That sounds about right.
— Yun seems offended that Yona doesn’t know anything. In particular, she doesn’t know why Ik-su was driven away from the castle. But then again, she was, up until the events in this series, a 15-year-old girl (I know she’s 16 now) who has never exposed herself to anything remotely political. Why would she know anything about Ik-su? Yeah, she should know this stuff if she intends to reclaim her kingdom. She should know a lot of things. But she has never entertained the idea of ruling her kingdom before, so I don’t really see the point in making her feel guilty over any of this. Identify the problem, then fix the problem. What happened or didn’t happen in the past is irrelevant.
— I think if I was as bandaged up as Hak, the last thing I would want is to hear Yona screeching in my ears to hang on. Just saying…
— Considering the medical technology back then, Hak would very likely die from just sepsis alone. But hey, he’s the super strong and powerful general, so I’m sure he’ll be fine!
— I get it. Yun doesn’t like the princess, and he reveals later that he doesn’t like rulers or nobles of any sort. To be honest, I don’t care for her or her ilk either. But there’s no need to be quite so rude to her face when her friend can possibly die before her very eyes.
— Yun infodumps on us on why priests are no longer as influential as they once were. There’s nothing too surprising here.
— Ik-su once fell into a depression because he couldn’t help everyone. There’s a lot of people like him, i.e. talented individuals who would make great doctors or nurses. Unfortunately, they can’t desensitize themselves to all the suffering, so they have to quit these careers. It’s unfortunate, but there’s not much you can do about it.
— In the middle of the night, Hak gets up and walks about in his bandages. Yep, this screams infection to me. But in magical fantasy shoujo land, he’s now perfectly healthy and safe enough to pick up his weapon and tease Yona.
— Out of nowhere, he tries to lean in and kiss Yona, but she simply headbutts him back. She claims she was just trying to feel his forehead with her own, though. Uh-huh. I bet she still has feelings for Su-won anyway, which is a bit maddening in my books. Hak bitterly observes that she still hasn’t thrown away the hairpin that Su-won had given her. I understand how he feels, but at the same time, he’s afraid to make his true feelings be known. So y’know, I can’t sympathize that much with the guy. I’m straight-forward. I don’t like these drawn-out romances where these characters feel the need to hide their love for each other. It’s stupid.
— I swear to God, though, if Yona is still all dokidoki if and when she runs into Su-won later…
— The next day, Yona looks for Ik-su and sees him crying near a waterfall. Apparently, he had a dream about her and the fate of the world. Ahhhhhh, more infodumping. Long story short, Yona is the reincarnation of some red dragon. But in order for her to rise to power and reclaim her kingdom, she’ll need to gather four other dragons. Good lord. It’s like an RPG. And the dragons are all bishies too. C’mon, we couldn’t have one or two of them be girls? I know Yona’s a girl, but still…
— I just think there’s a better way to convey the same information without having these characters prattle on and on. And if you think this is literally the only way, then you have no imagination. For instance, Ik-su could merely give Yona something to drink, which would her in a deep sleep. Then in her deep slumber, she has a dream that suggests — without too many words, mind you — that she goes on a quest to find the four dragons. That’s just one quick example. I think a professional writer, given lots of time, should come up with something a whole lot better. The point is, we do not literally need to have these characters stand around and talk our ears off.
— Hiryuu’s origin story is handled a bit better. At least we actually see the guy converse with the four dragons. I could’ve done with less narration from the late King Il, though. Let the visuals tell the story. I promise you that the audience is not dumb. You don’t need to hold our hands through a creation myth. Yes, the late King Il was reading a story to his daughter, but we don’t need to hear him read the entire story.
— Ik-su argues that Hak will die if he tries to protect Yona by his lonesome. Hak doesn’t buy any of this, but it doesn’t really matter what he thinks. Our princess is calling the shots. And besides, this series would be awfully short if she didn’t. She also wants him to teach her how to fight. I still rather see her be on her own for a while, but this is like the third week in a row that I’ve said this, so this is the last time I’ll mention it.
— That night, Yona tries to throw away the hairpin… but she can’t. If I was Hak, I would never fall in love with someone who can’t seem to move on from their former love. Pining for someone who has feelings for someone else… I would consider that beneath me. But I’m not a hot bishie, so what do I know?
— I know a lot of people love it when the two love interests tease each other constantly, but I just find it weird. I’m not saying I’ve never teased my girlfriend or vice versa, but man, I can’t ever see myself doing it that much.
— Ik-su suddenly shows up and says he has one final request for our heroes. The way the anime suddenly cuts to Yun suggests to me that he wants Yun to tag along with Yona and Hak, but we’ll see in next week’s episode.
I actually find the dialogue this episode to be incredibly interesting. Ik-su very deftly manipulates Yona every step of the way.
First let’s look at Yona’s argument:
Having experienced what she recently has, “her blood is boiling in her veins” ->
She will not have others controlling her anymore; she will pick her own path and she doesn’t need you, priest. ->
Her path is living peacefully, protecting herself and Hak.
Now the priest tackles each of those for his own benefit:
A. Yona’s “hot bloodedness” is newfound self-worth, survival instincts, self-importance, confidence, and willingness to act. Ik-su preys on the narcissitic aspect of those. He aggrandizes the image Yona has of herself. She has survived miraculously thus far by god’s intervention – she’s a chosen one. He even alludes to her being the reincarnation of the king from the creation myth.
This sets the ground for C (I know I skipped). She being oh so influential and important and whatnot has no grasp of what havoc her actions will cause – however modest – and therefore Hak will be in danger. But fear not, there is a surefire method to protect him, just gather the legendary heroes.
And finally there’s B. Ik-su gives her a way out and essentially to backpedal. Walking your path successfully is a great feat by itself. Who cares who ultimately chose it in the first place?
Also you can’t discount all the preparatory work the priest and his assistant did on her beforehand to give him credibility and his words importance:
Ik-su is a gentle priest who cries over the poor and unfortunate.
While Yona was living cozily in her ivory tower Ik-su was wronged by her household right under her nose.
Priests are powerful individuals who had to be banished due to their influence. And consequently, they are not corrupt crackpots.
I hope this makes sense.
Or maybe he was just telling the truth. I don’t think there’s enough information to work with to decide either way.
The truth needs to be convincing too… But yeah.
Can chalk it up to basic writing.
I meant to say that regardless of whether he was telling the truth or not he needed to be convincing, and he managed to be.
I love that you keep putting yourself in Hak’s shoes. I also agree about how annoying it is that Yona won’t get over THE GUY WHO MURDERED HER DAD! Good grief. Great review\thoughts. :)
I think it’s more about her not getting over the feeling of betrayal of their friendship. I wouldn’t expect her to be doki doki about Soo Won when she meets him again – but I expect her to ask him “Why?” (ok, he already gave kind of an explanation but that was sort of half-assed and I doubt it was the full truth).
I wouldn’t hold onto a hairpin just because I haven’t gotten over a betrayal.
Hm, yeah, but I expect it to become a sort of symbol. She was about to throw it away, so maybe it’s not gotten to the status of “reminder” in her mind – not an object of longing, but one which represents the reason she’s fighting for and the wrong which she received? We’ll see I guess. If she’s still in love with Soo Won that makes no friggin’ sense, of course, but I think the show is generally smarter than that.
I’ll keep this comment in mind for when they inevitably meet up again.