ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 24’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Yona of the Dawn

Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 24 is an action-adventure fantasy romance manga written and illustrated by Mangaka Mizuho Kusanagi and is published through VIZ Media. The series tells the story a 16-year old, red-haired princess, Yona, who loses her family and her kingdom but rises up to fight for her throne.

In Yona of the Dawn, over 2000 years ago in the kingdom of Kouka, a red dragon came down to Earth from the Heavens and changed into a human. Four warriors imbued with dragon blood from the Gods helped him lead the kingdom to prosperity. The tale became a legend as time passed. Now 2,000 years later, the kingdom has no male heirs only a princess named Yona who lives a lavish life of comfort and ease.

Yona, who is in love with her cousin, Su-won, and protected by her bodyguard, Son Hak, was always sheltered from the harsh reality outside the castle walls. However, after her cousin Su-won causes a deadly coup against her father, Yona is forced to flee her life of luxury with only Had by her side.

Volume 24 consists of chapters 135 through 140. To prevent war with the Xing nation, Yona and Hak ask Ogi, an informant, to deliver an important z to Su-won. Later, Yona races to the Fire Tribe to appeal to an ally, Kang Tae-jun, in hopes of getting help to delay the fast-approaching war.

The artwork in this manga is top notch. Kusanagi has an awesome eye for attention to detail, especially when it comes to illustrating backgrounds. I especially enjoyed the panels that feature settings such as castles and palace courtyards. Kusanagi illustrations of the palace settings have great detail and look like something done by an architect. That’s how good they are.

Another thing that impresses me about her art style is her use of shading.  Since manga is typically printed in black and white, shading can help with giving the art and story more depth. For example, Kusanagi uses shading to add more emphasis to elements such as lighting a room, to convey characters’ mood,  and characteristics. Her use of shading helps to add more detail and quality to the manga overall.

Yona of the Dawn

Another thing I enjoyed about this manga is character development, especially when it comes to the titular character, Princess Yona. At the start of the series, my impression of Yona was that she was just a spoiled and childish princess. All of that changed after her father was killed by her cousin Su-won and she was forced to flee for her life.While her father’s death left her distraught and full of suffering, she doesn’t allow it to consume her;  instead she pushes herself to get stronger.

She learns how to use a weapon so she can defend herself in battle. She also gains the courage and confidence needed to stick up for herself instead of crying or looking for someone to come to her aid. A great example of this is when an enemy that was involved in her father’s death orders soldiers to kill her on the spot. Instead of crying of begging for her life, Yona  shows no fear and stands up to them. I just find it so refreshing to see a female character like Yona go through so much growth form where she started off in the beginning of the series.

Another thing I liked about this manga is how Yona of the Dawn‘s fantasy is inspired from a combination of Asian cultures, such as Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. The creator combines different and similar elements from these cultures together to add more depth and world-building to the series. 

This is very  similar to how the world of Avatar the Last Airbender is a blend of Asian cultures too. I think Kusanagi’s decisions to make the world of the manga a combination of Asian cultures allows her to highlight elements from different cultures, such as fighting styles, clothing, and more that help give the world more depth.

Overall, Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 24 has continues to tell a quality story through well developed characters and impressive artwork.  If you are looking for manga with a well-written heroine with great character development, then I can’t recommend this one enough. The story is immersive and the creator does an awesome job of incorporating aspects of different Asian cultures together to give the world more depth. This is simply one of the best Shoujo manga I have ever read.

Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 24 will be available at bookstores and online on June 2. To find out where to buy, check out Viz.com.

'Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 24'
  • Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 24
5

TL;DR

Overall, Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 24 has continues to tell a quality story through well developed characters and impressive artwork.  If you are looking for manga with strong heroine with great character development, then I can’t recommend this one enough. The are is immersive and the creator  does an awesome job of blending different asian cultures together to give the world more depth. This is simply one of the best Shoujo manga I have ever read.