So they rearranged things in episode two and it explained exactly what I wanted it to explain. We kind of backtracked a bit because technically at the end of episode one, Yona was already dragged outside to be executed but backtracking means we go into Yona’s thoughts and her perspective on the ordeal. I just have no idea why they jumbled things out of order in the first place. I did get the sense that Soo Won was a bit conflicted with the idea of killing Yona at the start even though he quickly steeled himself on it.
Oh what irony, the man you love has killed your father and decides to kill you. Soo Won really has no choice at this point because if he doesn’t kill Yona, everything he’s been planning may one day be usurped. I wasn’t a big fan of how one dimensional the kingdom seemed in terms of ALL THE GUARDS siding with Soo Won. They did say all the lords and officials were drunk or passed out and that Soo Won brought extra guards but I would hope SOME of the guards held loyalty towards the ACTUAL King and princess rather than the traitor. Well, there is Min Soo but that’s about it for palace friends and HE DIES in the first episode ugh.
I really like Hak, not only because he ends up as the main lead. He has the most interesting back story, of which we will see very soon. Not only can he KICK ASS, he’s amazingly loyal and steadfast. He moves at an amazingly efficient pace here and it’s admirable because if it wasn’t for him Yona wouldn’t even be alive. I’m also impressed with how quickly he goes from teasing guard to valiant knight. Well, I guess he was always the valiant knight but Yona never needed him like that.
The battle looks A LOT COOLER animated on screen than it did in the manga. I think the art style and panels transferred really well into an adaptation. Still, I wish the anime got a bigger budget because there was certain medium-wide frame shots where the characters lose a lot of detail in their facial features or clothes which is a shame because more meticulous animation could really bring out the artistry of the palace and landscapes.
During the escape in the manga, Yona is a lot more shell-shocked than usual and I think the anime handles this a bit better by giving her more dialogue rather than keeping her a lifeless doll (but I’m pretty sure they arranged the escape bits so she shell-shocked Yona comes in the next episode).
Future Yona’s calm narration of her past does a great way of tying the audience back into the present where the new band of fighters are halting an enemy’s advance into the Kingdom of Kouka. EPIC music here accompanied by amazing combat shots to introduce some of the other supporting characters. I LOVE how the voice actress changes her tones from pitchy and childish in the past, to strong and resonating in the present. The contrast really hits home for viewers and I think it’s this really great ending that bumped up the final episode rating for me.
I’m really excited to see more of Yona even though we’ll have to watch Princess Yona adjust to the real world for a few more episodes before she starts to adapt and change. Nevertheless, Akatsuki no Yona is turning into an intriguing new fall anime for me.
What are you pondering today?