Hazaar for Vinland Saga! If you can’t tell, I’m super into the old age world and warrior cultures such as the vikings, so naturally I decided to buy up all the volumes to Vinland Saga as they came out and boy if you’re not reading this then you must be dead, or living on an island, because it’s amazing.
Vinland Saga is a historical manga based on the Vinland Saga. You meet the main protagonist Thorfinn in the beginning chapters and learn of his tragic past throughout the rest of the volume. This title is bloody, battle crazy, testosterone’s spraying everywhere type of manga that makes you want to strip and jump in a nice cold icy lake and scream your nuts off as you make your ancestors proud!
I like to think that I’ve read a lot of manga. I own forty nine different series (not all completed) and out of all the manga series in my collection Vinland Saga has one of the best, if not the best, first chapters I have ever read. It sucks you right into the old world where war and battle was ingrained into you from birth. The fighting scenes are dynamic, and the art is stunningly detailed. Although, sometimes I feel like more work goes into the background than the characters at times.
The first chapter introduces all the characters so well that it feels weird that most of the first volume is actually a flashback to Thorfinn as a kid, before he joins the pirates that killed his father. Once we’re in the flashback, the story does such a nice job illustrating how much of a happy go lucky innocent child who looked up to his father that Thorfinn was, to a hardened warrior in training set out on revenge, and that’s something that this manga does really well; characters.
All the characters feel like they have layers, and very few seem to be only there for say comedy relief. This time period wasn’t that civil, and there would always be trickery and mistrust toward everyone, like today surprisingly, and the character interactions are so phenomenal in the sense that two characters could be joking one panel, and then the rest of the page they turn super serious and are intimidating the fuck out of each other, even one upping each other with mind games.
The story is so thought out, and so well researched, that you could cut this story with a knife and still wouldn’t get to the juicy core, proving that it has layers and depth, and that it will have a beginning, middle, and end. Unlike other manga that usually has the first volume or so as monster of the week, or odd job that doesn’t tie into anything but to establish the world, Vinland Saga has none of that. It has the start of the story, and it keeps running with it. Seriously, the story is so well plotted that you’ll be addicted and buy up the next volume, and the next one after that.
The artwork, like I said before, is so detailed that it’s insane. People like to compare this to Berserk, and while I’ve never read it I’d say it’s in the same vein. Vinland Saga is a Seinen series, and there’s lot’s of blood, death, and even some boobs later on. The backgrounds are so detailed that I just love to stare at the pages and just marvel at them sometimes. The panel layout is master class, and the action moves very fluidly across the page.
All in all, Vinland Saga is unlike any manga you’ve read, and I think everybody should at least check out the first chapter. This series is manly, and will inspire you to dream about the olden times when fighting with swords were honorable. The characters are so mesmerizing that they hook you almost instantly, and since this first volume is practically all a flashback, by the time you finish it you’ll crave for the next volume.
Kodansha is publishing Vinland Saga, and they put out these beautiful two in one omnibus editions that has a few color pages, and special Q&A pages in the back that can only be found in the English editions of this manga starting in volume three, I think. Sales haven’t been too great, and if volume seven doesn’t do decent then they’ll have to ax it, no pun intended. So please, if you love this series go out and buy the volumes to support it’s release. Even if you have to read online, and you’re not a physical buyer, make an exception to get this series, because it’s one that is truly worthy of being in any, and all, collections.
+ Likable Characters -Almost the whole volume was a flashback
+Dynamic art and panel layout
+Very good characterizations and development