Akatsuki no Yona – Episodes 9-12 Impressions

title card

Well this post is late… Anyways, hello everyone, it’s been a while, but today I’ll be finally finishing off all of Akatsuki no Yona’s Fall season episodes. Yaaaah! So yeah Akatsuki no Yona has been pretty great recently. Considering how much I didn’t really care for the first four episodes, it’s rather amazing to see how much the series has improved over the course of the last season.

bloom lighting! touchies

These four episodes are much the same as episodes 5-8, with the added benefit that they’ve truly been moving the plot forward towards the finish line. Yona is past her major issues currently, and the new warriors being added to the cast are varied, and interesting to watch. Which is surprising considering Akatsuki no Yona is still very much a generic show. It’s cast is made up of bishonen boys who protect a demure, but strong hearted princess, in order to overthrow the government. Really on the surface, this show is fantasy reverse harem 101! But like I said in the first post, that doesn’t really matter if the execution is good, and that definitely applies for Akatsuki no Yona.

in da light

I’m not quite sure where to point to first when talking about the success of these past few episodes, but if I had to guess it would probably in how the writers explore the characters motivations and backstories. On the surface these new cast members don’t seem very original, Yun is the smart and pretty boy, Ki-ja is the strong headed but calm and doubtful one, and the Blue Dragon, at least what we’ve seen from him so far, is the kindhearted and silent type. Overall these characters don’t really seem like much, but their chemistry and backstory montages work well in establishing their motivations.

ki-ja attack time

Let’s take a look at Ki-ja, aka the White Dragon, for an example. They could have easily played him up, or hell all of the dragon warriors, as an obsessive person who is constantly trying to help Yona. Instead though they give him interesting conflicts and reasons for him to want to help the kind princess. After watching his Father waste away waiting for his Master, Ki-ja wants to make the most of his time with Yona. However, this is impeded by the fact that his dragon sensing abilities can’t pinpoint the exact location of the Blue Dragon, which leads Yun, Yona, and Hak to have to plan out their journey more, and work harder in general. Now that’s what I call good character conflict! Ki-ja’s drive is what makes him a great character to watch.

bleu cheese dragon children

The Blue Dragon is much the same so far, despite the fact I’ve only seen about fifteen minutes of him during episode 12. Already his backstory is pretty compelling, with his dragon power of paralysis making his supposed to be followers fear and shun him, unlike Ki-ja, who was catered and worshiped by his clan. This makes for a nice contrast to Ki-ja, and combining this with the Blue Dragon’s loneliness and loss of his mentor as a child, makes him a pretty great addition to the cast.

the travelin boys worry chemistry

Of course, none of this would be anywhere as good if it weren’t for the fantastic chemistry between the cast. From Hak bickering with Ki-ja about who should protect Yona, to Jun’s egotism and sly nature, everyone bounces off each other great; especially in comedic scenes. Yona is really the cherry on top though, as she brings everyone together toward a common goal, not to mention her dedication to being able to protect her comrades is just amazing to watch. It’s nice to have a female character so thoroughly strong and motivated, while remaining flawed and compelling.

soo won 2 hak bleed

Finally to end everything off, I guess I should mention the few great moments of Soo-won screentime we’ve gotten in the past few episodes. Right now Soo-won still remains possibly the most intriguing member of the cast, mostly because of how hard he is to decipher. As I said in my previous posts, he’s obviously committed to ruling Kouka kingdom with a strong will, but when he learns of the supposed death of Yona and Hak the inner turmoil you can hear in his voice is heartbreaking. He clearly still holds some attachment to them as childhood friends, but it’s admirable to see him continue down his path of leadership. It somewhat blurs the lines of whether or not his good or evil, which is always a good thing. Of course the show will probably give us a rather good reason to root against him in the future besides the murder of King Il, but hey, morally ambiguous concepts are at least fun while they last.

yona tear

Akatsuki no Yona is a lot of fun. Once again, I still find it to be pretty generic in terms of structure and plot, but the strong writing really makes up for that in spades. Often funny, emotional, and full of fun fantasy and bishonen dudes, I still can safely say that Akatsuki no Yona is most definitely worth a watch if you’re into shoujo adventure series. And with that I’ll bid you adieu; I hope to see you in about two weeks!

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