Posted by Lenlo on 29 July 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Welcome all, to the grand return of Vinland Saga! It’s been 3 weeks since it first aired and we finally get more, so allow me a moment of release before we start. Ahem, VINLAAAAAAAAND HYYYYYYYPE. Thank you. Let’s jump in.

Starting off, as much as I love Vinland, production wasn’t perfect. Part of this has to do with the fact that a vast majority of this episode was a single scene in the same location. There was very little variance or interesting switchups on screen. And the CGI water also suffered a bit this week. Seemingly passing through the boats at the end. However, there was still plenty to love in Vinland this week. Now I could talk about the artstyle, or the dynamic faces of Askeladd or Thors. However, I want to focus on something Wit does very well. The action. In particular, Askeladd and Thors fight was small scale and beautiful. Wit focused a lot on their swords, full body movements and the tactics, just like the manga, and I loved it. So basically, if Vinland stays the course, I’ll be happy.

With production out of the way, lets get onto the actual story. In case it wasn’t clear, this episode concludes Vinland’s opening prologue. All/most of our central characters are introduced, Thorfinn’s journey has been laid before him, and Best Boy Askeladd has taken over the show. So now I am sure some of you are wondering, where do we go from here? Well the answer is simple, though for anyone that wants to avoid very minor spoilers, skip to the next paragraph. Ready? Timeskip baby! Now for those who don’t know, Wit made the clever move of shifting around some of Vinland’s opening chapters. Putting all of the backstory as the prologue instead of having a cold open. Where we begin next week is, most likely, going to be the manga’s original opening chapters. Except now with the added context of who are characters are. Good choice, I think.

Going back to the actual subject of this episode, let’s talk Thors. I am actually curious how many readers expected Thors to survive this episode. As Wits moving of chapters around left his fate a mystery, though the synopsis did spoil it somewhat. Let me know down below! For his character himself, this week Thors has laid down the guiding thematic question of the entire series. Namely, “What does it mean to be strong?”, “What is a true warrior?”. This is a question every major character in this series will ask or try to answer at some point. From Askeladd to Thorfinn, to many characters we have yet to even meet. All will return to this one question throughout the story, so stay on the lookout for it. Because we saw Thors answer this week in his refusal to kill, and we saw Thorfinn seemingly completely miss the mark.

As far as Askeladd goes, I am hoping other can see why he is one of my favorites. He’s charismatic, clever, adheres to honor when it sues him, yet isn’t cruel. He recognized Thors strength, his victory. And after doing so, he only did the bare minimum to complete his deal with Floki. Askeladd could very easily have broken his word to a dead man and sold them as slaves. To do otherwise means that, on some level, he seems himself as more than just a pirate. Naturally, knowing his entire story before hand I know how this goes. So all I will say is to pay close attention to how Askeladd treats people. How he acts towards people and his general attitude based on the current job at hand. We have already seen a bit of this during his conversation with Floki, so keep your eyes out.

So all in all, how was this episode of Vinland? From a fanboy perspective, I love it. Vinland is one of my 3 favorite manga series of all time. Right there with Vagabond and Berserk. To see it not only adapted, but adapted well, is a dream come true and I will forever thank Twin Engine for that. Knowing this, please take any and all critique on my part with a grain of salt. Because I am just thankful this exists, and isn’t CGI hell like Berserk 2016. For my attempt to legitimately critique the episode, it wasn’t as good as the first 3. As important as the scene was, the episode really was just 1 location for 20 minutes. Kimetsu no Yaiba did something similar, but interlaced it with flashbacks and such to change up the color pallete. So while Vinland executed it well, it was rather… static.

Really though, I just can’t wait to see more Vinland.

4 Responses

  1. Avatar niello says:

    I don’t think the idea of switching the order of the story is as good as it sounds. With this week it seems that my concerns are really becoming true. A brief look at comments on various sites already shows that group of people who are saying Thors decision is naive and that he died a stupid death, with a why didn’t he just kill them all complaints. A major part of the problem is definitely some people’s lack of comprehension on the themes and nuances, or even the stupidity that just because Thors is OP he wasn’t cornered by Askeladd the moment they fell into the trap with archers on the cliffsides, ready to snipe them when ordered. Even so, a part of that is the fault of the rearranged story. Those people never got to see Askeladd prep talk on reading people before this fight.

    Another one is the people who are equating predictable death to bad writting. While that kind of thought is just as simple-minded as it sounds, if they had known about Thors death in the way the manga readers were exposed to it, these people wouldn’t be running their smartass mouth in the first place.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Hmm. Fair point. I was only considering it from the perspective that it lets the viewer connect with Thorfinn more before his turn to a cold blooded killer. Give them his life as a child, and introduce his whole family. Already knowing about Askeladd as a character, I forgot to consider that anime-only watchers wouldn’t have the same knowledge.

      As far as the death being bad writing, I think people would have gone for that angle regardless. Some people just like to hate, and some people don’t like to be moralized to. Thors’ death was always going to be hit or miss with those people I feel, because as a Character Thors really is rather static. Existing mostly to influence other characters and set the tone/themes for the story at large.

      All that said, I personally think the opening prologue was still done well. Wit had a clear enough understanding of the work to be able to move chapters around without really losing the message. Still giving us a Cold Open with Thors fight on the boats in the first ep and such. Personally, I enjoyed it, but I think your right. Anime-only viewers might be left a bit in the dark.

      Hopefully the next episode, which will most likely be the original manga opening, will explain some of that.

      • Avatar niello says:

        I do think the first episodes were wonderfully executed. It just that there’re these holes that wouldn’t be a problem normally but are a weak point to people who unconditionally hate on the series. Like how there are people who tried to compare Vinland Saga to Attack on Titan at every opportunity, even if they are not alike at all except the goriness and revenge motivated protagonist.

        • Avatar Lenlo says:

          I get ya. Its something I hadn’t thought about. Hopefully now that we are out of the prologue, that will lessen abit.

          For Attack on Titan, there are a number of people just salty that Wit isn’t going to be working on the series anymore after Season 3 Part 2 that just ended. So I fear Vinland was always going to get some hate just for not being AoT.

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

7 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note – 10-11

Contrary to last episode’s ending scene of Gray and Hephaestion charging into each other, it winds up being something very reminiscent of the that entire banquet of kings episode from Fate/zero. Although fewer in participants, less epic and far shorter than its predecessor, it’s filled with substantial dialogue between these two warriors about their own […]

Vinland Saga – 10 [Ragnarok]

This was a pretty insightful week for Vinland Saga. As we get a deeper look into Askeladd’s character, Thorkell goes on the move and Thorfinn continues to question his place in the band. Lets dive in! Starting off, like always, the productions. This week was, to use a dirty word, pretty damn cinematic. Vinland continues […]

Fire Force – 9/10 [Spreading Malice/Promise]

Fire Force is an anime that shows more than it tells.  For that reason, I’ve saved up two episodes to have something more to talk about than a simple recap.  Let’s go!

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 24 [Rehabilitation Training]

Welcome all to another subdued week of Kimetsu no Yaiba everyone. This week is rather quiet comparatively, as we focus in on a few specific characters. Exploring Shinobu’s motivations, Tanjiro’s effect on others and Yaiba’s breathing techniques. So without further ado, let’s dive in. Starting off, Zenitsu is really losing a lot of the good-will […]

DanMachi2 – Episodes 9/10 (Berbera/Argonaut)

DanMachi, you’re making this hard. Overall, this season has been incredibly disjointed…the latest episode (10) is a perfect example of that.  It’s like half the animation team is working on one fight, while the interns get the other (and debatably more important one!)  In the same episode!

Dr.STONE – 11 [Clear World]

Ladies and Gentleman who actually read these posts, this is an important week for Dr.STONE. As this week we meet Kaseki, perhaps the greatest old man of the season. Dr.STONE doesn’t stop there though. Introducing us to the wonders of glassmaking and giving us another heartfelt moment of technological progress. Enough of that though, in […]

Mononoke – 6 [Faceless Monster Part 1] – Throwback Thursday

And so begins another arc of Mononoke, though this one is shaping up to be my favorite so far. This week we get the introduction of a new spirit and a commentary of personal perception, wrapped in a fast paced episode. There is plenty to talk about, so let’s just dive in. Starting off, the […]

Mix – 21-22 [If…/Affection for His Sister]

It is well and truly baseball season on Mix, as one game leads straight into another in this doubleheader. I often refer to multi-episode posts that way, but this is the first to live up to the name. Meisei’s fluke of a win against Kaiou West paves the way for a pitcher’s duel in their […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 23 [Hashira Meeting]

This week Kimetsu no Yaiba picks up right where we left off last time. As Nezuko confronts her demonic side, Tanjiro doesn’t know when to quit while he is ahead and our two favorite boys return. Enough of that though, onto the episode itself. This week was much better than last week, and I think […]

Latest Reviews

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – II Lost Butterfly Anime Review – 91/100

Long time no see and strap in cause this is going to be a long one. I will preface this review with the assumption that you have seen the first movie of this trilogy and this movie as well as the assumption that whomever is reading this knows what a command spell is. So basically […]

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]