Last night while I was studying for exam this week, I was looking at the weekly manga releases for this week. I work on a project to promote manga releases in the US. (see my last week one, Weekly Manga Releases: June 10, 2014). I notice Right Stuf was having a Kodansha special sale. It was going to end at 11:59 CT. I was going through what Kodansha titles I wanted to buy besides Attack on Titan. I saw Vinland Saga, and I was curious because I remember Ben Applegate, an editor I listened to during the Kodansha Q & A Panel at Anime Expo 2013, was recommending this manga series along with Sankarea and Sherlock Bones. I told myself I'm going to preview one chapter to see if I like it or not. Then, buy the manga volume.
Okay, I just read 50 chapters or so illegally. (I'm a hypocrite, but I do buy manga volumes to support the industry). I ended up buying Missions of Love for little sister and Attack on Titan: Before the Fall Vol. 1-2 and Attack on Titan: No Regrets Vol. 1-2. I didn't get to buy Vinland Saga in time. I will buy key volumes of Vinland Saga that have explored a character and show their death in the future when Right Stuf holds another Kodansha special sale.
Damn, I just read over 100 chapters.
In conclusion, I never read something so addicting in a long time since One Piece (see Summer 2012 Experience: Trying Some New Anime and Manga). I read One Piece at my public library. They had around 25 volumes, so I did spent one whole day at the library reading from volume 1 to volume 12 or so. I ended up checking out later volumes to read at home. For Vinland Saga, I wanted to see what happened next. I couldn't stop at the end of story arcs where the Viking invasion stopped. What happened to our hero after his quest of vengeance has ended?
As a child, Thorfinn sat at the feet of the great Leif Ericson and thrilled to wild tales of a land far to the west. But his youthful fantasies were shattered by a mercenary raid. Raised by the Vikings who murdered his family, Thorfinn became a terrifying warrior, forever seeking to kill the band's leader, Askeladd, and avenge his father. Sustaining Throfinn through his ordeal are his pride in his family and his dreams of a fertile westward land, a land without war or slavery...the land Leif called Vinland.
Vinland Saga is based on the history of the Vikings that invaded England from the perspective of our main hero, Thorfinn. It's a tale that emphasizes three core themes:
If you love reading about warriors and their tale of hardships during war and peace time, it's a manga series for you. The violence in this manga series is on par with Attack on Titan. It's jarring for me because you see humans killing humans brutally compared to Titans killing humans brutally. Lots of decapitation and female nudity. While it doesn't show rape explicitly, it does have scenes of implied rape. In war, the Vikings and other countries plunder villages, kill the men, and rape the women. Then, they sell some of the women and men into slavery. I would not recommend this manga to teenagers and younger unless you have a thick skin.
Story revolves around Aladdin who finds a magic flute that houses a djinn name Ugo, a magical being that is similar to genie. The two travel together around the world to discover more djinns. Along the journey, Aladdin encounters and make friends as well as enemies, while discovering true purpose of his life.
Magi - The Labyrinth of Magic - Like Vinland Saga, this series has dark elements exploring war, slavery, and racism. Unlike Vinland Saga, Magi is more light hearted because there is no rape or really gorey violence. There was a decapitation scene once, but it was more watered down.
One Piece is an anime adaptation of Eiichiro Oda's manga. Following the adventures of Luffy and his mischievous friends out to find One Piece, and in their adventure they will find many enemies and friends that will help them in their journey.
One Piece - The series has emphasized slavery in two major story arcs late in the series: Sabaody Archipelago and Mermaid Island story arcs. Unlike Vinland Saga, One Piece is more about the adventure rather than war.
Thank you everyone for reading. I hope you try Vinland Saga. It's a good read.