The Promised Neverland’s First Episode Promises Much, Will It Deliver?

The Promised Neverland post title image

The Promised Neverland Episode 1 Review

I kind of wanted to go with a Peter Pan reference for the title. Something along the lines of, “These kids really won’t grow up,” but it seemed a little bit facetious particularly as I’m going in blind to this series. While I did buy the first volume of the manga it is currently sitting in my reading backlog though after this first episode I’m kind of desperate to go devour it because while I know not everything is out yet this season, but this anime is kind of the one I’m most excited about right now.

The Promised Neverland Episode 1 Emma and friends

There was a lot of hype in the pre-season about The Promised Neverland, but after the snore-fest that Angels of Death turned out to be I have definitely become better at filtering out pre-season chatter. I went in to this episode expecting very little and instead found a well directed, well structured, and beautifully paced premiere that instantly drew me into this story and these characters. Every single scene feels meaningfully thought out and nothing takes up more screen time then it should. The establishment of the happy orphanage with the understanding that things are not what they seem is beautifully portrayed and while you may not know what the actual reveal is going to be, you have a fair idea of Conny’s fate.

The Promised Neverland Episode 1 Conny

See, this isn’t relying on shock factor. It isn’t relying on a jump scares. It is genuinely building up a world where things are genuinely horrific for the characters and while the audience is let in on the wrongness of the world through a myriad of visual cues, we discover exactly what that wrongness is at the same time as the characters in a sequence that manages to make our protagonists look as small and vulnerable as they actually are in this world.

The Promised Neverland Episode 1 Emma and Norman

While I won’t deny things might go south for this series, the first episode was a fantastic introduction to this world. It revealed enough to make it feel purposeful while giving us a million questions. At the same time, it has given me the confidence to believe the answers to those questions are going to be explored.

I will definitely be watching this one. For an anime title tagged with horror, this one comes across as fairly smart and so far has been incredibly engaging, and I will admit I am far more intrigued by the sci-fi aspect after the second half of the episode. All and all, this one has hooked me and I am hungry for more.

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12 thoughts on “The Promised Neverland’s First Episode Promises Much, Will It Deliver?

  1. I’m not very up to date with new releases but this one sounds great! I am really intrigued by it, so I’ll have to give it a go this week 🙂

    Thanks for a great intro to this series!

  2. I have been following the manga and I am afraid my expectations are a bit high for this one, I think I’ll wait for the series review before watching it:)

  3. I would love to see this show go more with “suspense” than “horror.” The premise is solid and the storytelling, engaging. There’s a LOT of potential here.

    1. Suspense would be good to. There’s just so few solid horror anime it would be nice to get a decent one. Last year was completely devoid of anything horror that was actually good (though King’s Game was amusing at least).

    2. As a reader of the manga, I wouldn’t really classify it as horror—but rest assured, it is quite suspenseful. The first story arc is one of the best story arcs out there, and the preceding arcs are good too.

      1. Glad to hear the suspenseful bit! I’m just not a fan of the horror genre, at all.

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