Back in November, I wrote my OWLS tour post on Yona of the Dawn, but I’d only watched half of the anime at that point. And now that I’ve finished it, I want to use this post as sort of a part two to that post. I want to focus on the same topics I did in that one, so before reading this, you might want to read that first. [OWLS Blog Tour: Diplomacy] Is Violence a Solution?: Yona of the Dawn
The reason I decided to still focus on this topic was because as I watched the series, I saw even more pieces of the topic of diplomacy come out. And I felt like I missed a lot of pieces when writing that which I wish I had back then.
The Dragons’ Origins
Each of the four dragon warriors that join Yona on her mission throughout the series come from very different backgrounds. Specifically, I want to discuss the differences between the way the White Dragon, Kija, and the Blue Dragon, Shin-Ah, were brought up.
Kija grew up in a village that honored the idea of the White Dragon Warrior living among them. They treated him almost like royalty, pampering him and making sure he had a comfortable upbringing before he’d be off serving his master.
On the other hand, Shin-Ah was ignored, belittled, and borderline banished from the village he lived in. The villagers believed that his dragon eye power would harm them, or would turn them to stone. They forced him to hide his powers and wear a mask to conceal who he truly was. This led him to become incredibly anti-social, and feel like he would never belong anywhere.
The way the people of these villages treated one of their own does have very much to do with the way they are led and who is leading them. Kija was welcome to the idea of having a person in their village who was above average, while Shin-Ah’s village was prejudiced against him.
I thought this was interesting, that they both had these powers, but were raised in such different circumstances that shaped them to be the people they are throughout the series.
The Village of Awa
When the group is in search of the Green Dragon Warrior, they find themselves in a village called Awa. The people there are disheveled, hopeless, and suffering from a tyrannical, perverted, and abusive ruler. They don’t fight back, scared that things will only get worse, or that they are just not strong enough to take him on.
The Green Dragon Warrior, Jae-Ha, doesn’t exactly live in Awa, but he is a part of a pirate crew who works to fight off the ruler of the sad little village. The group joins the pirates to bring peace to the village, and to fix what Yona’s father, King Il, had neglected to prevent.
Later into this arc, it’s revealed that the ruler is running a human trafficking trade, forcing soldiers to help him round up as many women as possible and transport them to sell them. Of course, the soldiers have no say in any of it, only doing what they’re told. The group decides that the only way to stop the ruler of the village is to take him out directly, by killing him. I’d love to think that there are better ways to solve this problem, but when you think logically in this situation, there was no saying what he could do if he were not taken out for good. There was no reasoning with this man, he knew what he wanted and he wouldn’t let anything get in the way of that. The pirates were the village’s only hope.
Other Overall Thoughts
Though by the cover, it seems like it’ll be one of those shows where every male character is drooling over and fighting for the female lead, I was surprised and pleased to say it’s not really like that. The dragon warriors obviously have a connection to Yona, since she technically is their master. And there has always been a connection between the five of them, through all of the reincarnations. I think they respect her more than anything, so I was happy that a romantic tension between all of them wasn’t included. It seems the only one she has that with is Hak, and that’s fine in my book.
And that leads me to mention my favorite character: Yun. There’s something so charming about him, though it took me a bit to warm up to him. Something I love is that his specialty is medicine, cooking, and other more domestic skills. And he’s proud of the fact that he’s so good at them. It made me happy that there was a male character who wasn’t overly strong and willing to beat up anyone he saw. He’s smart and helps in other ways that the group would lack without him. I don’t see enough of that, so he holds a special place in my heart.
Also he handles the guys who flirt with him due to his feminine features like a pro. It’s so nice to see that he doesn’t get offended at all when being mistaken as a girl, he just rolls with it and tells the dude off.
And then there’s Yona’s progression throughout the series. I almost hated her in the beginning. She was whiny and spoiled, stomped about when she didn’t get her way. And when reality smacked her in the face, she took some time to retaliate, but learned to smack it right back and take charge. It was gradual, and even by the end she’s still learning. But she’s a strong female protagonist that I enjoyed watching.
I loved this anime, and I’m seriously considering continuing with the manga. The anime ended when it was just getting good, and I have no idea if they have intention of continuing with the anime.
It’s a bit strange I’m posting this on a Thursday, but I want to try out a new schedule soon, and I wanted to get this out before I started it.
Also, tomorrow, watch for my OWLS post, talking about “revival”!
Hope you enjoyed reading!