Vinland Saga Chapter 191, The Day Review: One of Vinland Saga’s Best Chapters.

It has been a frew months since Vinland Saga Chapter 191, “The Day”, came out but in that time I have thought of it so often to the point that I just had to do a review of it.
I thought it was one of the best chapters of the manga when I first read and I still think the same thing months later.
“The Day” begins simple enough, with a now 27-year-old Thorfinn working the field in his settlement of Arnheid’s Town in Vinland.
A narration says that “the day has come” for him.
At first, this seems to mean something simple, with Thorfinn seeing the fruits of everyone’s labour, as Hild has designed a machine that helps process the wheat, so that the settlers can make bread much faster.
This is not only good for Thorfinn’s new settlement but also for Hild, who is praised endlessly for her invention, much to her embarrassment, although one older settler humously declares her invention witchcraft and runs off.
While the other settlers humor the old man, someone who should not be humored is Ivar, who still believes Thorfinn must pick up a sword to be a true leader.
I understand where he is coming from but he very well may set the settlers on a course of destruction against the Native Americans who, for now, seem to be getting on well with the settlers, as Bug Eyes continues to teach Nisqua their language, even getting her to call Gudrid an idiot when she annoys him.
Seeing the settlers get on so well with the natives provides hope for Thorfinn and Einar, which is further heightened when Gudrid, Karli and Hild bring them their first batch of bread.
Einar agrees with Thorfinn’s sentiment of how far they have come, before the panel cuts to another one below of the Arnheid bust, named after the woman Einar loved who unfortunately did not live to see this day: A day which brings further joy as Gudrid informs Thorfinn that she is pregnant.
This, of course, causes Karli to ask where babies come from, to which his adoptive parents are understandably reluctant to get into.
So, in the end, what is the big event of this titular “day” that the chapter title is referring to for Thorfinn?
Is it the day that he finally saw the fruits of their labour, or the day that he learned he would be a father again?
Well, I think it is both, but most of all it is the day where he earns the forgiveness of the one he wronged all those years ago: Hild.
Finally seeing that Thorfinn has truly redeemed himself and created the peaceful land he wished to, Hild decides that holding onto her revenge is pointless and removes her headband, turning to Thorfinn and telling her that she forgives him in a beautiful panel.
This was quite the surprising moment for me because I expected Hild’s forgiveness of Thorfinn to come during a big moment but the forgiveness itself is the big moment.
It subverted my expectations in the best way possible.
Thorfinn understandably breaks down at Hild’s declaration, as she comforts him and declares he is a “true warrior” for fighting so hard for his redemption.
Einar and Gudrid are likewise brought to tears and young Karli is happy that his father and Hild made up, not understanding the context of this beautiful moment.
Chapter 191  then ends on another fantastic, full page panel of Hild comforting Thorfinn, following her forgiveness.
This was such a beautiful moment and one of Vinland Saga’s best scenes, in my opinion.
Not only is the artwork stellar but the character writing is as well, with Hild’s forgiveness being brilliantly simple.
“The Day” is a chapter where Thorfinn sees the fruits of labour, love and forgiveness and it is easily one of Vinland Saga’s greatest chapters for the beautiful ending alone.  

Vinland Saga Manga Review: Not What I Expected but in a Good Way.

After finishing and loving the first season of the Vinland Saga anime by WIT Studio, I jumped right into the manga by Makoto Yakimura, and was surprised by the direction the story goes, to say the least.
I have heard a lot of fans say that many people who loved the first season of the anime, like me, may drop the series during or after Season Two because of the direction it goes.
This is not to say I am one of those people, no, I quite enjoyed the direction the manga took, but I am saying that people need to be ready for something quite different in the future of the anime, at least for Season Two.

Be prepared for a lot of farming in Vinland Saga‘s second season.

This season will adapt the Farmland Arc, a storyline that has much lesser scale battles than the first arc, choosing to focus mostly on the character development of Thorfinn, Canute, and many of the new characters.
Speaking of Thorfinn, wow, was I impressed by his development, especially after the first season, where I honestly was getting a bit tired of his angsty revenge phase by the end.
After reading the manga, however, I completely understand why that was necessary.
To be honest, his arc reminds me a lot of Eren from Attack on Titan and Shigaraki from My Hero Academia, at least in my initial perceptions of these characters.
All three of them start off as immature, before their character development justifies them starting off this way, eventually propelling them to be among the best characters of the series.
This is the case for Thorfinn, whose character development in the Farmland Arc is stellar.

Thorfinn’s journey to become a true warrior is gripping.

His character development is the focal point for Chapter 71 “Oath”, one of the best chapters of Vinland Saga.
The rest of the character development for new characters, like Einar, and old ones, like Canute, is also fantastic.
Overall, I loved the Farmland Arc, even if I would place it behind the War Arc because of how amazing of a character Askeladd is.
As for the two arcs that follow it, this is where some of my issues begin to pop up.
For starters, Vinland Saga becomes a much more comedic story after the Farmland Arc.
To be fair, a lot of this humor is very good, however, some of it feels quite unnecessary, especially one Shining reference that was so out of place it pulled me out of the scene.

This gag felt very unnecessary,

There is also a timeskip that is quite poorly executed, in my opinion, and it left me a bit unsure about the most recent arc, until one of the latest chapters, which is fantastic. 
All of this said, though, I want to be clear that I still like these later arcs.
I just don’t think they live up to the standard of the first two.
This could change, however, considering that the series is still ongoing.
And even if it never reaches those same heights, Vinland Saga is still a great story that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading.
I cannot wait for the Second Season, where we will see the fantastic redemption arc of Thorfinn begin.    

Vinland Saga Anime Review: A Brutal, Viking Epic.

So, I’d been wanting to watch Vinland Saga for a long time but had a hard time finding it online.
Then, when I got Amazon Prime to watch the adaptation for Wheel of Time, I was delighted to see that the anime was there, so I could finally watch it.
And it did not disappoint.
Adapted from the manga by Makoto Yukimura, directed by Shūhei Yabuta, and developed by the great Wit Studio, Vinland Saga tells the tale of Thorfinn (Yūto Uemura), a young man from Iceland, looking to avenge the murder of his father, the former Jomsvikings warrior, Thors (Kenichiro Matsuda).

The first season of Vinland Saga follows Thorfinn’s journey to avenge his father.

However, this is not your typical revenge story because, while most stories of this nature would have the main character tracking down the antagonist to get their revenge, Thorfinn does not do this.
No, instead Vinland Saga goes in a completley different direction from any revenge story I have seen, with Thorfinn actually accompanying the man who killed his father, Askeladd (Naoya Uchida), in the hopes of dueling him to the death one day.
This makes none of our central characters good people, as they’re all the type to do the raiding and murdering commonly associated with the Vikings of history.
Speaking of that history, it’s interesting to note how many of these characters are interpretations of real people, with creative liberties taken.
The best example of this is Askeladd, who is based off a folk tale character, and is also by far the best character in the show.    

Askeladd is fascinating from the beginning of the season to the end.

He is whitty and charming, despite being an absolutley terrible person, and how his backstory is woven in and expanded upon is excellent, especially with how it ties into his actions at the beginning of the story.
Even the conclusion of his character for this season is amazing, making his overall character seem like both an antagonist and an anti-hero, while being neither at the same time.
Make no mistake, though, Askeladd still regularly commits atrocities, despite him being the best character in the show.
Thankfully, his horrific actions and those of the other characters are never glorified.

This leads to some pretty bleak episodes, like Episode 14, “The Light of Dawn.”

Episode 14 is a real gut punch, reminding us just how cruel our main characters can be.

I am going to remember many scenes from Vinland Saga, both the uplifting and the bleak, with many of the stories’ characters developing from these scenes, not just Thorfinn and Askeladd.
Most notably we have Canute (Kensho Ono) and Thorkell (Akio Ōtsuka), both historical figures who have great importance to the story, especially Canute, who goes on to serve as a fantastic parallel to Thorfinn in the manga.

Caunute is my favourite character of the season, next to Askeladd.

Speaking of the manga, the section that the anime adapts is actually a prologue to the true story of Vinland Saga, with the final episode literally being titled “End of the Prologue.”
The manga then goes in a direction that I honestly was not expecting, yet still quite enjoyed.
I do perfer the story telling of the first season, though, primarily because of Askeladd’s excellent development as a character.
The entire story of Season One is also aided with some fantastic animation and music from Wit Studio and composer Yutaka Yamada, tying everything together into an excellent adaptation of the manga.
Vinland Saga is an amazing anime, and I will soon be reviewing the manga and then Season Two, whenever that releases.