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.
Welcome back, guys! Phil sure gave us such a fright when he opened that door last week, didn’t he? Episode 6 mainly covered the introduction of William Minerva, as well as Don and Gilda finally being in the know, which took place in Chapters 16-19.
Barring some minor expository panels, we actually got a near one-by-one adaptation of what happened in these chapters. As I thought in last week’s article, Phil opening the door to Isabella’s room was a fake-out meant to be a cliffhanger, which thankfully lets Don be able to snatch the master key from Isabella. In addition to that, we get what was originally a flashback in Chapter 34, which is Norman discovering Ray’s secret trump card for the escape.
The direction the anime took this week was definitely more dynamic and played with the atmospheric feeling of dread and anxiety well compared to other recent episodes. One of the highlights of this direction is the juxtaposition of the main trio looking into the William Minerva bookplates with Don and Gilda’s discovery of what was inside the secret room. Both scenes involve seeking the truth of the world around them, but while one scene shows a ray of hope, another presents despair and distrust to the ones investigating.
Don and Gilda learning the actual truth of Grace Field House and the aftermath that ensued is done a bit differently here, not in how the characters act, but in the environment it took place in. In both cases, they start the scene after dinner, in the dimly lit dinner room. However, where Don storms out afterwards is where the two mediums diverge. The manga had him and the accompanying scenes take place in the hallway outside the room, while the anime had all of that at the backyard outside the house. Personally, I think the anime made a wise choice in making that decision, not only as it presents excellent symbolism through various framing shots, but also because if it stuck to what the manga did, it probably would create a bigger break in suspension within the viewers in how a conversation as heated and loud as it got didn’t get noticed by anyone else other than Krone, who was already outside when she witnessed it.
One last thing I’ll address before we get into the smaller details is the crux of the entire confrontation scene with Don and Gilda: trust.
As I wrote in the article for episode 4, telling Don and Gilda the human trafficking lie was a big mistake on Norman and Emma’s part. The anime left out the panels shown above, which provide some clearer insight into the close relationships that the children share with each other and the consequences that one decision brought with it. These children have grown up with each other for years that Gilda fully understood that Emma wouldn’t lie to them just for kicks. Don himself even said that it wasn’t the lie itself that made him angry; it was that Norman and Emma’s decision never took into account the possibility that he and Gilda could handle the truth. Even if they didn’t storm through the secret room, if those two had found out the truth during or after the escape, it could bring much more disastrous consequences for both them and the other younger children coming with since they wouldn’t be fully prepared for whatever might go wrong along the way. The lie, however well-meaning it may have been, shows not only their lack of faith and how they think about them, but also makes the recipients feel guilt and shame at that idea they had to be lied to because they were weak and powerless.
That’s not to say that the whole situation was that bad in the long run. It is thanks to this experience that Emma now knows a surefire way to get the younger children to escape with them fully prepared, as we will see soon.
- Fun Fact: The first manuscript for this series that Kaiu Shirai submitted to Weekly Shonen Jump in 2013 was titled A Way For Us To Survive In This World [Kono Sekai de Watashitachi ga Ikiru Houhou /この世界でわたしたちが生きる方法], which is referenced in this screencap.
- CloverWorks is clearly wanting to stick with this series to the end, otherwise they wouldn’t have put in so much detail into these books that will become vital post-escape.
- There’s more foreshadowing on how the actual escape plan will go besides Norman finding Ray’s secret weapon
- It didn’t show as much as the manga panel did, but the anime was still pretty accurate with this scene
Let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments section. Once again, spoilers are free to be discussed here!