The Chosen Door – 選んだ扉
This was an unexpectedly touching episode of Akatsuki no Yona which made me tear during the story of Ik-soo and Yun’s past.
Yun was one of the unfortunate children born into a poor village in the Fire Tribe (why is everything negative associated with that tribe?) and he was on the verge of dying from hunger and cold when he decided to rob the next passer-by. Armed with a stone, he somehow managed to knock the passing Ik-soo unconscious. However, he couldn’t find anything edible or of value on the unkempt priest. When he realised that Ik-soo was the “outsider who has bits of gold on him”, Yun put on a brave front and threated Ik-soo with a pickaxe. However, our naive and kind-hearted priest cried and sincerely apologised for not having anymore gold on him for Yun. He promised to bring any other things he had for Yun before tripping on his way off. Perhaps Ik-soo’s attitude weakened Yun’s resolve and Yun offered a place for Ik-soo to stay at for the night. Yun definitely isn’t a bad kid, he was just forced to take extreme measures for survival; I’m glad he met Ik-soo before he became a murderer. That night, Yun applied medicated ointment onto Ik-soo’s wounds, possibly out a mixture of kindness and guilt. There was something about this entire scene which brought tears to my eyes, even though I wasn’t exactly paying full attention to the screen (using my phone again, shame on me). The music, and how it’s just so sad that a kind child like Yun had to live in such horrible conditions. Furthermore, it’s obvious that Yun is a clever child who loves learning anything, from reading to making straw sandals. Also, it was rather heart-breaking to see someone so young become so cynical and distrustful of people. It’s just such a waste for a child like Yun to be born in such an unfortunate place.
Although Ik-soo left to continue his journey after that night, he eventually returned to find Yun, who had missed him terribly during his absence. I’m not sure if I’m the only one who felt some weird gay vibe coming from Yun’s words as he pined for Ik-soo, but I shan’t go into details about that. It was another touching moment when Ik-soo apologised to Yun for not bringing him anything, as he was robbed of all his possessions right before he reached Yun’s village. Ik-soo had gathered books and all sorts of things he wanted Yun to have, but it seems like fate has another plan for Yun. Yun decided to leave his village with Ik-soo for a place where they won’t come into much contact with people, and that’s how they ended up on the inhospitable cliffs of the Wind Tribe. I wonder what would have happened if they stayed somewhere within the Fire Tribe, will we get more drama as Hak and Yona venture into enemy territory to look for the priest?
Despite his initial reluctance to leave Ik-soo, whom he has been looking after for 6 years since they left the Fire Tribe village together, Yun decided to set off on the journey along with Hak and Yona, in order to aid them. It looked as though Ik-soo is letting his child go, but Yun was the one who had to be convinced that Ik-soo could look after himself before he set off. Before they left, it was already obvious that Yun would be of great help to Hak in terms of looking after Yona. While I thought his bag might be full of herbs or ointments, he whipped out a huge bag which he explained to be for hiding Yona in huge cities, and that was just one of the many other useful items he brought a long with him.
I didn’t expect much from this episode at first, but it was surprisingly touching and well executed. I don’t remember this story being that moving while reading the manga… So far, I feel that Akatsuki no Yona had been rather consistent and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Although it won’t be part of the lineup for our “Best of”s, it might be getting an 8/10 from me on mal at this rate.