In an increasingly violent world, what kind of meaning do you see in portraying those kinds of characters in an anime?
- People might think it’s a pipe dream or just idealism, but I think it's scarier to imagine a world where people don't tell that kind of story. There may be people who do evil in the world, but there's no way that good people are going to disappear, either. I think it's necessary to have people who speak to that ideal. We couldn't make the anime of VINLAND SAGA without feeling that. And I think that's the meaning behind making this show during this kind of time.
- I think people need to have goals in order to live. You'll end up bogged down in decision-making without one and just end up lost. I’m talking about having an ideal. And if you have to have one, I think that you might as well make it big, hang it somewhere far, far away. That way you'll never get bored of pursuing it.
- Earlier, Yukimura shared that he hates violence. I do, too. I think the stuff is terrifying. Just the other day, I watched Russell Crowe in Unhinged (2020), where his character loses everything and starts to kill people while saying ‘I have nothing left but violence’. If the last thing left for a person who has lost everything, or who has nothing to lose, is violence, it is impossible to bind it by law. And it can be said that the history of human beings is the history of violence. Humans and violence are inseparable from each other. With that in mind, I feel that each of us needs to think about how to deal with violence. Especially in this modern age where violence of various scales is abundant. And I think that "VINLAND SAGA" is trying to give an answer by challenging the "violence" head-on.
By Season Two we'll only have part of the answer, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing where the story ends up and what Yukimura's "ideal placed in a furthest place" will be. There aren't that many works of art that truly confront violence head-on like this one, and I'm eager to see how audiences will react to it.
- With how things are in the world, there'll definitely be more times when we'll want to talk about VINLAND SAGA.
- As Seko repeated for me, I really don't like violence, which is why I've thought long and hard about how to deal with it and attempted to express that through this story. I'm sure some might look at me, a manga artist living way out on the edge of Asia, and tell me to cut out my naive nonsense, but I feel it’s something I have to say.
A few days ago, I received a message on social media from a reader in Ukraine. “I'm in the middle of an evacuation. What would a true warrior do at a time like this?”
They were in the midst of a far more terrible situation than anything I've ever experienced, so I didn't know if I had the right to answer, but I gave one. I said, “Even in the midst of a war, I think a true warrior would try their hardest to think up a way to make up.
I think that wheat fields stand as a contrast to violence itself. The farm arc being broadcast and steamed with the world in this state might get people thinking about things.
- We've portrayed tilling land and growing wheat as humanity being productive. All we can say now is how this will change as VINLAND SAGA goes on? I think it can be seen as a starting line for all of us moving forward, so I do hope plenty of people the world over watch it.