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.7)

 

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!

In order to free the port town of Awa from an evil tyrant, Yona and her friends team up with Jaeha, the Green Dragon, and his fellow pirates. While Hak and the others are fighting on other ships, Yona and Yun infiltrate a human-trafficking operation! When the enemy closes in and things look dire, what will Yona do?

Rating:

5/5

With volume 7 comes the end of the Awa/Green Dragon arc, and by does it end with a bang! The final battle is a nice mix between fighting and story development. There aren’t any huge fight scenes with dramatic action sequences that take several panels to complete. The action is confined to a few panels at a time as the story hops between the various groups of people that are running around. Some people might not like that kind of narrative, but I’ve never been one for drawn out action scenes that take up several pages. If there’re well done, fine, but most of the time they’re nothing special and they don’t interest me as much. In this volume, the action is there, you know the fight is happening, but it isn’t the main focus of the story, instead it’s an instrument used for development of story and characters.

Speaking of character development. If you haven’t been convinced by Yona, this volume may be the one to win you over. I absolutely loved her in this one, not that I didn’t before but this one definitely made her one of my favorite heroines yet. She isn’t the same girl you met in the first few chapters. No, she’s something different and I love it! And Yun gets some development in this volume too that just made me want to scream. I liked it from the beginning, but the handsome boy genius has definitely grown a lot on me in this volume and actually deserves the self-given title!

The thing that I loved most about this volume, though, is that the mangaka hasn’t forgotten about Yona’s trauma. What happened to her should stay with her forever and unlike other mangas that I’ve read the writer knows that too. In this volume you see that trauma come back, you see how it haunts her, and most importantly you see it physically manifest itself. It doesn’t make her weak. Instead it’s another instance that shows how far she’s come and it makes me so happy to see it. I’ve read/watched too many stories that have characters with traumas that just drop them when the story doesn’t need it anymore and it’s never done naturally; they just wake up one day and are 100% okay. So it really makes me happy to see that the mangaka hasn’t forgotten about Yona’s suffering and instead weaves it into the story as part f the main design and not just some accent.

Details:

Title: Yona of the Dawn (Vol. 7)

Chapters: 36-41

Written by: Mizuho Kusanagi

Artist:  Mizuho Kusanagi

Translation/Adaptation: JN Produtions / Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane

Publisher:  VIZ Media LLC

Published:  August 1st, 2017

Pages: 192

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