Review of "Yona of the Dawn Part 1 (Blu-ray)"

published 30/07/2016 | Dentolux
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Super
Pro Strong female lead. Well-animated fantasy themed action.
Cons The Blu Ray pack is expensive. Some of the later episodes get a bit silly.
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"Yona of the Dawn (Part One) - Legend of the Crimson Princess"

I think scissors would be better for cutting hair.

I think scissors would be better for cutting hair.

Yona, the sixteen year old protagonist of Akatsuki no Yona, is the only daughter of Kouka Kingdom's peace loving monarch. Blessed (or should that be cursed) with a head of ginger locks, she lives a pampered life at the palace where she spends her days swooning over cousin Soo-won. Their potential romance ends one fateful night however when Yona visits her father's chambers only to discover that Soo-won has assassinated the king, with a well placed sword blade through the chest. After witnessing the murder Yona flees the castle pursued by forces loyal to Soo-won, who are eager to silence the royal teen - lest she pose a threat to their master who has now taken over Kouka's throne.

OVERVIEW

Based on Mizuho Kusanagi's manga, Yona of the Dawn is a fantasy series set within a world modelled after ancient Korea. The twenty-four-episode anime has been adapted for the small screen by Studio Pierrot, whose previous work includes the filler-tastic Bleach. Yona stars the titular princess turned fugitive who is on a quest to recruit the aid of four Dragon Warriors (not to be confused with the deck currently dominating Hearthstone.) She hopes the fabled fighters will help her oppose Soo-won's rule, although only time will tell if that is a wise move. Despite being guilty of a despicable act there are hints suggesting that Soo-won's actions may be motivated by justifiable revenge and a desire to protect his impoverished homeland from the threat of neighbouring nations.

The dozen episodes collected in Part One deal with the aftermath of Soo-won's coup d'etat and the start of Yona's countrywide journey. Accompanying the princess is her protector, childhood friend and potential love interest Son Hak; a mighty general who (even under the effects of poison) can singlehandedly decimate an entire battalion worth of troops with a single swish of his spear. The pair eventually team up with an orphan named Yun who happens to be an accomplished cook, apothecary and sandal maker. For fashion's sake I hope that Yun's patrons refrain from wearing socks with the shoes he weaves - if you ask me there's nothing more ghastly than someone who sports a sandals/socks combo on their feet.

VERDICT

My rating for Yona of the Dawn (Part One) is a four out of five. Thus far the show has been a treat to watch thanks to its entertaining cast of characters, which includes a strong female lead (who on the DVD box art resembles Himura Kenshin.) Yona starts the series off as a spoiled rich girl, but as the storyline progresses she matures into someone who no longer wishes to be dependent on the generosity of others. She has even acquired a bow, during one of the later episodes, which she intends to use in battle. How much assistance she can offer her companions during combat remains to be seen though. Due to a lack of training Yona is unable to hit stationary objects with an arrow, much less kill living targets; be they enemy soldiers or adorable woodland creatures for food.

Hopefully the show's quality won't dip in the second half. One concern I have is that the plot has slowly begun to transition away from a character driven political tale to a goofier reverse harem, focusing more on the antics of the effeminate hunks who have banded with Yona. For the most part I am okay with the comedy provided by Hak's banter, but I could have done without some of the silly slapstick. Another complaint, which may dissuade buyers from picking up the series, is that Amazon is selling the Blu Ray/DVD combo pack for a little over £40. That's rather extortionate for a half season set containing a mere twelve episodes. I pray that future Funimation UK releases will be more generously priced. Much like Yona's hair colour, over costed anime makes me see red.


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Comments on this review

  • anonymili published 18/08/2016
    Haven't watched any anime in a while... Good stuff.
  • IzzyS published 14/08/2016
    Good review.
  • torr published 09/08/2016
    Well reviewed.
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Product Information : Yona of the Dawn Part 1 (Blu-ray)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

EAN: 5037899068335

Genre: Action/Adventure

Video Category: Anime

Country Of Origin: Japan

DVD Region: Blu-ray

Main Language: English\\Japanese

Classification: 15 years and over

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