I could’ve dropped this show, but there’s really nothing else to watch on Tuesdays.
— The characters go on and on about how the villagers had intended to trap Yona underground, but what does that even entail? What else is weird about this village? What might we find in the lowest depths of the caves? I mean, there’s potentially a lot to explore here, but the anime doesn’t really oblige. I would have liked to have seen the story explore the bizarre village a bit further.
— In fact, Akatsuki no Yona could use a whole lot more world-building, and that’s not usually something that you’ll often hear me say. I generally think that a lot of shows tend to overdo it with the world-building, but this particular anime actually doesn’t do it enough. It actually opts instead to drag its feet. Our heroes often love to just sit around and joke with each other for episodes and episodes on end.
— Yun painfully explains to his allies that the villagers here don’t exactly revere the Blue Dragon. In fact, they might actually hate him! Naw, really? The truth is, the guy is only a genius because the rest of the characters are a bit slow.
— So the plan is to look for the Blue Dragon again, but Hak has to stay behind and watch the villagers or something. There’s this painfully possessive moment between the Thunder Beast and the princess, but naturally, the girl’s completely oblivious to Hak’s true feelings.
— It’s just the same old shit over and over again. X loves Y, but Y is too innocent and pure-minded to even realize it. She’s 16, she’s been in love before — hell, you can argue that she probably still has feelings for her cousin — and yet, she’s got no goddamn clue how much Hak loves her. It’s just ridiculous.
— On the plus side, Yona at least admits that she depends on Hak too much. As a result, she tries to look for the Blue Dragon on her own. She’s still surrounded by two other helpers, so she’s not exactly relying on her own strength or anything, though.
— Eventually, Yona and Yun stumbles upon the Blue Dragon, and the princess stirs up strange, new feelings in the latter. W-what’s going on?! If you’re like me, you will no doubt feel that the story’s pacing has ground to a halt. I’m getting the feeling that the Blue Dragon’s story won’t be resolved by the end of the episode. We’re really going to spend three episodes on this guy.
— Apparently, Yona’s prospective recruit has no name. He’s simply the Blue Dragon. That just means the princess will get to name him later like a pet. Still, that fat squirrel is the best thing about the last couple of episodes.
— This encounter in a nutshell:
Blue Dragon: “Blah blah blah, my power is cursed. I’m cursed. I’m dangerous. I must stay hidden in this cave forever and ever and ever…”
Yona: “But your hands, though!”
That’s all Yona needs. She’s never met the guy before, and she knows nothing about him… but his hands!!!
— Rebuffed by the Blue Dragon, Yona returns to the trap door empty handed. There, she sees that Gi-Ja has been keeping himself busy by holding back a bunch of dagger-wielding villagers. All of a sudden, a convenient earthquake strikes and everyone’s trapped.
— The story seems to imply that Hak and Yona has some sort of telepathic connection whenever she’s in danger. Unfortunately, if I know my Pokemon, thunder isn’t very effective against stone.
— Yona bemoans the fact that she’s scared and lost without Hak. Not very independent, huh?
— The villagers continue to blame their woes on the Blue Dragon some more, but it’s nothing we haven’t heard before. You know, they’re cursed by the Blue Dragon, he killed a bunch of soldiers, so on and so forth. The story is just repeating itself now. Like I’ve said before, the pacing is way too slow. We don’t need to spend this much time on each of Yona’s recruits, especially when we have a kingdom to take back.
— As the episode is about to end, the Blue Dragon triumphantly emerges from his dank pit. He’s going to save them all somehow, but not before a scared villager lashes out and knocks the Blue Dragon’s mask off of his head. As a result, Yona has one more thing to marvel about: his eyes, yo!