Book Review: Yona of the Dawn Volume 10

Yona of the Dawn Volume 10 cover

I hope that everyone is having a good week, and getting weekend plans solidified.

Things are still going fairly well and I can continue doing what I like.

Recently, the first two books I was expecting this month had arrived, and it is time to get things done, before I start to fall behind.

So far, one title has already been covered, and only one remains.

Today, I will be reviewing that last remaining title, which is called Yona of the Dawn Volume 10 by Mizuho Kusanagi.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

With the troubles Yona and the others had been causing, Kang Tae-Jun has been dispatched by the fire tribe to hunt down the bandits, and after finding out Yona is among them, is determined to save her.

However, instead of bringing the bandits to justice and rescuing Yona, Tae-Jun discovers the hardships of his people and begins to do things that might turn his image around.

While Yona of the Dawn has been an interesting series for quite a few volumes, that does not mean that it will be able to stay interesting.

And after reading this, I found it to be okay.

Thankfully, there are at least two things that I liked, so I do not need to harp on this too much.

From the moment I read the first few pages, I liked how there were a few things to chuckle about.

Even though the humor was not really that unique, when compared with either the rest of the series or manga and anime in general, and probably not as great as it was before, things were executed well enough that I could get a bit of a chuckle.

One of the best things about this series, at least early on, was how there was at least something to laugh about, and comedy in anime and manga helps to create the vibrant atmosphere that series has, even if it is over the top and considered to be more of a lesser form of comedy known as slapstick.

In this volume, Mizuho seems to remember how this aspect of the series quite well, but I cannot seem to give her anything other than a passing grade at this because I can only see the humor when I just look through thing to determine where it starts, whereas when I actually read, the humor itself does not stand out that much because it is just the same things going on and feels a little stale.

If this aspect could have been improved, I would have been able to give Mizuho a good round of applause, as I normally would have liked to, as this series has been fairly enjoyable, but having comedic moments that are rather stale is at least better than having things be completely boring.

Hopefully, things will improve from here in the future, but I kind of doubt that it will happen, as there seems to come a point where the characters do not see any development, which I am hoping will end soon, based on what is currently happening in the Japanese releases.

The thing that I liked the most though was how Kang Tae-Jun developed into a decent person by seeing the suffering of others, including his own men.

Back in the beginning of the series, Tae-Jun was portrayed to be extremely selfish to the point where his greed did not care what happened to anyone, as noted by Yona herself in this volume, during the penultimate chapter, and I pretty hated seeing him about as much as there are people probably do not like me because of how I come across, though there are people that can see what I am actually trying to do.

However, in this volume, when he goes to check things out, thinking that the so-called bandits that Yona and her friends pretend to be are the ones hurting the villagers, he finds out that it has been because of what his family has done, even starting to question if what his family is doing is really strengthening his people, when the people that ventured out to the area with him said that his role was to strengthen the area they ruled.

While my elders would probably be pointing out that how Tae-jun had changed is the person that I need to become, by giving of myself freely, regardless of whether I can afford to do so or not, and trying to put myself in the shoes of others, what really struck me here and made Tae-Jun's development so impressive was that instead of using the faulty methods that parents and elders try to employ, though it might work fine as an initial step towards what they are trying to teach their child, he looked at things in a way that would lead his people to prosperity and happiness and then took steps to try to help others.

Now, doing things because you think that is what will really help people, like trying to pass of something that one believes to be true and making them better people or instituting single-payer health care, might seem like a good thing to do on the surface, as well as be something that would look admirable, but, as discussed by Akiyama from Liar Game, whom I quoted in a post talking about my thoughts on God and religion, if one did it without actually finding out what the person's problems really are, the person is still nothing more than somebody full of apathy because they ignored the possibility that what they are trying to do is hurting the person, regardless of whether religion, society, or elders say that it is a good thing to do.

On the other hand, Tae-Jun's thinking and actions in this volume come off as more genuine than almost anything I have felt from people that profess to be a follower of Jesus, though there are people in that group that really are members of God's church, not just members of a religious denomination that claims that it is God's church, and is what is much more admirable than just doing what is considered selfless enough times that one would believe they are selfless.

If Tae-Jun was really doing this because it would be what Yona wanted him to do, as he is still infatuated with her, I would have been annoyed even more with this volume than I am, because I would have felt like my time was being wasted, which would have really made this volume seem like a waste of time.

Thankfully, Mizuho decided to add in something that ended up balancing the volume out enjoy for me to be able put up with it.

Hopefully, things will get better in this department, as we see how the prophecy mentioned towards the beginning unfolds, but things may very well end up getting worse after this point too, so I have got to be ready for when such an event happens.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that could stand out as much as what I already talked about.

Because I was able to get some chuckle, though it came off funnier just glancing at the page than reading through it, and Tae-Jun saw some development during the events of the volume that actually felt like a genuine change, this was a pretty decent read.

Although there were things that I liked, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor too talk about, such as typos, there was only one thing that really bothered me.

I had a difficult time getting into this volume.

Right now, some of you guys might be thinking that such a thing is obvious, because Yona of the Dawn is targeted toward a female demographic, as that is the target audience of the magazine the series gets serialized in, but what I really liked about its early volumes was how Mizuho Kusanagi was able to draw me into the world and make me excited to see what was going on, regardless of whether what was going on was rather mundane or something that was truly exciting, and this volume really let me down in that area because I did not feel interested in what was going on until Tae-Jun showed up and changed from a spoiled brat to an actual person.

A writer or manga artist should deliver what their target audience wants, as that will help to ensure than they have a steady flow of income, but one cannot even dream of making a great work of fiction is satisfying the target audience is all one does because they eventually get tired of the same old thing over and over and the thing that initially them to the work would have no power to pull them in anymore, which is one of the most important elements fiction, regardless of the medium used present a story.

If a reader can be pulled into the world of a work quickly, they are going to be much more likely overlook the little problems here and there, as well as find some enjoyment in it, and Mizuho failed to quickly rope me in as quickly as she did in the past because I was hardly interested in things until near the end.

Mizuho might not have too much input on how each volume starts and ending, depending on how Hakushena goes about compiling chapters into volume, but she still determines plays an important role in how quickly she can capture the attention of the reader.

What the heck, Mizuho? Is this really what readers deserve? A volume that contains chapters that are mostly boring and does not seem interesting until the end? I certainly do not, and Mizuho should be ashamed about what she ultimately delivered.

If she spent a bit more time on each of the chapters found in this volume, I would have been willing to give this a glowing review, because everything else seemed to have been done right.

Unfortunately, the way the chapters felt while reading the volume made the whole thing feel like a side story that I did not want to bother with.

Hopefully, things will improve as the series progress, and I am not getting an inkling that this series will end any time soon in either Viz Media's releases or the Japanese releases, because I and others fans of the series want to see this shine from beginning end, but things seem to have taken a big nose dive here, so I am not too confident that this series will stay strong.

Thankfully, that was the only thing that really bugged me about this volume, so I can leave things as they are.

While there was only one issue to be found, it was an issue that no reader should even need to put up with and prevented this volume from being something that I could call great.

Despite the fact that there was one glaring issue, things balanced out enough to make this good enough to kill time.

I mainly recommend this to fans of Yona of the Dawn, as they will be able to enjoy this the most, though only the female fans might be the ones that would truly enjoy it.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, as it does set things up a bit for what will come, but the feeling of it being just an average side story might be a bit off putting.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider either supporting me on Patreon or buying a copy of the reviewed title from Book Depository, who offers free shipping to many countries around the world, so that I can continue following this series and possibly find more worthwhile reads for you guys to check out.

Use an app on your phone (e.g. Scan for Android) to capture the image above. If successful, you should be taken to the web version of this article.

Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.