Promise of the Morning – 誓いの朝
Finally, the scene I’ve been waiting for.
Yona’s unexpected reunion with Soo Won was animated to such perfection that I have no complaints at all. From the looks on their face, how Soo Won’s hair seem to be swishing all the time, the use of soundtrack to Kobayashi Yuusuke‘s voice acting, I couldn’t ask for more. I especially liked how the how screen jerked when Yona spotted the sword, and how the general and Soo Won’s voices started to become more echo-y and distanced as she started to get consumed by her feelings of revenge. Unlike in the manga, the moment when Soo Won’s hand wrapped over Yona’s wasn’t as impactful in the anime. Kobayashi did a great job with the change in his tone, and I got a little shocked at how dark he sounded when he asked Yona “do you want to kill me?”. You can feel his sadness when he said “of course you do” and it’s obvious that he loves Yona, but had to cut himself off from her in order to achieve his goal. That hand which reached for Yona without touching her aptly represents how he feels towards her and, satisfied that she’s alive along with Hak, Soo Won turned away and left without as much as a backwards glance.
After he disappeared from sight, all the tension within Yona snapped and she broke down in tears – a sight we haven’t seen in a long while. Hak, who was looking for his princess, found her in that state and immediately knew that Soo Won was nearby. After all, Soo Won is probably the only person who could break Yona like that. Realising that he’s become complacent lately and forgotten about the main issue at hand, Hak started to carry his high pole arm around again, while Yona tries desperately to appear “totally fine” and failing. Although she was obviously shaken by the unexpected reunion, she eventually came back to her senses by herself and made the decision to depart from Awa. Perhaps she knew that lingering around might mean running into Soo Won again, or she just wanted to leave this “place where she ran into Soo Won” behind. Either way, she’s decided to make a move on. About time too.
After such quality time spent with Yona, Jaeha started to realise that he couldn’t bear to let Yona out of his sight. It was quite amazing that everyone seem to know about Jaeha’s change of heart even though he didn’t say or do anything obvious. I enjoyed the scene where he played the lullaby to put the pirates to sleep because he wanted to avoid an emotional parting. He also bid goodbye to the captain, who’s probably been like his mother and guardian to him. As much as everyone wanted that night to never end, dawn still broke and it was time for Yona’s group to depart. While everyone was saying goodbye to the group of new friends they’ve made in Awa, Shinah sat by himself in a corner, apparently bored with the wait. Before I forget, I got a screencap of Shinah eating a radish and I was like, why? Who would eat that? Shinah’s always been the introvert and oddball, but I love him all the same, and especially when he notices Yona’s distress and sends Ao to her.
After a lengthy goodbye scene, I concluded that Yun would be the one they miss the most. Yona realised that Jaeha was missing, but she seems to be the only one who’s bothered by it – perhaps everyone else knew that he would leave with her already. Just when we thought he wouldn’t make another appearance in this episode, Kija and Shinah exposes him, and it turns out that he’s been tailing them since they left Awa. Suwabe‘s “would you bring me along with you?” had just the perfect tone that Yona, no I’m sure even Hak would be able to resist.
After the Awa arc, we’ve gained one dragon, a Suwabe and we’re one step closer to… what? I’m not sure what Yona is trying to achieve in the end, regain her rights to the throne? Bring the entire truth about King Il’s murder to light? Who knows. With this season set to end at episode 24, I think we might conclude at a resting point (i.e. gathering dragons) and not address the bigger issue. Or we might just end on a cliffhanger – in which, there’s always the manga to read.