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Yona of the Dawn Vol. #22 Manga Review

4 min read
Yona takes the moment of calm between storms to commiserate and recover with her friends and protectors.
Yona of the Dawn Vol. #22

Command and conquer.

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Mizuho Kusanagi
Translation: JN Productions
Adaptation: Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane

What They Say
The mission to rescue Yona and Riri from Sei leads to reunions and revelations! Who is Riri’s secret crush? And has Yona come to realize her feelings for Hak? Later, masked visitors from the nation of Xing beckon Yona and the Dragon Warriors to meet their leader!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With the situation in Sei taken care of, the political landscape is starting to change. The rulers of Sei have no choice but to become a vassal state of Kohka, bowing to Su-won as their king. Politics aren’t the only thing that is changing.

With Hak being forced to work alongside Su-won, Hak is stuck wondering about the man whom he thought he knew. It causes Hak to look back and reflect on the past and on Su-won’s behavior. I’m thankful that the story isn’t about to absolve Su-won of his violent and hostile takeover. Hak struggles just as Yona does with his past friendship, and realizes that Su-won is a complete enigma. I almost want to call Su-won some sort of sociopath. He claimed to love everyone equally, but that also means that he loves no one.

What Hak really can’t forgive is the fact that Su-won gave Yona the hairpin the day he killed her father, and then tried to murder her. That behavior cannot be easily forgotten or ignored. Su-won could have easily forced Yona’s father to step down as ruler with the threat of violence, or taken the throne through marriage. Yet he did neither. He chose violence.

Riri, also, wants to know what sort of man Su-won is. She approaches him, following him into a dangerous and sketchy den of criminals to learn what Su-won knows. The two would make a good match, but as previously stated, Su-won is not exactly a loving individual. Riri’s question to Su-won about Yona goes unanswered, leaving Riri cold and with no deeper insight into the man.

With that, the story shifts into a new story arc. Rumors of the dragon warriors have spread to Xing. The small southeastern country is now the only one land on the peninsula not under Kohka rule. Two factions vie for power in that country with the crown princess Kouren in power. She wishes to launch an attack against Kohka, which would be devastating. Propaganda about the dragons arrives as rumors of monsters. Yona and her groups are approached at the border by a group representing the younger princess, Tao. Tao is aware that her country stands no chance in a war against Kohka and would rather capitulate and make peace with the larger country.

On a more personal level, Yona is happy to once again interact with another woman. Tao looks like a girl of twelve, but she’s a petite and knowledgeable leader, and older than Yona. Were Riri treated Yona like an older sister and friend, Tao treats Yona as a younger sister. (Shoujo manga typically doesn’t shy away from showing the problems women face with their periods, and Yona’s ill-timed arrival of her’s is met with the same exasperation every woman feels.)

So the next challenge has been set as a sister versus sister fight for the nation of Xing. Will Yona attempt to stop a civil war or simply win it for Tao’s side?

The only extra for this volume is a series of author 4-panel comics.

In Summary
Yona takes the moment of calm between storms to commiserate and recover with her friends and protectors. Riri has grown into a formidable ally, and even after the lumps she took in her most recent fiasco she is undaunted. Yona’s group have become accidental ambassadors and diplomats, and find themselves once again outside of the confines of their country and in international intrigue. More new characters enter the story as the next challenge brings them all to Xing where a civil war is brewing. Yet how much help can the group be when the dragons are so far from their power base? Watching Hak finally deal with some of his feelings about Su-won is a welcome change from his usual stoic front. What is the king of Kohka thinking?

Content Grade: B +
Art Grade: B +
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A –

Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: February 4, 2020
MSRP: $9.99 US / $12.99 CN / £6.99 UK

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