Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 1

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 1

Vinland Saga Returns

After 3 years, Vinland Saga Season 2 is finally here. And with it, comes a fair amount of disinformation. So, I’d like to dedicate the first part of this review to explaining the whole Wit Studio to MAPPA transition. This is something, it seems, that a lot of people don’t really understand.

I guess I should start with the basics. Wit Studio and MAPPA are Japanese animation studios. Wit animated the first season of Vinland Saga, and MAPPA is animating the second. If you’re an Attack on Titan fan, this transition should sound familiar to you.

So, why did Wit drop Vinland Saga (and Attack on Titan)? They didn’t have the time or resources. They already had other series to work on and wouldn’t be able to get to these ones quickly. But, fans and publishers didn’t want to wait. So, Wit gave up the series and MAPPA picked them up.

Einar from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 1
Einar

Alright, so why did MAPPA pick these series up? Well, MAPPA has become kind of known for having an aggressive work environment. If there’s a big IP up for grabs, they want to get their hands on it even if it means (allegedly) overworking their staff.

Now, onto something I noticed multiple people comment on. They said that MAPPA stole Wit’s “intro” and slapped their logo on it. By intro, they mean the motorcycle thing at the start of the episode. Well, MAPPA didn’t steal this. It’s not even Wit’s. It’s actually the intro that plays before all Twin Engine anime.

Twin Engine is an anime production company that owns a few studios. Geno Studio, Revoroot, and Studio Colorido are subsidiaries of Twin Engine. Twin Engine also partners with other studios, including both Wit and MAPPA. Since Vinland Saga is a Twin Engine production, it has their intro.

Einar the slave

Enough about animation and production studios, let’s talk about the episode. The entire episode follows Einar, who says he’s from Northern England. His mother and sister died during a Viking raid on their village. And, despite wanting to be a tough guy, the Vikings take Einar as a slave without a fight.

I’ve seen many fans call Season 2’s arc “Farmland Saga.” I haven’t read the manga. But, I’m assuming that means this season isn’t going to be as action-focused as the first. And if that’s the case, Einar is a good character to open with.

In a lot of ways, he’s the opposite of the Thorfinn we knew from Season 1. Thorfinn was a tiny ball of rage who was always looking for a fight. His entire reason for living was to get revenge on Askeladd, the man who killed his father.

A slave trader from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 1
A slave trader

In contrast, Einar didn’t even fight back against his captors after they killed his family. If Thorfinn was in that situation, he’d throw self-preservation to the side and fight. We know that because we saw him do exactly that. But, Einar doesn’t think the same way. To him, staying alive is what’s most important.

As long as Einar is alive, he can always start over. Sure, the Vikings took everything from him. They killed his family, burned his home, and sold him into slavery. But, he’s still alive. Maybe one day he’ll be able to find happiness again. That’s why he continues living.

So, why should we care about Einar? In the end, he and Thorfinn are actually after the same thing. Einar wants somewhere he can start over. And Thorfinn wants to reach the fabled Vinland, where war is a thing of the past. Together, they can make their dreams a reality.

Vinland Saga Manga

Vinland Saga Manga

Follow Thorfinn as he learns what it means to be a true man in a world of war and suffering.

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Thorfinn the Farmer

Honestly, I don’t remember how Season 1 ended. I could have used a brief recap at the start of the episode. You know, like a minute or two, nothing crazy. But, I’m going to assume Thorfinn wasn’t sold into slavery at the end of it (maybe he was).

Regardless of how the first season ended, it seems that Thorfinn is a slave now. And I wanted to bring this up because that’s not something I would have expected of Thorfinn. The Thorfinn we know would be trying to assassinate his master on a daily basis.

So, what happened? My theory is that with Askeladd dead, Thorfinn doesn’t know what to do with his life. He no longer cares what happens to him. Working as a slave is fine because it gives him something to do. But, that’s going to change.

Thorfinn working on a farm as a slave from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 1
Thorfinn working on a farm as a slave

Remember, Einar knows that someone (Leif Erikson) is looking for Thorfinn. Surely, he’ll tell Thorfinn this. And once he does, my bet is that Thorfinn will remember the stories of Vinland Leif Erikson told him as a child. That should reignite Thorfinn’s will to live and make him realize he’s not meant to be a slave.

Of course, nobody’s meant to be a slave. But, you know what I mean. Thorfinn’s a fighter.

Now, does this mean Thorfinn’s going to go back to his literal fighting ways? I’m not so sure about that. I could see him fighting when necessary, but not wanting to fight — like his father.

Look, I have no idea what’s going to happen in the future of this series. Everything I’ve predicted may turn out to be wrong. But, I’m looking forward to more Vinland Saga. And this season is going to be another 24 episodes.

Conclusion

What do you think of Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 1? Do you like Einar as a character so far? What are your expectations for this season? And how do you think Thorfinn became a slave? Let me know in the comments.

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