The Promised Neverland for Manga Readers, Episode 9

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, everyone! This week’s episode covers Chapters 26 to the first half of Chapter 29 of the Escape arc, which is the point where the both the characters and the readers begin to hit the climax of absolute despair.

In terms of content, once again, the main issue that some manga readers often tend to voice out is that the anime’s direction of “show, not tell” (or in this case, think) lessens the impact of certain scenes, or obfuscates the motivations and insights of certain characters. An example of this from this episode would be Norman’s scene where he returns from the sink to the infirmary room.

Determination

While we can tell on the surface that Norman is determined to think his way out of the new predicament Isabella laid on the children from the last episode, we don’t get to dive into the depths of how carefully and methodically Norman has thought through every aspect of their situation and how to go about it with the best results. Additionally, going by the assumption that the anime will cover the entire series in the future, not being privy to his inner thoughts would make it even harder to recognize the more subtle ways Norman’s flaws were presented in hindsight. In this case, while Norman’s determination to beat Isabella at her own game is shown as a good thing at this point of the story, this trait, combined with his willingness to use himself and go into extremes to accomplish his goals, can and will go into worrying directions for him down the line. And as shown post-timeskip, we see what happens when Norman, after being isolated at the Lambda-7214 facility for more than a year, is left on his own to accomplish his goals without Emma and Ray to guide him as his moral compasses, which is to essentially gamble on waging an all-out war again the demons and the Ratri clan as “William Minerva” while assuming no blood will be shed on the cattle children’s side.

Ray recounting his lack of infantile amnesia to Emma and Norman without showing flashbacks is another point of contention I see among other manga readers. In one sense, it detracts from the world-building aspect of this scene, as we get a better picture of how Grace Field House runs its farms. Presenting these alongside Ray talking about them would also better convince viewers on how legitimate his memories are, as infantile amnesia, while a real thing, is something that would definitely sound unbelievable and unrealistic on paper. On the other hand, I suspect the reason they held back on these flashbacks is to give more impact to the ending of the season, particularly with a small flashback scene involving a lullaby…

The biggest surprise we got this week is the new ED “Lamp,” once again made by Cö shu Nie. As seen in the video and with the previous ED “Zettai Zetsumei”, the changes seen in “Lamp,” from a black to white background to replacing the static with white butterflies near the end, showcases the entire sequence in a more hopeful viewpoint. Alongside that, besides the new images of the main trio, and also the child versions of Krone and Isabella, we see more of the yet-to-be formally introduced Leslie, whose influence plays a big role in Isabella’s, and by extension Ray’s, lives down the line. Finally, while I admit that I’m only going by the help of a website translator, the lyrics and melody to “Lamp,” although identical with “Zettai Zetsumei” on the theme of “not giving up,” once again presents a more hopeful and optimistic vibe, whereas the latter song focuses more on struggling to come to terms with the titular desperate situation and breaking out of it.

Other Notes

  • I appreciate the pun that the subtitles put in for this line
    Pun
  • The tone in this one scene plays out differently between the two mediums. The manga showcases Emma’s desperation on the forefront while the anime goes for how hopeful she is as she tries to assure Norman of their plan.
  • The anime should have given us the hug scene as it was
    Screenshot_2019-03-08 VIZ Read The Promised Neverland, Chapter 27 Manga - Official Shonen Jump From Japan(2)
  • Poor Sherry, it’s bad enough that Norman had to leave that soon, but she’d be absolutely devastated if she knew everything behind why. But at least the plates she dropped weren’t the breakable ones in the anime

     

  • Ray looked like he was about to cry many times in this episode, I felt really bad for the poor boy.

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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