Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 26

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 Media. Translated by JN Productions, Adapted by Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane.

It can be hard to find the perfect cliffhanger o end a manga volume. Of course, with most ongoing series there is a cliffhanger of sorts, particularly in action series such as Yona of the Dawn. There are several obvious examples in this volume alone, each of which could probably have served perfectly well as the cliffhanger, particularly the second to last chapter in the volume. But there’s something so deliciously satisfying about this one, the sort of ending that gives the reader what they have wanted all along but not ENOUGH of it. Yona of the Dawn is usually a pitch perfect blend of political intrigue, action adventure, and a dash of romantic tension, and for most of Vol, 26, the focus is definitely on the first two. Even when we get to the romantic tension, it looks like the usual “misunderstandings abound!”. So we are both cheering and also laughing hysterically at how said misunderstandings are cleared up. You DESPERATELY want to read more.

As for the politics, not to spoil too much, but there is one less death than I was expecting when I finished Vol. 25. As it turns out, things can mostly be resolved with negotiation, though it takes a few more sacrifices and also everyone ganging up on the evil priest. This actually leads to the other great moment in the book, one that relies very much on Su-Won and how he is choosing to rule. The priest (whose name I keep forgetting, mostly as I tend to call him Wormtongue in my head) points out that Kouren captured and imprisoned the Legendary Dragon Warriors, to which he gets a “so what?” response. The priest is stunned that he does not want to use their magical cool powers to strengthen his position. (Technically this is what Yona is doing, but she is not doing it in the way the priest wants it to happen. The priest’s stunned face as Su-Won cuts all his arguments off at the knees is hysterical.

Other things to mention: Riri is here and awesome, though not as awesome as her retainers, who manage to gang up on Kouren and make sure she can’t tragically die leaning against a building or some other samurai thing. The other guys spend most of the book unable to move, alas, though they’re on the road to recovery by the end. It also helps sell that this is a problem that CAN be resolved with discussion and negotiation, rather than “I have a guy with a big hand, medusa eyes, a big kick, and Zeno.” Although it led to Yona’s misunderstanding, I really liked Hak’s chatter among his Wind tribe friends – she’s right, he acts like a totally different person around them, and while I don’t think it’s entirely her fault she’s never seen it, it does show off why they’re still not quite ready to get any closer than they are.

OR ARE THEY? Cannot wait till the next volume, which thanks to my backlog is already out. There’s always so much to talk about and love with Yona of the Dawn.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind