Wow, Akatsuki no Yona just does not let up. It never wants me to doubt it again, and at this point I really can’t. It has proven itself as an impeccable piece of shoujo fantasy fiction, and the reason for that really all comes down to the characters. They’re constantly charming, constantly developing, and constantly likable. Even the villain is incredibly enjoyable. Akatsuki no Yona’s quality just keeps skyrocketing, in spite of the occasionally slow pacing, and I suspect that its only going to keep improving as it heads toward the finale.
Anyways, let’s start off by talking about the conclusion to the Blue Dragon’s arc, which was pretty great. I already mentioned in the previous post how he was a nice contrast to Kija’s happier upbringing, since the Blue Dragon was shunned throughout his childhood due to his power to paralyze people. However, he becomes even more likable because he’s so adorable! He wants friends, and a life outside of the confined caves he’s hid in over the course of his life, which is extremely understandable. Also Yona naming him Sinha is just so cute! In general he’s a nice addition to the cast, not only because of his character backstory, but also because of his quiet, soft spoken personality makes him a unique member of the group.
Other characters get great development here too, such as Kija who goes through a mini-crisis after Sinha joins the team. He feels like a useless addition to the group since Hak does most of the fighting, and Sinha has eyesight that can help guide them in the right direction. Kija however, can only really sense where the other dragons are, and as such his position becomes very relatable. I like how even in the smallest of ways, every character is constantly learning something. From Sinha seeing more about human interaction, to Hak accepting that Yona is capable in her own way, everyone feels dynamic. It’s not groundbreaking character writing, but its definitely a lot of fun to watch, making me eager to see where this group goes in the future.
We also get a small introduction to the Green Dragon Jeaha, who I’m already excited to see join the team. He’s brash, egotistical, and he can jump really high! Of course right now he isn’t the most developed person in the cast, but he’s already got some pretty nice contrast against the other dragons. Unlike Sinha and Kija, Jeaha has never felt any desire to conform to his destiny. He wants to be true to his own identity, free from the other dragons and King Hiryuu; and that’s a pretty compelling motivation! Everyone wants to be known for more than just their surface traits, and Jeaha is just like that.
Also, can I just say how much I love this show’s approach to shoujo! It’s hard to believe shows like Diabolik Lovers get made when something like Akatsuki no Yona exists. Not only does this show provide great man-service for its fujoshi demographic, but Yona is a great role model. She’s hard working, confident, and has gone under massive character development throughout the show. Sure, at her core she’s a demure, kindhearted princess, but she’s dedicated to her cause and will do anything to help it. Sometimes you don’t have to an absolute warrior to be a good female role model, and while Yona is improving in battle, she’s just as strong outside of it.
That praise being said though, this half has struggled a bit pacing wise. The show has never had very plot driven, and that becomes very clear in episodes 15 and 16. Instead of focusing on our titular group of heroes, the show instead decides to look at our enigmatic antagonist Soo-won. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Soo-won as a character. He’s absolutely fascinating from a motivational standpoint, because despite his clear devotion to his cause, he still feels some slight regret towards Yona and Hak. However, this does not stop his drive to rule Kouka, and this is made very clear when he visits the Earth Tribe to gain Lord Geun-tea’s trust.
Personally I enjoyed the way Soo-won deceived Geun-tea by acting like a idiotic airhead, but that doesn’t change the fact that this run of episodes feels like a bit of time waster. We get it, Soo-won is a strong adversary and a pretty good king, we don’t need two episodes to relearn this. Maybe if this section was shortened into one episode it would be better, but otherwise I wouldn’t be surprised if most people found this to be a bit of a slog.
Of course that still doesn’t change the fact that Akatsuki no Yona is awesome. It’s not groundbreaking, or a great masterpiece of fiction, but it’s incredibly entertaining. Basically its a great popcorn watch, with the added bonus of bishie men for those who enjoy that type of fan service. I’m really enjoying it right now, and I hope the show gets a second season. Six episodes is not nearly enough time to finish this thing.
And with that I bid you adieu! See you in the final post!