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24/100. Akatsuki no Yona

Akatsuki_no_Yona_Anime_Poster

I had a long post prepared for this series, but now all my text is lost. D: Sighs.

Basically the story is about a sheltered princess and her bodyguard getting chased from the castle after the assassination of the king. While they were in hiding, the princess sets out in a quest to gather strength and follow the path a priest had shown her. She was assumed to be the reincarnation of a Great Red Dragon who had created the kingdom they lived in and traveled the country in search for four other dragons. Along the way, the princess learns about the sufferings commoners go through and sees everything what's going on in the kingdom, up close.

Okay, sorry, my summary lacks salt and pepper. But the series is very exciting to read, I marathoned the series up till episode 22 in two days and picked up the manga too until chapter 72, was it? O.O;;; Hahahahah /headdesk

The series looks like a reversed harem considering the amount of handsome guys here. It's actually toned down a bit, in my opinion, because we don't actually see them vye for her love, except the subtle ways Hak is trying to confess/Tae Jun stalkerish moments. The only ones who are obvious candidates for her are Hak, Soo Won, Ki Jia, Tae Jun and maybe Jae Ha. But that's not actually the point of the story.

As far as I've seen/read the story, it's focused on Yona, the princess, who couldn't cook or wash clothes and was tired easily due to her upbringing, but once she was chased out of her home, hiding from assasinations, she learned to become proactive, took up archery and a sword and wants to fight for head on. Her growth might point out to the supposed destiny reading she was given by a priest that once advised the many kings before her father, that she is the red-haired king that will return and gather all four of the dragonblood descendants. And then she learned to kill. :(

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My favorite character I've found myself gushing over is Seiryuu, Shin-Ah. He's just ADORABLE AND AWKWARD AND SAD and i'm glad he's found some people to call them friends. I just want to hug and constantly feed him and his pet squirrel! The manga has awfully nice panel shots of him being utterly adorable (the one time he was injured, his pet squirrel bit through the walnuts husk and gave Shin-Ah the nuts inside... so adorable... or the time when everyone was cold, they all snuggled up to him because of his fluffy mask).

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To be honest, most of the main characters are really likeable. Kijia is hotheaded despite his cool appearance and sometimes adorable reactions, Yoon is such a mom to everyone, Jae Ha is a flirt but he means well, Zeno is cute but sometimes he says things like an old man and Hak... his loyalty to Yona is the drive that Yona had clinged on in order to survive and live. And Yona, ughghghg the changes she went through cannot be summarized in one post.

Soo Won is also an interesting character. He comes off as gentle and nice at first but he's a cunning strategist who wouldn't mind stepping on someone else in order to achieve his goals. The flashbacks are incredibly sad when you realize the cute kid who took care of Yona is the assassin in the current timeline but still saves her when they had an unexpected meeting in Awa. Whatever he's planning, I think he's aiming to strengthen the kingdom against foreign lands and thinks waging war is inevitable in the near future.

Tae Jun, in the manga, has cleaned up too later on too. He came off as an annoying big shot General son who thinks he can do whatever he wants (it was actually his upbringing that made him think like this) and claim Yona. But later on in the manga he's changed his ways. Quite a lot. He's learned to care for the commoners who didn't have food, water, medicine or anything at all. He's learned to care for his subordinates, learning about their lives before they became soldiers under his rule. He's now a very spazzy, humble character who wants to become a man Yona could count on. The change was definitely welcome.

Anyway, the anime is still on-going and there's 2 episode left. It has been mostly faithful to the manga as far as I can tell. Although I do hope they plan on a second season because the series hasn't exactly found the fourth dragon yet and the recent manga chapter hasn't even revealed the fourth dragon's power--much less about this sword and guard that was mentioned in the prophecy/destiny reading.

The animation is gorgeous too. Especially shots of Yona's eyes. Before she was exiled, her eyes were wide and naive and innocent, but after her father's death they became old, or more like she's finally seeing the world, seeing how horrible things are, and the anger just rages inside her that her eyes flicker with hatred over the injustice.

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THE SECOND ED "AKATSUKI" IS GORGEOUS!





I think this series is definitely worth trying out. :) Next up gushing over GSNK and HQ!

Source: wikipedia, tumblr gifs, youtube

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