Book Review: Yona of the Dawn Volume 9

December 5, 2017

Yona of the Dawn Volume 9 cover

I hope everyone is having a good week, even if it is just
more of the usual daily grind.

Things have been going fairly well, as I can still do what I
like to do.

Almost a month ago now, I had gotten eight books from
Amazon, many of which were preorders for later in the month, and a few were
scheduled to arrive this month.

Recently, two of the three titles I was expecting this month
arrived.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those titles, which is
called Yona of the Dawn Volume 9
by Mizuho Kusanagi.

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

Yun decides to drop by a village, after Yona and the gang
got Zeno, the last warrior, to join their group and talked things over with
Ik-su, and the gang, who went with Yun against his wishes, discovers that the
village is in dire straits and decide to act like bandits.

However, just when they think things are looking good, real
bandits show up and one of the four dragon warriors is forced to use their
power.

While things were not that great in the previous
volume
, though not bad enough to consider it garbage, that does not mean
that the series itself will begin tanking just yet.

And after reading this, I can say that I kind of liked this
book.

From the moment that I started reading the first few pages,
I was so engrossed in what was going on that I did not want to put it down for
any reason, though I do have to satisfy the same needs as everyone else.

Readers read because it gives helps to take their cares or
worries by delivering them to a new world, and part of that ability is just how
quickly the writer or creator can pull an audience.

So far, Mizuho has been able to do that quite well, even
when the collected chapters are not something to write home about because there
were only a few things that stood, which does show that she has promise.

In this volume, since the Awa incident was resolved and the
mock battle was concluded, Mizuho was able to create this draw by starting
things off a little slowly by focusing the suffering villagers, to try and
illustrate what was going on in the world and making me feel a bit sympathetic
towards them.

From the beginning, Yona has been presented as this kind
person, who wants to help people and become stronger, the key thing needed to
have the audience want to follow such a person, other than the fact that there
is some good in people, regardless of whether they religious or not, is for us
to be able to see what they characters see and what motivates them to act, and
Mizuho delivered quite well in this regard.

If she were not able to make me or the rest of her audience
feel anything, except through the faulty method of putting ourselves in the
shoes of others, which only projects our current level of consciousness onto
others, I would have been angry, because that would mean that the world and
characters would appear lifeless, as well as the fact that it shows Mizuho is
the one directing everything, instead of the characters or where their travels
lead them.

Thankfully, things did not start out that way, which makes
me want to give Mizuho a good round of applause.

Hopefully, things will continue in this fashion, as I and
many other fans of the series do not want to see become another Magical Index,
in which the series devolves in random event after random event, but this
series is still quite flawed, especially with how many of the male characters
seem to be too perfect to seem to feel like they are real, so I better be ready
for things to get dull and predictable.

I also liked how it was brought up that it is not really
possible to help people, or even survive, without hurting others.

While all of us, without exception, are creatures who are
greedy, apathetic, and irrational in some form, we do not seeing people suffer,
which is why there are so many people that will donate money to causes like
feeding starving children, but that act of trying to help and the procurement
of the things necessary to help means that somebody else, who may need it just
as badly will suffer, or, if you want the worst case scenario for apathy, the
surety a person has that what they are doing to help another person may blind
them to the fact that they are hurting the person they are trying to help, as
they forget that they themselves are being hurt because of that same thing,
whether it is financially or not.

This is why I do not make efforts of doing what people think
I should, as I know that I cannot help everyone with their troubles, and try to
find out what it is that they really need help with, though I do check if
people do need help when I notice a possibility of a need and I am sure that I
can get things done, even at the expense of stressing myself out mentally.

In this volume, this truth of the world was stressed upon
quite a bit through two particular instances.

First, towards the beginning, Yun makes a trip into a poor
village, the villagers notice that his companions, whom they never met before,
had come with him and they refuse to leave, instead wanting and insisting to
help.

A bit later on Yona asks him about his attachment to the
village, by asking if he was born there and noting that he said he does not
like dealing with people, yet he looks after the people in this village, and he
says:

To make myself feel better. Poverty's everywhere in the
fire tribe. For every person I help, there're plenty who starve. Even if I
bring a day's worth of food, they still won't have anything the next day. There's
no end to it.

The root cause of it all needs to be changed. But knowing
that doesn't mean that I can make it happen.

Upon reading those words, I was reminded of why, even if we
do not want to see people suffer, trying to help everyone is impossible and
helped to show that Yun is a caring person instead of just some perfect
strategist and doctor.

After all, we may experience the same problems all over the
world, but the cause and the answer is not always the same, which is something
that many studying in the field computers learn fairly quickly.

If this moment had not occurred, I would have been
disappointed because it made the world seem realistic enough to make me feel
like I was losing myself in it and helped to make feel something for the
villagers, and I do not think that I would have been able to feel that draw
that I have felt numerous times while reading through this series.

Fortunately, Mizuho did stress the harsh reality of Yona's
world within this moment, and the draw, as well as Yun's caring nature, was
still present.

The thing that really made this stand out though was when
the real bandits showed up.

After successfully keeping the government officials away,
Yona and the gang seem to be living peacefully among the villagers, making sure
that they get what they need, but then new people come in and cause a ruckus,
even killing a child, and Yona is upset enough to make a stand against these
people and even told them that she attacked because they hurt a child, while
she was taken captive.

In response, one the bandit holding her captive said, “That's
right, girl. In these lands, a human life is worth less than nothing. It's kill
or be killed. If you don't want to starve…If you want anything good in your
life…you have to take it. Sometimes that means killing the people who have it,” after
which Yona says that it is a horrible way to live and the same bandit answers,
“No one in this land has any hope. How do you propose we live, huh? Do you know
how it feels to be so hungry that killing people seems to be a fine idea?”

In our current society, where many people think that we can
get whatever we want or need to survive by putting forth the effort, so doing
something dishonest like stealing or taking a life to procure things we want or
need is wrong no matter what, but there are people who have no other choice,
because, like how we are perfect in spite of our imperfection, the world is
fair in that everyone is dealt a difficult hand and there is only so much that
can go around.

Seeing these words from the bandit, I am reminded that there
are people out there that are law abiding citizens that are doing everything
they can or should, yet are having difficulties making ends meet, and some
criminals out there became criminals because it was the only way they or those
they care about could survive.

Yes, what those criminals did is wrong, just like what the
bandits in this volume are doing is wrong, and they should be punished, but
that does not change the fact that they were doing what they needed to do to
survive.

If the bandits here were to change their ways and find some
sort of prosperity because of it, I would have been angry because the purpose
of Yona getting out of the castle was so that she would learn how harsh life
really was, in order for her to grow stronger, and that kind of change would
make this world feel both unrealistic and unbelievable, even if it is something
that my elders and my peers believe is the truth of this world.

Fortunately, Mizuho did not forget this fact and let the
audience know how hard life can be, which makes this really stand out and has
me wondering if and when Yona will prioritize what is important to her over
helping everyone that comes along her way.

Hopefully, Yona will learn more harsh truths about the world
in her journey, because that is one of the nice things about this series and
allows for Yona's potential growth.

The thing that I liked the most about this volume though was
how I could laugh quite a bit.

Other than a having a female protagonist that does something
other than scream out the name of the male lead, as well as hones her skills
with a bow or is determined to learn new skills, one of the nice things about
this series how is things are actually funny, and while the comedic moments here
are not really that unique to the series, or even anime and manga in general, things
were still executed well enough that they were really funny.

Even though humor is not necessary for something to be
enjoyable, it helps to make things seem more interesting or lively, and that is
what creates a big draw for people to anime and manga, aside from delivering
what very few shows and movies do today.

In this volume, Mizuho keeps up that lively and interesting
atmosphere that have made things so enjoyable back during the early volumes,
and it really help to remind me why I find these guys so fun to follow.

The that crop up in this volume was how Yun continually
found his companion to be idiots and it was completely warranted.

While it does seem as stupid and, like Touma Kamijou's
victories, work out more because of luck that effort for Yona and her group,
Yun reactions made them all hilariously enjoyable because, like Yun, I view
these guys to be too happy go lucky and confident in whatever they do.

Yes, things will not get done if one hesitates with worry,
but that does not mean that always rushing into things head long would work out.

For example, when the government official come crawling into
town for taxes, Yona steps up and claims the land as her territory and
announces that they are The Dark Dragon and the happy hungry bunch, before
putting the officials in their place and Yun, after admitting his companions
were likable idiots, starts wondering just what Ik-su meant when he said they
would shake things up, because Yona was going to take advantage of how they
stand out, yet during their time as bandits, they did a poor job of fooling the
villagers and only kept the government officials away.

This was so funny just because of the absurdity alone, and
made it the real highlight of the volume, even among other funny moments.

If things like this were omitted from the series, I would be
pretty disappointed as it would turn the series into an adventure series with
no substance, instead of an adventure series that does at least have some
substance thanks to the comedic moments that really do seem funny and delivers the
emotion that it needs to.

Fortunately, Mizuho did not leave that out, which makes me
want to give for some applause, even though nothing really major seems to have
happened yet.

Hopefully, the humor found in this series remains as the
series progresses, especially since this series is treated better by Viz than either
Detective Conan or Hayate the Combat Butler, because that is what
truly has me coming back for more, but I am well aware that the humor will
eventually grow flat.

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

Because the volume grabbed my attention quickly and held it
throughout the volume, it showed how harsh life can be by expressing what it
feels like to want to help everyone, but knowing you cannot, as well as a
reason why people might not pursue honorable paths to be what they need, and
that the comedic moments made up for a lack of things happening, this volume
was fairly decent.

Although I liked the volume, there are some issues.

However, aside from 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, especially
the humor that saved it from being just okay, and not too much to hate, this
was definitely worth reading.

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 it
would better to either watch the anime or read the previous volumes first, so
that it can be enjoyed to the fullest extent.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on Patreon
or, if you to read the reviewed title for yourself, purchase a copy of the book
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.

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