In line with our approach to the entirety of season one, Beneath the Tangles will be offering dual First Impression posts for The Promised Neverland, one for viewers who are new to the series and one for those who have read the manga. This post is for beginners and will only include spoilers up to the episode being discussed (including season one). We ask that you avoid any spoilers from the manga if you comment below. If you would like to discuss spoilers and other content from the manga, please read thathilomgirl’s article for episode one when it posts.
A dark forest at night. A group of children dressed in white are being chased by a alien-like monster with multiple eyes, a nightmare come alive. The leader, who runs in the last place to protect those who are slower, saves a small girl and shouts that this is just like a game of tag. After the sinister new opening, we learn that the precious freedom Emma and the rest of her family gained at a terrible cost in season one has lead them to the open world, and that it is as beautiful as it is deadly. The fantasy books they read in the House may have not been fantasy at all. There are new rules, strange flora and fauna, demon (oni) hunters behind them, clues from the mysterious William Minerva. Without Norman, Emma and Ray struggle to fit into their new roles, to survive, to lead. But it may be just too much for them to manage without help…
It is finally back. My favorite show ever has restarted with a bang, and I like it even better than the last time. The deep adventure born of the crazy desire of not letting anyone of the precious family to die continues to unroll, now in the big, open world. The fight between hope and despair is still ongoing, with the stakes even higher, and it resonates with me as much as it did the first time, if not more. The small, significant moments between the characters are still there, even deeper now that we know everyone. Things have changed, and the lessons learned are present, but our characters are still as flawed and inexperienced as they are clever, and may go out of balance. The art is spot on (Those colorful flowers at the opening! The executioner-like sword of the oni! The music! The contrasts!). The new world is a wonderful place, mysterious, threatening, evocative and full of wonders, and the new characters are very intriguing. I cannot wait for the next episode.
The Promised Neverland is streaming at Funimation.