Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 7

By Mizuho Kusanagi. Released in Japan as “Akatsuki no Yona” by Hakusensha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Hana to Yume. Released in North America by Viz. Translated by JN Productions, Adapted by Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane.

Wrapping up the pirates arc, there’s a lot to love here for the Yona of the Dawn fan. Yona herself is at her most badass, saving Yun and setting off the flare, killing the main bad guy herself with an arrow, and of course getting Jaeha on their side through the sheer power of her determination and awesomeness. Yun is also very awesome, getting the crap kicked out of him and showing that he’s far more than just the party straight man. Jaeha kicks and kicks some more, and also manages to be charming and seductive in that “nothing will ever really come of it” sort of way. But I think I have to admit that after finishing the volume, there’s really just one scene that I want to read over and over again, and that’s when Yona, in the aftermath of the battle, runs into Su-Won, who is equally stunned to find that she’s not dead.

Su-Won is, of course, the villain of the piece, and it was his killing of Yona’s father that started the whole shebang. But there’s always been a sense that there’s more to him than that – he’s Yona’s childhood friend and crush, and we knew at some point he would start to show a different side. We get that here, as his amazement at Yona not being dead leads to his needing to protect her from his own aides, who would no doubt not take kindly to Yona bopping around the country with a bunch of superpowered hot guys. The series has always done a good job showing Yona the Princess contrasted with Yona the outcast and messiah, and briefly being that princess again and seeing Su-Won (and reaching for his sword to potentially kill him) sends her into a bit of a mental tailspin. Hak is, of course, there to help clean up, and there’s even some parts played for comedy (such as when she unthinkingly starts to strip), but mostly this emotional scene serves notice that we will be returning to Su-Won again, and find out why he needs to do all this.

Yona does recover, of course, and sets out again, because there is still journeying to be done. Naturally, Jaeha decides to go along with her, but I did love the goodbye that both he and Yona got from the grumpy get good-hearted pirate captain, who’s served as a mother figure for both of them. I also appreciated that the volume ended with a goofy comedy chapter – it wasn’t all that funny, being a variation on the :love potion makes you fall for whoever you see first” story, but it was just nice to see lighthearted fare again. We will no doubt begin a new arc next time, and I still maintain that this is one of the best Shojo Beat series you could be reading.

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