Vinland Saga First Impressions (1): The British are coming

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Thors faces off against the invaders

And here, we have an excellent example of poor planning. Apparently, the fourth episode of this series isn’t scheduled to release for another three weeks, so I probably should have paced myself with the three episodes that were released at the same time. However, I’ve watched them all, so I’m going to comment on the series accordingly.

Thorfinn is not amused

Set in the 1000s, this story follows the historical takeover of England by the Danish king Cnut (though, he’s never mentioned in the first three episodes). The story is told through the eyes of Thorfinn, son of a great Viking hero Thors. So far, we seem to be getting more of a prologue story, which will likely lead towards explaining Thorfinn’s motivations.

Leif is insulted

It’s not often that I find a historical fiction that covers a time in history that I’ve actually learned a bit about. Granted, my knowledge is still fairly superficial, but it’s better than normal. It’s not secret that I greatly enjoyed watching Shoukoku no Altair, and this series seems to be somewhat similar so far. It certainly bodes well that the manga is hyped up a lot, I guess. I’m a little bit curious why there seems to be some trepidation from the manga side, but that remains to be seen.

Harald conquers Norway

But back to the anime itself, I was definitely surprised to see that it wasted no time getting into the fight. The fact that the camera follows the flow of the fight was really enjoyable. Despite the chaos of the combat overall, the opening scene makes it very clear that we’re meant to follow along with what Thors is doing.

Halfdan punishes his subordinate

I’m curious to see how Halfdan plays into the story later. He’s certainly played out as an antagonistic force with his introduction, but the fact that he punishes his own subordinate makes it seem like he’s meant to have a sense of logic behind his actions. Perhaps he’ll end up being an uncooperative ally in the future.

Floki schemes to kill Thors

As for the recruitment of Thors, I felt like that progressed at a surprising pace. I guess he does get threatened by Floki, but I didn’t expect him to just grab a bunch of villagers and set out like that. Given the trap he gets himself into, I’m curious to see how everyone else gets out alive. Thors can clearly handle himself, but I’m guessing that doesn’t apply to anyone else.

Thorfinn hides out

I’m actually a little surprised that Thorfinn stows away on the ship. Sure, it’s a pretty standard development, but I have no idea how the series will end up justifying his survival. He seems like the one who’d be most likely to die as a result of the ambush.

Thors and Leif sense a problem

I was hoping that the triple release was meant to cover the whole prologue, but I guess there’s no such luck. Does this count as a cliffhanger?

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