Book Review: Yona of the Dawn Volume 7

Yona of the Dawn Volume 7 cover

I hope that everyone is having a good week, regardless of whether it is back to the daily grind or getting ready for another school year.

Things are going pretty well, even though I was not able to get the short break I wanted, as I can still do something that I enjoy.

A while back, I had placed a preorder through Amazon for three books, most of which would not be released until this month, and the first of the two that I expected to arrive this month recently arrived.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called Yona of the Dawn Volume 7 by Mizuho Kusanagi.

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

The final battle with Kum-ji is about to begin, as Yun and Yona have managed to infiltrate the ship housing the missing women, and decide to start making their move.

However, Kum-ji is not the only person that will cause Yona trouble, as a familiar face appears in Awa to investigate the same situation that Yona and her friends are dealing with.

I found this to be okay.

While I have been enjoying the Yona of the Dawn manga so far, I was not expecting things to remain that exciting, especially since Viz Media has not quite gone beyond the events covered in the anime, so I did kind of expect a bit of a downhill turn.

Fortunately, I was able to find things that I liked, so I do not have to make yet another exception in my desire to be able to talk about both the good and the bad.

From the moment that I opened up this book and started reading this volume, I did not want to put it down for any reason, though I do have to satisfy the same needs that ever other human has.

Mizuho has been fairly capable of delivering in both the artwork and writing department over the course of each of the six volumes that have been released so far, and with this seventh one, it has become very apparent that it was no fluke.

Of course, Mizuho does not deserve all the credit for making the beginning so enticing because the people that Hakusensha, the people that publish the magazine that Yona of the Dawn is serialized in, know how to start and end volumes quite well, since things start picking up right where the previous volume left off.

Even though I expect prose fiction, like light novels and the kinds of books that big name writers produce, to present a whole story or multiple complete stories, seeing as I was a bit irritated with series like A Certain Magical Index because Kazuma Kamachi decided to make the Daihasei Festival arc last two books, I only expect manga to begin and end at the right places because the comic medium is not the same as a work from the likes of Agatha Christie, and that is being delivered in this series quite well, unlike what could be found in Secret Volume 1.

If this volume did not begin and end the way it did, I think that I would have been more disappointed with this installment in the series than I am, but because things did not slide in this department, I am actually willing to give both Mizuho Kusanagi and whoever put the volume together in Japan a good round of applause.

Hopefully, this stays consistent in the future volumes in this series, because Mizuho can only do so much to deliver a good series, and it is not really known if she is one of those creators over in Japan that get to decide how each volume ends, since the interview that I linked to back in my review of Erased Volume 3 suggests that there is not always a separate graphic novel editor, who, according to a discussion on The Daily Fig featuring Calista Brill, who is a Senior Editor at First Second Books, talks with the creator and tries to decide when each volume ends, but I still need to keep reminding myself that Mizuho Kusanagi and everyone involed is only human, like the rest of us.

I also liked how there were a few funny scenes to be found.

While the things found in this volume are probably not that unique for the demographic it targets or anime and manga in general, Mizuho was still able to execute things well enough that I was able to get a good laugh in.

The funniest of which occurs after the events of Awa conclude.

Sometime after Yona and her party leave Awa, and Jaeha officially joins the group, Yun comes across something that turns out to be a love potion ingredient and all three of the dragon warriors become affected by the drink from it, with Jaeha going after Gija, Shinha and Ao going after Jaeha, and Gija trying to seduce Yona.

This might have been nothing more than just a little filler, since there have are still two events that have yet to occur in the manga, as far as Viz has translated them, that have been featured in the anime, but after how much went on in this volume, it served as a nice little break.

If Mizuho did not create this funny moment, and whoever Hakusensha had put the volumes together did not include it, I would have been even more disappointed than if the chapters were not chosen well enough to have me engaged in each installment, but because she did create it, I feel like giving her a good amount of applause for creating such an enjoyable intermission before finally delving into the manga exclusive content.

This is what I had been expecting from the series, and Mizuho continues to deliver.

The thing that I liked the most though was how things seemed to be a bit more believable than in the anime adaptation.

While, I would not exactly say that the events presented here were vastly superior to the anime adaptation, as there are problems shared between this and the anime counterpart, things did make a bit more sense.

For example, in the anime, when Yona rescued Yun, I did not like how the people that were about to kill Yun just froze in terror because of Yona's glare without even attempting anything, since she had a weapon that was hand operated and she was not on higher ground, which ended making the moment feel less spectacular.

Here, however, the people that almost killed Yun questioned mocked Yona for using a bow and then started wondering why they were so afraid of her that they did not do anything, and it made me want to actually root for Yona, instead of left wondering why the enemies were being cowards, even though I have been lucky enough to not being on the receiving end of a weapon.

This is how I wanted things to play out in Studio Pierrot's adaptation, but unlike their delivery of the Yu Yu Hakusho adaptation, which surpassed the original work from Yoshihiro Togashi in a few areas, they were not able to deliver as well as Mizuho Kusanagi did here.

If Mizuho had failed to make things as believable as they were here, I would not have seen what was so great about this series, as Yona just kept getting lucky along her journey, instead of actually growing, and I would have dropped this series altogether.

Fortunately, she at least did not make the same mistake that Studio Pierrot did, and it ended up making the experience seem to be a lot more enjoyable, which makes me feel like giving her a nice round of applause.

Hopefully, things do not go downhill from here, because I, like many of the fans of this series, do want to see the series lose the appeal it had in the beginning, but we need to remember that many series tend to get worse the longer they continue.

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 my interest and was held for pretty much the whole volume, things still seemed to be funny, and things were a little more believable than the anime, this volume was pretty decent.

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

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

This arc ended in a bit of underwhelming way.

Now, I do not expect things to just keep getting exciting as a series continues, since the audience does need a bit of time to rest, but each of the most action-packed portions of a series must at least end in a satisfying and believable way, which will differ depending on a variety of factors, including the kind of story that is being told.

However, the Awa arc did not end in a satisfying way.

Even though the situation with Yun and Yona was a bit more believable than in the anime, the final blow to Kum-ji was just as unbelievable and unsatisfying as it was in Studio Pierrot's adaptation, if not more so.

Just like in Studio Pierrot's adaptation, Kum-ji takes Jaeha out of the sky and prepares to kill him, but then he senses Yona, though he does not realize the threat is coming from her, and stops dead in his tracks without having received a single warning shot or even attempting to attack her using his bow.

This series may be targeted towards girls and we are in an age where the masses believe women need to be empowered in a society that is not holding them back as much as a few other nations in the world, but that does not change the fact that things would have still been a lot more enjoyable if Yona had just kill Kum-ji before he noticed her or if he tried to attack. That is why I tend to enjoy the fights that Misaka and Shirai Kuroko engage in more than Yona's, even though Yona is still a better protagonist than Kagome Higurashi, because their wins feel earned, whereas Yona just came off as lucky.

Right now, this just comes off as wish fulfillment for the audience, and that is not really how things should be ending.

Really, Mizuho? Was this anyway to end things, even when the Yona manga has already done many things better than Studio Pierrot's adaptation? I do not think so, and wish that more time was spent on actually making the end of this arc be much.

Hopefully, things will improve in the future, but, right now, this actually got me less interested in continuing on with the series, instead of more interested, though not enough to make me want to consider dropping this series.

Thankfully, this was the only thing that really ruined my enjoyment, so I do not need to tear even more into a series that I liked when I had first become acquainted with it.

While there was only one thing that was not so great, the fact that it occurred towards the end of an arc did end up doing some damage.

Despite the fact that the Awa arc still ended terribly, the good balanced things out enough to make this worth reading.

I mainly recommend this to fans of Yona of the Dawn, as they would like this the most.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but Yona getting lucky in taking out the big bad of the arc that concludes in this volume might turn off a few people.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon or buying the reviewed title from either Amazon or The Book Depository, so that I can continue following this series and probably find some more worthwhile reads for you guys, and do whatever you do when you find something that impresses you.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.