Follow TV Tropes

Following

Manga / Yona of the Dawn

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/AkatsukiNoYonaPage_6674.jpg
Advertisement:

Yona: The Girl Standing in The Blush of Dawn (Japanese title: Akatsuki no Yona, oddly enough, it literally translates to "Yona of the Dawn") is a manga written by Mizuho Kusanagi whose previous works include NG Life and Mugen Spiral. It tells the story of Princess Yona and her followers.

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 curly and her father would allow her to marry Soo-Won, everything would be just perfect.

Advertisement:

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. Framed for this, 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 Four Dragon Warriors, those who have inherited the mythical powers from their ancestors, who helped the legendary dragon king Hiryuu establish the Kouka Kingdom.

An anime adaptation was produced for the Fall 2014 Anime season by Studio Pierrot, which was licensed by Funimation for both streaming and home video, although Crunchyroll still possesses streaming rights as well. The manga itself was licensed by Viz Media's Shojo Beat imprint, with the first volume released in August 2016.

Advertisement:


Akatsuki no Yona contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes #-E 
  • Aborted Declaration of Love: In Chapter 134, Hak hugs Yona and mumbles that he loves her, out loud for the first time ever. However, due to the fact that he mumbled it, Yona didn't properly hear and he refused to repeat himself afterward.
  • Action Girl:
    • Yona grows into one — she becomes a fantastic archer and later learns swordsmanship.
    • Lili's bodyguards Tetora and Ayura are extremely capable with their fists and swords, and regularly take on opponents far larger than themselves in battle.
    • The Xing arc introduces us to Kouren, the crown princess of Xing, who proves herself to be an outstanding warrior.
  • Act of True Love: The Happy Hungry Bunch does this a lot, be it with romantic love or otherwise. It really would be impossible to list all of the examples, and it would include far too many spoilers, but, suffice to say, Hak’s actions in Volume One are just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Actual Pacifist:
    • King Il hated weapons with a passion and wouldn't even let Yona touch one. He also gave away large parts of land in Kouka to avoid war with neighbouring countries.
    • Tao, the second princess of Xing, was more than willing to use her own body and presence as a deterrent from attempts on her sister's life.
  • Adaptation Distillation: In the manga, Zeno's powers are revealed at the climax of an arc, which then segues into a flashback arc detailing his backstory, with a Framing Device of him falling asleep and dreaming after the battle. When his backstory was animated for a short, two half-hour episode OVA, Studio Pierrot skipped revealing it to the other characters, and instead used the extra chapter "From Good Morning to Good Night," about the cast having a drinking competition, as the framing device.note  The flashback happens when Zeno falls asleep during the drinking contest, letting the animators get to it faster while also giving the rest of the characters some spotlight.
  • Adorkable:
    • Kija and Shin-ah. Kija is naive but very eager to please, easily moved to tears and comically terrified of bugs. He's also frequently seen blushing, particularly because of Yona. Shin-ah is very shy and sweet, not speaking very often but finding near constant companionship with Team Pet Ao and an overwhelming love for food.
    • Algira can also be viewed this way, given his extreme fondness for cats and tendency to tack "nyan" on the ends of the names of people he likes.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength:
    • Shin-Ah is terrified of using his eyes since he can paralyze someone to death with his power and has. This seems to afflict many Seiryuu.
    • At one point, Kija becomes less than sober and starts to fear his own power.
  • After-Action Healing Drama: The series has a few examples, because the characters sometimes get into desperate situations and do not always escape unscathed, which makes sense, since falling from an extremely tall cliff or fighting while surrounded and out-numbered will do that to you.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The series has several examples.
    • Yona was in love with Soo-Won, although he didn't seem to return her affections the way she wanted.
    • Tae-Jun made it very clear that he wanted to marry Yona, but she turned him down several times and instead pursues a friendship with him after his rigorous Character Development.
    • Then there's Kija and Jae-Ha, who both either have a crush on Yona or are starting to fall in love with her (possibly due, in part, to the dragon blood), however, she appears to only see them in a platonic, almost familial manner.
    • Hak has loved Yona for years, but she only had eyes for Soo-won through most of it, which is later subverted, as Yona admits in Chapters 110 and 124 that she likes Hak and actually works up the nerve to kiss him in Chapter 137. Hak eventually confesses his feelings in true Hak fashion, annoyed and at the top of his lungs, in Chapter 152.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The standard treatment of the Dragon Warriors, outside of the village of Hakuryuu.
  • All Periods Are PMS: Yona suffers from abdominal cramps in chapter 128. Princess Tao of Xing is the only person who realizes this and takes care of Yona, also using this opportunity to talk privately with and befriend her.
  • Almighty Janitor: Yona used to be the princess of the kingdom and Hak a general. Now they are just ruffians that travel the country incognito; however, they are helping more of their people than ever before, confronting issues that never even came to their attention when they were within Hiryuu Castle. They even manage to beat Soo-Won to the problem more than once.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • In-Universe in regards to King Il. Yona always saw him as a loving, if somewhat ditsy, father. Soo-Won believed him to be the murderer of Yu-Hon and unfit to be king. Several regular citizens regarded him as weak and a coward due to his pacifistic nature. Hak remained loyal to him even after death and knew that he was no coward (after seeing him grab a sword blade with his bare hands to put a stop to needless violence).
    • Also In-Universe with Yu-Hon, Soo-Won's father and Il's older brother. Within Kouka, he is generally seen as a war hero and a better candidate than Il to have been king. Geun-Tae harbours huge admiration for him, and Soo-won adored him as a child. However, Xing sees him as an Evil Prince who killed their defenceless prisoners during a brutal war of which Kouka was the victor. The enmity is so bad, when Soo-Won rose to the throne seventeen years later, Princess Kouren started immediately preparing for war.
  • Amazon Chaser: Hak is an unconventional example, as he's still stronger than Yona and he loved her long before she Took a Level in Badass, but he clearly takes pride in her badassery and finds her growing strength a major turn-on.
  • Amusing Injuries: This is done from time to time, usually to Jea-Ha who… seems to enjoy it.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Hak does this in Chapter 152, only replace "anguished" with "angry" and you’ve pretty much got the picture. Well, to be precise, it starts off anguished but becomes angry due to Hak’s frustration with Yona being so dense.
  • Annoying Arrows: This is averted, as the series always treats arrow wounds seriously. In any moments where characters seem to be taking them lightly, they are actually trying to pass it off as a flesh wound.
  • Annoying Patient: Everyone is this to Yoon, excluding Yona.
  • 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.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips:
    • Hak presses a kiss on Yona's forehead a few times, even though there have been a few instances he was close enough to kiss her. It's implied that he believes that Yona still harbours unresolved feelings for Soo-Won and a kiss to the forehead is a safer route for him to cope with his feelings.
    • Subverted with Yona in Chapter 137, who's now only kissed Hak once, and it was on the lips.
  • An Arm and a Leg: At one point, Zeno loses both arms, and even his head, but recovers.
  • Art Evolution: As the manga has been running for eight years, it's natural that the mangaka's art style has shifted since the earliest chapters. It's barely noticeable if you read the manga chronologically, however the difference is much sharper when comparing recent chapters with the first few volumes side-by-side, that said, the difference still isn’t as strong as it is in many other long running series.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The generals of the five tribes tend to be extremely strong warriors. The wind tribe even specifically picks its strongest fighter to be its general.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Yoon is able to look convincing as a girl. It helps that he gets mistaken for a girl constantly. Kija... not so much.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Hak and the Dragon Warriors pull this not infrequently. Also, in chapter 121, Hak does this with Mundeok and Geun-Tae. This is also the standard battle-tactic of Ayura and Tetora. Xing’s Five Stars pull this from time to time as well.
  • Badass Adorable:
    • Yona grows to be as lethal as she is lovely.
    • Zeno too, beneath his ever-present smile, is possibly the most lethal member of Yona's entire Badass Crew. He is incapable of dying and becomes completely invulnerable when he has regenerated enough, as well as being gifted with a high jump ability, super-strength, and increased stamina.
  • Badass Crew:
    • The Happy Hungry Bunch is one: the four dragons warriors are formidable foes, Yoon's wits are nothing to sniff at, Yona becomes a strong warrior herself, and Hak is a Badass Normal One-Man Army.
    • The pirates of Awa are a formidable crew and have caused havoc against Awa's corrupt elements for many years.
  • Badass Grandpa:
    • Son Mundeok, who is a retired general and war-hero so well-known that Yoon knew him by name, despite being from a different tribe altogether. He also had a hand in training Hak, the reigning greatest warrior of Kouka.
    • Captain Gi-Gan also qualifies, since, as a citizen, she organized the local fishermen into a temporary pirate group to stop a human-trafficker, taught Jae-Ha how to fight, and is capable of fighting along with Hak and the dragons.
  • Badass in Distress:
    • This happens to Hak repeatedly, especially when he fell off a very tall cliff with Yona and made sure to cushion her fall, usually it’s due to a One-Man Army not being quite enough when also protecting someone, so he ends up biting off more than even he can chew.
    • After she Took a Level in Badass, there are a few times where Yona’s new found strength isn’t quite enough.
    • This also is inflicted on the Four Dragon Warriors during the Xing arc, wherein they are beaten up and imprisoned without receiving any treatment. They managed fairly well considering, but it was still very tough on them.
  • Badass Normal: Although he is traveling with a bunch of dragon-humans, Hak is one of, if not, the strongest in the group (he’s AT LEAST on par with the dragon warriors, even when injured).
  • Battle Butler: Tetora and Ayura serve as Lili's attendants and bodyguards.
  • Bash Brothers: Hak, Kija, Shin-Ah, and Jae-Ha — and sometimes Zeno, but only if things become very dire and he needs to step in — routinely fight together and protect each other to take out large swarms of enemies. Kija even likes to consider the Dragon Warriors actual brothers, despite the lack of a blood-relation between any of them (Guen, the original Hakuryuu warrior, had the same thoughts). Similarly, Zeno and the other original dragon warriors, came to feel this way about each other, so Zeno views their successors as his nephews.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Played with. While the main cast are either handsome or beautiful, the equally handsome Soo-Won was the one who murdered Yona's father. Decent-looking and Jerk Ass Tae-Jun started out very self-centred but eventually Took a Level in Kindness. On the other hand, there’s also the psychopathic example of Mizari—who can be rather cute when he's not wearing his Slasher Smile—and the very clearly evil Hiyou, who's a bit of The Dandy and described as youthful-looking.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Seriously, don't hurt Yona if you know what's good for you. Hak and the Dragons are fiercely protective of her, but it was the sweet, shy Shin-Ah who demonstrated this by viciously attacking the bandits who harmed her in chapter fifty.
    • Hurting any member of the Happy Hungry Bunch is a very bad idea with Zeno around. He has absolutely no reservations in activating his powers to defend them.
    • Soo-Won acts as one of these for Hak. The thought of him tends to instantly sour his mood and the mere sight of him was enough to send Hak into an Uncontrollable Rage in Chapter 91.
  • Betty and Veronica: Soo-Won and Hak, with Yona as our designated Archie, at first appear to follow this trope—right down to the Blonde, Brunette, Redhead colour-scheme. We have the gentle, kind-hearted, and fair-haired Soo-Won and the roguishly handsome, mischievous, and dark-haired Hak. It is, however, averted, when we find out our "Betty" isn't as sweet as he let on.
  • Betty and Veronica Switch: Soo-Won, who appears to be our Betty, murders Yona's father and usurps the throne. Hak, who appears to be our Veronica, gave up his entire life as a general and name as "Son" in order to follow and protect Yona… Who is supposed to be the sweet and kind one again?
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Shin-Ah is this in quite a literal way (see Berserk Button). Also, the Water Tribe follows the analogy of water usually being peaceful but capable of becoming a raging storm or a broken dam.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Hak has this toward many of the other children at the Wind Tribe, many of whom consider him their older brother despite a lack of any actual blood-relation. He also had this somewhat to Yona and Soo-Won when they were very young, even prompting Soo-Won to comment on how Hak acted the way he imagined a big brother would.
    • Kija also has a big brother instinct when it comes to Shin-Ah. When a strangely-acting Shin-Ah didn't know who Ao was, Kija was the first one to realize that this wasn't Shin-Ah. After he learns Shin-Ah is being possessed by the ghost of a previous Seiryuu, his demand is explicitly "Give back my little brother," and he offers himself in Shin-Ah's place.
    • Jae-Ha takes the job of looking after the other Dragons. In one of the extra chapters, he went after Kija and Shin-Ah who blindly jumped into a river and protected Zeno when a bear was attacking him—forgetting that Zeno would obviously survive the attack.
    • Zeno has a more subtle version towards all the dragon warriors, because he sees them as Geun, Abi, and Shuten's children. Perviously, he was their "little brother" as the youngest of the original dragon warriors.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Kija wanted to be this to Shin-Ah, claiming that he would offer guidance about being a dragon warrior and telling Shin-ah to refer to him as "big brother" right after he joins the group.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Hak appears seemingly out of nowhere to save Yona in the second chapter/episode right before she was about to be killed by Soo-Won's soldiers.
  • Biseinen: Much of the male main cast are very attractive, usually straddling the line between this and Hunk, especially Hak and the Dragon Warriors (minus Zeno), this is frequently lampshaded. Soo-Won, most of Kouka’s generals, the original Dragon Warriors, King Hiryuu, and Xing’s Five Stars all fit this pattern as well.
  • Bishoujo: Yona is frequently described as being cute or beautiful. An Lili and her bodyguards are likewise attractive. There's also Princesses Kouren and Tao of Xing, both of whom Yona notes being particularly beautiful and cute, respectively.
  • Bishounen:
    • Both Yoon and Zeno, since they look younger and less built than the rest of the primary male cast but are nonetheless considered attractive. Mizari also sort of fits this trope when not being a Creepy Child for once. And then there’s Tae-Yeon
    • In the flashbacks to their childhoods, Hak, Soo-Won, and the Dragon Warriors all fit this like a glove.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Lady Lili meets with a woman whose son mysteriously vanished while Lili is looking into the nadai drug being smuggled into her tribe. That woman is a merchant whose job is to kidnap people to make into slaves for her country, the one supplying the nadai.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • Shin-Ah's eyes, once activated, are hard to control. If he uses them to any effect, the effects backfire on him and he collapses, to counteract just how one-sided it is as an attack.
    • Zeno's immortality has a few layers of this: he never gets sick, he's still seventeen even after around two thousand years, he has a Healing Factor, and any really substantial injury causes his body to regenerate as impenetrable dragon scales. However, he's also outlived his wife, all of his friends, and his loved ones; people are uncomfortable with the way his appearance never changes; and he has to go through a lot of debilitating pain and injury before his body is strong enough to put up a fight. Furthermore, even he's disgusted by the unnatural way his body refuses to die, no matter how many times he's dismembered At one point he states that he's fairly certain he'll still be around after the end of the world.
  • Bling of War: Justified and played with. When Soo-Won "plays" war with Geun-Tae, he makes sure that they are wearing custom made jewellery. Turns out he was advertising gemstones from the local quarry to stimulate the economy.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Soowon, Hak and Yona, respectively.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Hak, Mundeok, and many other members of the Wind Tribe enjoy fighting, but not war.
    • 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, largely because he feels that his place is on the battlefield.
    • Soo-Won’s father, Yu-Hon, was this, very definitely so.
  • Bodyguard Crush:
    • Hak's loved Yona even longer than he's been her appointed bodyguard. It eventually becomes mutual.
    • Kija, one of Yona's dragon warriors and therefore sworn protectors, is plagued with frequent cases of Crush Blush every time she praises him and wonders why her sleeping close to Hak makes his chest tight.
    • Though he isn't sure whether it's his own feelings or an effect of the dragon's blood, Jae-Ha—another one of Yona's dragon warriors—also harbours some attraction toward her. He also uses the fact that Yona is only sixteen and he's 25 as a reason not to pursue it.
    • In the anime, there are a few subtle clues that Shin-Ah, yet another dragon warrior, also might have an innocent crush on Yona. He tries to give her a hairpin like Soo-Won did and the idea of her rejecting him stings him more than anyone else. In the manga, he appears to have no such feelings, rather, his affection for her seems to be familial.
    • Vold may have some feelings for Princess Tao that stretch beyond that of a servant, if the Luminescent Blush he got from her hug was any indication. She might even reciprocate it, if her mild blushing while talking to Vold is a clue.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Despite her growth, Yona still needs bodyguards. Hak? Not so much, but she insists they protect him too (partially justified by the injuries he gets in volume three).
  • Body Horror: Shin-Ah and Zeno's powers have strong elements of this. Shin-ah's powers manifest as horrific visions of dragons eating the victim alive and Zeno's powers cannot fully activate until he's been completely mutilated. His body will literally resew itself together no matter how fatal the injury he receives is.
  • Bullying the Dragon: Quite literally, as this was the fate of the Dragon Warriors—excluding Hakuryuu. Both Seiryuu and Ryokuryuu villages severely abused their respective dragon warriors for generations despite that they have powers and pose a considerable threat to normal people like them.
  • Butt-Monkey: Kan Tae-Jun, at first. An omake shows what would have happened if he'd married Yona and become king: Soo-Won runs things, Yona is entirely clueless about his feelings and still loves Soo-Won, and, to top it all off, Hak follows them everywhere to make sure he doesn't try anything perverted... on Yona's orders.
  • By the Hair: Early in the story, Tae-Jun has Yona by her long red hair. Her solution is to slash it off.
  • Cain and Abel: If Soo-Won is to be believed, then Il killed his older brother Yu-Hon. Additionally, you could count Soo-Won as the Cain to Yona's Abel... Though Yona had more than sisterly affection towards him, at first.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: For all the Dragons except Zeno, who knows where the Call lives and just shows up to join.
  • The Call Put Me on Hold: Inverted with Zeno, instead he put the Call on hold.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Few men are ever drawn to be ugly; there are some plain ones, though.
  • Catch-Phrase: Yoon's is "I'm a genius pretty boy." He also gets a lot of mileage out of "This is so troublesome."
  • Casual Danger Dialogue:
    • Hak loves mouthing off during a fight and does this all the time with the Dragon Warriors and anyone else he's fighting along side.
    • During the fights at the Sei fortresses, Mundeok has such an exchange with Geun-Tae. There are other examples with various characters scattered throughout the series as well.
  • Celibate Hero:
  • Character Development: This series has this in spades, as almost every important character experiences this.
    • Yona changes from a pampered sweet girl to a resilient, badass, and active leader.
    • Hak goes from being overprotective of Yona, to wanting to show off the person she's become to the world, among other things.
    • Yoon was once only concerned with his own self-preservation, but now he's willing to take hits for his friends.
    • Kija loses some of his Sheltered Aristocrat persona—though not all of it, since he's still deathly afraid of bugs.
    • Shin-Ah learns the value of companionship and has taken steps to not being so afraid of his own powers, even actively using them to protect his friends.
    • Jae-Ha changes from rejecting everything to do with the dragon brotherhood to acting as the four dragon's big brother.
    • Spoiled Brat and Jerkass Taejun Took a Level in Kindness and became a better person who cares for the poverty-stricken citizens of the Fire Tribe.
    • Lili goes from being all talk to being able to back up her ambitions of supporting her father and the Water Tribe to being easily the tribe’s second most influential person.
  • Character-Magnetic Team: Seriously. It gets to the point where Zeno just shows up at the group's campfire and decides to stay.
  • Chick Magnet: Hak and Jae-Ha are the ones who get girls swarming over them most often, but all of the male members of the Happy Hungry Bunch are shown to be popular with girls one time or another. Jae-Ha is the only one who revels in it.
  • Childhood Friends: Yona, Hak, and Soo-Won grew up together as children. One flashback even features all three of them becoming sick at the same time.
  • 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. However, he always supported a relationship between the two since they were both equally important to him. Later, Yona falls for Hak.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Jae-Ha has spent a lot of his free time at brothels, but he is nothing less than a gentleman to the women there and anywhere, often going out of his way to help or save them, sometimes at his own detriment.
  • The Chosen One: Yona. Legends said that one day a red-haired royal would bring together the four dragons once more. This is confirmed by Zeno in chapter 121, as she is the reincarnation of Hiryuu, also confirmed later in Soo-Won’s flashbacks of King Il.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander:
    • While most of the characters lack these characteristics, several characters do have bouts of this, including Yona, who at one point tries to trim her hair with an ax until Yoon stops her.
    • There's also Zeno, who initially tries to warm up the ill Kaya by putting crates on top of her.
  • Complete Immortality: Zeno is 100% unkillable as a part of his powers as the Ouryuu, or Yellow Dragon. He can and has survived severe hunger, burning alive and decapitation.
  • Cool Old Guy: Son Mundeok, Hak's adoptive grandfather. He's a strict but extremely honourable Retired Badass with the tendency to take in and care for orphaned children… and give people candy as a reward for bravery.
  • Cool Old Lady:
    • Kija's grandmother, who's raised several generations of Hakuryuu and appears to be one of the most spirited individuals in the entirety of Hakuryuu village.
    • Captain Gi-Gan, the leader of a crew of pirates. She's a gruff but caring mother to her men who wields throwing knives with decidedly un-deadly accuracy.
  • Costume Porn: The mangaka puts lavish amounts of detail into clothing.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: Tae-Woo and Hyeung-Dae cover Tae-Yeon's eyes when they witness Hak getting very close to Yona (to provide her with a cover story to hide her identity), Hak immediately corrects them that there's nothing his little brother shouldn't see.
  • Creepy Child: Mizari is rather young (sixteen according to Word of God) and is rather unsettling with his Slasher Smile and creepy eyes.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • Zeno appears to be this at first with seemingly careless attitude. In his first appearance, he crumples like a wet paper towel when Hak punches him, but while the punch hurt, Zeno's power would have healed it quickly. In his backstory arc, we find out that after Hiryuu's death, he functioned as a One-Man Army, staving off invasions all by himself.
    • Algira. He's a strange, Adorkable guy with an obsession with cats and the tendency to tack "nyan" onto the end of people's names. He's also one of Xing's Five Stars—i.e., the strongest fighters in Xing, as the strongest among them.
  • Cry Cute: Yona remains just as cute and pretty while crying.
  • Cuddle Bug: Zeno has a habit of glomping or cuddling with the nearest person. Apparently, he likes to sleep close to Shin-Ah (because his fur piece is warm).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Anyone fighting against Hak or the Four Dragons will result in this, especially if all of them are involved. Similarly, General Gun-Tae, all of the strongest members of the Wind Tribe (personally trained by Mundeok), and Xing’s Five Stars tend to do this, although not to the same extent.
    • In the past, the original four dragon warriors and Hiryuu used to pull this, minus Zeno, at first.
  • Cut Himself Shaving: After his Uncontrollable Rage, when Hak notices the bruise he left on Kija’s face, Kija claims it was a mosquito bite.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Ik-Soo is a male example; at one point when their cottage appears to be wrecked, Yoon rushes in thinking that something terrible happened to him, Ik-Soo just knocked stuff over while hungry.
  • The Cutie: Son Tae-Yeon, Hak's little brother, is this and is adored by the entire Wind Tribe. Whenever they try to convince Hak to visit, they mention the kid.
  • Cycle of Revenge:
    • King Il supposedly killed Soo-Won's father Yu-Hon, so Soo-Won killed him... in front of his daughter (not that he noticed initially). Whether Yona will actually continue the cycle has yet to be seen. And Yu-Hon's death was directly after Yona was abducted as a child and not long after her mother was killed.
    • There’s also the entire kingdom of Xing, whose anger a Kouka for the late Yu-Hon’s actions definitely goes in this direction. Later on, the priest Gobi deliberately manipulates people using this tendency.
  • Dance Party Ending: The end of the Awa arc has the entire town celebrating. Although the happy mood is soured, at least for Yona and Hak, when Yona unexpectedly runs into Soo-Won.
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: On the night of Yona's sixteenth birthday celebration, her cousin murders her father and she and her bodyguard become fugitives.
  • Damsel out of Distress:
  • Deadpan Snarker: Many characters have instances of this, especially Hak. It is basically par for the course when it comes to the important characters, with the exception of the sweet, shy Shin-Ah. Even Ao/ Pukyuu is arguably a Silent Snarker. Also, Soo-Won, the other important character to apparently lack this quality, in the beginning of chapter 75, makes a wonderful jab at Li Hazara, after he assisted Kan Soo-Jin, the Fire Tribe general, in attempting to revolt and lost, by thanking the guy for "taking care" of the Fire Tribe.
  • Death Glare:
    • Shin-Ah's power as the Seiryuu is a literal example, where, if activated, he is able to target and paralyze limbs and organs.
    • Yona pulls this on occasion; Yang Kum-Ji compares her eyes to that of a beast and retracts his suspicions of her being the princess because of that. When ever she has one, it is indeed quite impressive.
    • Hak has had a pretty gnarly one for years. He even managed to intimidate a grown man with it at the age of eleven, and almost a decade later, that same man is still scared of him and cites his Death Glare as a big reason why.
    • All of the series’ strong fighters are plenty capable of this, but the HHB together (even tiny Yoon and Zeno!) pulled pretty scary glares when Yona had been kidnapped by a nadai smuggler and when Hak was being threatened by Ju-do.
  • Death of a Child:
    • In chapter 29, officers from Awa beat up a kid until he stopped breathing.
    • A child is killed by bandits in chapter 49.
    • Mizari, who was only sixteen dies by the end of the Xing arc.
  • Debut Queue: The first few arcs are spent introducing and establishing all of the members of the Happy Hungry Bunch and the main antagonist.
  • Decapitation Strike:
    • This is what Yu-Hon did to make Xing hate and fear Kouka so much, moreover, the victims were prisoners he had promised to return.
  • Dented Iron: Hak at first seems to be Made of Iron, but he does get injured, and the injuries do take a toll on him. His more-or-less functioning regardless is a combination of his strength and unbendable will.
  • Determinator:
    • Crawl along a dangerously 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. In fact, Yona tends to take on this approach a fair bit after she Took a Level in Badass.
    • Hak has this attitude when it comes to protecting Yona: he will defend her, even if he has been poisoned or has broken bones, he will fight until he collapses and then will get up and do it again. This is to the extent that he can keep up with the Hand of the White Dragon with broken ribs, which makes Kija wonder if Hak is a monster.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In the extra chapter "Please Excuse Us for Our Carelessness," after Ao/ Pukyuu accidentally fell into a river, Shin-Ah jumps in with Kija following right behind, neither realizing they didn't take off their clothes or how fast the water was going. Jae-Ha promptly rescued them with annoyance. Immediately after that, Jae-Ha tries to protect Zeno by fighting a bear. Zeno has to remind him later that he's immortal and Jae-Ha basically did it for nothing.
    • In chapter 137, Yona notices that Hak seems extremely uneasy letting her travel without him. As a farewell, she grabs him by the hem of his cloak and plants a Forceful Kiss on him. This of course, did more to shock him than it did to comfort him and Yona later harshly admonishes herself for giving in to the impulse.
  • Died Standing Up: This happens to Neguro in chapter 143, which is even entitled "This Body Is Unyielding." A bit later, after reflexively throwing his comrade out of the path of an arrow, he falls from the knock-back, but had that not happened, he would have remained standing. In fact, even then, His. Joints. Don’t. Move.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper:
    • Jae-Ha wanted Hak to join his pirate gang but asked him by holding Hak's hands and telling Hak that he wanted him. When Hak naturally declined, Jae-Ha started hugging Hak, saying Hak was a handsome man and that they should continue their conversation in private. Hilarity Ensues.
    • Yona in chapters 141 and 152, telling Hak that he could leave the Happy Hungry Bunch in order to go home to the Wind Tribe and to his "fiancée." She first tells him her Forceful Kiss was a greeting, then apologizes for it, then tells him he's free to leave. The next day, she spends the whole morning avoiding and pushing him away in an attempt to "stop burdening" him—hurting his feelings more and more in each attempt to allow him more personal freedom.
  • Disappeared Dad: Quite a few characters have this. Shin-Ah’s birth father is never mentioned, nor are either of Jeaha, Yoon or Hak’s parents (though Yoon and Hak find surrogate father-figures in Ik-Soo and Mundeok, respectively). Of course, Yona, Kija, and Soo-Won’s fathers are dead.
  • Dragons Are Divine: The four dragons (blue, white, green, and gold) are essentially gods that provided blood to create the dragon warriors in order to protect their master, Hiryuu, the red dragon who incarnated as a human and became king. Each generation produces a new dragon warrior of each type, except for Zeno, until such time as the red dragon's reincarnation comes looking for them.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: In the extra chapter "Sleep Tight Tonight" that took place before the events of the manga, Yona revealed to Hak that she had a dream of them leaving and running away from the castle. From what Ik-Soo said, the second part is what would have happened had they not met up with the Dragon Warriors.
  • 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 and can convincingly dress as one.
  • Dying to Be Replaced: Once a new "Dragon Warrior" is born, the previous one slowly loses his powers and subsequently his life.
  • Dysfunction Junction: The Happy Hungry Bunch all has this to varying degrees:
    • Kija mostly had a happy childhood, practically being spoiled by his village due his status as the White Dragon. But an extra chapter revealed that his father attacked and left a scar on his back when he was born. Consequently, Kija was kept away from his father for most of his life. He also had to deal with some very aggressive women, to the extent where he has some trauma.
    • All Seiryuu are considered cursed monsters by their own people, who refuse to go near them or talk to them. It’s to the extent where Shin-Ah’s mother committed suicide when she learned that she had given birth to the new Seiryuu. Shin-Ah’s isolation was so complete, that he only had the pervious Seiryuu, Ao, as a companion, which didn’t last too long since Ao died when Shin-Ah was four years old. And let’s not forget that he didn’t even have a name.
    • Jae-Ha spent most of his childhood chained by the villagers and guarded by the previous Rokuryuu so he wouldn't run away, not to mention said predecessor would beat him.
    • Zeno due to his immortality, outlived everyone he cared about, knowing that he will never be able to follow them, ever. He had to watch all of his loved ones age sicken and die while he stayed as young as he had been when he first became Ouryuu He's also heavily disturbed by how inhuman his regeneration is.
    • Yoon's parents presumably died while he was rather young, and he spent much of his early childhood alone an consistently on the verge of starvation until he was Happily Adopted by Ik-Soo.
    • Yona and Hak straight up suffer from PTSD after Suwon's betrayal.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • In some early coloured artwork, Soo-Won, Hak and Zeno appeared with brown eyes instead of their later green and blue shades.
    • During the Xing arc, Algira messes up his words during his Establishing Character Moment and proceeds to never do it again.
  • Elemental Nation: Downplayed. While the provinces/tribes of Kouka are named after the elements (Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and Sky) and their leaders' appearances somewhat evoke the colors associated with these elements, there is very little magic in the world in general.
  • Enemy Civil War: The Fire Tribe rebels against Soo-Won, and Yona and co. must help prevent the coup from disturbing the country.
  • Engaging Conversation:
    • Yoon gets marriage proposals by several people once they try his cooking, mostly from men.
    • In chapter 95, a twelve year-old boy asks Yona to be his bride after she impresses him with her archery—a proposition which she promptly rejects. The kid starts off rejecting her rejection, but soon moves on to proposing to Yoon after deciding that he was nice.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Hak's very first appearance, in which he claims there was nothing wrong with Yona's hair but rather her head, firmly cements him as the Deadpan Snarker he is. Not only that, it reveals his role as Yona's bodyguard and the casual manner of their relationship.
    • Shin-Ah first appeared rescuing Yona, a stranger to him, from a kidnapper and helping her return to her friends.
    • Zeno's first appearance, in which he shows up out of nowhere because he smells food, offhandedly confirms that he's the Ouryuu as everyone else flips out, and accepts the offer to join the group before Yona even finishes asking, makes it very clear very early on how silly and spontaneous a character he is. Also sort of played with, in that while all the above is true, many of his strange acts (him supposedly smelling food that isn't even cooked yet, or him joining the group the fastest out of anyone) are actually clues that he's been following them the whole time.
    • Much later on, Algira introduces himself by beating up a man who tried to kill a cat as an example of what people should be doing with what it was compared to earlier and scolds the guy for doing so, while messing up his own words.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: Usually this is not the case for this series, but there are a few cases to the contrary.
    • First, there’s Kija, who isn’t actually asked about it at first since Jae-Ha realized that it definitely came from the Dragon’s Claw; later, thinking that he accidentally did it to himself, he does ask, only to get an unusually pithy answer for this trope:
    Kija: Scar? Oh this? This was made by the predecessor, my father.
    • Shocking Jae-Ha even more is the fact that this backstory isn’t even something Kija’s gloomy or concerned about, as Kija explains, to him, the scar is a mark of his father’s desire to serve Hiryuu and the only time his father touched him. In a flashback, Kija even says that he would be fine with the scar staying with him his whole life.
    • The origins of Neguro’s scars shown in a Flashback, rather than anyone asking or him explaining, it still counts though.
  • 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.
    • It's obvious to most people that Hak has feelings for Yona, despite that he does his best to hide it.
    • Later, it becomes very apparent to those around them that Yona and Hak like each other. Vold even flat-out assumes they're a couple and is utterly shocked when Hak tells him they're not.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Shin-Ah was only known as the "Seiryuu," his birth parents didn't bother to give him a name, and not even the previous Seiryuu, Ao, who did care about him thought of giving him one (it seems that "Ao" was merely Shin-Ah's nickname for him from another Japanese reading of "blue").
  • The Evil Prince: The late Yu-Hon may have been this; he certainly had a streak of despotism.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Mizari inflicts this on an assassin in chapter 144, using an arrow the guy shot at him.
    • Zeno purportedly did this to himself to see if he would gain Seiryuu’s powers, and… was disappointed that his eyes merely became super hard.

    Tropes F-J 
  • Facial Composite Failure: Hak and Jae-Ha get wanted posters up after causing trouble in Awa. Jae-Ha finds Hak's hilarious, but when he sees his own he immediately burns it.
  • Fallen Princess: Yona starts out a spoiled and pampered princess, and loses all that status right in the first few chapters as her father is murdered and she goes on the run.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The series takes a lot of inspiration from ancient China and Korea, with some Japanese culture thrown in. In particular, the setting is loosely inspired by the Three Kingdoms of Korea period; the Kouka Kingdom is inspired by the Goguryeo Kingdom, while the neighbouring Sei and Xing are based on Baekje and Silla respectively. You can also see that the three kingdoms are located in a peninsula in the manga and that they almost have the same layout as their real-life counterparts. The Kai empire is likewise based on Ancient China (possibly Sui or Tang Dynasty). There are a few notable differences (e.g. it was Silla which unified the peninsula, with the help of the Tang), but even the crown Soo-Won wears during his coronation is a reference.
  • A Father to His Men:
    • Or more like a mother to her crew. Pirate Captain Gi-Gan is just like a strict but caring mother to her men. This extends to Yona too.
    • Mundeok is shown to treat many of the younger warriors and citizens of Fuuga as his own family, which earns him great respect amoung his soldiers.
    • Notably averted with Kan Soo-Jin. In his madness, he wanted to send his army to their certain death to make him king and ended up being killed by one of his men with tears in his eyes.
  • Feel No Pain: Averted with Zeno, to despite his powers, but he usually doesn’t show any reaction to it, although he used to.
  • Final First Hug: Kija's only interaction with his father and predecessor: when he was born and his father noticed that his own son was his successor, Kija's father scratched his back leaving quite the set of scars. As a result, Kija could only speak to his father with an escort and, only when Kija sneaks into his father's room to see him on his death bed, do they actually touch each other. This also doubles as Died in Your Arms Tonight.
  • Fire-Forged Friends:
    • Hak and Kija. They started off as rivals, Kija even attempting to pay Hak to leave and getting severely annoyed at the "White Snake" nickname Hak coined for him. However, they grow closer as friends, and Kija eventually asks Hak to start calling him brother. Hak and Jaeha shared a similar relationship, starting off sniping at each other constantly, but later they grow to become close friends to the point that they frequently talk and share drinks together. Kija and Jaeha are even the ones to step up and defend Hak when Ju-doh is threatening him.
    • In Zeno’s Flashback, the original Four Dragon Warriors are shown to at first have Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, but later seem to grow into a close, brotherly friendship.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest:
    • Yona's huge crush on Soo-Won and his subsequent betrayal left her with serious emotional baggage.
    • In a non-romantic way, Hak also has this towards Soo-won. Since Soo-Won was the person he trusted the most, Yona believes that Hak will never be able to forgive him, and he has a bit of a hard time admitting how much his new companions mean to him because of it.
  • First-Episode Spoiler:
    • That naive princess that shows up on the second page? The first page has her future self acting badass as usual.
    • Soo-Won murders King Il in the very first chapter.
  • First-Name Basis: Shin-Ah was the first of the Dragons to start calling Yona by her name and not "your highness" or "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 before so he wouldn't forget that she is the daughter of King Il.
Foil:
  • Kija and Jae-ha. They’re characterized as nearly complete opposites and draw a lot of contrast to each other because of it. Their character development also follows opposite paths—with Kija learning to loosen his tight grip on the dragon brotherhood ideal, and Jae-ha learning to see the value in the relationships within that group.
  • Kouren and Neguro to Yona and Hak, with pretty overt parallels right down to the Lady and Knight dynamic and the Important Haircut. Had Yona made different decisions about how to react to Suwon’s betrayal, it’s not difficult to imagine her and Hak following the same tragic path Kouren and Neguro chose.
  • Il and Yuhon. They basically personify the opposites of two extremes; pacifism to the point of neglect, and control to the point of tyranny.
  • Forceful Kiss: Just before she parts ways with Hak in chapter 137, Yona grabs the hood of his cloak and kisses him in front of Vold, Algira, Ogi and Minsoo. Hilarity Ensues as she quickly retreats, leaving Hak wide-eyed and babbling.
  • Foreshadowing: Regarding Zeno, there's a lot once you backtrack. All of it points to his true nature as the immortal, original Ouryuu from history, who followed Yona to see whether or not she was worthy of the Dragons' power. Zeno asks her point-blank what she plans to do, now that she has the power of the four dragons, whether she plans to take revenge against Soo-Won and restore herself to the throne, and when the others object that they don't have the power to do that, he's certain that they do. The four dragon warriors haven't been together since Hiryuu, so there would be no way for him to be so confident without having been there and witnessed their power for himself. He also recognizes people like Soo-Won and Tae-Jun, even though he should never have had the opportunity to meet them. He's been following Yona from the very beginning. There's a one-off gag where he refers to an old grandmother as "young lady." He's around two-thousand years old; compared to him, everyone's young.
  • Frame-Up: Soo-Won deliberately placed suspicion of the murder of Yona's father on Hak after he and Yona "mysteriously" left the palace. Mundeok, Hak's grandfather, doesn't buy it for a second.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the anime's first opening, besides the colour of their hair and clothes, the original Four Dragons don't share the same taste in clothing, weapons, or hair as their descendants. The first Green Dragon has the same haircut as Jae-Ha, but uses a polearm or staff instead of knives and wears Kouka kingdom clothes as opposed to Kai empire. The first White Dragon uses his claws, like Kija, but looks much rougher (Sleeves Are for Wimps, messy hair, and an open chest) than Kija (long robe and sleeves, straight hair, high neckline). The first Blue Dragon uses a sword like Shin-Ah, but looks more groomed (implied Prim and Proper Bun, well made clothing) compared to Shin-Ah (Pelts of the Barbarian in his giant wig and his clothes). There's almost no difference between Zeno and the first Yellow Dragon, because they're the same person.
  • A Friend in Need: When Yona was attacked in the castle after witnessing her father's death, Hak was one of the only people (along with Minsoo) who protected her from Soo-Won's soldiers, demonstrating his absolute loyalty to her. Later, as Yona and Hak meet and seek out the rest of the Happy Hungry Bunch, Yoon and the four dragons decide to follow and protect Yona despite her status as a fugitive, and soon grow to become True Companions.
  • Friendless Background: Shin-Ah 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. His only companion was his parental figure, the pervious Seiryuu, Ao, and that ended when Shin-Ah was four, thanks to the poor guy dying.
  • Frontline General: More often than not, Kouka's generals fight alongside their soldiers in battle.
  • The Gadfly:
    • Hak is this, although he avoids teasing people about their actual insecurities (he might mention them, but that’s as far as he’ll go); Yona even tells Kija that being a bully is Hak’s hobby.
    • Earth Tribe General Lee Gun-Tae has this to some extent, constantly teasing those around him, especially the very serious Joo-Doh.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Yona receives one when she and Lili are running from the Sei army.
  • Good Is Not Soft: The kind and sweet Yona was the one who shot and killed Yang Kum-Ji. And that's only the beginning.
  • The Good King: King Il was at first represented as this, but actually, although well intentioned, he may have been rather middling. Thus far Soo-Won is this, Hak and Yona aside.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The series has more examples of "good" scars than evil ones. For the heroic characters: Son Mundeok has scar over his right eye (he IS an elderly war hero) and Kija has a set on his back (it’s explained in his backstory). While not heroic per-say, there’s also Neguro of Xing’s Five Stars whose face has three very prominent ones. The morally grey Han Joo-Doh has one on his jaw (it actually seems to relate to his Hair-Trigger Temper, since its shape resembles a bulging vein). For the villains, there’s only Hiyou, who is rather obsessed with the scar on his forehead, which becomes worse after Yona adds to it. Bizarrely, characters such as Hak,note  Shin-Ah, and Jae-Ha apparently lack any scars to despite all the injuries they endure during the series (Kija also never gets any more; this is justified with Zeno alone); also Yona never seems to get any to despite some considerable injuries (it could be that Kusanagi-sensei simply doesn’t bother to draw them, however).
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Zeno's power is immortality. He does not age and will heal from any wound, even decapitation. When he receives major injuries, he will also gain Super Toughness.
  • HA HA HA— No: Hak pulls a non-laughing variant of this during the Xing arc (specifically, chapter 145) after Yoon noticed that Hak was injured… again and asked whether Hak was some kind of pervert. Hak responds with:
    Hak: Yeah, yeah, don’t I look like a guy who likes a little pain? Well, actually, I don’t.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper:
    • This is a running gag with the Sky Tribe General, Han Joo-Doh, since he does tend to jump straight to yelling whenever displeased or annoyed.
    • Kan Kyo-Ga is often seen yelling at and criticizing his little brother, sometimes justifiably, other times not.
    • Likewise Tae-Jun had this and was often shown barking orders and insults at servants and people he saw as "below him". He mellows out after his Character Development, so it's likely it was more of an act to fit in with his father and brother.
  • Happily Adopted: Most of the main cast has this one way or another:
    • Hak and his little foster brother, Tae-Yeon, were adopted by Mundeok, and it’s really clear that this was a good thing for all three of them... and the entire Wind Tribe.
    • Yoon was also sort of adopted by Ik-Soo, and the two cry when they part (although it’s temporary).
    • And Ao was the only parental figure Shin-Ah had, and, to despite Ao being somewhat rough, Shin-Ah was very happy was while this lasted.
    • Jae-Ha was picked up by Gi-Gan, more or less. It certainly was better than his pervious situation.
  • Has a Type:
    • Lili, to her father's chagrin, has zero interest in Soo-Won; to her men are older than 35 and "wild" (remember, she's seventeen).
    • Tetora also shows this trait to a lesser extent, since she like guys who are willing to protect her.
  • He's Okay: Ik-Soo tells this to Yona in chapter twelve, when she was panicking thinking that she would lose Hak too.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Heang-Dea and Tae-Woo, the guards from the Wind Tribe, who are nearly always together.
    • There's also Ayura and Tetora, An Lili's bodyguards.
  • Her Boyfriend's Jacket: The cover photo of chapter 65 features Yona posing with Hak's outer robe draped over her shoulders. It also happened when she wore a rather skimpy outfit to disguise herself as a dancer, and Hak gave her his robe when she lost her jacket during a bar fight.
  • 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.
    • Hak also suffers one when he sees Soo-Won for the second time since the night of Il's death. It culminates in a Unstoppable Rage that Jae-Ha, Kija, and Yona have to break him out of before he kills Soo-Won and gets himself arrested or killed.
  • Hitchhiker Heroes: Yona and her friends track down the Four Dragons Warriors and recruit them one by one.
  • Holding Hands:
    • In chapter twenty, Shin-Ah leads Yona out of the dark tunnels of his village and back to the safety of her companions this way.
    • In chapter sixty, Hak and Soo-Won do this as children as they navigate the busy streets of Hiryuu castle's town. Soo-Won even comments that it felt like what he thought having a big brother would be like.
    • In chapter 111, Hak leads Yona through a crowded festival and back to the others this way. This ended up triggering her Crush Blush, as she had just experienced a Love Epiphany regarding him the previous night.
    • In chapter 131, after Kouren's plans for war with Kouka begin to seem inevitable, Hak does this to comfort Yona.
  • Hopeless Suitor:
    • Kan Tae-Jun, the second son of the General of the Fire Tribe, with regard to his crush on Yona. She'd been rejecting him for years prior to the start of the series.
    • Hak believed that he'd be one if he tried to pursue Yona due to her feelings for Soo-Won, so he never bothered. Subverted much, much later, as we see her slowly but surely fall for him over the course of the series.
    • There was a brief time where Yona thought that Hak had a fiancee, and moreover figured he would never have liked her anyways because of how long they've been friends.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!:
    • Yona tells Hak a variant of this when he attempts to convince her to leave him for dead, surrounded by soldiers, injured, and dangling from a cliffside:
      Hak: You idiot... Run away!
      Yona: No! NEVER! If you die, I'll never forgive you!
    • Chapter 75 has an amusing example:
      Tae-Woo: Do you really think that Lord Hak is dead?
      Hyeung-Dae: Nope.
      Mundeok: If he goes and dies on his own, I'll kill him.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl:
    • Hak stands at a fairly impressive 6'1, while Yona stands an entire foot shorter and without half the muscle.
    • Geun-Tae is a rather tall and bulky warrior, while his wife, Yun-Ho, is very petite.
  • Human Pincushion:
    • This happens to Zeno, as he is impaled by several swords both in a battle to protect Kouka hundreds of years ago and presently in a battle to protect his companions from rampaging soldiers. He gets better.
    • Neguro willingly meets his end by being shot with tens of arrows, after receiving a presumably fatal arrow wound to the chest protecting Kouren.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Heuk-Chi for Tae-Jun. He's far more skilled with a sword than Tae-jun is, often swooping in to personally protect him in battle. Before Tae-jun's Character Development, he came across as quite a bit smarter and more self-aware as well.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On:
    • Early in the manga, it's a running joke that Yona accidentally does or says something suggestive toward Hak, leaving him ever-so-slightly flustered each time. This is later lampshaded in the "Stay Healthy" side chapter, in which Zeno reminds Yona of all the things she's said, as she covers her face and moans in embarrassment.
    • Later on, once Yona begins developing feelings for Hak, he also tends to do this to her fairly often. Notably, she seems to respond the most to the sound of his voice close to her ear or to him using her first name.
  • 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. When he joins up with Yona, he wonder if Ao would have smiled knowing that he actually made friends.
  • I See Dead People: Apparently Jae-Ha has to deal with this, as does Zeno; it only has come up twice, though. Oddly, Jae-Ha seems to be unable to see the spirits of Kija’s predecessors clinging to him, while Zeno can, but this could be a difference in the strength of their abilities.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • By the time the present storyline starts, Hak had been in love with Yona for years. However, he refused to act on his feelings for her because he knew Yona was in love with Soo-Won, who was his best friend, whom he desired to be king, and he ultimately wanted both to be happy. Even after Soo-Won was out of the picture, he didn't want to further disturb Yona's way of life and ended up continuing to suppress it. And even after that, when he revealed his feelings, he told Yona not to feel burdened by it and later admits to Jae-Ha that he never actually intended to tell her—it slipped out.
    • Kija decided a long time ago that he would support Yona with whomever she decided to be with. When it becomes apparent she has likely chosen Hak, he makes a point of not disturbing them while they are together. Also, Jae-Ha has always been the biggest supporter of Yona and Hak as a couple, despite his own attraction toward Yona. They are also the ones who take the lead in urging Yona to make up with Hak in chapter 152.
    • Funnily enough, Yona shaped up to fall into this trope as well. She intended to someday release Hak of his responsibility as her bodyguard and stated that she doesn't want to get in the way if he "found someone important." This comes to a head in chapter 151, in which Yona overhears a conversation within the Wind Tribe about Hak having a fiancée. Although it's a misunderstanding and the engagement seems to have been called off years ago, it pushes Yona to decide to tell Hak he was free to leave if he wanted to.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Hak tries this when he’s Hanging by the Fingers; Yona wasn’t having any of that. Ironically, Yona later pulls this with Lili, who also wasn’t going to accept that as an answer.
  • Ignorant of the Call: Shin-Ah didn't know about the Four Dragons and was told all his life he was cursed instead. When he met Yona and Kija he had no idea what was going on. That said, to despite his lack of knowledge, he immediately recognised the other warriors properly (even at the young age of three or four), meaning that his instincts are really good; he just didn't know what to make of seeing another dragon warrior.
  • Imaginary Love Triangle:
    • Hak seems to think Yona still keeping Soo-won's hairpin is a sign that she is still in love with him. However, while Yona may still have some complicated feelings toward Soo-Won, romantic love is no longer one of them. It is possibly the reason he doesn't react at all to her not-so-subtle hints about her newfound feelings toward him.
    • In chapter 152, Yona overhears the Wind Tribe talking with Hak and joking about a supposed fiancée. As it turns out, it was an arranged marriage from when they were children, and had been dropped years earlier. Hak's "fiancée," Ayame, is even dating someone else entirely (Saki), and the whole arrangement seems to just be a running joke within the tribe now. However, Yona doesn't stick around long enough to learn that and ends up brokenhearted at the revelation.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • The first shocker comes right when Soo-Won impales Yona's father, King Il, with a sword.
    • Kan Soo-Jin is stopped in his mad efforts to become king by being stabbed by one of his own soldiers.]]
    • Zeno has been stabbed until impalation more than once, while taking on several foes in a fight.
  • Implausible Deniability: In chapter 151, in her embarrassment, Yona tries to claim that the Forceful Kiss she gave Hak was a greeting; Hak doesn’t buy this for a second, although he later jokes about it.
  • Important Haircut: When Yona and an injured Hak are surrounded, Yona is captured by Kan Tae-Jun, the son of the Fire Tribe's general, as he held her by the hair. After seeing Hak dangling from an impossibly tall cliff and realizing she was too weak to do much if 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 trying to pull Hak up, ultimately jumping off the cliff to save him. It grows back as time passes.
  • Ill Boy: Son Tae-Yeon seems to have asthma, which was frequently deadly up until the mid-twentieth century (long after the series’ time frame).
  • Ill Girl: Kaya, Zeno’s wife, was terminally ill, probably with tuberculosis.
  • I'm Okay!: Hak frequently says this to calm Yona down when he's injured. The Dragon Warriors are also known to pull this one, especially Kija.
  • In a Single Bound: This is a power of the Ryokuryuu, which is frequently confused with actual flight. Hak teases Jae-Ha for this more than once.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: Yona is the only girl in a group full of guys and on occasion, she shares a tent with one guy (mostly Yoon).
  • 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… and charge the "audience" viewing fees.
  • Intimate Healing:
    • After Yona gets some thorns stuck in her hands, Hak pours honey over her wounds and licks the honey off her fingers (justified by the next page).
    • Later, when Yona's back is slashed by Hiyou's men, Hak props her up against him to give her a drink of water—causing her Luminescent Blush to flare from her state of undress and the sound of his voice close to her ear (also justified, by the situation, this time).
  • Internal Reveal: In chapter 125, Yoon, Jae-Ha, and Kija find out about Yona's hairpin and about Yona's feelings for Soo-Won, which were facts the audience has always known. In addition, they realize the unspoken reason Hak has never been quite able to spit it out.
  • In-Series Nickname: Hak is known as the "Raijuu" note  of the Kouka Kingdom.
  • Insult of Endearment:
    • Hak calls Kija and Jae-Ha "White Snake" and "Droopy-eyes." At first, they were meant as genuine insults. However, as time went on, and the three of them became Fire-Forged Friends, Jae-Ha and Kija began responding to the names normally.
    • Yoon has been known to refer to the Dragon Warriors (plus Hak) as "beasts" and "monsters."
  • In the Back:
    • Drug lord Hiyou had no problem stabbing Tetora from behind, not caring if he could have hit his own men. Later, another of his men slashed Yona's back.
    • During the Xing arc, a partially brainwashed soldier stabs Yotaka in the back when he is speaking to some people. Later on during the same arc, Princess Kouren receives an even dirtier slash to the back. Both get better, unlike Mizari, whose chest wound was made in the same spirit, since he was imprisoned at the time.
  • 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. Further justified in chapter 101, if Zeno's explanation is on target.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: "The Dark Dragon and the Happy Hungry Bunch" attack only Fire Tribe soldiers and give food and medicine to the local villages.

    Tropes K-O 
  • Kissing Cousins: Yona’s long term crush on Soo-Won, since their fathers were brothers.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Kija resolves to do this in a rather bittersweet moment, when he spots Yona and Hak together.
  • Legacy Team: Yona herself is the reincarnation of the legendary king Kouka who made the Kouka kingdom in the antiquity with the help of the Four Dragons, loyal warriors with superpowers that also are human incarnations of dragons like Hiryuu. Yona eventually finds and recruits Kija, Jae-Ha and Shin-Ah, reincarnations of Gu-En, Shu-Ten and Abi, respectively. Averted with the fourth dragon Zeno, who has Immortality and is one of the original dragons that voluntarily joined Yona.
  • Like a Son to Me: Mundeok 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!
  • Living Emotional Crutch:
    • Yona for Shin-Ah. She was the first person to reach out to him and harming her will unleash a feral, violent side of him that frightens him.
    • As the story progresses we get to see Hak is one to Yona. In the same way, Yona is this for Hak as well. She is, after all, the only one who managed to calm him down after he hit his Rage Breaking Point.
  • Longing Look:
    • During Yona's dance in chapter 65, Hak gives a sad one as he watches her. A woman who was earlier intending to jump Hak noted it was the first time she had seen such harrowed eyes and immediately gave up on Hak.
    • Yona had unconsciously been doing so toward Hak for some time, often mirroring his smiles or intently watching other girls swarm him. This is pointed out to her in chapter 95 by the twelve year-old Kalgan, who wonders if she "likes that guy" since she watches him so often—the accusation prompting denial and a pretty intense Luminescent Blush from Yona.
  • Love Confessor: Yona confesses to Lili about her feelings toward Hak in chapter 124.
    Lilli: Well, do you like him?
    Yona: ...Most likely.
  • Love Epiphany: Yona realizes her feelings for Hak in chapter 110, after he earnestly tells her that his greatest happiness is her being happy.
  • Love Potion: In a side chapter, the gang come across a scale claimed to belong to the "White Dragon Warrior" that when made into a potion can cause the drinker to fall in love with the first person they see. Yoon decides to make a small batch to see if it has any worth and hilariously more people than intended end up under its effect. First Jae-Ha has a small taste and gets SUPER touchy-feely around Kija and even starts kissing him, then Shin-Ah and Pukyuu get some poured on them and they start stalking Jae-Ha. Finally, poor Kija accidentally drinks what's left of it and his feelings for Yona get amplified to an intensity that terrifies him thinking he'll assault her. Thankfully, the effects don't last long.
  • Love You and Everybody: In Hak's flashback in chapter 125, he asks Suwon if he likes Yona—obviously meaning in a romantic sense. Suwon answers yes, but then goes on to say he also likes Hak and all the generals of Kouka too.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: In spirit, "The Dark Dragon and the Happy Hungry Bunch" become this to the common-folk of the Fire Tribe after protecting them from abusive Fire Tribe soldiers.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: The official story of late Prince Yuhon's death is that he was killed in an accident. However, according to Soo-Won, King Il murdered his father by stabbing him with a sword and covered it up as such.
  • Man Bites Man: Yona has taken a habit of biting her opponents when things get rough and she is low on options.
  • Manly Tears: Jae-Ha does this from time to time when touched, usually by something said or done by the Happy Hungry Bunch. Hak does once (they double as Berserker Tears), when he hit his Rage Breaking Point. Ao also sheds a few because he knows that he'll leave a young Shin-Ah behind once he dies. And then there’s Lili, who, although female, shows this after she Took a Level in Badass.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: Kija's right hand is a dragon claw and Shin-Ah's eyes have red markings underneath them. Jae-Ha’s foot also has this, not that he shows it under normal conditions. Additionally, whenever Zeno's powers are active, he gains scales for a time.
  • Mayfly–December Friendship: It's revealed that Zeno is the original Ouryuu and therefore much, much older than the rest of the gang, this also qualifies as an Intergenerational Friendship.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Zeno was married to an Ill Girl for a few years, as she was mortally ill, their marriage didn't last long nor did they have any descendants.
  • The Medic: This and being the Team Chef are Yoon's primary roles in the group.
  • 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.
    • Several other characters seem to have this (mostly unexplained), including Kija, Jae-Ha, Lili, and the princesses of Xing. Soo-Won’s mother, Yong-Hi is or was sickly, and so she never appears; her castle plays a bigger role than she does. Also, Hak and Tae-Yeon, since they were both adopted by the single Son Mundeok (how or why they were orphaned has never been expounded upon).
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Kija's grandmother is a hundred and positively tiny.
  • Mood Whiplash: A lot of the series' humour is derived from something funny being done to kill an otherwise serious or dramatic moment. This same technique is also used for drama, horror, and so on, by using the juxtaposition.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: While the Happy Hungry Bunch are some of the most heroic characters, only a few antagonists can count as purely evil. Soo-Won is an Anti-Villain, Kan Soo-Jin loves his family, and Princess Kouran of Xing is a justifiably concerned ruler of a neighbouring nation. Only a few, like Hiyou, can truly be called evil. Also, later chapters reveal that characters previously thought of as "good" weren't nearly as benevolent as previously thought.
  • My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: When Kija nearly fell from a Rope Bridge, he remarked how he only saw his granny flashing before his eyes.
  • Mystical White Hair: Kija, justified since he is the White Dragon Warrior.
  • Nerves of Steel: Yona is accused of having these more than once, as she has been able to pull through some deeply stressful or scary situations.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Captain Gi-gan. Who do you think taught Jae-Ha how to use those throwing knives?
  • The Nicknamer:
    • Hak calls Kija "White Snake" and Jae-Ha "Droopy Eyes." The way he addresses Yona could also be considered a nickname since he uses "Hime-san" instead of the more formal "Hime-sama" used by Kija.
    • Zeno calls none of his companions by their names. Yona is "Miss," Hak is "Mister," Yoon is "Lad," and he calls the other dragons by their dragon titles. The sole exception to this are King Hiryuu, whom Zeno addresses formally, and Kaya, his wife.
    • Argila likes to tack "nyan" to the ends of the names of people he's fond of. He also insists on calling Vold "Voldopus" (except for once when Vold saved some cats and he tries to call Vold "Vold-nyan" and is interrupted by Vold's anger at the gesture). This appears to stem from his fondness for cats and hatred of octopi.
  • Non-Action Snarker: Yoon is definitely this. He's the group's only true non-combative, but he won't hesitate to throw some well-meaning snark at his companions.
  • No Name Given: This was the case for many Seiryuu, only being called "Seiryuu," or "pervious Lord Seiryuu." Shin-Ah was no exception until Yona named him. Thus far, the only named Seiryuu warriors are the first generation, Abi, the previous Seiryuu, Ao, and the current Seiryuu, Shin-Ah. The other ones who appear lack names.
  • 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 somewhat 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, anyway, although it more-or-less still applies.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male:
  • No Periods, Period: Averted in chapter 128, where Yona unexpectedly gets hers while eating dinner. It leaves her unexpectedly weak, and prompts her to smack Hak in the face when he gets too close. Fortunately, the girl acting as their host helps Yona cover-up and gets her away from the menfolk. This is further averted by Yona’s comment that her periods usually aren’t this bad.
  • Not Quite Dead: Minsoo, as revealed in chapter 135. He had only been shot once, and was spared because his mother served Suwon's sickly mother as a doctor for many years.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Yona and Yoon find Hak at a brothel. The reason for this is because he was dragged there by Jae-Ha, who disappears before Hak can explain the situation fully. Potentially making things worse from Hak's perspective is that Yona, Oblivious to Love as she is, defends Hak from the others and says that if he wanted to go to such a place he can just say so.
  • Oblivious to Love:
    • Yona, Yona, and Yona. She is particularly oblivious to Hak's not-so-indirect hints, although this obliviousness does appear to be unfeigned. Even once when she begins to return his affections, she still believes he remains at her side out of loyalty and nothing more. Later, Hak puts and end to that, however, Yona is genuinely dense when it comes love, especially to affections directed at her.
    • As the series progresses, Hak becomes this as well. Although in his case, it's lampshaded as a product of having been a Hopeless Suitor for so long (referred to In-Universe as "the ill effects of one-sided love"). To be fair, it is only with regard to Yona, but it is quite severe, considering chapter 153 among others.
    • Soo-Won is shown to also have this trait, even worse than Yona. To despite how obvious her long-standing crush was, he needed her to say it outright and it still took him a while. Actually, this seems to be a trait of the present dynasty, if King Il is put into consideration. (Yona's thus-far unnamed mother, Yu-Hon, Yong-Hi, and Joo-Nam have not really been described as of chapter 150.)
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
  • 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 They Look:
    • Kija doesn’t look like he’s twenty and frequently forgets that he’s older than Hak.
    • Yun-ho, the wife of Earth Tribe's general, is 25 years old, yet she looks like she is still fifteen.
    • Zeno is immortal and thus stays in the body of a seventeen-year old, though he looks even younger than that. He eventually had to leave the capital as its priest, because people began to notice his youthful appearance always stayed the same.
    • Princess Tao is actually nineteen, but looks younger than Yona.
  • One-Man Army:
    • Hak is widely known to be this. To wit, in an early chapter he fends off dozens of Fire Tribe Mooks nearly one-handed and keeps going after he is wounded with a poisoned arrow, which is noted to be capable of paralyzing a lesser man.
    • When his powers are active, Zeno can genuinely take on an entire army single handedly, and he has done so more than once.
    • All dragon warriors are capable of this, and most of those seen in the manga have been known to be able to take down ridiculous numbers of fighters on their own. In fact, Shin-Ah first did this at the tender age of four by using his powers.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted with the previous Seiryuu, Ao, and the squirrel, Ao, otherwise known as Pukyuu. This is later used in a gag.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Played with concerning Hak after he was badly injured after fighting Fire Tribe soldiers and falling off a cliff. It took him a few days to get back on his feet. And though he was still able to fight, he collapsed immediately after said fight and needed more time to recover.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • When Zeno drops his carefree and cheerful personality, it's a sign that something big or serious is happening. Especially in chapter 101 where he casually annihilates a squad of soldiers and reveals he is the original Ouryuu. Among other things, he will stop being a Third-Person Person.note 
    • Later on in the series, Yoon and the Dragons note that Hak is basically an inversion of the Stepford Snarker: when troubled, Hak stops being his usual snarky self.

    Tropes P-T 
  • Parental Favoritism: The General of the Fire Tribe, Kan Soo-Jin, favours his elder son, Kyo-Ga, over the younger Tae-Jun.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: King Il didn't approve and outright objected at the idea of Yona getting married to Soo-Won.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • Mundeok 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.
    • Gi-Gan is like a surrogate mother to her pirate crew and anyone who becomes part of it, no matter how briefly.
  • The Patient Has Left the Building: The Dragons pull this in a chapter, escaping their tent, under Yoon's nose, to join Hak in battle against Kai's rogue soldiers despite being ill and feverish. It does not go well until Zeno joins the fray.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Kye-Sook, Soo-Won's advisor, and Jae-Ha both have bangs hanging over one eye. In the former's case, it easily marks him as a sinister conspirator, while in the latter's, it makes him look more mysterious.
  • People of Hair Color: Kija's people, the ones residing in Hakuryuu's village, all have light/platinum blonde hair. Kija himself has stark white hair.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything:
  • Plucky Girl: Yona. Her determination and optimism are seemingly endless, despite everything she has been through in the course of the series. This aspect of her is highly admired by Hak, the rest of her companions, and just about anyone she meets who learns or knows what happened to her.
  • Politically Active Princess:
    • Yona, as she fairly quickly decides she wants to help her kingdom when she begins to see just how many problems of poverty and corruption plague Kouka during her father's reign.
    • Lili also does this, although she’s high nobility rather than royalty). She takes a far more active role in quelling the drug problems in the Water Tribe than her father, the Water Tribe general, does.
    • There’s also both of Xing’s princesses, Kouren and Tao. They both take active roles—albeit, in opposite ways—at protecting Xing from Kouka's growing power.
  • Prevent the War: Often, the simplest solution to the most recent social unrest cannot be taken without risking war descending upon the kingdom. Despite Yona's best efforts, war is declared anyway, but she does prevent that war from resulting in bloodshed between the two countries.
  • The Quiet One: It's very rare to see Shin-Ah speak. Even when he does, it tends to be quietly.
  • Raised by Grandparents:
    • In Hak's case he was raised by an adoptive grandfather. As was his little brother, Tae-Yeon.
    • Kija was also raised by his grandmother after his father tried to attack him at his birth (no idea about his mother, though).
  • Reality Ensues: When the dragons are feverish and weak, despite their power, they are eventually overwhelmed by the sheer number of attacking soldiers.
  • Red Baron: Hak is known by all as "Kouka’s Thunder Beast" and was known as "the Trump-Card of Hiryuu Castle." Later, Kija jokingly calls him the "Dark Dragon Warrior" at one point and Hak takes the joke and runs with it.
  • Red Is Heroic: Yona, it's even a plot point because her hair colour is so rare and matches the legendary dragon king Hiryuu,note  who was the founder of the Kouka Kingdom.
  • Refusal of the Call: Jae-Ha tried to avoid Kija and Shin-Ah, knowing they probably were with their master and that he would have the urge to join them, despite his desire for freedom. However, the moment he met Yona, resistance was futile, and all his attempts were just delaying the inevitable, so he ultimately becomes Resigned to the Call rather than be forced into it.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Reading the manga knowing that Zeno is at least a thousand years old brings a lot of his actions in a different light. For instance, when the Kai army is attacking Saika, he claims that he knows a secret passageway because he made friends with people from the slums even though Yoon says that he never saw him do that. It's more likely that he just remembered it from when he was last there.
    • Rereading the manga becomes even more amusing when you look for Ao/ Pukyuu somewhere in the manga panels. She's often seen reacting alongside characters, stealing food, offering her omnipresent peanuts and acorns to the ill or injured, tucking herself into clothes, and so on. Her gestures are honestly priceless.
    • Yona’s change in feelings toward Hak seems a lot less sudden upon rereading.
  • Romantic False Lead:
    • The manga sort of begins to set one up for Hak in chapters 64 and 65, through a girl living in Senri Village named Aro. Her spirited declarations about how she plans to "jump him" even marks the first instance of Yona being outwardly bothered by Hak's Chick Magnet status. The trope is, however, subverted when Aro merely has to see the Longing Look Hak watches Yona with once to be convinced to give up on him completely.
    • Soo-Won was a pre-series one for Yona. The interlude chapters that detail Hak and Yona's childhood imply that Yona had feelings for both Hak and Soo-Won, but for whatever reason, she only noticed the ones she had for the latter. It seems that there are a combination of factors for as to why these feelings for Hak took so long to surface, Soo-Won just being the most obvious one.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • 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. The entire "game" not only boosted morale to Geun-Tae's troops, but increases his tribe's economy by the jewellery Soo-Won had all the players wear for the match and the tea that was served during the game are now known and spoken of.
    • On the other side, Yona, who only recently started to become aware of the difficulties that the inhabitants of Kouka face daily, helps the people in need that she encounters. She begins doing this in Awa, even volunteering for dangerous jobs and taking out the Big Bad of the arc herself. Afterwards, she simply continues to do more in this vein.
    • Tae-Jun is directly helping the poor villages in the Fire Tribe lands and gradually earned the respect of the villagers, his soldiers, Yona, and even his brother, Kyo-Ga.
    • Lili actively investigates the drug problems in the Water Tribe's territory, by making foreign contacts and pursuing leads herself.
    • Both of Xing's princesses are very, very active, especially with war on the horizon.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Hak, doubling as a textbook example of Tall, Dark, and Snarky, loves to tease Yona. Not that it makes his loyalty towards her any less absolute.
  • Scars Are Forever: The visible scars in the series follow this rule. Notable examples include Joo-Doh’s facial scar, Kija’s (they cover less area, but are just as present), and Neguro’s set of facial scars (it is very easy to forget that the injuries are seventeen years old).
  • Second Love: Hak becomes this to Yona after she realizes she's grown to love him in chapter 110.
  • Self-Harm:
    • Hak curls his fingers into a wall so hard they bleed while talking to Suwon in an effort to stop himself from lashing out.
    • In Zeno’s backstory, it is found that he has a history of doing this for various reasons, from a Self-Mutilation Demonstration, to trying to deal with the reality of his powers, to activating said powers. He still does the latter in the present, which even Jae-Ha has trouble responding to.
  • Ship Tease: Plenty with Yona and Hak, being childhood friends and Hak's Bodyguard Crush. Yona/Kija and Yona/Jae-Ha have their moments too.
  • Shout-Out: In episode twelve of the anime you can see kids wearing Lock, Shock and Barrel masks in the Seiryuu’s village.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Hak shows no interest in any one aside from Yona, and all flashback to his childhood show that he has always been Yona-sexual. A more subtle example is found in Zeno, who has only ever shown interest in his late wife, Kaya.
  • Slasher Smile: Mizari is almost always wearing one and it is incredibly unsettling, to say the least.
  • Sleep Cute:
    • Chapter 52 provides an adorable image of most of the gang sleeping in pairs, Yoon with Shin-Ah, Kija and Zeno and Yona with Hak.
    • The title page for volume nineteen shows Jae-Ha dozing under a tree with Kija and Shin-Ah asleep on his shoulders and Zeno and Yona on his knees. The next page has a sketch of Hak poking him while he moans about being numb from head to toe.
    • When Hak falls asleep while the Hungry Bunch are shopping in chapter 109, Yona finds his sleeping face extremely adorable.
  • 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," "Tetora" or "Tetra," "Jae-Ha" or "Jaeha," "Joo-Doh" or "Ju-do?" A bit more understandable than most examples, however, given the various romanization systems of Korean.
  • Spirited Young Lady: Lili is this in an unconventional way. She's snuck out of her father's villa countless times, stolen his official seal, snuck into bars, and many other things she wasn't supposed to. Moreover, she's notably casual with Su-won and tends to accidentally drop curses into her speech from time to time. That said, she did most of it in an effort to help save her tribe, rather than her own enjoyment.
  • Spoiler Opening: The anime's first opening already revealed who the Four Dragons were. The manga has this to a lesser degree by briefly showing Yona after she Took a Level in Badass before commencing with the story.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Zeno reveals that he's been watching Yona for a long time since he suspected her to be King Hiryuu's reincarnation and followed her since she left the castle.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Tae-Jun and his older brother Kyo-Ga. The differences are extremely subtle: their bangs, eye shape, chins, and the presence of a mole on the centre of Kyo-Ga's forehead. Add their father to the picture, and you have quite the family resemblance.
  • The Stoic:
    • Although it is hard to tell due to him usually wearing a mask, Shin-Ah is this, although, his Troubled Backstory Flashback shows that he used not to be (he could even make the mask’s eyes cry) and even now he has moments of being Not So Stoic.
    • Then there’s Ayura, who is nothing but expressionless and calm, even when angry.
  • Stunned Silence:
    • In chapter 125, when Yona's feelings and the true origin of Yona's hairpin are revealed to Yun, Jae-Ha and Kija, they're so shocked they take a moment of silence. Not only because they now realize the depth of Yona's trauma, but also because they now realize the complexity of Hak's and Yona's relationship and a big part of the reason Hak has always kept his feelings a secret.
    • On a lighter note, in chapter 152, Yoon, Zeno, Kija, Jae-Ha, Shin-Ah, and especially Yona share an extremely shocked silence when Hak angrily reveals his feelings to Yona.
  • Subordinate Excuse: Usually, Hak uses this when asked about his relationship with Yona, often stating his pay to be the reason he took up the job as her bodyguard in the first place. Of course, nobody besides Yona herself ever believes him when he does. In fact, she believes it a little too much. So much so that not only does she hold back from confessing to him, but she believes that she will someday have to set him free. (She eventually tries… and he remains by her side anyway).
  • Super Toughness:
    • Kija's hand is extremely durable and can be used both offensively and defensively.
    • The Ouryuu’s power is supposed to be this. He really is, but it takes a major injury to activate his abilities. Before that, Zeno only has a strong healing factor thanks to Complete Immortality.
    • Hak to a lesser degree (see Determinator). He's been able to take a lot of injuries with little to no lasting damage aside from a couple scars, but unlike the above examples, he is still very much able to be injured.
  • Supporting Harem: It's up for debate whether or not the series even qualifies as a reverse harem, but if it does, it also qualifies for this trope. Hak, despite his long-time status as a Hopeless Suitor, has a pretty clear lead in the role of Love Interest—getting far more ship moments and development than other characters.
  • Supreme Chef: Yoon, he regularly gets marriage propositions from those who eat his food.
  • Take a Third Option:
    • Toward the beginning of the series, between giving up and dying or spending the rest of her life in hiding, Yona decides to travel throughout Kouka. This later gains a very specific purpose, rather than vengeance or fleeing, she wants to help those in need within the country.
    • Yona does this with regard to Soo-Won: while she hasn’t forgiven his actions, but she’s not about to allow herself to be swallowed by the impulse for revenge. Several characters come to follow that example, including Princess Kouren. (Well, Jae-Ha already tended to do this, as seen in his backstory.) Notably, in chapter 147, Hak finds himself unable to do this and wanting to kill those who harm anyone he cares about.
    • On a lighter note, between simply dealing with Yona’s misunderstandings existing or simply explaining that her assumptions are not the case, Hak chooses to… angrily confess all of his feelings at the top of his voice (even the parts that had nothing to do with the matter).
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Hak and Jae-Ha for their dark hair and good looks that attract countless women over the course of the series. Hak doubles as Tall, Dark, and Snarky.
  • Team Pet: Ao (also called Pukyuu), Shin-Ah's pet squirrel. She’s a Borderline Action Pet since she was crucial in helping Yona and Yoon escape from their ropes and start their plan to attack the mercenary ships.
  • Tender Tears: Yoon is easily moved to tears. Kija has this to a lesser extent.
  • Tears of Joy:
    • Yona sheds some in chapter 92 after being able to make Hak laugh again after he hit his Rage Breaking Point in chapter 91.
    • Later, in chapter 110, Yona returns to the room she shares with Lili in tears because she was so happy that Hak expressed earnest affection for her.
    • In chapter 124, Yona hugs Lili while crying in relief that she's okay after she was nearly hung by the Sei army.
    • In chapter 152, Yoon, Kija, and Jae-Ha all do this on hearing Hak’s affection for all of them, especially Yona… which are stoped by a particular shocked silence from something else he says.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Happens with Yona and Hak in chapter 159, when they're visiting Saika Castle. They're placed in a separate room from their companions and said room has only one bed for them to share. There's an extra layer of Unresolved Sexual Tension due to Hak's recent confession and the fact that Tae-jun's staff simply assumes they're not only a couple, but an intimate couple, giving Yona a certain perfume that's supposed to entice a man in bed.
  • Tomboy Princess: Once she Took a Level in Badass, Yona became something of a Tomboy with a Girly Streak, or perhaps a Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak (she seems to straddle this one).
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • The most prominent example is Yona who went from meek sheltered princess to a woman who would practice her archery throughout the night, firing hundreds of arrows to become stronger (among other things).
    • Yoon went from a self-described selfish boy to being a capable fighter and planner.
    • Lili shaped up to be one herself. She started out as a somewhat haughty, sheltered nobleman's daughter, but after seeing Yona's strength, she wants to be able to fight too. Now, she’s usually a Badass Pacifist, impressing people with her words and courage (there has only been one moment where she deviated from this and she really had no choice).
  • Tragic Keepsake:
    • An interesting case: Yona kept the hairpin that Soo-Won gave her during her birthday party... the same night she saw Soo-Won murder her father. She did this to remind herself what happened that night and from a reluctance to admit that the betrayal actually occurred. The moment she gives it up is significant, for it means that she has finally moved past what happened that night and moved on from Soo-Won.
    • Shin-Ah’s mask actually belonged to the previous Seiryuu, Ao, his adoptive father. The "fluff" he usually wears, apart from being practical, is also a reference to him. The bells he initially wore tied to his mask were another example.
    • Kija sees his scar in this way. He received it from the previous White Dragon—who was also his father—and considers it a testament to how much his father wanted to serve Hiryuu. He tells Jaeha that he wears the scar with pride.
    • Zeno keeps the dragon crest on his headband which was given to him by King Hiryuu. Additionally, the unusual way he speaks and his typical mannerisms are intangible ones for his late wife, Kaya.
  • Triang Relations:
    • Before Soo-won's betrayal, Yona, Hak and Soo-won had this. Either type 5, type 9, or even possibly type 2. Hak was in love with Yona, Yona pined for her cousin Soo-Won, and Soo-won and Hak were very close friends. It's not clear whether or not Soo-Won was ever in love with Yona, if he was aware of her feelings toward him or even if he was aware of Hak's feelings toward her.
    • Later both Jae-Ha and Kija seem to have a variant of type 4 with Yona and Hak once they become mutual (albeit, unbeknownst to each other). Despite it, both seem pretty supportive of the relationship and often make an effort not to get between the two.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: There's one for each of the dragon warriors. Shin-ah has a lengthy flashback remembering the short time he spent with the only parental figure and companion he had for only 4 of his 18 years, which was the previous blue dragon warrior Ao. Kija has a brief flashback about his father, who was the previous white dragon and how they were seperated until the day Kija's father died. Jaeha has a flashback about Garou, the previous green dragon, who was abusive and the closest thing to a family figure Jaeha had before meeting Gi-gan. Zeno has several long flashbacks about losing Hiryuu, the original other 3 dragons, and later his wife because his immortality left him outliving all of them.
    • Neguro and Kouren have a brief flashback to a young Kouren gathering the decapitated heads of the soldiers Yuhon killed, Neguro being the sole survivor of the prisoners of war taken by Kouka.
  • True Companions: "The Dark Dragon and the Happy Hungry Bunch" eventually grow so close they openly refer to each other as family.
  • Twice Shy: Yona and Hak, once their feelings are mutual. Yona was too afraid to confess because she's known Hak for so long and she is convinced he'd never see her that way. Hak wouldn't confess because he simply lost hope and expectation of her ever returning those feelings. Even after Soo-Won was no longer a factor, he didn't want to further disrupt Yona's already precarious life by confessing, so he refused to admit it out loud even to himself for a long time. He finally snaps and tells her in chapter 152.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Yona, Hak and Soo-won were very close as children. There's even a Flashback of them vowing to stay together as long as they could. This soured considerably when Soo-won murdered Yona's father and sent Hak and Yona on the run.

    Tropes U-Z 
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Yona is far lovelier and prettier than her plainer father, King Il.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Hak has this towards King Il and Yona. When the former is murdered, Hak takes off with Yona and repeatedly risks his life in order to keep her safe.
    • The Blue, White, Green and Yellow Dragon Gods 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 Hiryuu, and said fealty was passed on generation from generation. This is also literal in the case of the immortal Yellow Dragon Warrior, Zeno, who spent thousands of years waiting for his King to be reborn.
    • The Wind Tribe is this toward Hak. They consider his orders to be absolute over not only the king but the even heavens.
  • Unequal Pairing: Hak and Yona have streaks of this, what with Yona's father being Hak's boss for years. Although it is impossible to know now, King Il might have approved regardless, seeing as he seemed fairly fond of Hak.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Played with with Hak and Yona after chapter 110 and onward. While the former hasn't moved on from his feelings for the latter, he appears to have abandoned all hope of her ever returning them. Now he appears to be the the one who's Oblivious to Love and never seems to notice Yona's Crush Blush flaring up only around him.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Hak flies into one when he sees Soo-Won close by for the first time since leaving the castle.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Soo-Won seems to genuinely have been a Keet who was close to Yona and Hak in childhood. And then he kills the king and takes the throne.
  • Villain Ball: The Nadai smugglers kidnap Lili and Yona to use as slaves building their country's fort for the eventual war with the Water Tribe. They don't realize Lili isn't just some nobleman's daughter, but daughter of the very man they are preparing to fight, and Yona is, well, guarded by five men who will move heaven and earth for her safety.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • Hak typically enjoys to be The Gadfly toward everyone, but Kija seems to be one of his favourite targets. He also refers to Kija exclusively as "White Snake."
    • Jae-Ha constantly teases Hak about his feelings for Yona, while Hak usually retaliates with snark or a swift punch. Hak also only ever refers to Jae-Ha as "Droopy Eyes."
    • In the end, when Hak flew into an Unstoppable Rage upon seeing Soo-Won, the two of them are the ones to stop him before he could get himself killed by the other side's guards. Furthermore, when Joo-Doh threatens Hak over the situation later on, they step in front of him protectively, both wearing a pretty fierce Death Glare. For all their banter, it's clear that the three of them are actually good friends.
  • Warrior Prince:
    • Yu-Hon, Il's late brother, whom Soo-Won saw as a noble and dignified general leading the army's forces. Su-Won worshiped his dad and aimed to follow in his footsteps.
    • Though a woman, Xing’s crown princess, Kouren, falls into this trope. She is capable with both a sword and a bow, and she willingly places herself at the front lines more than once.
    • In Zeno’s Flashback, King Hiryuu was this as well. He is shown out on the battlefield with his dragon warriors, wielding a sword with deadly skill.
  • We Help the Helpless: Instead of using the Four Dragon Warriors' power to reclaim the throne, Yona decides to travel the land helping the citizens in anyway she can.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Inverted with Kija, as far as evil spirits go... sort of. As Zeno explains in chapter 101, the succeeding generations of Hakuryuu warriors long to serve Hiryuu a bit too much, becoming something of an evil spirit. Instead of being possessed, Kija has accepted all of them and their desires making them actually repel lesser spirits and follow his orders. It helps that his father and predecessor seems to be keeping the others from getting out of hand.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Shin-Ah named his pet squirrel Ao, after his mentor and parental figure the previous Seiryuu. This leads to an amusing gag in the manga where Yona asks Shin-Ah where he learned swordsmanship. He replies "Ao," prompting Yona to picture the squirrel holding a knife. Shin-Ah thought the name didn’t suit Pukyuu even before Yona brought it up.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Hak, Yona, and Soo-Won were very close as kids. Obviously things went sour after Soo-Won's betrayal.
  • Wham Line:
    • Starting from chapter two, this series has quite a few of them, beginning with Soo-Won’s declarations that he killed King Il and then to Hak, saying that he could ask Yona since she witnessed it.
    • Kija’s brief explanation about the origins of the huge scar on his back definitely qualifies.
    • "It is not my desire to sit upon the throne." From Soo-Won of all people.
    • "I am the previous King Il's child, Yona." It's the first time Yona admits this to someone outside of the Happy Hungry Bunch and she says this to Kouren, the crown princess of an enemy country who has her friends held captive. That she was willing to spill the secret of her parentage shows just how desperate she is to keep Yoon and the Dragons safe.
    • In chapter one hundred 41, "Now I understand why Uncle Yu-Hon could not become king." from Yona to Soo-Won, who adored and seemingly still adores his late father Yu-Hon. It's one of the first times Yona managed to shake and garner an emotional response from Soo-Won with only her words.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The series has examples of this here and there, beginning with chapter one, when Yona sees her father get assassinated, and then again when she sees who the murderer is.
    • Much later, we have Zeno's hand reaching up to touch Yona's cheek after she's just seen him stabbed through the heart.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: The Seiryuu's eyes are very beautiful to behold but his village is terrified of the Seiryuu's "curse" that anyone who looked upon those eyes would become paralyze and die (which wasn't entirely far away from the truth) so the Seiryuu always wore a mask to cover his eyes.
  • What's Up, King Dude?:
    • Zeno towards Soo-Won, to whom he addresses as "mister king guy." He has also taken to calling Yona "Little Miss". The only royal he addresses as "your majesty" is Hiryuu.
    • Jae-Ha addresses Yona very casually as "Yona-chan", which she doesn't mind. However, when he does the same with Vold and Princess Tao, Vold does mind.
  • When She Smiles: Hak is a rare male example; Yona finds his genuine smile to be irresistible.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Yoon pretended to be a girl to sneak into a human trafficking ring along with Yona.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Kija is terrified of insects; when he hears Yona scream he asks whether it is due to ruffians or bugs.
  • The Wise Prince:
    • Initially, Soo-Won appears to be this (and depending on how you interpret him, he may never have betrayed this).
  • Worf Had the Flu: Literally. The Dragons are all but defeated by Kai soldiers when they contract an illness due to leaving Kouka, which leaves them weak, feverish, and unsteady.
  • World's Best Warrior: Hak is claimed to be the strongest soldier in the kingdom, having earned that title at a young age. It's to the point that he might actually be stronger than the Dragon Warriors themselves; he kept up with Kija when they took out some bandits with little to no issue despite being heavily injured at the time. When trying to kill Soo-Won, he easily brushes aside two foot soldiers and General Joo-Doh, and most likely would have killed Soo-Won had Jae-ha, Kija, and Yona not stopped him.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Kum-Ji and his henchmen don't have a problem kicking or trying to kill Yona. Nor with stepping on Yoon's head, who was dressed as a girl at the time. Mizari also spares no qualms in his attempts to assasinate Princess Tao.
    • The Sei soldiers at the fortresses mistreat everyone, be it a man or a woman.
  • Wrong Guy First: Just about the most extreme example of this you could get. Yona spends years pining after Soo-Won, but on her sixteenth birthday he murders her father, thereby proving himself to certainly be the wrong guy. In swoops Hak to the rescue, and after a long break of emotional healing, Yona begins her second love.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Justified. The four dragons (with the strangest hair colours like white, blue, green, and yellow) and Yona all have hair the same colour as the dragons they represent. People like Soo-Won and Yoon on the other hand... It is only outside of Kouka that green and blue hair are commented upon, hinting that the blood of the dragon’s has something to do with this. Interestingly, Yona’s hair is only commented on within Kouka.
  • You Killed My Father: Soo-Won kills King Il as revenge for his killing Soo-Won's father, Yu-Hon.
  • Younger Than They Look: Hak has this a little bit, mostly because he’s rather built. It's easy to forget that he's actually two years younger than Kija and seven years younger than Jae-Ha, considering he both looks and acts as though he's in his twenties.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Mizari randomly cuts down soldiers on his own side. When Kouren demands he expain himself, he says that their soldiers are weak and useless, so it doesn't matter if they die here or in battle, especially since Kouren is about to start a war they have no hope of winning. Then he says that if they can't have the four dragons on their side, maybe he can get their powers and keep serving Kouren. Kouren looks appropriately horrified.
    Mizari: Everyone would die during the war... but lady Kouren would have the last laugh!
  • Your Days Are Numbered: When the new dragons are born the predecessors slowly lose their powers and die. It happened to Ao and to Kija's father, with Kija and Shin-Ah fully knowing what was going on. The previous Ryokuryuu lived longer than normal, not dying until Jae-Ha was nearly a teenager, however, he took his anger at his inevitable death out on Jae-Ha.
  • Youthful Freckles: Heang-Dea has some sprinkled across his nose and cheeks.

Alternative Title(s): Akatsuki No Yona, Yona Of The Dawn

Top