The tenth double-thick, hard-covered volume of Makoto Yukimura's Viking manga Vinland Saga
went a ways towards assuaging all those old worries the series was forever balanced on a knife-edge of "too good
for our English-language market" and might be cut off at any moment, even with certain comments over the years that all long-running series show a decline in sales over time. The thought of being left forever guessing how the story might continue (or at least left searching for "scanlations" and wondering how well they might read), though, does feel in some ways no rougher than worrying if the protagonists will make it out of the latest part of the story available. While the brutality of the action has a sort of "not 'fantastic,' yet 'realer than real'" feeling to it, it can certainly leave me thinking there are no certainties of safety.
The action in this volume, as harrowing as it could get, did have something of a "decompressed" feeling to it, not a lot of time seeming to pass but playing out in detail. In a way, too, I did get to wondering if a possible end of the series (other than "consumed by accident and history," anyway) was now in sight, as much as I might miss the thought of Thorfinn and company not getting all the way to Byzantium via the Viking trade routes along Russian waterways or even the dark old thought of "trying to escape only carries the story's universal problems with them." I suppose I could wonder if "the everpresent violence isn't altogether innate, but learned"
was played up a bit, and in fact I did think a bit back to the story that (eventually) let me in through the gates of anime and manga, reflecting on a subplot in Robotech, borrowed from Macross of course, about "warriors-and-nothing-else trying to become something else." (I can think back as well to how I interpreted this being presented in the Robotech novelizations, and if, however unwittingly or unconsciously, I brushed against assumptions that can be fallen into about "them" as opposed to "us.") In any case, there seemed a certain amount of dark humour mixed in with the violence in this volume. I again don't know how long we'll have to wait until I might have to worry about the next volume showing up again, but the cliffhanger this time around has Thorfinn in a new predicament that might even be sort of interesting.