Welcome back to this week’s breakdown for The Promised Neverland, and also a Happy Birthday to Ray on our this side of the world! We’ve got a lighter load than we had last week, with four chapters to go over. Before we began, some new things need to be established: unlike the first season where I was making posts alongside TWWK, I’ll be taking over the helm with this series for the rest of the season. In the interest of any anime-only fans that may read these, the articles from here on out will be clearly separated so spoilers can be avoided easily. Now with that said, let’s move on to the episode!
We begin where we left off in the previous episode, with Emma and Ray realizing their saviors are actually the demons they fear. In her panic and worry, Emma runs off to find the other kids, only to see that they really were safe and preparing dinner for everyone. The demons then properly introduce themselves as Mujika and Sonju, hermits whose religion doesn’t allow them to eat humans. This fact and the others’ assurance of their character allows Emma and Ray to enjoy a peaceful meal with everyone.
The two then talk to Sonju later on that night, trying to gain more information about the world around them and what happened to the humans that led to their situation. Sonju not only corrects them on when exactly it happened in the past (1000 years instead of 30), he goes into great detail of the one event which started it all: the promise between humans and demons. As far as adapting this scene goes, while the anime excellently sets the mood for realizing that the kids are living in their worst-case-scenario, the manga is able to give a more visual view of the past as it went throughout Sonju’s narration.
As they continue to evade Grace Field’s pursuers, the children spend the next few days traveling underground while learning more survival skills from their demon friends. Ray and Emma tell the rest on what they found out and add in crossing over to the human world as part of their goals after finding William Minerva. The kids readily agree to it, but not without scolding both of them for their reckless actions beforehand. Looking back when I read this scene and enjoyed it as a good comedic moment to break the tense action from previous events, but now there’s also a greater appreciation for how it strong the care and support system Emma and Ray have from their family.
At some point, Emma asks Sonju to take her with him while on the lookout for the pursuers. As they travel above ground, she then reveals her reason for doing so: to learn how to hunt. For as much as their new survival skills have helped them learn to get by in the forest, Emma recognizes the fact that not only would she have to learn it to ensure a consistent food supply on their own, but also to be able to protect herself and her family later on. In her hunting lesson, Sonju also teaches her more about the steps and purposes of the Gupna ritual that drains the animal’s blood. Related to that, we also are now properly introduced to the vida flower from the very first episode, and it answers why it’s used on both prey and cattle children. As the two return underground, Emma, in a similar vein to a certain scene in Silver Spoon, starts to feel the heavy emotional weight of her first kill on her shoulders.
Lost Panels and New Scenes
Overall, this episode was almost word-for-word with its adaptation, but we have two chapter-ending scenes from the manga that didn’t make it in. The first one is actually a rather major scene, but due to some speculation regarding future events, I’ll discuss it later in the manga spoilers section. The second one is a scene between Emma and Ray after her hunting lesson and, while not info-heavy, is a good scene that helps reestablish what Emma learns from getting scolded by Gilda: to not take on everything on her own and to lean on her family more. On the other hand, we may have gotten our first anime-original scene, which is basically more details of what exactly the children learned from Sonju and Mujika.
- The official TPN Twitter page released this message for Ray in time for his birthday, which has been translated to English here below:
Ray, happy birthday
To you who, after 25 years, right on this day will jump out of the House to the outside with everyone
The outside world is very harsh, but as long as you're is alive, there's hope
There will be fun things, happy things,
So stay alive, okay? + https://t.co/2Hs7TGkPx2
— 🌟The Promised Neverland🌟 (@TPNManga) January 14, 2021
- Shirai once mentioned that Gilda would have become a Sister if Emma was the only one that escaped Grace Field, and I can see traces of that trashed plan when she starts scolding Emma
- It needs to be said that the younger kids are also savage in their own way
- On a somewhat somber note, this fanbook extra is also another good way to celebrate Ray’s birthday
- It’s fun to see Sonju’s horse moving around and actually interact a bit with the characters, like with how it nodded when Sonju said Ray’s distraction plan would have totally killed him
- The fanbook actually showed a step-by-step for how Sonju and Mujika pray in their religion
- Interestingly enough, there were scenes during Sonju’s narration of the past that focused entirely on Mujika, especially when it came to the promise.
- We see more synchronization between Ray and Emma, and the beginning of Chef!Ray from here on out
[Manga Spoiler Zone]
Now, with the first omitted scene I mentioned before, this took place after Emma and Ray got scolded by the other children. Mujika and Sonju talk after watching all that happen, and Mujika asks, in demon language, why Sonju hasn’t been completely truthful to them when it came to certain aspects of the promise. I have no idea if this was omitted because the anime is actually trying to avoid demon language being spoken, or if this is just something to add when we find out Sonju’s true motives for helping the kids. If it’s the latter, it would certainly make that plot twist about him even more dramatic next episode.
Another thing noting is that, along with scenes of the rabbits being eaten in the new OP, we see the seeds of empathy and compassion towards the demons being planted in Emma throughout the episode. Witnessing two demons she now consider allies help them out and do ordinary things such as saying grace before meals, alongside her realization of how even humans contribute to the consumption of other life, help her to eventually go against Norman’s genocide plan against the demons and form her new promise with The One to save both them and all the cattle kids.
Now, next episode, we’ll get to see some new scene changes in the ED and maybe even the appearance of a certain geezer, and I sure hope that my SS reference from earlier doesn’t also indirectly hint to who he is.
[End Manga Spoiler Zone]
Let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments section.