Is Vinland Saga Season 2 bad? Why are fans displeased?

Season 2 of Vinland Saga is currently 6 episodes in and fans of the show can’t stop comparing the new season to the previous one.

The first season received instant love and acclaim, being internationally considered as one of the best anime series of 2019. Mappa took over the anime adaptation from Wit Studio, and 3 years later, everyone’s favorite anime Viking story returned to screens.

Fans who have been riding the action-packed high of season 1 have been displeased with the second season of Vinland Saga. They also think that the switch in studios has led to a drastic drop in animation quality. But is season 2 really not as good as season 1? Is Vinland Saga season 2 bad?


Vinland Saga season 2 is excellent. It follows the Farmland arc, considered the best arc of the manga. The new season sees a change in pace and tone but delves deeper into the character of Thorfinn, the realities of Norse slavery, and the value of not just life, but of living.

Is Vinland Saga Season 2 bad? Why are fans displeased?
Thorfinn x Season 2 | Source: Netflix

Why are people not liking season 2 of Vinland Saga?

I. Slower Pace

Most fans, especially Shonen fans, are used to second seasons picking up right where the first left off. Season 1 of Vinland Saga ended with Thorfinn’s quest for bloody revenge ending on a cliffhanger.

People were expecting to see what happened to Thorfinn after Askeladd’s death but the first episode of season 2 drops us into the unfamiliar world of a new character, Einar.

Fans found the first episode of season 2 rather slow and dry, lacking any juicy action or even promises of action in the upcoming episodes.

Season 1 basically acted as fan service for those expecting “cool Viking war shit.” Unfortunately, the people who watch Vinland Saga for its action unfolding at breakneck pace, found season 2’s preliminary episodes hugely disappointing.

Is Vinland Saga Season 2 bad? Why are fans displeased?
Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 4 | Source: Twitter

II. Shift in Tone

Thorfinn’s entire purpose was taken away from him at the end of season 1. Everything that the season had been building towards reached a cold and rather abrupt ending.

For fans used to the first season’s high-octane action sequences focusing on plot, the base note of season 2 seems entirely alien.

Season 2 essentially shifts tonally from Shonen to Seinen; people unaware that Vinland Saga is actually a Seinen series were not ready for the drastic drop in action-adventure.

In Shonen, when a new arc commences, the hero’s journey repeats itself, with the “villain” having grown stronger and more dangerous. In season 2 of Vinland Saga there are no heroes or villains at all.

The narrative instead concentrates on a wholly separate point-of-view and history, which tells the other side of the story that we’ve witnessed in the previous season.

III. “Bad” Animation

If you’re an Attack on Titan fan, you probably dislike Mappa and have a bias against them. AoT fans think Mappa is going to ruin another great Wit series. Even with just 6 episodes out, people have been claiming that Mappa has already spoiled the quality that Vinland Saga’s season 1 had displayed.

The animation quality of season 1 has been critically lauded. It was highly detailed and polished, with a distinctive art style.

The first few episodes of season 2 did not live up to the expectations of most fans, who immediately complained on Reddit and Twitter about the drop in quality.

Why Vinland Saga Season 2 Is Actually a Masterpiece:

People who think season 2 of Vinland Saga is bad are hugely mistaken.

I. Season 1 Was Just the Prologue

Is Vinland Saga Season 2 bad? Why are fans displeased?
Season 1 | Source: Twitter

Season 1 was a mere prologue to the real story of Vinland Saga. By definition, a prologue is an introductory section that prefaces the story, added to give background information that contextualizes characters and aids plot progression.

Season 1 gave us everything we needed about the main characters of Vinland Saga and what led to their base motivations. It set the milieu, the historical framework, and the primary themes that the story would build upon. But it was not the story itself.

Is Vinland Saga Season 2 bad? Why are fans displeased?

Season 2 startled fans with a sudden alteration in plot, pacing, and tone, added new characters, and completely changed the direction the story seemed to have been heading.

Einar is set up as the deuteragonist while Thorfinn is given a totally different dimension character-wise. Their outlooks on life are starkly different and this is what sets the new tone of the season.

Season 2 promises to be heavily focused on the psyches of these 2 characters. Those who have read the manga will know that the Farmland arc changes the game for Thorfinn and the development of his character.

Sure, I miss the Askeladd-focused content, but trust me, what season 2 is going to do will be magnificent. The exploration of Thorfinn’s psyche, the questioning of all the decisions he’s made, the subversion of the hyped-up emotions of anger, hatred, and vengeance, are going to make the series a masterpiece.

II. Season 2 Sets the True Vibe of Vinland Saga

Is Vinland Saga Season 2 bad? Why are fans displeased?
Thor and Thorfinn | Source: IMDb

Season 2 requires a slight adjustment in pace and tone on part of the viewer, only because the new season is going to be nothing like the first season.

The season has just started, and saying the pace is slow is a bit premature. The starting episodes of any season are never going to be as quick-paced and action-heavy as the latter episodes. Yes, season 2 is slower than season 1, but it’s not objectively slow.

It’s not like nothing thrilling happens in the second season – in fact a whole lot of stuff has already unfolded and it’s only been 6 episodes.

A whole new character, setting, and community was established, Einar and Thorfinn’s relationship founded, the nature of slavery expounded, and the traumas of war unpacked. Season 2 is already emotionally impactful and has set the stage for who our protagonist, Thorfinn, will become in the future.

The series is called Vinland Saga, not The Vikings; it’s about a land called Vinland, a place of new beginnings, a place without fighting, without war. Vinland Saga was never about war and action.

Season 2 is the beginning of Thorfinn’s journey to Vinland, his metaphorical dropping of the sword.

III. There’s Nothing Wrong with the Animation

Is Vinland Saga Season 2 bad? Why are fans displeased?
Thorfinn | Source: Twitter

Just looking at Mappa’s logo in the promo triggered some people. The fact is that there is actually nothing wrong with the animation of season 2 of Vinland Saga.

No season of any anime has ground-breaking quality every episode. Season 1 did have an unusually high number of near-perfectly animated episodes, but there were some that were sub-optimal. Season 2 so far is as good, quality-wise.

The visuals are just as vivid and stunning, the characters and backgrounds just as defined. There are spots where some frames are a bit awkward, but all in all, the art style is the same. This is because the art stylists are the same.

Mappa Studios retained most of the animators from season 1. This means that the people who animated season 1, the people who were in charge of the quality of season 1, are the same people working on season 2.

Watch Vinland Saga on:

About Vinland Saga

Vinland Saga is a Japanese historical manga series written and illustrated by Makoto Yukimura. The series is published under Kodansha in its monthly manga magazine – Monthly Afternoon – aimed at young adult men. It currently has 26 volumes in tankōbon format.

Vinland Saga is set in ancient Viking times, where a young Thorfinn’s life goes astray when his father Thors – a well-known retired warrior – is killed while on a journey.

Thorfinn then finds himself under the jurisdiction of his enemy – his father’s killer – and hopes to seek revenge on him when he grows stronger. The anime is loosely based on the expedition of Thorfinn Karlsefni in his search for Vinland.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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