The Promised Neverland

The Promised Neverland

Emma, Norman and Ray are three orphaned children that live at Gracefield House with many other orphans – and they all look after one another as siblings. They all learn and grow under the caring eye of Mom and live happy, fulfilling lives.

When the time comes for one of them to leave the orphanage, they get sent off with a smile, for they all know their sibling is going outside to live the rest of their life with a family. They’re so content with their new family that they always forget to send the others letters. Not another thought was spared for this, however, until one day Emma and Norman followed a leaving sibling and found something that made it clear that they needed to escape the house before it was finally their turn to leave…

I had only gotten halfway into episode one of The Promised Neverland and new that this one was staying in my queue. There was a creeping sense of horror that hooked me in before I even knew what it was. Such a sense of innocence and joy, played out in a way that you just knew that something foreboding was just around the corner. And with so much happening in the first couple of episodes, you know that this isn’t just going be a cut-and-dry escape mission.

Emma, Norman and Ray complement each other very well. All three of them are top of their classes and they are also the oldest. Emma is athletic, positive and kind; Norman is calm, strategic and logical; Ray is resourceful, cautious and realistic. Between them, they begin to do what they have to in order to formulate a plan that will enable them and everyone else in the orphanage, to escape from Mom’s watchful eye. However, having lived only in the orphanage, they have no way of predicting the machinations of the outside world, and how they all fit into a bigger, darker plot.

The opening music is UVERworld’s ‘Touch off’ and it is one of the most catchy songs I’ve heard in a long time. Fast-paced with an edge of drama, it sets the scene well for the anime. In fact, the music used throughout this anime is so emotive, incredibly important and very memorable – particularly towards the end of the anime with some of the sadder scenes.

There’s something so thrilling to how the story is played out. Every time I picked up this anime I found myself compulsively watching all the episodes available and feeling deflated having to wait for weekly instalments. It’s not only the huge dollops of suspense thrown in towards the end of the episodes, but it has that ‘Game of Thrones’ effect where I feel that no one is truly save. Even when Emma announced that she wasn’t leaving the orphanage without every one of her 30+ siblings, I just knew that wasn’t going to happen. But the narrative of The Promised Neverland is deliciously unpredictable, so I’m hoping that this one will continue to surprise me until the very end.

Having come up to the last couple of episodes, things have gotten darker and I’m beginning to wonder if there can possibly be a happy ending for all three of our main characters, let alone every single child in the orphanage. Time is running out and the stakes have been raised, and knowing all the obstacles that still lie in their way make escape from this horror show little more than a pipe-dream. But I know that there’s still something this anime is holding back, and I can’t wait to find out what it is.