Your weekly dose of sadness, anger, and thirst for vengeance is here, with yet another amazing episode. Vinland Saga Episode 5 came in strong, with its visuals being more stunning than ever. The background art, especially in this week’s episode, was just superb.
Japanese Original Episode Title: 戦鬼トの子
Askeladd and his men arrive in England at the arranged meeting point to receive their reward. As they slaughter all the villagers, they stay at village for a while to recuperate. Floki sends his men with the reward after confirming that Thors is dead. Meanwhile, Thorfinn tries to survive in the woods outside the village while attempting to kill Askeladd by challenging him into a duel. After being defeated with ease, he trains himself even harder and challenges Askeladd once again. As expected, he loses once more, but Askeladd recognizes his strength and claims that he will offer Thorfinn a chance to fight him again should he prove himself in battle. Back in the village, Leif and the rest deliver the bad news to Helga and Ylva. The young woman tries to keep herself busy in order her to hide her sorrow.
Everything looks gorgeous: Even through the character designs were a little weird in this episode, the scenery artwork and general background art blew me away. It was as if the characters were walking and interacting in actual paintings. I mean look at this. It’s just absolutely gorgeous.
His father would be proud: When Thorfinn sneaks in Askeladd’s room and cannot bring himself to murder him, I could really sense papa Thors at his back being kind of proud (I am saying kind of because the poor man was preaching how violence is not the way to solve your problems but anyways). Thorfinn has still a long way to go to become a true warrior, but at least he has his fundamentals right – and that is fighting with courage and honor. He also has this zero to hero kind-of-vibe which will probably make him gain Askeladd’s respect as well.
Askeladd is a piece of shit: Even though I can’t fully bring myself to dislike him, he really gets on my nerves with his sassy attitude. When Floki’s men deliver the message of: ‘How was Troll’s last moment?’ and he just replies ‘Nothing special. Just died a normal death.’, I wanted to scream out of rage. You were so amazed by Thors that you even asked him to become your leader and now you are trying to make him look like an unskilled fool. Shame on you.
Ylva, girl, it’s okay to cry: Poor Ylva. She tries to act all tough to support her mother and to not deal with the sorrow of losing her father and brother. Although I have to say that when she carried the water from the river and harpooned that whale, I was honestly super impressed. It makes sense now as to why she is the hottest girl in the village.
Themes & Trivia
A little bit of history: The Kingdom of England (Anglo-Norman and French: Royaume d’Angleterre) was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
On 12 July 927, the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were united by Æthelstan (r. 927–939) to form the Kingdom of England. In 1016, the kingdom became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England, Denmark, and Norway.
That raid in the village was horrible. Every time I watch something like this, it really makes me question humanity in general, but in this case I am not questioning Askeladd and the morality of his men, because they are Vikings after all. They invaded a small English village, raped the women, and killed everyone because they didn’t want them escaping and leading the English army to them. They were also Christians which definitely made the Vikings consider them just prey for their swords.
Like father, like son.
So far, the only thing that these two have alike is their survival skills, and from what I am expecting to see in the near future, their naivety. It’s going to be very interesting to observe the dynamic between Thorfinn and Askeladd and see him grow up with a bunch of violent savages.
NEXT TIME: ‘The Journey Begins’（旅の始まり）
Summer 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast