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!)

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warning! spoilers ahead!

EPISODE 12 OF THE PROMISED NEVERLAND 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)

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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 climbing.com

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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.

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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.

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still my greatest accomplishment!!!

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Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

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Frankenstein Family Episodes 11 + 12

There are very few words for how disappointing these final two episodes are. Mostly because this demonstrates an incredible lack of either planning to end the story at a reasonable rest point OR lack of care for an audience that will be left without anything resembling closure and no announcement of follow up. While not every story will resolve everything perfectly, ending a final season episode with a cliff-hanger and literally just dropping the story there is kind of the laziest path imaginable. The only time it is excusable is when the resolution is already planned and a release date for a follow up has already been announced and even then it is still a poor way to end a season.

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Even if I ignore the lack of anything resembling a resolution here just the sheer leaps some of these characters went through in terms of their personalities in the space of the last three episodes were a little ridiculous. While I get all of the characters were in fact keeping some of their inner nature in check out of consideration and abandoning that position was going to result in some changes, that doesn’t account for some of the decisions and statements these characters suddenly came out with for the sake of a dramatic climax. It all just kind of made me wonder what I’d been watching the nine or ten episodes leading up to this.

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I will do a full season review of this at some point, but honestly, I don’t think any pleasant enjoyment from the earlier episodes can offset this ending so it probably isn’t going to be a favourable review. That said, I will give myself some time to reflect and think about the series as a whole and to distance myself from the current feeling of disappointment before I write it.

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Frankenstein Family Episodes 9 + 10

Episodes 9 and 10 bring some heavy drama in the form of Snow getting sick and the family rallying to help him. Somewhere along the line that turned into Snow turning into a half-dog monster and running into Sumire (the girl Tanisu has been crushing on). After saving Sumire from getting dirty clothes and lending her an umbrella even though she was already drenched, Snow ends up with a lap pillow just as Tanisu shows up. Oh the drama.

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I’ve really enjoyed the family dynamic of this anime, but this episode really pushed it a little too far. Whether it was Suishi meeting randoms from the internet in search of medicine (even knowing the land lord was fetching medicine anyway) or Tanisu’s dual personality drama and freak out after the disappointment of a lost first love, it all just came off as a little bit more trite than I would have liked. Throw in the over the top lightning storm to add to the drama and the whole thing blew out to eye-roll worthy proportions.

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That isn’t to say there wasn’t any fun to be had, more that this is definitely going to remain a fairly ordinary kind of series. Fun for a once watch and then I’ll move on and probably forget most of these characters. Anyway, with two episodes to go, I’m interested to find out whether the landlord gets let in on the secret or not.

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Frankenstein Family Episodes 7 + 8

With the cliff-hanger ending of episode 6 to be resolved and the issue of whether or not the kids can trust the landlord, episodes 7 and 8 manage to be pretty interesting even while not a lot actually happens in Frankenstein Family.

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I’m not a big fan of flash backs during dramatic moments given I kind of feel that if the information was important and is necessary to really understand the emotional impact of the scene we probably should have already seen it prior to the moment. Yet, Frankenstein Family uses a flash back quite nicely as we see the twins confronting one another, the spider being restrained by the plant and the end result being something visually amazing even while the mind boggles at the implications. Seeing the twins as children and how close they were/are really did add something to the moment and it wasn’t drawn out too long, given the shorter run time of the episodes. All and all, this was a pretty well done sequence.

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I do worry about Tanisu’s priorities and how much of an influence his parents have clearly been on him though given his first thought on seeing this was to collect samples.

We then move into a sequence that focuses on the landlord and whether the kids can trust him. I assume sooner or later the cat is going to come out of the bag whether the kids tell him or not given it seems impossible the girls can keep applying make up or wearing a back pack forever. The sequence is simple enough with him buying furniture online and then taking the kids to collect it. On failing to get to the seller first, Tanisu ends up guiding the group to the dump and they scavenge some pieces to build their own. It works well and the group dynamic continues to be a strength of the show. It also helped the landlord integrate a little with the rest of the cast where before he was very much on the outside. While he still doesn’t know the secret, at least he now feels more like he might become a part of the group.

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So while not an amazing show, Frankenstein Family continues to deliver an interesting enough meander through the life of these kids. It would be nice if it does delve into some of the darker subject matter, but just seeing their daily lives is actually kind of fun.

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Frankenstein Family Episode 6

This week we finally get to see the ‘side-effects’ of the medicine that makes the sister’s look human. We knew they existed but seeing it is kind of scary.

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The landlord is still trying to bond and so invites the kids out to the mountains for a hike. They all go along and we realise that Sumire’s class is also hiking in the mountains leading to a very happy Tanisu trying to play knight in shining armour before his older brother Snow ends up sweeping Sumire off her feet. That will be fun when they go to resolve that plot line.

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However the hike continues and eventually we hit the time limit with both sisters losing control as the medicine wears off and it seems they become the extreme form of their mutation with the spider girl going full monster while the plant girl seems to be rooting into the ground. Of course this isn’t resolved this episode but it seems like a genuinely tricky situation and makes you wonder what the long term plan might be given they clearly cannot keep taking the medication.

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Frankenstein Family Episode 5

This week the kids finish infiltrating the lab and retrieving what they need, meanwhile the landlord returns and tries to make friends with a mind-reader.

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This episode is fairly uneventful in that we continue the infiltration before returning home but not a lot happens other than what you would expect from their mission. The kids manage to avoid detection in getting to the safe but then the girls need to use the bathroom. The flushing toilet alerts some researchers and so they are forced to use a small amount of violence to knock them out. It is all pretty much expected.

What is nice in this episode is seeing the characters each visit their old rooms and how they react both to seeing the space again and to leaving. It is short, but a nice moment in terms of seeing each of the characters.

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Then of course they return to their new home where Suishi has been keeping the landlord company (though given the awkwardness between them that probably isn’t the best description). Finally a pizza dinner, some chit-chat and then the episode ends. It is a little unfortunate the episode ends without us learning anything about the landlords intentions or even what the kids plan on doing next given there’s not a lot of compelling ideas driving this and it is more just kind of watching the family day to day. There isn’t anything wrong with that but it isn’t the most bingeable watching.

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Frankenstein Family Episode 4

Minor correction from my review of episodes 1 and 2; it turns out Snow is actually an older brother rather than a sister. That doesn’t change a lot about the show, but I felt I should correct it.

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Episode 4 has the family returning to the lab as Tanisu has decided he needs the research on the medicine to help his sisters pass as human so they might be able to live normal lives. The sisters for the most part are just thrilled to get to return to the lab which clearly shows that for them being experimented on was not some horrendous trauma they were trying to escape from. It is interesting given normally this set up of kids being used for experiments has the kids trying to burn down the place of their transformation rather than eagerly returning to it and hoping to stay.

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I am curious as to what will be discovered in the lab but the journey there took the run time of this episode so I guess we’ll have to wait until the next episodes are released. I think the best thing about this show is how the family dynamic actually feels genuine despite the various modifications. The siblings really work well together to keep this show rolling along.

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