Yona of the Dawn Volume 5 by Mizuho Kusanagi
Yona of the Dawn continues to be an absolutely delightful manga. Every time I finish a volume I feel extremely satisfied as a reader, having gotten just the right amount of plot, character development, humor, and action. The fourth volume was much more somber in tone as the intrepid adventurers led by Yona find the Blue Dragon in his mountain village. Entirely isolated due to his special abilities from a young age, the Blue Dragon seems a bit intrigued by the visitors, but still lost and on his own. A cave-in prompts some dramatic action, and when Yona invites him to join her again, he agrees. The first chapter ends on a wistful note as the Blue Dragon’s internal thoughts turn to the previous Dragon who trained him, reflecting that he doesn’t remember the face of the man who used to be his only family.
Yona of the Dawn doesn’t stay moody for long, as Gija attempts to sense the location of the next dragon, only to collapse. This gives Hak an excuse to intone “Rest in Peace”, but Gija is temporarily indisposed. The group heads to a seaside village next, where the Green Dragon is a sardonic pirate, determined to maintain his independence despite his destiny. Hak and the Green Dragon keep running into each other randomly as they save villagers from being oppressed.
This volume had some of my favorite character-driven moments so far, as Yona permits all of her entourage to call her by her fist name except for Hak. He’s horrified that she’s allowing herself to be addressed so casually, and when they are talking together separately, she asks him to always be sure to call her “your highness”, because she can’t forget where she came from, to preserve the memory of her former family. The scene shows Hak’s unwavering devotion, the closeness between Hak and Yona, and at the same time the distance that rank puts between them. Yona has come a long way from the frightened princess n the first volume, and she’s still determined to keep improving herself. I’m enjoying the pace of this manga as well. With three of the dragon guardians identified, I’m looking forward to seeing the fourth one tracked down and then seeing how the story unfolds once Yona has her mini army all gathered together.