There’s quite a few shows out there that go into the political intrigue happening behind the scenes of intense battles and conflicts. HBO’s Game of Thrones and The History Channel’s Vikings are just some that come to mind, and Vinland Saga (Season One): Complete Collection looks to merge these into an anime series that’s loaded with both violent conflicts and loads of betrayals and friendships forged in battle.
Taking place in 11th century Iceland, the plot starts off following a Viking warrior named Thors (not to be confused with the god of thunder) who after killing plenty of people and fighting many battles to keep him and his clan safe, decides to settle down and have a family. This leads us to his son, Thorfinn, who dreams about going to a place called Vinland after hearing about it from Leif Erikson (yes, THAT Leif Erikson), where there’s only peace and happiness.
It doesn’t take long for conflict to rear its ugly head when an escaped slave makes their way to Thors place who belongs to an evil and powerful person that wants the slave back. Being the kind person he is, Thors seeks to work out a deal to save the slave’s life, but is soon killed by Askeladd, a nasty guy that’s not in the habit of cutting deals. To make things worse, Thorfinn watches his father die right in front of him and vows revenge.
Of course being a little boy with no combat skills isn’t going to get him far, so he plays the long game starting with secretly joining Askeladd’s crew and trains hard as he grows older and stronger. This season follows him and the many conflicts and challenges that often get in the way of his revenge, from full-on battles with other clans and former friends, to backstabbing and betrayals that lurk behind every corner.
I was hooked as soon as I started this series as I’m a sucker for revenge stories, especially those where the main character plays the long game in doing so. It was awesome watching Thorfinn transform from a happy kid into a scowling teenager and even more fearsome looking young man. I wouldn’t expect anything less from the famous anime studio Wit who is famous for Attack on Titan, as everything is really detailed and awesome looking, especially the background scenery.
Thanks to having a nice Blu-ray release, it looks and sounds great as well. The special features are short but sweet with the tried and true clean opening and closing animations, and some cool Japanese promotional videos to check out.
Those looking for a great anime to check out that’s packed with both action and political intrigue and betrayals will want to hop on the trail that leads to the Vinland Saga (Season One): Complete Collection. It’s a slow burn to be sure, but those who stick it out until the end will be rewarded with a thrilling story that already has fans looking for season two.