Category: Anime – Dark Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller
Since I’m a university student, I don’t have a lot of time to keep up with newer anime series. I mostly watch shows that my friends recommend to me. When I watched the first episode of The Promised Neverland, I went in completely blind. I had no idea what to expect and I think that’s the best way to watch this series. I thought I was watching a show about a group of adorable children living at an orphanage only to be horrified by the dark secrets behind the surrounding walls of their “farm”.
The Promised Neverland anime is based off the manga of the same name, written by Kaiu Shirai. It follows three friends Emma, Norman, and Ray who are the oldest children living in what they believe is an orphanage. All of the children look forward to the day when they will finally be adopted by a family and start their new life beyond the walls. However, one night Emma and Norman discover the horrible truth behind it all when they follow young Connie to the gate to return a toy she left behind. There, they find out that the children are not actually being adopted by families, but they are living in a farm that raises children to be eaten by demons.
This plot sounds absolutely ridiculous and insane but it had me hooked from the very first episode. The twist was so unexpected but I just went along it because it was so different from anything that I’ve seen before in an anime. I was immersed in their world and was instantly filled with questions. Who are these demons? Where did they come from? What does the rest of the world look like beyond the farm? I’m sure some of those questions may be answered in season 2. This first season had the right balance of revealing just enough information but still leaving the viewer wanting more.
The children are all so adorable and likable that you want to see them escape. Emma, Norman, and Ray each have very different personalities but their friendship is heartwarming to see. They’ve grown up together. They are the oldest of the group and each very intelligent. They have a strong bond that helps them carry out their escape plan. It’s hard to ee them separated from each other because you just want all of them to make it out together.
One character that stood out to me was the house mother, Isabella. At first she seems like a loving and caring mother to the children until it’s revealed that she knows their fate and is actually working with the demons. I wondered how she didn’t feel guilty for playing a part in killing these children after raising them for years. Isabella justifies it by telling Emma that she wants to give the children the best life they can have. She wants them to be happy and unaware of the horrors on the outside so that at least they can have a good life, despite it being short. In the end, she lets the older children escape. Her fate is unknown in the final episode as the farm is on fire, but I have a feeling that she will be punished for letting them go.
One last thing I will talk about is Norman’s death. His death was not actually shown on screen. Also, unlike Connie and Krone’s death, Norman was not killed in the tunnel but was escorted into a secret room. We do not actually see what happens, but the viewer and the other children assume he was eaten by the demons. I think there is more to his story. I could be wrong, but perhaps they are using his DNA to create more children since he is so smart and has a valuable brain. I’m not sure, but I’m skeptical that they didn’t actually show his death.
Overall, I thought The Promised Neverland was an entertaining and thrilling anime. Each episode ended with a cliffhanger that made me immediately want to watch the next one. It set up a unique world with well developed characters that made you want to see what kind of plan they will come up with to get out of this situation. I look forward to the second season and may even check out the manga while I wait. I would rate this anime an 8/10. I highly recommend that you check it out.
What did you like about the series? What don’t you like about it? Do you think Norman was killed or is it possible that he’s still alive?
Image credits to the original creator: LuriaHirai