I don’t think I’ve spent enough time trying to convince people to read Makoto Yukimura’s Vinland Saga. Sure, I’ve gone on Facebook to sing it praises worthy of Odin. I’ve seized the hapless shoulders of my brethren and shook them enough to elicit tearful agreements to read it. Once, I moved the Vinland Saga box set to cover the One Piece collection at the bookstore, incurring the wrath and spit of a thousand fanboys.
But have I done enough? Is Vinland Saga’s undeniable awesomeness gospel yet? Some days I wonder if I should dress in full Viking garb, ring a few doorbells and present the first volume of the manga for free. That’s a guarantee for conversion right there.
So, to assuage my nights of guilt and anxiety, here’s me telling you that you SHOULD (very definitely, and with immediacy) read Vinland Saga. Or, well, at least look forward to the upcoming anime adaptation.
Vinland Saga is about Vikings being Awesome. What it really is, though, is about two people: the boy named Thorfinn, and the young prince named Cnut. It’s about Thorfinn’s journey of revenge against his father’s killer, and Cnut’s path to becoming one of the greatest kings of Europe.
It’s also a deconstruction of the vicious cycle of masculinity, violence and heroism that was pervasive in ye olde Norse culture. The manga revels in gory violence, but also asks its readers to reconsider the joy gleamed from its vicious and glorious battles. As much as it is a manga of Vikings, it is also a meditation on peace and the true path to achieve it.
For the most part, it’s just pretty damn awesome
The other beauty of Vinland Saga – that is, beyond Makoto Yukimura’s gorgeous art – is how it weaves its compelling characters and battles with a hearty dose of humour and drama. The action and plot may draw you in, but the characters will make you stay.
It’s assuring, at least for me, to see how well the anime seems to be turning out. The series is produced by Wit Studio, the people behind the wildly popular Attack on Titan anime series, so at least the quality of animation and its grandiosity can be assured.
But what really matters is that I get more Vinland Saga. Just like eating Iduna’s apples, it will never get old.
Thorfinn takes leaping from the manga onto the screen with aplomb
Also published on Medium.