Anime: Yona Of The Dawn (Part 2)
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Retail Price: $64.98
The anime series Yona of the Dawn is a fairly successful series that drew fans in after the first 12 episodes of a full 24 episode series. The series has been regarded as ‘not your average harem’ which surely drew viewers who perhaps wouldn’t have taken on an anime of the same nature otherwise. If you need a slight refresher on the series because it’s been awhile - Yona of the Dawn introduces us to Yona, a princess to the kingdom known as Kouka. As a spoiled princess who hadn’t had to do anything of major independence throughout her life, everything is shaken up when her mother (who died prior to the series) is gone along with the recent murder of her father in an attempt for someone she trusted to achieve a platform for power.
The aforementioned life changes prompts Yona to drastically alter herself with the hopes of turning into a more prepared and capable leader who doesn’t hope to hide behind others. Unfortunately, the first half did still require Yona to use those around her as shields while she struggled to understand archery (with great effort at the very least however!) Yona begins to explore the region in order to locate four legendary reincarnated dragons who were able to unite the kingdom long ago, hoping they can get lucky and repeat the success they had in the past. The second half of the series picks up where we left off, having discovered another dragon (in human form of course) and we are reminded of the dedication Yona and company have to protect Kouka from self destruction.
Part two isn’t necessarily a drastic change from the first 12 episodes, but there is definitely still added perks for viewers who kept up with the series. For starters, we know that the blue dragon is now residing underground, the identity of the wanderer yellow dragon with immortality and the jumping green dragon is addressed. Having all the characters come into play made it a better depiction of the series to get a full-look at what Yona of the Dawn has to offer. The dragon payout isn’t what I expected, using less ferocity than anticipated - but additions like the blue and yellow dragon did make the series more enjoyable to some extent. The mission of the dragons aren’t quite complete by the conclusion, leaving plenty of room to expand on a second season if needed - which many fans are seriously hoping for.
For the protagonist character Yona, we are still watching the progression of her beginning as the needy young princess to self sufficient warrior, even if it’s at a slower pace. Yona tried for 12 episodes to pick up enough skills to not require anyone, but the second half is what gives her a better chance to tweak her image. Yona becomes more reliable, and by the ending she begins learning how to wield other weapons and not necessarily use Hak as her constant protector. Romantically, Yona is frustrating to watch because of her lingering feelings for her father’s killer - and the constant lack of recognition that Hak has deep feelings for Yona. Hak was definitely an MVP to the series and during this part two installment and Hak proves he has powers that rival the dragons. His dedicated heart is fragile after the realization that Yona isn’t reciprocating his emotions, making hearts break for poor Hak - an underused character to the series.
As expected, the quality of the animation in Yona of the Dawn impresses in most scenes - but still takes adjusting to with some of the over the top designs. Yona and Hak are two of the designs I appreciated most in Yona of the Dawn, with architecture being close second. There is a great example of bold colors in all characters, which can enhance one’s overall look or make it more obvious if it’s not as stellar - a gamble Yona of the Dawn takes regardless. Of the Japanese and English dubbing of the series, they both are of good quality, but I did prefer the enjoyable english dub to get through the 24 episodes of the anime. Yona of the Dawn isn’t really your average harem, but the series has room for improvement if given that second season everyone is anticipating. Yona of the Dawn (Part 1 & 2) is available on DVD and Blu-ray now from Funimation.
Overall Score: 6.8/10
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
Hak deserved a better role in the series, which would have potentially made it go up half a point more if utilized better.
Yona can be someone you root for, but at times you also want her to open her eyes and not be blind to those around her.
I would be intrigued to see the mythology play out, the story is very much incomplete.