Book Review: Yona of the Dawn Volume 18

Yona of the Dawn Volume 18 cover

I hope everyone is still doing well this week, whether that
be solidifying plans for the weeken after a monotonous week or just more of the
same break.

Things have been going fairly well here, as I can still do
what I enjoy doing.

Recently, I had purchased two books, to catch up on a series
I have taken a break from, and I have covered one of them, leaving only one
left.

Today, I will be reviewing that last remaining title, which
is called Yona of the Dawn Volume 18
by Mizuho Kusanagi.

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

After a skirmish ended in defeat, Kai soldiers start region
everything in the claimed region, and with most of the dragon warriors
seemingly not in the best of shape, one warrior decided it was time to act.

However, this dragon warrior is very different from his
other comrades, and his true powers and memories bring up questions among his
fellow traveling companions, resulting in a walk down memory lane.

While the previous
volume
really redeemed this series, in that it gave me reason to pick it
back up, that does not mean things are exactly out of the woods, so I must not
let my judgement be swayed by that good experience.

And after reading this, I have to say that I really enjoyed
this book.

From the moment that I opened up this book and started
reading the the first few pages, I found myself so engrossed with it that I did
not want to stop reading for any reason.

As I have brought up time and time again, one of the most
important parts of a work of fiction is how things begin, because the purpose
of the beginning is to draw the audience into the world of the work, thereby
grant people that temporary escape that they desire.

While this pull can be accomplished in many ways, depending
on the kind of work it is and the medium used to present it, manga like this is
usually published in a serialized format, which means that things must pick up
in a way that makes sense from how the last installment left off.

In the previous volume, three of the four dragon warriors
had started feeling unwell, yet decided to fight anyway, and Zeno had been
seemingly killed when trying to protect Yona, before finishing things out with
Zeno standing up, telling Yona that the yellow dragon cannot die and saying no
harm will come to her as long as the yellow dragon acts as her shield.

From seeing this, I was wondering what exactly Zeno, the mostly
useless member of Yona’s party, was going to do and what exactly his abilities
are, and the first chapter of this volume picked up right at this point, which
made it easy for me to get drawn back into the world of the series.

If Mizuho Kusanagi had started the first chapter of this
volume in any other way or Hakusensha, or whoever they had put the volume
together, had chosen a different place to start off this volume, seeing as
Mizuho did state that she wished the first chapter of this volume had been
included in the previous volume, I would have been very disappointed because
hardly anything of note happens after that chapter and the contents of the next
couple of chapters would have not really had any feeling in, except for the expressions
given by the characters.

Fortunately, both Mizuho Kusanagi and Hakusensha, or whoever
they had put this volume together, both made good decisions in how to start
things off, which makes me want to give them a good round of applause.

Hopefully, the volumes to come will be able to start just as
well as this one did, but seeing as the next volume will likely start off with
a new adventure, and Mizuho Kusanagi and the others working hard to brings this
series to the masses are only human, I would not be surprised if things get
worse.

I also liked how Zeno’s past was explored and how it
revealed quite a bit.

Even though the main focus of Yona of the Dawn has
been on Yona’s adventures and how she grows over the course of her journey,
there have been moments where the past of characters had been visited, to help
shed some light on those characters, such as the joys they had, which helps
instill how much pain the character are in, but none of them really answered
anything, especially the bonus chapter found in the previous volume going over Jaeha’s
past, though it was not a bad read.

Here, however, we not only find out about who the mythical
Crimson Dragon King is and that they were real, just like the dragon warriors, but
we find out how Zeno figured out what his powers were, as well as the reason
why he did not have the same sensations his brethren experienced when they met
Yona.

From the encounters with the other three dragon warriors and
the fact that so much time had passed that, like Jesus Christ, or, more
recently, the Holocaust, the warriors and the dragon king became enough of a
myth to make people think it was not real, the audience was led to believe that
each warrior was a descendant of the original warriors, but, in this volume,
Zeno was revealed to be the last of the originals and that he learned about his
powers from the experiences he had, rather than mentors and dragon worshippers.

Not only did Zeno’s flashbacks reveal that he was one of the
original warriors, but it also suggested that each of the four original
warriors had met the four dragons themselves.

Now, this is not something that nobody would be able to see
happening, since legends turning out to be real is nothing new for works of
fiction, and it is widely acknowledged in our world that legends do have some
kernel of truth, but it was still pretty interesting.

If Mizuho Kusanagi had skipped over Zeno’s flashbacks to the
past, I would have been able to put up with it, since Gija’s past was never
revealed and his past seems to be unnecessary anyway, but I would have gotten
the feeling that things had gone on for too long because nothing else happens
in the volume, once Zeno takes care of things.

Thankfully, the Mizuho decided to cover Zeno’s past and
wrote things in a way that made me forget that the current adventure was over,
while revealing a few things, which makes me want to give her another good
round of applause.

The thing that I liked the most though was the volume showed
the trauma and terror of immortality to the person who has it, as well as
seemed to teach something.

In our world, we humans have always feared death, whether it
be the fact that we no longer exist or the suffering we imagine people go
through before they die, and because of that, we struggled to get food, erected
the cage many people today believe is the real world, try to fight off
diseases, and there are even reports that people are trying to find the keys to
eternal youth and immortality, but death has a purpose, in that it helps us
feel fulfilled and, in our cage, gives us a reason to find a sense of purpose
and meaning for ourselves.

By being unable to die, it becomes even more clear that life
is meaningless and we have no incentive to learn anything, unless the person
has a strong desire to learn.

While this volume does not really go that deep into the
importance of death, it shows the terror and trauma that immortality would have
upon a person in a world where immortality, as we think of it, was not the
norm, like in our world, where only a few known species have a type of
immortality, by showing how Zeno realizes he could get hurt and still feel the
pain of such blows, yet he would still live and his wounds would heal too
quickly, even compared to somebody in their youth, and that thought terrified
and frustrated him to seemingly no end for a long time.

If Zeno was able to accept his immortality in the same way
that many of my elders think my generation and the generation that will succeed
me believe we will live forever and will not break down, I would have been very
disappointed because Zeno would come off as even less of a person as his
brethren already do most of the time, making it hard for me to really immerse
myself in the series.

However, because Zeno showed the kind of terror many other
people would likely have if they actually had immortality, it helped remind me
that Zeno was a person, instead of just a character used to fulfill the
fantasies of girls everywhere.

The thing that really made these moments stand out though
was the truth that was contained, and how few people really notice it, even if
they know.

In our lives, we learn that people come and go from our
lives, because we are free to make our own decisions and each and every one of
us dies some day, but we believe that we never end up alone, as long as we get
married, have or adopt kids, and spend time with the people our blood and/or a
piece of paper says is our family, which is why people feel so pressured to get
into a serious relationships.

However, even when we follow a path that either society or
religion dictates will make us happy, with the promise that we would never be
alone, we will still end up alone because everyone we knew died and people do
not even attempt to understand others because the way many of us have been
taught empathy causes us to think we know and understand others and how they
might feel and we, even myself, are all arrogant enough to think we know better
than others, so we have to be strong enough to get through things and accept
ourselves.

While Zeno has had other issues, such as his eternal youth,
in combination with his immortality, he had to deal with the reality that he
would always be alone in the world, though the things he believed did help him
overcome his loneliness that he felt we he found out that he could find the
descendants of his brethren, and helped to show the importance of realizing
that we do end up alone eventually.

If this had not been explored and shown, I would have been
greatly disappointed, because I really liked how this series brings up things
that people will not normally learn inside the cage we live in today, at least
until one becomes old and decrepit, like how prosperity and success for some
results in the suffering of others, or that a divine being would do something
by just praying and/or waiting, for those of us that grew up with a religious
background, and by not having those things, Yona’s growth and development would
not really make sense.

Thankfully, Mizuho Kusanagi and everyone helping her deliver
the best work she possibly can remembered one of the things that made this
series good to begin with, as well as showed why immortality can be a curse,
and that makes me feel like giving them all a good round of applause for a job
well done.

Hopefully, things like this will still crop up in future
releases, because I would like to see why this series is so good, but because I
know things cannot last, I would not be surprised if things get worse.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly like, at least that stood out as much as what I have
already talked about.

Because my interest was captured quickly and held right up
until the end, even though nothing really happened outside the first chapter or
two, and Zeno’s past was explored, which answered a few questions and showed
the kind of terror and trauma expected because of having immortality, and
especially showed that people are guaranteed to be alone, this was a pretty
decent read.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, except for things that are too minor to talk about,
such as typos, nothing really seemed to bother me too much.

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

Considering that there was quite a bit to like and nothing
to really 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 be able to enjoy this the most.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but
I recommend reading the previous volume first, to be able to really enjoy this.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on either Patreon or SubscribeStar, or, if you
would like a copy of the reviewed title, please buy
Yona of the Dawn Volume 18
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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