Lenni Reviews: “Yona of the Dawn” vol 7 by Mizuho Kusanagi

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Yona and company decide to help Awa free a town from a group of human traffickers. But while she’s there, Yona runs into the man who killed her father and cost her her kingdom; Su-won.

While it may seem rehashed for a character like Yona to instantly inspire everyone to follow her into battle but as a character, Yona remains a capable yet vulnerable person you can relate to. How she inspires others isn’t with grand speeches but for her willingness to do anything it takes and those around her admire her bravery and determination. Even when she is face to face with her father’s killer, she is more than willing seek revenge but after Su-won is gone, she breaks down and cries.

Yona really outshines her dragon compatriots in terms of personality but they are an enjoyable group of contrasts. There’s a silly side story about a love potion so you can watch them play off each other without Yona around but I would have rather seen the story progress. 4 out of 5 for this one.

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Lenni Reviews: “Yona of the Dawn” vol 5 by Mizuho Kusanagi

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Now traveling with the White and Blue Dragon, Yona and company are on the move to a port town in search of the Green Dragon. The Green Dragon is Jaeha; a pirate who values his freedom more than anything else and thus doesn’t want to give up his life for Yona’s quest.

Have to take a moment to give major props to Captain Gi-Gan. She is just badass and I can’t wait to see more of her.

There had to be at least one of these fabled dragons who wouldn’t be on board with the “Let’s go serve our master without question” thing and Jaeha, who will obviously have a change of heart later, is such a swarthy darling, it’s hard to hold it against him. He’s not being lazy, he has his own crusade to focus on: trying to stop the influx of drugs and human trafficking to his town. Not exactly the kind of thing a jerk would make his personal mission.

But we all know he’ll join up. Probably in the same volume.

Here, we also have Yona learning what he father’s subjects really thought about their king and how corrupt things got in the outlying towns. Being faced with the fact her father wasn’t the good and kind man she idolized is shown very well and it’s good to see her face the reality that if you are a ruler, you can’t make everyone happy all the time. Yona has a long way to go to grow up. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Yona of the Dawn” vol 4 by Mizuho Kusanagi

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Now joined by the White Dragon, Gija, Yona and her friends go in search of the next Legendary Dragon Warrior; The Blue Dragon.

The story of the Blue Dragon and how he’s so feared does tug at your heart but Yona continues to be just a joy to read. I’m glad she remains determined, positive, and kind. Where once she was a spoilt brat, she how gets up in the middle of the night to practice her archery so she’s not a burden or a liability. Yona is written to be the type of person to attract powerful people so I do wonder how long that positivity will last when it’s time for her and her friends to retake her kingdom. Her quest isn’t likely to end up with a flurry of diplomatic missions; she’s gonna have to fight and possibly kill. I’d like her to stay sweet and kind but it’s not in the cards unless some really contrived circumstances take place.

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Lenni Reviews: “Yona of the Dawn: vol 3 by Mizuho Kusanagi

 

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After surviving a fall off a cliff, Yona and Hak are rescued by a doctor named Yun and a priest named Ik-su. Yona learns from the priest that she must seek out the four warriors of legend to aid her in taking back her kingdom. Yun decides to accompany  Yona and Ik-su directs them to where the first warrior has been hiding.

I guess I was a little disappointed by the standard “chosen one” “prophesy warriors” thing as it’s pretty standard fantasy manga fare. But Yona is keeping me invested in this story. As she is gradually comes into her own, we can see her character change in a realistic manner. She wants to learn how to defend herself, learn more about her kingdom, and earnestly cares about the people helping her.

This particular volume felt bogged down in backstory and explaining but that’s necessary to get in all these new characters and their motivations. I think this series stays firmly at a 3 out of 5 so far.

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Lenni Reviews: “Yona of the Dawn” vol 2 by Mizuho Kusanagi

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Hak and Yona seek shelter in Hak’s homeland with the Wind Tribe. Pretending to be a lady-in-waiting, Yona lives in hiding and receives news that Su-won may take her father’s place on the throne. Hak’s adoptive father; leader of the Wind Tribe, is the only one who doe not support Su-won and thus their entire tribe becomes a target.

Yona, again, proves herself to be a determined and brave person. She’s not a warrior but not a damsel either. Yona is coming to terms with her fugitive status and taking as active a role as she can in her own protection. And of course there’s a forming romance between Hak and Yona. This is shoujo . You can see that coming a mile away.

What annoys me is Su-won. Not to be too spoilery but if he had the option to marry Yona and become king that way, why take the revenge track only to sit later and regret having to lose Yona and Hak as friends? Or risk their lives at all? The trope of hollow revenge and ‘I didn’t mean for it to go this far’ thing irks me. You murdered a monarch and took over the kingdom. What did you expect? Unicorns? Sigh…

Other than that, still a good manga. I have the third one on deck so expect a review of that soon. This volume comes out October 4th, 2016.

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Lenni Reviews: “Yona of the Dawn” volume 1 by Mizuho Kusanagi

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*I received this book as a fun little bonus but I’m reviewing it anyway. YAY!

As princess, Yona has lived a charmed life. After the tragic passing of her mother, her father – King Il – spoiled her. After a lavish party for her 16th birthday, her father is murdered in an act of betrayal, Yona is forced to leave the palace – the only home she has ever known. On the run from enemy forces, Yona must find a way to survive and for the first time face terrible adversity and uncertainty.

Yona is your typical fiery redhead princess. She’s a little quirky, a little spoiled, but at the same time, she’s not one of those princesses that kicks and screams like a brat about what’s happened. She’s grieving for her loss but not being unreasonable about it. Yona is crying, dazed, but moving forward; a real reaction that makes me empathize with her more. A lot of characters will flip out unreasonably hysterically so they are almost annoying. Yona isn’t like that so far.

As a first volume, it ends in the perfect place to want the next one but not give you that cut short cliffhanger. As for the art, it’s typical shoujo style; idealized, pretty, and flowing. I think I could get into this series. 3.5 out of 5.

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