Two children make a startling discovery that will shake the very core of their existence, but they’re just kids. What could they possibly do about it?
What did you watch?
For twelve weeks, I religiously watched The Promised Neverland. After I had the big reveal from episode one spoiled for me on Twitter, I decided to watch it as soon as it became available and if I couldn’t I would enforce a blanket internet ban until I had. Having watched the first episode I needed to talk about it, so I ended up doing episode reviews. If this review leaves you wanting more, feel free to check them out and my character analysis post – In Defence of Isabella.
As you would expect, there will be spoilers in this review. This is your last chance to leave before I really get into it. If you haven’t watched it, I would absolutely recommend you go do that first.
It’s another sunny day at Grace Fields orphanage. The children run and play in the lush green grounds, they eat another fine meal and clean up as a family. In truth, life is good. They have nothing to worry about. The most taxing aspect of the orphans’ lives is the daily exam. Tonight, however, is a special evening as one of the children has been adopted.
Mom, the carer for the orphans helps little Conny pack her bags and say goodbye to her friends before heading to the gatehouse, leaving the orphanage behind. Then as Emma is clearing the dining room, she finds Conny’s stuffed bunny. Ray tells Emma that if she hurries, she might make it in time. Norman goes with her. But when they get to the gatehouse, they make a startling discovery and their lives, along with the other children at the orphanage, will never be the same again.
What did you think?
Even in the first episode, long before you realise what is going on there is something off. It’s probably just a feeling because everything seems too wonderful. We’re naturally suspicious, it’s what has kept the species alive this long, but get ready to never trust anything ever again. This series is incredible. I’ve purposely not revealed too much in the summary, because I really want you to watch it and see for yourselves.
What was your favourite moment?
There were so many great scenes from the perspective of a viewer, most of those weren’t that great for the characters,
That was where my favourite scene took place and would you believe it, it was a flashback. Isabella is an incredible villain, but she’s also just another person desperate to survive. I’d worked that much out, but it was great that the show finally showed us just how bad she’d had it. That’s what made her such a compelling character. She was just trying to survive.
What was your least favourite scene?
Again as a viewer, it was utterly compelling, but the scene where Isabella finally revealed herself to Emma and Norman, asking them to accept their fates. When they didn’t, we got to see just how serious about staying alive Isabella is. I can still hear the cracking sound as she snapped Emma’s leg.
Who was your favourite character?
Emma was the star of the series. Without her, nothing would have gone the way it did. It was her determination and way of saying it as it is that gave Norman and Ray purpose. They obviously contributed to the series in massive ways, but Emma is the figurehead and rightly so.
I’m also going to mention Isabella again. Even though she was the villain, I’m going to say she’s one of my favourite characters in anything. I don’t like what she did, but I can see the rational behind it. She was as determined as Emma, but she had been alone for so long. Isabella is a fascinating character whether you like her or not.
Who was your least favourite character?
That would be Sister Krone. I think if they’d handled her correctly, she could have been another great character. However, having her rambling away to her doll and using her as an information dump was one of the few things that really stood out from the quality of the rest of the series. On top of that, they seemed to give her the most absurd cartoon expressions, which again didn’t fit with the tone.
In the end, I think she had a fine send-off, which at the time was one of my favourite scenes in the series. They jumped back and forth between Krone literally fighting for her life as the children sat down to dinner. It was a dark and beautiful scene, interspersed with flashbacks to Krone’s tragic life.
Which character needs more screen time?
This might seem like an odd suggestion as he seemed to pop up everywhere, but I really want to see more of Phil. His sacrifice at the end of the season was heroic for anyone, let alone a four-year-old. He volunteered to stay behind with the other children under five, knowing the truth about the orphanage and what they may do to him.
Is it similar to any other anime you’ve seen?
No, not really. The Promised Neverland is a horror, but it’s more of a psychological thriller. We know that bad stuff is going to happen, but it’s not in your face. It’s more tactical and subtle. A lot of the screen time is the children plotting and planning, but even so, it is a fascinating watch and well worth your time. There are a lot of cliffhangers, so expect to find yourself watching another one and then another…
Would you like some more?
I am absolutely desperate for another season and thankfully, they have announced that season two will air in 2021. That’s great right? Well, yes, but then there’s also the manga and I’m kind of impatient when I get into a series like this. I have already read the first three volumes and will probably have read the others by then. Possibly…
What have you learnt?
I tend to write dark stories, whether it’s fantasy, science fiction, or comedy, so there’s a lot of the way things were and weren’t shown that really interested me. I actually preferred it that we didn’t see much of the demons. Other than that, I will try to give all of my villains the depth of Isabella’s character. That was incredibly well done.
Other Post in the Series
- Season One
- Season Two
- Bonus Posts