The Promised Neverland Fact Check – Sheets

The Promised Neverland post title image

Hi all! Are you surprised to see me here? For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Irina and I like anime. I like it so much that I have a little blog on the subject that I have been posting on for a bit over a year now, during which time I have had the privilege to not only get to know Karandi but to collab with her on a few posts.

Both experiences have been a pleasure.

The Promised Neverland Episode 1 Emma and friends
and just plain fun!

As such, I took a leap a little while ago and asked Karandi whether she would be interested in a more structured collaboration between our two blogs. She doesn’t know this yet, but I was super nervous about it. I like to faith nonchalance, but it was a bit like confessing. I half expected her to politely turn me down. I mean you guys know how much work Karandi puts into this blog. It’s her baby. So, I understand just how much of an honored it is to be allowed to intrude like this. I hope to live up to the opportunity. Please take care of me.

(Since Karandi is going to read this she’ll find out I’m not as cool and composed as I pretend to be and am actually a huge dork. I hope this post will make up for that. Here we go!)

warning! spoilers ahead!


The Promised Neverland was one of the biggest anime to come out of the winter season. It was generally well liked by fans and critics alike and a lot of people actually watched it as it was airing. It’s no surprise that it got quickly greenlit for a second season and I know I’m not the only one looking forward to it.

One small point of contention about the show, at least among my readers, was the kids’ triumphant escape at the end of the season. I don’t know about you guys, but my readers were very dubious about it. It started with a twitter comment questioning Don’s amazing throwing abilities which I addressed here. I had a lot of fun with that article and I think my readers enjoyed it as well.

However, secondary questions arose. It seems viewers weren’t ready to let it go at just that. The most frequent comment on that post was that although they were happy to accept that Don would have been able to throw that initial rope over the chasm, they were still unconvinced that the sheets would have been viable as ziplines.

Now, using makeshift sheet ropes to escape imprisonment is one of the best known and widely used tropes so we might need to re-evaluate a lot of fiction depending on what we find out today. But it’s a risk I’m willing to take. So, let’s do science to it (*and by science I mean wild assumptions and suspicious guesswork. You know, the usual)

haven’t even started yet!

Ok so let’s start by figuring out how much weight was applied on those sheets. Here’s a little fact that will never be useful to you in any way. I weight the same thing as the average Canadian 12-year-old. I looked it up for the post. Actual numbers do vary depending on the sources, but they range between 91 and 98 lbs.

The oldest children being twelve, we can assume no one is much higher than that. Moreover, although the children weren’t malnourished in any way, they are also very active and food was in limited supply, as such no one was overweight by any means. I think we can safely assume that 100lbs in the maximum those sheets had to take at once.

I know that to do this correctly, I have to account for the fact that the eight was distributed across those hangers and concentrated back on the hook. I should also try to calculate the wear caused by friction but that may be s midge above my capacities. At least for this post. So for now, let’s just see if the sheets would have survived at all.

The Promised Neverland Episode 12 - Climbing the wall
kid, I got some bad news

Finding the amount of weight an average bed sheet can hold without ripping was surprisingly difficult. I wasn’t able to find exact numbers (although I’m sure they exist) as manufacturers tend to measure friction over time rather than the capacity of having their sheets used in a great escape. What I did find however, was quite a bit of anecdotal evidence.

This is the relevant excerpt from that last article:

>Driving up Boulder Canyon in the time before cell phone cameras, I nearly drove into the creek upon seeing this. A”toprope” was being ascended by a corpulent man and his partner, both dressed in jeans and sneakers. They had set it up using several lengths of a bed sheet twisted into a rope, knotted every dozen feet or so, and passing through a large pulley that was draped over the top of the route. We observed nothing of note on our return from Animal World, so the two must have at least escaped with their bodies intact.—Submitted by Richard Wright, via

to be fair, the rest of the article said you shouldn’t use sheets for rock climbing…

Fact is, bed sheets are not just a well worn trope. They have been used in real life escapes on repeated occasion and have often worked. From what I learned, you can braid the sheets to boost their strength however, it is possible for a bedsheet to support a full-grown adult. Braided sheets can hold over 200lbs with no problem. Moreover, a lot of the examples mentioned that the sheets were cut or torn into strips which would have reduced their internal integrity somewhat making them more fragile than if used as a whole.

Unfortunately, most of the stories do not mention the men’s weights but I think it’s safe to assume most of them were at least 100 lbs if not considerably more. So, based on this I think the sheets could have taken the weight. But those sheets weren’t used as ropes exactly, they were more akin to a zip line. Does that make any difference?

Actually it does. Climbing up would in fact put the most stress on your sheet. The combined pulling and slight jerking motion with putting all of your weight on specific spots is what’s likely to put the most stress on the material. Climbing down is a bit better as you are letting gravity do part of the work and not transferring that on to the sheet, but you still have all the tension focused in specific places. Theoretically at least, zipping down the sheet will have your weight move down the sheet very quickly remaining for only split seconds at any single spot. This is a motion that is less likely to tear the sheet out right but will subject it to a bit more wear.

ehh – close enough

None of this is as conclusive as Isabellas but there is reasonable evidence to believe the sheets *could* have supported the kids.

But you know what is more dubious. Whether those cloth hangers could hold up. Most modern hangers aren’t meant to hold up much more than 20lbs. I suppose heavy duty wooden ones for winter coats may go a bit above, however that’s still not 100lbs.

Admittedly, in the olden days when fancy garments where a lot more elaborate and heavier, you could conceivably have an outfit weight 100bs although it would be exceptional. That is a huge amount of weight to carry for an entire day. But it would have been possible that some industrial strength hangers meant for special outfits like that were made and those could carry the weight. If we are generous and assume that’s what the kids were using, I guess they could have pulled it off, seeing as they were only hanging for very brief periods.

However, if you ask me, the weak point in the plan was there.

So, what did you think? Did I convince you that bedsheets are practical replacement ropes in a pinch? On a different note, do you enjoy these types of posts? I’m open to try more if you have any ideas.

still my greatest accomplishment!!!

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!


The Great Escape

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The Promised Neverland Episode 12 Review

As a final episode it is more or less impossible to avoid spoilers, and to be honest, I’m not really going to try so if you haven’t watched the final episode of The Promised Neverland yet, go and watch it. It’s brilliant. There you go, reviewed.

The Promised Neverland Episode 12 - Norman

Of course, it is left wide and completely open for a sequel but it did something that I appreciate in books with multiple volumes as well. That is, it resolved the most immediate dilemma even if other issues still need to be addressed and other conflicts are yet to be resolved. In this case, episode 12 gives us the escape from Plant Three with Emma, Ray, Gilda, Don, and all the kids, over four years old.

The Promised Neverland Episode 12 - Climbing the wall

Yes, that is right. Emma made the heart-breaking decision to leave the kids behind. Prompted by Ray, doubts by Norman, Gilda’s fears, and her own uncertainty about the ability to succeed, Emma rationalised the situation and decided that given they don’t harvest kids until they are six, she has two years to figure out how to come back and save them. It might be a pipe dream and one that could not be fulfilled (given she couldn’t even guarantee living through the first night) but it was enough to allow her to leave them behind and act without being paralysed by grief.

The Promised Neverland Episode 12 - Emma and Phil

This episode brings all the planning together and shows the twists and turns. It has Ray coming to terms with the fact that Norman utterly outplayed him and being happy enough to be wrong. It has Phil’s role given meaning even if he is still a bit of a wild-card. And mostly, it has Emma. A fiery and determined leader who takes on the advice and guidance of those around her to make the best decisions she can and guide the others.

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It didn’t all go beautifully smoothly, but neither did they throw too many things in their path. One can only assume that more dangers are coming their way but this episode ended on a triumphant note and it is a wonderful place to leave this series for now. Hopefully it isn’t goodbye forever but even if it were, there’s enough resolved here to feel content and not like the story just got chopped off at the knees.

The Promised Neverland Episode 12 - Morning

All I can say is, wow.

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Karandi James
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Someone Tell Ray That Self-Immolation Is Not A Plan

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The Promised Neverland Episode 11 Review

The contrast in the way Emma and Ray see the world couldn’t have been clearer this week. We’ve seen these two bump before with Emma’s stance on rescuing everyone and Ray’s far more pragmatic view of the world and just in general Emma rushes at everything with energy and enthusiasm where Ray is more cautious and slow to act. However, it is in their final plan that the contrast becomes beautifully clear.

The Promised Neverland Episode 11 - Emma and Ray

Emma still has hope despite playing the defeatist card for months. Partly this is because of the gift that Norman gave her, a potential plan that could overcome even the most recently discovered obstacle as well as insight into what Ray was planning. But partly this is because she is Emma. Actually being defeated and accepting it doesn’t seem like it fits her personality at all. We saw in the beginning of the season that Emma continued to compete against Norman in tag even though he always won. Each time she would try to think of better ways to outmanoeuvre him and while she continued to fail she never surrendered the war. Emma brings that resilience to the fore in this episode.

Meanwhile, Ray has his own plan. And I’ll admit, from Ray’s perspective it is a very good plan. It accomplishes his actual goal which was to save Norman and Emma (though too late for Norman which makes him even more desperate to save Emma), and is a plan that relies only on himself, which given his years planning alone makes perfect sense. It is a very Ray plan and one that doesn’t take his own safety and survival into consideration at all.

The Promised Neverland Episode 11 - Ray

I can’t be the only one who flinched horribly as he poured that flammable liquid over his head. It was a truly horrifying moment, made more-so by the general feeling that this anime might very well go through with it. While outside of Connie’s death the anime hasn’t been gratuitous in death and horror, there’s the ongoing sense that things could go there at any moment and as a direct result scenes such as this one really make you sit up and sweat a little for the characters.

And even though Emma did have a plan to counter Ray, it isn’t as though they got off scott free. Both Ray and Emma had to part with their ear to leave the trackers in suitable locations. These kids are eleven (or twelve in the case of Ray after midnight) and they actually cut off their own ears, bandaged them up, and kept going.

I don’t know about you but I’d have cried over stubbing my toe at that age.

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The Promised Neverland, Vol. 2

It is a really beautifully executed episode bringing everything together in a suitably dramatic fashion as we lean in to the final episode. While there are so many questions left unanswered, and a lot of these will probably remain unanswered unless we get a second season or unless I read the manga faster, so far only read book 1, I’m hoping that at the very least we find out what the deal with Phil actually is… oh yeah, and whether Norman is still alive.

The Promised Neverland Episode 11
Will these cuties survive or are they just future fodder?

This series is just good and I really want to binge watch it from the start again just to see if it holds up when you know the twists and turns of the narrative, but that will have to wait a few months. Either way, I’m loving where this has gone and this episode was solid viewing. Very much looking forward to the final episode.

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Karandi James
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Where To Without The Promise of Tomorrow?

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The Promised Neverland Episode 10 Review

Wow, The Promised Neverland is determine to wring every inch of drama out of the current scenario and in less deft hands I would find this kind of irritating as the episode ends with so many question marks. However as this anime continues to present beautiful visual and sound direction to support a compelling story with characters I’ve come to love, instead of feeling frustrated I’m mostly just on the edge of my seat waiting for more, exactly as they intended.

Norman saying farewell to Emma and Ray - The Promised Neverland Episode 10

Going straight into spoiler territory if you haven’t seen the episode.

Norman’s last night at the orphanage is heart breaking. His teary farewells with Emma and Ray as they staunchly deny what is about to happen and then his goodbye to the other kids is perfectly delivered. Emma’s last ditch attempt to cause a scene and to keep Norman from leaving is perfect as is Isabella’s cold and crushing death threat to keep her from going any further.

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The quiet walk to the gate, the third we’ve seen as Norman follows Connie’s and Sister Krone’s footsteps, is just long enough to have impact but not feel drawn out and Norman and Isabella’s casual conversation is revealing, though of what I’m not entirely sure of just yet. However, we then get the moment that has left me desperate to know more and that is the brief moment we see of Norman beyond the gate and entering a lit room. Is Norman dead or not? We have no way of knowing and with the tone of the show it could go either way plunging us into a tragic reveal later or a triumphant return and both would fit the current narrative beautifully.

The Promised Neverland Episode 10 - Ray "Let's Die Here"

As for Emma and Ray, despondent would be a tepid descriptor of their personalities as the days, weeks and then months roll on and finally Ray’s last day approaches. Though, if you think The Promised Neverland is done yet, think again as Emma seems determined to see something through which just makes me wonder what scheme they’ve hatched in the background that we don’t yet know about.

With so few options available I’m scratching my head to figure out what they have planned, but ultimately I’m going to have to sit back and wait and to be honest the anticipation is horrendous. I desperately want to know.

The Promised Neverland Episode 10 Emma
Cute young Emma and Ray to lighten the mood.

Clearly I’m a little caught up in this story and so clearly it has met its goals. I’m loving The Promised Neverland and I’m waiting with bated breath for the next episode.

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Karandi James
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The Promised Neverland Promises Yet More Pain

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The Promised Neverland Episode 9 Review

Well, Norman is all but giving up and accepting that he isn’t going to survive through the next day, though he goes through quite the array of emotions to get there. The Promised Neverland hasn’t hit our characters this hard emotionally since episode 1 when Emma and Norman had the very foundation of their world shaken up and now Emma’s injured and Norman has very much realised how outmatched they really are. Or has he? He’s still hopeful that he can help Emma and Ray escape even though he won’t be there.

The Promised Neverland Episode 9 Norman

Emma and Ray, for their part, outright deny his decision. They demand that he escape, even if that means just hiding until Emma’s leg is healed and they can all escape together, and somehow they convince him.

The Promised Neverland Episode 9 Ray and Emma
Good friends don’t let you calmly walk to your death.

This wasn’t an ideal solution in the first place but it gives the characters, and the audience, the tiniest slither of hope that they aren’t about to take out a main character. That tiny slither of hope is just enough to devastate us when they get to the revealing conclusion of this episode.

The Promised Neverland Episode 9
You can tell things are bad when bone breaking is considered a potential solution.

Now the more cynical might wonder what the point of anything has been given the kids clearly were never escaping in the first place but realistically this is just another obstacle. Perhaps an insurmountable one and perhaps one that will finally do them in, but the whole way along the kids have been given obstacles to try to work around or overcome and while it seemed like they might get there, we’ve just had larger and more threatening obstacles revealed until finally we’ve reached this one.

The Promised Neverland Episode 9
Pole vault?

Really, there was nothing for it but for Norman to return. Now the question is what did Krone leave them and does Norman have any chance of not making a pretty red flower as he dies.

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After Making Us Wait, The Promised Neverland Is Going To Deliver

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The Promised Neverland Episode 8 Review

I think it will be more or less impossible to review this episode without spoilers so count that as fair warning. This week we finally see the end of the Krone/Isabella power struggle and while the result of that is inevitable, Krone’s presence hasn’t been wasted. While I never felt she fit with the general tone of the story, her character role has been invaluable in understanding more about the world and Isabella and though we are left with more questions than answers, I really feel her presence has been fairly important to understanding the context for how this story is going to play out.

The Promised Neverland Episode 8 Isabella and Krone

However, how sad is it that her final thoughts are wishing the children escape as even in death she can only think of bringing Isabella and the world down? Amazingly when Krone believed she might be able to get ahead, while she wasn’t fine with the system she was working with it. But once it was clear that she was simply fodder and not going to achieve her dreams, she immediately just wanted to watch everything burn.

Though I do have a few questions about how that scene was composed as Krone was backed up against the bars one minute and the next was backing up toward the wall and the distance between Krone and the bars was never consistent. It was great to watch mind you, but just kind of made no sense unless Krone was suddenly capable of teleportation.

The Promised Neverland Episode 8 Krone's Death

And you know what, despite Krone finally coming to an end, that wasn’t the real OMG moment of the episode.

Was it Isabella turning on Ray and locking him in a room while she went to confront Emma and Norman? Was it Don coming to the rescue and barrelling through a wooden door to get Ray out? Or even the confrontation with Emma, Norman and Isabella?

The Promised Neverland Episode 8 Isabella and Ray

Nope. All of these moments were brilliant and building on all that careful groundwork this story has been laying down, but the real moment comes after the confrontation where Emma and Norman make a decision and Isabella just immediately shuts them down (by breaking Emma’s leg). Oh, I hated that sound-effect and yet it was perfect and yeet they still weren’t done as Isabella had one more bombshell for Norman.

The Promised Neverland Episode 8 Emma, Isabella and Norman

I feel that the Promised Neverland is going to join my collection of stories like Another and Shiki that feel like very slow burns and then things start happening. But the thing is, that’s what makes them great. They don’t rush the set up and give you just enough to keep you interested. The pay off may or may not end up reaching great heights but I really do enjoy this style of storytelling and I’m looking forward to the next couple of episodes of Neverland to see what they do next.

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Playing With Fire (Or Trying to Deal With Sister Krone)

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The Promised Neverland Episode 7 Review

This episode felt like we were back to the tense cat and mouse of episode 2 only with Sister Krone in the cat position rather than Isabella. This impression was aided by some fairly impressive direction assisting in building a sense of claustrophobia as danger closed in on the kids. The sound direction however went for the super dramatic and at times it was a little over the top, but it did get the tone across even if it felt a little heavy handed.

The Promised Neverland Episode 7 Norman

What worked a little less well, as has become the norm, was Krone’s characterisation. There were times this episode where she was chilling and it seemed she would be quite the adversary to overcome, and then the next moment she’d be cackling maniacally and any ability to take her seriously, even as a lesser challenge would get shot. Also, her ongoing movement, circling the kids in the forest, leering into their faces in the bedroom, all just kind of make her character feel jarring compared to everything else in this anime. Still, this was her best showing in Neverland yet.

The Promised Neverland Episode 7 Sister Krone

Which might be a shame because it seems Isabella has been at work in the background and has her own plans afoot, but as usual it will be next episode before anything is confirmed.

I do however like that Krone proved to Norman and Emma that sometimes they aren’t as smart as they think they are. It was nice to see an adult see through them and call them on it. As smart as they are supposed to be, they are 11 and it makes sense that whatever schemes and plans they come up with, that an adult who also lived to be 12 in a house (so theoretically must have scored high on the tests) would be able to see through their actions. And it is a definite warning that Isabella is probably equally able to do so.

The Promised Neverland Episode 7 Emma and Norman

Once again, the episode moves Phil into a position where he is noted but doesn’t do anything of note. I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop to tell us what is going on with Phil and whether he’s a red-herring, a spy, or something else entirely but I am enjoying the build up and hope the pay off is worth it.

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The Promised Neverland, Vol. 1
The Promised Neverland, Vol. 1