Vinland Saga Episode 5 [Swing of a Sword]

The end has come and Thorfinn’s tears have been exhausted. Askeladd and his men continue onward with their pilaging and fighting, while Thorfinn trails behind in a war with himself to try and be the man his father was while he seems barely capable of lifting a sword of a worthy size. But though his father is dead and Askeladd’s men seem not to be good or true, Thorfinn challenges his father’s killer many times without the real thread of death in return. And so the boy has to ask himself without words: what is his struggle, who will he be, and where will his path lead him in the face of his father’s killers?

Of course I’m dead this whole episode. Thors is dead and his family is informed, and the whole episode we have to watch his daughter pretend she is fine while his son lets his anger consume him. This anime is so masterfully capable of making me angry that I think its arc tops Claymore. There were five episodes devoted in total to making me love Thors, lose Thors, and watch his son’s utter destruction as he is determined to avenge him. Thorfinn will stop at nothing to be a warrior worthy of a final duel with Askeladd, though his anger might get the best of him. Also he killed a wolf and that was cool.

I think Vinland Saga one through five can easily be used to showcase how to make viewers sympathize with and love characters they know will die. Not only that, but the utilization of anime as a medium to tell a story is very powerfully represented here. It’s hard to think of these episodes of anything short of a masterpiece given how much emotion they incite in the viewer. I felt myself gutted at the loss of characters even as I watched the episodes as stoically as possible. Simply put, this show knows how to capture my heart and then crush it. I respect the hell out of what it is so far and I can’t wait to see where it goes. I mean, I have an idea. It’s viking lore! But let’s be honest, nothing is as cool as Thors so far. Rest in pieces my man, you were a real bro.

Also, props to his wife for being the calmest and coolest woman there ever was. Not a tear in sight, staying on top of herself. What a badass. In before we never see his sister and mother again cause my life is suffering.

Oki

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