Book Review: Yona of the Dawn Volume 19

Yona of the Dawn Volume 19 cover.

I hope everyone is still having a good week, and getting
weekend plans figured out.

Things are going pretty well here, as I can still do what I
like.

Recently, two books that I was finally able to place orders
for have arrived, and so far, I have knocked one of them out of the way.

Today, I will be reviewing the remaining title, which is
called Yona of the Dawn Volume 19
by Mizuho Kusanagi.

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

The travels of Yona and her party continues on, with things
seemingly going back to normal, with the small incidents that are bound to
occur.

However, when Yona’s party meets up with some recent
acquaintances, weird things start happening that may result in more troubles while
trying to help a friend.

While this series has so far been looking up for two volumes
in a row now, I am still not completely ready to say that things are becoming
remotely interesting again, so I still need to remain a little cautious.

And after reading this, I can say that I kind of liked it,
though not as much as I would have liked.

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

One of the most important things in a work of fiction is how
it begins, as it is supposed to help give people the temporary escape that they
desire, by transporting them to a new world, thus allowing the audience to
overlook the most minor of flaws.

While this kind of hook can be brought up in many different
ways, depending on the genre and the medium used to present the work, Yona
of the Dawn
is a published in a serialized format, which means that the way
the hook is normally created is by picking up where things left off.

In the previous
volume
, Zeno’s special ability was revealed and dealt with the matter at
hand, along with the other dragon warriors, who managed to recover, then it
ultimately went into a flashback showing what Zeno’s life was like and when he first
met the current dragon warriors, ending with Zeno making a remark about how
much they grew.

With an ending like that, the only way to really start
things off is by starting off the next adventure for Yona and her companions,
and that was how this one started up, even though the beginning was just a minor
event.

If Mizuho had started off the first chapter of the volume
any differently, it probably would not have made much difference, unless the
new adventure started right then and there, without going back and showing
things leading up to that event, because there was nothing that really needed
to be pick up from before to resolve.

Thankfully, Mizuho Kusanagi remembered that the main focus
of the series right now is the adventures of Yona and her companions, which allowed
me to have a breath of fresh air, before the next set of events takes place.

Hopefully, things will be able to continue on like this as
the series progresses, as that will help in keeping fans feeling alienated, but
considering that Mizuho has already disappointed me once before, I would not be
surprised if things become worse.

I also liked how I was able to get some good laughs.

Other than the action and the fact that series focuses on
Yona’s development from a spoiled princess into a fighter, one of the things
that I really liked about this series was how I felt like chuckling quite a few
times, even if it was still the kind of humor that one would expect from
reading a lot of manga and watching a lot of anime.

By having moments like this, it makes the series feel lively
and make these characters feel more real and interesting than just following
characters around and relying solely on awkward moments, like many American
television shows.

There were two things that had me really laughing though.

First, during the downtime moments and the small arc that
has little enough significance that it should have just been considered a bonus
chapter, Yun is taking care of things as usual, and rebuking the dragon
warriors, who cannot seem to be left to their own, and the group suddenly starts
calling him mother or some variation of it, right up to the where Yun says that
he does not remember giving birth to anyone in the party.

Now, the jokes of Yun being confused for a girl because of
both his skill set and appearance are not exactly new in the series, but the
way he has acted for the longest time does seem to make him the mother figure
of the group and seeing him actually being called mother was something that I
had been waiting for for quite a while.

If Mizuho had not played off of the obvious fact that Yun is
pretty much the mother figure of the group, I probably would have found things
to be a little stale, which would have led things to being way more dull than
it came across overall.

The other thing that had me laughing was the interaction
between Yona’s party and Riri’s party.

After bumping into Riri’s bodyguards, which Hak knows was
not coincidental, they go to see Riri and find out what is going on.

Once the explanation has been given, she expresses her
desire to put a stop to things, which was very much like Yona, and Hak begins
to chuckle, saying that it was like seeing a second princess when Riri asked
him what was funny, only for Tetra to say she is certainly a handful moments
later.

While I still do not particularly care for Riri, since she
never really did anything noteworthy or even come across as somebody who is
admirable, though people I can say I dislike more than those I encountered in
the church I used to attend would be flocking towards Riri for doing something big,
I still got a good chuckle from her reactions, as well as Yona’s, and that
helped make the volume a little more enjoyable.

If Mizuho Kusanagi had not included this moment, I would
have been even more disappointed than not having Yun be confirmed to be the
mother figure of Yona’s group, as I would have felt like my time was being
wasted.

Thankfully, Mizuho did not forget to incorporate humor into
the series, and that makes me want to give her a good round of applause.

Hopefully, there will be more things that I would be able to
laugh about as the series progresses, but seeing as how the antics of some of
the dragon warriors have become stale already, I doubt that it will remain for
much longer.

The thing that I liked the most though was how this volume
ended.

Other than the beginning, the other thing that is important
in a work of fiction is how things end because it is meant to either leave the
audience satisfied, in the case of it being a standalone work or the final
installment in a series, or make the audience want more, in the case that it is
an installment in a series.

While I would not consider the ending found here to be the
best, as it was pretty much just as predictable as Su Won killing Yona’s father
at the beginning, it still did the job well of giving me an incentive to want
to go out and get the next volume as soon as possible, because I was left
wondering what was going to happen, even though I already what comes next.

If Mizuho had written things worse than she did or
Hakusensha, or whoever put this volume together for them, had chosen a
different place to end the volume, I doubt that my interest would have been as
high as it is, since I cannot really think of any place that would have ended
things just as well.

Fortunately, nobody really made any major mistakes, which
makes me want to give Mizuho Kusanagi and the people who helped her bring this
series to the masses a good round of applause.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to end just as well
as this one did, but seeing as Mizuho Kusanagi and everyone else behind this
series are only human, I would not be surprised if even the endings start
getting on my nerves.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked, at least that could not be shoe horned into what I
already talked about.

Because my interest was captured quickly and held right up
to the end, there were things to laugh about, and the ending did its job, this
was a pretty decent read.

Although I liked the book, 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 I felt a little
bored.

Now some of you will be rolling your eyes, thinking that I
obviously would not like it too much, since the publication featuring Yona
of the Dawn
primarily targets a female audience, but in the world of manga
and anime, there are actually quite a few series that gain fans from male
readers or viewers, such as Fruits Basket, and Yona of the Dawn
is no different because I have come across both males and females who enjoy it.

For me, I enjoy the series because it has a female
protagonist that grows stronger as a character and the action is usually great,
not to mention I get the feeling that vibe of originality that I and many
others crave, instead of the feeling of not this again.

However, there have been moments in this series where things
seemed more appealing to the target demographic because of how they played out,
such as how Yona is rescued like a knight rescuing a princess in a fairy tale,
than what has garnered interest from those outside the target demographic.

Yes, it is not wrong to give the primary audience what they
want, because they are the ones that are paying the writer’s bills, but only
focusing on them will not always be able to attract the eyes that needed to get
it noticed, especially if the way it started off attracted both people who
would be expected to read it and those that were not expected.

Here, in this volume, things ran more along the lines of
something that would interest the female fans more than the male fans.

If I had to say why, other than the romance element of this
series being quite high, with romantic interests coming up a lot and the
budding feelings Yona has towards Hak, it would have to be that the way things
were written did not even try to make the mundane moments remotely interesting.

In fact, the only thing that even did make those moments
interesting were supposed to get people laughing, like character feeling
awkward about what was said.

None of the events in the volume may have been truly
important, since the next adventure Yona and the gang will face was only put
into motion in the last few pages, unlike The
Promised Neverland Volume 11
, which had the main event of the arc take
up most of the volume, so I can kind of give it some slack, but not as much as
I would have if the mundane events were interesting.

Sadly, the only way I can really see this being fixed is if
the small event featured in the beginning, which Mizuho admitted in the volume
was created as something to be featured in a drama CD, was placed at the very
end and made part of bonus material, since the chapter following the arc would
have been a lot better if it started the volume.

If Hakusensha, or whoever they had put this volume together,
did make the right decision and made the short arc bonus content, instead of
part of the main story, I think I would have been able to enjoy myself more, as
there would be nothing that made it important for me to see Yona discovering
the upcoming trouble, instead of being told about it beforehand, thereby
helping things feel less dull.

Unfortunately, the short arc just had to be part of the main
storyline and start off the volume, which made it harder for me to feel
completely invested, which is something readers do not like to feel.

Hopefully, better decisions will be made in the future, as
to whether something can be in the mainline storyline or relegated to bonus
content, but with the way things are, I would not be surprised if things get
worse.

Thankfully, that was the only thing that really bothered me,
so Mizuho and the people at Hakusensha can walk away knowing that they did not
do anything too bad.

While there was only one thing that annoyed, the fact that
it had more to do with when certain events were told than how it was executed
minimized the damage that could have been done.

Even though there was one thing that annoyed me, the good
outweighed things enough to make it worth reading.

I mainly recommend this to female fans of Yona of the
Dawn
, as they will be the ones that will be the least likely bothered with
how this were presented.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but
I would recommend starting with chapter 109 and leaving the three preceding chapters
for the end, so that things will not feel too tedious.

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
a copy of Yona of the Dawn Volume 19
from Book Depository,
who offers free shipping to many countries around the world.

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