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Vinland Saga Season 2 release date: Vinland Saga manga ending by 2026 with final story arc? [Spoilers]
25th November 2019 1:50 PM ET
Vinland Saga Season 2 seems almost inevitable considering the pedigree of the series. The manga’s story of historical explorer Thorfinn has just begun its final story arc, and the series could stretch on for multiple seasons as an annually renewed anime TV show.
The reviews and the hype surround the anime have been overwhelmingly positive. An anime exclusive on Amazon Prime, Vinland Saga has been listed next to Demon Slayer (Kimetsu no Yaiba), Fire Force (Enen no Shouboutai), and Dr. Stone as the best of the season.
It’s a coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of the horrors of the Viking wars set during the turn of the 11th century. The first episode drops audiences in the middle of the year 987 Battle of Hjörungavágr, but the overall story is a slow-burner that puts character-building and philosophy in the forefront.
The Vinland Saga characters are based on historical accounts of the period, with the main protagonist Thorfinn based on real-life explorer Thorfinn Karlsefni. Leif is, of course, based on the historical Leif Erikson, an explorer credited in modern times with discovering the North American continent where Vinland is located. Other characters are based on legends or invented, with Askeladd’s name based on a Norweigan folklore character that was known for being clever.
Japanese publisher Kodansha has done everything possible to make sure the anime is the next big hit. Produced by animation WIT Studio (Attack On Titan), Shuhei Yabuta directs the Vinland Saga anime. Yabuta also directed the excellent Inuyashiki: Last Hero anime. The director has a background as a CGI artist and a CGI/3D director (Attack On Titan), so it should not be surprising that CGI is used extensively in the battle scenes. Studio MAD BOX, a subsidiary of Madhouse, assists with the special effects.
Hunter x Hunter animation director Takahiko Abiru is the character designer. Banana Fish and Ajin: Demi-Human writer Hiroshi Seko and Saga of Tanya the Evil writer Kenta Ihara are writing the scripts. Tokyo Ghoul composer Yutaka Yamada is in charge of the music.
The Vinland Saga’s opening theme song music is “MUKANJYO” by Survive Said The Prophet, while the ending theme song is “Torches” by Aimer.
Beginning with Vinland Saga Episode 13, the new opening song (see above video) will be “Dark Crow” by Man With A Mission. The ending theme song (see below video) will change to “Drown” by milet.
Thankfully, the wait for Vinland Saga Season 2 is made better by the fact the first season is a two-cour anime season. A “cour” is a three-month unit of TV broadcasting based on the physical weather seasons.
For those still watching the anime on Amazon Prime, a typhoon caused a delay in the broadcasting of Episode 10. Similarly, Vinland Saga Episode 18 was delayed thanks to a sports tournament broadcast in Japan. The first season will end with Vinland Saga Episode 24, which will air on December 29, 2019.
Updated November 25, 2019: Added director’s comments about anime original content.
Updated November 11, 2019: Added news of Vinland Saga manga’s ending/final arc and EP 18 delay.
This article provides everything that is known about Vinland Saga Season 2 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
Vinland Saga manga ending by 2026 with final story arc?
The story of the anime is based on the Vinland manga series by writer and illustrator Yukimura Makoto. The manga started serialization in 2005 as a weekly shonen manga but eventually switched to a monthly seinen format by the end of the year. As of June 21, 2019, 161 chapters have been collected into 22 manga volumes.
Starting in October 2013, the official English translation of the Vinland Saga manga series began being released in North America by Kodansha USA. But the release is being handled very differently from most Japanese-to-English manga releases, with every two Japanese volumes combined as one book.
That unique release format means the English Vinland Saga release is not too far behind the Japanese version even though the numbers are lower. As of June 2018, Japanese Volumes 19 and 20 released as the English Volume 10. The Japanese Volumes 21 and 22 are scheduled to release as the English Volume 11 on November 19, 2019.
Many years ago, the creator claimed he was targeting Volume 25 for an ending. Manga creators are notoriously bad at estimating the length of their stories and it seems very likely Makoto will exceed his earlier plans.
So far, the manga’s story takes place before the stories told in the actual real-world Icelandic Vinland saga. In November 2019, Makoto stated that he plans on creating four major story arcs: War, Slave, Eastern Expedition, and an unnamed final arc.
The Eastern Expedition arc ended with Chapter 167 and beginning with Vinland Saga Chapter 168 the manga creator began drawing the “last arc”. Although Makoto did not set an exact target for the Vinland Saga manga’s ending, he expects the final arc to take “several years” and the arc will exceed 50 chapters with over 1,000 pages.
Since the manga is released monthly that means Makoto could reach the ending by 2026 at the earliest barring any hiatus or delays. Since each manga volume has either 8 or 9 chapters the final volume could be Volume 28 or 29 and the book would likely release in 2027.
Vinland Saga manga compared to the anime
WIT Studio has managed to take the beauty of the Vinland Saga story and enhance it with the brutality of animated warfare. Although anime fandoms often deride the usage of CGI in animation, WIT Studio pulled it off in a way that hardly distracting. Plus, can you imagine the budget if the whirling camera of the sea battles was all hand-animated?
Overall, the anime presented the story of the manga linearly with careful pacing that allowed the characters to develop fully. The story has been expanded upon in various ways, with some events reordered.
In fact, the epic opening scene showing Thors waging war in the Battle of Hjörungavágr was an original scene in the anime. The scene provided action showcasing Thors’ prowess as a warrior while also depicting Thors’ motivation for deserting the Jomvikings during battle. The anime then jumped ahead several years in time.
Instead, the manga did the reverse. The manga opened the first two chapters by showing an older Thorfinn assaulting a fortress and taking a commander’s head so he could win a chance at a duel with Askeladd. The story posed the question of why Thorfinn would seek vengeance against the man he was working for. By the ending of Chapter 2, the manga then flashed back 10 years to when Leif was regaling the children with tales of his sea voyages to the west.
The anime also introduced more original content in Episodes 5 and 6 by showing more of Thorfinn’s childhood, but then finally adapted Chapters 1 and 2 with Episodes 7 and 8.
The anime even fleshed out the characterization of Thorfinn by showing how his desire for a one-on-one duel started with him attempting to attack Askeladd in his sleep. In the manga, Askeladd said he didn’t fear ambush in his sleep. He knew Thorfinn was a prideful warrior who “would rather die than do something like that.”
From there the anime started to follow the manga in a more straight-forward fashion. The most significant change was expanded characterization for Asgeir and original content for Thorkell. The anime also had Thorfinn waking up in the barn because of loud music whereas the manga had Askeladd’s men raping an English girl.
But Vinland Saga Episode 20 and beyond is promising to be different from the manga based on comments from WIT Studio director Shuhei Yabuta. On November 25, 2019, he noted on Twitter that since “there is no guarantee that there will be a continuation [Vinland Saga Season 2], it [the first season] must be made satisfying by itself. It’s a mistake to think that you can enjoy it simply by making it formless, so you must do everything you feel is necessary.”
The director also revealed that “there will be some adjustments from the manga in future episodes.” He explained that WIT Studio thinks the changes “necessary” in order to “enjoy this series as an independent content. I hope you enjoy our attempt!”
At the same time, the director promised that the overall “outline will not change”. That probably means that the anime’s final scene will remain the same as the manga, which isn’t too surprising since the ending of the War prologue arc sets up the conditions for the next story arc. After all, WIT Studio doesn’t want the anime to diverge so badly from the manga source material that Vinland Saga Season 2 became impossible.
Note: This article was initially published before Vinland Saga Episode 24 aired in Japan and will be updated with further analysis over time.
Due to all the original content, the anime had only adapted 20 chapters by the ending of Episode 10. By Episode 18 the anime had reached Chapter 36, which featured a fight between Thorfinn and Captain Thorkell.
Based on the pacing of the anime, it’s very likely that WIT Studio is targeting Chapter 54 of Volume 8 (English Volume 4) for the ending of Vinland Saga Episode 24. That offers the best stopping point with the story arc focused on Askeladd (the first story arc called War is considered a mere prologue!).
The good news is that the next manga story arc provides the perfect number of chapters for Vinland Season 2 to be a two-cour season yet again. Since the third story arc, the Eastern Expedition arc, finished in November 2019 there are even enough chapters currently published for Vinland Saga Season 3 to be produced relatively quickly. However, the third major story arc is so long that it might need to be split up into separate anime seasons.
Better yet, English-only anime fans who desire to read ahead of the anime can dive right in by picking up the English Volumes 5 through 7. The manga is available digitally via Apple Books, comiXology (currently on sale half off), Google Play, Kindle, Kobo, MyAnimeList, and nook.
Vinland Saga Season 2 release date: Is fall 2020 a possible premiere?
As of the last update, Kodansha, WIT Studio, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Vinland Saga Season 2 release date. Nor has the production of a sequel been announced.
Once the news is officially confirmed, this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Vinland Saga Season 2 premiere date will occur in the future.
From a financial perspective, Amazon probably paid a pretty penny to make Vinland Saga one of their exclusives. Considering that streaming revenue is the most significant factor influencing the odds of a Vinland Saga sequel that’s probably a good thing.
The fact WIT Studio was chosen for the adaptation is a reason to suspect Vinland Saga Season 2 is already planned out for the future. It’s even possible that the second season could be scheduled for late 2020.
Besides Vinland Saga, WIT is already working on the Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress movie and Netflix’s Vampire In The Garden anime. For 2020, they’re creating an original story called the Great Pretender, and the first episode premiered at Anime Expo 2019.
The question is what is WIT Studio working on for the fall of 2020. The obvious answer would be Attack On Titan Season 4. However, there are rumors that WIT Studio is not animating Attack On Titan’s final season.
Keep in mind that anime studios often work on several projects at the same time, and the primary staff is mostly different between Attack On Titan and Vinland Saga. The exception is director Shuhei Yabuta, who was the 3D director on all of the Attack On Titan seasons except for Season 3: Part 1.
But if Attack On Titan is not on WIT’s schedule for fall 2020 could that mean Vinland Saga Season 2 will be instead? We’ll have to wait and see.
Vinland Saga Season 2 spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)
Note: This article was initially published before Vinland Saga Episode 24 aired in Japan. Complete spoilers for Vinland Saga Season 2 will be added after the 1st Season finale has aired.
The last time we watched Vinland Saga, King Sweyn was assassinated, and Prince Canute executed Askeladd and seized control over the military. With vengeance and thus his sense of purpose taken away, Thorfinn lashed out at the Prince.
As punishment, Thorfinn was sold into slavery and he now he works to clear a forest for a slave master’s farm. Thorfriends befriends fellow slave Einar, who has tried escaping from slavery multiple times over the years.
The farm owner, Ketil, believes that even slaves are deserving of fair treatment. Thorfinn was promised he could buy back his freedom if he could succeed at farming.
Now that Thorfinn has a chance to focus on living, he can discover who he is and who he wants to be now that Askeladd is gone. As such, he gains a new respect for life similar to his father and now pursues pacifism as a way of life.
Meanwhile, King Canute of both Denmark and England desires to build a paradise for the Vikings, and he won’t hesitate to kill anyone who gets in his way. The problem is that Canute is running low on funds and resources.
It turns out Canute wants to seize the very farmland that Thorfinn is tilling to earn his freedom. Canute concocts an incident to force the wealthy Ketil family into becoming outlaw so he can seize their property.
After learning of Canute’s treachery, Ketil and his family become fugitives, and Canute pursues them after everyone escapes aboard Leif Erikson’s ship. Worse, Ketil is betrayed on all sides, including by someone he holds dear.
Canute invades the farmland with his top warriors and the fearsome Viking mercenaries. Ketil rallies forces by recruiting veteran fighters and farmers who owe him money, but Ketil’s forces are no match for Canute’s military.
Thorfinn finally gains his freedom, but he feels honor-bound to stay in Denmark and finish his business with Prince Canute. But how can a pacifist resolve such a tense situation peacefully? Can Thorfinn forge his path by finding the way of a true warrior?
Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until the Vinland Saga Season 2 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!