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.
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.
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.
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.