I hope that everyone is having a good day, and making sure their plans for the weekend have been solidified.
Things are going well here, as I can still do what I like.
Recently, I had purchased three titles from Amazon to catch up with a series I had neglected while classes were going, and of the three, I had gotten two of them to finish off the month.
Today, I will be reviewing the last of those two titles, which is called Yona of the Dawn Volume 15 by Mizuho Kusanagi.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
After finding the man behind the water tribe’s drug problem, Yona is injured and her companions are worried, but Yona is determined to put an end to the drug lord and the team heads out to find him, while dealing with assassins sent to kill Yona.
However, Yona and the gang are not the only ones making a move, because the very person that Yona has not yet forgiven is also at the party’s destination looking into the same matter.
While Yona of the Dawn has not done too much damage to itself, it has not always impressed me, much like Detective Conan, but each volume is different, so I must take a look at the installments individually.
And after reading this, I found it to be okay.
From the moment that I open and this volume and started reading it, I did get the feeling that I should not put it down for any reason, but not quite in the same way as the previous volume.
One of the most important things in a work of fiction is how things begin, because the beginning is supposed to pull readers into another world so well that the audience can overlook the most minor of problems.
While this can be done in numerous ways, depending on the kind of work and the medium, manga like this is usually published in a serialized format and the best way to have works like that is to start things in a way that makes sense and does not cause confusion with what happened in the last installment.
Even though I am not particularly happy with how things started in this volume, as it was rather predictable, the way this volume was able to capture my attention quickly enough by immediately starting things off with the attack that the previous volume concluded with.
If Hakusensha, or whoever they had put this volume together, had started this on a different chapter, I think that there is a possibility that I would have been a little less disappointed, but there is a chance that things could have been much worse than they are here, because the situation from the last volume really needed to be resolved before things moved on.
Fortunately, both Mizuho Kusanagi and the people at Hakusensha prioritized the situation with the person behind the water tribe’s problem, so I guess I can give them a passing grade here.
Hopefully, things will improve in future volumes, as I am sure that the fans of this series would want everyone to see why this series is so good, but I would not be surprised if things already reached their peak at this point.
I also liked how Riri was lectured by her father about the situation the water tribe is in.
When she started to make her move in the previous volume, against the wishes of her father, she came off as too optimistic, thinking that she could put an end to everything herself, but, later on in the volume, she realizes that she did not have what it took to stop things.
In this volume, after she parts ways with Yona and her party, she returns to the castle and demands soldiers, even suggesting getting help from the earth tribe, saying she has witnessed first hand what is happening to the citizens in her country.
However, her father tells her that she not aware of how deep it goes, as well as the possibility of war breaking out, which is why he does not take action.
Yes, there is danger in being too cautious, and the possibility of losing what is important would still occur, but going on the offensive just because a person thinks they understand the suffering that is going on, without doing any real investigative work, or, taking a position of authority into account, will make things worse than being too cautious, and seeing how emotionally involved Riri is, she would certainly be herself into more danger or put the citizens in her region in a greater amount suffering.
If the leader of the water tribe had given into the demands of his daughter, who was trying to appeal his emotions, he would have come off as a foolish leader who does not prioritize his citizens over ambitions or goals, much like how the former leader of the fire tribe prioritized taking Su-Won’s head over retreating to fight another day, but because he did not do anything at the moment, he did seem to come across as a good leader, though probably not one who understands when it necessary to go to war.
If Mizuho Kusanagi had not written the water tribe leader like this, I would have been disappointed, as it would have turned this into a series of wish fulfillment for females who think that appealing to emotion will always move people, when there are people out there that take a more rational approach to things and rarely succumb to their emotions.
Thankfully, Mizuho realized that there needed to be more rational characters in her work to keep the believable aspect, and that makes me feel like giving her a job well done with this volume.
Hopefully, things like this continue to crop up as this series progresses, because that is the main thing keeping this from just being another face in the crowd of manga that is aimed at the same target demographic as this series, but with how there already so many male characters that seem to be too perfect for me to believe they are people, I will not be surprised if this manga devolves into a work where the person that bleeds their heart out the most will get things done.
The thing that I liked most was how this volume ended.
Other than how things begin, the other thing that is very important in a work of fiction is how things end, as the reader is supposed to be able to either feel satisfied with the work, if it is a standalone work or the final installment in a series, or give the reader some kind of incentive to continue on if it is a series.
While I would not call the way this volume the best best in that regard, as it does not get me excited for what looks like the final confrontation with the people pulling the shot to want to read the next volume, which will be released in a few days, according to the product page on Amazon, it still does what is supposed to because it gives off that feeling of the calm before the storm and makes me believe that something is going to happen, which does give me some reason to want to read the next volume.
If this volume ended like how it began, I would have been pretty disappointed, though things were still rather predictable at this point, because I would not have even remotely wanted to know what happens next, which is the worse thing an installment in a series could do.
Fortunately, both Mizuho and Hakusensha, or whoever they had put this volume together, did not let this volume go to waste completely and presented a decent end, and that makes me feel like giving them a barely passing grade.
Hopefully, things improve in this department in future releases, because I would rather want to be anxiously awaiting the next volume than feeling like I need a break, but knowing that it is hard to consistently do everything right, I would not be surprised if things like this crop up again.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that could even remotely stand out as much as what I already talked about.
Because my attention was captured relatively quickly and held somewhat well up to the end, the water tribe leader was presented to be a competent leader, and the ending was barely able to accomplish what it was supposed to, this book was a decent read.
Although there were things to like, there are some issues.
However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, such as typos, only one thing really bothered me, which was how this volume began.
While I did say that it was a decent enough start, as it picks up where everything left off, two things kept it from being great.
First, the beginning felt a little rushed.
Now, I am not sure if this is how things are in Hana to Yume, the magazine where this series is serialized, so it might be that I am just not used to things, but the first chapter in this volume started out showing that Yona was exhausted and all of the sudden she got attacked.
Yes, the final chapter in the previous volume did end with her in a bad state, before ultimately ending with Riri admiring Yona’s strength, but with the way things were, I thought that Yona would try to go on the offensive.
Sadly, the chapter started with some panel that would have been a better fit for the end of a volume, as the villain orders a lackey to kill Yona and he raises his sword, then goes to a panel showing blood being spilt.
If Mizuho had put some more fight into Yona, even though she was already in a weakened state, I might have been able to enjoy myself more, as I was really hoping more would happen.
Sadly, things did not pan out like that, and it took what could have been a great beginning to one that is only passable at best.
Hopefully, things will improve as the series progresses, because I think Mizuho does have some potential to be good, though I would not put her anywhere near Kore Yamazaki and Jun Mochizuki, but because I know how difficult it can to be end one chapter and begin another, I would not be surprised if I encounter another instance where things do not make the grade.
The other thing that really annoyed me about the beginning though, and made it so terrible in my book, was how predictable things were.
Now, just because things are predictable does not mean that is automatically bad, as things can still be good if they are executed well, but the way Mizuho wrote the chapter comes off as something that I have seen many times before and would be something that only the target demographic of this series would be cheering about each time it happens.
This is not how manga is supposed to be. Like other works of fiction, chapters of a manga must feel exciting and give us the feeling of not knowing where something is going, even if it is something that has been seen done to death, because people read for fun.
However, when it comes off as both predictable and plays out pretty much like what has been seen so many times before, readers come off as bored.
If Mizuho had put more work into the first chapter of the volume, I think I could have forgiven the fact that it was quite predictable, and I would have been able to really enjoy reading this volume, like I hoped that I would.
Unfortunately, the people over at Hakusensha let the chapter through, and it made it kind of hard for me to immerse myself in the world of the series.
Hopefully, future chapters will have better execution, even if it remains predictable, because I would really like to see this series do well, just like any other work of fiction, but I will not be surprised if this happens again.
Thankfully, this was the only thing that really bothered me, so Mizuho Kusanagi and the people over at Hakusensha can walk away knowing that they did not completely and utterly fail.
While there was only one real issue with the book, the issue was bad enough that it did quite a bit of damage.
Even though there was an issue that could not be ignore, there was enough to make for it that made this book good enough to kill time.
I mainly recommend this to fans of Yona of the Dawn, as they will like this the most.
As for everyone else, it might be worth giving a try, but seeing as the beginning was rather predictable and not executed well, it might not make that great of an impression, even you read the previous volumes first.
If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon, or, if you want a copy of the reviewed title, buy a copy of Yona of the Dawn Volume 15 from Book Depository, who offers free shipping to many countries around the world, so that I can continue following this series and maybe find some more worth while reads for you guys to check out.