First Impressions: The Promised Neverland (from Readers of the Manga)

The orphans at Grace Field House have it really good: there’s a caretaker that loves them like a mother would, a big yard and forest that they can go play in, and each gets the chance to live with foster families by the time they’re 12 years old. Sure, there’s some unusual rules that come with the place, like having to take rigorous tests daily and wearing an all-white uniform at all times, but as long as they don’t leave beyond the premises, it’s all good! Emma, Norman and Ray are not only the oldest, but also the highest scoring among the kids there, and they have about a year left before they turn 12. One night, however, Emma and Norman find out a dark secret about the orphanage that changes everything they knew about the world around them…



As someone who’s been following the manga for almost two years, you can imagine just how much I have been waiting for this anime. I had been concerned over what could possibly go wrong in bringing the story to life, but thankfully my fears were laid to rest with this episode.

First off, the reveal of the demons and Conny’s tragic fate was done perfectly. There was the right amount of tension and fear in how those scenes were directed, especially with Emma and Norman’s horrified reactions. And regarding the characters, it was great seeing more added interactions among the other kids, and all the subtle movements shown in the animation just made them come alive even more.

There was a lot of foreshadowing added in this episode, with Ray’s character especially, as well as the OP and ED. It’s probably a bit too on-the-nose for me at times, but that’s just due to being well-versed with the story by now. On the other hand, the anime’s also put a new spin on certain surprising scenes, probably to keep manga readers on the edge as well.

Finally the music fits the series greatly, with the main theme soundtrack getting a special mention. Hearing it play when Emma falls into despair and then hope in escaping the house hit a right spot for me.

Overall, a great adaptation to a great series, with a promising future ahead of it!


My thanks to thathilomgirl for the synopsis above. Like her, I’ve been following the manga since it began: My very first issue of Weekly Shonen Jump included TPN chapter one! Since then, I’ve read quite a few “jump starts”, and a few were actually pretty good; but not a one has been as compelling as TPN. Between the character interplay, the mind-game plot twists, and the sublime artwork, it’s simply among the best manga in terms of quality.

So my reaction to the news that it would be receiving an anime was a mix of excitement and trepidation. On the one hand, I don’t think I’ve looked forward to any anime as much as this one; on the other, how likely would it match the standard set by the manga?

I need not have worried. One may always nitpick, but the TPN anime’s first episode delivers a solid performance. Watching it, I felt like it had a somewhat different ‘feel’ from the manga, but the same ‘flavor’, if that makes any sense. In other words, the story was told a bit differently, but I felt like I recognized the same people I’ve come to care about. And knowing what was going to happen did not detract from the enjoyment.

It’s been said (at least by me) that a good story is one you enjoy once; a great story is one you enjoy twice. Once you know all plot surprises, is there anything that brings you back to the tale anyway? For The Promised Neverland, there can be no doubt.

And yet, I’m still a bit jealous of you who are about to enjoy this for the first time.

The Promised Neverland can be streamed on Crunchyroll, Hulu, FunimationNow, and HIDIVE.


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