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

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: Moonstruck (1.1)

Synopsis:

A NEW ONGOING SERIES from Lumberjanes creator GRACE ELLIS and talented newcomer SHAE BEAGLE that tells a story of monsters, romance, and magical hijinks! The first arc also includes an additional short story with artist KATE LETH!

Fantasy creatures are living typical, unremarkable lives alongside humans, and barista Julie strives to be the most unremarkable of all. Normal job, normal almost-girlfriend, normal…werewolf transformations that happen when she gets upset? Yikes!

But all bets are off when she and her centaur best friend Chet find themselves in the middle of a magical conspiracy. Will Julie and Chet be able to save their friends? Is Julie’s dogged determination to be normal a lost cause? Who’s going to watch the coffee shop while our heroes are out saving the world?? These questions and more will be answered in MOONSTRUCK!

What I First Thought:

I picked this issue up on a whim. Some of the stuff that I’ve been reading has been either a little lack-luster or super intense, and this story looked like it would be more laid back than the others. I also love reading stories that use mythological creatures in a more everyday setting, it really adds a special kinda life to the story.

Ratings:

Art: 5/5

The art is very soft, from the colors to the line work, and I love it! I’ve noticed that a lot of comics seem to have very hard defining colors, a lot of them make for beautiful scenes but they seem to always want to POP! out of the page. For this series, I really doubt that art style would fit the overall tone so I’m really happy that the overall look of the panels are very soft, but still bright and eye-catching. I also love the character designs; they’re each so unique in style and shape. Not only do we have all sorts of fantastical creatures but also varying body types for the more human looking characters and realistic models for the more supernatural-looking characters! It’s weird to fixate on body types, but I like to read stories sometimes that can show me all kinds of different people and make them all seem normal—even though in this case none of the characters are what we would consider ‘normal’.

Story: 5/5

Like most first issues, this one has the main focus on setting up the characters and the world they live in. So this issue is full of cute, or not so cute, moments between the characters that give you a quick summation of the characters. Each character appears to be different, and not just in style but in personality as well.

Overall: 5

I’m really excited that I bought the next issue when I picked up this one, because I can’t wait to see where this story goes. If you want more diverse characters and love, then look no further because you’ll find it here! There is diversity in body type (not just oooo! he has hooves or he’s part bull), race, and sexual orientation. So far there is a confirmed lesbian relationship, for those of you interested in some cute, awkward F/F love that isn’t just a side note but the main attraction!

 

Details:

Title: Moonstruck

Issue: 1

Publisher:

Writer: Grace Ellis

Illustrator: Shae Beagle

Colors: Caitlin Quirk/Shae Beagle

Letters: Clayton Cowles

Released Date: July 19th, 2017

Pages: 31

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance, LGBT+

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

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