Yona of the Dawn Volume 6 by Mizuho Kusanagi
I’m always happy when a new volume of Yona of the Dawn comes out. The cover of this volume, featuring Yona and Sinha sheltering from the rain under a giant leaf, is particularly adorable. Yona is tested in many ways as she learns more about the Green Dragon and his pirate companions.
Although Yona doesn’t have any superpowers, the force of her forthright personality proves to be an incredible advantage for her. When the Green Dragon Jaeha announces that he won’t join up with her, she reacts calmly, saying that she’ll ask him to join her but would never order or try to compel him to change his mind. Yona is tested even further when Jaeha takes her to meet the pirate queen, Captain Gi-Gan. She tests the companions and refuses to accept Yona, since Yona doesn’t have any special or useful abilities. Gi-Gan tells Yona to gather a rare medicinal herb, which requires some treacherous hiking at the edge of a cliff. Yona is determined to prove herself worthy of taking part in the upcoming battle, and she heads off to face her test, accompanied by Jaeha. Jaeha’s Green Dragon protective instincts kick in even as he tries to fight the bond he has with Yona.
There were a bunch of very cute Yona and Hak moments in this volume. Hak points out that her attitude towards the Green Dragon’s recruitment is totally at odds to her ordering him to accompany her on her journey and she gets incredibly flusters and tells him to shut up because “You’re different.” Hak secretly finds this adorable. Hak’s jealousy kicks into high gear when Jaeha talks about how unique and cute Yona is. His emotions are tested even more when Yona decides to go undercover to subvert the local warlord’s terrible plans for human trafficking with the village girls. Sometimes I’m not a fan of such slowly developing romances, but while Hak has clearly acknowledged his feelings internally, it still seems like Yona hasn’t examined her feelings for him quite as closely. Hopefully there will be more developments here in the next volume or so!
As I was reading this volume of Yona of the Dawn, I realized that it reminded me quite a bit of Basara. There’s the superficial similarity of awesome pirate queen characters popping up in both manga, but the slower pace of the storytelling allowing the author to introduce an expansive cast with plenty of character development along the way is the main reason why I like both series.