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Comment: Akatsuki no Yona 142 — Building Tide

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I told you to watch out for those fishy men!!

[WARNING!] Spoilers for Akatsuki no Yona 142 (duh!)


Quick Summary

The Priest, whose name is Gobi, marches up to Kouren's residence with his army of cloaked men and begs her to free Tao. Yotaka and Negur try to drive them away, but Gobi tells them that they are tyrants and that the gods will punish them for what they have done - they may not be able to see it, but the iron hammer of justice looms over Kouren. Negur and Yotaka are about to punch the man when Kouren finally shows up. Gobi tells her the King is in critical condition, and she must return to the palace immediately. Kouren refuses to do so, saying that the enemy is almost at their door. Gobi then launches into an explanation of how he has tried telling the king that Princess Tao is the one chosen by the gods and that she will bring peace and love to Xing. Kouren tells him that she knows very well that they're trying to place Tao on the throne only because they think she'll be easier to manipulate than her, but that Tao is twice as headstrong as her. Kouren tells them to leave before Su-Won starts feeling liek throwing heads over walls, the same way they ran away during the war 17 years ago, which leaves Gobi fuming.
After they leave, Negur stresses how much he distrusts Gobi and his men. He tells Yotaka that he doesn't believe Kouren is leading them towards self-destruction. He remembers the way Kouren cradled the severed head of a soldier that fateful day, standing amongst men that quivered in fear, glaring at the kingdom that had done this to them. She has given up her happiness and fought to win this battle. There is no going back now. Negur asks Yotaka if he'll leave too, and Yotaka says he won't - neither he nor Mizali have anywhere else to go. Whatever the future that awaits them is, they'll stand by Kouren's side.
Meanwhile Kouren tells Tao that their father is in critical condition, and that she is being freed. Tao still firmly believes that Yona is alive and well, but it has been 10 days, and Kouren will wait no more. Kouren recalls how when she discovered Su-Won killed Il it only strengthened her hatred for him, but what she felt emanating from Yona wasn't hatred, but rather an unstoppable desire to save her friends. She wonders, to herself, what it is she has to do to live in such a way, and points out that she never wanted for her path to lead to a war where everyone would die. However, it is too late to turn back. She tells Negur to take Tao away, saying that she will fulfil her responsibilities as the one who started this war by facing Su-Won on the battlefield. As Tao pleads Kouren to let the Four Dragons go, something sharp flashes behind her, and Tao screams...
Back at the Wind Tribe encampment, Yona & Argila finally make it back and Yona tells them about her agreement with Su-Won. Just as they're about to head to Kouren's residence Gobi makes an entrance, and appears to be stalling for time. Hak notices his odd behaviour and asks if he has something against them going to see Kouren. Yona realises something is wrong and they rush to the mansion, only to find the guards out cold and Negur with an arrow through his chest, standing in front of Kouren protectively.

Comment

I'm imagining Gobi's men shooting that arrow like
(but a bit less friendly-looking and more like the witch from Snow White)
((warts and everything included))

I said it in my ch. 139 comment, and I'll say it again: the amount of character development and depth we are getting from the Xing cast is not only unexpected, but brilliant in every sense of the word. From Kouren's daunting comment about fulfilling her responsibility as the one who started this war by facing off Su-Won —that not only underscores her desire to kill him, but implies she expects to die in the process—, to Negur's soft plea to Yotaka, asking him not to leave, and even Yotaka's profession of eternal loyalty... If ever there were side characters to steal the show. That arrow in Negur's chest might have missed its target, but the ones Kusanagi is shooting at me are piercing my heart one after another. Our cast has realised, Kouren included, that this path they have chosen is leading to a bloody end, but much like a sinking ship's band, they've chosen to go down with it. Not because they refuse to let go, but because having reached this point there is no going back. There is no salvaging the situation — they are too far gone.
And speaking of fantastic character crafting (and adding sparkles to the endless rain of petals I am showering our Xing babies with), can we talk about how fucking cool it is that Kouren genuinely respects her little sister? It could have been so easy for Kusanagi to have set them at complete odds and pull-off a setting where the big bad Kouren sees her little sister as an innocent, naive princess with impossible ideals, but no. She didn't. Kouren does not belittle her sister and is very much aware that she could be a formidable ruler, and even goes as far as saying she is even cannier and more headstrong than she is!! Holy shit— fuck yes. I don't have time for girls being mean to girls; give me more of this — women that respect each other and recognise one another's intellect. Yes yes yes. So much win.

Also did you see Gobi's face when Kouren tells him to ask his gods why Tao ran off with Argila and Voldo instead? One first degree burn coming right up!

Perhaps the moment that struck me most in this chapter, though, was Hak's conversation with Tae-Woo. Many pointed out to me on tumblr that the Wind Tribe's willingness to lay their lives on the line at Hak's orders was rather dangerous, and could very easily spark off a civil war should they refuse to follow the King's orders. Hak, ever the leader that he has always been, has to remind the all-too-eager Tae-Woo that he is no longer part of the Wind Tribe — he is not their leader; Tae-Woo is. It's surprising how well Kusanagi manages, in one swift scene, to show the de-facto situation in the Wind Tribe hierarchy: Tae-Woo is in theory the new general, but not even Tae-Woo thinks of himself that way. The Wind Tribe's willingness to follow Hak's orders instead, despite him now being an outlaw, is a very dangerous one, and I can't help but  be reminded of Kye-Sook's inner monologue in ch. 140, when he pointed out that Yona's power over the Fire Tribe was a huge threat.
Hak is aware that the Wind Tribe's loyalty to him could cost them their lives, and that ignoring Su-Won's orders could spiral into conflict amongst the tribes. The scene not only showcases Hak's superb power of judgement, his mightier than life onii-san charms, and his absolute priority to keep the Wind Tribe safe, but additionally with it Kusanagi-sensei also lays down the smallest of stepping stones towards a bit of Tae-Woo development. It's time for this boy to man up and assume his position as the Wind Tribe's leader not just in name but in truth.

Well then my lovelies, that's it for today. AkaYona will be on break for Hana to Yume's issue 14 and will return on the 5th of July. Additionally Kusanagi has said on her twitter that issue 15 will come with a few announcements! Aaaaand this is where I bite my nails and wonder if they're going to announce a new OAD, drama CD, special volume, the end of the series, a second anime season, or all of the above.... (yikes)
See you pretties then!!

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Posted on: 5/06/2017



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9 comments:

  1. As someone who doesn't particularly like Kouren (not bc I find her badly written, but in that love-to-hate the antagonist sort of way), I was extremely pleasantly surprised how she both seems to genuinely care for and respect Tao despite their different ideals. And we have known for a long while that Tao pretty much sees Kouren in the same way. It was refreshing and lovely to see women not being portrayed as catty with each other just because they're on different sides.

    ...Also, can we just talk about Algira announcing that Yona is badass? sjbhbdhbhsd what a precious man

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  2. Tae woo, my dear. The Wind Tribe's loyalty towards Hak kills me. Love the Wind Tribe guys.

    I hope the announcements don't include the ending of the series. This series is so great I really don't want it to end.

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  3. Natalie Emoshanless6 June 2017 at 09:14

    Hey Laura! Thanks for doing summaries and translating. I usually read Yona on other websites and read your review on this website, but none of them have the chapter out right now. And when I tried using your links it wouldn't work(probably because my computer is old) do you think you could maybe also paste the images of the chapter and keep it as a link under the Korean chapters link for people with sucky computers like me? You don't have to translate it or anything, I was able to access your translation just fine. Thank you for your time!

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  4. Holy shittt!! I cant wait for the release on manga sites! Ever since Algira was introduced i cant get enough of this Xing arc! I love the characters and the whole plot!

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  5. I loved this chapter so much! Thank you for translating it. I have a theory since we figured out Gobi's true motives to an extent. But I think since Kye-Sook now knows about Yona that her safety has gotten severely compromised. I can see when the Xing ordeal is just about over, the two (Gobi and Kye-Sook) working together to get rid of their enemies. Yona and Kouren. What do you think?

    Especially Kye-Sook. I just don't think he is going to let this go. He seemed really angry to have been kept out of the loop, and since I have this theory that he somehow coerced Su-Won into becoming King, he may feel that Yona who now has influence in places is a severe threat and will go behind Su-Won's back to take her out. Whether or not he uses Gobi to do it.

    But since Gobi is pissed that Yona interfered, he may be willing to work with Kye-Sook to get rid of her as well. I don't know. I just feel that Yona hasn't been targeted like she probably should. Though I think Kusanagi is building up nicely to that. People sharing rumors about her and Yona just gathering allies and having influences in key places. I figured it will come.

    But what will be will be. I just want to know your thoughts!

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  6. All i see its an incoming tsunami, unless Yona can manage to turn that tide again!

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  7. ;w; my babies have grown up....Xing arc gotta be my favorite arc of the whole series

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  8. Hi Laura! I just wanted to writte to you to tell you I hope you're doing fine. As you haven´t post here in a while I got worried :( well I whish you the best and hope to read your thoughts in the near future :)

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  9. Laura what do you think about Yonas inner monologue on her thoughts about the hairpin? I took it as though Yona tried convincing herself for so long that the reason she kept holding on to that hairpin was to remember the night that Soo-won murdered her father and the hairpin was a drive to keep her going everyday, but we see a struggle inside of her. When Yona really thinks about the hairpins meaning, she basically explains that her reasoning was simply a cover up for her true feelings about Soo-won, which is that she could never hate him and still believes in him, even the night when everything went down.

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