Manga Shelf

Manga Shelf: Yona of the Dawn

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Yona of the Dawn is a story that follows a young princess name Yona who is the only child of the King of Kohka. At the start of the story she is sixteen and therefore it’s almost time for her to get married. She wants to wed her cousin Su-won. This doesn’t work in the king’s favor as he would prefer to avoid war.

Yona, being young and very much a determined young woman, decides to take matters into her own hands by approaching her father on her own. But as she enters her father’s domain, she is horrified to see that Su-won has murdered her father.

From here the story revolves around her and her childhood friend and faithful guard, Hak, escaping the castle. But the big question is: where does she go from here?

The manga series starts out on a slower note. The first volume itself is very much like an introduction as you’re going to get more of the plot that revolves around Yona and Hak escaping from the castle.

This does work as a nice traditional way of introducing characters, settings, and their accompanying backgrounds. Yona of the Dawn is a historical fiction manga after all, so it makes sense they would take this route. Speaking of background, we get to know Yona a lot before the tragedy and she’s not the most pleasant person you’d come across.

While this may turn some people away we’d like to remind them that it is just the intro and therefore her growth will come later in the series. Yona comes off pretty helpless and super whiny at first, both stereotypes of a spoiled rich kid and the only child. But it’s easy to forget that she’s lived a sheltered life prior to the tragedy, and it also adds to her devastation when she does meet said tragedy.

Readers of the manga who haven’t seen the anime should also keep in mind that there is more development being done in the manga and therefore patience is needed. The impression of the first volume won’t be as ideal due to the characters and their origins.

But the manga itself is full of characters that are likable on so many different levels. Yona of the Dawn arguably has some of the best character development seen in anime and manga in a while. You’ll even fall for the villains. The bigger aspects of the story are also much more engaging.

What we like about Yona of the Dawn is that you get a nice intro to the relationships and connections between Yona, Hak, and Su-won.

The connection between these three characters run very deep and helps to really make the moment of tragedy painful. It also does make you wonder why this happened, like the deeper reasons and motives for it.

So far Yona of the Dawn is about three volumes in, with the fourth translation coming in February. It’s artistically breath taking, the story is amazing and the characters are fantastic. Pick up Yona of the Dawn today and get ready for an emotional roller-coaster.

Yona of the Dawn - Volume 1 - Manga - Cover