A princess in peril and yet the one that she loves is the one that is threatening her life. The love of her life is evil, unfortunately.
Warning: Spoiler ahead!
The anime starts with a hooded princess stands on a cliff, overlooking a group soldiers marching towards them. A man asks her if they should go now and on the background, unidentified men are with them, assuming they are their companions.
The opening song doesn’t have any lyrics but has a Chinese feel. The images in the opening also implies that the protagonist will be a woman and there are people in her life that will make her happy or make her sad. Oh, don’t forget the dragons like in Fushigi Yuugi and there seems to be four of them.
For the 1st episode, it has been established that Yona, is a princess from a fictional kingdom called Kouka. His father, King Il, is a kind king that doesn’t like any violence. Yona fondly calls his father Chichi, rather than Otou-sama, which translates that she is very close to him despite his responsibilities as king.
General Hak on the other hand is one of the five generals of the king, which is in charge of protecting Yona. Based on the way Hak treats Yona, he treats her as a kid. They always bickers with each other, Hak always taunting her about the things that she failed to do and Yona answering back with hateful things. Hey, the more you hate, the more you love, right?
To complete the love triangle, here comes Soo-Woon.
Hak, Soo-Won and Yona are childhood friends that usually get in trouble of their planning. While Hak is the previous General’s adopted son, Soo-Won is Yona’s cousin from his father’s side.
And to add more drama, Yona has been in-love with Soo-Won since their childhood days but despite growing up, Soo-Won does not treat her as someone worthy of his love. Because of that, Yona tries to grab his attention by simple things like makeup and lotions, to extreme things like lying that she is in engaged to be married to Hak; thinking that Soo-Won will finally make a move when he finds out she’s not available anymore. Unfortunately, Soo-Won made it a point to inform her that he thinks of her as her sister, nothing else.
However, when the King found out about this, he had forbade her in pushing her dreams into reality. It was then revealed that Yona’s mother was killed by rebels and being in the royal family entails danger that is something that can not be prevented. He urged her to leave Soo-Woon alone for him to be happy.
When Yona’s birthday celebrated, Hak feels that something is off and warns both Soo-Won and Yona to be careful. As night approaches, Yona decides to talk to her father again, and try to convince him that Soo-Won is the right choice for her and for the kingdom. However, as she enters the king’s room, his father is already dead and his murderer is non other than (*drum roll please*) Soo-Woon himself.
They led Yona in the courtyard to be executed by guards that in league with Soo-Won. As the blade slashes, a gush of wind is seen and the blade with the owner is thrown to the side. The rest of the guards that are imprisoning Yona is also thrown back by a Naginata, which is the preferred weapon of Hak.
The episode ends with Hak questioning why Soo-Woon is doing this while a stunned Yona watched as her dream shatters into a million pieces.
What I love about this episode it is very straight forward. And the only question remains is what Hak asked Soo-Won in the end, but we must wait for the answers in the next episodes as it will shed more light.
Although it’s funny that having somewhat Chinese opening song, the names and the environment of the anime itself is more Korean than Japanese. It’s unique and very intriguing.