Akatsuki no Yona has finished as awkwardly as it began, but is still strong enough overall to warrant a sequel[1].

That Final Episode

Episode 24 From Now On is full of nice moments but not a lot of actual story. As usual the best moments centre on Yona’s growth as a person, and these are enough to make the episode enjoyable and worthwhile.

They are not, however, enough to make it a decent series finale. In a sense the awkwardness of the first three episodes returned at the last, and that’s a real pity. It was nice to see the fourth dragon introduced, even if hastily.

Jeaha’s Extended Run in the Debut Queue

This was at least partly due to the plot arc with Jeaha taking up a block of 7 episodes. Tightening that up, and I’m sure it could have been done, would have left more room for the introduction of Zeno.

That said, the three dragons introduced first provided plenty of scope for Yona’s growth through the different ways they viewed their status/destiny as dragons: blessing, curse, to be avoided respectively.

It also provided for a comedic undertone in the interactions between the dragons and Hak.

Soo-Won and Yona

As I mentioned in my First Thoughts, and again in my Second Thoughts, Soo-Won is a much more faceted character than simply the villain. Equally, Yona’s thoughts about Soo-Won are also fairly complicated, and the moment in episode 23 Moment of Promise where they briefly meet was beautifully handled.

The rest of the episode wasn’t quite so strong.  However Soo-won’s appearances in both Moment of Promise and From Now On set up a fairly complicated future for the kingdom of Kouka.

That future isn’t as simple as Yona storming the castle to avenge her father. Yona has grown beyond that, and may well have the wisdom to leave Soo-Won in place. If nothing else, Yona wants to see and personally protect more of the kingdom first hand.

Meanwhile, Soo-Won is ruling as a builder who generates strength in the kingdom, and is very probably the king that Kouka needs now. Even the Wind Tribe is reluctantly admitting this.

That tension about the Sliding Scale of Free Will vs Fate is still very much on the table in this series, and one that needs another season or two to properly address.

The Verdict

Pity about the final episode, but Akatsuki no Yona was a fabulous series overall and second only to Shirobako over the last two seasons. This is a series with a clear direction for future storytelling, and one I’d be happy to spend another 24 episodes with.

[1] At present there’s no sign of a sequel being announced which is a real pity.