“The red dragon will return at dawn…”
Every week whilst I watch the new episode of Akatsuki no Yona, my first impression of the plot that develops is how typically kingdom-adventure-quest archetypal it is in the genre of such series… and yet by the end of the twenty three minutes I’ve been fully immersed in the story and I’m sad to see it end. Up till now, we’ve only really known the Akatsuki no Yona story as a Princess-runaway survival story. Episode seven does a fantastic job of flushing out the bulk of the background and historical context of not only the creation myths behind these peoples’ cultural beliefs.
The myth tells the story of a red dragon named Hiryuu who descended from the heavens to create a heaven on earth. King Hiryuu was a courageous and loving king. However, there was discord among the humans, whose hearts were filled with greed. The humans desired power and warred, ultimately deciding to execute Hiryuu. During the execution, four dragons descend from the sky to save Hiryuu from his fate. Though Hiryuu rejects them out of his love for the humans, the dragons loved him too much to see him die. They gave a drop of their blood to the humans, creating human-divine halves who were tasked for serving and protecting Hiryuu. Hiryuu and the four dragon-warriors created the clans and a subsequently stable kingdom but when Hiryuu died, they grieved deeply and scattered on their own.
In this episode, the Priest encourages Yona to seek out the dragon blood warriors of the kingdom. He believes that Yona has been brought to survive this far on the will of the gods and that if it is fated, she will indeed meet the warriors themselves. When you get prophecies like this, you definitely know that Yona will fulfill the Priest’s predictions in one way or another. The twist has yet to be seen but judging from the prologue future scenes when Yona and Hak are engaged in battle, we know the Priest is speaking the truth here.
Though Yona is still heartbroken over Su-won and the coup, she’s resolved to become physically stronger and politically-informed on the injustices throughout her kingdom. All the violence and instability in the last few days have really pushed her to strive for change. Tons of Yona and Hak couple moments are also hinted. Now that Su-won is indefinitely out of the picture and Hak is basically Yona’s life and death, I have little to no doubt that they’ll become an actual couple.
I actually found the backstory both simplistic but effective in the division of tribes. A part of me wonders if Hak is an actual descendant of the dragon warriors… I’m not THAT far into the manga so I can speculate but I’m definitely excited to see the appearance of other supporting characters.
What are you pondering today?