Vinland Saga Second Season’s Lack Of Action Is A Good Thing

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Vinland Saga Second Season’s Lack Of Action Is A Good Thing

Like moths to a bright, roaring flame, anime fans are drawn to heroes who share the same unwavering quality as Attack on Titan’s Eren Jaeger: a willingness to commit unspeakable acts of violence in the name of their own freedom. But often fans don’t understand that sometimes cartoons with non-violent stories can be just as meaningful and exciting. That’s why I found it so vexing that fans who once celebrated the violence in Vinland Saga, a series that shares animation studios Mappa and Wit with AoT, are abandoning the series altogether because the “farming arc” of its second season is not as flashy and violent as its first season. While many of those who dropped out of the show argue that the anime “fell” because Vinland Saga doesn’t have as much action as it did in its first season, the show’s aversion to violence is what makes it one of the best anime of the year.

Learn more: The 30 Best Anime Of The Decade, Ranked

Spoiler warning for Vinland Saga.

The second season of Vinland Saga sees the fearsome Viking warrior Thorfinn plowing the land of a wealthy man’s farm as a slave. During his enslavement, Thorfinn realizes a heartbreaking truth: the long road of men he slaughtered in an effort to avenge his father’s death led to his downfall.

Thorfinn might have had that dog in him in season one, but when we reunite with the viking spitfire, we see he’s become a shell of the terrifying fighter he once was. His rebellious nature is dead. His eyes are more sullen. His body is fragile. The Pyrrhic victory of witnessing his mentor and the man who killed his father, Askeladd, to die at the hands of another man defeated his will to live. But what troubles Thorfinn more than anything else is that he feels he doesn’t deserve to live a life where he can atone for his acts of violence against others.

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While working for his freedom, Thorfinn is surrounded by fellow slaves who have suffered as much as he has. But unlike them, Thorfinn’s baggage is all the heavier because even in his dreams he is haunted by the corpses of warriors and civilians who desperately ask why he had to kill them. In the past, Thorfinn could justify his violence as a way to curry favor with Askeladd and earn another opportunity to kill himself in a duel. Now Thorfinn isn’t even sure he can explain why he mindlessly murdered so many people.

Thorfinn is far from the only person on Ketil’s farm to have suffered. His fellow slaves Einar (who is also his best friend) and Arnheid have endured as much if not more than Thorfinn, because violent men like him are the reason they are slaves in the first place. Einar and Arnheid both saw loved ones murdered by bloodthirsty vikings.

While the bloodshed works as a reason why Einar and Arnheid despise war, such atrocities for vikings like Thorfinn were never a bad thing at all. Alternatively, the war for the Norsemen serves as a proving ground where the victors reap the spoils on the merit of how many people they have slaughtered and sold, or compete for the death of a warrior who would allow them to enter the Valhalla. This self-destructive mentality is something perpetuated by anime protagonists in shows that cover similar thematic territory to Vinland Saga.

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The cycle of violence is rarely broken in popular anime

Spoiler warning for Attack on Titan/Code Geass ending.

Spoiler warning for Attack on Titan/Code Geass ending.

Thorfinn isn’t the first anime character to orchestrate inhumane violence against opponents and innocent bystanders. You can see Thorfinn’s path of devastation reflected in characters like Code Geass Lelouch vs. Britannia or more recently, AoT Eren Jäger. Like Thorfinn, Lelouch and Eren spend the majority of their youth seeking revenge. Lelouch hopes to one day free his nation from his father’s tyrannical rule while Eren aims to wage war on the entire world for allowing his people to be subjugated and enslaved. Along the way, both leads sacrifice innocent people and their loved ones in order to achieve their goals and meet their untimely demise once they get their revenge.

Lelouch and Eren had gone too far the moment they both came face to face with the cruel acts they had subjected others to in pursuit of their own fiery dreams. Thorfinn, however, realizes that just because he’s done terrible things doesn’t mean he’s unable to change. It’s a realization that most anime characters never get a chance to ponder.

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Vinland Saga breaks the cycle of violence

It is at Ketil’s farm that Thorfinn constructs a new life plan: to rid the world of war and slavery. Revealing his revelation to Einar, Thorfinn admits that his lofty new goal is pleasant to dream of and impossible to achieve. However, Thorfinn believes that setting out on a trek to find Vinland, a prosperous land his father once heralded as having no need for weapons or slavery, along with others wishing to live in such a paradise, will usher in a change. positive for the world. Thorfinn wants to atone and to do this he believes he must give back to the world more than he took in making Vinland a reality.

When presented with the opportunity to take his balloon and leave Ketil’s farm before an all-out war breaks out near the end of the second season, Thorfinn instead chooses to stay on the farm a bit longer to talk to his former captive and new king of Denmark. , canute, to attack the men guarding Ketil’s farm. I won’t say whether Thorfinn’s attempt to speak without jutsu bears fruit or not, but I will say that his valiant efforts to end the cycle of violence that has plagued his life and the lives of those around him are hit harder fought and glorious than any battle he fought in the show’s first season.

The best part of Thorfinn’s story is that he hasn’t finished growing. Not by far. That’s why I hope fans who dropped out of the show are ready to pick it up, so they can be as excited as I am on the shores that Thorfinn is sailing to the next one, should the anime ever be renewed for a possible third season. Shores Thorfinn would never have thought possible to reach without the vital, hard-won lessons he learned while toiling on a farm for 24 grueling and beautiful episodes.

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Article source https://kotaku.com/vinland-saga-season-2-thorfinn-netflix-crunchyroll-mapp-1850549053

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