Tale of the Yellow Dragon
Updated: Oct 7, 2022
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐1/2
"With the screech of rubber and a crunch of metal, Dojin departs the mortal world, leaving behind his beloved sister and niece. He awakens in the kingdom of Yooguk, where the people call him “emperor” and serve a god named Yellow Dragon. Dojin soon discovers that Yellow Dragon called him to Yooguk for a purpose: to share his “life force” and protect the kingdom. As Dojin slips deeper into Yellow Dragon’s cold embrace, how far will he go in order to get back home?"
Tale of the Yellow Dragon is a completed fantasy BL manhwa by Brother Without a Tomorrow. You can read it here on Lezhin, but note that only the first episode is free.
After having good luck reading manhwa I've previously DNFed before, I thought I would give this one a shot as well. I don't entirely remember why I stopped reading it the first time, but after finally finishing it the second time around, I thought that this story was okay at most. This was a pretty chunky story, but I was left wanting more. And not in the 'this is so good I need more of it' kind of way, but a 'there were too many plot holes and open endings and I need an explanation' kind of way.
Now, let's get into the details.
The digital art was very clean-cut digital, but I was a bit bothered by some aspects of the character designs. I found that the lips were a bit of a weird shape, as well as their heads as they were more balloon-shaped. Their eyebrows were rather long and they were drawn over their hair which is something I personally don't like but is very common. The characters were all very 'beefy' if that is the right word to describe them? They've got a lot of muscle which, again, is something that is pretty common in BL but isn't my favourite.
I also found that, at some points, their facial features didn't fit their faces properly. For example, in one panel of the Yellow Dragon, his mouth was too big and his eyes were shifted down and over and it just looked off to me. I will not deny though that the characters were visually appealing both appearance wise and their outfits as well.
We'll get to that a bit later, for now, let's start at the beginning. Our main character is spirited away to Yooguk, one of the five kingdoms of this world, in order to become the emperor and help the Yellow Dragon, the guardian god of the kingdom. Right away I am suspended a bit in disbelief as, well, it didn't make much sense to me for a person from a completely different world to rule a kingdom he knows nothing about.
That suspension of disbelief continued throughout the story as I was baffled by the conflicts the story presented. It kind of blew my mind that the things that happened were allowed to happen, as one would think that Yooguk had a better protection detail for their emperor. I also spent some time reading this completely confused as I had no idea what was going on, and I know I wasn't alone.
Now, a big issue, as I said before, was the plot holes and open endings. There were a lot of conflicts and a lot of build-up towards the climax and then...nothing. While some conflicts were resolved, others were left wide open and we were given no hints as to what happened in the end. Even the conflict that was resolved left me with so many questions.
I didn't mind our main characters, Dojin and the Yellow Dragon, but I wasn't fully invested in the characters and story. I think it was because they form a relationship right off the bat, which does make sense considering what is revealed later in the story. I will not deny though that I was ruling for them to have a happy ending, even if I clearly wasn't feeling as emotional as other readers were.
Dojin I found to be a bit naïve and definitely out of his depth. Not that I can blame him considering his situation, but he just didn't seem to grasp that he needed to be cautious. One thing that bothered me though was Yellow Dragon's name. In theory, it is a badass name for a character, but every time Dojin called him by his name during sex, I cringed on the inside.
What I would have liked more of, however, was appearances by the side characters. A pretty big side character who did not get near enough attention was Yooshin. Yooshin was a prince who was Yellow Dragon's other half of a whole in a sense, and you barely get to see him. Considering his role, I would have liked not only to see more of him in general but see him interact with Dojin as well.
The same can be said for not only the spirits and even the villains. I was looking forward to seeing all of the spirits, but a large majority of them are either barely seen or not shown at all. As for the villains, their stories weren't fully fleshed out. Some are even introduced later on but then they are just no longer mentioned for some reason.
In the end, while I enjoyed this enough to keep on reading, there were just so many plotlines that were either stopped abruptly or left open-ended. As for content warnings, there are mentions of an abusive relationship, and there is sexual content although it is censored.