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Comment: Akatsuki no Yona 128 — Confrontation

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This chapter is the perfect example as to why I believe it's important for works like AkaYona to exist.
[WARNING!] Spoilers for Akatsuki no Yona 128 (duh!)


Quick Summary

Princess Tao explains that now that Su-Won has control over Sei, the province of Kin, and has defeated Li Hazara, it has become clear that his next target must be the Kingdom of Xing. Kouren is extremely prideful, and will undoubtedly unleash her full force against Kouka, even if it means her own death. The problem is Kouka's army is stronger, and Xing will definitely fall were this war to happen. Tao seems to have thought Yona & co. were wroking under Su-Won's orders because they fought together at Kushibi's fort. She asks if they understand what Su-Won is thinking and planning to do, but Hak flat out tells her they don't.
Under Argila's suggestion they sit down to eat, but just as Yona gets up to go to the toilet her period comes down. Tao swiftly (not) carries her away and tells her to rest, and Yona realises she hasn't been able to talk about this sort of stuff with anyone ever since she started her journey. When Yona asks Tao (who's actually 19 years old despite her looks) whether she's sure it's okay to bring someone from Kouka to her secret residence, Tao tells her she trusts them because Kija rescued one of her court ladies that had been kidnapped and taken to one of the forts, and she really wanted to thank them for that.
Yona thinks to herself that there's a chance Su-Won would hear out Tao's request, but there's no way she can just go and talk to him. She gets up in the middle of the night and takes a walk, admiring the beauty of Xing. Suddenly a man attacks her thinking she's Tao, but Hak & the dragons rescue her. Shin-ah tells them the valley is plagued with intruders, and Yona points out that Tao is in danger.

Comment

Every woman's face when their period comes down unexpectedly.

In our final message stuck on the very last page of the We Love Kusanagi-sensei project, Kim and I pointed out that Kusanagi's works are important to the shojo manga world in that they present complex, strong female characters that become inspirational role models to young girls who are still trying to figure out who they are in life.
This chapter is just further proof of how ground-breaking her take with the shojo genre is. Though Japan is an advanced first world nation, it unfortunately suffers from a great deal of sexism... like pretty much the rest of the world. But did you know that, for example, women can't be sushi chefs because they menstruate? Menstruation in Japan is viewed as dirty. Despite there being menstrual leave, hardly anybody takes it for fear of being sexually harassed for it. And like with many other literature works worldwide, it's very rare  for menstruation to make an appearance in the plot. This is what makes this chapter so very impacting and ground breaking: not only is Yona's period casually mentioned (and lets be honest, I bet every girl/woman reading this manga was wondering what she was doing about this), but Tao even goes as far as telling Yona it's not something she should feel bad about. Excuse me if I sound like I'm preaching, but this is the sort of stuff the shojo manga world really needs: authors who can talk honestly about female problems without people pointing fingers at them and calling it "dirty". This is something half of the world population struggles with monthly. Why should it be a taboo to talk about it?

Moving on to the rest of this chapter's content: Tao's response to the problem Xing is currently facing is impressive... but is it the correct one? There's been a lot of debate going on ever since 127 came out on whether Tao's hope for Xing to become a vassal nation to Kouka is the correct path to take. Her reasoning seems logical, but it doesn't make her decision any more correct than Kouren's. It is, after all, a decision she is taking because Xing has been cornered. The ideal outcome would be for there to be no war and for Xing to remain an independent nation... but what will Yona's stance in this matter be?

Anyway pretties, next chapter will be out on September 5th! AkaYona has now continued serialisation for 8 years, and I'd like to encourage all English speakers to buy the official volumes released by VIZ Media. See you all next time!

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Posted on: 20/08/2016



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19 comments:

  1. First of all, thanks a lot for the translation! I totally agree with everything ypu said! And OMG, it's been eight years already? I can't believe it! :O anyway, thanks again! ^^

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  2. I died at Argila treating Shin-ah like a big kitty

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  3. ¡Es increíble! Sinceramente no soy de ver muchos mangas shoujos, pero tampoco había escuchado que una escena parecida a la del periodo se asome por ahí en uno. Cuando se publicaron los spoilers en AkaYona Latino todos los fans se asombraron y se emocionaron.

    Claro, hay que tomar en cuenta que nuestra cultura no es como los orientales, pero espero (y creo que será así) que el capítulo sea tomado de buena manera allá y que ese tabú que mencionas se ablande. Seguramente no será fácil, pero por algo se comienza.

    Con respecto al capítulo, no dejo de pensar en el hecho de que quizás Vol-Doh sea un espía de Kou-Ren y solo ilusione en vano a la pobre Tao, ESPERO EQUIVOCARME -cries-.

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  4. i feel for princess kouren-- nationalistic pride-- i feel you gurl. Yona should put it out there that those conquered lands by kouka were the first ones to provoke armed conflict and thus su-won, under the pretext of self-defense, acted. For as long as Xing won't be the aggressor in this case, then it's all good... unless su-won actually casts the first stone (which i'm hoping would happen coz i want something exciting happen to the plot).

    i cant believe im saying this but im actually rooting for princess kouren here... gurl loves her country and freedom... u go gurl!!!

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  5. what ever happen to diplomats?? don't they exist in ancient civilisations, how come everyone is all WAR! WAR! WAR!

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  6. this line just hit me-- when Tao was hoping su-won would be the sort of king that didn’t look down on people’s dignity…
    Sorta reminded me of Hak's over-all impression on su-won.

    well, isn't Tao-hime in for a rude awakening

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  7. I think we're going to get a plot twist and Soo Won will end up having a peace treaty with Kou Ren (as opposed to Tao). No. Actually, I'll be sorely disappointed if we don't get something completely unexpected.

    And.... whooo!!!! I love Tao's response to Yona's period!!! (No really. Poor girl had it tough camping out with 6 men)

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  8. What do you think about the fact that this issue would be resolved without fight? As Sun Tzu doctrine. It would be a good plot twist if ever Kusanagi use the art of the war in the manga with Su-won.

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  9. So Tao is an adult... Kusanagi regret making her so young Or there is a fountain of eternal youth in Xing.
    But now she can marry Su Won and fill the world with cat love. End of war.

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  10. Lol, Shin-Ah kitten... Anyways, thank you so much for posting a summery of this chapter! >.< I love this series so much. This was the first manga I read, and what made me such a fan of manga/anime. And that picture of getting a period is the face I make all the time when it happens. (At least I don't get cramps) And it's hard to believe for me it's been 8 years for is, but a few months for them.

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  11. I was really surprised this chapter. I just started reading Song of the Long March and the main character in that also got her period, though for the first time. It had me wondering what is was like for Yona and now I know! I just always figured anime/manga characters magically never had their periods.

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  12. WOW! I am a big bookworm and in all my years reading everything that comes to my hand I have found very few works that talk about menstruation (as a man I actually find so interesting to read what it's like), the chapter made it as an statement (is nothing you should feel bad about, or the fact that the it was seen through the eyes of the main character), I totally love to see female character's being humane, strong and also helping each other out (instead of fighting after pity things like a guy like in some other shoujou manga or teen literature) also I thing this arc might actually help to bring into the plot a real difference between Yona and Soo-woon... they both go to war, but Soo-Woon does it for the good of it's kingdom (the tribe) while Yona sees the wellbeing of people in general (beyond their affiliations) in the long run the kind of nationalism that Soo-woon represent have allowed many societies to develop but at the cost of many lives and many atrocities... Yona is more of a humanist I think... this whole affair of a kingdom having to decide if going to war or not due to Kouka becoming a menace might mean the start of the real confrontation in the manga... but well, we will have to wait to see how this situation unfolds. P.D. as always you are the best thank you for the translations Laura :)

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  13. What i love the most is Yona's made another female friend besides Lily, this is so precious

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  14. As many comments already here said: we need something unexpected to happen here.



    I kinda want Su-Won to pull something to make him look like a bad guy this arc. He's been too goody-two-shoes for the past few arcs, and he's the main antagonist of the series...

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  15. I'm really interested in where this arc will take us. Thanks for the translation Laura!

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  16. It's funny that I got my period the same day I read this chapter and I had Yona's reaction lol. At first I was:"wait...is that what i think it is?". It was so unexpected to suddenly in all the seriousness of the chapter to have that precious hilarious moment with Hak and then girl solidarity from Tao. I really love this series. It's so unique in how it approaches many issues that we know. I often forget it's a shoujo. I can't wait for the next chapter, especially Soowon's actions.

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  17. Haha as u said, I always wondered about yona xD she really need a friend in her trip :'( the reactions are funny though, poor Hak xD
    Now I wonder where this ark will lead, I have big hopes and i'm so excited <3

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