Aug 11, 2019
ThatShiny_Hex (All reviews)
First of all, this is an unbiased review from someone who hasn’t read the manga – so don’t expect a perfect score as of now.

Vinland Saga was one of my most hyped anime from the time when it was first announced, especially the studio behind one my favorite series, SnK. Currently as of episode 6, I have to say that this is the Berserk Adaptation we deserved. From the gorgeous background art to an incredible direction, WiT Studio deserves every bit of appreciation. Even the filler episodes didn’t feel pointless, it pretty much helped a lot in developing/setting up the characters especially Thorfinn.

Vinland Saga is an historical series about Vikings in the 10-11th century Iceland. The name itself is an historical term for the collective stories of the Viking Journeys during the said time. Vinland Saga follows the steps of Thorfinn, from his desire for vengeance to seek for a settlement in Vinland. Personally speaking, this aesthetic setting is kind of refreshing when most anime coming out nowadays are either isekai crap or fetish bait shows. Although, six episodes in, there hasn’t been made much progress in terms of the basic plot. Although in a positive light, I personally dig the slower pace because it kind of allows the characters and setting to feel alive.
Another beautiful thing about Vinland Saga is the subtle moments that tell you a lot about the Vikings. There were some moments like Thors selling his sheep – which were already going to die in exchange of a slave, who, unironically was about to die or the scene when Halfdan literally cuts the face of a person with a fucking chain because he was about the break the law.
Thorfinn is so excited by the idea of war and thinks the knife is something wonderful. But Thors hates everything about war and all he wanted was for this village, and his family to stay out it. It is incredible that how Vinland Saga connects Bravery and Reality. It isn’t really bravery if you are ignorant to the situation. At this point, it feels like Vinland Saga has a pacifist approach towards War. And you know what? All those young men from his village have to face the horrors of war and his son wishes to as well.
While on the other hand, it does have some scenes I felt were a bit cliché, like the reveal that Askeladd was awake when Thorfinn was considering murdering him, or the self-defense murder of the wolf. I felt I've seen similar scenes so many times before that they didn't quite have any impact with me, although the context the scenes took place in where strong and it didn't detract from the overall experience.

Art and Animation have been consistently good throughout and the CGI was meshed perfectly with the background. Although one problem I personally felt was that the character designs were a bit bland. Another thing that is completely underappreciated about the adaptation is the brilliant voice acting, but also the VAs pronunciations were completely on point. They always hit Ls when appropriate as well as every single vowel as if was actual Icelandic. The music is made by the guy who did Tokyo Ghoul, so it was expected for the music to be great and it really was. I’m really waiting for the full OST release.

tl;dr Vinland Saga is the Berserk Adaptation we deserved. Currently it feels like it is setting and building up to the main part, where Thorfinn grows up. This is why at this stage I can’t give it a 10, but 7-8 seems feasible which would definitely go higher if it maintains the same quality. Sasuga Wit!