Noob Reviews: Vinland Saga (Season 01)
Updated: Jan 15
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included to help explain certain points.
This review is based off of the current 17 episodes available to watch as the season is been released episode by episode on a weekly basis.
What is Vinland Saga?
Vinland Saga is a rather unique take on what the Vikings were like at the end of the millennium. Although we have many seeking riches, fame and glory across the seas. There is also a simpler tale, one of revenge. Of love lost. And of a small boy named Thorfinn.
Vinland, which in hundreds of years to come, would become England. Had been spoken of by old warriors and merchants alike; a land of fertile grounds, wealth and beauty. So much unlike their own lands in Iceland, the children of Thorfinn’s village believe it to be a place purely found in the tales told to amuse them by their elders.
Unfortunately due to a series of unfortunate events, Thorfinn finds himself far from Iceland, from everything he knew and loved. His father (Thors) slain before him. Luckily for him though, he has seen his father’s killer. He knows the killer’s name (Askeladd) and his skill set. And for every worthy deed Thorfinn accomplishes on the battlefield, Askeladd will allow him a single duel as his reward. But are these just duels? Or a means with which Thorfinn can take his revenge and avenge the fallen?
Do you have the trailers to show us?
- Season 01 | Trailer 01 -
- Season 01 | Trailer 02 -
Personally I think the second trailer sums up the season and it’s pace a little better than the first.
When did it come out?
Season 01 episode 01 originally aired 07th July 2019 and is on going.
As of the 11th November 2019, 17 episodes have been released on a weekly basis. Unfortunately episode 18 has been delayed and release date is TBC (but is rumoured to be 17th November).
Can you give us an example of some story lines?
The story lines within Vinland Saga can in some aspects be simple. Revenge. Wealth. Fame. A perfect death with which a Viking warrior might be granted access to Valhalla when they die. And yet in other aspects, it is a spider's web. Twisting, turning, criss-crossing and each having its own rewards and sacrifices.
Some of my favourite story lines have been…
Thorfinn’s continuous and unwavering path of revenge for Thors’ death at the hands of Askeladd and his men. Including a very interesting love hate relationship the two appear to be developing. Not in a romantic sense. But more as ‘friends’ or perhaps mentor and student.
The arrival of a scarred figure from Thors’ past named Floki. A mighty warrior who leads part of an elite Viking warband called the Jomsvikings. Finding out how his and Thors’ paths crossed.
Later in the season a character named Thorkell is added into the mix. With a thirst for battle, a wish to find a perfect opponent and desire to prove himself the mightiest of warriors; Thorkell has an interesting (and somewhat twisted) sense of honour that repeatedly causes him to cross paths (and blade) with our protagonist Thorfinn.
Who is behind Vinland Saga?
Vinland Saga is a television adaptation (licensed by Amazon Video) of a manga series by the same name. The adaptation is handled by Wit Studio and directed by Shūhei Yabuta. With Hiroshi Seko and Kenta Ihara as it’s writers.
How is the season so far?
The season has a very good core story which all the subplots wrap around nicely. All aspects of the story are easy to follow and revealed at a good pace, never too much or too little; drip fed just right every time to give you enough to sate your current appetite. But at the same time leave you wanting more. Guessing and curious as to what is coming next.
Personally I think the art style is brilliant too, from the character design to the scenery and even the choreography of the combat. It all flows smoothly and looks beautiful as it unfolds.
Add into the above an immersive soundtrack by Yutaka Yamada and an epic opening credits tune called Mukanjyo by Survive Said The Prophet (from their album of the same name) and you have a very engaging concoction for success.
What overall rating would you give the season so far?
Although the first season is still in progress, I would give Vinland Saga a solid 5 out of 5 bananas.
Although I have not based this judgement on the first season as a whole / finished season, I have a very high opinion of the anime and just see it going from strength to strength in terms of storytelling, delivery and popularity.
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