Akatsuki no Yona Ep. 2: Min-soo is such a bro

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Ooh, would you look at that? It’s Tuesday already, and you know what that means. It’s time to watch our favorite Korean drama disguised as an anime!

— We get a brief recap of last week’s murder, and I can’t help but think how in denial Yona was about the whole thing. Denial in more ways than one, that is. She literally saw Soo-won stab her father, but she still tells him to quickly call a doctor. Why would he do that if he was the one who stabbed her father? And why wouldn’t she call a doctor herself? It’s not like there was anything she can do if she simply stayed by her dying father’s side. Yona is certainly a spoiled princess, and she’s now about to learn what the real world is like in the harshest, cruelest way possible.

— I like how Soo-won gives Yona and thus us a long explanation on why he now hates Yona’s father, and she just sits there and listens. I thought she wanted to call a doctor. Maybe she’s accepted that he’s dead, but it just doesn’t seem consistent.

— But apparently, Yona’s father had killed Soo-won’s father in much the same way Soo-won had killed him. I’m just wondering, however, if Soo-won really saw his father’s murder with his own eyes or if he’s been lied to by people who are conspiring to cause unrest within this kingdom. Hell, even if he saw it with his own eyes, it could be a trick, i.e. someone disguising themselves as Il. I’m not really defending Il or anything; I have no stake in the matter. I’m just wondering if there’s more to the story that we don’t see yet.

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— Still, if Yona’s father really was that evil, this would probably explain why he was so against Yona marrying her cousin. I mean, there are other reasons to not want your daughter to marry her cousin, but this is anime, so they probably don’t care about those reasons. And it wouldn’t be a bad thing necessarily if Il was truly evil, either. It would provide Yona with a subplot where she comes to grips with the fact that perhaps she didn’t know her father as well as she thought she did.

— I read somewhere that the mangaka simply wanted everyone to have international sounding names and not specifically Korean ones. I have yet to hear any name that doesn’t sound Korean, though.

— As Yona runs away from danger, she is still in denial. She can’t believe that her precious Soo-won would kill her father and try to kill her as well. Well, she said it herself that she hadn’t seen the guy in a long time. People change, girl. People certainly change all the time. That’s why it’s always silly when most of these romances focus on characters that are so young (Yona had just turned 16). We undergo a lot changes in both our teens and our twenties, and I’m not just referring to puberty. These are the years in which people often discover who they are or want to be. That’s why most high school relationships often fail, because people often outgrow those relationships. I’m going off-topic, but I’m basically saying that these “Discover your true love!” stories should really focus on adults instead. If you tell me they’re young in order to appeal young people, then I don’t buy that excuse. After all, young people have role models too. Young people don’t need every damn story to feature people around their age. Give young people some credit. They can watch and thus be inspired by adults.

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— Even Hak is in denial about his friend, but hey, at least he didn’t actually witness the murder with his own eyes.

— The ensuing scene is really inelegant, though. Why would Soo-won risk everything and just engage Hak in a duel? Why is Kye-sook just prattling off Hak’s bio like some kind of Wikipedia entry? On the bright side, the duel itself ain’t bad. Hey Mahouka, even a shoujo can get action right! What’s your excuse?

— But thanks to Min-soo’s actions — and they’re rather courageous actions — Hak and Yona get just enough of a distraction to escape the palace. Well, more like Hak escapes the palace with her. The girl is pretty much catatonic during these scenes. Still, t’s too bad Min-soo had to die to save our heroes.

— Before passing out, Yona tells Hak not to die or she won’t forgive him. Uh, okay. I guess we’re back to being a generic anime again.

— Yona understandably regrets how she had treated her father. And now that he’s dead, she won’t be able to make amends. I don’t mind that part. What I dislike, though, is how the anime predictably uses this moment of weakness and vulnerability to play up the now-growing romance between Hak and the princess. I just feel like the tragedy of her father’s death should be respected, and thus not used as a way to get fuzzy romantic points. ‘Cause what ends up happening is that you can’t help but feel as though all bad things happen just to justify a relationship pairing. The tragedy then feels cheap and exploitative.

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— Afterwards, we get a time-lapse for some reason, and it teases how Yona and Hak will reclaim her kingdom. Not only that, she’ll become a warrior princess in her own right, I guess. Okay, you didn’t need to show me this right away, though… I mean, now that I know what’s she’s going to become, is it still as exciting to see how she’ll get to that point? Eh, hard to say…

— Hm, that episode went by quickly. But I guess there’s not much to say when our heroes are just making their getaway.

— Next week’s episode looks to be all about Yona and Hak when they were children. He was a tsundere kid, huh?


6 Replies to “Akatsuki no Yona Ep. 2: Min-soo is such a bro”

  1. I’m pretty sure next week they will go throught the obligatory bishounen gathering. In fact, it was kind of unexpected that the second part of the episode wasn’t about that.

  2. I’m putting my money down on it now: The rival political faction manipulated BishiCousin to kill RedHead’s dad, and when BishiCousin finds out he’s going to sacrifice his life for RedHead, likely by shielding her from a dozen spears or hundreds of arrows or something.

    1. As soon as she discovers that Hak is really super rich. But then his mom doesn’t approve of their relationship, so she drinks bleach or something.

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