The Promised Neverland for Manga Readers, Episode 12 (FINALE)

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 , as well as last week’s post by The Varangian, which are spoiler-free and aimed at beginners to the series.

And so we’ve come to the end (for now, at least).

Wow, guys. That last episode was incredible—there were just so many things done right, from the direction, to the music, to even the voice acting. Not even the skipping some internal dialogue was enough to remove my enjoyment from seeing the kids escape from Grace Field successfully.

The final episode covered Chapters 35 to 37, and with that, we’ve now finished the entirety of the Escape arc. Flashbacks to the children preparing for the escape were interwoven perfectly with them bringing their plan into motion. As mentioned above, some important internal dialogue was omitted, which will be discussed further below.


First, we talk about Ray. With the pages shown above, we dive into more of how knowing the secret his entire life had greatly negatively affected his view of the world and his relationships with the other kids. Seeing Emma and Norman’s plan fall into place marks the true start of his character development, from resigning himself to death and despair, to daring to hope and struggle for a brighter future alongside the other children.

Shifting away from Ray, we now focus on his mother, Isabella. From these pages, we learn more of the significance Leslie and his song had for her, as it has kept her from succumbing to total despair in the situation that she resigned herself to throughout her teenage and adult years.

The resignation that she unknowingly passed on to her son was not just her sole reason for surviving through Grace Field’s horrendous system. We see from the flashbacks that she was, once upon a time, a cheerful and athletic girl like Emma. However, unlike Emma, we see her shrink back into the shadows instead of sprint away and escape. That being said, that same rebellious spirit still remained in her, but has been shrunk and warped over time to the point where she admits that spite provided her additional motivation in surviving through the system “as a human [the demons] couldn’t eat.”

Screenshot_2019-03-29 VIZ Read The Promised Neverland, Chapter 37 Manga - Official Shonen Jump From Japan(6)

In spite of what I mentioned above, however, we also do see that Isabella genuinely did love the children under her care. We know how ruthlessly efficient she was in raising the children as cattle, yet she clearly hates the fact that most of them will end up getting killed, as showed in the first episode when she hums Leslie’s song while bringing Conny to the gate. We saw how cold and manipulative she can be, to the point where she called Ray “a lying traitor” to his face, yet also witnessed her writhe in horror when she first realized that Ray was the baby she gave up as cattle all this time. She breaks Emma’s leg with perfect precision, yet she offered her the choice to become a Mom at Grace Field as a chance for survival. The true tragedy of Isabella’s character is that for all the love she had and offered to the children, the selfishness that she cultivated for her own survival brought on their deaths and ruination.

For my last main point, we’ll talk about how the Escape arc could have originally gone, according to an interview with Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu published for the series’ mini-artbook:

“Shirai says that a lot of things have changed from his initial plans. William Minerva and Isabella’s secret room didn’t exist at first. Krone wasn’t supposed to die, and Emma was supposed to return to the House to find that Gilda had become a Sister with Krone as the Mama. Ray was supposed to die. Norman never said that he liked Emma.”

Shirai: “The kids finding out about the secret of the House and deciding to escape was the same. Emma wants to save everyone, but she never says anything about trying to escape with everyone like the current version. Ray’s betrayal, Norman’s shipment, and Emma’s leg being broken are all in there. Krone appears, too, and the cliff around the farm is in it. Under conditions where it would be difficult for even one person to escape, Emma makes it out of the House alone, for the time being. She meets Sonju and Mujika and hears about the two worlds, the demons, and the promise from a thousand years ago, then sets out for her next destination.”

Considering how much has changed in the final product, I’d say I’m glad that Kaiu Shirai was convinced to change where the direction of his draft was heading. For one thing, Emma escaping just by herself just doesn’t carry the same satisfying impact that her working together with 14 other children has to end a story arc. Not only that, when we compare her to the current Emma who made the effort to try to escape with everyone, the Emma from the old draft just doesn’t inspire the same bravery and compassion that defines her character to others both in and outside the story. Allowing Ray to kill himself rather than letting him live would be such a waste considering how much character development he’s gotten after that arc. Gilda actually being a traitor and ending up working with a still-alive Krone is probably the most shocking thing from this draft, and probably would still work if they had implemented it. Regardless, I am happy with the story that we have right now.

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Other Notes:

  • Shout out to Noitamina for changing their timeslot intro for this episodeThe kids were more focused on trying to be quiet when Don managed to zipline to the other side successfully in the manga, but it does make me smile to see them clap and jump for joy because of that in the anime.
  • There was no way they could have properly shown this with how fast Nat was going down, but I do wish they showed this panel
    Screenshot_2019-03-29 VIZ Read The Promised Neverland, Chapter 36 Manga - Official Shonen Jump From Japan(2)
  • Isabella actually making it before Emma crosses over is anime-original, but it did provide great dramatic tension.
    Isabella letting her hair completely down is also anime-original, but it was good way of showing that she’s given up on getting the kids back
    Hair down
  • I’m happy that we finally get to see Leslie in full color for the first time
  • The entire of reveal of Ray being Isabella’s son hurt more here than it did in the manga, if only because we see more of  Isabella’s face journey at her realization
  • I wish they showed Isabella singing Leslie’s song to the younger kids like she did in the manga.

And with all that, my coverage of Season 1 has officially finished! Hopefully, I can see you all again and talk about Season 2 next year.

Screenshot_2019-03-29 VIZ Read The Promised Neverland, Chapter 37 Manga - Official Shonen Jump From Japan(12)
See you soon.

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


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