Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 21 Update and More

Vinland Saga Season 2: Episode 21 Update and More

Friends, let me tell you that “Courage” is one of those few but potent times when I genuinely appreciate that Vinland Saga did not surprise us with another masterpiece. Don’t get me wrong; this episode is still reasonably excellent. However, “Courage” allowed the show (and its viewers) at least twenty minutes of breathing room after what felt like months of nonstop bangers while the plot built up the final dramatic conflicts of the season’s run.

It’s undoubtedly table-setting, but because we’re talking about Vinland Saga, it’s still superior to everything running on television. Naturally, “table-setting” is hardly the same as “low-key”, given that this heartbreaking story has been spellbound for almost six months. Consider Olmar’s part in the narrative. Olmar must now face the humiliating, disgusting effects of the warmongering cultural incentives and sticks he felt so forced to live up to just a few days ago after completing this stage of his superbly developed character arc.

The aftermath of the Battle for Ketil’s Farm is horrifying, even with the usual censorship-shading that the production has to use for broadcast. Instead of just making Olmar want to throw up, the sight of all that torn flesh gives him the willpower to resist Thorgil and surrender to Canute. He was setting the table, indeed. The narrative of Thorfinn feels like a prelude to later, more significant events.

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Thorfinn has earned his retainer by this time, attempted assassination or not, and it’s not just because the bastard King Canute won’t give it to the audience; this is also the point at which the artwork has suffered the most, taking part of the focus away from the drama at hand.

However, some of the stiff character animation and wonky perspective made Thorfinn’s fight with the burly soldier this week seem almost comical, which I don’t think was the intention. I like that the show is trying to remind us that Thorfinn’s life of abuse and malnourishment has left him pretty short and skinny compared to Canute’s Jomsvikings.

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The moment is still effective, but it’s a far cry from recent weeks’ lovely set pieces and meticulous character development. Nevertheless, “Courage” does the job, and if Vinland Saga needs to take a little time to celebrate after what seems like an exceptionally long run of standout episodes, then by the gods, they deserve it.

Even if the rest of this season’s animation were limited to PowerPoint levels and its main plot consisted solely of Thorfinn standing around and pleading with people not to try to punch him in the face, it would still likely be considered a once-in-a-generation masterpiece. I have no right to whine about being so privileged.

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