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Comment: Akatsuki no Yona 148 — O light, please don't fade.

1 Comments
Eeeshhhh we were so close!!
[WARNING!] Spoilers for Akatsuki no Yona 148 (duh!)


Quick Summary

Su-Won finds Yotaka almost immediately after arriving. Yotaka, disappointed to see Su-Won is not appropriately ugly to be the son of the man he abhorred so much, tells him he'd crack his skull open if he had a weapon on him. One of Su-Won's soldiers is about to kill him when Tae-Woo states Yotaka is under the Wind Tribe's protection. This spikes Kye-Sook's suspicions of the Wind Tribe, but Tae-Woo states that it's simply because it goes against his/the Wind Tribe's moral code to kill someone they've gone through the pains of saving.
Su-Won tells Yotaka he won't kill him, as he's struck a deal with Xing. Yotaka is surprised to hear this and suddenly remembers being told that Princess Yona had asked Kouren to wait before launching her attack, because she was going to speak with Su-Won personally. Su-Won procedes to instruct Yotaka to go to Xing and inform someone important of his arrival, and that Kouka won't meddle with Xing's inner quarrels. He doesn't care who comes to the conference, whether it's Kouren or someone else.
Yotaka is shocked by this, as he'd always assumed Kouka was a kingdom of evil men. Tae-Woo helps him cross the border, and Yotaka thanks him for his help. He sets out with General Nam-Sek to find Kouren, and thinks of Negur. Yotaka begins to think to himself that perhaps there were things they should have noticed earlier, and that perhaps the reason why everything they've been building towards these past 17 years came crumbling down so quickly was because they didn't fix the small but many cracks in it. Just as Yotaka is close to passing out again, Nam-Sek spots Yona&co., and Yotaka witnesses Argila, Voldo, and Mizali protecting Kouren. He wills himself to move despite his injuries and relays the message to Kouren that Su-Won has arrived, and that he is waiting for her at the border. Which sets Gobi off—he wants Kouren dead before that happens.
Kouren turns to Yona and thanks her for everything she has done for her kingdom, and when Yona asks her if she's made up her mind, Kouren says that she still feels the hatred smouldering within her, but that she doesn't want to hand her kingdom over to Gobi.
Kouren sets forth to kill Gobi, who cowardly uses a Xing woman as a shield... but she is cut in the back by one of Gobi's lackeys.

Comment


Arrghhhh we were so close! So close!! For a moment it seemed like success was within reach, what with Yotaka joining Kouren and agreeing to follow whichever path she decided to follow, and Kouren's farewell to Yona was soaked in promises of new beginnings... Oh how quickly the tables turned.
From a writing and practical point of view, I don't think Kouren is at risk of dying. I feel that part of her character redemption arc is based around her living with the consequences of the movement that she spurred, but this is still likely to become a huge setback... If Kouren is out of the game for whatever reason, she won't be able to dissuade her forces from attacking Kouka, which means war is still on the horizon. More so now than ever with the new information Su-Won has given us: that he doesn't care whether it's Kouren or someone else who attends the conference.
This was definitely the single most puzzling moment in this arc for me. I can't tell whether Su-Won doesn't really understand the full picture of the political division within Xing, or if what he means to say here is that no matter who emerges victorious from this inner quarrel (be it the Opposition or the War Faction) he'll hold a conference with them, regardless of whether it's Kouren or not. Now, just a few days ago an Anon asked me whether I thought Gobi could possibly take advantage of the situation and ask for the DWs in exchange for settling the war peacefully. I argued that this was unlikely, because in naming Kouren and Tao and not, say, their bedridden father the king of Xing, Su-Won had singled them out as the two authoritative figures he truly thought mattered in this conflict. A logical move, seeing as they're the ones who lead the two factions amongst which public opinion in Xing has been split. I had assumed Su-Won's statement then had been an absolute... but evidently that is not the case.
Which is very puzzling... If Kouren doesn't attend the conference, how can he rest assured that the conclusion reached during the conference is agreed upon by all parties involved in the conflict? Kouren holds a terrific influence over the better half of the population... should Kouka want to settle this matter peacefully, there's no questioning that she is necessary. But then again, it could be he really doesn't truly understand the political environment within Xing.
Nonetheless, this opens the possibility of Gobi manipulating the situation in his favour, and should he escape and successfully reach Su-Won before the others do, who's to say Su-Won won't just proceed with whatever Gobi offers? He no longer seems too bothered about who it is he gets to talk to...

Moving onto the more uplifting side of the chapter: I'm a huge fan of Yotaka's reflection on where they went wrong and his regrouping with Mizali. I love how he leans against Mizali when he's about to stumble, and Mizali just knows it's Yotaka. He doesn't even have to look behind him. (I mean, Yotaka's hair is pretty unmistakable. I bet it feels very soft.) This entire scene, where Yotaka finds out hope is not yet lost and Kouren willingly heads out to meet Su-Won, is the most uplifting sequence we've gotten in a long time, and I absolutely love the emotions Kusanagi si bringing out with it.
I feel that the Xing pro-war cast is slowly finding redemption in realising their own shortcomings and narrow view of the Xing-Kouka conflict, which is a huge step-up from the paper-thin characters the Sei arc introduced. I'm feeling a bit iffy about Su-Won's new conference rules, but I'm still holding onto my hopes for this arc, and with how much I'm enjoying it I'm praying it will reach an ending worthy of the efforts our characters have gone through. Unfortunately the dragons are still K.O., Kouren's just been skewered, and Gobi still has the upper hand, so that doesn't seem likely to happen anytime soon...

Well then my lovelies, the next chapter will be released on the 4th of November (not the 5th, remember, remember), so AkaYona will be skipping the next issue. It looks like we'll be getting a colour page with ch.149. See you all then!!

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Posted on: 06/10/2017



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1 comment:

  1. What do you think about the second to last page when Gobi shoved the girl in front of him to avoid Kouren's attack? There were a bunch of civilians around so I think the scene will have huge consequences regarding how the people regard Gobi and the Opposition. Especially since they should have noticed that Kouren froze before she could hit the girl in accident?? That completely contradicts what Gobi has been saying about Kouren and her followers (that they're mindless killing machines out for blood). Needless to say, I guess if Gobi had the opportunity, he could still have the conference with Soo-won even if the people of Xing no longer have faith in him, since Soo-won won't necessarily know that (what a twist it would be indeed!). It's hard to say what will happen though, I feel like Kusanagi always goes beyond my expectations haha.

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