Vinland Saga Season 2 delivers one of anime’s best tonal shifts

Anime is full of some of the most hyped moments on TV, whether they’re character moments, fights, or shocking reveals. But for the most part, a show will stay in tone throughout. You know what you’re getting into, and even when things mature or escalate, it’s recognizable as the same show.

This is not Vinland Saga. While the themes remain the same, the approach is vastly different, and the change can be staggering. After spending all of Season 1 trying to make violence look cool – through the eyes of the characters – this season tears down and rebuilds those walls and shows that fighting is futile and cruel. Instead of rousing fight scenes, it should be exciting, with pure sakuga (particularly great animation) In every scene, we get grotesque and senseless acts of violence that serve no one, and enough reaction shots from disgusted bystanders to make your stomach turn, too.

In fact, the trick of this season is to show that everything we tonally believed to be true in season one was a sick and twisted version of reality filtered through the values ​​of Thorfinn and the other characters. This show has always been an exploration of the violence of the Viking Age and how it affected every aspect of everyday life. After selling ourselves and being convinced that being a Viking warrior’s values ​​are noble and cool and that Valhalla is a worthy target, Season 2 now shows how stupid that is, how futile and pointless it is to think that it’s all about going to be a man to end the lives of others, that power is in death.

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