foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
[personal profile] foxinthestars
One of the things I love about Akatsuki no Yona is that it seems like often, when I find myself afraid that some tired bullshit is about to happen, it somehow gets averted or mitigated.

My classic example is the time Yona tells Hak that she wants to protect him, and he tells her she shouldn't say something like that --- not because of toxic masculinity "the guy should be the protector and to reverse that threatens his masculinity" bullshit (which I was afraid of and primed to expect), but because it's distractingly hot when she does that.

Also there's a scene soon after Zeno joins up where he says to Hak that the dragon warriors are basically replaceable (Please don't poke there! I have scars! And people are not replaceable!), and Hak says that of course they're all irreplaceable. (Sigh of relief...)

(Note, a weakness I have as a fic writer is that I don't really get Hak like I should or wish I did, but I have noted this as a character trait that you can rely on him to be awesome given setups like that.)

Then, at least twice now, some problematic villain-associated trope has come up, only to be met with a timely reminder that one of our heroes matches the same description.

I just re-read "Young Leaves in the Wind"*, and I didn't catch this one the first time, but when they get the intel that Yona was kidnapped by a large, dark-skinned man, I was like "Sure, of course she was." So 9-year-old Hak finds someone who meets that description, grabs the suspect --- and finds that he grabbed Geun-tae.

The first time I twigged on it was in the Xing arc, when the dragon warriors have their run-in with Yotaka. He starts the whole thing by grilling Kija about his beauty regimen and grousing when the answer is "nothing special," bringing up the old bullshit trope about goodness being associated with not just beauty but effortless beauty --- and then Jae-ha hands over his skin cream, reminding us that one of our heroes also puts a lot of effort into his appearance. (So if anything along that line puts Yotaka in villain territory, it isn't vanity in itself but his readiness to resent a complete stranger over it, which seems fair enough.)

Nobody's perfect, mind. The time the rare chubby, mature woman turned out to be evil --- I'm still salty about that one. But very often this manga does know how to sweet-talk me.

*To combat my canon-shyness I've been trying to re-read a chapter of the manga every day and it's going well. I've gotten in the habit of doing it in the evening before bed.
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