4.501 out of 5 from 637 votes
Ten years ago, a strong warrior named Thors lost his life in a fight with Askeladd - a powerful and ruthless Viking. Having witnessed his demise, Thors’ son, Thorfinn, became consumed by hatred and vowed to exact revenge on his father’s killer in an honorable duel. With nowhere to go, Thorfinn was recruited onto Askeladd’s ship and began working with the crew as they pillage settlements and trick naive armies. Now, the young boy spends his days honing his battle skills while carrying out Askeladd’s bidding in order to earn his reward of a duel with the vicious captain. But despite having failed in all his bouts with the man he despises so much, will the day ever come when Thorfinn can finally defeat Askeladd and lay his father’s memory to rest?
Born beneath the gallows tree from which his dead mother hung, Guts has always existed on the boundary between life and death. After enduring a terrible childhood, he spends his adulthood in brutal combat, pitting his strength against others in order to build his own. Life is simple enough for Guts until he meets Griffith, the inspirational, ambitious, and beautiful leader of the mercenaries, the Band of the Hawk. When Guts loses to Griffith in a duel, he is forced to join the Band of the Hawk, and, despite himself, finds a sense of camaraderie and belonging amongst them. However, as Griffith leads his soldiers from victory to victory, the bloody wars and underhanded politics reveal a side to him that nobody quite expected. Very soon, what seems like a straightforward march for conquest becomes a harrowing struggle for humanity and life itself. Can Guts, a simple warrior, defend those who have come to mean the most to him, all the while struggling not to lose to the darkness he has carried with him his entire life?
Vinland reminds me of Berserk in a few ways. The art is very detailed, amazing shadowing as well. The character's facial expression are are also quite eye grabbing. You've got a troubled character out for revenge, with plenty of blood and guts along the way. There is also a parallel story here of the hero involved in a plot with a boy who would be king. Basically if you removed the fantasy element from Berserk you would have Vinland!
Although it has only been going for 5 years it's definitely made a mark for itself and is truly turning into an epic tale.
No matter how you slice it, the main characters of Vinland Saga and CAT are assasins who go about their daily routine steathfully killing their target. In Vinland's case, Thorfinn goes after the leaders in order to get something in return. The Woman assasin, being her duty, mercelessly goes after her target. While both series are in a totally different time period, the concept is the same. Each of our main characters has nowhere to turn in the world. Each character has a spiteful past, deadly reality and bleak future. If your into the daily life of assasins then stealthfully choose your series then go for the other.
Following a horrific defeat at the battle of Sekigahara, two survivors, Takezo Shinmen and Matahachi Hon’iden, are deflated at having been unable to make a name for themselves and earn glory on the battlefield. But while Matahachi is anxious to go home, Takezo has vowed never to return and intends to become a vagabond, travelling the country polishing and testing his skills as a swordsman. With a beastial mercilessness when it comes to killing and a habit of cutting down all in his path, it doesn’t take long for Takezo to become a wanted fugitive. However, after being captured by a monk named Takuan and given a new lease of life, Takezo begins to live under the name of Musashi Miyamoto. Now, with a new view on life and death, Musashi continues to travel the nation challenging the most infamous fighters to achieve his goal of becoming the strongest samurai ever known.
Looking past the era and samurai aspect, VS and Vagabond follow the story of a man. Vague, I know. Each tell the story of a rabid boy as he embarks on a path to adulthood. Both Thorfinn and Musashi started out as young killers. As events unfold and time passes, our young protagonists grow up and find a certain peace within. From there, Musashi becomes a renown warrior and Throfinn, well, we don't know yet. The mood feels the same and the stories feel the same; a journey of a boy who has been through hell as he becomes a man. If you like one, the other will be just as good.