The Winter 2023 anime season has loads of lighthearted titles to supply, but it surely additionally has a brutal, gritty seinen anime returning — Season 2 of Vinland Saga. Based on Makoto Yukimura’s ongoing seinen manga of the identical identify, this is the story of the antihero Thorfinn Karlsefni and his quest to first get revenge, then discover which means in his life.
At a look, Vinland Saga looks like an action-packed medieval anime the place cool combat scenes and bloody victories outline every character’s arc, however that’s deceptive. While the story does have motion sequences, it approaches warfare from the other angle, portraying violence as a tragic, pointless affair that is symptomatic of a damaged world being run by the improper individuals. This method has definitely roped in lots of followers, however it could additionally flip others away.
Action scenes are usually a part of the attraction of a shonen or seinen anime, from My Hero Academia to Attack on Titan and Berserk. While Vinland Saga additionally has many motion scenes, none of them are empowering, inspiring and even motivating. Instead, the combat scenes signify tragedy, failure and distress, with only a few characters really having fun with fight or gaining something from it. Thorkell is likely one of the few exceptions, whereas Thorfinn is merely destroying himself making an attempt to get bloody revenge on Askeladd and prince Canute the dandere fears violence. If characters are preventing, then one thing has gone horribly improper. Rarely do Vinland Saga‘s characters get forward or really feel higher about themselves after a combat, even when they win.
This fully subverts viewer expectations once they begin watching or studying Vinland Saga; it additionally means the motion scenes are comparatively quick and spaced out. There aren’t any event arcs right here, nor are there drawn-out slugfests like these in Dragon Ball Z. Instead, Vinland Saga is surprisingly mild on motion — and that will disappoint newcomer followers who thought fight could be the meat of its story.
This is a deconstruction of medieval warfare epics, being a far cry from the likes of Braveheart. War shouldn’t be the answer in Vinland Saga — it is the issue, and it is solely offered simply sufficient to make its level. The motion scenes reveal the sort of horrible issues the principle characters are attempting to keep away from and transfer previous; that can show even more true in Season 2, which is at present airing.