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Scanlation Spotlight: Vinland Saga

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Manga is known to cover multitudes of subjects, and Vinland Saga covers one that you would have expected to be covered a long time ago: Vikings! What I mean is that Japan is in love with the two main beliefs that make up the Vikings entirety, violence and rape. So this should have been one of the first mangas ever created, but alas Vinland Saga is a newcomer, it entered into the manga world back in 2005. I kid about rape and violence bit, but so many other animes used different aspects of this culture that it is surprising that this topic has not been covered yet. The question is does Vinland Saga do the Vikings justice? Let’s find out! Vinland Saga takes place around 1000 AD and is about a boy, Thorfinn, who wants to avenge the death of his father. However he cannot achieve this because a.) Thorfinn is too weak to avenge his father; b.) he wants to defeat this man, Askeladd, in a duel; and c.) is a peon in Askeladd’s army. So in order to get permission to duel Askeladd, Thorfinn must perform a task for him; like presenting Askeladd with the head of a general, for example. Like Claymore and Berserk before it, Vinland Saga follows the same story structure. Give a little taste of the main storyline, then bring it back to how it all started. With Vinland Saga, that is in regards to how his father was killed and why Thorfinn is the way he is in the main storyline. Now is Vinland Saga historically accurate? Not really, but it tries its damn hardest. Vikings never looked as good as they do in this manga, but at least you don’t see them wearing helmets with horns. The fighting can get somewhat over the top, but I have yet to see a character throw any fireballs. So do not expect a history book, expect something like Braveheart or 300. Vinland Saga was previously serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine, but since the Mangaka Makoto Yukimura (Planetes) could not draw it at that pace, he moved it to Kodansha’s Afternoon. Vinland Saga was beautiful before, but now after the move he can spend even more time making it as epic as possible. Currently in Japan there are about 4 volumes finished, and it is still an ongoing series. Manga Screener has the first 2 and a half volumes completed with many more to go. If you like Berserk, or stories about Vikings then this is the manga for you; you won’t regret it.


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