The promised neverland is an anime adaptation of a popular Japanese Manga series, the original books were extremely successful and won numerous awards, the anime was first announced in 2018 from a company called CloverWorks. I have never read Manga so my experience is purely through this adaptation and I have quite a few mixed feelings about it so without further ado lets jump straight in
I also want to put a spoiler warning, I am not going to hold back in this review so if you want to watch the show, you have been warned.
The first season takes place in an orphanage ran by a seemingly kind young woman who goes by the name mom. The orphanage is ran with strange rules and very heavily controlled in a way that seems innocent.
These rules are not exactly shown as they are more things viewers will pick up on as the show progresses, I knew something was up as soon I began the show because it was odd that all of the children were dressed in the same white clothes and each had similar smart hair styles.
Also it is implied early into the season that none of the children had ever left the Orphanage, they hadn’t left the walls of the children’s home once in their entire lives, even the children who were older, it was really weird and just left me feeling uneasy.
In the first episode their is a very sweet 6 year old girl named Connie and at the end of her story she is “adopted”. Mom walks her to gate and she is seemingly taken to her new family.
An older boy named Ray notices that Connie left behind her favourite toy and asks his friends Emma and Norman to take the Bunny to Connie before she leaves. Both of the children know they are not allowed near the gate but decide that returning the bunny is good enough reason to break the rule.
When they arrive they cant find Connie and check in the moving truck where they discover her corpse. The children hide when they hear voices behind a door describing their dissatisfaction with the specimen and how it will not be a good meal due to its age and lack of intelligence.
These are demons and they feed on the flesh humans to survive, the brain is the best part of a human being and is the most delicious.
After this discovery the first season primarily takes place in the orphanage and has the three friends Emma, Ray and Norman trying to come up with an elaborate plan to escape from the facility. This often leads to disagreements with Emma wanting to save all of the children and the other two trying to be more realistic with either just saving themselves and maybe the older children.
There is a lot of elements of mystery in this season, on top of trying to find out more information about the demons, who mom really is and which children are selected to be eaten, there is also a spy in the orphanage who is whispering information back to mom. This plot gets really interesting and multiple children are suspected before Norman figures out its Ray.
So Ray is very interesting character because he is the birth child of mom, in flashbacks we learn that mom’s are females who are chosen to run the human farms in exchange of not being eaten by the demons. Because Ray is super intelligent he is top priority to be eaten, to save her son mom got Ray to be a spy who would help mom pick the best children to serve as well as report to her everything and anything that goes on behind her back. Ray is obviously only doing this to save his own skin but it does show a selfishness to his character and even though in the end he does go against mom and help the children I could never forget that at one point he was helping the demons for his own benefit.
About halfway through the season a helper for mom is hired to help look after the children, her name is Krone and to be honest she was probably the worst part about the season for me. It felt like she was mainly added just to be another obstacle for the children. She’s very loud and erratic and to be honest feels really out of place although I will admit it did make her presence feel a little more uneasy than others.
The first season has a very surprising ending, mom breaks Emma’s leg to prevent her escaping before she is meant to be shipped, luckily she recovers in time but Norman is shipped early and assumed dead. With just her and Ray left, Ray fakes burning himself alive using sausages, human hair and his own ear with his tracking device in order give off the effect of burning flesh, this distracts mom long enough that himself, Emma and all of the children aged 6 and older (6 is the minimum age they can be eaten) to escape over the wall and into the surrounding woods.
So season 1 was very nicely paced and had some good plots and mystery to keep it entertaining without it feeling it dragged on too long or too little.
Season 2 played an Uno reverse card because they went from this really nicely paced show to the world record speed run for quickest ending anime.
So a lot of plot is crammed into 11 episodes here a lot of people do not like this season, I enjoyed it but it definitely felt rushed there are some important plots here and I will go over them briefly but If you want a real analysis why this is a bad anime season, Youtube will give you a better explanation than I can give, this is purely just my opinion.
The children are now in the Demon World, they are barely surviving until they find a bunker which they hide inside of, here is a phone and they are contacted by Mr Minerva who left clues in books previously to help the children escape (He is never seen and he doesn’t really show up again after this.)
After the bunker is raided the children befriend two vegetarian Demons who want to help them escape, there is a weird part later on where the male demon hints that he wants to eat the children (but this is never addressed again and doesn’t happen)
Later on in the season we find out that Norman is alive and wants to kill all the demons because they tortured and experimented on him, he becomes the leader of a gang of demon slayers who have all been through what he has, he vows to slaughter all Demons and become either a god or a devil in their eyes if he has too (This plot ends in the next episode and now he just wants to escape again !)
Look I know I keep pointing out how badly rushed this all is but it’s important I do in order for someone who hasn’t seen it to fully understand how bad it is and why people are pissed off.
At the end of the season, Emma, Norman and Ray free the other children from all the orphanages and the main villain behind the operations is killed. They forgive mom and let her come with them to the human world (this is same woman who murdered them, the same who broke Emma’s leg and lied to them their entire lives), Emma, Ray and Norman decide to stay in the demon world to help them survive without humans, Emma vows to make a new promise in the demons benefit (we never find out what this is) a two minute slide of what happens next plays and Emma, Norman and Ray go to the human world ending the entire anime !
The Promised Neverland is half excellent and half mediocre, that first season is one of the best anime’s I have sat down and watched and I was so excited for that second season that when it was so disappointing I was genuinely upset about it. What I don’t understand is why they rushed that second season and ended it there, they could have paced it better and we could have had at least three really good seasons. I think maybe the writers didn’t enjoy the more action based plot compared to the horror and mystery of season 1 so wanted to end it while they had the chance, of course I have no evidence of this so don’t take that as fact but it’s about all I can come up with.
Apart from the second half the show is animated very well and actually has really good dub work which is something a lot of anime’s struggle with so I can give it props for that. The music for both season openings is also very catchy and highly enjoyable, the theme from the first season got me pumped everytime it played and the second’s theme was a lot of fun too.
That’s all I can really say about this series, I enjoyed all of it but the second season really takes away from it’s quality and its quite sad because we could have had another outstanding anime on our hands, If you want to see this I would recommend only the first season and maybe just see the ending of season 2 because that’s probably all you really need to see and like I said before I have gone over most of the plot here, so until next time
Thanks for reading this review of The Promised Neverland (Anime)
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