Set during Danish Prince Canute’s (King Cnut the Great) rise to the English throne, Vinland Saga begins in 1013 AD as the Vikings pillage their way across a beleaguered England. In their midst is the Icelandic boy-warrior Thorfinn, a precocious child hell-bent on exacting revenge on the man that murdered his father: Askeladd.
In the afterglow of last week’s Fruits Basket anime announcement, it dawned on me that 2019 is going to be a particularly exciting year for anime. Enthused, I dug a bit deeper into what 2019 has in store for us and, well, hold on to your hats!
I consume a lot of anime in a purely superficial way; I watch it and enjoy it, but then forget about it. My favourites are those that burrow deeply into the subconscious, with certain moments and images able to rise back into mind at any given time; often, years after I’ve seen them, but why? Why is it that these particular stories have captured my heart and not others?
I’ve read only 26 chapters of Vinland Saga so far but its quality is such that I have to admit it’s already one of my favourites.
Thorfinn is the main character, an Icelandic warrior joined with a band of Viking mercenaries sailing the seas of Europe and sacking the villages and cities of Norman France and England. His talent as a fighter is chilling, if just because he’s still just a small boy!
This had me hooked straight away. You have this kid (a rag-doll, really) fighting in a bunch of gruesome, heavy battles, cutting the throats of soldiers and decapitating their Captains for the rewards.
It doesn’t shy away from the violence or cruelty of the infamous era of the Vikings, but there’s more to it than just brutality.