Book Review: Yona of the Dawn Volume 8

October 3, 2017

Yona of the Dawn Volume 8 cover

I hope that everyone is doing well, and not letting things
get too stressful.

Things have been going fairly, aside from the fact that I
forgot to check my computer's clock last time, and I can still do something
that I can enjoy doing.

It is now October and there are some more installments in
some of the series that I follow coming out, which means things will get a bit
busier, and the first of the October releases finally arrived.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called Yona of the Dawn Volume 8 by Mizuho Kusanagi.

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

With the Kum-ji's death and incident in Awa resolved, Yona
and her companions are determined to find the last of the dragon warriors, but
they are still traveling without any goal other than survival and they must
find that goal soon after meeting the last dragon.

Elsewhere, the general of the Earth tribe is bored out of
his mind, with the lack of war, and has an audience with the newly crowned
king, whom he views to be weak, but when the two engage in a mock battle, the
general might just be in for a rude awakening.

While Yona of the Dawn had such a great start in both
the manga and anime, a series is not always destined to remain as great as it
once was, and I was expecting things to kind of go a bit downhill sooner or
later.

And after reading this volume, I found it to be okay.

From the moment that I opened up this book and started
reading, I did not feel like putting it down, for at least a few portions of
it.

So far, Mizuho Kusanagi has been doing a great job with this
series, by making things seem like they are fun and enjoyable from the
beginning, regardless of whether things are something that would normally be
considered dull or are of actual interest, and it looked like it was a
promising series.

Even though the amazing thing about this series has kind of
disappeared a bit, no thanks to the fact that Viz Media is just barely got past
what was covered in the anime and one event being shown later, though in
probably a more appropriate place, it was still fairly nice how Mizuho was
still able to pull me back into the series quite well.

If Mizuho had failed to deliver in this regard, I would have
considered dropping this series quite a while ago since the series would not
have deserved my time beyond what was shown in the anime, as well as make it
hard for me to see how this series could really appeal to anyone beyond its
target demographic.

However, because she was able to keep things relatively
interesting enough to capture my attention, I feel like giving her some sort of
applause of doing something right.

Hopefully, things will improve from here, as, like Spice &
Wolf
, this might be the only way to experience the full and complete story
of Yona's journey, since there are no signs of a second season coming any time
soon, and I do wish to be able to continue following Yona's journey more.

Unfortunately, writers tend to their ability over time, as
they are only human, so a day may come when I will have to walk away from this
series, no matter how much I initially enjoyed it.

I also liked how this volume reinforced the adage that fans
of detective, mystery, and crime fiction are familiar with, which is that
nothing is as it seems.

Yes, Yona of the Dawn is not technically a part of
any of those genres, as there are no crimes being investigated and no mysteries
beyond the questions necessary to generate interest in a series, nor is there
any goal of committing what would otherwise be called a crime, but this series
an adventure series and if things remained as they seemed, it would make
everything seem to be both less interesting and believable because an adventure
series still needs things to be somewhat realistic.

In the case of this work, there are two instances in which
this can be seen.

First, when Zeno appears, that dragon warriors and Hak doubt
that he is the person that they seek because it was too much of a coincidence
would end up being the same person that just mysteriously appeared.

While I am not exactly fond of this occurrence, because it
gives me the impression that Mizuho is not really putting much effort into the
adventuring aspect of this series, and possibly wanted to end the search for
the four dragon warriors, it really impressed me because I did not think that
this guy was the Yellow Dragon and the members of Yona's group did not want to
believe it, though I and many of the others who watched the anime already knew
he was.

If Yona and the gang just believed right off the bat that
Zeno was the Yellow Dragon, I do not even think that I would have liked things
so much, because Mizuho would have made it look like the characters were going
along with her whims, instead of feeling like actual people, as well as show
that they did not really learn too much from everything that they went through
together, which would make this series seem to be even less appealing than it
was before.

However, because they doubted him, and went through the
troubles of actually testing him, it shows that things definitely are not as
they seem, and even makes Zeno seem to be much more mysterious, along with the
moments that he actually brings up a good point, in spite of his childish
behavior.

As a result, I am much more interested in finding out what
Zeno's powers are exactly, even though I am already aware of what they are, just
like I already know Bourbon's identity and whether Akai is dead or alive in Detective
Conan
.

The second thing, and best thing, that made this aspect of
the volume stand out though was the mock battle took place.

Even though this event took place after the Awa incident, as
opposed to before it, which is where it occurs in the anime, the thing that I
really liked about this was how General Geun-tae thought that Su-won was a weak
individual with no fighting skill, even though he easily took down Guen-tae's army
in the mock battle.

In our lives, we think that something is good and wholesome
because it promotes family, the kind mainly established by blood and paper,
instead of a real family, who does not need blood or paper to tie them
together, or that we can overcome something because it seems to be so
insignificant.

However, when we partake in what is perceived to be good,
either by what our elders, religious figures, or society say is good for
everyone, or what seems to be insignificant, it will lead to our own downfall
because we were not aware of the risks or why those risks even exist, thus
ending up with us being off guard and helping to make optimism look worse than
it does.

Likewise, Geun-tae though that Su-won would be easy to
defeat because he seemed like a coward, or a rabbit in his words, and made
every effort to go after him, but that overconfidence he had blinded him to
what Su-Won was up to.

Not only was Geun-tae blind about what was going on in
Su-won's head, but the wayMizuho wrote the events themselves made it difficult
to notice that this was all carefully planned until the very moment that
Guen-tae himself realized the mistake he made.

Even though this was yet another moment in the series that I
was not particularly fond of, because it continues to help make the five most
important men in this series seem to be too perfect and makes them only truly
appealing towards the target audience, which are females in the same age range
the shonen demographic covers, this helped to demonstrate further that things
should not be judged based completely on appearances.

After all, there is a reason a reason that there is the
cliched adage warning about the quiet ones, though most people take it in a way
that those that are more introverted are believed to become killers rather than
normal people like Kobayashi from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid.

If this particular moment had not happened, this whole
aspect of the volume would have just been relegated to the usual humor found in
the series, and I probably would have liked the volume even less than I do.

However, because Mizuho actually took the time to put in two
instances of where looks can be fairly deceiving, I actually feel like giving
her a bit of applause for making something stand out in what would have been a
rather unimpressive installment.

Hopefully, more things like this will show up as the series
progresses further, because I do not want to see this going the direction of Detective
Conan
, which has only its cases going for it these days.

Then again, I would not be too surprised if things started
going downhill after this point, seeing as I have found one or two people
around that claim that the characters see not development or depth later on.

Still, it is nice when there are moments that can be
thoroughly enjoy like this.

Another nice thing about this volume was that I was able to
get a few chuckles out of it.

While the humor found is not that unique, when compared to
either the anime or the series as a whole, things were still done well enough
that I could still get a decent enough chuckle.

One of the best things about this particular series is how
there seems to be something to laugh about on a fairly regular basis, and,
without that humor, the series would start to feel rather flat, though it would
eventually start to feel flat if the same jokes were played repeatedly.

Fortunately, Mizuho remembered that good thing about the
series and was still able to deliver the humor that fans expects, even if it is
not exactly on the level it once was.

If she had forgotten this part about the series, I would
have been given another reason to stop following this series, aside from the
fact that it is starting to lose the appeal that it had to those outside the
target audience, and I would not be glad to say that I follow this series at
all.

Thankfully, that did not happen, so I am a bit more willing
to give this series a bit more time to continue on, hoping that thinks really
will improve in the future.

The thing that I liked the most though was how Yona wanted
to learn the sword.

In many out there, female characters seem to be relegated to
long-distance attacks or healing to the point where they do not seem to be too
useful otherwise, thereby giving the audience very little reason to like them,
as they hardly stand up for themselves.

To me, this has become a like boring, and takes away from
the many possibilities of having unique characters, not to mention it does not
show that everyone can become the person they want, and it Mizuho had let Yona
be content with just fighting with a bow, I probably would have found her to be
much more boring that the exceptions to this pattern, such as Mikoto Misaka,
Kuroko Shirai, and a few other, and would have stopped following this series.

After all, Yona was portrayed to be a girl that was trying
to become stronger after sitting back and doing nothing right up until the
point where her father died and she fled the castle.

Not only would her contentment with only using the bow make
her look like the kind of woman that my elders and church leaders say women
should strive to be, but she would have also ended up looking like she was
stupid, because she would have believed that she could do anything with a bow,
when bows and firearms are both weak, but not completely ineffective, against
close range attacks.

However, towards the end of this volume, Yona goes about
trying to convince her companion to teach her the sword, so that she can make
up for the weakness of the bow and be of more help.

By having her do this, it not only makes it seem like she
wants to continue getting stronger for the sake of her friends, but it also
makes me excited to see Yona fight much more difficult battles than what she
had faced before in the series, and gives me even more reason to continue
following the series just to see where things will, which ends making me want
to give Mizuho even more applause for not turning Yona into yet another mansel
in distress.

Hopefully, Mizuho does not forget that something like this
occurred, because Yona's growth as a character is one of the reasons that this
series is able to stand out enough to make another Fruits Basket, which
is another series targeted towards girls but has fans outside that spectrum,
though I cannot say if this series is as good or better than that because I
only saw the Fruits Basket anime.

Then again, it is very hard to appeal to everyone, so I
should not be too surprised if things end up going more in the direction that
would please the targeted audience, and that is the audience that truly matters
at the end of the day, since that is who the writer and publisher needs to make
money from.

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

Because my attention was captured quickly and held for most
of the volume, it was shown that things are not always as they seem to be,
which is something that everyone should know, and Yona wanted to learn to use
something other than a bow, this volume ended up being fairly decent.

Although there were quite a few things to like, there are
some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as typos, and things that could be inferred from what I already stated,
nothing really bothered me too much.

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

Despite the fact that there was a lot more to like than
hate, the positive aspects were not good enough to make this good enough to
read for more than just killing time.

I mainly recommend this to the female fans of Yona of the
Dawn
and Mizuho Kusanagi, as they will be able to like this the most.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but
since there is hardly anything exclusive to the manga yet and the charm from
earlier volumes was not there, it might be better to skip this particular
volume.

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

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