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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NENDOROID NO. 1092 THE PROMISED NEVERLAND: EMMA

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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Karandi James
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NENDOROID NO. 1092 THE PROMISED NEVERLAND: EMMA
NENDOROID NO. 1092 THE PROMISED NEVERLAND: EMMA

The End of the Imaginator and The Start Of A New Arc

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Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 9 Review

There’s just something about Boogiepop wa Warawanai that continues not to sit well with me. I know I’m not very invested in this story but I also consider myself relatively good at picking up small cues within a story and yet as the Imaginator’s arc comes to a close I’m just wondering what actually happened and why. Yes, there was a lot of babble about humans, hearts, organisations and free will in this episode but I’m just not sure any of it made even more than passing sense.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 9

Now, if I remove that from the equation, I’d have to say this was a reasonably fun episode. There’s a few action sequences, a show down between Boogiepop and the Imaginator and it feels like the characters we’ve been following for the past few episodes all get some kind of personal resolution, but then I start asking the how and the why questions and it all kind of crumbles apart. Not to mention I want to know what happened to all the other characters that Spooky E had changed and whether they are still waiting instructions or have they also come back to themselves.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 9 Jin

Again, I don’t really need a neat little bow wrapped around my narratives but Boogiepop feels like it is ambiguous because it doesn’t know how to be mysterious without it. There’s no sense that the pacing or direction is building up any kind of atmosphere at this point, and the visuals certainly don’t do much other than exist. About the only thing that manages to keep me watching as a viewer is the vague promise that somehow through continuing on the ambiguity will be made clear (or at least clearer) however as of yet the story hasn’t delivered on that at all.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 9 Imaginator vs Boogiepop

Still, there’s quite a few episodes out to watch so I guess I’ll keep going and see what happens next.

Boogiepop Wa Warawanai Episode 10 Review

There’s a slightly jarring moment at the start of this episode where we run into Echoes again (remember weird guy from first arc) only it seems like this is before the events of the first arc, maybe… It is really hard to tell. Anyway it seems like we’re on a different planet but somehow Boogiepop is there and after a needlessly confusing back and forth Echoes asks Boogiepop how she got her name and we flash back (which if we were already in a flashback makes it even more confusing or maybe I’m just struggling with the time-sequence here).

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 10 Boogiepop

However, once we enter that flashback, we get a fairly linear and interesting story around a guy named Scarecrow who works for the Towa Organisation. We get a little insight into what they are actually doing and we see Scarecrow encounter a younger version of Nagi. This whole story is not just interesting but it actively works to fill in some gaps in the story that we’ve seen play out so far and so I kind of enjoyed it.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 10 Nagi

Though it seems this story comes to a close with Scarecrow declaring that the shinigami type character he runs into is kind of like a creepy bubble before dying, it appears that this is the start of a new arc and for whatever reason there are yet more episodes already out to watch. While I’m going to put off the next couple for a week while I watch other stuff, I will point out this is probably the most interested Boogiepop has made me yet, though I wonder how we explain Boogiepop being on another planet talking to Echoes or will this be like so many other things and just left unexplained.

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SKETCHES TRAVELER’S JOURNAL – MONSTER HUNTER: WORLD EDITOR’S LOG
SKETCHES TRAVELER'S JOURNAL - MONSTER HUNTER: WORLD EDITOR'S LOG

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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Karandi James
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NENDOROID NO. 1092 THE PROMISED NEVERLAND: EMMA
NENDOROID NO. 1092 THE PROMISED NEVERLAND: EMMA

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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Karandi James
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The Promised Neverland, Vol. 1
The Promised Neverland, Vol. 1

It Isn’t Paranoia When She’s Really Threatening To Kill You

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Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War Episode 6 Review

Much like another anime title this season, Kaguya-Sama Love is War opted to use episode 6 to drop another character into the mix. While Ishigami has so far been relatively entertaining, the dropping him into the story and then treating him like he’d always been there was just a bit off and felt like the author was kind of desperate to expand on the basic concept. I wouldn’t have minded a new member of the council recruited, but after introducing Ishigami he’s just literally always in the student council room even though for five episodes he’s been nowhere to be seen.

Kaguya-Sama Episode 6 Ishigami

That’s ultimately a minor problem, but it is a little jarring as they just try and play it like ‘of course he’s always been here’ and you are left wondering just how much he’s overheard if he actually just sits under the desk all the time (which in itself is a weird thing to wonder, and why was he under the desk).

Kaguya Sama Episode 6 Ishigami talks to Shirogane

Whichever way, Ishigami adds a new element into the anime which so far has been Shinomiya vs Shirogane with Fujiwara essentially disrupting their battles either through design or happenstance. More importantly, Ishigami has seen Shinomiya without the smiling and perfect mask, which makes you wonder why? Given how often Fujiwara has earned Shinomiya’s ire, why did she only drop her guard with Ishigami and clearly threaten him? It seems like a foolish move considering Ishigami does tell Shirogane, even if he does dismiss it. That potentially could have been game over for Shinomiya right then and there.

Kaguya-Sama Episode 6 Shinomiya

I guess I should probably look at the events this episode at some point. They sit in the council room and talk. Bad visual pun. Some fairly solid colour imagery. Terrible personality tests. And then painted nails. Yeah, I think that covers it.

Kaguya Sama Episode 6 Fujiwara

Needless to say, this one still isn’t dazzling me, but unlike the other anime that dumped new characters on us in the mid-season, Ishigami actually does add a lot to the mix of personalities here and the double impact of Ishigami and Fujiwara basically diluting Shinomiya and Shirogane is actually making this much easier watching. I’m not sure that I’m really giving this one much praise in saying that, but despite the plot being pretty shrug worthy I actually did find myself enjoying parts of this episode and the whole thing just kind of flowed along.

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FIRE EMBLEM: THREE HOUSES
FIRE EMBLEM: THREE HOUSES

The Interesting Premise That Just Keeps Putting Me To Sleep

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Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 7 Review

Well, conceptually this remains interesting and the execution remains incredibly dull. I actually did fall asleep during this episode and had to go back and watch again. As much as I’d love to know what is going on, I just find each and every character here completely flat.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 7 Spooky E

In this fourth part of the story VS Imaginator we continue to follow various characters doing various things without really knowing why. We get back story on a relationship between two people who have already well and truly moved on from that point given one is the Imaginator and the other gets brain zapped almost immediately after. It all just has me nodding off and really wondering how they manage to make the interesting concepts here so incredibly boring to watch.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 7
I know they are going for a style here, but this is just ugly to look at.

I do put a lot of the problem down to the visuals. That isn’t the only issue, but when the anime looks very ordinary at best, and frequently ugly, it just can’t visually distract form the unmoving characters and the slow pacing of the plot. With the characters also not being all that interesting (sure they might look interesting on paper but they all just kind of feel the same as they go through the motions of the plot) there’s just not a lot left to save this one.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 7

I’ll definitely finish the series. It has managed to make me want to know what is going on. But that’s about the only thing it has really succeeded at and while it isn’t bad to watch, when I am not so tired that I’m dozing off regardless, it also isn’t something I’m overly keen on. I know I won’t rewatch it no matter how good the ending is because I just don’t have any interest in watching these characters again.

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Karandi James
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F.S.S. DESIGNS 6 XROSS JAMMER
	F.S.S. DESIGNS 6 XROSS JAMMER