A surprisingly fun series, Akatsuki no Yona originally interested me because it was a reverse harem with a historical aspect. Can’t say no to cute boys, right? Originally I thought this series would just be something to wind down and enjoy after a long day at class, but it turned into something more than that.
Akatsuki no Yona is animated by the studio Pierrot, which I have not had the best experiences with, but they managed to do wonderful work on this series. Their animation was bright, fluid, and lovely to look at. I enjoyed watching the characters move about on screen and was immensely impressed by not only the heavy action scenes, but just by some of the downtime scenes where the characters were walking between places and interacting with one another. Throughout the series two cours the animation stayed pretty consistent as well, which impressed me also. Here are some lovely scenes from the series so you can see for yourself:
The story for these two cours is pretty simple though, Yona is a princess whose father is assassinated by her own cousin. She is then sent on the run and receives a mission to go and unite the four dragons so she can rise up and take back her father’s kingdom from her cousin who murdered her father. Most of this series is spent with Yona and her group walking around looking for the dragons which can cause a serious drag. It can get seriously boring, really. Which is why this series really wasn’t as great as it could have been. They should have been a bit quicker about meeting up with the dragons. Thankfully the lovely character interactions and interesting characters would keep it from getting too horribly boring, plus it had its humorous parts. Though another criticism was that its humor could get repetitive since the jokes were styled the same.
Akatsuki no Yona is a reverse harem though, so the main appeals are the boys and this series has some interesting ones to offer! You have Hak who is the snarky childhood friend and bodyguard of Yona, there is the four dragons to pick from who all have drastically different personalities. You have Jae-ha who is a flirt and serious play boy, there’s Shin-ah who is a quiet sweetheart, and there’s Ki-ja who is a bit of a prissy, worry wort and there’s the fourth dragon who was only introduced in the last episode, but he comes off as a cute, clutz. There’s also the villian and little boy type if that’s what you’re into. All the boys are incredibly cute though, so it’s hard to root for one to win! Hak seems pretty endgame though.
Better than some of the other in its genre, but can be pretty boring, Akatsuki no Yona gets about a 6/10 from me. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the greatest thing I’d watched either. I’d recommend it to people who like boys and action though.