Always be yourself, unless you can be a Dragon Warrior, then be a Dragon Warrior.
Set in a fictional place that draws inspiration from a mixture of Japanese, Korean and Chinese cultures, the story follows the redemption of Yona, the sole princess to the Kingdom of Kouka. Yona lives the carefree life of a princess in Hiryuu Castle, being sheltered by her pacifistic father, King Il, and protected by her bodyguard and childhood friend Son Hak. During a party being held for her sixteenth birthday, her other childhood friend and love interest Soo-Won comes to pay tribute to her. Intending to tell her father that she cannot forget her love for Soo-Won, she visits King Il’s chambers and witnesses him being killed by Soo-Won, who reveals that he will now properly rule Kouka. Hak intervenes and saves Yona, and they escape from the castle to Hak’s birthplace, the Village of Wind. Under the suggestion of Hak’s grandfather Son Mundok, Yona and Hak search for an oracle named Ik-Soo, who then tells them the legend of the first king of Kouka, Hiryuu, and the Four Dragon Warriors who unified the kingdom. Yona and Hak, joined by Ik-Soo’s assistant Yoon, begin a journey to find the descendants of the legendary Four Dragon Warriors in order to survive and save the Kingdom of Kouka.
Review: / 5
This anime is solid in the fantasy/romance/adventure&action arenas. Its components are authentic to the genres in which it operates. You like dragons? We got dragons! You like princesses? We got princesses! You like love triangles? We got a bloody pentagon! I might even go so far as to call it a reverse-harem anime, since most of the Dragon Warriors have a thing for Yona.
Speaking of Yona, her character development is believable, well paced and true to her values. It takes her episodes to master archery, rather than one, and we frequently see her practicing at night to hone her skill. Her humility and tenacity make her endearing; her firey nature makes her strong and spunky. Her journey from feeble to fierce is one we see repeatedly in these animes, but it’s one that works.
Where this anime falls short is in the pacing in terms of plot resolution. We spend the majority of the plot with the blue and green dragon arcs, and Zeno, my little Buttercup of a boy, comes in out of the blue:
Like, hey homies, I’m the yellow Dragon Warrior. Whaddup?
Not only that, but there’s not the binding scene that the others had: where was the dragon voice in his head? The rush of blood? Why is he so different? It’s probably the case that the creators felt we would get another season and were trying to pace it out with that in mind, which is great and all, except we don’t have another season. We’re left with no resolution: no boss battle, no revenge, nada. Just the gang together and they’re gonna do important stuff that we don’t get to see. Boo! BOO HISS BOO!
If this plot/pacing issue was resolved, this series would get a solid four. Give me my second season!
What did you guys think? Let me know in the comments below!
Watch on, Annieme-niac!