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Vinland Saga Season 2 Review (Episodes 1-5)

Vinland Saga Season 2 Review (Episodes 1-5)

Written by Archie Fenn on 13 Feb 2023


Distributor Crunchyroll/MVM Entertainment • Certificate NA • Price NA


Now that the characters and tone have been established, Season 2 of Vinland Saga is turning everything around and unpacking the consequences of Thorfinn’s blind obsession with revenge.

Vinland Saga’s second season is, so far, unrecognizable when compared to its first. Season 1 was the prequel to the main story and was the perfect tool to draw in prospective viewers with its Viking setting and incredible action sequences. Now that audiences are hooked, Vinland Saga Season 2 swaps the bloody spectacles with heart-breaking introspection. And… it’s perfect.

Spoilers ahead for Vinland Saga Season 2!

The shift in tone is noticeable immediately. Episode 1 introduces us to a new male lead, Einar, an Englishman enslaved by Vikings after his home is burned down and his family killed. We follow Einar as he is sold to a Danish farm owner and introduced to the other farmhands and slaves, one of which is a much older and quieter Thorfinn. The first four episodes explore the relationship between Einar and Thorfinn, slowly peeling away the layers of both characters as they work to earn their freedom. Most scenes in these episodes take place on the farm with minimal action scenes, forcing Thorfinn to directly face the consequences of his time as a warrior during the Danish invasion of England.

In Episode 5, Canute is re-introduced to viewers, and is far different from the quiet, compassionate Christian found in Season 2. Influenced by Thorfinn and Askeladd’s violence and brutality, and other factors yet to be revealed, Canute has transformed into a cunning leader of the Danish army, on a mission to end the conquest.

The ‘farm arc’ is often regarded as Vinland Saga’s best arc by manga readers, and MAPPA studio’s adaptation of this storyline has, so far, been perfect.

Speaking of MAPPA, the show’s style and aesthetic is almost identical to the first season, despite the change of production company. Without grand battles to bring to life, the production team focus their artistic efforts on Thorfinn’s nightmares, beautifully drawn and animated in a style reminiscent of Castlevania’s pyre burning scenes.

With five episodes down, and 19 more to come, fans are greatly looking forward to the continuation of the ‘farm arc’, and are excited to see the beginning of Thorfinn’s transformation into the pacifistic “true warrior” his father intended to raise him as.

10
The drastic change of pace and tone is perfectly executed as fans are treated to the next stage of Thorfinn’s journey to being a “true warrior”.

Archie Fenn
About Archie Fenn

Archie is a writer, journalist, and critic from South London. He spends most of his free time (and his work hours) watching and writing about cowboys in space and hip-hop samurai. His parents are very proud of him.

Throughout his growing career, Archie has written reviews and feature articles about some of the biggest franchises in entertainment, including Attack on TitanJohn WickNieR, and many more. He loves writing about how we can learn and grow from the media we consume.

You can learn more at his site theinsightfulnerd.com or his author website archiefenn.com


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