Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Manga Review: Yona of the Dawn, Volume 1, by Mizuho Kusanagi

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5-4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: August 2016
Volumes: 21+
Spoilers?: Light.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Soo-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when she witnesses her father's murder! Yona reels from the shock of losing her father and having to fight for her life. With Hak's help, she flees the castle and struggles to survive while evading her enemy's forces. But where will this displaced princess go with such an uncertain path before her?


I have read a few of Kusanagi's previous books, so I was looking forward to this being released. I'm glad to say I wasn't disappointed.
Yona, a princess, is in love with her distant cousin. She has been for years, and her bodyguard knows it, but her father will never let anything happen between them. Yona is ready to fight for this, when she's betrayed and her world is thrown out of order in one night, and suddenly she's thrown out, on the run, with only her bodyguard there she can trust.
I wasn't really sure what all this hinting was leading up to, and I can say that I was surprised by the sudden turn of events. It seemed like certain characters were ready to give up their own wants for another person's, and then suddenly everything changed.
I love Hak from the beginning. He's funny, teasing Yona all the time, and yet it's obvious he really does want to protect her. I do hope that Yona gets stronger soon; I like her for the most part, but I want to see her buck up and start fighting back and getting smarter, though it's believable how she's kind of shriveled up given what happened.
The comedy was nicely mixed with the serious moments, and I'm happy about that. Kusanagi has had troubles with that in previous series, and here it's more thoughtfully done. There's teasing to lighten some scenes, and then when it gets serious it does it purposely and well. And when Yona is feeling numb and hurt, it's clear and isn't bothered by humor.
This was a really good starting volume, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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