「紅い髪」 (Akai Kami)
“Red Hair”

That was some fantastic action animation.

I think it’s fair to say now that if you’re not watching Yona, you’re missing out on one of the best shows of the season. Even without the great action this episode, this series has been consistently good and often great. It’s sad that there isn’t much of a following, but I’m not surprised. There’s a lot of stigma associated with the shoujo genre, which is an interesting topic in and of itself. In an extremely simplified view, you tend to either get something good with shoujo themes, or something along the cage route. Unfortunately the cage route is prolific. Whether or not the stigma is justified is irrelevant; the point comes down to the fact that shoujo anime tends to have to “prove itself”, for better or worse, and I think Yona has done a great job of doing just that.

Setting aside the fact that the action was great this episode, there is something even better happening as far as characterization and narrative go. We are witnessing a change in Yona, and as we all learned in middle school, dynamic characters are always better than static ones. But Yona is not the only one undergoing a metamorphosis. Hak and Soo-won are also being depicted as increasingly interesting people whose lives have also been irrevocably changed. But while Hak’s resolution to protect Yona and Soo-won’s ambition to take the throne have strengthened, Yona is still discovering who she is and what she wants outside of her role as a princess. She doesn’t have a lofty ambition, or a particular dream. All she wants is to survive at the moment, and she absolutely doesn’t want to lose Hak in the process.

That’s an interesting dynamic we have here; Yona isn’t just interested in supporting Hak, or in being content to let him protect her. It isn’t really about expressing herself either. She genuinely cares for Hak, and she selfishly (or selflessly, depending on your perspective) doesn’t want to see him die before her eyes. Though he seems a lost cause, surrounded by merciless soldiers and poisoned at the precipice of a cliff, she takes matters into her own hands in the form of Tae-jun’s sword. She doesn’t hesitate for a second to slash off her own hair in order to save Hak (keep in mind that this is a pampered royal girl we’re talking about; if you’ve ever had your hair cut with a blade you know it HURTS), nor does she hesitate to use the sword to show she means business. The fire in her eyes is very real, and she’s mesmerized everyone around her with her newfound ferocity.

Of course, ferocity isn’t a proper replacement for strength or training, and it was pretty clear that even if Yona did get Hak back up, he was never going to survive the Fire Tribe’s attacks. That they fell together was almost a stroke of luck. Injured they may be, but they are still alive and now they have no pursuers. Even more luckily, they’ve been found by the very people they were searching for in the first place, The Priest Ik-soo and his assistant/caretaker Yoon. The latter introduces himself as a self-proclaimed bishounen, while the former proves himself an incredibly ditzy but powerful spiritualist who claims he can speak with God.

In the meantime, Soo-won has been told of Yona’s supposed death, but while his inner self is clearly pained at her loss, he refuses to let the knowledge undo his determination to become king. Whatever Soo-won has done, it’s clear that he has some very strong views on how to be a proper king, and it looks like he’s dead set on seeing them through.




  1. Aaaaah! I really enjoyed this episode. The animation was done really well in the fight scenes here, and Hak’s spear fighting had more detailing. Really loved it.
    This is definitely the show I wait for with the most anticipation each week – manga reader here, too, but seeing it animated so well just gets me so excited!

  2. The fighting was amazing, and as a reader I’m really excited to see the later chapters get animated. I hope the people who had doubts about the show are watching this, because while it was never bad to begin with, it gets better (IMO).One of my favourite episodes so far. Plus, Yoon!

  3. First off Kairi I hope your doing really well and ignoring the messy comments of shi gatsu wa kimi no uso (no need to read negativity)

    Onwards to the episode!! YESSS This is one of my favorite moments in the manga and I have to say Pierrot has really surprised me this season with how they are adapting this series. The animation, fight sequences, music etc I’m so happy that this series is getting a lot of love by the animators. I love that Yona decided to fight against the powers that want to see both her and Hak go down. I’m going to enjoy watching her develop into the character we all know and love in the future. Another aspect is how much I love that the characters are complex people whom all have different motives why they decide to do certain things. Its clear Tae-jun hated Hak but he was sincerely in love with Yona and truly grieved over her supposed death. As for Soo Won its clear he is heart broken that both Yona and Hak are dead (they are not but he does not know the truth), but based on the flash black its clear he knew that their deaths could be one of the many outcomes in his plan. The sad part is he went through with it knowing he was destroying the lives of the people he loved the most. The question is why though? Yes he thinks that King IL killed his father but I have a feeling there is more to the story then either Soo Won and the audience realize about that incident.

    Also Yoon is the voice of the audience when Yona states her and Hak are not lovers and he admits that its too bad. LOL Oh Yoon we have all been saying that for awhile now….

    Show Spoiler ▼

    I do agree Kairi I’m sadden this does not have a huge following but hey that does not mean word of mouth can’t change that ^_^

    1. Thank you so much Hoshi! I am doing much better; as sensitive as I can be about some things, I have a pretty thick skin about others, and most of the readers were very polite and courteous even if they disagreed, so I’m happy about how that turned out. Plus no more toxic things to think about on Thursdays heh.

      And yes, I noticed that, but I’d rather have some of the story told well than all of it told rushed. Hopefully there WILL be more eps but we have to hope really hard for it, the odds are against us. T-T

      1. I agree I want to story to be well told its just I get a little bit anxious because there is so much stuff that happens after all the dragons are gathered. I just think its a shame a little we won’t get to see that in animated form…. Other than that I would love to see you and enzo do a podcast for this series at some point~~~ I always want conversation for this series lol

  4. Between Royals Who Actually Do Something, Important Haircut, No One Could Have Survived That and They Never Found The Body, and finally Hermit Guru this episode was Troperific.
    And it was Good Thing (TM)
    Because all of the tropes were used in right context, driven by narrative with quite logical how one trope led to another. We see the thinking and feelings that drives Yona to literally take up sword, haircut is part of the fight, the fall is easily happening in the mountains where action takes place, and the priest being in exile has been mentioned both earlier and later in the castle scene!
    Apart from that, action scenes were top notch, complete with Nec Hercules Contra Plures moment for Hak… even heroes sometimes lose battles to sheer numbers!

  5. the point comes down to the fact that shoujo anime tends to have to “prove itself”, for better or worse, and I think Yona has done a great job of doing just that.

    Indeed it did and it continues to impress. I love the fact that we see things from So-Won’s perspective as well and even the fact that even Lord Tae-Jun isn’t a purely evil generic villain and shows great regret at the fact that Yona died(as far as he knows anyway) due to him,even wishing to be punished for it.

  6. Amazing fight scene, that spear technique was really masterfull.
    Yona pulled the usual anime technique for getting an haircut, following the steps of Sakura back in the day in Naruto xD But even that was very well done 🙂
    Great show, Akatsuki no Yona is in my top 3 this season 😀

    Jim Dean
    1. Well blades were the way hair was cut back then. Scissors weren’t exactly available far and wide. Also it’s a symbolic move, if you’ve seen ATLA or any anime where the characters had to cut their hair it usually has to do with a fresh start or leaving something behind.

      1. Are you kidding?? I own all the original show and rewatch it at least twice a year. I grew up with it. Toph and Katara were my heroines as a kid. I still watch Korra but until Season 3 I wasn’t that into it.

        Also, the majority of our writers have watched it. Samu, Enzo, and Cherrie are just a few that come to mind.

      2. Nice to know ^_^.
        Understandable though, but I will say you probably picked the most awkward moment to lose interest in it. Post ep 3 of season 3 is where the show begins to redeem itself. Plus its going to be kickass seeing granny toph kick some major butt next week.

    1. Yes, I kinda expected it to be… higher? Or different in some way. It sounds like what I expected at certain moments, but other times it doesn’t. But it isn’t bad and I think I’ll get used to it soon.

  7. You’ve done well Yona! I am liking all those screenshots of her this episode. My guess is that we won’t see her put up a fight like that (or better) until we are introduced to the other characters of her party (if you know what I mean).
    I just know I’m going to get trolled for this upcoming scene:
    But I don’t care; looking forward to it.

    random viewer
  8. Honestly, I am really enjoying this anime series. Ever since I started reading the manga a year or so ago (I live in Japan) I couldn’t shake the idea that the story would make a great anime. I am so pleased with the animation and the quality. I hope that this isn’t going to be a short 12 episode anime because there is just so much to go over in this story.

    I am looking forward to the introduction of our other helpers. Also, the priest sounds exactly how I thought he would sound! Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Its going to be 24 episodes. Which in my opinion is not enough considering the synopsis of later episodes that was released by Hana To Yume. I doubt more will come considering there is so much stuff that happens after the dragons get together.

    2. I do believe Kusanagi got her first choices for her characters’ voices. I think Suwabe does a perfect Jae-ha, but I do welcome the idea of Kappei voicing Zeno!

      Also they haven’t confirmed the episode number anywhere, just that it’s going to be two cours long.

  9. I actually dropped this because the burning eyes thing was getting way too cheesy. Really? Trained soldiers getting terrified of a little girl just because of her stares. Gimme a break.

    SnooSnoo (@ShinJiwon)
    1. It does seem a little ridiculous, but I have a feeling it might have to do with something important about Yona (which will or will not be revealed in the future episodes). I’m really enjoying the anime so far, so even if that weren’t the case, I’ll readily let it slide.

    2. It’s actually something that bothers me A LOT in the manga, I’m hoooping it has something to do with her being
      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

  10. To be honest I’m upset the princess wasn’t wearing sexier pantsu as she and Hak careened over the cliff. What are the animators thinking. =P

    Seriously the show it great. Character development and diversity a winning formula? Who woulda thunk it.

    1. They were trying to be historically accurate without objectifying a female character?

      Honestly though if you think women always wore lacy and cute underwear I’m gonna have to direct you to some historical evidence to the contrary. Also historical clothing in general were kind of hilarious-looking by our modern standards, especially when you go back to like medieval Europe (ever seen a shirt from that time? It looks like something a third grader drew).

  11. In the name of my Master, i should write that he pick up this Anime from Episode 6. because the “how” telling this Story is well played. This Episode and episode 7 made he curious how it will unfold from now on.

    But i dunno, if i would start from the beginning. He said, episode 1-5 was only the Prologue and the real Story begins now. And looks like he is about right


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