The Promised Neverland for Manga Readers, Episode 2

This season, Beneath the Tangles will be offering dual posts each week for The Promised Neverland—one for newbies to the series and one for those who have read the manga. This post is for manga readers and may include spoilers up to the current issue of the manga. Spoilers are allowed in the comments, too. If you want to avoid spoilers, we recommend you read the posts by TWWK, which are spoiler-free and aimed at beginners to the series.

Hi everyone, welcome to this week’s post of The Promised Neverland for Manga Readers! Just as the title suggests, spoilers for up until the latest chapter of the series are free to be discussed in the comments below.

So last year, Kaiu Shirai, the writer for the manga, wrote an autographed message for the fans in celebration of the anime announcement. In it, he mentions on how the scripts for the first three episodes, while still being faithful to the source, would be presenting the story differently. Any fan who has seen this message since then would have already prepared for these changes on some level, but there will always be debates on whether manga-to-anime adaptations should always follow the source right down to the letter. The psychological and suspenseful nature of first arc, as well as the 12-episode count are also factors to consider here, especially in a worst-case scenario where the former might be sacrificed to make room for the latter. However, Shirai’s acknowledgement and implicit approval can be seen as a sign to trust this direction. With all that cleared, I’ll discuss what I’ve observed from CloverWorks’ presentation of this episode.

Chapters 2-5 were adapted for Episode 2. However, it appeared that some parts of the story had to be trimmed out due to time constraints. First off, all internal thoughts and monologues have been cut out so far, but the characters’ expressions and small actions (such as Norman’s hand trembling in fear) come in its place. Certain events were also rearranged, which results in the characters acting slightly differently than in the manga (i.e. Norman and Emma’s conversation on keeping a poker face actually happened before breakfast in the manga, which allowed Emma to appear somewhat less suspicious to Isabella afterwards).

last surprise 1

last surprise 2
Either way, we would have never seen it coming

But the biggest change the anime brought is Krone’s introduction. What the anime left out is that Krone and baby Carol came to the house a few days after Ray was let in on the secret. In that time, Isabella had the main three kids, plus Don and Gilda, do chores for her, which was them actually them unknowingly preparing a room for their new enemy. On one hand, I’ve already seen some fans express disappointment in seeing one example of the show’s mind games left out. However, given the time restraints, this was probably one of the safer parts of the story to edit out of the reel. What I’m hoping for out of this decision is that other relevant conversations and future plot twists within this arc would be rearranged and adjusted in a way that would make it look more natural, direction-wise.

ray frustration 2ray frustration 3

ray frustration

Related to the topic above: Ray. His characterization and interactions with other kids get more of the spotlight compared to the first impression. Seeing Ray react to Emma’s prison escape plan live and in full color adds so much to his thought process with the knowledge that Ray was aware of Grace Field House’s secret long before his friends were. The screencaps of said reaction above present two main emotions: incredulity at Emma’s stubbornness to accept the cold reality before them, and frustration that the effort he’s made on his own escape plan all those years will go to waste because of her. Add in the guilt and depression he’s had from having no choice but to see other children get killed over the years, and you gain a new appreciation for a well-crafted and multi-layered character.

suspicion

The anime also showed just how much Ray was observing Emma and Norman after the night Conny was killed, which would make sense considering how much he’s trying to orchestrate behind the scenes. One of the cons of being familiar with the source material is that it’s hard to tell whether plot twists like this fact are being telegraphed more obviously in the anime. Thankfully, it looks like most of the newer viewers haven’t caught on to it yet. However, the change to Krone’s introduction does makes me a bit uneasy about the future revelation of one more fact about Ray: him already being a mole for Isabella.

Other Notes:

  • I’m in the minority for this, but even in the manga, I never thought the jumpscare with Isabella at the hallway to be that scary. The tension between her and Emma as they were talking, on the other hand, is something that had me on the edge.
  • I’m already seeing a lot of comments about Krone being “a racist stereotype” and such circulating, and I’m wishing now that some of the expository narration about how race among humans in Grace Field House being no issue was shown so this could get settled before it gets annoying.
all races
Let’s be real, this still wouldn’t stop the discourse from happening.
  • The transition from Emma trying to convince Ray on saving everyone to Ray confronting Norman away from Emma was really clever.
  • Oh Norman, your “death flag” in this episode reminds me of just how much stress you put the fandom through later on.
  • I can hear the Killua Zoldyck coming out of Ray’s voice when he talks now
  • Carol is so adorable! I loved seeing this baby girl finally showing up in the story.

    carol
    Oh, you sweet summer child…

Let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments section. Once again, spoilers are free to be discussed here!

thathilomgirl

Michelle's current studies have transported her from the tropical, sunny Philippines to the wildly unpredictable weather of Melbourne. When not busy with the struggles that befall a university student, she usually spends her time connected to her laptop, thinking up ideas for stories and characters, or exploring through the city by herself for ramen and milk tea.

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