ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Yona of the Dawn,’ Volume 28

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Yona of the Dawn Volume 28

Yona’s notoriety is having noticeable consequences in Yona of the Dawn Volume 28. The fantasy adventure is a popular series in VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint. The story follows Princess Yona, who flees the palace with bodyguard Hak when her father is murdered by their childhood friend. While Su-won ascends to the throne, Yona and Hak travel the country in secret to find the four dragon warriors and aid people from the shadows. The manga features story and art by Mizuho Kusanagi. Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane adapts it into English, with translation by JN Productions. This volume has touch-up art and lettering by Lys Blakeslee, design by Philana Chen, and edited by Amy Yu.

After stepping in to help the Fire Tribe fend off an invasion from the Kai Empire, Tae-jun shelters the group in Saika Palace. His attempts to hide them from his brother and the Fire Tribe chief, Kyo-ga go comically awry. Kusanagi does an excellent job of maintaining a back and forth between the comedic and the dramatic this volume. This is done through both multi-panel bits and exaggerated faces, using scratchy, simple lines instead of Kusanagi’s usual intricate detail. Once again, character development is fantastic. Tae-jun has gone from most detestable to displaying great moments of maturity, to the point where even Hak is growing fond of him.

The most unsettling moments are when Yona and the dragons encounter those who don’t actually mean them harm. The Fire Tribe is deeply religious when it comes to the legend of the Crimson Dragon. With word traveling fast on Yona, citizens become obsessively enamored with the group. It makes it all the more powerful later on when Yona is confronted about her feelings towards Su-won. Everyone assumes that Yona wants the throne, but readers have seen first hand how she may be treated if that happens. Yona of the Dawn Volume 28 makes a powerful statement about the difference between revenge and forgiveness. Yona corrects the assumption that she forgives Su-won just because she may not want him dead. She has other things of greater value in her life, a stark difference from where she was at in Volume 1.

Once again, the women steal the show in Yona of the Dawn Volume 28. Riri has a brief appearance and once again, in a short amount of time proves she is a force to be reckoned with at the palace. She has political sway and is very quickly learning how to use it. In contrast to the younger generation, Tae-jun and Kyo-ga’s mother Lady Igni has been forced by society to hold her tongue. This doesn’t make her weak-willed, however. It instead makes her appearances in this volume that much more striking, for what pushes her to move. Her perception of womanhood may be different from Yona’s, but that doesn’t make it lesser.

Yona of the Dawn Volume 28 layers the political intrigue with comedy as another conflict with Kai brews in the distance. Great character moments from all the women, as well as once awful Tae-jun, illustrate just how much of an ensemble series this manga has become.

Yona of the Dawn Volume 28 goes on sale February 2nd, 2021 wherever books are sold.

Yona of the Dawn Volume 28
4.5

TL;DR

Yona of the Dawn Volume 28 layers the political intrigue with comedy as another conflict with Kai brews in the distance. Great character moments from all the women, as well as once awful Tae-jun, illustrate just how much of an ensemble series this manga has become.