when I got back. There are times where it’s not spammy’s fault, but I can’t say either way.

      • BlackBriar says:

        My best advice for this kind of situation is to write out the comment on a program like “Microsoft Word” beforehand, copy, paste and then post while the original is already safeguarded. Once it shows up, you’re free to erase it. If it doesn’t right away, keep it until it does, even if a few hours is needed. If the blogger says it’s deleted, well, at least you have a backup ready because you won’t remember exactly what you said.

  3. zztop says:

    The best reason to gather a harem: because god told you to.

    The manga says the dragon-boys mostly follow her because Show ▼

    In Kusanagi Mizuho’s author’s notes, she stated Earth General Geun-tae was her first attempt at drawing a hot older guy(she’s only been drawing hot young guys until now).
    His wife is also much younger than him; she was a maid whom he fell in love with. She was in her mid-to-late teens when she married him; he was in his late 30s.

    • Irenesharda says:

      The manga says the dragon-boys mostly follow her because Show ▼

      That’s pretty implied in the series too, I think at one point Ki-ja says that even though he was trying to hold back while fighting, his dragon arm wouldn’t let him, almost as if it’s got a spirit of it’s own. Also, the way the Sinha acted when he tried to scare Yona with his sword, it actually seemed like he was actively trying to attack her, but his body wouldn’t let him. He couldn’t figure out why she affected him like that.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Well, better late than never. Here’s to hoping you’re able to return to blogging on an episodic pace again.

    Akatsuki no Yona has grown a lot on me as it progressed. The only other series I recall as a shoujo that got on my good side like is Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii. Also, though it’s more energetic and a bit off suited, I’m liking the new second OP more than the first. An awesome piece the rivals Nanatsu no Taizai’s second OP. If anything, it’s showing things are getting more serious and as the visuals show, Yona will start going on the offensive.


    The dragons are an interesting bunch. Sinha is the one I felt sorry for because he didn’t even have a name before Yona helped him out.

    Soo-Won is a sly fox that wears a mask of innocence and is able to effortlessly charm and manipulate the masses. Truly an antagonist you’d do well not to turn your back on. What he’s done for Chisin and the revelations on how poor a ruler King Il turned out make it difficult to thoroughly have any contempt for his transgressions. We see how well he does as a ruler: a good motivational speaker and man of the people but there’s no way to overlook the appalling means he took. “Couldn’t there have been another way?” is surely a question on most of the audience’s minds. At the same time, after what Yona encountered in the villages, one has to consider the amount of suffering due to negligence that would’ve continued to build if King Il was still alive. As a father, he did the best he could but his duties as a ruler left much to be desired.

    If the story doesn’t end by the 24th episode, the most we’ll get is a cliffhanger with a possible second season. For the moment, the manga has 67 chapters in total.

    • Highway says:

      I really dislike the new OP in comparison to the old one. Awesome overture instrumental piece with the perfect tone and great animation to go with it is replaced by a dime-a-dozen anime OP. Don’t fix what ain’t broke.

      • Irenesharda says:

        I kind of have to agree. The 2nd OP was really jarring when it first showed up. I really love the song, but I don’t know if it really fits this show. The first one had this sound that fit the ancient fantasy element of the story. This one did sound a little generic in comparison. However, after having heard it a few times, I am getting used to it.

        The new ED is really good though.

        • BlackBriar says:

          When I’m listening to the new OP, even if it’s for a little bit, I’m reminded of Yu Yu Hakusho’s first OP and that anime had some old world supernatural elements. Yona’s second OP would be like an updated successor to that.

      • HannoX says:

        The old OP was definitely better than the new and suited the show. OTOH, the new ED is better and it fits the show. Why couldn’t they have kept the old OP and just replaced the old ED? But I suppose there’s this idea the fans would get tired of hearing the same OP and ED for a show that runs more than one couer.

        • BlackBriar says:

          The change in OP usually corresponds to a change in arc for a two-cour or split-cour series. Though some animes don’t follow the trend. Like the three seasons of Phi Brain that kept the same OP for the term of their 25 épisodes, the two seasons of Log Horizon and currently alongside that, Parasyte. Some would be an improvement, others not. The OP for Tokyo Ghoul √A is a definite not. It’s always a hit or miss possibility.

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