Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 24 [End]

Well, it wasn’t quite the ending I wanted for Akatsuki no Yona (ignoring the fact that I didn’t want any sort of ending), but it was still a nice comma in the longer sentence of the show, a catching of the breath, if you will, for a second season we tragically may never see. But let’s save the lamentations for later and simply enjoy what we have for now.

Akatsuki no Yona

More than any other episode we’ve ever had of Akatsuki no Yona, this one felt more like a patchwork of scenes rather than a coherent arc of a story. I get why. Pierrot’s probably aware that the trigger will never get pulled for a sequel season and so did their best to get everything to a nice stopping place even if it meant gliding through some a scenes that really could have used a little more context or breathing space. But, for all that, we did get some awesome scenes before Akatsuki no Yona left us, starting with the moment when we see Yona dressing the deer Jaeha brought back. Not only is she strong enough to acknowledge that it’s still somewhat difficult for her, but I see her line—”Turning away would mean ignoring this fawn was alive“—as kind of a reflection on her newfound perspective on the world at large around her.

Yona has come to a point where she can no longer ignore the troubles of those living in the kingdom, a resolution that leads into her decision at the end of the episode, and that inherent dissatisfaction with the state of her lands drives her to action. Part of that motion towards choice is funneled through the new presence of the final dragon, Jeno. Jeno’s joining of the party was one of those things that felt a bit too quick for my tastes—even some more time of the party dorking around in the woods looking for him would have been appreciated—but the end result is that Yona finally has all the pieces she’s been looking for.

Akatsuki no Yona

The speed of his introduction also means that we didn’t really get a chance to tease out the intricacies of his character, which (on first glance) seems to have the potential to be one of the most fascinating Akatsuki no Yona has yet produced. It’s almost immediately apparent that Jeno is nowhere near as spacey as he seems, but whether facade comes from a desire to disengage from the seriousness of his destiny or from ease of acceptance isn’t something that we have a chance to see elaborated. I’m not saying that we should have got all that information in this episode, only that, given the unlikeliness of a second season, I want more.

The rushed pace is also kind of a shame given how interesting it is to see the characters’ (especially the dragons’) ideologies interact with each other. Ki-ja’s need to have Jeno conform to his conception of the dragon brotherhood clashes with Jaeha’s freedom aesthetic and even with Hak’s exceedingly practical approach to the dragons—can they take a punch or not? This has always been a strength of Yona‘s and the way it plays out here, with Ki-ja in grateful tears by the end, is a fantastic validation of the multiplicity of worldviews, even within such a small group with a common goal. Despite Jaeha’s gentle rebuke that Ki-ja can’t push his own values on to others, the scene sympathizes Ki-ja’s overbearing, overeager attitude by showing just how much this means to him. Which is beautiful and wonderful because it was all set up long ago as episode 10 showed exactly how Ki-ja came to be the way he is.

Akatsuki no Yona

Anyways, that was a bit of a digression, so let’s come back to Jeno and what we did get to see of him. After Yona sees a peculiarly content look on Jeno’s face as Ki-ja cries, we get the beautiful night scene of their real introduction to each other. Whether because of her status as Hiryuu’s reincarnation or the understanding nature she’s developed for 24 episodes, Yona seems to understand Jeno at a level the others in the party do not. This was the one scene that really seemed to breathe this episode, generally unhampered by comedic stylings. And perhaps for no other scene was this more important, as the core of Jeno’s character seems to be made up of an ease of living compromised by a deep loneliness and lack of purpose (making him the polar opposite of Ki-ja).

Thus, it didn’t surprise me that Jeno was the one to pose the all-important question to Yona: what next? If he freely chose to follow Yona, it wasn’t because he simply had nothing else to do, but because he expected some sort of purpose. The immediate goal of this season has been met—acquiring the four dragons—but achieving that leaves a vacuum. These aren’t just toys Yona has collected, but legendary powers. Fortunately, Akatsuki no Yona has set up the pieces for the next step in the story steadily throughout, so that Yona’s eventual decision is one that extends naturally from everything she’s gone through to this point.

Akatsuki no Yona

And in Yona’s moment of decision, we again see her chosen purpose paralleled with Su-won’s, which of course begs the question: what is the difference between them? At this point, it seems that Su-won’s determination is rooted in the kingdom as a single entity, while Yona sees it as a collection of individuals. Thus, her choice to seek out those troubled in the kingdom is a reflection (again) of the desire to understand others she’s cultivated from the very beginning. Is this humanism versus nationalism? It’s too early to tell, but these are still just seeds that are being sown.

The final check-in with Su-won simply reinforces the fact that Yona and Su-won have chosen different paths towards the same goal. Mun-deok’s compliment to Su-won over his work in the Earth Tribe (accomplishments, we know, he split with Yona) and Su-won’s repeated challenge to the heavens and, most importantly, his statement that he hasn’t accomplished anything yet define him not as an antagonist, but as a man following his own path. Where his path leads him and Yona’s leads her remains to be seen—and I want to be there to see it, whether animated or in the manga.

(Also, yes the final scene with Hak is pretty much self-explanatory. Do you really need me to tell you that he’s hopelessly in love with her?)

Akatsuki no Yona

That’s the end of my posts on Akatsuki no Yona. I hope you all enjoyed reading them; I sure as heck enjoyed sharing them with you and getting to meet a lot of new people in my comments section. Here’s to hoping in vain for another season!

27 thoughts on “Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 24 [End]

  1. In the anime’s defense, Jeno (why the hell is it Jeno not Zeno I’M SO CONFUSED) he really does pop up and join that quickly and easily in the manga too. To put it in a bit of context, the anime ends here with chapter 47 (he actually joins a bit earlier since apparently Soo Woon’s bit happens right after Yona is asked what she wants to do, kinda like an interlude both for the characters and the readers to think about it) and his backstory/ideologies are really explored around chapter 100 (which came out less than four months ago too). I do admire how neatly the anime tied in those flash forwards in case it doesn’t get a second season but I waaaaaant one.

    As for my own thoughts, I love how the show used it’s main musical theme again when Yona is confessing to Ik Soo that she met Soo Woon and even a couple of months later she still doesn’t know how she feels about him and Ik Soo saying that’s okay. That’s the kind of “strength” I want from my characters, male and female, to do what they can and admit when they’re not sure because that leads to so much character development later on (which lead me to realize that out of all the characters, it’s Yun who Yona turns to the most to ask for advice, the most human of all of the cast which I thought was a nice detail).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup. You can’t grow if you don’t acknowledge that you have room to grow and Yona has been exceptionally good at admitting her lack of “strength,” although I sometimes feel that comes at the expense of her realizing how strong she truly is.

      I have no fathomable idea of why CR made Jeno that spelling, not Zeno. Like, literally just listen to them talk! They’re saying a Z!

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  2. I don’t think you are in vain for wanting a second season with what the ending was for episode 24 it is clear to me that even though we don’t see a preview for the next episode doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. there are too many questions left unanswered for example who is the shield and who is the sword for Yona? so keep up hope I think that we haven’t seen the last of Akatsuki no Yona.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I have hope! Just moderated by the reality that this is a shoujo manga adaptation and the fact that it even got animated in the first place is a minor miracle. The manga did get a decent bump from the anime and disc sales have been not entirely awful, so from that point of view, it’s certainly not a flop. However, even super successful shows (like The Devil is a Part-Timer!) still don’t have sequels, so it’s a sadly uncertain guessing game.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I will never accept funimation spelling of Zeno name as Jeno. Its pronounced as Zeno and spelled as Zeno in katakana so I will leave it at that. That being said you have no idea how teary eye I got when Zeno was introduced. His introduction is the same as in the manga so for manga readers it was no surprise how he was going to show up LOL. However I am happy to see you have caught on that there is something more to Zeno then meets the eye. Unfortunately even if a second season is announced you probably won’t see it because Zeno story is just now being told in the japanese releases. Coming off those chapters it makes so much sense why his introduction was quick in the very beginning so don’t worry there is a reason why he was the fastest to join.

    I’m surprised that no one is talking about the sword and the shield of the prophecy. What are they? are they people or inanimate objects? hell this question has not been answered in the manga yet either plus what is the “darkness” that is suppose to engulf the land in order for the sword and the shield to appear? Literally Mage your guess is as good as ours in this case. Overall as a manga reader I am happy to see how this series was adapted ^_^ The music is great, the animation was wonderful, and the voice actors did a fantastic job!!

    An OVA has been announced so there is that to look forward to in the future ^_^

    As for Hak and Yona. That moment was beautiful. Instead of being selfish Hak wants Yona to shine brighter than anyone and wants to show everyone who tried to kill her that she is no longer the weak little girl they all thought she was in the beginning.

    More then anything I love the bonds Yona, Hak and Co. have developed with each other. The theme for this show for me has been that in life sometimes there are bonds that break its a painful and hard to get over it, but sometimes there are also new bonds that are created that can last lifetimes ^_^ I sincerely hope you read the manga because its a great story!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zeno is a fascinating character already. I’m not complaining about how suddenly he makes the decision to join them, but at how quickly he shows up. But it was necessary, so I can forgive it.

      I think the sword and shield of the prophecy are just so abstract right now that they aren’t really meaningful when compared to all the human stuff that’s going on. At least for me.

      And yes, it certainly was a great adaptation. Chiwa Saito had some truly stunning moments as Yona.

      Thanks for coming by to comment to so often! It’s always nice to have a few manga readers around, especially when they’re as good as you at not spoiling things. So thanks for that, too!

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  4. I really want to start catching up on the manga, but I also want to wait and see if a season two will be announced (fingers crossed!). I think the most interesting theory about Zeno is that perhaps he’s the original Yellow Dragon, which explains why he didn’t have an awakening like the other dragons and seems to have a melancholic air around him.

    But regardless, I am really happy there was absolutely no rushing in this series. Many shows tend to rush through their different character/story arcs, but I’m glad this one was rooted in taking the scenic route. I hope that in the near future a continuation of the anime is announced and the manga gets licensed (because I REALLY, REALLY want to read it! >.<).

    Liked by 1 person

    • For sure! I though, except for a bit in the middle, the pacing was perfect for this show and what it was trying to do. Sure, it was slower, but it rarely dragged for me and instead invited you to think at a deeper level about what was going on with these characters.

      I’m always crossing my fingers that Crunchyroll picks up the manga continuations of shows they have for streaming. It would make so much sense!

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  5. At least I now understand why the Green Dragon arc was stretched out so long. The animators knew the Yellow Dragon intro was really short. I’m sure they could have easily stolen one episode from the Green Dragon arc if there had been more to the Yellow Dragon intro.

    All in all, it was a good ending to this season. Hopefully we get a Season 2.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Even though I did say I wished the final episode hadn’t been so quick to scamper through scenes, I’m not quite sure there was enough there to add in another episode and still end at a nice place.

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  6. I will digress my thoughts on A S 2 until last ! BTW I read the review first then watched!

    The Zeno intro was quite nice ! No obvious abilties ( yea right !! ) “YET”

    Good thing they went back to Iktsu!

    And Zeno is wise beyond his tears. There is a reason for that but not now!Asking Yona the hard ?? basocally what now!

    Of course Iktsu has some wise thoughts for Yona!

    And the Hak / Yona relationship and again Yona’s wishes!

    I myself like some above mentioned that there are only half way in the manga / anime point!

    Why I think there a S2 is possible . Yona’s desire to take up the sword and relive suffering.

    They show Soo Won and Mundok who introduces Tae Woo ad the new Fire Tribe General!Why even bother then it obvious that’s an indirect preview!

    And since it appears that no logic governs what anime gets a S2 not even sales. I really mean and come to belive that!

    Everybody wrote off Symphongear after S1 but came back with an outstansding S2 and going to a 3rd cour!

    So I always think postive!

    I also heard in anime land that manga sales went up after the anime!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Akatsuki no Yona makes me feel satisfied. Good anime makes me feel that way and I’m glad I have been on the journey with everyone since the first episode.

    I’ll probably continue from the manga in some time.

    Good job and thank you! Your weekly pieces on Akatsuki no Yona have helped me to appreciate the show more.

    Like

    • Thanks! That’s always my goal when writing posts like this—helping other people to enjoy/engage more with the show. If I’ve done that for you, I’ve succeeded for at least one person! 😀

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  8. Thank you for all your entries on Akatsuki no Yona. It’s been a great pleasure watching along with you.

    There are some anime that leave me missing characters months and months later. This, I think is going to be one of them. The characters were built with such care, that some are going to leave a lasting impression.

    I’m mot prepared to let Soo-Won off the hook, though. He is still a cold-blooded murderer, an assassin.

    Above you said: “The final check-in with Su-won simply reinforces the fact that Yona and Su-won have chosen different paths towards the same goal.” But if the goal is as vague as “The Greater Good” They may have very different outcomes in mind. Soo-Won’s Machiavellian means may be efficient, but Yona’s moral compass is one of her true inner beauty.

    I Hope we can see more

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    • Seems like you really liked it. Going for the manga, too? 😉

      And you’re totally right. Eventually, Su-won will need to answer for his crime and probably at Yona’s hands. As far as his goals go, I’m willing to give him the space to show us what they really are, but some of the flashforwards hint that he’s steering the kingdom to war, something that would certainly cause the people of the country pain. If that’s what happens, I think that will be the moment Yona truly turns against him.

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  9. I discover this blog when the anime is just over!

    Yes, this episode has a quite unbalanced pace, and is rather comedic, but I think it is well done. The introduction of the yellow dragoon is really surprising, avoiding the long search and the ordinary drama. And it is funny, even if as you have noted, he is probably more serious than his behaviour.

    Another good point is to end with Yona chosing to be a sort of adventurer for the people, not immediatly claiming the throne. It would have been awesome to see the troop bringing back the legitimate sovereign, but with the last one the group have lost some of its consistency. So they need more adventure.

    Will we see that ? You’re pessimistic…Well, we may have to read the manga instead. But I really hope there will be a second season !

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    • Hey, glad to see you even so!

      I’d argue I’m not so pessimistic as hopefully realistic. ^_^” I’d love to be surprised by a second season announcement, but I think expecting one is…well, a bit silly. That doesn’t mean I’m not hoping, though!

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  10. I guess at least we’re getting an OVA? It’ll likely just be general fun and hijinks, but I’d be okay with that. Akatsuki no Yona isn’t just a good story, after all – it’s a good story with bromance.

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  11. I think there will be a second season. I mean, most of the Studio Pierrot’s anime made a next season for an anime that ended like this. Besides, there is no way this won’t be a success. The anime has done its job. Even though the BD and DVD aren’t out yet, after the anime, the cumulative manga sales increased from 1 million to 3 million. Even the voice actors are saying that they want season 2.

    However, I am not trying to be racist here, but I saw some Japanese saying that they hate to see this show getting its popularity only because it uses Korean names and reminds them of Korean cultures. That is the only part that’s bothering me. Of course, that’s only the minorities; a lot of Japanese also like this show. Sometimes, it is depressing to see how some people hate something only because of it reminds them a certain culture. I hope this won’t effect the sales.

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  12. ha visto la ova 2 de Akatsuki noYona? , habla sobre el pasado de Zeno, estoy seguro de que te gustara.
    Ademas en la semana que viene saldrá la continuación de esa ova, espero que la veas y des una reseña 🙂

    Like

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