Episode 8 – Vinland Saga Season 2

© Makoto Yukimura, KODANSHA Project / VINLAND SAGA SEASON 2

Before we talk about anything else today, we need to get this out of the way at the top: Yuto Uemura And Shinsuke Takeuchi for sure killers Like Thorfinn and Einar this season. Empty Man, like most of the season before it, consists of scenes of our two heroes talking to each other. Thorfinn asks questions and ponders, and Einar has his thoughts and perspectives to share in response. Thorfinn openly struggles with self-loathing and fear of loss on a path he takes in life, and Einar offers some much-needed humor and empathy to get his new friend back on track.

Dialogue is good, yes. There will probably always be a certain underlying level of quality to Thorfinn’s current story, seeing it interact with many deep, moving thoughts and emotions, but if our heroes’ voice actors couldn’t sell the raw emotions of Thorfinn and Einar’s experience? Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is an arc Vinland Saga It would fail if nothing else, though, so I don’t think many fans were willing to trade Viking action and melodrama for a full season of farming, self-realization, and budding friendship.

Fortunately, we are fortunate enough to occupy the universe where Yuto Uemura And Shinsuke Takeuchi conveys the many nuances and layers of Thorfinn and Einar’s developing personalities. In an episode like “Empty Man,” that’s almost grace enough to trick a fragile old atheist like myself into believing in a higher power. This is such a deceptively simple and inwardly focused stage of Thorfinn’s journey that I can easily imagine him getting tired of his self-deprecation and endless bouts of doubt and hesitation. Still, I was glued to my screen for the entirety of Empty Man, and I’m pretty sure 95% of the episode involved Thorfinn and Einar wandering Keitel’s property doing the groundwork, with one fight thrown in at the end for good measure. As it turns out, that’s more than enough work to get us through another week when the writing and performances are in very good.

I am constantly amazed at how successful I am Vinland Saga He was able to depict Thorfinn’s slow but convincing emergence from his shell and how charming and seductive he made his friendship with Einar. When Thorfinn tells Einar about Askelad killing his father and raising him as a soldier all those years ago, you feel like this is the first time Thorfinn has had to put his experiences and feelings into words. He’s in so much hurt and confusion, but just having a sympathetic friend willing to listen to him tell his story works wonders for Thorfinn’s ability to find himself and appreciate his own existence.

Thorfinn has only known how to live on hate and anger for so long that he really worries that he has nothing left to offer the world now that he’s been robbed of those feelings, nothing left to define himself and truly live his life. Einar, being the good and ideal friend, laughs when Thorfinn asks if he can be changed. “Catch yourself in some clear water,” he says, because naturally Thorfinn has changed. He had followed Einar’s lead when he knew nothing about how to cultivate. When I lacked the experience to even catch a few fish, he listened carefully to Sverkel’s instructions. He’s gone from a “take and destroy” person to someone who regrets the way he’s been living and wants to find a better way, and has a serious, straight-forward new friend to help guide him. All the while, Uemura and Takeuchi infuse their words with years of accumulated grief, exhaustion, and sheer joy, which makes watching these two guys grow and become friends so much fun. It also makes their suffering more difficult.

I’m not going to lie, though: When I ended up being Thorfinn, who injured one of the bastard servants who tore his and Einar’s farm to pieces, I stood up and applauded. Yes, Thorfinn is trying to escape his violent life, but this particular act of violence is not being done as a selfish means of consumption and destruction. He defends his personality, his dignity, and his right to “the joy and difficulty of sowing wheat.” This deeply satisfying punch isn’t a sign that Thorfinn has stumbled onto his new path; It’s the long overdue proof that it is Do You have a life worth fighting for.


Vinland Saga Season 2 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about animation and other pop culture, which can also be found here Twitterand his blog and podcast.

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