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Comment: Akatsuki no Yona 116 — Enemies? Allies?

[WARNING!] Spoilers for chapter 116 of Akatsuki no Yona (duh!)

So as you all know last week was pretty hectic for me so I never had the chance to express my thoughts on Akatsuki no Yona's chapter 116 "Enemies? Allies?". Many of you apparently actually missed reading my opinion, so here goes my short comment on it, slightly longer than usual because reasons.


I must say the comic relief in this chapter caught me by surprised. And to be honest, I'd forgotten how Kusanagi's humour works when she really gets down to it — that is, the over the top exaggerated character reactions that don't rely on jokes getting shot from one end of the court to the other to be funny. This is what made NG Life such a hilarious manga, but it's not the sort of humour we usually get in Akatsuki no Yona, mainly because that's not the sort of story it strives to be. I wasn't expecting her to throw this sort of comedy into a chapter that I thought would be so radioactively intense every hair in my body would fall out, and if I was granted the chance I'd love to high-five Kusanagi... because I genuinely loled with the bomb scene, and with Mundok half-dying, and with everyone not having a clue what on earth was going on.
But comedy is only effective when used in moderation, and the humorous scene soon turns into something incredibly endearing. Comedy is dropped as Han-Dae sees the awe-struck Tae-Woo hold back his tears and is overwhelmed by the moment, and even Mundok's eyes seems to glow when he turns to Hak in disbelief. My initial reaction was "Naaawwww look at these babies, they missed the lad, bless their little cotton socks!" but after sitting down and thinking it through, I realised the last thing these poor boys had heard about Hak was that he'd fallen to his death along with Princess Yona from a cliff! I had completely blocked out this fact from my mind after both Su-Won and Joo-doh encountered Yona's party and realised Hak and Yona were both very much alive (and Geun-Tae to some extent when he spots Hak on the battlefield during the Fire Tribe rebellion arc, though it's unlikely he realised Yona was with him). I had subconsciously assumed Mundok and the entirety of the Wind Tribe was aware of this too, but they've actually heard nothing about him for months. No matter how much they may have trusted Hak and believed in his strength, there is plenty of room for doubt when the king's army is after you and an official death report has come in. So, this fated meeting, so saturated with humour, is in fact a flag event for our three Wind Tribe characters.
I'm beginning to suspect this arc in general will be a turning point in the series. Not only has the Wind Tribe reunited with Hak for the first time, but Yona has also very much sorted out her inner turmoil over her feelings for Su-Won. She is unable to forgive him, but recognises she doesn't want to seek revenge. She is aware he is the King this kingdom needs, but disagrees with the concept of war. To top it off her feelings for Hak seem to be fully in bloom... the Yona right now is officially a 180º turn on the Yona we encountered in chapter one. Though I highly doubt we're reaching the manga's zenith, if Yona does have a chance to face Su-Won in this arc, I suspect we'll be heading in a new direction where we'll begin to see what path Yona decides to take, that path Zeno once asked her about right after he joined the group that Yona was, at the time, unable to chose.

As a little side not, I'd like to add how much of a doting grandpa Mundok is and how seriously he takes his bonds with these kids he's adopted. Mundok, you're the real MVP bro. You're a cool jii-chan.

So what's next? We're left with Kija spotting Su-Won and instantly recognising who he is, and it's likely he's put two and two together and realised this is the reason Hak looked so agitated the night before. I can't even begin to imagine what his reaction will be, but Kija, despite his dorky moments, is not an idiot, so assuming he's also come to the conclusion that there's probably a reason why Hak has decided to work with Su-Won for the time being, then we won't be seeing him being openly hostile towards Su-Won.

Well then pretties, those are my thoughts on this chapter! Sorry I took so long to write this up, I've been busy this weekend with the We Love Kusanagi-sensei Project, so I only had the chance to sit down and right this today! Please remember the We Love Kusanagi-sensei project is officially taking in submissions and you have until the 28th of December for them!!

Next chapter out on the 4th of January! See you then, my lovelies~

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Posted on: 14/12/2015

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