Thursday, March 8, 2018

RTFB Manga Edition, Vol. 1: Yona of the Dawn, Vols. 1-9

I've recently been getting manga ARCs to review and I've been trying to figure out the best format to review past volumes of the series that have more than five volumes. So I'm going to be trying a Read This F@!%ing Book type format for these longer series. I think it will work great but it will work especially the best for series that aren't completed because I can come back and write another post like this for the next few volumes in the series. So let's see how this works, shall we?

Yona of the Dawn, Vols. 1-9
(Click book cover to go to Goodreads page)

Today, I'm going to be reviewing one of my most favorite manga series ever, Yona of the Dawn. This is the first in a long line of series where the anime is what inspired me to pick the manga up.  

Yona is a shoujo manga that currently has twenty-five volumes out in Japan of which ten of those have been translated to English. The current translation release schedule is such that we get a new volume every other month.

Okay. I'm going to admit now that I have a soft spot for reverse harem stories and Yona of the Dawn is hands down my all-time favorite out of the ones I've read. It starts out a bit slow and a bit cliche but by the third volume I was in for the long haul. It’s just SO good. And the anime is freaking fantastic!

Best Rendering of a Common Story Trope.
While the story/idea behind this manga is not an original one in the manga world, it is one of the best versions of that idea I've ever read. Yona is the story of a former spoiled princess on the run after witnessing her father's murder. This series is all about her adventures in learning how to fight and gathering the descendants of the legendary Four Dragons to regain her throne. It's full of action, laughs, and a swoon-worthy slow burn romance! The way this manga mixes history, mystics, and comedy is what truly makes it a masterpiece. Add in that subtle touch of romance every now and then and you can't help but be hooked.

The Characters are A+ Awesome.
The story is intriguing but the characters are what makes this anime so great. I adore all seven of them! They are rather lively and likeable, while also being unique and interesting in their own ways. Every character has a different personality, some even being from tropes you don’t see all that often in other series. What I love is that each character has their own story and they only push the narrative and the character development forward.

Yona is pretty much one of my favorite female characters of all time, she starts off weak and fragile and becomes this independent, strong, and caring leader. Her development is done in a such a way that it feels realistic. She's not immediately a badass and has to rely on Hak, who IS a goddamn badass, a lot in the beginning.

I love the interactions that Yona has with Hak and the Four Dragons and the interactions they have with each other! The character development in Yona alone from the beginning makes it worth the read but the other characters also have just as great arcs. *hugs Shin-Ah hard* I could probably write an essay on each of this characters and I'd do it gladly!

Yona and Hak, the Most Shippable of Ships.
Okay. That tagline is a bit misleading. While there are some hints of a romance between Hak and Yona, it's not the main focus of the story. But I am here for it! And that romance is not what I love the most about them. They've been friends since they've been young and they're loyal to each other despite the fact that they tend to drive one another crazy at times. They truly care for each other and will try to protect each other even though Hak is technically Yona's designated guardian. They would do anything to help the other and it's just a really nice thing to see in a manga. I ship it! I ship it so hard!

The Anime is Definitely Worth A Watch!
I watch a lot of anime but I don't often add physical copies to my anime collection. I own both seasons of Yona of the Dawn on blu-ray because I love it so much. The adaptation from the manga is practically perfect and the animation is beautiful. I can't recommend it enough. It ranks high in my list of top five favorite animes of all-time.

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