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.
So now we’re at Episode 8, and we’ve hit that part of the arc where things start to take even more interesting and terrifying turns.
The anime covered Chapters 23 to 25, with some panels of Chapter 26. Here’s a surprising breath of fresh air: the anime puts in two examples of actual internal monologue in this episode. The first one was presented at the moment of Krone’s death, as she essentially wishes the children good luck on their escape plan as they blissfully eat lunch together. The second example happens shortly afterwards, when Ray summarizes the inspection plan as the kids set it off into motion. Any other changes we see are very too minor to affect the story.
Krone’s life flashing back before her eyes as she desperately tries to fight off death finally provides us a proper understanding on how she became the adult she was now through the Grace Field system, which had also been discussed in the previous episodes’ articles. Seeing Krone being the only person shown in color in the monochrome-tinted flashbacks makes the gradual change in her personality more poignant and pronounced, especially in the way her innocence and softness fades away from her appearance as grows older. Her actually fighting the demon off and trying to run away was an anime-original addition which I personally think should be appreciated, as it’s not only in-character for her to do so, but also the manga never got to really show her actually struggle that much as death inches in on her.
One special note I need to make about Krone’s flashback is that we get to see the first appearance of Smee, one of the then-surviving supporters of William Minerva, discreetly dropping the pen that would be vital for the children post-escape. It certainly was a gamble on his part hoping that someone at headquarters would pick it up and help out somewhat after realize what it really was. Nonetheless, that gamble paid off well in the end, even if he did lose his life in the process (or so we hear, according to Norman).
Grandma’s last remarks to Krone, as well as Isabella making her big power move near the end of the episode, adds a lot more to how the system negatively affects all the people who take part in it. Grandma sees the women who work under her thumb as pawns in her game of survival and success, and is more than willing to manipulate or kill anyone in her way that may be seen as an obstacle. We see no instance of goodwill or friendship from the women who chose to participate to be a Sister or Mom, all because they’re competing against each other for those coveted roles. And while Isabella does not present clearly unhealthy coping mechanisms the same way Krone does with her doll, her plea to the kids to give up resistance shows how her genuine love for the children in her care has been twisted and corrupted greatly. She says that she doesn’t want them to suffer, despite the kids clearly knowing the security and warmth she offers is temporary in addition to being fake. Isabella’s learned helplessness to her situation is not only something that she passes down to her own son Ray, but also a lesson that she makes the effort to reinforce to the other children who know the secret, as shown by her expertly breaking Emma’s leg.
- It’s not something outright confirmed in the story just yet, but judging from this panel, it looks like Grandma’s real name is Sarah.
- With the exception (?) of Smee the scientist, it appears that demons and human women make up the employees at Grace Field House.
- Something interesting to note is that three of the younger kids that talked about Krone being gone by lunchtime (Jemima, Dominic, and Phil) are also dark-skinned like Krone.
- One thing I neglected to add to last week’s article was that the way Krone stitched her doll back also foreshadowed the fact that Emma’s leg will be fractured the next day.
- One minor scene that I’ve been seeing get a lot of complaints from some manga readers is Don breaking the door down instead of Ray (in the manga, Ray went absolutely feral and finally managed to kick the door down himself just as Don was about to open it).
- Also going by what was discussed last week, we see the kids who were let in on the secret react appropriately to Emma’s situation (and Phil is starting to figure things out as well).
- Shout-out to Sumire Morohoshi for the brilliant way she portrays different types of pained screaming.
Let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments section. Once again, spoilers are free to be discussed here!