What a great show! This anime is just top notch all the way in all forms. As of right now this show is in my top five favorite anime's and has the potential of not only staying there but being cracking the top three. Well, maybe not that far, but you get what I'm saying, it's great.
Season one was brutal and full of war, death, and amazing character development. Season two changed it up some, but it hits even harder than the first season. Thorfinn ended season one with losing his chance at killing the man who killed his father because of Canute, a prince who became a king, all because Askeladd who kills Canute's father, pretty much helping Canute become the new King and helping his country at the same time. Askeladd couldn't be left to live and is killed right in front of Thorfinn which pushes him into rage. Thorfinn strikes the new king leaving him with a permanent scar. What we don't see is what happened after and that's where season two begins.
Thorfinn is sold into slavery, to a man named Ketil, who is a very good man in a way with obvious flaws that we eventually see, but the family seems to have a very good system in place for anyone who works for him. Well, they are slaves, but if they work hard and develop the land they'll earn enough to become free people and live off the land and sell what they make. Obviously it'll take awhile and they have issues with others that protect Ketils land, but it's a possibility.
What we get in this season is alot of character development, especially with Thorfinn, who needs to learn how to deal with everything he has done for all those years under Askeladd, all those people he's killed, now he's dealing with the ramifications of that mentally and its rough. Night terrors every night and a constant shadow of Askeladd follows him throughout the season and it takes its toll on him. This season is just incredible at developing Thorfinn into a flawed hero who needs to learn to deal with so much, not only with his fathers death or what he's done, but to letting others in emotionally and finding friends and people who will forever be in his heart.
Einar is another character we meet in season two that is going down the same path that Thorfinn went emotionally and potentially going down the murderous road Thorfinn traveled, and the friendship that grows between the two helps both of them. The relationship between the two is just so smooth and refreshing. I love how they help each other and have each other's backs, but that's not how it starts, it's a friendship that just grows once they trust each other and ends with both of them willing to die for the other.
The fights in this season aren't all over the place like the first season, this is peace time for Thorfinn, and sure there are little battles here and there, but for the most part they keep it for the end of the season, but they are just as brutal as the first season. I think the battle at the end has more impact because of how little they fight in this season which I appreciate. Even then we all wonder if Thorfinn will go past that line and go back to being that kid with the murderous Rampaging appetite he seemed to have in season one. That's the whole point, Thorfinn is changing, and is trying so hard to be a man who would rather have peace if he can swing it.
Even Canute has huge development in this season from the end of the last. He constantly has his father's voice in his head telling him what to do and saying things that would make anyone crazy, manipulative lines that are trying to swing him to be more aggressive after several terrible choices he's made that led to the deaths of his family. He's got huge ambitious ideas and is doing terrible things to bring all his dreams to fruition. In the end a chance meeting with Thorfinn, a simple conversation completely changes his ideals.
Several secondary characters step up in this season as well. Snake is another mysterious character who is just awesome. He's Ketils right hand man and leader of the small unit that protects the land. He's up and down shows as a lazy soldier, but shows he cares about his men and even the people of the farm. He's a cunning warrior and isn't someone to be trifled with. I love this character.
There are so many great moments in this season I can't even mention them all. The characters have great voice actors who do a wonderful job at bringing the emotion out of each character. The animation is top notch, one of the best in my opinion of all anime going right now. The music is superb as it was in the first season. The plot is amazing and how each character changes from episode one till the final episode was excellent. I heard some people say it's "boring" but it's not. It's top notch character development with major twists and turns that change multiple people within this world, it's a top notch anime that should be on the list of best Anime going right now.
96 out of 100
9.6 out of 10
I might have rated it high, but it's that good in my opinion.