krpalmer: (anime)
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.
krpalmer: (anime)
Amid the constant uncertainty whether its official translations would keep being released or I'd be reduced to hunting down "scanlations" (however stilted) should things leave off on an unsatisfying stopping point, I suppose Makoto Yukimura's Viking manga Vinland Saga getting an anime adaptation had been very far from my mind. Seeing a news item mentioning that was a fair surprise.

The studio mentioned in the notice that will be producing the adaptation seems to have built something of a pedigree in the last little while for works like this one, although I was able to remember old thoughts that "manga can go places anime can't" and balance an apparent counter-example with contemplations of just what might yet get toned down. Too, I'm wondering how far into the manga the production might get; I can imagine things could stop at the end of one plot arc fairly soon into the story, but it wouldn't be close to a happy ending. At the same time, though, I can at least be philosophical and think of other cases where, having started with the manga, I've left anime adaptations alone and been fine with that.
krpalmer: (anime)
After all the dire portents and seemingly narrow escapes just in the English-language publication of Makoto Yukimura's Viking manga Vinland Saga, every new volume's become a relief in itself to see. What with the cliffhanger the eighth volume had ended on, the ninth was that much more welcome. Where I'd just been intrigued before by the introduction of the threatening bear huntress Hild, though, the revelation she'd been an inventor to begin with and had rigged up a circular saw did have me thinking all over again of "anachronism"; the author's note midway through, mentioning a Swedish children's book series that had been animated in Japan and had just happened to include the same invention in its own Viking times, did manage to offer a bit more perspective.

That plot arc's flashbacks, in invoking the violent past the manga's protagonist Thorfinn keeps trying to find a way to leave, did have me thinking we were being reminded of significant parts of the story. Those thoughts strengthened as more old characters returned and Thorfinn got deeper into trouble, although I could begin to wonder if this might end up being turned into a way to keep the story from having to travel all the way through Russia to Byzantium and back before the presumable endgame of heading for Vinland. With the English releases now seeming to be quite close to the Japanese ones, the feeling "this could go on for quite a while yet" was hard to shake. I wouldn't say I'm "weary" of the impressive-looking manga by any means, but the constant tension between Thorfinn's ideals and the reality he's stuck in and the toll that exacts on him can be harrowing in itself.
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
Makoto Yukimura's Viking manga Vinland Saga has been through enough "this volume had better sell" squeezes staying published in English that hoping the story's next instalment will arrive can feel as harrowing as reading through some of its "Dark Ages" action itself. At the end of the seventh double-thick volume, I did react with some extra relief at the story's long-enduring protagonist Thorfinn closing a painful circle that had opened at the tale's very beginning. That relief, though, might have led to the thought that if things did have to leave off there, it would at least not have to face the question of whether Thorfinn's hard-gained resolve to build a new and better world by sailing west would only carry what he was now trying to escape with him.
When I heard there'd be an eighth volume published, though... )
krpalmer: (anime)
Not interminable limbo, then, or even that broken at last only by final dismissal, but news of another tomorrow. It is nice to hear there should be an eighth omnibus published in English of the Viking manga Vinland Saga, even with the temporizing I did at the end of the seventh that "this wouldn't be the worst place to leave off." I'll just have to wait and see where and how things go.
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
When Kodansha Comics announced they'd be publishing Makoto Yukimura's Vinland Saga manga in English, another "if only you could see this too" title got ticked off the list. A number of years ago now, I had been quite impressed by his Planetes manga, one of the first to leave me with a wistful "now what else can live up to this?" feeling on finishing it; hearing he had moved from the future to the past and was working on a manga about Vikings did get my attention. Time passed without a licensing announcement for it, though, and after enough time, when it was mentioned it was on that metaphorical list I just mentioned.
Ups and downs )

February 2019

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