Posted on 14 October 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

This is a big week for Vinland. One of the best episodes, not just of the season, but the year for me. So many things just came together to really nail it. As this week Askeladd makes us question who we are rooting for, and really throws the brutality of war in our face. Let’s just get right into it though.

Right off the bat, I think this episode looked fantastic. Wit really nailed the snow effects. Especially the wind blowing off the hills, flakes of snow scattering in the air. The lighting of the torches in the dark night, all of it really helped to fully realize and base the world. Which was very important for the actual contents of the episode. Vinland Saga also really upped the detail throughout the episode. Such as on the axes, characters faces or their hands. Really trying to ground it and push how real the characters are. I think Wit succeeds here, dialing in on the life of a peasant and focusing on them more than our leads. So that by the inevitable end of the episode, you are more connected and care more about them than our villainous leads. And boy, are our leads the villains this episode.


Posted on 8 October 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Hello again everyone and welcome to a double feature for Vinland Saga. Apologies for the missed week, but even I am not totally immune to sickness. So this week we cover episodes 12 and 13. Where we learn quite a bit about Askeladd, Canute finds his voice and winter starts to turn. In we go!

Starting off, since its a 2 for 1 this week, let’s talk production. Across both the episodes, I thought the music was fantastic. Still very unique for most anime I feel. And they really accentuated each scene they were used in. I do think that it was a tad loud at times, though. Sometimes drowning out the conversation and such of the scene. Part of me thinks this was a conscious choice though, as Vinland Saga was putting a lot of effort into showing how much noise an army makes. With stomping boots and chatter and all that. Seemingly to setup the Ear’s little listening to the ground trick. But as a whole, while I really like the music, the volume mixing just felt a bit off. Over all though, the presentation was solid. Great presentation of armies and the changing of seasons and backgrounds. Onto the meat though!


Posted on 24 September 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

I want to say this is a more philosophical week for Vinland Saga. As we spend half of it bantering about religion, the foolishness of war and what it does to a person. Yet Thorkell moving like a meat-blender across the screen sort of takes away from the statement. So instead, how about we just dive right in like we always do? With production.

This week had some nice scenes going for it, with even the CGI seeing a bit of an improvement. Of course the environments stayed top notch, but specifically I want to talk about how the characters interacted with it. The small things, like the soldiers stomping on the leaves, Thorkell blowing one or them falling around him during his talk. It’s small things sure, but they are things that help the great backgrounds feel like more than just window dressing. Going back to the CGI for a minute, while it wasn’t perfect, there was an improvement for the large battle. Some of it was hidden with clever smoke, fire and camera angles. But if that is what they need to do, then I don’t mind much. I think the opening shots of the big battle looked fine. Still, you can see all this with your own eyes. Onto the meat.


Posted on 2 September 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Welcome all to another week of Vinland Saga. Sadly while it was filled with spectacle, this week shows that Vinland’s pacing doesn’t always translate well into anime form. But let’s take it slow as we walk through Thorkell’s fight, Canute’s army and Askeladd’s new plan. Let’s dive in!

In general, I think the episode looked fine. The CGI was of course the usual. Very noticable, and while not offensively bad, it still stuck out like a sore thumb. That said, we did get some beautiful cuts from Arifumi Imai, the man behind some of Attack on Titan’s best cuts. I wasn’t expecting him to show up honestly, I assumed most of Wits A-Team would be working on Kabaneri. But I am happy we did, because that log jump was beautiful. From Thorfinn running across the ships mast, to his almost floaty jump. Really, almost the entire Thorkell fight was a treat to look at. It makes me optimistic for some of the more emotional or action oriented scenes in the future. If nothing else, Vinland gave us some sick animation this week, and that makes me happy. Now though, onto the story.


Posted on 26 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

I hope everyone had a better weekend than Thorfinn, because Vinland Saga was not kind to him. This week he gets his duel with Askeladd, a peek into Askeladd’s worldview and finally Thorkell makes his anime debut. Let’s dive in!

Starting off, let’s take a look at the major themes of Vinland Saga this week. Thors’ philosophy of nonviolence has permeated the series since he was first introduced. It is something Vinland will be revisiting time and again. This week though we see it contrasted with what Thorfinn has become and how conflicted he is because of it. Wishing to live up to his father’s ideals, but also his own desires. This of course ties in to another theme of the episode from Askeladd, IE Freedom. The idea that no man is truly free, that everyone is a slave to something. We will focus on this the specifics of this later. For now though, it’s important to note that Thorfinn is currently caught between two competing ideals, those mentioned prior. And this idea of peace and violence for personal satisfaction is something every character will explore in a different way.


Posted on 20 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Welcome to the true start of Vinland Saga, as this week adapts what was originally the 1st Chapter of the manga. This week Thorfinn hits puberty, Askeladd makes bank and the French get laughed at. Lets jump in!

Starting off, this week was a series of highs and lows for Vinland’s production. I said it before, but the CGI is really starting to stand out. You need only look at the ending shots of the ships sailing down river to see that. With how beautiful the backgrounds are, the CGI ships just don’t fit. Alternatively look at the CGI soldiers on the battlefield. There are splashes of good there, and it cuts to 2D when it matters. But it’s very noticeable and doesn’t fit the rest of the art style. That said, Vinland did have some good CGI this week. The first person cut of Thorfinn fighting his way through the soldiers looked great. They kept the detail on the planks and decided to make the soldiers in the first person shot 2D. So as critical as I am of CGI, its very much a mixed bag.


Posted on 13 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Another week, another dose of Viking murder, courtesy of Vinland Saga. This week we watch our baby boy grow up, learn a bit about Viking history, and get into the series proper. Let’s dive in!

Starting off, as always, the production aspect. This week showed us some of the cracks in Vinland’s production. For while the backgrounds still looked great, and I enjoy the lighting, the CGI was… obvious. It’s not unexpected, large battle scenes in anime like this seem to always get relegated to CGI. However it really stands out amongst the beautiful backgrounds and character work. With a horde of CGI vikings in the background walking around or fighting. Still, it could be a lot worse. None of the CGI was in the foreground, we didn’t have CGI Thorfinn fighting CGI goons. Wit only used it for background work, so as ugly as it looked, it was never really the focus. Except for maybe one shot of them all walking through the forest at least. Sadly its just something we will have to accept moving forward, because the cast isn’t getting any smaller.


Posted on 6 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Welcome to a surprising week of Vinland Saga! This was completely unexpected, but it looks like we have a week of anime original content to look over. We get a look into Askeladd, Thorfinn’s first few weeks with them and the life of a viking. Lets jump in!

Starting off, like I said, yes this week and seemingly next week is all anime original content. This was a big, but not unwelcome, surprise to me. If anything, this was the best place for Wit to put it. With how they reordered the manga chapters, this is the perfect place to add original content to fill out series a bit, ensuring they don’t have to stretch other content farther than it needs to be. Most of all though, these two episodes will stand as the first true test of Wit’s understanding of the source material. Normally, anime original content is not… the best. As nothing is allowed to change, so as to not change the main story. In this case though, Wit doesn’t have that issue. As their content is just expanding upon a period of time left a mystery in the original story. So, how does Wit do?


Posted 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.


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