The Promised Neverland (season 1)
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
This article may reveal major plot points, especially considering the episode, season, or series had either been released recently or not in specific countries yet.
The Promised Neverland (Japanese: 約束のネバーランド, Hepburn: Yakusoku no Nebārando) is an anime based on the manga by the same name created by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu in Weekly Shonen Jump. The series is animated by CloverWorks and directed by Mamoru Kanbe.
The series takes place in 2045 where Emma a 11-year-old orphan along with 37 other orphans who live under a great life under the love of their "Mom".The bright and cheerful Emma always aces the regular exams with her two best friends Ray and Norman. The orphans are allowed complete freedom, except to venture beyond the grounds or the gate, which connects the house to the outside world.One night, an orphan named Conny is sent away to be adopted, but Emma and Norman follow after noticing that she left her stuffed toy, Little Bunny, back at the house. At the gate, they find Conny dead, and they realize the truth of their existence in this idyllic orphanage—to be "humanely" raised, eventually butchered, and sold as meat to a "higher" species which were identified as "demons" throughout the series. Determined to break out of Grace Field House, Norman and Emma join with Ray to find a way to escape along with their other siblings.
Why This Season Is a Promised Neverland
- The visuals and animation of the show are noticeably very beautiful. As to be expected from 2010s anime. But the animation has a certain style/tone to it that manages to give the series' visuals an aesthetic that makes it fit it's themes and story all the more (although this trait is found in many animes, as well as western shows nand just animated shows in general, as more often than not, they well often have animation styles have fit, and often help strengthen, their themes and plots).
- Many of the show's cast are very likable Emma, Ray, Norman, Gilda, Phil, etc.
- The show's antagonists, Isabella and Krone are extremely well written, as both had harsh childhoods as the children.
- Krone at one point, reveals to the children that she's as much a cog in the farm's machinations as they are. She can't step foot outside the farm without having her heart shutdown so her motives to wanting to dispose of Isabela is due to the fact that becoming a "mother" is the best possible life she can live given her situation.
- Isabella was once a gentle, free-spirited girl and now the callous head of the Orphanage raising her 'children' to become meat for demons. Learning that her beloved childhood friend along with many other children were raised only to be killed and being forced to give birth to a child, only to give that child to the farm system did a number on her as well... and realizing her son was Ray did a bigger one.
- The show's opening Touch Off is very well done as well as both endings Zettai Zetsumei and Lamp.
- Same can be said with the soundtrack especially Isabella's song.
- Both the show's dub and sub can be very enjoyable and is very superior to the sub. But the dub still has amazing voice acting and dialogue that is almost completely 100% faithful to that of the sub.
- The show's story is very well written and interesting as well as we see how Norman, Emma, Ray and the others must try to find a way to escape the orphanage. It also has very high stakes given the fate that is revealed to be destined for the children of the orphanage and all that Emma and the others go through in order to save themselves.
- Episode 12 was very emotional and simply spectacular finale for the season. Especially the moment where Isabella finds out Ray is her son. It also has a phenomenal ending where, in her moment of defeat, we learn more about who Mama — who Isabella — was, thanks to a supremely affecting flashback that really humanizes her despite the monstrous things she’s done for her superiors. Isabella had a “Norman” of her own in Leslie, who played a beautiful lute and wrote a nameless song she loved. But Leslie’s shipping date came, and he said goodbye, and Isabella was devastated. She used her ingenuity and athleticism to climb the wall, only to find the cliff and despair as Norman must have done when he first saw it. Her Mama comes to bring her back home, and eventually, Isabella is given the same offer she’d later give Emma. Only while Emma refused, Isabella accepted. She was trained to be a Sister, then a Mama, and even gave birth… to Ray. A younger Ray hums the same nameless song Leslie used to play, because Isabella hummed it when he was in the womb. Ray realizes Mama is his birth mother, asks why she gave birth to him (survival, plain and simple), and their "collaboration" has continued from there. Isabella held close and never forgot about her time as one of the same kind of kids Ray, Norman and Emma turned out to be, but it’s a song that reminds her that she chose to survive by joining the system rather than rebelling. Isabella overall is more proud than anything else that her beloved children ended up outwitting her. And she wishes them good fortune. The sun rises out of the horizon for the first time since they gained their hard-earned freedom. Seeing them silhouetted against the dawn’s light is one hell of a beautiful parting shot.
- While not bad, the character's designs are very standard especially compared to the manga.
- Why do kids regardless of how old they are or how smart they are, somehow get eaten by the demons?
- The anime cuts some of the dialogue in the manga.
- Season 2 happened to be a massive flop and takes a different track from the manga, made most of the dialogue into exposition, and removed a fan favorite character Yugo and skipping one of the most popular arcs in the manga in Goldy Pond.