Anime Review - The Promised Neverland

Burn the red thread of destiny and defy your fate. Run. Escape. Survive!


Yakusoku no Neverland (Promised Neverland) centers on three orphans - Emma, Norman and Ray. They live in Grace Field House with the other orphans as a family where they are cared for by their "Mother" 

Life is simple and fun. Their daily routine involves taking rigorous tests, but afterward, they are allowed to play outside until the evening. There is only one rule they must obey: do not leave the orphanage and go beyond the gate.


Emma and the orphans having fun

All is well until one day, Emma and Norman discover a terrible secret. The warm, comfortable home where they want for nothing is actually a livestock farm to raise and cultivate human food for a mysterious race of demons.

Children becoming food for demons

Faced with the dark reality that they are merely food sources meant to be harvest soon, Emma, Ray and Norman began planning their escape from this nightmarish wonderland.

From then on, it’s a race against time to escape with seemingly impossible odds stacked against them. The trio soon finds themselves in a ‘Cat and Mouse’ death-game between them and the “Mother’; to get out or be eaten.



Characters:

The Trio - Ray, Emma, and Norman

Emma is headstrong but stubborn, and naïve. She's too honest and good-natured to a fault, but this makes her the heart of the group and a natural leader for the younger orphans to look up to. Her stubbornness and natural athletism becomes the driving force to defy their grim situation at times. Even after discovering the dark truth and knowing they would be in a severe disadvantage to try and escape the orphanage, Emma still insisted on rescuing everyone.

Norman is a gentle and well-mannered boy, but highly intelligent. His ability to plan ahead and strategizes even surpasses the other two. His quietness sometimes gives the illusion that he isn't a serious threat, which leads to a fatal mistake for his opponents. 

Trio discussing escape

Ray is shrewd and tactical, the one who sees life as a game. A pragmatist and a manipulator that always seemed to be one step ahead. His deep affection for Norman and Emma is the main motivation that drives him to do anything for them.


Animation and Music:

Touch Off

The series is animated by studio 'CloverWorks', known for series such as “Persona 5: The Animation”, the final season of “Fairy Tail” and their latest work “Fate/Grand Order - Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia”. It’s safe to say that the team is more than familiar with animating good action scenes.

The opening theme starts off with "Touch Off" performed by UVERworld. Right off the bat, we get some amazing animation work from their soundtrack opening through visuals of the anime scenes.

Scenes of the main trio running away and all the orphans standing behind an imposing iron fence easily convey the situation of their promised lives never landed to the audience.

Opening soundtrack scenes

The ending theme features Zettai Zetsumei, done by the lovely voices from Co Shu Nie. The same band that made Tokyo Ghoul :Re's opening the most enjoyable part for the anime before all hell breaks loose.


Final Thoughts:


Freedom awaits

Watching the anime is like watching an unfolding game of trying to outwit the other side. The characters are constantly playing mind games and setting out their indirect plans that affect their overall plan of escape.

The plot unfolds itself with excellent pacing that keeps you LIVING ON THE EDGE, constantly second-guessing which side is going to win this "cat-and-mouse" game (kinda remind us of Death Note.... hmmmmmmm).

In every episode, there is always this thrilling excitement waiting to unfold, only to be left on a cliffhanger until the next episode comes in. Their shaky attempt to escape and the ever-present threat of death leaves one to crave for the conclusion. It's all well worth as in the end, there is a semi-satisfying payoff to everything and a nice teaser to season 2!


'Mother' Isabella

There are many unanswered questions, and with each small answer, it leads to a bigger mystery. The nature of the human farm and the existence of how demons came to be in their world still remain unclear. but the scheduled second season set for later this year gives hope and leaves us with promising anticipation.

The second season was announced in March 2019 and is scheduled to premiere around October 2020!



Written by Kittyboss

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