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Manga: Akatsuki no Yona
Yona, The Girl Standing in The Blush of Dawn

King Il of Kouka, a country said in legends to have been founded by dragons, has no male heir, only a young daughter named Yona. As the sole princess she is living the luxurious and carefree life as a princess should. She has it all: the finest clothes and cosmetics, the most divine sweets, a loving emperor as a father, and the hottest cousin crush, Soo-Won, anyone could ever hope to have. Now, if only her bodyguard and childhood friend, Son Hak, wasn't so annoying, her hair wasn't so red and her father would allow her to marry Soo-Won, everything would be just perfect.

But on the day of her sixteenth birthday, her nearly perfect world shatters. The man she loves, Soo-Won, murders her father and the path to his ascension to the throne is assured. Hak escapes with Yona, and they retreat to his hometown Fuuga, the capital of the Wind Tribe. A man living near those lands, a priest called Ik-Soo, tells them of a prophecy related to her and the country's future. So Yona resolves to keep on living, to fight and reclaim her place as the true ruler by finding the "dragon warriors", those who have inherited the mythical powers from their ancestors, who helped the legendary dragon king Hiryuu establish the Kouka Kingdom.

The manga is written by Mizuho Kusanagi whose previous works include NG Life and Mugen Spiral.

An anime adaptation was produced for the Fall 2014 Anime season by Studio Pierrot. It was licensed by FUNimation, although Crunchyroll still possesses streaming rights.

Akatsuki no Yona contains examples of:

  • Actual Pacifist: Emperor Il
  • Adorkable: Kija and Shin-Ah.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: Shin-Ah is terrified of using his eyes since he could (and has) paralyze someone to death with his power.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Yona was in love with Soo-Won but he didn't return her affections. Tae-Jun made it clear that he wanted to marry Yona but she turned him down. Then there is Kija, Jae-Ha and Hak who either have a crush on Yona or are starting to fall in love with her but how she feels about them are left ambiguous.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: He may have killed her father and attempted to kill her as well, but Soo-Won is visibly shocked when an equally distraught Tae-Jun informs him of Yona and Hak's supposed deaths.
  • Badass: Pretty much everyone, especially the dragons, Yona and Hak.
  • Bishounen: Most of the male cast.
  • Bling of War: Justified and played with. When Soo-Won "plays" war with Geun-Tae, he makes sure that they are wearing custom made jewelry. Turns out he was advertising gemstones from the local quarry to stimulate the economy.
  • Blood Knight: The Earth Tribe's General, Lee Geun-Tae, really likes fighting and is more than thrilled when Soo-Won seemingly plans to start a "war".
  • Bodyguard Crush: Oh Hak... And later we also have Kija. Jae-ha is shaping to follow the trend too.
  • Broken Bird: Yona but not for long
  • Cain and Abel: If Soo-won is to be believed, then Il killed his older brother Yu-Hon.
    • And you could count Soo-won as the Cain to Yona's Abel... Though Yona had more than sisterly affection towards him, at first.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Few men are ever drawn to be ugly. At best, they are non-descriptive.
  • Catch Phrase: Yoon's is "I'm a pretty boy".
  • Character Development: The whole story is this. Especially Yona.
  • Childhood Friends: Yona, Hak and Soo-Won.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Just like Yona has been in love with Soo-Won since childhood, Hak has been in love with her since then too. Yet he always supported a relationship between the two since they were both equally important to him.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Jae-ha.
  • The Chosen One: Yona. Legends said that one day a red-haired royal would bring together the four dragons once more.
  • Cool Old Guy: Son Mundok, Hak's adoptive grandfather.
  • Cool Old Lady: Captain Gi-Gan, the leader of a Ragtag Band of Misfits of pirates.
  • The Cutie: Tae-Yeon, Hak's little brother.
  • Determinator: Crawl along an impossibly high cliff where one false move means certain death? Tremble and cry in fear while trying not to be flung to said certain death by high speed winds? Okay. But Yona will get those herbs, even if she has to do it a second time.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: While there are plenty of beautiful men, it is only the self-proclaimed "genius pretty boy", Yoon, the one who is repeatedly mistaken for a girl.
  • Dying to Be Replaced: Once a new "dragon warrior" is born, the previous one slowly loses his powers and subsequently his life.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everybody at the palace, save King Il, could see that Yona was head over heels in love with Soo-Won, who was also oblivious.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Shin-Ah was only known as the "Seiryuu", his birth parents didn't bother to give him a name, not even the previous Seiryuu, Ao, who did care about him thought of giving him one.
  • Fallen Princess: Yona all the way.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Kouka is almost a dead-ringer for imperial Korea — an unusual location choice, considering the historic tension between Japan and Korea.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Hak and Kija.
  • First Episode Spoiler: That naive princess that shows up on the second page? The first page has her future self acting badass as usual.
  • First Name Basis: Seiryuu was the first of the Dragons to start calling Yona by her name and not "Princess". Afterwards, the others asked her if they could do the same too. Subverted with Hak, as Yona specifically requested him to continue to refer to her as "Princess" so she wouldn't forget that she is the daughter of the king.
  • Friendless Background: Seiryuu had it the worst where his whole village shunned him and his own mother killed herself when she found out she gave birth to the next Seiryuu.
  • Good Is Not Soft: The kind and sweet Yona was the one who shot and killed Kum-Ji.
  • Happily Adopted: Several characters: Hak, his little foster brother Tae-Yeon, Yoon was also sort of adopted by Ik-Soo and Ao was the only parental figure Shin-Ah had.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Heang-Dea and Tae-Woo, the guards from the Wind Tribe, who are always together.
  • Heroic BSOD: Yona suffers through one when she saw her father being murdered by the man she was in love with. It takes some time and with help from Hak and the Wind tribe to break her out of it.
  • The High Queen: What Yona is shaping up to be.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Kan Tae-Jun, the second son of the General of the Fire Tribe, in regards of his crush on Yona.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Shin-Ah wished to have friends ever since he was a young child, but he was an outcast in his village, hated and feared by everyone.
  • Important Haircut: When Yona and an injured Hak are surrounded, Yona is captured by the son of the Fire Tribe's general as he held her by the hair. After seeing Hak fall off the cliff into a raging river below. Realizing she was too weak to do anything, she cuts her hair, freeing herself from her enemy, the last link to her old life, and taking the first step to the Badass she will one day become by jumping off the cliff to save Hak.
  • Ill Boy: Tae-Yeon.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: After briefly reuniting with Soo-Won unexpectedly, Yona was in such a daze that after she spilled some porridge on herself she started unbuttoning her outer shirt in front of everyone. Hak was quick enough to cover her with his jacket.
  • In-Series Nickname: Hak is known as the "Raijuu" note  of the Kouka Kingdom.
  • Jumped at the Call: Kija was ready to join Yona the moment he see her, justified as he was raised to aid his master, and as a Dragon he has the physical urge to do so.
  • Kissing Cousins: Yona has been in love with Soo-won for a long time.
  • Like A Grandchild To Me: Mundok has always cared for Soo-Won and Yona as if they were his own grandchildren.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Yona and Yoon. Their relationship is more like that of best friends than anything possibly romantic, they even sleep together side by side!.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: According to Soo-won his father, Yu-hon, was murdered by emperor Il like this.
  • Man Bites Man: Yona has taken a habit of doing this when things get rough and she is low on options.
  • The Medic: Yoon.
  • Missing Mom: Yona's mother was killed by a rebel when she was a child.
    • An even darker example: Shin-Ah's mother couldn't accept the fact that she gave birth to the next Seiryuu, so she took her own life.
  • A Mother To Her Pirates: Pirate Captain Gi-Gan is just like a strict but caring mother to her men.
  • May-December Romance: Geun-Tae and his wife Yun-ho are 13 years apart from each other, when they married she was 19 and he was 32.
  • Mystical White Hair: Kija, justified since he is the white dragon.
  • The Nicknamer: Hak calls Kija "White Snake" and Jae-Ha "droopy eyes".
  • No Koreans In Japan: While it doesn't take place in Japan, this is averted like hell, as all the characters came from a fantasy version of Korea, not to mention the author of the manga is Japanese.
  • No Name Given: Shin-Ah was only known as the "Seiryuu", he remains unnamed until Yona decides on one.
  • No One Could Survive That: A seriously wounded and poisoned Hak falls over the edge of a cliff with Yona, which prompts the enemy to declare them dead since there's no way they could survive the fall. They're both up and about a few chapters later, only a little worse for wear.
  • Noble Fugitive: Yona, who is a princess, and Hak, who as the Wind Tribe General is considered part of the nobility. Until he renounces his status as general anyways.
  • Oblivious to Love: Yona, Yona and Yona. She is particularly oblivious to Hak's not-so-indirect hints... It's quite possible that she is under Selective Obliviousness.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Soo-Won much to Lee Geun-Tae's chagrin.
    • Also Zeno, who normally behaves like a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, appears to be more serious and he seems to know more than he lets on.
  • Older Than She Looks: Yun-ho, the wife of Earth Tribe's general, is 25 years old yet she looks like she is still 15.
  • One-Man Army: Hak, Kija, Shin-Ah, Jae-Ha.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: King Il didn't approve and outright objected at the idea of Yona getting married to Soo-Won.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • Mundok took Hak and Tae-Yeon as his adoptive grandsons.
    • Ik-Soo more or less adopted Yoon, who was an orphan living in poverty.
    • Ao, the previous Seiryuu, was the one who raised Shin-Ah.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Kye-Sook, Soo-Won's advisor.
  • The Quiet One: Shin-Ah.
  • Raised by Grandparents: In Hak's case he was raised by an adoptive grandfather.
    • Kija was also raised by his grandmother.
  • Red-Headed Heroine: Yona. It's even a plot point because her hair color is so rare and matches the legendary dragon king Hiryuu note , who was the founder of the Kouka Kingdom.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Both Soo-Won and Yona. As the next king Soo-Won plans to restore their country to its former glory, and as we can see with what he planned when he "plays" with Geun-Tae. On the other side Yona, who only recently started to become aware of the difficulties that the inhabitants of Kouka face day by day, helps the people in need that she encounters.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Hak, who loves to tease Yona yet his loyalty towards her is absolute.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is it "Soo-Won" or "Su-Won", "Yoon" or "Yun", "Heang-Dea" or "Han-Dae", "Mundok" or "Mun-deok", "Yu-Hon" or "Yoo-Hong", "Min-Soo" or "Min-Su", "Joo-Doh" or "Ju-do"? A bit more understandable than most examples, however, given the various romanization systems of Korean.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Yona at the beginning of the story, when she was just a naive princess. Though YMMV as some fans considered her to be more of a Spoiled Brat.
  • Super Toughness:
    • The yellow dragon is supposed to be this.
    • Hak to a lesser degree.
  • Supreme Chef: Yoon, he regularly gets marriage propositions from those who eat his food.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Hak, Jae-ha and Shin-Ah.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: Hak again.
  • Tender Tears: Yoon is easily moved to tears.
  • Tragic Keepsake: An interesting case where Yona kept the hairpin that Soo-Won gave her during her birthday party ... the same night she saw Soo-Won murder her father. Most likely to remind herself what happened that night.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Yona went from meek sheltered princess to a woman who would practice her archery throughout the night, firing hundreds of arrows to become stronger.
    • Yoon went from a self-described selfish boy to being a capable fighter and planner.
  • True Companions: "The Dark Dragon and the Happy Hungry Bunch".
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Hak towards King Il and Yona.
    • The original Blue, White, Green and Yellow dragons were so loyal to Hiryuu, that they each gave part of their powers to four human warriors so that they would protect him in their stead. Said warriors also grew to become greatly loyal to the King, and said fealty was passed on generation from generation.
  • We Named the Monkey Jack: Shin-Ah named his pet squirrel Ao, after his mentor and parental figure the previous Seiryuu.
  • What Beautiful Eyes: Seiryuu's eyes are very beautiful to behold but his village terrified of a curse that anyone who looked upon those eyes would become paralyze and die (which wasn't entirely far away from the truth) so Seiryuu always wore a mask to cover his eyes.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Yoon pretended to be a girl to sneak into a human trafficking ring along with Yona.
  • World's Strongest Man: Hak is claimed to be the strongest soldier in the kingdom, having earned that title at a young age.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Justified. The four dragons (with the strangest hair colors like white, blue, green, and yellow) and Yonaall have hair the same color as the dragons they represent. People like Soo-Won and Yoon on the other hand...
  • You Killed My Father: Soo-won kills Emperor Il as revenge for killing his father.
  • Youthful Freckles: Heang-Dea.
Abenobashi Mahou ShoutengaiFantasy Anime & MangaAmatsuki
×××HOLiCCreator/FU NimationYuYu Hakusho
Akuma na ErosMangaAku no Hana
Akame ga Kiru!Anime of the 2010sAkuma No Riddle

alternative title(s): Yona Of The Dawn
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