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Comment: Akatsuki no Yona 117 — I swore to my heart

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I don't know what I was expecting from this chapter, but it definitely wasn't this...
[WARNING!] Spoilers for chapter 117 of Akatsuki no Yona (duh!)

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Quick summary

Kija swore to himself he wouldn't stop Hak next time they met Su-Won, yet he finds himself unable to attack him. He declares he and Shin-ah are warriors of the four dragons, and Su-Won asks to touch his hand. When Kija points out Su-Won is not the rightful king, Su-Won states he has no interest in the throne. He believes the Dragon Warriors exist, but he doesn't need them. He and his men leave, leaving Kija and Shin-ah puzzled: Su-Won doens't give off a bad vibe, and what's more, Kija feels his straightforward, unwavering eyes resemble Yona's.
Back in the forest, Yona and Lili encounter Sei's army marching into Kouka. They run but Yona is wounded. Yona insists Lili runs away without her, but Lili hides her in the bushes and uses herself as bait to draw the soldiers away. She is captured and taken to the execution grounds.


Comment


I imagined a variety of different scenarios as I waited for this chapter. But honest to God, everything about it caught me by surprise. I wish I hadn't written that Su-Won character analysis, because after 117 there are so many more things I'd like to talk about...
First of all, who would've thought the chapter title was about Kija? I speculated on tumblr it could be Hak, but most people pointed out that the more obvious persona here was Su-Won — he did, after all, swear to kill Hak next time they met. But halt! There was someone else who swore something to himself. It was a small promise, something barely worth remembering after everything that had happened in chapter 91... but Kija did, indeed, swear that he would not stop Hak next time they saw Su-Won.
Kija is a faithful and loyal character. The others decided to join Yona's party because they liked her, but Kija, who was raised on legends of King Hiryuu and was taught it was his mission to wait for his master, is a character you can tell values loyalty above everything else, and it is this that pushed him into joining the journey. We can only imagine how strong this feeling has become now that the group has been together for so long. This chapter sheds a new light on Kija, giving his character shades that weren't previously there, and I just love it. The moment he sees Su-Won, he loses it, yet he is instantly aware that Su-Won is not someone he should aim to kill.
"Those unwavering eyes, looking straight ahead... [...] somehow resembled the Princess," he declares once Su-Won leaves the scene... what a powerful and enlightening statement.
And Su-Won. Oh, Su-Won. What the actual frogs and forks and fudge is going on through your brain right now? It looks like Hak was right when in chapter 2 he stated Su-Won was not the sort of man to fixate himself with the throne, because if anything this scene solidifies that. Other than further reinforcing Yona's belief that the Su-Won they knew was not an illusion, it confuses my image of Su-Won. All he really wants is to make Kouka a powerful nation... but how can this objective justify such drastic measures? What is it that hides behind it? What is it that drives him forward, that had chasing after this for a lifetime (ten years specifically, if we are to believe hat he told Yona)? Why did he think it was worth throwing away the two people he most loved when he doesn't even want the throne to begin with? Was there really no other way about it?
I know I'm rambling on and on, but this makes me wonder if the reason King Il appeared to not fight back Su-Won's sword is because he allowed himself to be stabbed. Are they in this together? Was it planned from the very beginning? Do unicorns exist?? (so many questions...)

Finally, Lili. Many have already drawn the parallelism between Yona at the beginning of the series and Lili now. It's getting stronger and stronger, and it's culminating in this arc. Lili's farewell feels very much like a deathflag, and it's clear she's ready to sacrifice her life if it means saving Yona... but whether she'll be the first main character to die or whether this is just for added dramatic effect is something we'll have to wait to find out.

Anyway pretties, next chapter out on the 20th of January. I must say this chapter blew me away in many ways, it really has delivered.

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1 comment:

  1. Laura, I'm so glad this post wasn't lost with your old blog!!! I just re-read ch. 117 and I rushed here confused af. I can completely relate with your take on this chapter.

    Is Soo Won the reincarnation of someone who lived in Hiryuu's time? He is often described as being some sort of "old soul" who resembles Yona (because of what Kija said in this chapter but captain Gi-Gan also comes to mind when she said that Yona's eyes had the look like that of a soldier who had been through battlefields).

    Another thought also entered my mind. Soo-Won is not interested in women but if he doesn't produce an heir, what the heck will happen after his death? Is he planning on giving back the throne to Yona and (gasp!) Hak? Or am I crazy and thinking too deeply about this?

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