Summer season is here and even though it’s getting warmer and warmer, it’s never too late for an intense Viking tale and Vinland Saga seems like it’s going to be an epic yet violent adventure about the North. Let’s see what Wit Studio has to offer.
Japanese Original Episode Title: ここではないどこか
In the year 987, there is an ongoing battle in Hjörungavágr between Vikings. Thors is a powerful warrior who leads the fight and seems to be unstoppable until one of his enemies manages to throw him in the sea. Moving to the year 1002 in Iceland, he lives there with his family where his son Thorfinn, longs for adventure, and is eager to know more about the world. He hears about this land of paradise called Vinland from the adventurer Leif who lives in his village and dreams about crazy ventures in a green peaceful world. One day, Thors and his daughter Ylva discover a half dead slave buried in the snow in front of their house and try to take care of him. As it turns out, he is a slave that escaped from Halfdan, a powerful man that lives on the other side of the mountains. When Halfdan comes to look for him, Thors decides to trade with him sheep in order to keep the slave and he agrees but unfortunately the slave passes away almost instantly after the trade.
The opening fight scene: Really impressed with the fight scene at the beginning of the episode. Amazing directing, action, sound effects, voice acting, and background art as expected from Wit Studio. The hail animation dropping on the ships was spectacular, as well as the artwork of the burning ships in the distance. Really well made and I have to add that even the details in the chain scene (where you see the guy’s blood and hair stuck on the chain) were amazing yet extremely gross. This is going to be very good.
He traded dead for dead: Thors strikes me as the silent but violent type of guy who is very smart and powerful but likes to keep his plans for himself. When he traded his sheep for the almost dead slave, I personally believe that he didn’t just do it out of pity. He thought of something and decided to keep him, which we will probably learn very soon since we have two more episodes as part of the premiere. And might I add that if you think about it, he traded him sheep that were previously mentioned in the episode as ‘weak’, so it means that they were probably going to die very soon, anyway.
The chain scene: I was quite sure that this series is going to be violent and I was not let down. Even though I didn’t expect this guy to get almost scalped in front of everyone, I knew that Halfdan would beat his ass in some way. What made the scene grosser was the focus on his teeth and skin flying away in blood as well as the zoom in the chain with even his hair stuck on it. Thanks Vinland Saga, I know now that I won’t be eating any meals while watching this show.
Themes & Trivia
Battle of Hjörungavágr: The Battle of Hjörungavágr (Norwegian: Skaget ved Hjørungavåg) is a semi-legendary naval battle that took place in the late 10th century between the Jarls of Lade and a Danish invasion fleet led by the fabled Jomsvikings. This battle played an important role in the struggle by Haakon Sigurdsson (c. 937 – 995) to unite his rule over Norway. Traditionally, the battle has been set during the year 986.
Fun Facts: ‘Vinland’ is the Old Norse name for America. Leif Erikson was actually the first European to successfully lead an expedition across the Atlantic Ocean, several centuries ahead of everyone else, and he actually established a short-lived colony in what is now Newfoundland.
Although I have heard about the Vinland Saga manga before, I know absolutely nothing about the series. It is obviously a story about Vikings but other than that I am absolutely in the dark as to what is has to offer. The first episode started very promising and hopefully this is going to keep being a great show.
The ocean can be a scary place.
Something is telling me that things are going to get very dark very soon. Thornfinn is definitely going to experience something traumatic that will turn him into that savage wild looking boy of the opening.
NEXT TIME: Sword
Summer 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast