ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Yona of the Dawn,’ Volume 31

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Yona of the Dawn Volume 31

It happened. It happened. Everyone stay calm. Yona of the Dawn Volume 31 sees the group recover from both battle and love confessions. VIZ Media’s imprint, Shojo Beat, brings readers Mizuho Kusanagi’s fantasy epic in English. The story follows a young princess and her bodyguard who are sent on the run after a coup on the palace by those they trusted. The English Adaptation is by Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane, with translation from JN Productions and touch-up art and lettering by Lys Blakeslee.

No one can deny that both Volume 29 and Volume 30 were absolute knockouts with high stakes and emotion. Yona of the Dawn Volume 31 slows the pace down because the story needs it. The characters and readers both haven’t had a chance to breathe, let alone really talk to each other in a good chunk of chapters. While it may not be the most titillating in terms of action, Kusanagi still has ways of keeping readers on the edge of their seats.

Okay, okay, let’s get to the elephant in the room: Yona confessed to Hak. Hak realized he was not dreaming…kind of. Their awkwardness is adorable, especially since Yona cannot initially speak due to the throat injury she sustained from the fire. While the rest of their found family can read the two like books, both Yona and Hak are hopeless when it comes to reading each other. While it adds a great layer of comedy to the romance, it also comes from a real and tender place. Both of these kids wanted to respect the others’ trauma, and never wanted to force feelings. They went so hard on respecting each others’ emotional consent that now it is difficult for them to process that they both have the “okay” to be in love with the other.

On the political side of things, everyone may have played nice for the battle, but once again the positive results have a ripple effect across the country. Keishuk knows immediately that there is no way Hak can be branded as a criminal after leading the troops to victory and earning their trust. Additionally, Keishuk admits that Hak’s physical and tactical prowess make him essentially an unmatched warrior in this lifetime. All of this means that Keishuk is back to his scheming in Yona of the Dawn Volume 31.

Keishuk’s motives are still unclear, but through comments made by various characters, a picture is put together. Whether it is clearer is up to the reader. The mysterious man claims to not be involved in the coup and Su-won’s reign for personal gain, but out of admiration for Su-won’s father. As far as we know, Su-won’s dad wasn’t a great guy…so that isn’t the greatest endorsement. Additionally, Keishuk seems completely unbothered by whatever trauma he has to put Yona through to achieve these goals.

Yona of the Dawn Volume 31 indeed sees Yona begin to confront that trauma, and Kusanagi beautifully makes our heroine’s journey come full circle to illustrate her growth. This isn’t to say she is unaffected. In fact, facing her trauma is difficult to witness as a reader. However, a lot of this volume focuses on how Yona and Hak have realized they have a family they want to protect, and they are willing to stare Hiryuu Palace in the face.

It isn’t just them. The Four Dragon Warriors are also realizing what this family has done for them. Even centuries-old Zeno is breaking out of his shell, which the gents notice. The developments are so subtle that it sometimes takes a clever side comment from a character to make readers really reflect on how far they’ve come. Once again, this is brilliant work on Kusanagi’s part.

Yona of the Dawn Volume 31 may feel slower for some, but that is only because breathing room is needed. A lot of weight is given to the characters reflecting on how far they’ve come and where they’d like to go. It is a necessary addition to the story in order to move forward. Also: YONA SAID, “I LOVE YOU” AT LAST. Enough said.

Yona of the Dawn Volume 31 goes on sale on August 3rd wherever books are sold.

Yona of the Dawn Volume 31
4.5

TL;DR

Yona of the Dawn Volume 31 may feel slower for some, but that is only because breathing room is needed. A lot of weight is given to the characters reflecting on how far they’ve come and where they’d like to go. It is a necessary addition to the story in order to move forward. Also: YONA SAID, “I LOVE YOU” AT LAST. Enough said.