Akatsuki no Yona (暁のヨナ Yona of the Dawn) is a manga series written and illustrated by Kusanagi Mizuho. It was later adapted into an anime series following the story of a 16-year old, red-haired girl named Yona.
Set in a fictional place that draws inspiration from a mixture of Japanese, Korean and Chinese cultures, the story follows the redemption of Yona, the sole princess to the Kingdom of Kouka. Yona lives the carefree life of a princess in Hiryuu Castle, being sheltered by her pacifistic father, Emperor Il, and protected by her bodyguard and childhood friend Son Hak. During a party being held for her sixteenth birthday, her other childhood friend and love interest Soo-Won comes to pay tribute to her. Intending to tell her father that she cannot forget her love for Soo-Won, she visits Emperor Il's chambers and witnesses him being killed by Soo-Won, who reveals that he will now properly rule Kouka. Hak intervenes and saves Yona, and they escape from the castle to Hak's birthplace, the Wind Tribe. Under the suggestion of Hak's grandfather Son Mundok, Yona and Hak search for an oracle named Ik-Soo, who then tells them the legend of the first king of Kouka, King Hiryuu, and the Four Dragon Warriors who unified the kingdom. Yona and Hak, joined by Ik-Soo's assistant Yoon, begin a journey to find the descendants of the legendary Four Dragon Warriors in order to survive and save the Kingdom of Kouka.
See also: Characters
- Yona is the titular protagonist of the manga and anime series, Akatsuki no Yona. She is the princess of Kouka Kingdom, the only heir of Emperor Il and Queen Kashi, and the reincarnation of King Hiryuu. On her 16th birthday, she was forced to flee Hiryuu Castle as a fugitive after her father was murdered by Soo-Won. Yona had a sheltered, pampered upbringing. But all of that changed when she witnessed her father's murder at the hands of Soo-Won on the night of her 16th birthday. After her father's death she and Hak were forced to flee from the Hiryuu Castle and traveled all the way to Hak's homeland the Wind Tribe for safety. During her journey, Yona started to realize that not everything was perfect during her father's reign as king and had came to terms why he was murdered. So this tragic event and the resolved to fight for herself, throne and kingdom later led to her search for the legendary four dragon warriors who help create the Kouka Kingdom 2,000 years ago. As time goes on her journey she forced Hak to train her how to fight so that she could defend herself in a fight. Along the way she slowly discovers the meaning of friendship and its true purpose in life; which is to protect her love ones and the people of her country.
- Hak is one of the main characters in Akatsuki no Yona. He is formerly known as Son Hak, the former General and Chief of the Wind Tribe. He is an adopted grandson of Son Mundok, the adoptive brother of Tae-Yeon, and the childhood friend of Yona and Soo-Won. Throughout the Kingdom of Kouka, he is known as the “Thunder Beast” due to his outstanding fighting techniques and skills.
- Soo-Won is the current king of Kouka Kingdom, and the 11th king of the Sky Tribe. He is the son of the deceased General Yu-Hon and Lady Yong-Hi, the older cousin of Princess Yona, and the childhood friend of Hak. He murders his uncle, Emperor Il to avenge the alleged murder of his father. Currently, he is resolving the internal conflicts of Kouka in order to bring the country back to the strong nation it used to be during the reign of Emperor Joo-Nam.
- Yoon is the self-proclaimed “beautiful boy genius” caretaker of High Priest Ik-Soo, and the one who helps Yona and Hak recover after they fell from a cliff. He is the first person to join Yona’s journey as per Ik-Soo’s recommendation and continues his role of being the caretaker among the team. Born in a poor village in the Fire Tribe territory and he lost both of his parents at a young age and became an orphan. This tragic event caused him to grow up fast and learn to survive on his own. While trying to survive he late met the High Priest Ik-Soo after he was kicked out of the castle by General Yu-Hon before his death and had been living and taking care of Ik-Soo due to him getting hurt all of the time prior to meeting Yona and Hak. Yoon is very smart, wise and perceptive for his age and most of the time he is mistaken as a girl due to his feminine appearance. Yoon dreams of becoming a doctor and traveling the world but never got to do so out of fear that Ik-Soo wouldn't be able to take care of himself. Nevertheless after much persuasion from Ik-Soo he later joins Yona and Hak on their quest to find the legendary four dragon warriors.
See also: Four Dragon Warriors
- Kija is the current Hakuryuu (White Dragon), one of four dragon warriors and he is one of the main characters and possesses the blood of the white dragon deity. His power lies within his right arm. After Yoon, he is the second person and first dragon to join Yona and Hak on their journey. Born and raised in a village deeply hidden in the woods in which carries the bloodline of the White Dragon; Kija was the protector and tribe leader. Ever since he was born his village taught him to serve and be completely obedient to the next reincarnation of King Hiryuu forever who is said to be his master. However, Kija grew up being isolated from the outside world and was treated like a God to his people. Therefore once Yona arrives to his village after confirmation that she is indeed the next legendary dragon king. Kija happily joins her on the quest to search for the other dragon warriors. At first Kija didn't get along with Hak due to their clash of different personalities and the fact that Kija believed that only dragon warriors are suppose be with Yona. But as time went on he learn to let go of that mind set and started to accept and care for others who are not a part of the dragon legend.
- Shin-Ah is the current Seiryuu (Blue Dragon), one of the four dragon warriors and is one of the main characters and possessed the blood of the blue dragon deity. His power lies in his eyes. He became the third person and the second dragon to join Yona and Hak on their journey. Born and raised in a village that carries the bloodline of the Blue Dragon; Shin-Ah was raised by the previous Dragon Warrior Ao after his mother committed suicide after he was born when it was discovered that he would be the next blue dragon. Growing up nameless and shunned from his villages because of his abilities as the Blue Dragon; he was taught how to fight and control his capabilities by Ao. After Ao died when he was young he had no other friends than a squirrel whom he named Ao after his father figure. Similar to Kija, Shin-Ah also grew up isolated from the outside world and thought that his dragon abilities were a curse. However, after meeting Yona and the group who asked for his cooperation and also to become his friend. Yona was the first person to give him a purpose and even named him Shin-Ah which means light of the moon after he saved her life. During his journey with Yona and the others he starts to feel more comfortable around them to the point that he is able to take off his mask and them see his face and eyes without fear of being judged.
- Jae-Ha is the current Ryokuryuu (Green Dragon), one of the four dragon warriors and he is one of the main characters and possesses the blood of the green dragon deity. His power lies within his right leg. He is a former member of Captain Gi-Gan's pirate crew and is the fourth person and third dragon to join Yona and Hak on their journey. Born and raised in a village that carries the bloodline of the Green Dragon; Jae-Ha lived there up until he was 12 years old after he fled his village due to the mistreatment that he endured there in which he was chained and locked away by the people in his village who feared that outsiders would find out about the Ryokuryuu's power and that it would bring unwanted attention to the village like invaders. Jae-Ha tried and failed many times to escape by any attempted was stopped but the previous Ryokuryuu Garou himself who would often physical, mental and emotionally abuse Jae-Ha. But one day when Jae-Ha was 12 he gained all of the Green dragon abilities since Garou was slowly dying and was strong enough to escape from his village with the help of Garou. After his escape he would often get into trouble until he finally met a group of local pirates in the Earth village town called Awa led by their Captain Gi-Gan who showed him compassion and treated him like a normal human being and let him join them. Due to his troubled childhood Jae-Ha valued freedom more than anything in the world and hated being the Green Dragon which is why when Yona and her crew came to Awa searching for him he was threatening towards her thinking that she would force and control him and refused to help her. Nevertheless, when Yona showed him how courageous she was when dealing and stopping the human trafficking that was going on in Awa he decided to following her on her journey to watch over her.
- Zeno is the Original Ouryuu (Yellow Dragon), one of the four Dragon Warriors, and one of the main characters in the series and possesses the blood of the yellow dragon deity. Later, it is revealed that he is actually the original Ouryuu who once served King Hiryuu. 2,000 years ago. Later on he became the fifth person and final dragon to join Yona and Hak on their journey.
See also: List of volumes
See also: List of episodes