Vinland Saga Season 2 – 10/10
Vinland Saga Season 2 was an anime that I was able to binge watch all at once. When the show was airing episode by episode, I was busy with other shows, but now, after experiencing this season, without a doubt, I have to say that this season was peak anime. It even surpasses the first season, which was a great watch as well.
If you’ve seen the first season, then Viland Saga season two is 100% worth watching. However, be aware that this season has a greater focus on character development. Even though there are some great fight scenes, the number of those scenes is much less compared to the first season. If you’re coming into this season expecting a bunch of fights, then curb your expectations. This season isn’t about combat.
So, let’s get started about why this was peak anime.
To start, I want to address the split in the fandom about this season. I know a lot of people complained about this season when it first came out. This right here is your spoiler warning. I will be covering major plot points. With that said, let me explain.
The first season was highlighted for its fight scenes and obscene violence. I know myself, that I enjoyed watching our protagonist Thorfinn absolutely destroy his enemies. Now, I did have those reservations when I started the second season as well. After the events of the first season, Thorfinn is sold into slavery, so we start season two in what most people like to call a farming simulator.
Now, I do understand those feelings that people had. After such a high octane first season, it’s jarring to have essentially a show all about living peacefully on a farm and working your heart out. But what I didn’t realize when I started the show was that everything we were watching was all preparation for the greatest character arc I have ever experienced. But now, I do have to say that this season was peak Vinland Saga, and you can’t tell me otherwise.
So, now that you’ve heard me say that, you’re probably wondering why Vinland Saga Season 2 is superior. Well, that’s all for the character development of Thorfinn and the supporting cast. I can spend a whole article discussing all the changes that happened to all the characters, but for the purposes of this review, I’ll just stick to Thorfinn’s development.
As I mentioned before, season one of the anime ends with Thorfinn being sold into slavery. Before these events, Thorfinn was a vengeful character, hoping to kill the man who killed his father. After many years of travelling with the Vikings that killed his father, Askeladd, the man who killed Thorfinn’s father, is killed by Danish royalty. With the subject of his vengeance dead, Thorfinn becomes an empty shell of a man.
This is our base for season two. In this season, Thorfinn not only deals with the PTSD of his many murders as a Viking, but he also learns valuable lessons. Before his father’s death, Thorfinn was taught that a true warrior doesn’t need to use a sword. Obviously, the lesson isn’t adhered in the first season, but after working on the farm, Thorfinn comes to terms with his past sins and decides to carry the dead with him to find a place to rest.
This event itself was a great turning point for Thorfinn’s character, which made watching the first half of the season so satisfying and heartwarming to watch. Now, the second part of Thorfinn’s development comes when he becomes a pacifist, following his father’s words. When he comes across Canute, the King of Denmark and old comrade, Thorfinn is able to exercise his new world view. The confrontation between these two and their differing ideals was also a great point of the anime. Watching the two discuss their points of view in a respectful manner was great not only for the viewer, but also from a plot standpoint.
So, speaking of plot, I have to say that this part of the season was quite simple. Now, if you’ve ever read any of my other reviews, you would know my thoughts on simple plots. With a simple plot, other areas can shine. And in this case, it works out perfectly. The characters and the worldbuilding are next level and very satisfying to watch.
Although simple, the plot still works too. Having most of the plot centered around Thorfinn’s time as a slave working the land, it gives rise to many opportunities to build his character. These peaceful times are also a great place to contrast the darker elements of the world. Because of its setting, there are many scenes where we get to experience the brutal nature of humans, which perfectly mirrors Thorfinn.
The final aspect I want to discuss is the animation style. If you’ve watched the first season, you would know that the fight scenes are some of the highlights of the anime. And in Vinland Saga Season 2, the same holds true. Although there are less fights, the same gory and bloody battles are still present. Considering the setting of the anime, the brutal nature of the show perfectly reflects reality. Vikings were brutal when it came to fights and pillaging villages. So, seeing their nature reflected in the fight scenes was wonderful.
Overall, Vinland Saga Season 2 is one of the best seasons of anime I have ever watched. With some of the greatest character arcs I have ever experienced, this anime is worth a watch. Although it might seem a bit slow coming from the first season, after understanding and experiencing the buildup, the reveals and development will bring a tear to your eye.