I made an account just to review this anime!
Overall: I gave this anime a 9.5/10 because I came in with very low expectations. Shoujo anime are usually kind of cliche and full of toxic stereotypes like damsels in distress or toxic masculine love interests, etc. However, Akatsuki no Yona went above and beyond my expectations! I also read the manga in about ~3 days (183 chapters) because it was just that good!! The story is very plot-centric and reminds me of Fushigi Yuugi, also a reverse harem anime with a similar (not as strong) female main character. I loved the balance of serious plot and comedic moments. The main love interest(s) also grow to respect and follow Yona because of her integrity, compassion, and desire for justice for the common people in the world. I especially love that Hak, one of the main love interests, doesn't outright get in Yona's way or express massive jealousy, and instead applauds her success and supports her in her decisions, giving her massive agency in the plot. Although, this anime still has shoujo elements like typical "will they or won't they" stuff, I think it's far above the average shoujo.
Animation: The animation was consistent and high quality throughout the season, I was very surprised because many tend to get worse as the episodes continue. The mood and art depicting various parts of the country were also very beautiful.
Sound: The opening theme is one of my favorites because it's not voiced and fully orchestrated. It really reminded me of the old chinese movies I used to watch, especially with Yona holding her bow against a rising sun while the drums get louder and louder, so cool!
Characters: Hak is a surprisingly complex co-protagonist. His love is made obvious quite early, but he is also shown to be very thoughtful as to how to express it later on (also in the manga). Yona starts out as your typical damsel in distress, but slowly grows to become her own person through her compassion and determination. The story goes into detail about how her kindness is one of her best strengths. Through Yona and Hak, I found that the mangaka portrayed a very realistic theme of betrayal, bitterness, anger, revenge, and confusion, and eventual maturity (at least continuing from the manga).
Each of the 4 dragons also have very unique backstories. Some tragic and some not, but all stand out and well-defined. Some reviews here call it boring, but I don't know if we are watching the same anime. The Blue Dragon's story is tragic and goes far into defining his character and why he's the way he is. It's also done with nuance and respect with how child abuse can affect a person even as an adult. I don't understand how other reviewers don't see or respect this.
I genuinely recommend this anime as well as checking out the manga if you're interested in a fun, plot driven story with serious ramifications and unique, kind characters.