Yona is the sole princess of the kingdom, 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, Son Hak, wasn't so annoying to her and her hair wasn't so red.
But her nearly perfect world quickly shatters as the man she loves, Soo-won, murders her father and the path to his ascension to the throne is assured. Son Hak escapes with Yona, and they lead a life on the run from that point on.
The manga is written by Mizuho Kusanagi whose previous works include NG Life
and Mugen Spiral
Akatsuki no Yona contains examples of:
- Actual Pacifist: Emperor Il
- 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.
- Bad Ass: Pretty much everyone, especially the dragons, Yona, and Hak.
- Badass Normal: Though traveling with a bunch of dragon-humans, Hak is one of if not the strongest in the group.
- Bling of War: Justified and played with. When Soo Won "plays" war with Lee Gun 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.
- Bodyguard Crush: Oh Hak... Kija 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.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Few men are ever drawn to be ugly. At best, they are non-descriptive.
- Character Development: The whole story is this. Especially Yona
- Childhood Friends: Yona, Hak and Soo-Won.
- The Chosen One: Yona. Legends said that one day a red-haired royal would bring together the four dragons once more.
- Cool Old Lady: Captain Gi-Gan, the leader of a Ragtag Band of Misfits of pirates.
- 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.
- Fallen Princess: Yona all the way.
- 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.
- The High Queen: What Yona is shaping up to be.
- 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.
- Kissing Cousins: Yona has been in love with Soo-won for a long time.
- 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.
- Noble Fugitive: Yona and Hak (until he renounces his status as general anyways).
- 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.
- Oblivious to Love: Yona is this or Selective Obliviousness.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Soo Won much to Lee Gun-Tae's chagrin.
- One-Man Army: Hak, Kija, Shin-Ah, Jae-Ha.
- The Quiet One: Shin-Ah.
- Red-Headed Heroine: Yona. It's even a plot point because her hair color is so rare and matches the hero of legend.
- Sarcastic Devotee: Hak
- Super Toughness:
- The yellow dragon is supposed to be this.
- Hak to a lesser degree
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: Hak again.
- 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.
- 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 Yun on the other hand...
- You Killed My Father: Soo-won kills Emperor Il as revenge for killing his father.