Akatsuki no Yona Final Impressions

Akatsuki no Yona

What do I even do with my pointless, worthless life any more? Yona was my life for twenty-four beautiful weeks. How do I go back to a Tuesday with no Yona? Is there even a point?

I’ve already talked a little bit about Yona so I feel like I’m repeating myself a lot here. Maybe it’s also because I just couldn’t shut up about this show. And it’s not like I even think it’s a great show. I know it’s not for everyone and I know it stuttered and had some problems. Not big enough problems that halted my enjoyment or took away from the show but things that prevent it from going from good to great.

Akatsuki no Yona

yun is me rn

That doesn’t really matter though because I still loved it and looked forward to it more than anything else for weeks. And anything that can bring so much enjoyment and satisfaction is great in it’s own way.

To start with let’s get the little bit of negative things I have to say about this show out of the way first.

The pacing is… wonky. It’s certainly not the worst and even when it drags, it’s still entertaining. But it still drags.

Akatsuki no Yona

I didn’t find it so bad at the beginning (where I see a lot of complaints about this) and I felt it was a perfect amount of time showing their circumstances, their past and then meeting Yun. Sinha’s arc went on a little longer than it should have though. It’s definitely where I felt the series dragged it’s feet.

And then there was the Su-won thing before the pirate arc started. It’s hard for me to remember if it was two episodes or just one because they just felt so out of place and messed the flow of show up so much for me. It felt egregious too. They advertise the yellow dragon in the opening and endings and we clearly won’t have time to get to him but here we are, showing Su-won having antics.

Akatsuki no Yona

Though I did understand they served a purpose. They help make Su-won’s character more complicated. Because I know I’m against him and I won’t ever want anything good for him.

However, I can understand why Yona still struggles. He isn’t portrayed as Super Evil Bad Guy. No, he’s still the nice guy who just did something super horrible and awful. But everything he does isn’t super evil awful.

Does the ends justify the means? I would obviously say no, when it comes to murdering someone like he did. Especially since he attempted to have Yona and Hak killed as well. “Yeah but he wasn’t happy about it!” Bruh, he was still gonna murk them cause it needed to be done in his eyes.

Akatsuki no Yona

So though I’m firmly against Su-won and ideally he’ll be slain at the end, I appreciate the nuances in his character and that he’s still kind of respectable and not an awful person. Like, I want Yona to hate him as much as I do but he’s such a complicated character that sure, whatever. I understand why she wouldn’t and can’t.

I was hoping she’d destroy the broach in the end though. It would have meant a lot symbolically but hey whatever.

Su-won aside, I loved every other main character. And most side characters. It was just so hard not to.

Akatsuki no Yona Akatsuki no Yona Akatsuki no Yona

Yona was a fantastic character. People who say she regressed when she cried after meeting Su-won again or worse, complain because she didn’t kill him are probably complete fools.

Do you seriously, seriously expect someone who only killed someone out of necessity to kill someone that she was in love with and who is like family to her? In what world would that be realistic or believable at all? Like, I dislike Su-won but I don’t see Yona facing him very easily at all. I almost don’t want it because it would betray her character so much.

Do I think that makes her less of a character? Oh my god, no. Yona is, as I said, a fantastic character. She had a sheltered life and that doesn’t suddenly go away. She’s still oblivious to certain things and doesn’t understand how some of the world works.

But she isn’t so self-centered and blind that she doesn’t change. She see’s the suffering of others and is able to go against what her father wished for her, what she was raised to believe and do.

Akatsuki no Yona

Akatsuki no Yona

She doesn’t become a coldblooded killer out of nowhere. She isn’t ever one. She kills someone to save someone else she cares about and because it’s her duty and because her father was wrong. It’s not like what she’s done hasn’t affected her though. It’s just that to change her kingdom, she’s going to need to hurt bad people. And that’s something big in the last episode.

The last episode does teeter a strange line between sequel bait and “SO THE JOURNEY CONTINUES buy the manga for more” that works, I guess. Introducing the Yellow Dragon at the end was a big EHHH move because now I have no idea how to feel about him, especially when he seemed to show up just to spout important plot driving lines.

Akatsuki no Yona

have more yun and yona because I didn’t have any zeno screencaps for this part

Of course, if there was a second season it would be SUPER interesting to learn about him and his past and especially his ability since he seems pretty useless.

Well, it’s okay if he’s not fleshed out (because in one episode what can you do) because everyone else wa so great. As I mentioned, Sinha’s arc was my least favourite and seemed to go on to long. I have nothing against Sinha but it’s difficult to say anything much about him when he fades into the background and says so little.

Akatsuki no Yona

Kija was a great character for his adoration of Yona and his rivalry with Hak because of this. His arc was short and sweet, unlike his following dragon.

I loved Jeaha from the moment I saw him in the OP (green haired + fang ayyyyyy) and I was glad he turned out to be such a good character. His resistance to his destiny and coming around until it was by his own will that he served Yona helped his character too.

Akatsuki no Yona Akatsuki no Yona Akatsuki no Yona

Akatsuki no Yona

Akatsuki no Yona

It helped that his arc was one of the most interesting because it benefited Yona and Yun’s characters so immensely and introduced us to the captain who was just such a great character every time she did anything.

But yeah, Yun!! I hadn’t expected to like genius bishounen “literally Kokoro” Yun but his character development was second only to Yona. Starting off as a selfish jerk living in the woods, caring about nobody but himself and his dumb boyfriend but eventually risking his life as cross dressing genius bishoujo who takes a serious beating, risking death to protect Yona.

Showing off how much he had grown and just what a great character he is when he could have been a totally obnoxious side character that was easy to hate. Instead I don’t see how you could hate Yun.

yona0 (18)

Akatsuki no Yona

Though it was the pirate arc that really drove home what a great and supportive character he is and made me feel bad for wondering why we needed another handsome bishounen joining Yona’s party.

And then there’s also Hak. Hak is a huge nerd. Tomoe from KKS2 is less of a nerd but right up there. He’s a huge dork who occasionally is a badass or whatever.

Akatsuki no Yona

Hak/Yona is so legit and it was hard not to feel sorry for his constant failings at the hands of oblivious Yona. Either because of this or not, he usually had the best one liners and provided the most laughs (until Jeaha appeared, of course).

That was one of the reasons I found this show so endearing and entertaining. It constantly had me laughing. It didn’t sacrifice anything for humor though. The drama was still always good, even if jokes were being made at it’s expense.

Akatsuki no Yona

Though I get the shoujo vibes, I feel weird classifiying it was one even now. After all, after the first episode, romance doesn’t play a big part at all. There’s ample Hak/Yona to keep you satisfied but it’s never a primary thing. It’s always secondary to whatever else is going on.More than anything else, this is very action/adventure. Though I wish there was more emphasis on adventure.

A second season (since they obviously wouldn’t be confronting Su-won and it’s my understanding that the manga isn’t even at a point where they could confront him) where they go around dealing with various situations while word gets out about this party of superhuman badasses spreading across Kouka is my goddamn dream.

Akatsuki no Yona

I’ll probably read the manga now though. I am a teeny bit worried (in my heart of hearts) that I’ll read it past where the show ended and a S2 will be announced and I’ll already know what happens instead of waiting eagerly each week for the exciting development but alas.

I’ll take a second season even if I’m spoiled to hell and back. Just give me my cute Yona and her band of cute guys back, please.

Despite being action/adventure with a hint of shoujo, I do find Yona driven by it’s characters. I love all of them and that made me accept everything the show had to offer. There were places where it stumbled and that weren’t as interesting as what could be happening (looking at you, Su-“war games”-won) and it does end on a very ambiguous but non-cliffhanger note but I still think that despite it all, I loved this series unreasonably.

Will everybody? Definitely not. 1 Will I maybe not understand why I praised this show and rated it so highly in a few months or a few years? Maybe. 2

Akatsuki no Yona

But for now I’m mourning the loss of the show I unexpectedly came to love. Akatsuki no Yona was a show that came out of left field and was a show that I have enjoyed more than any other in months and months. To be honest, I honestly cannot think of another show I’ve enjoyed as much as this in recent years. It hit every note for me, things I didn’t even know I needed in a show.

And now I’m off to cry about it being over for at least three to four weeks. 3

Akatsuki no Yona Akatsuki no Yona  Akatsuki no Hana

 Akatsuki no Yona Akatsuki no Yona

Akatsuki no Yona Akatsuki no Yona Akatsuki no Yona

Akatsuki no Yona Akatsuki no Yona Akatsuki no Yona

Akatsuki no Yona Akatsuki no Yona Akatsuki no Yona

Akatsuki no Yona

Notes:

  1. Though that could be said for any show…
  2. Haha trick question. I’m definitely rewatching it in a few months and I’m going to buy it when Funimation releases it even though they messed it up with goddamn Monica Rial.
  3. I’ve heard they’ve adapted less than fifty chapters of the 100+ currently out so you better believe my fingers are crossed and I’m preparing the virginal goat sacrifice to Pierrot to get that S2.

2 Comments

  • Megs

    May 22, 2016

    If you ever want to talk about Yona, I just discovered it and would love to chat. I finished it too soon and I’m now desperately reading the manga to make up for the lack of Yona anime in my life.

  • Fang-tan

    May 22, 2016

    Haha, well I haven’t started the manga yet but I’m certain I will soon. I miss it too!

Leave a Reply