The Promised Neverland Season 2 Series Review – Let Us Never Speak of This Again

Neverland Review

The higher expectations the harder the landing – so it is for The Promised Neverland Season 2.

It is a pretty common phenomenon in any long running series that as the story progresses the narrative will begin to add in twists and turns that don’t always sit well with the audience. Characters will make decisions that don’t seem to align with who they were in the beginning, and ultimately only the die-hard fans will watch the entirety of the property. However, The Promised Neverland is only 2 seasons so there’s really no excuse for this mess.

Season one set up a sequel fantastically with the kids dramatically escaping from the farms and venturing forth into the unknown world for the very first time. A sequel was needed and unlike so many other season 2’s, they didn’t even have to contrive the next step of the journey because it was handed to them. What awaited the kids in the world and how would they survive.

With such a beautiful set-up gift-wrapped for season 2, even if they made the decision to deviate from source material and go anime original for reasons that many other bloggers have already discussed, they really could have made a very decent go of season 2.

Please note: there are spoilers here.

The Promised Neverland Season 2
Venturing into the unknown can be scary.

The first episode seemed to indicate that we would get another dark season with the kids facing a range of dangers and having to use their wits and skills to survive. It more or less gave me exactly what I was hoping for in the return to Neverland and that was a glimpse of the world surrounding the farm and seeing the kids now exposed to even greater dangers now that they weren’t protected (even if that protection was just so that they could be raised to a more delicious taste).

Very quickly though, The Promised Neverland Season 2 moved from psychological escape story to meandering journey through a forest making friends, to setting up camp in a bunker, being chased out of the bunker due to some kind of military invasion that was conveniently solved by a monster that seemed to specifically target the adults and all the kids managed to get away.

Then we transitioned to Emma going through some kind of depression as she realised that things weren’t going so great, to Norman conveniently showing up but now he’s all vengeful and unreasonable, to finally one of the most contrived and ridiculous plots to overthrow the powerful I’ve ever seen and idiotically it even worked. All of this in 11 episodes with little to no exploration of a single idea within.

If I focus in on the central three characters from season one we can see where a lot of the story went wrong. Emma was known for her endless optimism and can-do attitude but for a lot of season 2 she’s tired and grim, worn down by her responsibilities. It is a realistic transition for her character but not a welcome one. What’s worse is that the final episodes bounce her back to foolish optimism for no apparent reason and everything just kind of works out because it does.

Season 1 at least required a sacrifice of her ear in order to pull off the rescue she intended and the compromise of leaving the younger children in the farm. She couldn’t have everything. Whereas, the only condition season 2 places on her victory is the death of a character we didn’t care about in the slightest and even a slide-show backstory played seconds before his death wasn’t going to change that or make us care.

Neverland S2 E11 1
Okay, the conclusion I’ve drawn is that Emma is not just naïve, she’s actually completely delusional.

Ray also suffers in season 2 as he becomes simply Emma’s moral support. Gone are his own schemes and machinations as well as any of his snarky comments that really added a little bit of spice into the otherwise sickly sweet cast. Basically, he offers nothing of his own in this season. In almost every one of his scenes he is merely standing beside Emma. He rarely talks to anyone outside of Emma.

Everything about his character has been stripped away and he is just an Emma devotee who exists to progress her plans and encourage her. It’s a little sad for someone who was such a great character in season one.

And then we have Norman. Norman who was the smartest of them all who after being taken away has endured some horrible things however don’t expect to really ever get an understanding of what he was going through because a brief montage is all you’re ever going to get and yet we’re supposed to buy in to the fact that it was dramatic enough to be entirely character altering.

Before Norman was cautious and planned things out well. Now he’s rushing forward with a poorly thought out plan with limited chance of actually succeeding and he’s not even willing to listen to Emma-logic (which is always right because she’s Emma). Norman’s character makes some incredibly stupid decisions in this season before he ends up hugging and making up with Emma and Ray and then he just throws his lot in with the Emma fan-club and everyone is team Emma.

What a waste of two of the three main characters from the previous season who were both fantastically written characters once upon a time.

Neverland S2 E7 4
This is not Norman. Norman thinks through a range of possibilities and keeps options open.

Other characters come and go throughout this season as Isabella gets revealed early on but then does nothing until the end and newcomers Mujika and Sonju are introduced but other than helping the kids little is done about giving them their own personality. Sonju briefly shows glimpses of who he is early on but in every future scene simply quietly helps out with whatever the kids request. The various other demons we meet along the way leave little impression and the laughably badly characterised Peter Ratri leaves an impression but it isn’t one that is particularly good for the series.


Visually and in terms of direction season 2 is a step backward in everyway to season one. Even the early episodes of season 2 made this clear with the odd angles and shot compositions used so well in season one of The Promised Neverland to create an atmosphere that was tense and unsettling being completely absent. Season 2 is almost entirely a series of talking heads and when you do get longer shot types they are straight on and direct.

No odd perspectives or cut-aways, no clever use of shadows or anything else to really add anything to the viewing experience. That said, we were outside of Grace Field Farm so maybe they were trying to establish a different tone for the broader world. But even giving the earlier episodes of The Promised Neverland Season 2 the benefit of the doubt, nothing is going to defend the final few episodes that almost forego actual animation using stills and pans to convey almost the entirety of the final conflict.

Neverland S2 E11 2
Someone should have stopped whoever was green-lighting this series.

Even the mid-season episodes very much give us scene after scene of kids standing around with one person talking and barely animated with the other kids being completed still before we get a close-up of a frozen reaction expression. These conversations are long, circular, and repeated and there’s almost no animation taking place in these scenes. They are dull to watch and with little content to actually draw you in you can’t help but pay attention to how bland this season looks compared to its predecessor as well as just how little effort had seemingly gone into it.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 3
I kind of wish the bunker had been more meaningful than a one off stop that was quickly abandoned.

So we have a plot that makes no sense and rushes us from sequence to sequence but gives us no reason to care about any of the events, characters who are no longer interesting and compelling but go through the motions anyway, and animation and direction that seems to just take the quickest option to get through this ‘story’ with the least amount of effort. It is all just a bit sad to watch unfold and really viewers who haven’t already jumped in to season 2 can just end with the escape from the farm.

Lots of stories do end with characters stepping out into the unknown and leave it the audience to figure out what is next. There’s no reason we can’t just pretend season 2 never happened. Some people will tell you to jump in and read the source but not every anime viewer wants to do that. Season 2 certainly didn’t encourage me to remain invested in this particularly property.

I will take one final swipe at the final plot the kids come up with. We see a preparation montage and then suddenly we have multiple fully functioning hot-air balloons (I can assure you that their preparations would not have logically achieved this), that they then navigate, in darkness, to multiple precise locations in order to launch their final assault. I can only assume that the writers have never actually watched a hot-air balloon or talked to anyone who has tried to navigate one because pretty sure untrained children pilots would have failed at this somewhat spectacularly.

Not to mention, part of their plan seemed to involve the enemies spearing the balloons so they crashed inside the farms but what would they have done if they’d downed the balloons over that huge ravine surrounding the entire complex? So much could have gone wrong here it defied belief. That by the end of the entire final conflict the balloons seem the least of the issues just kind of points out how insane and inept this story really got by the end.

Neverland S2 5
Nothing can go wrong with this plan.

I watched season 2 week to week with a friend of mine who I managed to get to watch season one because it was amazing. He takes a lot of convincing to watch an anime with me and usually we watch shows I’ve finished and can sell him on. He agreed to season 2 because of the strength of the first season and then progressively became more vocal in his disapproval of season 2 as it continued.

By the final episode we were both just raising our eye-brows and throwing up our hands and ultimately had abandoned any hope of The Promised Neverland actually delivering anything worthwhile in season 2. After I finish writing this review we’ve both agreed just to pretend season 2 didn’t happen.

Images used for review from: The Promised Neverland Season 2. Dir. M Kanbe. CloverWorks. 2021.

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Karandi James

Is Season 2 Of The Promised Neverland Weaker Than Its Predecessor?

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Discussion

Episode 6 has finally aired and now I’m taking a look at how the second season has measured up to season 1.

There will be no real surprise for my regular readers when I say I really enjoyed season 1 of The Promised Neverland. I found the tension and pacing nicely done even if there was an over reliance on cliff-hangers, found some of the direction to be interesting and added to the overall atmosphere, and the tight narrative arc of the kids realising the situation they were in and then struggling to overcome the obstacles and escape to just be really satisfying to watch. I finished my season 1 review of The Promised Neverland with the statement that I highly recommended it.

So as we pass the halfway mark of season 2, am I feeling the same way?

Not so much.

The Promised Neverland Episode 9 Ray and Emma

Now I want to be clear that my issues with season 2 do not stem from the variation from the source material. Hunting around online it seems like a lot of people are finding the adaptation a little on the lacking side. However, I deliberately did not read past where season 1 ended so for me whether the anime follows the events in the manga isn’t the most important thing.

What I am more concerned about is that visually The Promised Neverland seems to have lost its identity and so far season 2 hasn’t really had much in the way of focus to drive the plot forward and with that overall the series has lost any sense of tension. Throw in a time-skip and multiple setting changes and it is generally hard to say that at this point I’m particularly invested in anything that is happening despite being interested and genuinely wanting to learn more about the demon world and to see how the kids ultimately either save (or don’t save) the other kids on the farm.

And that’s a weird position to be in. To be interested but not invested.

When I started really thinking about it, I realised that almost all of my interest, is left over from the season one finale when the kids took their first steps out of Grace Field and into an unknown world. There was a real sense of mystery and excitement with a little trepidation because if children were being farmed it really didn’t bode well for what would be beyond the wall.

While the first couple of episodes of season 2 seemed to be wanting to fulfil that sense of curiosity as the kids traversed the forest being pursued by demons, we quickly moved on. First by meeting a pair of intelligent demons who didn’t seem to want to eat them, then to the promised shelter left by the plot device ‘Minerva’.

This is before being chased out of the shelter and back to the forest where one of the monsters conveniently attacked the pursuers but not the pursued, before we had several months skipped over and the kids are now living in a run-down temple, before we drop the presumed dead Norman back into the plot for episode 6 – which suffered generally from having almost no animation.

Characters stood or sat around chatting and the camera angles bounced around but it couldn’t disguise the fact that most of the characters barely moved throughout the entire episode.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 3

When we compare this with season ones generally narrow story line of Emma, Ray and Norman observing their surroundings, identifying the obstacles, and training and recruiting the kids to help in their plans, season 2 has so far felt incredibly unfocused. In season one, I found the arrival and subsequent disruption caused by Sister Krone to be largely unnecessary, other than it showed that even the humans who worked for the demons weren’t exactly getting a smooth run.

Outside of that it felt like every line of dialogue, every interaction, every weird close up from the camera seemed to have some kind of purpose and fed into the narrative.

Season 2 of The Promised Neverland has some great scenes. The kids training to hunt, their first night in the shelter, even Emma’s interaction with the blind demon in the temple were nicely put together sequences. However there’s no thread holding it all together other than the kids are trying to survive and may eventually get back to save the other kids.


And perhaps it is deliberate. Where season one used darker colours (when the kids weren’t outside playing) and strange POV’s to create a near claustrophobic setting at times as the kid’s world closed in around them, season two seems to be opening things up creating many choices and possibilities but leaving the kids adrift. They’ve accomplished what was thought to be impossible but now they aren’t sure what their next steps are. Perhaps all this aimless wandering is designed to help the audience feel how lost the characters are.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 3

Does a different tone and feeling, the story moving into a new space and the kids not as certain of their path, make this second season of The Promised Neverland weaker?

Honestly, each viewer is going to decide for themselves. For me, I know that if this wasn’t a second season of an anime I was already attached to, season 2 has been decidedly on the average side. Whether or not it ends up being worth it will depend on what the second half of the season intends to do now that Norman is back in the mix. However, as so much of what I loved about season one seems to be missing in season 2, and even Emma (one of my favourite characters from 2019) seems a little lacklustre in this season, my view is that The Promised Neverland season 2 has so far been a significantly weaker entry than season 1.

Karandi Sad Transparent
Okay, I’m not really crying about it, but it has still been a little disappointing.

It isn’t yet at the point where the story cannot recover and find its feet. I mean, I went through a similar situation with Attack on Titan where the first half of season one was this amazing roller-coaster ride that I just loved and then the second half and most of season 2 really left me feeling pretty meh about the entire franchise before season 3 hooked me back in.

Still, I am curious as to how my readers feel about season 2 of The Promised Neverland. I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave us a comment.

Images used for review from:

  • The Promised Neverland Season 2. Dir. M Kanbe. Cloverworks. 2021.
  • The Promised Neverland Season 1. Dir. M. Kanbe. Cloverworks. 2019

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Karandi James

The Promised Neverland Series Review

The Promised Neverland Episode 4 Ray, Emma and Norman

The Slow Burn With The Satisfying Conclusion

Where do you even start with The Promised Neverland?

As a viewing experience it is an extraordinary roller coster of emotional highs and lows, of fearing for the safety of characters, of being annoyed at times by the distractions of minor characters or plot points, but ultimately it is a viewing experience that makes you glad that you gave this anime the time. While it isn’t flawless by any means and some scenes are obviously contrived simply to evoke particular emotions and aren’t as nuanced as they could be in doing so, there’s so much to genuinely like and enjoy about The Promised Neverland that it almost feels like you are being petty to point these out.

The Promised Neverland Episode 1 Emma and Norman

The Promised Neverland had a phenomenal first episode. It was tightly paced, beautifully directed, introduced the three main characters and their situation in a way that really hit all the right buttons, and opened up a lot of potential for the ongoing plot. In short, it did everything it needed to do as a first episode. When you combine all of that with a great opening song, Touch Off, as well as the likeable cast and you have something that is going to grab viewers.

And grab them it did.

For readers of the manga the viewing experience was a little different, but I went into this series cold. The genres listed for it included mystery and horror and while there is certainly a mystery and some elements are horrific, I think if you go in looking for this type of story you are more likely to be disappointed. The other genre tags of psychological and shounen fit the story much better and it does succeed admirably in these areas.

Still, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that a lot of the hook of that first episode was the horror movie feeling in seemed to emulate in the final moments. That definitely grabbed my undivided attention and made me really excited for what was going to come next. While few scenes afterward reach the same levels in that regard, it doesn’t really matter. The story builds to a satisfying conclusion and there is a suitable level of darkness permeating the content to justify that first impression even if it isn’t the main goal.


Part of what helped develop the atmosphere of this anime was the direction. From early in the series we had some interesting angles and shots of characters constructing a slightly disconcerting and distorted view of the characters and world. While it isn’t every scene and many sequences are unremarkable, there were certainly enough sequences where we’d switch to point of view, or have various symbols such  as clocks or bars prominent within the scene, or use of light and shadow, to really make the viewing itself an experience.

That isn’t to say everything worked beautifully. One effect where the entire image swayed as if attached to the pendulum of the clock just kind of made me queasy and seemed all too much and other scenes felt a little on the nose or too blunt. However, when The Promised Neverland got it right, it was truly remarkable and memorable. The scene where Norman walked down the hall by himself to get some water was a wonderful display of direction to create atmosphere and to frame a character in a particular way. It gave the scene everything it needed to have it hit exactly the right emotional chord.

The Promised Neverland Episode 9 Norman

However, the real standout of this anime are the main characters. Emma, Ray and Norman are a fantastic trio who complement one another in a seemingly effortless manner. The interactions between them are always delightful and even if the characters seem older than their years in terms of their reasoning, they play their assigned role within the story well.

I’ve written a whole post about Emma as the beating heart of the story and she certainly deserved it. While the story is very much about the characters responding to circumstance, these characters, led by Emma, really elevate what essentially becomes a prison break story into something that is completing engrossing.

The Promised Neverland Episode 9

Each of these characters get their own development and story throughout this series and while there are some heavy question marks over the fate of one of them, it is an incredibly satisfying journey. There is a reveal for Ray that again, isn’t quite as well thought out as some of the other revelations, and potentially can lead to immersion breaking for the viewer, however it isn’t enough to take away from all of his excellent character moments prior to that so for me it wasn’t that big of a problem. Still, stepping back I might wish they’d just not included that (and I won’t say what it is because I’m trying to write this post as spoiler free as possible).

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Like the main trio, Isabella is an amazing character as the visual representation of the enemy in this story. She is the Mother of the house and she is smart and ruthless. While for the majority of the story she seems to be a passive observer, it is actually scarier how easily she seems to thwart the plans of the kids without even exerting much in the way of effort. I truly enjoyed her character during the Winter anime season and I wish we had more characters like her.

The Promised Neverland Episode 4 Mother and Sister Krone

That does though lead on to the character I liked the least, Sister Krone. She’s so over the top and all over the place as a character it is almost impossible to take any scene she is in seriously. Added to that her actions and interferences ultimately contribute to very little in terms of the overall plot and she just feels like a caricature that doesn’t fit within the narrative.

Even an episode devoted to a flash back o her life couldn’t make me all the sympathetic toward her or help me to really understand her overall motives in a way that would justify it. Of all the potential criticisms of The Promised Neverland, Krone would be the one that is most clearly an issue as she just doesn’t have enough anything to offset her ridiculousness at times.

The Promised Neverland Episode 3 Sister Krone

But, that is one character and one issue, and it isn’t enough to take the shine off the rest of this anime. You may have noticed I’m avoiding discussing the plot, and that’s mostly because it really is impossible to discuss without spoilers and it kind of is more fun going in without knowing. The kids need to escape from the house and Isabella is going to try to stop them. That’s the crux of the story developed this season and while there are larger events and world building that will lead on to events that I guess will be explored in the second season, it really isn’t needed in this story.

The Promised Neverland Episode 12 - Emma and Phil

If you want a nicely told story with a clear problem or hurdle to be overcome by the characters and you don’t mind a little bit of a slow burn to get there provided there’s some solid atmosphere, The Promised Neverland will deliver a very solid afternoon of entertainment and I highly recommend it.

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Karandi James

Up Close With Emma

The Promised Neverland Episode 5 Emma

She’s one of a trio of precocious eleven year olds who learn her whole life is a lie. Emma from The Promised Neverland shines and today I want to take a closer look at her. I am however only looking at the first season of the anime and what we’ve seen of Emma so far there.

There will however be some spoilers for the anime.

The Promised Neverland Episode 9

Fortunately, Emma is one shining character who carries every scene she is in. She’s the glue that holds the central trio together and drives the narrative in The Promised Neverland, and while she might not be as smart as Ray or Norman it is safe to say that without Emma the story would have been dead in the water. While they think and plan, Emma is the one puts things into action.

What is so great about Emma?

The Promised Neverland Episode 1 Emma and friends

Right from episode one, we see that Emma is a character who nurtures those around her. She is fiercely protective of her ‘family’ and when she learns they are in danger and that the world they are in is a lie she is driven to take action. Only, escape isn’t her only goal. She wants to save everyone.

Norman knows this is foolish. Ray doesn’t just know it to be foolish, he openly opposes the idea of trying to save everyone and makes his own deal with Norman behind Emma’s back. But, Emma is resolute.

The Promised Neverland Episode 7 Emma and Norman

That is what makes the ending of season one of The Promised Neverland so incredibly surprising. Emma doesn’t get all of the kids out of the orphanage but not because Ray tricked her or she failed. She makes her own decision that it isn’t time. After refusing to compromise or to give in, Emma makes the only compromise she can and that is to not save everyone just now. She’ll save those she can now, those who are in danger, and resolve to finish the job later.

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It is such an unusual move for a protagonist in this kind of story. They normally take an all or nothing approach sacrificing life and limb for their ideals.

Emma is idealistic. She has a goal so big it will change her whole world. But she won’t lay down her life, or anyone else’s to achieve it, because that defeats the purpose of achieving it.

Emma is a protagonist the likes of which we have never really seen before. She lies at times but feels guilty. She isn’t above underhanded actions or leaning on others, but Emma ultimately is the strength that props everyone else up and encourages them to be more than they thought they could. All of those kids believed in her and helped with the plan because of Emma.

The Promised Neverland Episode 12 - Morning

It was a real joy to spend time with Emma during season one of The Promised Neverland and I look forward to seeing her in action during season two next year.

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Karandi James

The Great Escape

The Promised Neverland post title image

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

Someone Tell Ray That Self-Immolation Is Not A Plan

The Promised Neverland post title image

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

Where To Without The Promise of Tomorrow?

The Promised Neverland post title image

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

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