Rejection is a consistent theme in the episode as Yona gets rejected by Jeaha, Jeaha gets rejected by Hak, and Gigan rejects Yona when she finds everyone on her team to be useful but her.
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story
As Yona’s crew continues to wander through Awa in search of Jeaha, they witness Lord Yan Kumji’s official cracking down on the city after Gigan’s crew burned one of their ships down. Thus leading to a child’s death, and Yona’s blood boiling. Though she isn’t alone. For while Jeaha tries his best to convince Hak to join Gigan’s crew, he tries to avoid the feeling both Yona and Gija give him. Especially when it comes to succumbing to a fate he doesn’t subscribe to.
Though with Jeaha being caught off guard when he gets a bit too close to Yona one time, he slips and ends up face to face with Gija. Leading to a series of events which lead to Yona and Jeaha being face to face. A moment which doesn’t change Jeaha’s mind, no matter how his blood boils, but it does lead to Yona trying to join Jeaha. For with her feeling powerless, and responsible due to being her father’s daughter, she wants to be part of a positive change. Something, originally, it seems Gigan may not let her do. For while Hak, Gija, and Sinha can fight, and Yun pretty much can be used to make explosives and medicine, what can Yona do? Well, Gigan decides that she may have a use for Yona. Thing is, it may be a life or death situation.
Something I usually enjoy about Akatsuki no Yona is its attempts to balance serious moments, like a child dying, with comical moments, like Jeaha trying to win over Hak. For with this attempt of balance comes a slight sense that the show is trying to present realism in a fantasy world. Meaning that they want you to recognize their world is far from perfect, and can be quite violent and filled with poverty, yet there is also joyful moments which may seem scripted at times, but can be rather natural too.
Take for instance the Hak and Yona relationship. In those moments, like when Ange in Cross Ange reminds us she is a teenager, we see the show become slightly comical, and sweet in a way. Yet there remains a constant reminder, even during those moments, that the reason they are so close is because Hak is all she has left. For with her father assassinated, and she in exile, he is the foundation of her potential strength with the dragons being pillars to keep her raised.
Focusing on this pirate story though, I do feel that it could go somewhere interesting. For with the defeat of a Lord comes recognition. Meaning Su-Won learning where they are, and handling the situation accordingly. Something which could make things rather interesting.
Being that it hasn’t been made clear what Jeaha’s orientation is, I find the gay jokes to be worth an eye roll. For while it can come off comical, and the way Hak handles it is appropriate, I think it was just cheap. Though perhaps I only feel that way since I can’t recall a lot of non-feminine gay characters in anime.
Feelings aside dealing with Jeaha and Hak’s odd scenes together, I must admit I feel Jeaha currently has the weakest dragon storyline. For while he hints he felt trapped by his village, and may have some issues, he isn’t letting us in like the other dragons have. Making it so connecting with him isn’t easy. For while he has charisma, is comical, and surely will bring action, it currently feels like he is lacking depth. Something which hopefully will be fixed as this battle with Lord Kumji continues.