Makoto Yukimura Reveals His Favourite Arc In Vinland Saga & Initial Story Pitch For The Series

In a recent interview with AniTrendz, Vinland Saga creator Makoto Yukimura revealed some interesting insights into the manga, and this included the revelation of his favourite arc.

Makoto Yukimura

Vinland Saga, known for its rich historical narrative, is divided into four distinct story arcs: the war arc, the slavery arc, the eastern expedition arc, and the current unnamed arc. When asked about his favorite and least favorite arcs to develop, Yukimura responded by saying the most challenging story arc to create was the slavery arc.

However, it also turned out to be the most exciting arc for the mangaka. He went on to explain that he found Thorfinn’s character development, from being a young man holding a deep grudge and strong preconceptions about the world into a person who detests violence, in the slavery arc particularly inspiring.

The most difficult story arc was the slavery arc. However, the most exciting arc to work on was also the slavery arc. It’s because it was about a young man who held a strong grudge and had a strong preconception about this world. Coming from that, he grows into a completely different person, and I think drawing his growth was the most inspiring part of this story arc. I love to see the changes and transformation of a person, so I wanted to make sure that the changes that Thorfinn goes through were really convincing in the story.

His love for the slavery arc was also evident when he revealed the initial story pitch for Vinland Saga.

When Yukimura initially approached his editor at Kodansha with a story idea, it did not begin with Thorfinn battling the English in England but rather with him as a slave, who later goes on to explore new lands. But this idea was immediately shot down by the editor, who was more inclined to Vikings angle, saying it won’t sell.

Ultimately, he decided to incorporate Vikings and fighting elements to make the story more exciting.

When I first approached my editor to write the story of Vinland Saga, the story didn’t start where [Thorfinn] was fighting the English in England. Instead, I was planning on a story that started with him being a slave. So, the editor I spoke to at Kodansha said, “Well, that’s not going to sell! A story that starts from being a slave? I thought this story was about the Vikings and fighting, and you’re not going to go into that? How am I going to explain this to my editor-in-chief?” That was the first reaction that I received from my editor.

Since I thought of this story, the part that I really wanted to work on was the main character being a slave, and from being a slave to becoming somebody who is exploring a new land. That was the part of the story that I really wanted to write.

However, when I received this initial reaction from my editor, I thought to myself, “He might be right though.” This is about those people called the Vikings, and there were wars and fighting. Maybe if I incorporated these elements, we [Yukimura and the editor] could make this story very exciting. So, when we decided to do that, we actually got to excite the editor-in-chief, to the point that we can convince him, “This is going to be a story we can serialize.”

Born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1976, Makoto Yukimura made his debut with Planetes manga, which was serialized in Kodansha’s Morning magazine from 1999. The manga won the Seiun Award in the comic category in 2002, and received an anime adaptation in 2003.

In 2005, Yukimura began serializing Vinland Saga in Kodansha’s monthly magazine Afternoon. The work was highly acclaimed and won the Grand Prize in the Manga Division of the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival and the 35th Kodansha Manga Award in the General Division.

An anime adaptation by WIT Studio aired on December 2019. A second season of the anime, animated by MAPPA, aired in January 2023.

Source: Anitrendz