Anime, Graphic Novels / In which Mitchii recommends Akatsuki no Yona!
A historical fantasy romance! I dub thee, Akatsuki no Yona!

Otaku time! A historical fantasy romance! I dub thee, Akatsuki no Yona!

It’s been a while since I made an anime/manga rec here (for those who are into it, you can follow my other nonsensical blog called kyaa for more concentrated animanga goodies) *coughs*

I’m featuring shoujo manga this time with bishies (hot looking guys) and a banished princess, the anime/manga is called Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn) by Mizuho Kusanagi. Great for those who love fantasy series like Throne of Glass and want to dip into the wonderful realm of Japanese graphic novels/animated series! Hur!

The story is about this sheltered princess named Yona. She was always been in love with Soo-Won (her cousin). Yona and Soo-Won along with one of generals of the palace and also her bodyguard, Son Hak were friends. Until that one night that completely changed their fates forever: her father, then current king was killed by none other than her own cousin—the man she was been in love with, Soo-Won. Yona together with Hak fled the castle and met a seer that told them a legend that might restore the peace in the land of Kouka.

“His Majesty is gone now. My Master is you. Use me so that you can live. That is what I’m here for.” — Son Hak

So that’s the gist but the story has all kinds of stuff to those who love high-fantasy/fantasy stories. First things first yes there is a romance and I’m rooting for the Hak, her bodyguard—in the truest sense of the duty. He abandoned everything to protect Yona even risking his life numerous times for her. He is in love with Yona but unfortunately Yona was so oblivious about it. But don’t worry we’re getting bit of progress albeit painfully slow. The latest we got (bless Kusanagi-sensei) was kiss on the forehead/cheek. But every time they have that moment sparks flew everywhere. You can’t just help but to root for Hak because you’ll see firsthand his undying devotion to Yona, as part of his strong affection to her as well as his promise to the late king.

“Kindness is not a crime. But sometimes it awakens the weakness and greed in others.” — Soo Won

So you love political stuff plus action too? Well, Akatsuki no Yona centers mostly on that. I told you earlier that romance was secondary to the story; it mostly revolved about the reality of the state of her kingdom. Only when she escaped the palace she finally knew how grave the matters outside. Her father, the former king was kind one but lacked leadership which led to the many problems such as corruption, illegal drugs, slavery among others. Yona was raised by a man who detested weapons but picked one and decided to fight. She wanted to win her own battles (much to Hak’s displeasure) and help people of her kingdom.

“If it’s to protect you, I want to take up a weapon even if I have to sacrifice someone!” — Princess Yona
suckish summary? The seer wanted her to find the people who inherited the blood of the dragons. Those people are meant to protect the reincarnation of the king (are you finally getting it?). Oh by the way they are seriously hot dudes, too!

I also loved this fictional setting of this world. Recently I’ve been devouring historical graphic novels (mostly of East Asian origin) and just love the whole aspect of those times and reliving it through a story. It is not only fascinating but educational too! Akatsuki no Yona was lightly based on fictitious Korea (precisely The Three Kingdoms of Korea) which I think is a big leap considering the history between Japan and Korea.

So I suggest you guys try it especially if you like heroine who has tremendous character development. But if you’re not up to the task of reading the manga (considering the length of the material), the anime just finished its broadcast last season covering plenty of material from original source. You could watch the trailer above if you want to see it yourself. I highly recommend as the animation studio was very faithful with the adaption).

Akatsuki no Yona © Kuzanagi Mizuho, Hana to Yume, Hakusensha. Registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


6 Responses to On Spotlight: Akatsuki no Yona

  1. AKATSUKI NO YONA!!! You know how much I love this manga, with my constant ravings about Hak and Yona (they’re in my top ten ships, after all). 😉 Just reading your post already made me grin all over and squeal inwardly! I don’t know how Kusanagi-sensei does it, but this is how I want to feel whenever I read romance stories. That’s a huge reason why Akatsuki is so good! Yona’s obliviousness towards Hak’s feelings is frustrating, but in a good way, you know?

    And yes, I love that even though the romance is totally swoon-worthy, it doesn’t overpower the other relationships Yona has with the other characters. Honestly, all the characters have so much chemistry with each other that it’s not hard to start shipping them with one another. I have to admit that I like it when Jae-Ha teases Yona and Hak gets jealous over it. xD And the villain, Su-Won, is not entirely hatable either. He may have killed the King, but I still don’t see him as Yona’s enemy. That’s a mark of how complex all the characters are.

    Haha, yes, the one time Studio Pierrot actually produced a good adaptation. 😛

    P.S. It may just be me, but I feel like Akatsuki has a lot of similarities with Shadow and Bone, what with the amazing characters, awesome world building, and swoon-worthy romance! That’s why I’m still surprised that you weren’t a fan of S&B. Then again, everyone has their different tastes! 🙂

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Yes, it so frustrating but in a good way. But despite that, Hak’s devotion is unwavering we can’t help but to root for him. Like, we want his happiness, dammit!

      Jaeha is my favorite dragon & probably the second after Hak. I love the dude (and even though he teases Hak, he does have crush on Yona too, hehehe). Yeah, Soo Won had his reasons; it might be wrong but there something about his passion to rebuild the kingdom to its former glory that made him likeable to me.

      Yes, that one time where SP didn’t screw up a good story! *gives them the aristocrat hand of applause*

      ETA: I read S&S before I read Yona. My problem was the characters sans the Darkling but not too much. 😐

  2. Kezia says:

    Totally agree about the anime! It does stick to the manga plot very well and I appreciate it very much! At first I was surprised because of the Korean names and all but I thought it would be a breath of fresh air. Now that you mention the history of Japan and Korea, it IS an improvement indeed.

    Hak x Yona <333 I will be old waiting for these two to kiss but really, getting there is the best part. I'm expecting more romantic moments in the next chapters, no matter how little xD

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Yes, there’s history between them (even the Philippines was once conquered my Japan) so I think it was big leap of faith for Ms. Kusanagi-sensei to do that.

      The kiss will definitely send million of volts to my heart! I’m patiently waiting here! ;D

  3. Diana says:

    I LOVED THIS ANIME! I marathoned it on Crunchyroll a few months ago and went looking for the actual manga, but couldn’t find scanlations in English and I was SO SAD. I found a few websites that had bits of it here and there, but they were missing huge chunks of the story and I gave up. I hope we get more of the anime though since it ended just after they found the last dragon and it seemed kind of strange that they didn’t go one with their mission to reclaim the kingdom. I think they had plans to dub it in English too, if I’m remembering correctly. Anyway, great rec. LOVE LOVE LOVE this anime/manga.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      That’s good to know. Scans are up to Chapter 94 I think and the latest chapter in Japan is 108 so it’s really not that far behind. I encouraged you to read it becasue it’s pretty amazing after where the anime ended. 😀

Comments are closed.