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Vinland Saga 1 Hardcover – October 14, 2013
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The characters and setting are interesting, Thorfinn's motives are rendered clearly as is Askeladd. The world building is very detailed and that is where the research really shines. A recommend.
It's fascinating because it's fiction with some limited historical accuracy. It's much like Lone Wolf and Cub in that respect (some historical accuracy), though both manga are entirely different. Vikings instead of ronin, yet still makes use of similar themes; honor, revenge, assassins, etc. But the characters and source material are a nice change of pace and an interesting twist on manga.
I liked it so much that I ordered the second and third books as well. Some compare it to Berserk but I feel that the series are nothing alike. Berserk focuses more on shock and the supernatural, while this has little or none of that. Maybe the themes change as the series continues, as it's my understanding that the content went from shonen to seinen in the first year. Some of the images are almost Miura-quality in detail though, so I expect cool things from Yakimura as it progresses. I've always wanted to read his Planetes, though it's out of print. Maybe I'll try to source used copies.