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tollie01

  • Netherlands
  • Joined Jan 16, 2011
  • 47 / M

Yona of the Dawn

Apr 18, 2020

First some items I need to adress. I'm Dutch to expect some spelling errors, if they are to annoying just message me and I'll fix it.

My opinion may vary from others and this is fine. People are different so there is a good chance that I will not like what you love. Deal with it. I'm not telling you that you should hate it too, I'm telling you why I didn't like it.

I'll try to keep swearing to a minimum but fail utterly on occasion. In general it is the more the anime pisses me off the more I swear so watch out for the low scored ones.

Art: It's fine. The director was being artsy at times by showing close ups of the characters while keeping the background in place. What I mean is that you have a scene with two characters interacting and a close up of the characters gets super imposed over the scene. You see it every now and then and its fine even it does pull you out of the story every now and then.

Sound: I very rarely pay any attention to the music. It should be there but not overshadow what is on screen and in that regard it succeeded. Voice acting is fine.

Characters: The main character is Yona. She is is very much a spoiled princess who is used to get what she wants when she wants it. She wants to marry her cousin Su-Won as she has had a crush on him sinds she was a child.

Hak is the leader of the Wind clan and a powerful general. He cares deeply for Yona and is her friend and bodyguard, very lethal with a spear.

Su-Won is is the cousin of Yona and friend of Hak. He may appear flighty but he is extremely shrewed and a capable leader.

Dragons. For generations the Dragons have awaited the coming of their master but each does this in their own way. The White Dragon wishes for nothing but to serve his master and eagerly awaits her coming. The Blue Dragon is considered a curse by those of his village and lives alone until Yona comes for him. The Green Dragon wishes to be left alone and has no intention of serving a master he never met before. Very little is known about the Yellow Dragon.

Story. For a decade King Il has managed to keep the peace in his kingdom but at a price as his country isn't in the best of shape. On Yona's 16th birthday she is a witness to the murder of her father by Su-Won. Shocked by his betrayel she flees the capital and sets out to find revenge.

Rant. I really wanted to like this anime and it has quite a few things I loved. Unfortunately it has some glaring flaws that keep me from giving it a positive review. The entire problem that I have with this anime can be traced back to Su-Won. His character just doesn't work and is in desperate need of growth.

What I look for in almost all anime is Who does What and Why? These are some very basic questions and none of them get answered for Su-Won. He kills king Il but the problem is why. If you watched the anime than you'll immediately shout, "You bloody idiot! King Il killed his father!"

You are right, he did say that but here is my problem. You are told that he killed Su-Wons' father, you aren't shown this nor do you see any evidence to support this. So what are we shown?

1: Su-Won's father loved his brother and supported him. Although the elder brother and a powerful general that was loved by his men and respected by his peers it was his younger brother who was appointed king by their father. He felt no anger towards his brother and confessed this fact to a very young Su-Won at the time. He, in fact, swore to support his younger brother. King Il's stance on war and habit of giving in could have been a good wedge that drove the brothers apart but this isn't brought up or mentioned and any time.

2: King Il was, in fact, a bad king. The people suffered under his rule and would have been a good reason for Su-Won to intervene. The onle reason he gives in the anime is the death of his father. However, the problems with the people is not just the fault of the king as the 5 clans each have some autonomy in how they rule their land. So the suffering of the people is a bit much to lay of the blame on the king.

3: King Il is portrait as a gentle, kind man who aborred conflict. He would go out of his way to avoid it to the point of grabbing a sword blade with his bare hands to diffuse a situation.

So you have no Why in Su-Wons' actions. Add to that the complete tonal shift in how he acts in the rest of the anime and you are desperately wondering who the villain is in this story. Su-Won may have killed the king and driven Yona away from the castle...he is not a bad leader and it is clear that he cares for the people and is willing to make the changes neccessary to fix things.

Then there is the Fire Clan who supported Su-Won in his coup. They do some very shady things in order to chase after Yona and flush her out of hiding but they completely vanish from the anime after episode 6.

The Yellow Dragon gets shafted hard by the anime as well. Each dragon got multiple episodes going into their character and village. White dragon was waiting for her and more than happy to comply to het wishes. Blue Dragon was considered cursed by his village and shunned. Green dragion didn't want to serve a master he never knew and had no intention of accepting his fate. Yellow dragon....just appears. There are glimpses into his character in that he is a lot smarter than he lets on. From the little I saw he actually sought them out instead of the other way around but he gets just 1 episode and there he is nothing more than a side character.

I liked the stuff with Yona and Hak. They had the most complete arc of all of the characters. She is forced to grow up and throw her live around completely, trying to find her place in the world. Hak is coming to grips with Su-Wons' betrail and his feelings for Yona.

With a little work this anime could have been a lot better than it currently is.

4/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
4/10 characters
4/10 overall
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Elminster Nov 29, 2020

I don't understand how this show has so many glowing reviews.  I got 11 episodes in and just couldn't take it anymore.  Super cliche awkward garbage.