Manga Review: Yona of the Dawn vol.9

 

Synopsis:
Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

Zeno, the Yellow Dragon, joins Yona’s party, and now the Four Dragons are finally assembled! Yona and her friends head to Yun’s birthplace—the land of the Fire Tribe. The people in the area not only have to deal with famine, but are forced into poverty by heavy taxes. What measures will Yona and her friends take to protect the town from oppressive government officials?

Rating:

4/5

Volume 9 is an odd volume when it comes to passing because it spends most of the time laying down the ground work for the next arc, which it appears will spend a good number of chapters in the land o the Fire Tribe. What’s a girl to do when she has the extraordinary might of four legendary warriors and an experienced war general? Yona can’t take over the kingdom, especially not in the way Su-Won did, because she knows that wouldn’t make her any better than him. So she goes for the next best thing, helping the forgotten people of the kingdom, the ones who suffered under her father’s lax rule.

This new role that she takes up is helped by her nurtured protective behavior towards those who can’t protect themselves, it also helps her to grow as an individual more as well. In this volume one of the main focuses is Sinha’s development as a character and a dragon warrior, which I hope leads to him excepting more of himself and his power. There’s also a bit of development in the relationship between him and Yona, not so much on the romantic front but in a generally supportive platonic sense. No, there’s definitely some more romantic tension between Yona and Hak, especially as Yona continues to push him to teach her how to fight using a sword. Except for those two main focuses, it appears that this volume is mostly setting up Yona and company’s new protective role over the kingdom as The Dark Dragon and the Hungary Family. And I also hope that it sets up some character development for Tae-Jun, the young Fire Lord from one of the earlier volumes when Hak and Yona fell off the cliff.

Overall, it’s a fun volume with various switches in tone. There are times when it’s just too adorable for words, but those are often followed by moments of real serious danger. I didn’t feel like the shift in tones really hindered the story, it just showed how their life as fugitives helping the bottom rung people will be. The one thing I do want to complain about is the lack of new information on Zeno, our newest addition! I want to know more about him and he didn’t really get an introduction arc like the others!!!

Details:

Title: Yona of the Dawn (Vol. 9)

Chapters: 48-53

Written by: Mizuho Kusanagi

Artist:  Mizuho Kusanagi

Translation/Adaptation: JN Produtions / Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane

Publisher:  VIZ Media LLC

Published:  December 5th, 2017

Pages: 192

Genre: Manga, Shojo, Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Romance

 

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Manga Review: Yona of the Dawn vol.8

 

Synopsis:
Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

Jaeha, the Green Dragon, joins Yona’s party after their harrowing adventure together in Awa. Now the group must find the Yellow Dragon—the last dragon from the prophecy that Ik-su told Yona! Meanwhile, Su-won visits Chishin Palace and tells General Geun-tae, chief of the Earth Tribe, that he should hold a mock battle and festival. But what could be the true intent behind Su-won’s proposition?

Rating:

4/5

So I have mixed feelings about this volume. Overall, it’s wonderful and totally worth reading. It’s not as fantastic as the previous volume, but not every volume can be written in gold. What has me on the fence are the three chapters in the middle of the volume that are Su-won centric. We haven’t seen that guy since the first few volumes, except for briefly in some of the flashbacks and in one of the last few chapters in volume 7. So I felt that it was weird for his short part of the story to suddenly appear, especially since it looks like it chronologically occurs before the events of the last volume. It felt a little random, to be frank, and while it wasn’t bad writing in itself I felt that it broke up the flow of the volume.

The chapters with Su-won are very well written. I love the characters that are introduced, especially those from the Earth tribe like the general and his wife! I don’t really like Su-won, I feel like his character has the least amount of explanation for any of their actions, especially when his personality seems to flip-flop. We haven’t really seen much of him or his development since the first few volumes when he forcefully took over the palace, and I think that’s why I dislike him so much. In the volumes that followed we see a lot of development with Yona but hardly any with Su-won, except when he was a child in the flashbacks. The three chapters that he’s in in volume 8 really try to help develop his character more, making him seem more likable to those who might’ve hated him outright (like myself). I only wished that these chapters were in their own volume because I felt like they didn’t mesh well with the Yona-centered chapters. Really, the mangaka could’ve added a couple more Su-won chapters and made a Su-won dedicated volume right after the battle at Awa Port, but that’s strictly my opinion.

Details:

Title: Yona of the Dawn (Vol. 8)

Chapters: 42-47

Written by: Mizuho Kusanagi

Artist:  Mizuho Kusanagi

Translation/Adaptation: JN Produtions / Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane

Publisher:  VIZ Media LLC

Published:  October 3rd, 2017

Pages: 192

Genre: Manga, Shojo, Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Romance

Manga Review: Yona of the Dawn vol. 6

 

Synopsis:
Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

Yona finally meets Jaeha, the Green Dragon. Unfortunately, Jaeha has no desire to follow her on her quest! Yona offers to help Jaeha and his fellow pirates, so Captain Gi-Gan challenges her with a perilous quest to test her courage. Will Yona be able to pick the Senju Herbs from the steep cliff face of the Misty Cape?
Rating:

5/5

First, the cover for this volume is absolutely adorable and is so far one of my favorites.

Second, I think this is one of my favorite volumes of the series so far. Don’t get me wrong, I really like all of them as of now, but I think this one is definitely up there. I really like how Jaeha fights his urge to join Yona and the gang, it’s different. Gija joined the group because he’s been waiting for this opportunity his whole life and feels like it’s his absolutely duty. Sinha joined the group because Yona gave him the opportunity to see the world and make friends, something he never thought he’d ever be able to do. So the fact that Jaeha is fighting the urge to join Yona because he feels like it would violate his want for freedom is very interesting and will definitely set up some cool character development down the road. In fact, during the perilous quest you get to see Jaeha think of Yona for herself and not as his destined master, they’ll have a neat relationship I’m sure of it!

Speaking of Yona’s perilous quest, I think that is one of my favorite chapters in the story so far. She’s so realistic and brave. She’s scared, she cries, she freezes, but it’s all so real. I love strong heroines, but I’ve always felt that the strongest ones are the ones who push forward even when they’re scared, crying, and knees shaking—and that’s what you see Yona do. So if you’re not sold on Yona on a character ye, just read this volume because I’m sure she’ll start to change your mind in a big way. In fact, I’d bet my lunch money that by the end of the Awa/Green Dragon Arc she’ll be a much stronger character and will really start to be the leader to change the hearts of the people.

Anyways, overall this volume was fantastic and I can’t wait to read the next one!

Details:

Title: Yona of the Dawn (Vol. 6)

Chapters: 30-35

Written by: Mizuho Kusanagi

Artist:  Mizuho Kusanagi

Translation/Adaptation: JN Produtions / Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane

Publisher:  VIZ Media LLC

Published:  June 6th, 2017

Pages: 192

Genre: Manga, Shojo, Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Romance

Comic Review: Sword of Ages (1/5)

Synopsis:

A young woman will become the first wielder of the most famous sacred weapon of all time to champion for her world’s survival, inspiring a legion of heroes to join her struggle against a merciless alien force. The line between science fiction and magic might get fuzzy, but the line between heroes and villains will be drawn in blood.

What I First Thought:

I picked this one up from my local comic book store on a whim. By the cover alone, it looked like it would be some sort of sci-fi fantasy set on a desolate planet. I don’t see very many sci-fi fantasies that actually interest me anymore, but after skimming through the pages and seeing all sorts of Arthurian references pop up I decided to give it a go.

Ratings:

Art: 5/5

I won’t spend long on the art, but Sword of Ages was a very nice comic to look at. The artist has a very clean drawing style that is very detailed without going over the top with the line work. The colors are very bright, fitting in with the lighting of the environment of the story very well. There also seems to be a realistic variety of color that help to make certain characters pop without making them look out of place. And speaking of characters, I really enjoyed the character designs for this story. The heroine isn’t overly pretty, she’s gruff and well-built based on how she lived, and the male characters aren’t over the top either. But each character is unique enough to be distinguished from any other.

Story: 4/5

I felt that the beginning of the story was a little rough because it just throws the reader in with no information and then time speeds up. The time skip felt a little weird to me, mostly because it left a lot of questions that the story may never have time to answer. It also took away from some of the emotional impact in one scene before the journey actually begins, mostly because there wasn’t enough time to really show some of the relationships between the characters. There were times when it got a little confusing as to who spoke, but by the end of the page it would clear itself up.

Overall: 4

So far I’m intrigued by this story and want to see how it will end. At first appearance it looks like a combination of magic, aliens, Mad Max, and Planet of the Apes, especially with rogue biker looking Merlin and Ape slavers! Not sure how much of the Arthurian legends the author will use in this story, but I’m curious to see what they’ll do with it.

Details:

Title: Sword of Ages

Issue: 1

Publisher: IDW

Creator: Gabriel Rodrguez

Writer: Gabriel Rodrguez

Illustrator: Gabriel Rodrguez

Colors: Lovern Kindzierski

Letters: Robbie Robbins

Released Date: November 29th, 2017

Pages: 32

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Action/Adventure

Manga Review: Yona of the Dawn vol.5

Synopsis:
Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

An earthquake suddenly hits the Village of the Blue Dragon, and Yona and her friends are trapped! Yona manages to escape safely with the help of the Blue Dragon, and she asks him to join her. Meanwhile, Gija senses the presence of the Green Dragon!

Rating:

4/5

I really enjoyed reading this volume because it finishes the Blue Dragon arc. Of all the dragons, the blue one is my favorite just because he’s so adorably awkward. At the climax of this arc we get to see the true personality of the blue dragon and how he reacts to the people of his village who hate him. And by the end, he says goodbye to his past and starts on his new path towards more character growth! Anyways, in that arc we got to see more into Hak’s feelings towards Yona, which made me squeal, and we got to see more of Yona’s personality take shape. She’s still not a take charge leader, but her development is nice and slow, making her transformation as believable as possible.

The back half of this volume starts what looks to be an interesting and longer arc. At the beginning, we travel to a port town in the Earth Tribe where we’ll meet the Green Dragon.  I have a feeling that this arc will span a few volumes, but by the end of this one you can kinda see where the mangaka is planning on taking the story. So far, I think this arc will bring more out of Yona’s strong personality and help solidify her as the leader of the four dragons, while also starting some character growth for Gija and the Green Dragon. I totally recommend picking up this volume because it looks like the next arc will be fantastic, and not just for the character and story developments, but because it appears that there will be an interesting cast of new side characters!

PS: Look at that cover! *que internal squealing*

Details:

Title: Yona of the Dawn (Vol. 5)

Chapters: 24-29

Written by: Mizuho Kusanagi

Artist:  Mizuho Kusanagi

Translation/Adaptation: JN Produtions / Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane

Publisher:  VIZ Media LLC

Published:  April 4th, 2017

Pages: 192

Genre: Manga, Shojo, Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Romance

DNF Confronting Destiny

 

 

Why I Couldn’t Finish This Book:

It’s a real shame that I have to shelve this story for now because it held a lot of promise for me. The story sounded interesting and the characters made for a good first impression. However, it has taken me a while to try and get into this book. I read for a few pages and then get distracted by something else, so I’ve only read a few chapters at this point. I think the biggest problem was the writing style, not that it was terribly written or sounded awful, it was just really hard to get into at the moment. The writing style wasn’t difficult to read, but it reminded me some of my dad’s old high fantasy books. At times there was information woven into the sentences that, while important for world building and character development, felt a bit extra for the given moment the author was trying to write. I’m not completely giving up this story, I still would love to read it one day. But at the moment I have several other books that I need to get to and review as well. So for now, I’m going to shelve this book and hopefully when there is a lull in requested reviews I can pick this one up again and read in earnest.

Details:

Title: Confronting Destiny

Author: A.L

Publisher: Self-published

Release Date: May 18th, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Action/Adventure

Pages: 247

Synopsis:

The once proud kingdom of Rekhia is being rebuilt with the character of her conquerors. They lost their freedom when they lost the war. Over the years, their foreign overlords had caused the erosion of their customs, their language, their way of life. They were losing their identity.

Kaleen, heir to the Rekhian throne, grew up in the peaceful sanctuary of the Misty Mountains, protected by its fiercely independent citizens. For almost two decades, she had been groomed by her uncle to take back what is rightfully hers, to return her country back to her people.

The time has come for her to be what her family expects her to be, what her people need her to be. She embarks on a quest that becomes a journey of self-discovery. She fights new dangers, battles evil in the form of man and monsters. But it is doubt, both in her desires and her abilities, that is her greatest foe.

Her cousins Milan and Milena travel by her side, holding her up when she needs support. Nobles, peasants, monks, knights… help her along the way. But it is ultimately up to Kaleen, to save her kingdom, to free Rekhia, to find her true self, and to confront destiny.

Manga Review: Yona of the Dawn (vol.4)

 

Synopsis:

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

While on a quest to find the Four Legendary Dragon Warriors, Yona and her friends meet Gija, the White Dragon. Gija uses his power to detect the other Dragons, but locating the Blue Dragon proves to be more difficult than expected, and the group runs into a string of disasters!

 

 

Rating:

4/5

Right off the bat the pacing in this volume is a lot better and that’s actually a journey to find the Blue Dragon that takes a little while, both in the story and in the number of pages. I really enjoyed reading how these characters go about their search, there’s actually some intelligence involved in their reasoning that also allows the readers to better understand the area. All in all, it was a clever way of showing the resourcefulness of our heroes while also expanding on the world.

In this volume we do get to meet the Blue Dragon and we get to see his very realistic reaction to meeting Yona. While I like the White Dragon and his village, I honestly find the Blue Dragon and his village to be more realistic and even Yun makes mention of this as well. The mangaka seems to poke fun at some common fantasy tropes that also appear in her story, which I greatly appreciate. Along with meeting the Blue Dragon, you also get to read the backstory of his character and why the villagers treat him as they do in this volume. It’s all really sad—totally pulling on the heart strings with his introduction. Gija also gets a little development in this volume as well as we get introduced to some of his internal conflicts, I really can’t wait to see where his character goes.

Well, I’m off to read the next volume! With a cliffhanger like that, I’m dying to read what happens to our heroes and I can’t wait to see how they develop!

Details:

Title: Yona of the Dawn (Vol. 4)

Chapters: 18-23, plus a bonus story

Written by: Mizuho Kusanagi

Artist:  Mizuho Kusanagi

Translation/Adaptation: JN Produtions / Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane

Publisher:  VIZ Media LLC

Published:  February 7th, 2017

Pages: 192

Genre: Manga, Shojo, Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Romance