From WIT Studio, the people who brought you Attack on Titan and Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress comes another amazing-looking show. This time, it’s all about Vikings! Vinland Saga takes us into that Nordic scene but is it the breath of fresh air that we need from the oversaturation of isekai, moe, magical, and pretty much every other common genre of anime?
Despite the fact that three episodes came out on the first week (and then, subsequently, the show took a three-week break), I decided to stick to my tried and true method of offering up a first reaction based on the first episode of the series.
We open up on the high seas. There is a battle waging on and we are introduced to Thors… a man who seems very calm and stoic in the heat of battle. Then, he just goes full-on Guts from Berserk (The original series and not the 2017 CG black eye to the anime community) and starts taking people out left and right. The fight was choreographed beautifully and WIT Studio did an amazing job bringing it to life!
When the dust settles, we are (presumably) taken into the future where we meet Thors’ son Thorfinn. He’s your typical boy living on a farm in the dead of winter. Milking cows, feeding sheep, all of that fun stuff. A man ends up walking through a blizzard and collapses in front of their home. We find out that he’s a slave that broke free from owner Halfdan and he’s come to collect.
Other than that conflict, the episode sets up the premise of the show through a story told by Leif Erickson… yes… THAT Leif Erickson! He tells a tale about a land he discovered and named it Vinland. There is talk about everyone leaving Iceland and heading there but they know that the journey will not be as simple as it seems
YES – In an odd turn of events for me, I only picked up one show this entire season and Vinland Saga was it. It needed to do something to get me to watch it and I have to say that while the first episode is slow, it was executed pretty well. We got character introductions, development, world-building, premise, and conflict all wrapped up into one neat little package. Just by watching it, you get the sense of an epic tale that is about to unfold before your very eyes and the fact that this show is getting the 24-episode treatment, one would expect exactly that.
I also saw that Survive Said the Prophet lent their talents to the show’s opening and while I felt the opening was good, I still have a very sour taste in my mouth after the crap they pulled with the second ending to Banana Fish. I’ve never seen a band half-ass a song so much in my life and I hope to God that they learned their lesson and don’t do the same to this opening!