Book Review: Yona of the Dawn Volume 13

August 8, 2018

Yona of the Dawn Volume 13 cover

I hope that everyone is still enjoying their week, while getting ready for the weekend.

Things are going pretty well, as I can still do the things that I like.

While I was kind of busy dealing with the titles I got at the end of July, I got a couple of titles that I was expecting to come this month, and right now, only one of those titles remain.

Today, I will be reviewing that last title, which is called Yona of the Dawn Volume 5 by Mizuho Kusanagi.

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

Sparks of a rebellion of ignited and the mastermind behind everything is looking to seize the throne of Kouka kingdom.

However, their actions have not gone unnoticed, as two forces spring upon the field to stop him, and one of those forces begins to realize why they had been betrayed before their journey even started.

While things have been looking up for Yona of the Dawn recently, two volumes is not really enough to pull it out of the woods, which is also a good reason why I try to give manga series at least three volumes to garner my interest, if there are three volumes available for purchase.

And after reading this, I must say that I really liked it.

From the moment that I opened up and started reading this volume, I found myself so engrossed that I did not want to stop reading for any reason.

As I have brought up numerous times, one of the most important things a good work of fiction is how things start off, and the common thing that every beginning must accomplish is to pull the reader in, so that they can get that temporary escape that they need.

While there are a lot of ways to create this pull, depending on the genre and medium, serialized publications, such as manga, are supposed to do this by picking up at a good point, depending on where the last installment stopped, and this volume was able to do that, by going right into that battle that the final chapter of the previous volume had me expecting to see.

By doing this, Mizuho Kusanagi was able to grab my attention better than many of the other chapters have, and Hakusensha, or whoever they had put this volume together, seemed to be better attentive at how to start things off well.

If either Mizuho or the people at Hakusensha had started things off in the same kind of way that the 10th volume did, which was in a way that only the target demographic would have been able to like it, I would have been disappointed, as this is one of the few series aimed at girls that has both a male and female fan base and it highly regarded, especially considering that most series that get widely appreciated by both males and females in the world of manga are mainly targeting a male audience, and my interest in this series would have been greatly diminished.

Fortunately, that did not happen this time, so I can give both parties responsible for making this a good round of applause.

Hopefully, the future volumes will be able to start things off just as well as this one did, if not exceed it, because this a series that I would really like to succeed, but considering that I have noticed that things have taken a bit of downturn in the chapters between those found in this volume and the most recent chapters in Japan, which seem to suggest that Yona's bloodline might be explored a bit, I will not be surprised if I find a beginning that is not that impressive.

I also like how this battle actually got screen time from beginning to end.

While Hakusensha, or whoever they have put the volumes together, has been pretty about deciding how each volume should end and the next one begins, even if the beginning is not something those outside of the target audience of the Hana to Yume magazine would find interesting, Viz gets titles from a few different Japanese publishers, and those publisher do not always make the wisest of choices.

For example, in The Promised Neverland, the bulk of the focus of the first four volumes has been on the children escaping Grace Field, and at the end of volume 4 of that series, the children practically succeeded, and the way things ultimately end feels like there is supposed to be something more, yet in the next volume, things are finished off in only two chapters and the next part starts up, with exploring the forest and determining their course action, while trying to evade capture.

I was annoyed by this, because it felt like the people over at Shueisha seemed to be dragging their feet, when they pretty much just let the audience already know that they had succeded already, instead of leaving me to wonder if the children successfully escaped.

However, in this series, I have almost never gotten those feelings that things are being extended out way too far because the way Mizuho writes and draws her chapters seem to be done quite well and Hakusensha does not seem to always be determined to make sure that no volume has more or less than six chapters, seeing as volume 12 had 5 chapters, or, if you want to count the bonus chapters, 7, and this one has six, and no event in this series that seemed to be as major as the escape attempt in The Promised Neverland concluded two chapters after suggesting that the party succeeded.

This volume continues that trend of not making things feel dragged out by showing the entire battle between Su-Won and the combined armies of Su-jin and Hazara's troops, starting with the alliance's call to charge forward.

Now, some of you guys might be saying that this is a little bit of the same thing that happened with The Promised Neverland, seeing as the battle is completed in only three chapters, which is not too bad, considering that this volume contains only 6 chapters and a bonus, rather that The Promised Neverland's 9 or Detective Conan's 10 to 11 chapters, but Mizuho Kusanagi and the other people who make it possible for people like me to read this series seem to have a better grasp at how things should end and be executed than Kaiu Shirai and the people over at Shueisha, in that the only thing telling me that Yona and her party or Su-Won would come out victorious, aside from my knowledge of what is to come, is that they are important characters in this series.

This is the kind of thing that I want to see in any manga or anime series, regardless of who the creator is writing for, because that is what gets me excited and makes me interested in checking out more.

If Mizuho and Hakusensha had done what Kaiu Shirai and Shueisha did in The Promised Neverland, I would have been disappointed, because I really like how outcomes are not too obvious and I am not usually overpromised anything, and by actually putting something in the pages of a volume, it can make the beginning of the next volume feel like things have been unnecessarily dragged out.

Thankfully, that did not happen, and it makes me feel like giving both Mizuho and Hakusensha good round of applause for a job well done.

Hopefully, the future volumes in the series will be able to have things executed just as well as this volume had been, but because Mizuho Kusanagi and the other people involved in bringing Yona of the Dawn out into the world are human, just like the rest of us, I would not be surprised if things downhill from here.

Another thing that I liked about this volume was how there were quite a few things to laugh about.

While the humor found within is not really that unique for the series, or even anime and manga in general, things were executed in a way that I could still find get a good chuckle.

Aside from all the action found in Yona of the Dawn, one of the things that I have really liked about this series is how I could find something to laugh about, and that humor made it feel like I was interacting with a living, breathing world with real people.

Yes, many of the characters are pretty much par for the course for a series targeted towards girls, like how Hak, the four dragon warriors, and Su-Won all come across as the kind of men any girl would love to have, because they are so perfect, but that does not change the fact that things still feel lively and enjoyable.

The funniest thing though was after the battle had concluded, and Yona and the others were living through the calm before another storm.

After Su-jin's successor had been announced, and some hint of where things will go next, Yun decides to go out an earned some money, and reminds the group that they are very poor, he says that if they do not bring him any customers that he will let them starve.

A few moments later, they reveal their surprise about how Yun threatened to starve them, commenting that it was a terrifying and special technique.

I found this funny because Yun is a fairly intelligent, and knows what humans need to live, as well as does the cooking, it would have been the most obvious threat that he could pull out, yet they did not think they had it in him.

If Mizuho had not put in something this, I might have been fine, as it this is an adventure series, but I do not think that I would have really been able to enjoy myself while seeing the events leading into what is to come, because the events occurring would have felt just as mundane the same activities would be in real life.

Fortunately, Mizuho Kusanagi did not forget the charm this series had because its comedy, and that makes me feel like giving her another good round of applause.

Hopefully, there will be more things to laugh about in future volumes, as I am sure the fans of this series would love to be able to get a ton of laughs out of this series, though I doubt their desire for more comedy is anywhere near the level of the wish they express for Yona and Hak to get hitched.

The thing that I liked the most about this volume was how Yona realized that Su-Won motives for killing her father may not have been as selfish as it may have seemed to her.

Back in the beginning, when Su-Won killed Yona's father, which some people expected to happen, as I have had one person tell me that it was pretty predictable, she developed a hatred for him and tried to kill him back in volume 7.

However, when Yona and the gang come crashing the party during Su-jin's rebellion, she berates him for his arrogance, otherwise called pride by members of my church, who only seem to acknowledge the third definition listed on a page in Merriam-Webster's online thesaurus, which lists arrogance as a related word, before things shift into her mind, where she states that her country needs a leaders that can unite the citizens.

Immediately after she finishes her thoughts on what kind of leader her country needed, Yona and Su-Won notice each other, and then she says in her mind, "Ah. That's why you took our nation's throne, isn't it?"

Seeing all this play out, from the chastisement to the ultimate realization, it showed how Yona grew as a character and is probably beginning to accept what Su-Won did, rather than remain angry about Su-Won's seemingly selfish act, learning what is necessary for a good leader.

If Yona had remained angry with Su-Won, even after witnessing Su-jin, a leader of one of the five tribes, try to take out Su-Won, instead of wisely retreating to fight another day and not waste any more lives, I would have dropped the series right here and now, because the story is supposed to be focused on Yona and how her journeys have made her strong enough to be a warrior, especially because we, as the audience, already knew that Su-Won took the throne to make Kouka better, and by taking away this moment, it would have negated all of the changes that we see in Yona to the point where she is still the spoiled princess that she originally appeared to be.

Thankfully, Mizuho remembered that Yona's growth was the main thing that made this series great in the beginning and did not do anything to tarnish the person is now, which makes me want to give Mizuho another good round of applause.

Hopefully, things like this will continue to crop up, especially because Hak is the next person that needs to get over what Su-Won did, but if Mizuho is not careful, she might cause the only male character that is not completely the kind of man that girls would want to date, though he still does everything that a woman would want and is handsome, to just become another character that is as shallow and flawless as Su-Won and the four dragons appear to be right now, so there is a chance that Yona will be the only to grow by the time this series ends.

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 talked about already.

Because the book was able to capture my attention quickly and held it right up to the end, by not having things feel like they had been dragged out, there were things to laugh about, and Yona started to accept the fact that Su-Won took the throne to unite the people, this was a fairly decent read.

Although I liked the book, there are some problems.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, such as typos and stuff that one can expect from a series published in a magazine targeted at girls, like male characters who come off to be too perfect to feel like real people, I cannot really think of anything that bothered me too much.

As result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.

Considering how there was quite a bit to like and nothing to hate, unless one wants to be nitpicky, this was definitely worth reading.

I mainly recommend this to fans of Yona of the Dawn, as they will like this the most, though those who want to see some great action might be able to find something to like too.

As for everyone, this might be worth giving a try, but I would suggest reading the previous volumes first, as some things cannot really be enjoyed without seeing how far Yona has come along.

If you liked this review and like to see more, please consider donating as little as a $1/month to me on Patreon or, if you would like to try out the reviewed title, buy the 13th volume of Yona of the Dawn 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.

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