Akatsuki no Yona Ep. 5: Strike a pose

Akatsuki no Yona - 0506

Who’s actually watching this show with me? Anyone? Anyone at all? Bueller…?

— I guess it’s supposed to be an ongoing joke that Heang-dea is dead even when he’s clearly not. Haha? In any case, he got back in time with the medicine, so Hak’s otouto is going to be alright, you guys. I know everyone was deathly afraid that the kid might die, but fear not. This still doesn’t change the fact that Hak plans to leave Fuuga for an indefinite amount of time, though. I don’t think it’s a great plan, because he’s basically leaving Yona to hide away from public view like some sort of caged bird, but then again, I guess she is the princess. It just doesn’t like much of a life to me.

— The situation with the Fire Tribe is pretty bad. Yep, those merchants got bloodied up just for daring to sell water and various other supplies to the Wind Tribe. Basically, this is a barbaric world where shit like this can be expected. Yona suddenly thinks to herself, “Can you allow this, Su-won?” I think her anger is misplaced. Su-won didn’t say, “Go oppress people!” The leaders of the Fire Tribe did this because they’ve always looked down on people below them. My point is that even if Yona reclaims her kingdom one day, it won’t do much of anything. You can make it a crime to hurt others, but that just means they won’t do it out in the open. Why have class differences at all? That’s where the problem truly lies.

— Heang-dea tries to comfort Yona by telling her that everything’s going to be okay as long as the young lord and the elder are around. So as a lower class citizen, all you can do is hope that your lord doesn’t treat you like shit. You also have to hope he’s gracious enough to protect you from the bad lords. It’s too bad Hak is planning to leave his family. But of course, I don’t expect to see a people’s revolution in this story. We’re supposed to just sit back, root for Yona to become a warrior princess, and assume that her rule will be perfect.

Akatsuki no Yona - 0512

— I’m not ranting. I just don’t see the harm in saying these things. No, I’m not think that the anime is immoral or anything. I just don’t want to pretend that everyone would be A-OK if people were simply governed by a benevolent ruler.

— I like the name Rina better than Yona.

— It’s pretty obvious that Hak had just said his goodbyes to his otouto. And now, the otouto has to say his goodbyes to Yona. Actually, I think it’s pretty silly that Hak made Tae-yeon promise to protect Yona. I know it’s not a serious promise, but c’mon, he’s literally just a kid. Kids don’t know better. Tae-yeon clearly took the promise seriously since he started crying afterwards. I’m just saying… Hak unknowingly put a lot of pressure on a young, sickly kid. Yeah, Hak assumed Yona would just be a good, little girl and stay hidden away, and as a result, Tae-yeon could feel as though he did his job. But this assumption is bad, too! Give the damn princess some agency!

— Yona runs up to a leaving Hak and announces that she wants to leave. She then commands him to come with her. Oh you kids….

— Our princess then tries to argue with Hak over whether or not she should stay at Fuuga, but I think the whole thing is silly. At the end of the day, she’s not truly independent, because her debate with Hak implies that she can’t do anything without him anyway. As a result, she has to convince him to accompany her. In the ideal world, she’d just blaze her own path, and he can come with if he wants. In fact, I’d like to see that alternative storyline. Yona goes on her own journey, recruits her own allies, then when she and Hak cross paths in the future, Hak is forced to admit that he was wrong about her. Alas, this isn’t what we get. Instead, Yona changes Hak’s mind now, so he’ll continue protecting her for the rest of the series. Sure, it isn’t realistic to think that a sheltered princess can go on a journey all by her lonesome. But at the same time, we always say fiction this and fiction that, so it’s okay to suspend our disbelief. So why can’t we make a fantasy story in which the heroine takes charge without always receiving significant help from the male love interest, realism be damned?

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— And everything has to be a dokidoki moment. Like this stupid shit above. And then this.

— That’s basically her argument. Hurr hurr just give yourself to me. And that shit somehow worked.

— Now, we have the obligatory goodbyes with Mun-deok. So much for seeking help from the Wind Tribe. And like some sort of JRPG, Mun-deok tells our heroes to seek out some mysterious priest who lives somewhere within the Wind Tribe’s territory. Oooh, how mysterious! Right on cue, the bad guys spot our princess and her servant.

— But first, we must discuss sleeping arrangements! It’ll get cold in the wild, but it’s okay! Yona says she’ll just snuggle up against Hak! In return, however, Hak will play pranks on her! Pranks like this one! Dokidoki. I can’t believe we interrupted the story for this.

— The sound mixing is still terrible. I can’t hear anyone talk unless I turn the volume all the way up and let the music blast my eardrums.

— But the bad guys have caught up to our lovebirds. Luckily, Hak is overpowered, so he can face down 50 people all by his lonesome.

— Honestly, you can’t just say, “Whatever I do now has nothing to do with the Wind Tribe,” and expect that shit to fly. Bad guys aren’t exactly considerate. Oh, you’re no longer Son Hak? Well, pardon me, I guess I’ll stop picking on your peopl–… tut tut, silly me! They used to be your people! Ha ha!

— Even as Hak protects the princess, he has to comment on her weight. But don’t follow in his footsteps, kids. Unless you’re a hot bishie who can defeat fifty soldiers on your own, I don’t think your “good-humored teasing” will be very effective.

Akatsuki no Yona - 0507

— But of course, our princess trips and leaves herself vulnerable. As a result, the normally invincible Hak has to throw his entire body in front of Yona in order to block the arrow. He was having no trouble hitting those arrows away with his weapon just earlier. Why couldn’t he do that now? Well duh, he has to get hit so we can see this awesome pose. This episode is literally comprised of a bunch of cool poses from Hak.

— Okay, this isn’t so cool.

— Hak tells Yona to hide, but she doesn’t want to be a burden on him. As a result, she become action girl, and shoves a soldier off a cliff. Wow! But meh, the only reason why Hak even got hurt in the first place was because of her. In the end, he protects her 95% of the time, and she protects him 5% of the time. That’s why I think it would’ve been better if she was on her own for a while. It’s just not as impactful if Yona learns to become independent when she spends 99% of her time glued to Hak.

— Somehow, Yona has really compelling eyes, and they bend her enemies to her will. Sure.

— Then the episode just comes to an end. Oh well. See you guys next week… all five of you.


18 Replies to “Akatsuki no Yona Ep. 5: Strike a pose”

  1. I’m watching. In fact, it’s among my favourites this season (along with Parasyte and Kokkuri-san).

    Asking the kid to protect the girl is a bit of a cliché. It’s the way you train the boys into grow into their rightful gender-roles, I suppose. It’s part of my anime auto-filter. I barely notice it any more.

  2. I watch and I like it.

    I think Yona’s character progression is believable. She’s never been allowed to hold a weapon before so she can’t just turn into a warrior and protect herself. I know it would be more interesting for her to be able to protect herself, but that’s not the way her character was set up. What’s bothering is that everyone else already seems to be at level 100 while Yona is starting out on level 1. So things like stepping up and protecting Hak by knocking that guy off the cliff are a pretty big deal, but they look pretty pale in comparison to Hak slicing through 20 arrows. I still like the choice have her character develop this way though. I find her very likable.

    As for the romantic shots, they don’t really bug me. Maybe it’s Yona’s nonchalant attitude towards it all. I’m so used to heroines losing their minds over a an obviously teasing comment. If it legitimately hurt her feelings, I’d be annoyed, but she just treats it like friendly banter. Maybe it’s just my experience with my friends but this seems pretty normal. Although I’m not sure what that says about my friends ha.

    1. She’s never been allowed to hold a weapon before so she can’t just turn into a warrior and protect herself.

      I acknowledge that. At the same time, I’d rather see her learn the ropes by herself.

      If it legitimately hurt her feelings, I’d be annoyed, but she just treats it like friendly banter.

      I feel she should be offended.

  3. Too many job orders recently, so I have to cut down on watching anime.
    And this Korean drama is one of the victim.
    While it’s not bad, it’s also not interesting enough.
    I might watch it in one ago after things settled down.

    Currently only watch Kaito, AgK, UBW, PP II, Amagi, Chaika II, and Parasyte.
    No Bahamut since I am racist against afro.

  4. I’m also watching every week. Shoujo or no this series is surprisingly decent, though I could do a few less flashbacks and little more politicking between the different clans. Alas, I’m sure we’re doomed to see them form into one kingdom under Su-Won and turn Yona into a Robin Hood figure by destroying the Wind Tribe, but… one can hope.

  5. Glad that I’m not the only one noticing the bad sound mixing. While it was bad this episode it was a lot better than the last. Never really sat down and watched a Korean drama before so this is kinda new to me.

    Apart from some of Hak’s jokes like the one in the second pic the dialogue in the show is pretty good. Also the main characters are pretty likeable.

  6. I’m actually really liking it. It’s slow, but never boring, so it feels very deliberate. Somehow it reminds me a little of Avatar. I also love how Yona’s response to her trauma wasn’t overwrought or anything. She didn’t go catatonic, but it was clear that she was heavily affected by it. I also like how she came to her own decisions this episode without Hak’s input or help.

    I’d like her to break away and be badass on her own, sure, but like the other poster said, she’s starting from level one. More like 0.5 actually, since most level one characters actually get a stick to hit things with. She has no weapons training, so she’s going to have to learn from the ground up, and I’m excited to see where that goes.

    Her banter with Hak, while his comments are tired jokes, feel more natural than the typical anime response (the pervert slap or loud freak-out) so it actually feels more like people who’ve been friends for a long time teasing each other and talking it out. The flirting is annoying, though. Not my thing.

    The main complaint I have are the lack of prominent female characters (come on, you have magic dragons but no lady fighters?) especially since this author’s other big series, NG Life, has a pretty even male/female split with some great female characters. Also the sound effects and BGM are just…ugh. Reminds me of this scene from Singin in the Rain, especially at 1:43.

    Anyway, sorry about the long post. I have a lot of thoughts about this show, but it never seems like a good time to say them.

    1. I agree with the lack of female characters and from what I’ve seen I don’t think it’ll get any better. I can get over it if they continue to fill the anime with well rounded characters, though. I’d rather see that than just token characters (aka the token girl best friend, the jealous bully of other shoujo).

      And I totally agree about the banter. See Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso and Ookami Shoujo To Kuro Ouji for horribly abusive banter disguising itself as playful romance. Akatsuki no Yona is a breath of fresh air in comparison.

    2. More like 0.5 actually, since most level one characters actually get a stick to hit things with. She has no weapons training, so she’s going to have to learn from the ground up, and I’m excited to see where that goes.

      I’d still like to see her on her own. She can start at level 1, but she doesn’t have to stay glued to him.

      it actually feels more like people who’ve been friends for a long time teasing each other and talking it out.

      I guess I would never tease my friends like that.

  7. I am still reading the manga, I won’t watch because one of the reasons I like the manga is the pretty art and the production values of this show are not very good.
    The downside, or upside depending on your point of view, is that I know what’s coming, I’ll always know what’s coming.
    Anyway, I’ll still see you again next week.

  8. That part with the “i’m not Son anymore” line made me think the same. And yes, her way of convincing is tad weak, but this commanding “I want you” made me fuzzy inside – I know it’s silly but still… I think it’s important she doesn’t ask him to let her accompany him but instead demands he comes with her. She doesn’t present herself as a pet but as someone worth protecting. I also liked the fact that Yona didn’t flail like a fool after the “pay with your body” line but simply went on with her business.

    1. I think it’s important she doesn’t ask him to let her accompany him but instead demands he comes with her.

      I suppose I don’t think either option is ideal.

  9. I like your taste. Between your post on Shigatsu’s fourth ep. and this, I’m thinking I might start following this blog.

    I don’t have much to say about your criticisms, though some made me laugh. I’m managing to enjoy the series fairly well… How cool would it have been if Yona had left on her own, though? I would have never expected it (which is sad, because it’s a great idea).

    You’re a little heavy on the cursing, but I like the calling-it-like-it-is style.

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