The Thing About Vinland Saga

Vinland Saga has caught me off guard.

I began reading the manga only last month. I saw a big volume of the first book at Kinokuniya Bookstore, and I remembered that I had seen it several months before. Apparently, they decided to sell two volumes in a single book. Despite the expensive price, I decided to pick it up because I was in the mood for comic books. At the time I was so deprived of art, and I needed to see pictures as soon as possible. Novels, after all, cannot satisfy my thirst as pictures can. So when I saw a thick book of pictures with stories, all I could think about was that this is the one for me. I simply wanted a good entertainment for holiday.

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the thick first volume of Vinland Saga

But this manga far exceeded my expectations. When I finished reading it, I thought I couldn’t believe I’d been missing such a good story for so long. It was like the best thing I’ve ever read for years (Vinland Saga was first published in 2005, and is still ongoing). It also reminded me just how much I used to absolutely love Japanese comic books! (I grew up with Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, Hikaru no Go, Meitantei Conan, Doraemon, etc)

The next week I bought the second and third volume because Kinokuniya was having a store-wide 15% discount. I felt kinda bad for buying two volumes at once–buying one volume at a time feels better because you can concentrate more on absorbing the joys of a single book. But I couldn’t simply ignore that kind of discount! Besides, volume 4 and 5 were already in display. It’s not like I was buying them all at once.

And now, I wish I had bought them all.

The second and third volume were even more amazing than the first volume. It tells more of the story of Askeladd, the main antagonist (and surprisingly the protagonist’s father figure), which, after reading the first volume, I thought was cool because his design is awesome and he’s strong and he’s basically a badass evil character. What those two books revealed, though, was something that I didn’t even thought of; his even more compelling background story, and the complexity of his character. I first thought that Askeladd was just a selfish, strong pirate with a good leadership skill, but it turns out he’s waaay more than that. Heck, he even made it to my list of favorite characters of all time.

the magnificent bastard that is Askeladd
the magnificent bastard that is Askeladd

And then there’s also the politics and the story of the Danish court. Askeladd wasn’t just the one holding my interest–there were also Prince Canute, who was in cold war with his father, and Thorfinn, the vengeful main protagonist, who are also interesting characters. The supporting characters too are not bland, and the dialogues are fun to follow since the people talk a lot of Viking stuff. The historical bits of the comic helps builds up the gravity of the situation, you see, because it makes you realize that what you’re reading is real (well, not a hundred percent real, but still–all the slavery and war and stuff are). Simply put, this manga is brimmed with great content!

I desperately wanted to know more about what would happen next, but I was running out of money (it’s never a sensible thing to spend more than a hundred dollars in a visit to a bookstore, I assure you!). So… well, I read the scanlation, up till the last available chapter. And oh my god asodjaksdakjsbdjqid.

Vinland Saga has become my favorite story ever.

I feel bad for reading scanlations, so I just skimmed the pages (except for some really amazing scenes) to know the story. I plan to buy every volume of Vinland Saga. While I wait for a more appropriate time to do a comic book haul, I reread and reread the first three volumes that I’ve owned. Amazing story. Amazing art. Amazing characters. I just can’t stop being amazed by this manga.

But after a few days, I stopped reading altogether. By this time I was afraid that I’d get bored by it, and for me that’s the worst thing that could happen to a manga that’s so incomparably good. The stories and characters had been well assimilated into my mind until now. And I can’t remember the story of Vinland Saga without feeling at least a bit sad (Yes, this manga is capable of making you feel sad and broken, and that is a wonderful thing to experience when you read a story).

Even now I can’t help but feel blue about Vinland Saga. I wish to create something to express the stories that I think still have more room for expansion, but writing is still a difficult thing for me, let alone writing historical fiction. So I made drawings, which helped me a lot in practicing my rusty drawing skills.

I reckon it’d take me time to be able to write a fanfiction, so I tried to write about my love for the manga in this blog. I think it has helped ease my feelings a bit.

If you have something to say/discuss about the manga, feel free to drop by some comments below!

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