First of all , Akatsuki no yona where have you been all this time? Where have you been HIDING dammit!
Sound : Im specifically starting with this , because lets face it , the soundtrack is absolutely amazing in this anime. Starting with the opening , Its only instrumental! ( How much time has it been since we got AN INSTRUMENTAL OPENING?)and yet you don't skip it and listen to it every damn time. The second opening isnt as great but is still awesome!
( seriously it gives you chills everytime there's a fight/emotional moment and the traditional music goes in).
: Princess Yona leads a peaceful life. Her only "worries" is whether or not her hair colour suits her and if she's gonna be able to marry her beloved childhood friend Soo-won. Well lucky for her ! He stops by the castle for a week. However her father forbids their marriage for reasons beyond her understanding. THEN BAM! beloved Soo-Won drives a blade through the chest of the king while she runs into the room to talk to him about her marriage. Heartbroken and stripped of her status as royalty, Yona lives as a fugitive on the run, accompanied only by one of the king's trusted shogun : Haku!.
Art : The animation is freaking good , yona hime face expressions are really well detailed ( I mean look at those fierce gorgeous eyes man) , and the art may seem typical but its beautiful! And hey for once the main dude isnt a 100% bishounen shining armored prince like dude his eyes are more like ''dont mess with me'' type.
Characters: The side characters ( Yona companions) are amazingly well developped ( better than any shojo I watched) , you get to see a very detailed past of some of them. ALSO CAN WE PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT for the first non-cry baby female lead since those 5 last years? Yes Yona hime is a typical princess , fragile , who only cares for nobles things and dont know how to cook her own food. HOWEVER she blooms into a strong female lead , who is aware of her weakness and wants to learn how to protect herself and save her country!.
Enjoyment: You know it's a good anime when you know the release date of the next episode and wait for it the whole week. You know its a good anime when you prepare food for it and set all yourself up. Akatsuki no yona combines Humour , serious-badass-moments , Mother of typical shojo moments ( which means even if its typical they are still better introduced than other animes of the same type).It's the type of anime that will give you chills in every single episode. Honestly if you are the kind of person who was desperate to find an amazing shojo with Strong female lead (like me) or just a passing-by person who never seen a shojo in her/his life , or just a curious person ! THEN DONT MISS AKATSUKI NO YONA.
By the end of this show, you will love it, its really something worth your time. Out of many shows airing today this show is really something to look forward to each week, now it can be enjoyed in its full glory even though the show does need a second season, dammit. Akatsuki no Yona is definitly a show you won't forget.
At first, this show seems like your average run of the mill shoujo reverse harem, but by the end of the first episode as the story goes on, it seems to be more than that, its really a well written story which focuses on
vengence and betrayal, it blow other shoujos away. The pacing at times when getting dragons to join may seem a little slow and does drag on here and there. Sure it does focus on finding the dragons but get to the point already, sure there may be a sidestory but can we just get these people coming in?
The characters are done well and are beautifully developed, Yona is pretty much one of my faviroute female characters of all time, she starts off weak and fragile like a little kitten and develops on to be something big, a brave independent creature awaiting its prey, its done in a way that developing her is spot on. If I'd rate Yona alone it would be an easy 10. Hak is Yona's first protector, being known since childhood, Hak is goddamn badass, he helps Yona and keeps her safe from danger, he'll use himself as a tool to protect her. The other dragons are pretty good characters each with their own backstories and being well developed to Yona. The problem i have here is that some of these characters might say a serious speech and then revert to comedy, at first its a good ol'joke but it keeps getting used so much that its just a pain in the ass at times.
The Art is pretty good for the most part, it has some well done character designs and sometimes has some well detailed characters. Same goes for sound, its great to listen, both OPs and EDs are goddamn beautiful and the OSTs fit the shows theme.
The show is a blast to watch, it leaves no plotholes (from my point of view) and has dialouge that seems useful. The problem is that sometimes this show is a serious adventure fantasy and then converts to a shoujo comedy and usually this transition feels unatural and ruin the tense moments. At times its pretty funny but at times, I can't even.
Akatsuki no Yona is a goddamn pleasure to watch and I'm glad I didn't ignore it. At first the plot sounds generic, but give the show a chance and you'll experience some of the most well done developements in anime in years. This show deserves a Season 2, hell it needs ne. And this all comes from Studio Pierret... how about putting this effort in Tokyo Ghoul? But besides jokes, you should seriously start watching Akatsuki no Yona right now.
At some point in the show, Yona mentioned something about escaping from her bubble of a spoiled princess, learning about the difficulties of life and such. Ironically, this show never managed to escape from its bubble of a shoujo-pandering, unbearably sappy, politically shallow, purposeless mess of tropes and forced superficial development.
Beware of spoilers used as discussion points
Featuring a middle ages Korea kingdom apparently in turmoil; Yona stars as a completely clueless princess with already 2 incredibly hot young men who can’t resist to “protect” her. A coup occurred, for reasons still unclear after 24 episodes, killing the king and forcing Yona to take flight
with her Boyfriend #1 (Hak) after finding out the identity of the perpetrator being Boyfriend #2.Thus ensues a long winded journey as Yona travels and develops as a person and a benevolent, charismatic ruler, reaching for that ultimate goal with also a lot opportunities for romantic development, or so you’d think.
The premise of this series is definitely very promising and allows room for political intrigues, epic battles exploring the qualities of an ideal ruler, discussing the problems with a lenient ruler and how discipline is integral to order. Unfortunately a meager 2 episodes is spent on these issues, making it a huge waste of potential. It’s mentioned many times that the previous reign wasn’t effective, but it’s hardly shown through the show; in fact the blame is all placed onto generic one-dimensional bad guys for doing bad things. The people perspective is nowhere to be found, their “suffering” is hardly discussed, there are no exact problems to be fixed; this makes the show’s whole foundation completely empty and so does Yona’s claim on learning about suffering. In comparison, Rose of Versailles beautifully portrays an oppressed society with plenty of civilian perspectives to display the problems with incompetent governance. On a wider scale, it’s also mentioned that the kingdom is at risk of impending attack in an attempt to give the show some kind of direction; but it’s so diluted and underpresented it’s difficult to appreciate as world building. Furthermore, it doesn’t really help that the show utilizes silly slapstick comedy; much like Shitgatsu Kimi ga Uso, these kills off any tension and make the show somehow even more bubbly than it already is.
On an episode to episode basis, the show doesn’t fare too well either. Most episodes focus on Yona’s journey to find the “4 dragons” based on a prophecy told by a random drunk priest lying half dead on the side of the road. As if that isn’t silly fantasy enough, these dragons are bound to her by DESTINY, meaning the moment she caught their eyesight, they become a harem member. Yep, she doesn’t even need to convince them. Most of the arcs dont have much depth and doesn’t contribute to the big picture. Additionally, they also try to get the audience to sympathise to the autistic, utterly stereotypical and forgettable dragons that become irrelevant the moment they join the harem.Boyfriend #5 (Blue dragon) arc in particular had a lot of issues that should really have been touched on like why are soldiers attacking the villagers? Why do the little kids keep dying? Why do they fear something that saves them? Instead it focused on the superficial “suffering” of the hot boy. And of course, Yona saves the day in the most stupid way possible “because his hands are gentle, so I’ll trust him”, right. The Boyfriend #6 (green dragon) arc got a bit closer to what the show should have been but collapsed when it became yet another generic beat the big fat evil guy who oppress people out of his greedy desires (and really want to put his hands on Yona), joining awkwardly righteous pirates too nonetheless.
It’s funny how the show realizes the complete lack of purpose in trying to gather up these bishounen on the last episode due to Yona still being completely clueless and a failure in story writing discussed earlier. In attempt to correct this she is given a “purpose” but it’s clear the author still have no idea how to advance the plot and neither does the show become any less superficial.
Character wise, the show features a very generic cast of forgettable characters to poorly developed ones. Yona is often said to have developed greatly, which is nothing short of phony. Physical strength is not the equivalent of mental fortitude; and her excessive plot armor only further depreciates any signs of growth she has. There was only one instance in which she actually realizes she did not want to lose anything else, which was real development. All other instances are just the plot forcing her to take action in an attempt to fool the audience of any real substantial development. For example, when she shot said big fat evil guy, there was hardly any real change in her character or way of thinking, in fact she did it just to get patted on the head. The show tries to make it sounds fancy it but in reality it is exactly just that. And with this much “growth” as a human she has gathered in 24 long episodes, her development as a ruler is completely pointless to discuss.
Boyfriends #1-7 suffers heavily from being bogged down to tropes, wish fulfillment and shoujo pandering. They aren’t really allowed to have any thoughts other than about Yona (and protect her because DESTINY). Boyfriend #2 (Su-won) is a potentially interesting character as a young mastermind of a coup but completely butchered by facetious “naïve boy” behavior towards important head figures for reasons I can’t think of besides pandering. His lack of screentime completely denies any chance of development, adding to long list of disappointment in this show.
On the positive side, the production value of the show doesn’t suffer very badly from being animated by Studio Pierrot infamous for low budget and conservative animation. Art is generally acceptable without noticeable problems. The chibi slapstick art hurts my eyes but other than that it’s pretty average. The instrumental first opening sounds like something from a cheap Chinese MMO and the second is an okay jpop.
In conclusion, Akatsuki no Yona is yet another generic shoujo story masked by a deceptive exterior. Potential interesting plot development and political discussion are replaced by a pointless journey to find hot boys. Every character is inexplicably obsessed about Yona because she’s the designated main character and tropes take up more time than character development. It’s not necessarily the worst thing; in fact it’s just overly mediocre rather than outright horrible. However, it is highly disappointing considering what it could possibly have been, making it excruciating to watch. If you had to watch this series it’s best to keep your expectations low.
I'm a female and I usually watch shounen/seinen animes, not because I'm a tomboy or whatever that is called, I'm just not into animes that focus too much on cute little love stories, which is, probably, most shoujo animes? I mean, really? REALLY?
Anyway let's talk about this shit. Not shit in a bad way - I found Akatsuki no Yona THE shit. So far.
I dig the story. It sounds a bit like Nanatsu no Taizai's but here we have the four dragons instead of the seven sins, and Yona is not stupid and cliché as Elizabeth, in my opinion.
The art is pretty and classic.
I love the characters designs. The animation is pretty good.
Is there someone who cares about sound? You do? Well, I don't... sorry.
I just love all of the characters so far. Hak is probably the funniest, but all of them have their funny moments, something I really dig. When I say all, I do mean ALL. Heck, even Ki-ja's grandma had hers. Their personalities are great and unique. Yona is a strong female lead, and I love that. She's charismatic, bubbly and brave. She really cares about Hak. She doesn't want to be always the one who needs protection, she actually wants to be strong, and to fight. I just love her character development. Yun is like totally awesome at everything he does, and I find it super cute/funny when he praises himself. He's really nice but also an ass. Yes, both at the same time. Hak is an awesome character. He's hella funny and strong. I love his personality. Ki-ja behaves very politely and prince-like and is really loyal. I love his scenes with Hak. Ki-ja gets so easily annoyed by Hak, it's so funny (plus I must confess Ki-ja looks really cute when annoyed). Ik-su is also such a nice character and has a cute personality. Su-won was so nice and kawaii when younger, but now I just want to murder him.
Overall, I totally recommend it. There's a lot of action (fights and blood hell yeaaaah), humor, adventure and still there's a spot there reserved for romance. Everything very well-balanced.
So far, I find Akatsuki no Yona a really awesome and unique shoujo, and I think there should be more shoujos like this since I'm freaking sick of the same old crap with these dumb little romances and imbecile characters and I know I'm not the only one.
What would you do if you lost everything to the one person you thought you cared about the most? Trust is easily extended when you live a sheltered life, and it makes the betrayal all that much more bitter of a pill to swallow. Yet it is not revenge that spurs on our heroine ultimately – for the line between love and hate is thin and the subsequent balancing act is, in the end, a chaotic mess of feelings too tangled and difficult to boil down to one simple word.
Rare is the series that introduces a seemingly weak and sheltered female lead, who undergoes great
tragedy only to come out fierce and respectable at the end after the most well-paced development I have had the pleasure of viewing. Were that not enough, we are also blessed with a delightful supporting cast of varied and sometimes unexpected characters. While it’s not without some flaws, Yona is absolutely amazing as a historical shoujo series.
Although this season only acts as a starting point for what is to come, it introduces our cast and it develops our heroine. One of the strongest points about the plot is that it begins with a bang – we first establish a background and we are quickly endeared to the characters before it successfully guts us with the promise our premise gave. Betrayal.
One of the weakest points of many series is that while our protagonist may be likeable and receive depth and development, our antagonist is lacking in all areas – not so for Su-won. While he may be easy to despise for his hand in essentially ruining Yona’s life, we quickly learn his motivation and while at first it may be easy to dismiss him as your stereotypical bad guy, episodes down the road clue us in to his real intentions.
The plot isn’t without its flaws; it follows the stereotypical pattern of our hero finding a “wiseman” who presents her with a mission which includes the collection of certain “items,” or in this case, the dragons. The backstory is not necessarily uninteresting but not entirely original either. In this way, Yona follows a lot of mythological stories as inspiration but that doesn’t make it unlikeable – in fact it’s because it follows a pattern we are used to that it grips us and carries us with it every step of the way.
Our cast is comprised primarily of Yona, Hak, Yun, and the four dragons. For Yona’s part, she makes the biggest impact as an initially “weak” (but come on the girl wants to handle weapons and stuff she has the makings for bad assery from the start) but most certainly sheltered princess. She grows quickly as the loss of her status and family, coupled with Su-won’s betrayal, takes a huge toll on her. Not to mention the wilderness which she is completely unaccustomed to, which requires her to eat food she may never have thought edible before, to sleep outside without proper shelter, and to deal with all sorts of wild animals and insects. She doesn’t deal with it flawlessly – she struggles, like a real human being, and she gradually recovers then proceed to fight tooth and nail.
Hak admittedly starts out as a fierce defender that initially makes decisions based on his aim to protect Yona, but eventually he grows to respect her strength and determination and defers to her judgment the majority of the time. He even softens a bit over time, but in the end he goes from just wanting to keep Yona alive to having a more vested interest in protecting the kingdom with her.
I won’t provide extraneous details about the rest of the cast; suffice to say that introductions are by and large the biggest priority for the series when it comes to the dragons so the time period for development for their characters is rather minimal. Granted they do certainly receive it as Yona’s presence impacts their lives, but I suspect additional development is in store for them in a coming season.
For the part of the animation, Yona is nothing if not consistent with a muted palette that at times is vibrant but always vivid in the detail of the characters and the landscape. Most enjoyable are the detailed character designs for each of them, thoroughly nuanced and symbolic. The action scenes are exciting, suspenseful and by and large, as realistic as one can expect for a fantasy series.
The sound is probably a bit more on the average front for the series, but is not necessarily a weakness. The initial opening fits the mood of the anime and the addition of lyrics halfway through makes it a catchy song that really foreshadows what is to come in the rest of the series and represents the development of our heroine. Although not particularly memorable, the insert songs match the general mood of the scenes that they accompany. All of the voice acting is solid, but as always the stars of the show are Saito Chiwa and Maeno Tomoaki who respectively as Yona and Hak really flesh out and bring their characters to life.
For all of my praise, I have to mention several drawbacks that bring down the rating a bit for this series. Make no mistake that it is stand-out, but its biggest issue is slow pacing near the beginning of the series. This can put off some potential viewership, but more than anything there are some episodes that just drag a bit. This happens at the beginning and at one point in the middle of the series. On the whole it’s fairly well-paced but it’s not perfect.
The other issue is that the series is advertised as romance – problem being, where is it? There is certainly romantic tension between characters but there is minimal development on that front even by the end of the series. If you are looking for a series about love, Yona focuses far more heavily on action and adventure – and it seems unfair to classify it as romance, as that’s only a peripheral aspect of the story.
Akatsuki no Yona is an incredible series that does so many things right that most are unable to – and it does it with an amazing female lead supported by an equally stellar cast of male characters. It proves that the shoujo/historical combination isn’t dead, can be successful and well-done, and ultimately it’s a heartfelt series manages to combine tragedy and comedy in an entertaining, colorful package.
Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn), an anime that will leave you in chills after every single episode. This is what an anime should be all about, forcing its way to your heart and really making the watcher feel emotion after emotion. THIS is a true masterpiece.
There is absolutely no flaws in the story what so ever, the amount of creativity put into this anime is nothing but pure gold. Not leaving a single detail behind, making sure that the watcher fully understands and appreciate a work of art when he sees it. It truly sends shivers down my spine.
I can hardly
guess the amount of time it would take to draw and perfect this anime, but theres no doubt that the producers didn't leave a single detail behind. From the leaves on the trees to the expressions of the characters. It is truly amazing that they managed to hit spot on as well as they did.
One of the key factors to making an anime successful is the sound used in it, and it can be really hard to manage to find the perfect song, but yet again I am not disappointed. By using half old japanese songs with not much instruments in it and not too fancy, you find yourself sent back to another time and it makes it even easier to follow the story than ever before.
No details were skipped when they made the characters. From funny, to serious, to clever and smart, to strong, to weak and to plain dumb. This anime does not leave any information unsaid, from the past of the characters, to the way they act. Hell, I feel like I know Hak, Yun, Yona, Ki-Ja, Shinah and Jaeha (apart from Zeno, that guys a real mystery) better than i know my own family.
Apart from the lack of romance I would have wished for to see and the first episode that pretty much is a spoiler to the end, the amount of raw anime perfection leaves all that in the dust. I simply see no reason as to why I would rate this anime any lower than a 10.
If you love romance, fantasy, action, comedy, adventure, well as long as you love anime THIS is the anime for you.
This year is filled with animes that I can hardly wait too see, and I believe that this was only one out of many 10 I will be giving out in the future. What a start on the year Akatsuki no Yona.
I came to this anime having been a huge fan of the manga beforehand, and to tell the truth the first few episodes felt a little choppy for me... plenty of places where I thought that the flow could have been better, that weird "forward flash" thing in the first couple episodes, and so on. It felt like they were so impatient to get to the good bits that they tried to fit too many flashbacks into the first hour and a half, spoiling the future events of the series instead of slowly revealing them as time went on.
But it settles down later and really
grows on you. I particularly love what they've done with the soundtrack - it really reminds me of Juuni Kouki (makes sense since it's the same composer). I was expecting the usual sort of Japanese pop songs, and it never occurred to me that they would go the traditional instrumental route! How utterly gorgeous.
What to say about the story and and characters? They are awesome as always. Hak's gigantic Bodyguard Crush was a bit disconcerting at first as it seemed to come out of nowhere (I remember it being more along the lines of the reader discovering it gradually), but he is hilarious otherwise. Yona's Heroic BSOD could have been a little clearer, but she is becoming as badass a princess as one could hope for.
Overall a good anime. Unfortunately I'm still a bigger fan of the manga, but it was a great addition and I'm satisfied.
I have found a good one. "Akatsuki no Yona", a 24-episode masterpiece, with a flair for political entanglements, and the stress of personal loss; makes for a great watch in almost every category.
First I wish to make some comments about this show, in the historical sense. While this anime, like many; places itself in an alternate universe, it still manages to stay fairly accurate to Feudal China. I find this quirk, very interesting in the light that the entire production is mainly Japanese origin.
After all, all the weapons used are Chinese (straight swords versus the curve Katana Blade, etc), and the costumes might
fool people, but most are truly Chinese. We see that mostly in the male apparel, but even the female dress is mostly Chinese.
While I wanted to take points off for the very poor habit of Japanese artists drawing people who are supposed to be oriental, with almost entirely caucasian features; in the end I gave it a break, because in the end (like most anime I watch) story is everything.
The story is spectacular, and while I wish I had time do a long summary of it; I think I will just mention a few items that grabbed my interest, in the vein of waiting impatiently for Season-2!
This story is of emotional loss, love unrequited, peace and the search for it, war and the difficulty of avoiding it, fear of friends, fear of enemies, class struggles, political usurpation; but most of all 'Akatsuki no Yona' is about finding a reason to believe in the future, when the past has destroyed what was intended. Including our faith in basic goodness, and in the trust we have in relatives.
Wow, what a story. While on the surface, "Akatsuki no Yona' is a "I need to find an army" style struggle; in the interior is a struggle to relegate incongruities of one relative versus the same things from another.
For example, Yona watches while the person she most loves and admires (Su-Won) takes a sword to her father (Il, the emperor of her country), while this same individual points out that her father murdered his. This point is only mentioned once, but it is the reason for most of the tension in Yona's mind; as she travels as a refugee, and if found will probably be murdered or worse; forced to support the new regime, to give it legitimacy.
The other side of the coin is, Su-Won becomes King and is seen as a worthy successor by almost everyone. Even begrudgingly, Yona. The man actually seems to know what he is doing, trying to clean up the corrupt parts of the kingdoms' administration, keep good leaders in place, build up resistance to neighboring kingdoms which have designs on conquest.
And a third side, Yona travels through the kingdom, only to find that her father is almost universally disliked by almost everyone. And for pretty good reasons. A moral and ethical weakling, Emperor Il has apparently allowed virtually every corrupt administrator to run hog-wild, the damage to the public incalculable; many injured physically, mentally, and financially. Some of these even stooping to create a slave-trade from places that are supposed to be lawfully run entities.
In such cases, we see what some people would call "color of law", without actually having any. The parallels in comparison to our own world is obvious.
Yona is so well developed, starting as a scatter-brained idiot, to an evolution of personality bordering on heroic; she is designed with intelligence by the authors, and evolved subtly and with great charm. There is even the notions that she forces herself to improve, even within the context of the interest of her friends to keep the more gruesome parts of true-life and conflict from her.
The conflicts within her, dealing with her obvious misgivings surrounding Su-Won; are nothing less than tragic horror. How does she relegate her hatred for her fathers murderer, while also knowing that Su-Won acted in both revenge and statesmanship.
Hak, is a tragic character all by himself. He keeps a promise to protect Yona (no matter what), even though he gave his word to a man who is now dead by the hand of his friend and rival for Yona's attention, Su-Won. Hating Su-Won, not knowing as much as Yona does about everything, fighting to preserve the last vestige of the old order; Yona. While trying not to think about how much he loves this tiny red-haired beauty.
All the rest of the characters are either secondary characters, or tools of Yona's choosing (I don't mean this in a bad way).
Sound & Music
All the Japanese voices are outstanding. Understanding their characters on screen, emoting relative to each scene with easy grace, interacting via the dialog with correct timing and pacing. Excellent in almost every way.
The music is something to rejoice, at least the soundtrack. OP1 and ED2 are excellent. The OP2 and ED1 are not relevant to the anime, and are an attempt to interject a more modern and therefore rhythmic musicality, to a production that is otherwise near perfection. Sorry about this but the latter half of the anime has non-relevant thematic music. Damages an otherwise outstanding production.
Nothing less than stunning. As good as period-piece anime ever get. Artwork is drawn with a clear intent to help move the story, and indicate nuances to the viewer that otherwise might be missed in all the dialog. This a good anime, drawn well.
Is it as 3d as Unbreakable Machine Doll, or Girls-Und-Panzer? No, but it's subtle coloring and paint-ins, are excellent, and gives it a period look that is hard to put your finger on, but relevant just the same.
I want to make a point about female artwork in anime. There are times when I begin to tire of girls being drawn with great big eyes. Believe me folks, a story can help me overlook this point very quickly. If the story is good, and the artist wants me to see a girl with very large eyes, as an attempt to show youthfulness, or apparent simplicity, then this becomes an artistic decision. And I can overlook it. But when there is too much of it, and it has little to do with story-content, then I cringe. This is not one of those times. Yona is drawn cute, very pretty, a bit simple-minded in the beginning, and with big eyes which tend to stare right through your face and see the working of the inner mind. She shares this gift with her friends, and all see its value.
So do I. So no subtraction, in this case, because she is drawn almost oriental-big-eye. I have no criticism in this case. She is true to the character, and therefore the big-eye look actually has a constructive meaning for the story.
With that I end my review of Akatsuki no Yona. It is an unfinished work, as it is the first part of a story I wish to see the end of. Season-2 is in production, and my wish is that it will continue an excellent first season.
So hooray for Akatsuki no Yona, a first class introduction for a much larger story. I give this effort a solid 9!
Betrayal. That’s a word I’m sure that evoke a lot of feelings. In these days, betrayal is a word that destroys friends, alliances, and in worst cases, relationships. For a young girl named Yona, she personally finds out the meaning of that word. Make no mistake. Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn) doesn’t just revolve around the betrayal of someone (Soo-Won) that is close to Yona. It also chronicles the journey of this girl and the timeless efforts she goes to recreate the life she once had lost; figuratively speaking of course.
Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn) adapts the manga of the same
name. The setting takes place in a fictional world with some fantasy elements and a lot of emotions. One of the more interesting facts is that the show is actually a 2 cour running consecutively for 24 episodes. For a shoujo title of recent years, that’s a major plus. It gives more time to flesh out the story, characters, themes, and whatever mission it’s on to adapt a proper show. Just be aware that certain characters may be introduced later than expected and not everything will end the way you may expect them to be. Even as a 2 cour show, it’s hard to adapt a manga that runs over 100+ chapters and still ongoing.
The first few episodes establishes the premise quite well. In fact, the pilot episode (more specifically the second half of it) really marks its turning point when we find out Soo-Won’s dark ambitions. What really stands out about him is the words he says. While he seems to be playing a façade at first, and then turning 180 degrees into a monster, there’s also a bit of confusion at what he truly wants. It’s during the tense moments that viewers may find his intentions to be conflicting since he wants to kill Yona for discovering his motives but also a part of him does not. The flashback transitions are fairly well done to set up the way things are played out here. This is because Yona’s bodyguard, Hak (whom shares a history with Soo-Won) comes to her recuse at a timely manner. It’s easy to guess what happens next as battles ensures. Nonetheless, the show painfully stabs Yona in the heart as it gives the audience a glance at her reaction. Yona’s betrayal as a character here is a feat and portrait of a girl who realizes that she lost almost everything. Now luckily, the show makes its come back with the journey that Yona undertakes and that’s where it truly shines.
During their journey, the show makes it clear that Yona and Hak’s lives are in danger. Not only are pursued by Soo-Won’s lackeys in a cat-and-mouse like game but also the pure essence of Mother nature and her new circumstances takes a toll on Yona. It doesn’t take long for the series to unfold and begin to give development for Yona. This is especially evident in one of the early moments when she realizes the reality of her changed life. From there, Yona also accepts her new life and realizes how she must make up for her loss. To say the last, the show crafts her development in a profound way. From cutting her famous scarlet hair to learning how to use a bow, the show makes her less and less of a damsel in distress and more so as an independent heroine. It’s what sets this show a bit different than most shoujo as romance is not its main focus. Still, romance does exist although less emphasized as you may think. Character relationships becomes a pivotal focus though especially with her body guard Hak. In fact, it’s really interesting to see his interactions with Yona. There’s a peculiar connection between the two as they seem to be annoyed at each other yet deep down is willing to risk their lives to protect each other. This is clearly illustrated by Hak’s actions where he sometimes takes reckless risks with consequences. Also an important part about Hak is that his actions is a stark contrast to Soo-Won. Hak is a man of loyalty to both Yona and her father. Soo-Won on the other hand betrays all of three of them in pursue for his twisted goals. It stands out to make the show realize how different the two main leads are and how actions can speak so much louder than words.
Another success the show achieves is a fairly well balanced characterization. Yona and Hak aren’t the only characters that takes every spotlight during their journey. In fact, they meet both foes and allies from their world. It also brings diversity into the mix as the show is intelligent enough to introduce other clans, kingdoms, and even races. The allies that joins them has a wide degree of personalities whether it’s the apprentice Yun or White Dragon descendent Ki-Ja. What stands out about most of these characters is that the show makes time to give their backgrounds with effective use of flashbacks. It also makes it clear at what they want during their journey as they don’t just join without a purpose. Furthermore, they also play pivotal roles in developing Yona. For instance, Yona learns more about the origins of survival from Yun while we also see her selfless side during her conversation with Shin-Ah. This sharply contrasts with her early introduction when she seems to act like a brat during her sweet 16 birthday. It’s more and more that each episode turns Yona into a mature woman during their journey.
Even with all this is going on, the show still has time to make room for comedy. Every episode has some of it that expresses a lighthearted mood of the show. It’s a message that gives the audience an ease and breath of fresh air to craft a lighter side of the story when characters makes jokes. Although some of these jokes can feel cheesy, they are effectively timed without distracting the viewers too much. What’s more is how every episode also fleshes out each of our characters with the dialogues. Not only do they portray their personalities effectively but also their relationships improves the tone of the show. Themes are also accurately delivered with human emotions. It’s through the flashbacks of the past to transitions with events in the present that really carry out this creative story.
Now, Akatsuki no Yona is far from perfect. Perhaps this show might not be something you’re used to or the first few episodes might take some patience to get through. Take a closer glance, it’s also easy to label Yona as an annoying brat from the beginning. Her words and actions are like a spoiled princess and while she isn’t entirely selfish, her behavior is still immature. The first impressions of her character could sway some viewers into pursuing the show further. Additionally, some of the romance feels flat. The endless teasing between Hak and Yona seems to go nowhere on many occasions. Furthermore, the pacing can feel quite dragged sometimes in terms of flashbacks and plot progression. There are also occasional times when the show seems to try a bit too hard on the comedy which comes out in an unfashionable way.
On the visual front, Akatsuki no Yona is beautiful. The show’s vivid landscapes illustrates the fantasy realm that is fitting for the setting. Character designs are also well crafted ranging from Yona’s scarlet hair to Hak’s fierce eyes. The show could also be quite a treat for the ladies since most of the guys has a bishonen-like design. Action on most parts is coordinated well with concise timing on the fierceness and brutality. There’s little censorship when it comes to blood so those dreadful black bars, circles, or whatever shapes are no worries. The show also has almost no fan service except some scenes early on that can be easily forgettable. Not bad Pierrot and I do have to say that their effort in this should be called out for some praise.
Similarly, soundtrack is also pleasant and fitting throughout the entire show. OST is played to depict each scene with concise detail whether it’s emotional, climatic, or tension. The first OP song is noticeable for its lack of lyrics but has a fantasy vibration that is hard to deny. The second OP song shows Yona’s change and seemingly a bit of foreshadowing of one of the later arcs. For most parts, I find most of the character voices to fit quite well. Soo-Won gets some praise especially for his manipulative personality as his voice can contrast sharply in tone to hide his true self. Yona’s voice also deserves some attention throughout the show as she matures from a spoiled brat to a mature woman. Her voice is just one symbol of her growth and I think the VA nailed her role quite well.
This show is about a journey. For fans of fantasy/shoujo, it takes it to new levels with characterization especially with our redhead princess, Yona. A powerful effort with skillful timing and development is required to flesh out her character and I am pleased to say that the show did just that. We see this journey unfold as our characters fight and challenge themselves to limits like never before. It reminds us that hardship can fall on anyone from wherever you come from. The show’s craftsmanship with its technical features of both artwork and soundtrack are also outstanding. For such an adaptation, Akatsuki no Yona is an accomplishment of what a fantasy shoujo should be.
WOW. This anime just BLEW my expectations out of the water. Writing this review doesn't give it justice...if you are wondering whether or not it is worth to watch this anime, trust me. IT IS. So go now.
So supposedly this is a "Reverse harem" anime. But I didn't quite see it as that...in fact, I saw it as so much more. This anime goes far beyond any average romance anime. It has truly deep moments of sadness, hilarious moments of comedy, beautiful romance (between the two characters that I think are actually going to get together), it has GREAT action and actually has
a pretty dark undertone to it for being a "Romance" anime. The story itself was quite intriguing. I actually finished this anime in a day and a half because the story is THAT compelling. At times, it CAN be a bit slow which is the reason for the deduction of points, but again for the genre that it is in, it kept me on the edge of my seat. Because not only is this a romance anime, but it is a romance anime with PLOT. Honestly, the "reverse harem" or romance portion of the anime isn't the main focus, it's the plot, the romance comes second which is what makes this anime so successful.
Absolutely stunning visuals. I don't like it when animes go over the top with extra ordinary hair styles and hair colors but I think that the balance this anime had with the character looks was great. The styles seemed realistic for an anime of that time period and for the style that it was in. The backgrounds where quite stunning and the action sequences, especially the ones where they go in slow motion are great. The animation is also extremely great in capturing the raw emotion the characters are goign through, especially Yona. They really capture the fear, sorrow, and sadness in the eyes when necessary which I really appreciate. Plus, i'm absolutely in love with Hak.
This is one of the few anime's in which I actually enjoy both of the OP's. It changed in the middle, which I actually wasn't expecting, but I did like it. The first one was without any lyrics which I didn't like at first but after watching with the story it fit. However the second one is a complete opopsite to the first. It starts out a little almost like dubstep (but it gets so much better) I wondered why they would do that and I think I understand. The second OP I feel relates to Yona maturing as a human and a warrior...the OP is tougher just like Yona. The songs during the show where nice but I just thought that they were odly placed in my opinion, however it wasn't too distracting.
For me this is the best part of the whole anime. The characters. Hak and Yona are probably two of my favorite male and female characters in ALL of anime. First let us start off with Yona. She is a naiive princess who has never been outside the castle and is foolishly in love with Soo - won. Next she WITNESSES her love of 16 years killing her dad and is then she narrowly escapes being murdered. She is in absolute shock and cannot do anything on her own. However in her travels she see's the flaws in her dads ruling, see's how Hak is barely keeping her alive and hidden and decides to do something about it. She doesn't stay the damsel in distress, heck she seems to hate it. She wants to be reliable, to be a fighter, and to help her kingdom in ways her dad couldn't. Her character development is absolutely phenomenal and I really enjoyed seeing it. Next is Hak. Hak is already a warrior and reliable but he also progresses as Yona does - he grows stronger as she does. He gets inspired by her and I he is definitely driven by her. Now lets talk about his obvious love for Yona. He has loved her since they were kids BUT BECAUSE YONA WAS SO IN LOVE WITH SOO - WON HE SUPPRESSED THOSE FEELINGS AND TRIED TO SUPPORT HER AS MUCH AS HE COULD. But it doesn't stop there, while they were on their own COUNTLESS times he would surpress himself from showing Yona his true feelings because this isn't the time. That is a great male character. As for the rest of the characters I'm not going to go into too much detail but all of them were very well developed. Usually in "Reverse harems" there are characters I don't care for but I truly cared for all of these. Some of them had very tragic backstories that shaped them into the persons that they are today and they all are very enjoyable to watch.
This anime was phenomenal. I fell in love. During the first episode I was thinking, idk if i can watch this but as soon as Soo won betrayed Yona I was hooked. I immediately wanted to know what happened next and again, finished this in less than 2 days. I loved it. I cannot give the show enough credit just by talking about it just PLEASE do me a favor an dwatch it. It will be worth your while. I believe there is goign to be a second season, just the way things where left it seems VERY possible but until then I'll be reading the manga because I cannot wait to see what's next.
This is my first review so I hope I can convince some people and give a reasonable, accurate review on this anime. Lets jump right in. (Contains a spoiler of the first episode)
Story: The story is about three childhood friends who have grown up. One, a young princess named Yona. Second, a young man who later becomes the bodyguard of Yona and a general in the army, Hak, and a handsome man named Su-won who Yona is madly in love with. Yona has arguments with her father, the king, about Su-won and her desire to marry him, but her father rejects the idea while Hak
encourages it. On the night of her sixteenth birthday, she goes to her father to try and convince him one more time to let her marry su-won, she finds that her father had been assassinated, and the only one in the room other than her and her now dead father, was her lover, su-won. Now on the run, Hak and Yona must escape the forces of her old kingdom and find a way to take down their former childhood friend.
Art: The art is typical for an anime but it still is pretty good. In a way, it kind of stands out when it comes to the character's design and it's creative.
Sound: The background noise is absolutely great. The music and sound effects are spot on and set the mood perfectly.
Character: The characters, Yona, Hak, Su-won and some other side characters introduce themselves perfectly and you will get an attachment and understanding to them just fine. Yona is a fragile, spoiled girl at first but she blooms into a fierce, proud young woman later on. Hak is a strong willed warrior who will do anything to protect the princess. Su-won was a cheerful, bright kind of guy to be around. He was always smiling and gave people comfort just being around them, he soon becomes the opposite of that later on.
Enjoyment: This is a pretty enjoyable anime. It has its serious moments but also has incredible humor mixed in to lighten the mood most times. This is a great anime for those into drama/action/adventure. It's still unsure how many episodes this show will have, but lets hope for those who enjoy it (including myself) it doesn't end anytime soon.
Utterly unepic because it feels like a typical action adventure fantasy story that viewers felt like they've already seen. Yet anime like Full Metal Alchemist have done it better beyond comparison but do we need a revenge story, dragon binging and some cringe-worthy comedy and not be mediocrity play? Not really recommended.
You guessed it: 80% of these characters are often defined by two dimensions but mostly consisting of boy scouts with an additional trait that makes them “slightly” shine towards the others. Exclude the 80% and that antagonists that caused that anarchy are simply pseudo one dimensional douche bags because
people like the fire clan leader take their job seriously; yet we still need to at least have one, one male psycho for a lousy excuse to fear the damn audience – and oh I am flipping screaming!
Then how is there nothing wrong with this show? It makes sense how Yona is fuelled for this epic quest, it makes sense on why the medic wants to join the party (though a bit cheesy with being book obssesed) it makes sense why the main antagonist wanted kingship and yet it becomes mediocre drama that no one cares about, with the most amazing example with the four ranger dragons boasting at how sad their past was until they meet Miss.Read-Head.
Consequently not a complete time killer, yet it is no Uro trainwreck intellectually stupid pretentious pile of gold! Its a decent watch for a decent adventure story. Though I must admit those comedy scene were “SO” funny! Those random moments of Chibi moments was kind of face palm worthy...
What the hell is there else to say?! Theres nothing really much to poke and analyse the show, let it lack historical value or even human value for just being, the all rounded kind of “GOOD”.
Story: The point of view is mostly through the eyes of the main character Yona, but it switches to that of Hak or the four dragon warriors occasionally.
I feel it was an easy story line to follow, however I believe if you have any history with watching anime, then you have seen this particular plot before (main character is a witness to a tragic event, and sets out on an adventure for vengeance and gains strength and an impressive following on the way). Sound familiar?
I thought the pacing was quite well. There were moments, especially at the end, that I thought it was
a little too fast paced for my liking. There were full episodes dedicated to back stories of the dragons. I am usually not a fan of these, but they were crucial to character development and all that.
There was plenty of action and fantasy in the form of sword fighting and the use of awesome supernatural powers that were foreseen through a mysterious legend of powerful beings.
Adventure is a given since they literally travel all over the land and encounter many new people and places along the way.
The characters had pretty funny moments, especially Hak and the green dragon. The humor was sometimes dry but in all, I thought it felt genuine.
As far as the romance aspect is concerned, there really was none. Yeah there was a lot of flirting going on, but there was no advancement beyond that. This was pretty disappointing to me because I was looking for a good romantic/fantasy anime, but that did not faze me that much.
The ending was the main reason this series was not a 9 or even a 10 on my scale. There was no closure what so ever, just a humongous cliff hanger. It felt as if they only showed about half of the story in the short 24 episodes. Hopefully they decide to make a second season sometime in the near future.
Art: I thought the art was very pleasant. You can tell it isn't a super new series, nor a super old one.
The background looked amazing (especially the ocean and mountain scenes) My favorite was when the sun made her hair look like crimson, or when you could see the fire in her eyes, it was done quite well.
The characters looked absolutely unique and differentiated quite a bit from one another. You could easily tell who it was just by looking at their shadows or silhouettes.
Sound: Honestly, I skipped all the openings, like I usually do, but from what I heard through the fighting scenes, the instrumental music was pretty well conducted and executed. You could feel the emotion, and it hyped me up for the outcome.
As far as the voice acting is concerned, I watched the English dubbed version and I thought the actors were perfect for their roles, particularly Christopher Sabat as Hak :)
Characters: Just like many series like this one, there were many inhumanely strong characters. The main character is at first perceived as weak and helpless, however she shows what is up as she gets stronger and braver.
You become so familiar with every character until you can predict how each will react given a certain situation.
The only side/mainish character that is not given a backstory of any kind, is the yellow dragon which comes in at the very last second, when the plot was sped way up and it ended abruptly.
Enjoyment: If you like fantasy anime with quite a bit of supernatural action and lots of comedic relief, I believe you will enjoy this anime alot. If you are looking for a super romantic series, this probably is not for you.
All in all, I gave this series an 8 out of 10, so it had a couple of flaws but still pretty great nonetheless.
Like all pieces of media that we use to distract ourselves before the inevitable, there are always some genres you try to steer clear of, like you would social responsibility or German scat porn. One genre that gets this abusive treatment from me is the shoujo genre. But before we continue, the shoujo genre is kinda garbage. Hopefully my negative propensity towards the genre isn’t showing. But in all seriousness, it’s a genre targeted towards teenage girls. The real reason I hold such distaste to this particular genre is due to it consisting of characters that are written by people that
haven’t had sex in a very long time. Meaning, the heroin is apparently so perfect and attractive that the entire male cast gets on their hands and knees and starts to fawn over her (and also the fact most of them are rom coms, but that is for a different time).
So when my friend through her gags and burbles of her mentally damaged brain would suggest a show for me, I would always reply with “is it one of horrible shoujo anime, that whenever I try to watch it I feels like I’m shitting out a hedgehog that has barbed wires instead of spines?”, which would just lead to more gags and burbles as she rolls on the carpet, trying to improve her noodle impression. But I finally took pity on my poor, retarded, idiot, stupid (maybe I should stop being friends with them) friend and listened to her suggestion and began to watch Akatsuki no Yona. And I will say I was mildly surprised.
Akastsuki no Yona is an anime about a princess Yona, who has the ability of being genetically superior to everyone because she has red hair, and she has the emperor dragons blood. But like every princess story, a great tragedy strikes. The king is killed by her crush, the original “boy toy”, Soo Won. So she escapes with her trusty side “boy toy”, Hak. These two companions have great chemistry and travel the land to collect four more “boy toys”( I’m going to keep calling them boy toys until I get a laugh, you bastard), to build her harem and fill her empty heart. and other orifices. Opps, I mean to take back her kingdom. But these four “boy toys” aren’t just anyone, no no no, they are special with dragon blood running through their veins with amazing abilities, and just so happen to be a list of character tropes and fetishes for the fujoshi community to argue which would make for the best “husbandu”.
The series seems to be set in an “ancient” China inspired kingdom. Sadly I can’t be certain if it is actually china because it is never clearly stated, probably because the producers were having a little giggle to see how many racists they can catch by calling it Chinese. But in all seriousness, this simple fact was its biggest pull for me towards the series. In the world of anime, with its overabundant high school slice of life and the countless generic light novel adaptation that gets hacked every year by the uncoordinated hands of a butcher who just stopped giving a fuck, uniqueness is a quality hard to find. So for a shoujo to not have a highschool setting certainly did make me raise an eyebrow and investigate. And regardless of what you think, that is certainly a plus.
But after my eyebrow reached the top my un-arguably handsome face, my senses slammed on the breaks and came back to me, which lead to the thought “Is it a horrible reverse harem that is so bad it’ll make my throat want to fill out divorce proceedings with my stomach as I vomit a litre of stomach acid?" "Um...Kinda."
I’ve seen many reviews on people’s thoughts on Akatsuki’s characters, and every god damn single one of the cum gurgling twats that praises this series all seem to say the exact same thing, “The characters are amazing with intricate back stories and amazing development through the series”. This statement I whole heartedly agree to… Oh wait scratch that last part. The characters do have an interesting and unique back story, and Yona’s transformation from a scared, timid princess to a strong female heroin is interesting. But as soon as the “boy toys” have joined the harem bandwagon, they devolve into body pillow number 6745 and just become another member of the reverse harem bullshit. This is what I hate and loath about this series and the shoujo genre as a whole. Develop apparently means a character becoming infatuated with the main heroin, until there are enough handsome men to perform their very own bukkake shoot.
What the writer of the series should have done was throw out the love hexagon and make entire series focus on Hak and Yona, and make the rest of the cast just loyal to Yona. But that isn’t going to happen because like I said in my introduction, the characters are written by people that haven’t had sex since they played doctor with Uncle Tom. When I think about it, the characters as a whole, excluding best boy blonde, aren’t that great either. And the other villains the company faces aren't great either. It's like the script writer binged watched a bunch of Disney movies, then she hastily began to write a villain, until I don't know an ice cream truck passed.
To add to that, the tone of the series swings like a convulsive Gibbon on crack. One minute the heroes will be fighting kidnappers who sell woman and children as slaves, and the next minute it'll change art style to adorable chibi characters, as they tell a joke that falls flat so hard it tunnels into the earth and burns up in its core. It’s just so bad it made me want to pull my teeth out and jam them in my eye sockets so I don’t see that shit ever again. Who thought that was a good idea to implement comedy with murder, other then Punch and Judy? No matter how hard you try it’s like me and relationships, they just don’t seem to work out.
I have other complaints about the series such as the music, animation,the ending and Yona’s sun glare, but this is already getting to long, so I’m will wrap this up. As I wrote this review I realised the mountains of problems the leaked out of the shows pores, like yellow puss from a wound. And every single one them stem from the Shoujo heritage, from the reverse harem, the lack of character development of the male characters, the erratic tonal shifts, and many other complaints and nitpicks I have. But I still found the show mildly entertaining (even if it was for the wrong reasons), from the unique setting, Yona’s development as a character, or just pointing out everything bad about the series. This “enabled” me to claw through the story, in the same way someone “enables” a crippling drug habit. So in conclusion, Akatsuki no Yona turned out to be a slightly above average Shoujo series that surprised me. But keep in mind, for me personally an average Shoujo is about as good as putrefied shit left on black tarmac to cook. So you can gauge my opinion of the series from there. But for a Shoujo fan sure go watch it. But for everyone else, just go watch Arslan Senki.
This Ramble Review was a new idea that I wanted to take a shot at to challenge myself. Hope you enjoyed.
And also, I am doing a blog so head on over there for more stuff, including just my thoughts and opinions on anime related stuff.
And please, any and all feedback for this review is appreciated. So shoot me a message and tell me any problems you had with the review and ways to fix it.
I rarely give anime a '10' especially the ones who is still ongoing and Akatsuki no Yona really surprised me and took '10' outta me with such a pleasant way of anime watching experience
Story : 9
The basic story isn't anything new or special but it really delivers how the awesome development will be happened really well. Each episode has a fresh funny cute moments and there are moments for romance,the timing for action is also hit on the spot
Art : 10
I like the character's design,they are all handsome and beauty and each design can pictures each characters' personalities well,the art for actions and comedies aren't
lame and out of place,instead they are cool,awesome and cute
Each moments in Akatsuki no Yona has sfx and sounds which really fit the situtaion well,Funny momens have cute sfx,sad moments have a heart-breaking sfx and ect. For OP and ED songs,Akatsuki no yona doesn't have an OP song with lyrics like others has,But who cares ? its Op song really fit the anime after all,Its ED song has lyrics and portrays such a sad yet brave situtation which fit the anime too.
Character : 10
What i like the most of Akatsuki no Yona is Its characters. Each of them have a great and unique personalities which made it awesome combination when they develop with each other. Yona is a princess,yet she isn't a lame princess which will run for help with tail between her legs and need someone to pampered her,instead she is a brave,cool and funny princess who will take weapons in order to protect somone dear for her. Hak is hella strong and is a "Thunder Beast" which won't lose in strength with the dragons,Yun is a genius-bishounen and is really cute when he praised himself,Each dragons are cute and handsome which will make everyone like them and when younger,Su-won is likeable and cute,but as he is now,i just want to kick the heck of his ass to a mustard-pit
Am i enjoying this anime,you ask ? of course,I am! This anime is very well-balanced and cute so there is no way I won't enjoy such a masterpiece anime like this
Overall,this anime is an awesome anime which pop out to the surface once in a while,once you step your eyes to the world of akatsuki no yona,you won't be able to get out of them without crawl for more in your edge of seat while waiting for next week
i love this anime
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i love this anime
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i love this anime
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i love this anime
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i love this anime
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i love this anime
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fdjmejrkjrkkrrkndmw ewkej4rnjrrjrnrej fjrkjt
The seasoned viewer review: Not terribad. But NOT WORTH IT.
The seasoned viewer alternative: Go rewatch Juuni Kokuki (12 Kingdoms).
This review is aimed STRICTLY at seasoned/mature anime viewers; those of us who have seen it all and are no longer satisfied by the yearly cookie cutter dose of gen pop anime.
If you're new/recent to anime, this isn't the review for you.
Greetings SEASONED ANIME VIEWER!
If you're wondering why it has such a high score... it's because the other animes this season are so sucky they make this look good. This is one of those animes that in a year will be scoring 7.5 at best.
The 8+ score
is also justified by the first few episodes where real shit happens. It gives that emotional jolt that unseasoned viewers are still susceptible to.
Then it just turns into a reverse-harem cliché altogether.
You've seen it before. Cookie cutter unexperienced heroine searches for cookie cutter bishounen boys with cookie cutter supernatural powers (poorly explored) with cookie cutter supernatural excuse for boys to be unquestionably atracted to heroine, beyond rhyme or reason.
The only saving grace is that the anime itself is decently executed, has a fair ammount of adventure to it and there's the occasional gritty moment and a bit of character development on the heroine. That's it.
If you came here for something new, interesting, unique, non cliché, you're in the wrong hood. This is a mediocre anime at best.
"Yes, King Il. Nobody has said that the princess' hair is strange. But if I may be so bold to say, there is definitely something wrong with her head."
- Hak, Akatsuki no Yona
After considering at length how best to begin reviewing Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn), I decided to quote the series squirrel mascot: "PUK KYUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU~!"
I WILL explain the squirrel hilarity behind "puk kyu", but first of all: What - beyond untranslated Japanese - is Akatsuki no Yona?
The answer is a period piece with a HEAVY ancient China / Korea influence, set in the fictional kingdom of Kouka--a nation held together by
the fragile alliances of tribes rather creatively named after each element... which, of course, is surrounded by threatening nations that could invade. Half a war epic with a princess-to-zero-to-hero narrative driven by betrayal; half a spazzy comedy involving the single greatest squirrel character in the history of squirrels. It also has a fantasy aspect involving reincarnating dragons-in-human-forms and shares striking similarities (the same composer, even!) with another of Studio Pierrot's anime, 'The Twelve Kingdoms', which any discerning viewer with an affection for medieval-fantasy and/or red-haired heroines should go watch. Right now.
Akatsuki's titular heroine, Yona, begins the series as the sort of empty-headed pampered princess that you/I have to repress the desire to want to slap repeatedly. Initially, she cares more about her hair and love than... well, anything. But - OPENING EPISODE SPOILERS ahoy - by the end of the first episode, she is forced to confront reality for the first time when her childhood friend and the prettyboyman that she loves, Su-won, kills her father in cold-blood before her very eyes during a coup-d'etat. What follows is a shell-shocked Yona escaping death herself only because Hak - another of Yona's childhood friends and her bodyguard - stays loyal and protects her. From then onwards, the series becomes a journey, both in terms of traversing the nation (thankfully, with the 'A-to-B' cut!) and for Yona as a character.
By the end of Yona's anime wanderings, there is a moment where she is in danger. The Yona from the beginning of the show would have lacked mental strength, but after all she has experienced and suffered though, her intimidating glare drove home the point: she has been irreversibly changed and will no longer be an ignorant passenger in her own life. The arrow she later shoots without hesitation only confirmed what I already knew: by the end of the story, she will be a true queen and leader. Aided by the squirrel that has happily made its new home on her shoulder, Yona's path is set.
MANY males were no doubt put off by the reverse harem stigma the series unfortunately has (and many more reading his will be put off by my CUTE SQUIRREL obsession). This is because the focus of the series eventually becomes a quest to find four very shoujo-convenient male reincarnating dragon warriors that serve Yona's bloodline, as she attempts to survive and get justice against Su-won. But the 'harem' does not even fully form until the end of the series, and nearly half of the series simply has Yona with only Hak as her protector. This is not the sort of series that throws ten hairless pretty 'male' suitors at viewers from the get-go. Not at all. What is more, it is tasteful... aside from Hak deciding he likes fingers with honey on them and invading Yona's personal space occasionally, and only Hak/Su-won are treated as potential love interests.
Most people will be disappointed to learn that the future tease at the very beginning will have to wait for a second season, with the first season serving as a foundation for what SHOULD follow. On the plus side, Yona's growth into a mentally stronger, more independent heroine is handled so convincingly that I think a lot of people will come away satisfied... providing there is a sequel. Maybe.
~Squirrel & Tone~
Every great story has at least one defining moment people's minds will automatically drift towards, even years after watching. In Akatsuki's case, most people would - naturally - single out its first episode: the coup-d'etat betrayal that set the series on its spoiled-princess-to-ruler path. Others would mention the sixth episode's spear swinging sakuga, which highlighted that the series is not just a consistently pretty face devoid of animation, whilst also making clear Yona is not a heroine destined to remain as a mere damsel-in-distress. But my brain may very well be wired differently, for what I will always, ALWAYS remember is the series squirrel mascot waving on Yona's shoulder as it said the now immortal words: "Puk Kyuuuuu~!".
If I could, I would review the squirrel. Just the attention it receives doing its own, usually silly thing in the background speaks volumes about the effort put into the show. Whenever it was not busy distracting me by getting its head stuck in a honey jar as a rare romantic moment was occurring (or, jumping out of Yona's hood after a fall as if to say "I AM OK/BACK!"... with a FISH in its mouth), it was - as if responding to the characters - sharing its own thoughts with some choice 'animal-talk' words.
There I was, lying with a full glass of orange on my bed as you do, when the squirrel started saying "puk kyu" as the other characters were talking to each other, and it suddenly hit me that in English it sounds VERY MUCH like the cutest creature you will ever see or hear - complete with a permanently silly, smiling/blushing face - is telling the other characters 'f*** you'. No, really! As if that was the squirrel's contribution to the conversation and its viewpoint. This made me giggle like a school girl uncontrollably and knock the drink all over myself/my bed. If you doubt me, I want you to try to visualise this in your head: there you have the cast discussing serious matters of life and death, then the screen switches to the squirrel's face, as it almost quizzically asks 'puk kyu?'. The moment I saw the squirrel pointing spastically, with daftest face you will ever see, in-sync with its master in the end credits, I knew it was wuv. It took twelve episodes for the damned thing to actually appear in the series proper (every episode I would internally ask myself, "WHER SQUIRREL!?"), but once it did, it did not disappoint. But even I was not prepared for the barrage of squirrel random daftness the series had in-store. So, ye' be warned: do not drink and watch! Lesson learned.
Now, as well as questioning my undoubted manliness (and sanity), you might be somewhat curious why I am going on about a squirrel, instead of actually reviewing the series. Well, there is a reason beyond squirrel moe: the tone of the series overall and how the squirrel silliness reflects the combination of depressing subject matter and the "romantic-panic" style humour that the author manages to combine with it. When Akatsuki first started airing, it had an average of 7.40. Even I was not terribly excited about it. But with each episode, the average has steadily increased each week. And I think the reason for this is, quite simply, that people were initially unsure what to make of it. The series begins with spazzy humour, with a hint of seriousness, then ends with blood and death. One minute, happy thoughts. The next, hopeless despair. Most people would be put off by this contrast and prefer something more... grim overall.
HOWEVER, the series - and author's - greatest strength is making a story of betrayal and exile into one with a 'feel good' vibe. The oriental-themed instrumental soundtrack does a superb job of adding an epic scope and retaining narrative focus, whilst the humour breaks up what would otherwise be a despairing trudge through a land in political turmoil. I was able to enjoy seeing the Yona's growth as Hak teased her in a manner a sarcastic git such as myself approves of, rather than be weighed down by doom & gloom. And the combination defies common sense by working surprisingly well... once I adjusted to it. It is not as if all of the humour is of typical anime 'freak out' variety, either: my favourite parts being Hak's sarcastic deadpan comments and the dry bits; such as when a character asked someone what will happen if they are not who the other person thinks they are, followed by silence and the other character continuing as if the question had not been asked. Comedy is ALL about timing, and Akatsuki Yona nails that. Mostly.
Akatsuki Yona's positives are not just limited to comic timing and squirrels: the characterisation, which I am happy to report is largely free of the internal monologue NO anime has made me come to hate of late, is a major plus. But, first, I feel a need to point out that A HUUUGE chunk of my affection for the series stems from how similar it is to two entries in the forever loved/unknown video game series, Suikoden. It takes the 'best friends become enemies in a medieval war' plot of Suikoden II, blends that with the 'parents murdered; prince on the run' plot from Suikoden V and also gives a nod towards the main theme of Suikoden: warriors gathering under the one with the power to rule/conquer as decreed by fate. And I can not deny that these links to one of very few things in existence I could be described as fanboy over makes me a tad bias, no matter how critical I am. But there is no denying that Akatsuki's characterisation is very, very good where it matters.
Instead of a pantomime villain that cackles as he murders in order to gain power, Su-won actually wants to make the nation stronger and did what he did for what he perceives to be the greater good. The previous king was opposed to violence/killing and considered a coward, and the neighbouring countries were becoming an increasing threat whilst he did nothing. On the flip-side, the previous king was a good man and loving father, and Yona can not help but feel nothing but hatred for the man she once - and may still - love. Neither of them are truly wrong and both have valid justification for their actions, and that 'greyzone' is what makes the series so compelling and human; even with the anime humour. When the two encounter each other again, much later, I felt the skin on my face prickle as I could almost feel the emotion conveyed by Yona's cold-rage, frozen eyes. Yona can be a crybaby and Su-won's cunning can sometimes get lost behind his Griffith-esque shoujish facade of playful ignorance but, on the whole, their characters and the love/hate relationship they share kept me hooked throughout the show, even as it focused heavily on subplots.
The supporting cast are far more mixed, ignoring the squirrel's +10 eccentric curiosity. My favourite non-squirrel character, Hak, is always at the ready with playful sarcasm - usually directed at Yona - and fulfills his role as the sarcastic love interest with a heart of gold/silver. His loyalty to Yona as her protector may be a little... shoujo but I do like how he balances his - at this point - one-sided affection for Yona with his role as her bodyguard. The reincarnated dragon warriors are more hit and miss. The author tried to make each one unique, with their own ability and quirk, yet ended up making them a tad stereotypical as a consequence. Ki-ja is the naive, simple-minded hot-head with a claw-arm ability; Shin-ah is the silent masked squirrel master with an eye ability; Jae-ha is the playboy with a kicking ability and, finally, Zeno is introduced in the very last episode in a comical '...after all that searching for the other three, the last finds us straight away?' kind of way. His quirk is eating lots of food and playing the fool in spite of being sharp. Zeno aside, they all receive decent development time - most of the series is, after all, dedicated to finding and recruiting them - but only maybe Jae-ha has a personality worth remembering.
What the series did manage to convey well was the difference in circumstance between each of the dragon warriors. where as Ki-ja had a clan formed around himself that worshiped each reincarnation, Shin-ah was treated like a monster by his people and hidden away. I would go as far as to say Shin-ah's unhappy back-story convinced me the series was not going to turn into an artificial shoujo happy place that would make me want to punch myself in the face repeatedly. And Jae-ha's reluctance to have his will dictated by fate and serve someone he did not know impressed... even if the outcome was inevitable. The problem is, it is their roles in the story rather the characters themselves that stand out. They are no more than props with superpowers, at this point. There is another character that joins Yona's 'man-harem' - a ladyboy healer called Yun - but there is little to say about him beyond he looks like a girl and cross-dresses as one, later. Along with the squirrel. Seriously.
~Pacing & Progression~
Where Akatsuki Yona does sadly fall short is its story... or, more specifically, the pacing of its story. Years ago, I tried reading the manga, and with few chapters translated at the time it just did not grab me beyond the opening shock-twist. Possibly because I was unaware of the squirrel. The lulls between events eventually lead to me marathoning episodes, instead of watching as they aired; in spite of the series being one of the best I have seen in recent years. And this will no doubt be one of the main negatives people view the series as having. The premise is definitely intriguing but, in 24 episodes, not a whole lot happens. Yona escapes, hides, escapes again, starts her quest searching for dragon warriors, finds them... the end. Sandwiched in-between is a mini-arc for Su-won that explores his character and the setting a little, which was most welcome, but that is basically it. Certainly not as eventful as one would expect after watching the first episode.
On the surface the story, though compelling, is a fairly plain one, and this is not helped by the complete focus on Yona's characterisation over fleshing out the world and plot progression. For someone like me that values characterisation above all else, it is not something that irks me THAT much, but for others it will be an issue. The few glimpses into the world come from Yona's gradual realisation that her father, whilst a good man, was a weak ruler... but these are handled poorly towards the end. For instance, a corrupt governor is SO corrupt that he openly abuses his people and literally drops beautiful women through trapped doors (safe, that) to sell them as sex slaves. It was great for Yona's character to grow through this encounter but it just felt very one-dimensional and forced; painting the setting as an unrealistic one for the sake of giving her character a straightforward good>evil path. The bad guy was such a bad guy he NEEDED to state how he enjoys women when they are obedient, and other cliched villain arsehole dialogue. And then you throw in pirates that refuse to kill / shouojism and it hurts my head/immersion/makes me want to punch myself. A throwaway plot device villain just does not satisfy when the main plot has yet to inch forward.
As fond as I am of the series, I am cautious as far as my long-term affection goes. As an example of my concerns, at the start Hak was freely slicing - with blood flying - and presumably killing those trying to kill Yona. But as the series progressed, unless a character is so... one-dimensional evil that there is no recourse but to kill them, the characters seem to have taken on an unrealistically pacifistic approach, simply because the dragon warriors are powerful. Which makes little sense in the context of, say, the corrupt governor mentioned above: the people working for him were aware they were involved in human trafficking and doing generally bad things. Yet they got a free pass. I hope I am wrong but I am getting a shoujoish vibe from that aspect, and the author has previous: in NG Life, the lead was once a gladiator - of all things in the universe - that refused to kill. I frowned. I rated it 10/10 anyway but I most certainly frowned.
~Visuals & Audio~
What makes up for the story failings is the presentation. The easiest way to judge the budget a show has - assuming it does not have movie animation - is episode-to-episode art consistency. And Akatsuki Yona is consistently beautiful. When you are told Yona's hair is beautiful, you believe it because of the way the scene uses colour / the dawn theme. And when you see the almost reflective gem-like detail Yona's purple eyes have, there is no doubt she is beautiful enough for Hak to risk his life protecting her. There is also the attention to detail: the almost super-deformed, dot-eyed comedy skits and, in some cases, things like a JRPG 'lost in dungeon' parody. Those in charge of the anime were clearly aware the humour is the series' greatest strength, and they did everything they could to enhance it visually as it made the journey from page to screen, whether by having the squirrel doing silly things such as swinging on/attempting to eat earrings in the background or just general creative stylisation. But what truly sold me on the series visually was the wonderful usage of colour. It can look unimpressive when everything is bright, but when there is a contrast during dark scenes - probably intentionally due to the dawn theme - it impresses. What does disappointment me slightly is how the manga art was made to look slightly more... generic shoujo. The author created my favourite manga, so I know her art well, and she draws with a distinctive pointy-chin style, and very SHARP eyes. Yona looks far plainer in the anime, aside from in a few pivotal scenes towards the end.
The true 'WOW' moment of the show is episode six's sakuga animation. Seeing Hak swing his spear so freely, in such a desperate situation, after previously only seeing speed-lines and limited animation, blew me away. TV budget animation... then, all of a sudden, movie fluidity. Nothing else in the show came close to it, both in terms of the intensity of the fight and animation, but it will remain in my memory as a standout anime moment. Reminiscent of THAT outnumbered spear fight in 'Seirei no Moribito'.
Perhaps even more impressive than the budget attentiveness, the soundtrack is truly wonderful: capturing the emotion of every single scene whilst not being overwrought. It drives home that you are watching an Asian period piece, rather than a squirrel comedy, with every piece of its instrumental music. Hiring the composer of the more-serious-yet-very-similar 'The Twelve Kingdoms' was a very wise move indeed. The music grounds the series in its setting and carries the emotional undercurrent, whilst the humour prevents the emotionally charged tunes from becoming overbearing. Also, although I initially found Yona's Japanese voice to be annoying and... weird, after awhile it grew on me. The spoiled princess; naive sincerity; cuteness; determination; desperation... all of this is captured perfectly by her voice. One of my favourite Japanese voice acting performances, perhaps.
In addition, what sold the show to me in the beginning was its first opening. The visual style reminded me of Suikoden II's EPIC still-image montage, and the visuals truly came into their own once the faux-3D effect was randomly added to it as the episodes released. But far more noteworthy was the choice of music: a non-vocal background track, composed for the show. Not some edgy J-Pop theme--something that actually fit. Sadly, later on the first opening was replaced by what I can only describe as a 'GIRL POWA' track designed to appeal more to the target demographic. It was ok, and I liked that the lyrics were wrote for the show, but still somewhat alienating to males such as myself, where as the first opening can only be described as epic. My cheeks tingled with excitement every time I watched it. The two endings were less memorable, with the second fitting the show better than the first.
Overall, the series impressed me to such an extent that it made me review it semi-seriously. And for a lazy one-finger-typing sod such as myself, there can be no higher praise on this Earth.
The humour transforms what would have been bland into something else entirely; especially when paired with the anime's directional focus on its comedy aspect. What could have been an adventure of misery becomes one that should put a smile on even the coldest of squirrel hating faces, whilst retaining interest in where the political intrigue will eventually - hopefully - lead to; aided by an outstanding soundtrack that fits the series and its setting like a glove. The artwork consistency and squirrel activity convinced me the production was a labour of love for the staff and I am happy that the first manga Kusanagi has had animated was adapted with such care.
In the author's earlier work, NG Life, she made a reincarnation tragedy about Pompeii's volcanic end into a romantic comedy that was equal parts tear-inducing and amusing. So, a medieval warfare epic that fills one's heart with warmth was a given, really. It has its flaws - chugging along pace-wise and not striking an ideal balance between death/funny - but I am just happy it is not another anime sequel that makes me want to beat my head against the nearest available wall--for that, I eagerly await season 2. But, until then, I shall use my 'squirrel wearing a dress' avatar with pride.
I STRONGLY recommend any males reading this put their reverse harem cringe fears aside and just enjoy hearing a squirrel saying "puk kyu". Assume that the squirrel is not quite as happy with his travel party as its face suggests and laugh you shall. That is the path to enjoyment.
Akatsuki no Yona, the anime that aired along the big guns such as Parasyte and Your Lie in April,Nanatsu no Tanzai,(and even to an extent Shirobako)
It's no surprise that this anime was not on the radar for many.But for those who are watching this series, it was a surprisingly enjoyable ride.
So fleeing the palace with the best friend and exploring the lands,looking for people to join the party ,how many times have we seen that story-line?and
Fulfill-your-destiny-MC type of stories are not rare either,and Akatsuki no Yona is no exception, however being cliched is not necessarily a
bad thing as long as it was written and done well,and Akatsuki no Yona delivers in spades.Plot was done well, dramatic moments were perfectly done in its timing and execution.Comedy was done once in awhile and sometimes it could be a hit or miss,but in the end still managed to lift the mood when its needed.
The main thing people like (or is totally worth cringing about to some) is that the pacing in this anime is very slow,some episodes are spent purely watching how the characters interact with each other in their journeys, and even the antagonist gets some screen time,however these episodes are essential to conversations and flashbacks that allows us to be attached to the characters.No episode is meaningless however, as even the very slow episodes bring something to the story,and the plot is driven further,and shed some light on some characters.
I'll just say it here, the ending of Akatsuki no Yona is just the beginning of what potentially is going to be an amazing story.Hardly anything concludes, which of course will tick off some people, but I believe that with an OVA about to be aired and (hopefully) 1 or 2 sequels, the 24 episodes in the series could be just a part of an amazing series,on its own its great but not a Masterpiece.
These 24 episodes introduces us to the world of Akatsuki no Yona,and leaves us wanting.
The animation in the anime were decent,but not great.Its not like the Fate series by ufotable where each strike and slash of the action scenes were animated into the finest of details. Akatsuki no Yona does just enough ,fight scenes weren't just a cloud of smoke,and blood wasn't shown in exaggeration when people are struck. In its dramatic moments though, the characters are drawn extremely well,and [minor spoilers] Yona's eyes are drawn beautifully when she is having her ''moments''.
In its comedic moments,the characters are drawn into their Chibi versions ,and though in my opinion may seem out of place in this anime,I got used to it as I watched more episodes.
Sceneries in the anime were alright, done enough to depict the atmosphere and mood of situations.
I LOVED the music and soundtracks, in particular is the first opening, at first I thought there was something wrong with the audio and went to check it out,turns out that it was a soundtrack that fits the setting of the anime perfectly, as Akatsuki no Yona was set loosely in the times of historical Korea. The same melody but different tempo and mood of the same song was also played as soundtracks in most of the emotional and sweet situations,which was a huge bonus point.
Besides the OP and the soundtracks that were similar to it,,the romantic scenes' soundtracks does not take away any attention from the scenes that were being played.. and complemented the scenes well.
You could sense the pain the characters have to endure ,when the solemn melodies come in, and know a huge breakthrough for our characters is about to be made when the epic drums come in. Heck,most of the action scene's soundtracks were beautifully made.
The other ending and openings were good,but not great.Special mention to the second ending which sent me back to memory lane with its traditional Chinese (or Korean) vibes,with traditional instruments playing in the background.
If you love stringed instruments playing in the background , you would love it, a refresher from the usual electric guitar/bass that we always have.
Now at the cream of the crop, Akatsuki no Yona absolutely shines in its characters,hardly any of them are there solely as a plot device, all of them had well made backgrounds and they're personalities weren't forced and were understandable due to their past. the 5 members of the party that will eventually join Yona and Son Hak though are side characters are given lots of screen time (for the exception of one who only joined in very late into the series).Granted, their personalities aren't unique and could be seen at a handful of animes,but they were very well done.Each of them benefits the party in its own way.And most of them have their own unique reasons for joining Yona, be it being inspired or wanting friends,to wanting to explore the world or even out of sheer loyalty.
Son Hak, the childhood friend and bodyguard of the MC though looked like a typical Gary Stu, is a more complex character that it seems, duty bound to protect the princess, he uses this as an excuse to be always be at her side, suppressing his own feelings.He tends to also be overprotective.However as the anime goes on you could see how he acknowledges Yona,that she has become stronger and allows her to do things that he would never allow her to do if he was still the same person as the first few episodes.He shows weakness and though have a cool exterior, can be swayed on the inside.
Soo-Won,though I personally dislike him is a strange yet refreshing character,though without much to do after the first few episodes,the actions he take with the short screen time he was given portrays his personality perfectly, though the anime has given him one and a half episodes of screen time ,a sidetrack from the main story ( which is one of the negatives I find in this anime) it made me realize he wasn't just the typical bad guy who betrayed his friends, but potentially someone much more deep and complex.
On to Yona, Yes she isn't the first female character ever to be portrayed as a determined character who wants to be stronger,there are many of her type out there.But somehow even as a male I could relate to her. Being in good care all her life, she is bound to be the useless MC that we see in any other show,who wants to improve herself after knowing how helpless she is,
no surprise there.However,
The pain that she feels after the twist in the beginning episode was portrayed very well, she couldn't do anything, and who could?after everything has been taken from her and thrown into the outside world,she was traumatized and couldn't have survive without her bodyguard.She didn't instantly transform into someone who could adapt and with the ''power of her friends''became strong,shes portrayed as a weak and feeble character who always needed help.Yes she has the huge confidence that most people in anime do, however just like in real life,confidence and motivation does not necessarily deliver results. Yona is still physically weak and relies on the people around her often,even in the later episodes. the motivation for her to improve is wonderful, not unique, but very very relatable , for those of us who think of ourselves as being inferior to others,we can understand how Yona feels whenever she is helped by her bodyguard or other friends,thinking of herself as a burden to others
Even though she has become stronger by just a little, the Yona you see at the end in episode 24 and the Yona you see in episode 1 is very very different,personality wise.You cant help but feel proud of her as you keep rooting for her through each struggle and obstacle, and by the end of the series she has grown to be a very fine person.Unlike a Mary Stu, she struggled and practiced ,and feels helpless from time to time,and she will still continue to struggle through her journey.
As a person who has a slight inferiority complex I could relate to Yona very well,feeling helpless when you do not want to is a very human emotion, but Yona shows us that having that emotion could be either an asset or a curse for us, depending on whether we want to struggle to improve or brood over it.
1.)Action? Decent-Good at best, bad guys weren't that tough to beat and when you know Yona and the gang are around you know the party is going to kick butt, with the exception of maybe the last few episodes where you could see Yona really struggle.
2.)Adventure, not too bad, being set in historical Korea and all, going around to find members of the party and fight the bad guys?not really unique, however this general,cliched storyline could still be great if portrayed well, which Akatsuki no Yona did.
3.)Comedy, sometimes its a hit or miss but it served its purpose,doesn't really stand up except for a fair few
4.)Fantasy, yeah super powers from the members of the party,and the portrayal of some prophecy/legend,pretty much.
5.)Romance,well since the story is just getting started, development isnt complete, though it is going somewhere,those who expect a Maid-sama like ending will be disappointed.
6.)Shoujo, its obvious that the romance is depicted between Son Hak and Yona.And I'm sure that the manga is continuing with both of them being the official couple, and how these two come together will be an essential part of the story,but with Yona being a dense girl and all the Shoujo aspect in the 24 episodes doesn't really shine.
With all these mediocrity why does it still get such a high score?Its because of the characters.
One thing I could say about Akatsuki no Yona is that its much more than the sum of its parts, the characters make this whole show so enjoyable,especially Yona. As I watched the anime I couldn't help but be a supporter of Yona to try to improve herself , and in the end I was very satisfied with a huge grin on my face,thinking that she has done well.And as a Hak X Yona shipper I kept rooting for them and though the story has just about finished its beginning chapters by gathering all members of the party, development between the two is there.
Akatsuki no Yona is an anime that doesn't look as good as it seems when you take it apart one by one like in the reviews, but when you watch it, you couldn't help but feel how wonderful this anime is, it is definitely slow, no doubt about that, and the cliches are there,but after around 5 episodes ,I was engrossed into the show and despite all its flaws, love it very much.
Though viewed by some as a reverse harem, you already know Hak and Yona has its moments and their romance is one the elements in the series.
Surprisingly when I watched Spirited Away, I couldn't grasp the message that it wanted to portray when I finished it, and read online about how Hayao Miyazaki wanted to portray the message about the growth of a young girl into adolescence, Akatsuki no Yona reminds me of that, the struggles on how to live when everything is taken away, and the path to become stronger could be devastatingly difficult. Watching Yona grow up from episode 1-24 not in terms of age,but personally is a thrilling ride that I don't think anyone should miss.
Though its slow, stick with it, you wont be disappointed.A very refreshing anime.Time to read the manga.
This is my first time writing a review, and it's because this anime is worth a review. **Little to no spoilers**
This isn't your typical guy-meets-girl shoujo. It's about a weak girl who was betrayed by her loved one, and was kicked out of the palace. Now, she has to survive in the outside world--which is very different from the life she had in the castle. It's a mix of a lot of things: adventure, comedy, fantasy and a bit of romance. They also know how to balance the comedy and the serious scenes. The pacing was not too slow, and not too fast either.
The art was amazing. All of the characters and background were well-drawn. The art had an "anime feel" to it. The art wasn't so realistic, as to question whether you're watching an anime or a drama. The character designs were unique, and it suited the characters well. For example, the colour of their hair actually gives an idea of what they are (e.g. White Dragon=White Hair).
You don't see(or rather, hear) instrumental openings everyday. The first OP was peaceful, I can't complain about it. But the second OP made me feel like there was something wrong with my headphones, when I first listened to it. I think it grew on me, but I still prefer the first OP. The first ED was kind of too emotional(and slow) for me, therefore I prefer the second ED. Actually, "prefer" is the wrong word. I loved the second ED. It really screamed "Akatsuki no Yona". It was calm, and yet adventurous. It fits the anime very well.
The characters were all well-developed that you'll find it hard to pick a favourite. All the characters were lovable (Yes, even the villain.). I find it really hard to hate the villain. He was such a cool and gentle character, but I guess people are all entitled to their opinions. The interactions between the characters are all so cute, it made me smile at my computer screen.
I wouldn't have written a review if it wasn't enjoyable. I haven't watched a good anime in a long time. A good anime in my opinion has to have a good story-line, and good art. This is one of those animes.