It took approximately 1 chapter for the epic viking manga Vinland Saga to become one of my favorite manga. I’ve only read the first volume (over like 8 months), since scanslations and I don’t get along well, but I can nonetheless make the statement that it is insanely awesome.
Vinland Saga is about a very dark young man named Thorfinn, who is currently working for a band of vikings. Their leader is the man who killed his father years ago and will only allow Thorfinn to challenge him as long as he works for them. Thorfinn lives solely for revenge and continually challenges the boss, but fails to kill him. The first chapter shows the viking band raid a village, then we see them back at port before the manga jumps into Thorfinn’s backstory.
The first thing that makes Winland Saga amazing is quite simply that it’s about Vikings. I am a huge fan of vikings and north mythos, due in no small part to being a fan of folk metal and black metal. There are a lot of metal bands that sing about vikings (in and outside of an actual ‘viking metal’ genre) most famously Amon Amarth (here’s some songs) whom I was listening to along with chapter 1, raising the level of awesome from ‘sweet’ to ‘ZOMG best mango ever.’
Vinland Saga should definitely appeal to fans of manga like Berserk. Thorfinn, like Gattsu, is a badass from the get go and evidently just gets more badass. We first see him scale a fort wall with a pair of daggers and slaughter everyone on the post. The manga also has similar villains to Berserk, like in how every bureaucrat is almost cartoonishly evil-looking. The artstyle is much more normal, but still extremely awesome.
The guy who Thorfinn is trying to kill almost reminds me of Holland from Eureka Seven, only he’s a back-stabbing cold-hearted dick. Being both powerful and a total bastard makes him a great villain.
One of these days I’ll catch up on Winland Saga. The thing is, I never remember that I have manga on my computer or which ones, and I would much rather read a bound copy. Winland Saga deserves to be licensed more than any other manga I can think of, so hopefully that happens this year. Or they make an anime adaption. Or whatever.