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Comment: Akatsuki no Yona 155 — The truth birthed from a lie

A chapter for the fans, clearly.
[WARNING!] Spoilers for Akatsuki no Yona 155 (duh!)

Quick Summary

Yona&co. stop at a hot-springs site near Kuuto so the dragons may rest and heal. They run into Ogi (or more like he runs into them), who is there to meet with an informant. The informant tells him that enemy troops have trespassed into Fire Tribe territory from the Kai Empire.
Meanwhile, Zeno goes to check on Yona in the women's bath area. Yona thinks about how strange it feels to think about King Hiryuu as an actual living, breathing person, and not just a legend or a god. She asks Zeno what kind of man Hiryuu was, and Zeno confesses he's not sure himself. Yona asks him if he doesn't remember, and Zeno tells her that every time he thinks back on things he has forgotten, he always notices something new and questions things he thought he knew. He tells Yona that watching her reminds him of Hiryuu — he was a gentle man who was kind to his people and the Four Dragons alike, but he confesses that sometimes he wonders if Hiryuu found the Four Dragons irritating. They were, after all, not something that he wished for himself, but something spawned from the Dragon Gods's excessive adoration of him.
Yona asks about his time with Hiryuu, and Zeno tells her he died before the Four Dragons did because of an illness. Yona then suggests that perhaps the reason the mausoleum has the power to heal the dragons is because Hiryuu wanted to keep protecting them even after death, but Zeno wonders whether that could be true.
When she leaves the hot springs, Yona hears from the gang that the Fire Tribe is under attack, but the information at the moment is unreliable. Nonetheless the HHB decide that they owe it to Tae-Jun to go and help, and set out.
Elsewhere, in Saika; Kyo-Ga and Tae-Jun arrive at the site and confirm that an army is indeed making its way here. However it is unconfirmed whether the troops belong to Li Hazara or the Kai Empire. Kyo-Ga realises that they're a step behind — he asks for a second flare to be raised to alert Hiryuu Palace, but realises that he does not have enough men with him, and that reinforcements from Saika will take a day to arrive. Kyo-Ga, Tae-Jun, and the Fire troops fight against the invasion, but the enemy is much too strung. Tae-Jun is about to get skewered by an enemy spear-wielder, but an arrow pierces through the chest of his would-be attacker. When Tae-Jun turns to see who fired the arrow he sees Yona and Hak.


...Ao what are you doing in the MEN'S baths?

Obligatory Shin-ah comment: did everyone else also notice that he keeps his mask off and only puts it on when he sees someone approaching like I AM LIT he's really only wearing it around strangers, I'm so happy, my baby boy. *sobs*

Whatever I was expecting of 155, it was not an onsen scene. Though you won't see me complaining (God bless you with good things, Kusanagi).
But setting aside this muscle and squeaky-clean skin fest that was so extra free, let's get down to business. The wording that Ogi's business partner uses to talk about the invading troops (referring to them as enemies that have infiltrated through the Kai Empire, rather than enemies from the Kai Empire) and the fact that Li Hazara is nowhere to be seen has me thinking that...perhaps this isn't actually a Kai Empire invasion. And if it is, where is their general? Why have we not seen the person commanding these troops? Their armour looks distinctly Kai-ish, but it's different from from both what Li Hazara's men are seen wearing in ch.67, and what the runaway Southern Kai soldiers in ch.98 were wearing. Could this be some sort of distraction strategy, where these troops are meant to draw Su-Won and his troops away from Hiryuu Palace whilst Southern Kai attacks from the other side? Something is amiss, Watson ಠ_ಠ

Moving onto other matters of interest— THE ENTIRE SCENE WITH ZENO IS SO TRIPPING. (」゜ロ゜)」
WhAT??????¿¿¿ EVEN??¿? (years without any Hiryuu content and this is what you give us Kusanagi?) Not only does he consider the possibility that Hiryuu might've actually seen the Four Dragons as annoying eyesores, but when Yona romanticises the reason behind the healing properties of the mausoleum, Zeno questions her logic. Judging by his long pause and Yona's reaction it sure doesn't seem like he's ending the conversation with a vague "I don't know," but with genuine dubiosity. What is he implying here? It almost seems like he's rejecting the possibility that Hiryuu could have wanted to protect the Dragon Warriors — that Hiryuu not only found the warriors irritating, but also resented them. What other reason could he have, if not, to doubt Yona's suggestion?
This scene is overall fascinating — it adds a completely unexpected layer to Hiryuu's character, one that goes beyond the image we've had of the benevolent god that was so loved by his peers that they sent superhuman warriors to protect him. It also twists the Dragon Gods' adoration of him into something rather creepy, borderline obsessive and even stalker-ish, and pitches the question of whether the ~Will of Heaven~ (and I use this in general terms to refer to everything the gods decide and influence) truly is a good thing. Does being god automatically give them a free get-out-of-jail pass? Should we assume their decisions are correct simply because they are deities? Could it be that their overprotective nature is what drove Hiryuu to turn his attention to the human realm and want to stop being a god? Food for thought...
The possible deconstruction of Legend!Hiryuu from a benevolent and good king, to a dimensional guy who wasn't perfect, dealing with annoyingly overprotective "relatives," is incredibly exciting and unexpected. It makes you wonder whether this is Zeno overthinking things (because come on, if two hours rolling around in bed before I fall asleep is enough time to overthink things for me, imagine what 2,000 years have done to this poor lad) or whether Hiryuu did indeed hold a tinge of resentment towards the Dragon Warriors.

Last but not least; can we please sit back and appreciate how marvellously badass Yona was on that last page?

Her clothes are frayed and she wears no crown, but Yona looks absolutely regal. I'm dying to know whether Ogi has followed them all the way to the Fire Tribe and is watching this, seeing as he said he wanted to check whether this talk about the Four Dragons was true. Also— how will Kyo-Ga react to Yona's presence? Looks like things are picking up pretty quickly!

Well then my lovelies, that's it from me today. Apologies for the delay in my post! AkaYona won't be back in Hana to Yume until the 5th of April, which means it'll be skipping both March issues. 155 confirms in a comment from Kusanagi on the sidelines that this is because she has to take care of the chapter she's publishing in the April 25th issue of The Hana to Yume. But on the bright side!! The March issues will both come with AkaYona freebies, including an alternative cover for vol.26 with the The Hana to Yume issue. Which brings me to the next good news: the official date for the release of vol.26 has been set to the 20th of April.
April will be a good month :) See you all then!

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Posted on: 23/02/2018

PS. Kyo-Ga's dialogue on his recurring nightmares where he chases after his father's troops broke my heart...

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  1. maybe so-woon is the true Hiryuu. i mean they have a lot in common. and this explains why king il not allowed things to soo-woon.

    1. So I recently outlined on my tumblr my reasons for giving up on the Su-Won as Hiryuu theory (I discarded it after the Zeno arc), but following this line of thought; What if (and take this with a pinch of salt, because it still feels more like crack theory to me) Yona is only Hiryuu's bodily incarnation, and Su-Won is in fact his soul? And what Hiryuu actually wanted was to create and defend a country without the power of the meddlesome gods, so he split himself up to confuse them?
      .......... It still feels like a crack theory, seeing as AkaYona has always kept the supernatural aspect very straightforward, but I can see how it could work.

    2. i think you are right, and something like this will happening in the manga.

  2. What about the fact that the dragons are bound to die young, as soon as a new one is born. If iirc, Jea-ha said he was already old for a dragon and should have already began his decline. That for sure would make me doubt that Hiryuu really cared for them if i had witness 2000 years worth of 25's year old young men dying just to wait on a reincarnation(so around 320 young men). Being born a dragon was always painted as a curse with benefit inflicted on humans by the god.. maybe that's what Zeno was thinking about... or i'm just cynical and find that them dying so young outweighs the benefit. I guess i'm really hoping that she will address this and save future lives from being taken so young by this curse/benediction/super cool bad-assery.

    1. I guess it begs the question of whether Hiryuu has any control over the power transmission from one DW generation to the next, or whether this 2,000 year old chain is the Dragon Gods' doing. It also makes you wonder what Hiryuu's been up to these past 2,000 years... was he up in Heaven looking down as a god, or did his soul effectively become human forever and lose its power to influence the human realm supernaturally completely?

      I'm a bit reluctant to raise so many deep questions because AkaYona is still a shojo manga and there's a chance I'm reading too deep into it, but I agree with everything you say. I'm all in for Yona freeing the dragons from their burden (if it's within her capabilities), especially because as far as we know the subject is still being kept a secret from her. I don't think she'll like it when she finds out.

    2. i ALSO THINK that if Hiryuu was bothered about something was how the destiny of 4 young men generation after generation was being forced upon them, Zeno's fate being the most cruel of all. Im sure he loved them, but was also very conflicted of this forced destiny (even if the dragons asked them first if they wanted the power or not)

  3. I interpreted it as not so much resentment but a burden and something that was out of Hiryuu's control. The dragon warriors were ultimately cursed for his sake, without him having a say in the matter and that's got to weigh heavily on a person. That sort of guilt could easily manifest in frustration and be seen as being irritated with them.

    Also I should not have found Zeno's butt shot in this chapter so hilarious and yet LOL

    1. I agree with you there, I think that Hiryuu was frustrated by the Dragon gods' involvement, but not with the Dragon warriors themselves. Otherwise, I do not believe he would have come off as so sympathetic towards the Dragon Warriors, especially Zeno.

      Remember when he realized what Zeno's true power was and he went out of his way to make sure Zeno did not realize it too soon, and promised his protection with the medallion? Well that is my interpretation; Zeno had too much time to stew in his own thoughts for 2,000 years. No surprise he feels this way.

  4. With the dragons the battle will be won. I think that to sin the firme tribe will fight with them.But i wonder what will sowon when he discovers this

  5. Hi there Laura :) as always a chapter beautifully and delicately translated by you :) I feel unease regarding the situation with this troops advancing from Kai, as I also smell something fishy in it, like this is just a ruse for something else, not sure what though, it almost seems like some sort of false flag attack to me; well regarding something else I know you had your eye candy with our boys in the onsen, but I almost die of cuteness when Yona appeared in the onsen as well she is soooo perfect :3!!!! and above all I feel that Zeno's dialog gave us a good insight into his own mind... in the end his childish and carefree manner is a statement on how much he misses his wife (as that was her way of being), like an amulet to survive mentally in his immortal life, but deep inside he is still a broken human being destroyed by his own nature and the depth of loneliness and despair, I wished to Hugh him when he was talking to my dear Yona... and well finally you are right she seems like an Empress in that final page, so powerful, so noble, so rightful, I totally love her :)

  6. Hak's arm muscles make me want to hang all of my life problems on it.

    1. ^ of all the comments I have ever received on my blog, this one takes the cake.

    2. Great comment ^_^
      I'm a little worried 'cause Hak is still wounded and they are in the middle of the battlefield AGAIN!! That reminds me of ch 18, when he collapsed after fighting (+_+)

  7. I'm going to be very upset if we see that annoying asshole Gobi again & the whole false flag thing is just the sort of bullshit he's stir up since he craves power & he will kill whoever & whatever is in his way. However I'm also concerned about Kye-sook & what he plans on doing with Yona.
    But I have to agree with everyone that there is something wrong with the attack, it's definitely looks like a distraction tactic to move the Kouka military for the real enemy.

    I think King Hiryuu did wish to protect the warriors as much as possible because he knew what it really meant to carry the power of a dragon. The first warriors lived a long life & then the reincarnations started when the guys where in their 20s so when Hiryuu did come back, they'd be an ideal fighting age, which suggests no one really knew when he would reincarnate in the world again. So this sounds more like it was the dragons in heaven making certain their crimson dragon would have the best possible protection, when he came back.
    When you brought up the part about heaven & gods always being right, it reminds me a bit of Kamisama Hajimemashita & Noragami... Perhaps this is was King Hiryuu trying to correct the arrogance of the heavens. 2000 years seems like a rather long time for a reincarnation, so perhaps Yona could end the powers being transferred generation after generation. It would be nice if it was something simple like having the hot Dark Dragon's kid ;)

    There could be something to what you call a "crack theory" or perhaps it was more of how Su-won vs Yona were raised: Su-won traveled around and talked to people & didn't want to make them treat him like a royal while Yona was just sheltered in a castle.

    Not sure if it's a good thing or not for Lili to get the hairpin back, however this suggests that it is important like Zeno's pendant level important. That is a crazy thought, we thought the sword & shield being awakened were supposed to be people but what if it has something to do with the hairpin & pendant? Oh well, trying to decipher metaphors is difficult & only leads to unnecessary headaches.

  8. hi,
    I am but a passerby fan,but
    can it be the the fight we see in the this chapter is the same fight the had been shown in the very first chapter?
    the scenery is very similar


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