Yona of the Dawn, Manga Recommendation of the Week!

Article at a glance:

  • Yona of the Dawn offers an intricate storyline with excellent world-building, exploring various locations and maintaining a strong narrative pace.
  • The protagonist, Yona, evolves significantly from a naive princess to a capable leader, with well-written supporting characters and a compelling antagonist.
  • The manga features stunning artwork, including detailed character designs and a captivating fantasy Chinese aesthetic.

I’ll never understand why the anime adaptation of this manga never got a 2nd season. Because the manga is doing well both critically and commercially, and it’s not like the anime adaptation was bad or anything like that. I’ve seen worse mangas get multiple seasons of the anime adaptation. And yet, it seems like we will never see a Yona of the Dawn Season 1. But oh well, we can always read the manga, and the manga in this case is really good, so that helps.

So welcome back to another edition of our manga recommendation series. And this week we are talking about Yona of the Dawn or Akatsuki no Yona, whichever title you prefer. Let’s get into it!

Check out the manga on Amazon here!

Introduction

Yona of the Dawn is written and illustrated by Kusanagi Mizuho. It has been serialized in the Hana to Yume magazine since August 2009 and is still ongoing. As of February this year, it has 43 volumes and the 44th one should be coming out later this year as well. Yes, it does have an anime adaptation by Studio Pierrot. And while the anime adaptation is perfectly good, it only covers a fraction of the manga. I mean, the anime adaptation ended like 9 years ago in 2015 and the manga is still ongoing. So you can imagine just how much more the manga has to offer.

Plot

The kingdom of Kouka was once ruled by a Red Dragon in human form and by his side were 4 warriors who also had dragon powers. Over time, this tale became a legend. Yona is a sheltered princess who lives a lavish life and is unaware of the issues beyond the castle walls. But the person she likes, Su-Won stages a bloody coup and murders her father, forcing Yona to run away with her bodyguard, Hak. Yona still wants to reclaim her kingdom though and she is guided by the exiled priest to find the 4 dragon warriors from the legend.

And so, Yona and Hak set off on the journey to find these mythical dragon warriors. The plot has multiple things it excels in. The world it creates is interesting. It is thoroughly explored, we get to see all kinds of locations in the manga and the world-building in general is great. The pacing is pretty good as well. And finally, there is a reason behind almost everything. And I love it when plots do that.

Characters

Yona’s growth is very closely tied to the plot. She grows tremendously as a character as the plot goes on and it makes sense considering her circumstances. From a naive princess to a capable leader, her character arc is amazing. Aside from her Hak and the four dragon warriors, Shin-ah, Zeno, Jae-ha and Ki-ja are all quite well-written and their interactions are hilarious at times. Su-won makes for a great antagonist as well, he had his reasons for what he did and that just makes him better as a character in my opinion.

Art

The art design of Akatsuki no Yona is just beautiful. Everything from the character designs to the locations is really well done and the manga goes all in on that fantasy Chinese aesthetic, it is very pleasing. The art itself is also quite good.

Summing Up

Here’s why you should read Yona of the Dawn:

  • Amazing plot
  • Great world-building
  • Solid character development
  • Good art

Let me know what you guys think in the comments and I am off to play some more Elden Ring. See ya!

Also, check out this week’s anime recommendation here!

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