Welcome back to this week’s breakdown for The Promised Neverland! Season 2, Episode 4 is actually mostly anime-original, but there are scenes from Chapters 55, 72, and 165 and certain elements of 38, 103-106, and 112 adapted as well. I’m still separating technical spoilers for anime-only fans, which are marked clearly. However, for those that still want a deeper dive into those scenes, I would encourage you to read them at your own risk. Now with that said, let’s move on to the episode!
We picked up where we left off last episode, with William Minerva introducing himself via a call recording on the payphone to Emma. “Minerva” is actually James Ratri, someone who used to take part in running the farm system, but has now turned aside from that to help them towards freedom instead. As he mentions being betrayed by the people around him in his attempts to leave clues for the children, Anna spots a notebook with an interesting message as another part of the room reveals an unsettling list of names on it. At the end of his recording, James reveals the code word that lets the pen point the kids towards a new location if they want to leave for the human world. Only two things in these scenes are anime-original, the new “FUTURE” code word and the subsequent location mentioned later below, and the presence of the notebook itself.
In a group meeting after the call, the kids use the pen once again, and it then shows them coordinates for their next location, D100. With the overall goal of bringing all the other children from Grace Field to that specific location in the end, the kids decide to live in the shelter in the meantime as a foundation for them while they prepare for that goal.
Meanwhile, inside a prison cell back in Grace Field, Isabella is paid a visit by Grandma and some of the head demons. Grandma brings up Isabella’s “error,” mentioning what a shame it had been since she was a very valuable to their system. She also tells her that she would return all the children back to the house and return back to their shipment schedule, and that Isabella would “be able to see them soon.”
After a month passes by with no other incident at both there and in Grace Field, the shelter’s entrance gets bombed and raided by armed guards looking for the children, most likely from Grandma’s plan. Thanks to quick judgement and Christie guiding the way, they managed to push through some of those guards and escape before getting caught again near the forest. However, the sound of the bullets being fired upwards by one guard attracts a wild demon, and gets all the adults there eaten before Ray kills it himself with an arrow to its eye.
As the kids go back to running in the forest this time, the Grace Field demons visit Isabella again, this time with the offer to let her get the kids herself when their current plan fails. With the offer to be released from Grace Field and one other secret thing, the episode ends with her appearing to accept it readily.
Listen, I am very much aware that many manga readers are upset that the story flow isn’t happening the same way the manga went right now. But as I’ve established in past articles like with Episode 1 a few weeks ago, I was already mentally prepared to take whatever the anime is able to provide for the 11 episodes they were allowed to have. I was able to have some fun watching the episode for what it was, but as I’ll go into more detail later on in the manga section, it seems the anime is going for recontextualizing certain events and characters rather than just outright skipping them. I’m very curious with where they’re going now, whatever that may end up being in the end, and whether it ends up being coherent enough to follow.
- I did mention before that Isabella was technically supposed to show up at a scene in the first episode of this season, but I had anticipated she would show up again in the context of a hypothetical third season instead of this early into this part of the story.
- Anna kept putting 2047 in her entries whenever we saw her writing down in her notebook, yet the vegetables the kids planted haven’t even grown long enough to be harvested, so this is either an animation error or Anna is just bad with dates.
- It was actually nice seeing the younger kids be more proactive as they explored the shelter, especially when it helped in them escaping to relative safety later on in the episode.
- Ray, why are you wearing your ear bandage in the bathtub? I thought that wound would have healed up by then.
- I was wondering whether or not the kids would have hunted other animals besides birds or lizards since they were warned not to go near the river by Sonju. They’re lucky the slimy fish was safe to eat.
- The kids, in the anime at least, are surprisingly more brutal than I expected them to be in a high risk situation
- I’m glad the kids brought the radio from the shelter with them when they fled the shelter, that’s too good of an asset to leave behind, anime original or not.
- Nothing too serious here, but I do notice some small moments with Don regarding Gilda as well:
- Speaking of Gilda, it has been noted that she is often the person who keeps count on the group in emergency situations in the manga (manga spoilers warning), and the anime gave us another instance of this
- This armed guard group clearly was either inexperienced with being out in the demon forest or stupid enough to attract that wild demon to them when he shot those signalling bullets up in the air.
[Manga Spoiler Zone]
Since most of the episode had more anime-original content, this time I’ll address certain scenes with their corresponding manga panels in the order of how it went in the show.
Now with the first two scenes, the call recording from Minerva was mostly intact for the information he had about himself, and the rest of it was either recontextualized from its original location in Goldy Pond, but the mention of the new location D100 also removes mentions of the promise, the role he played with the system and the paths in the farms that cross over to the human world, at least for the meantime. Best case scenario, if the kids arrive to that location, that’s probably where at least some of the information is given. Another thing to note is that D100’s location is that it’s coordinates would put it further west of Grace Field, and it has been stated that the Lambda facility was also located somewhere in the west.
With the case of the room Anna and Yvette were in, the presence of those names indicate that Yugo and Lucas, at least, exist in the anime. The message in the notebook also appears to imply that Yugo may have possibly chosen to go to the new location instead of fall into suicidal despair, so there’s a chance we might see him later on. Also, as the radio report in the episode indicated, we are now in February 26, so according to the fanbook’s timeline, we bypassed the time when the Goldy Pond arc took place, but so far nothing outright confirms that we wouldn’t get the events of the arc down the line in some respect either.
With Isabella’s scenes, the manga actually had a much speedier decision on her status after the escape. They had almost immediately killed Grandma Sarah two days after, since it all was done under her responsibility and she failed to prevent Isabella from letting it happen. Not only do we get more scenes with Sarah in the anime, the demons who serve as managers for Grace Field are the ones who offer Isabella the chance of freedom instead of Peter Ratri. Also interesting to note is that we don’t outright hear that Isabella was offered the role of Grandma, which was the one thing that would have allowed her to help Emma’s group discreetly while waiting for their return. It did look really convincing that she went back to supporting the farm again for survival, but assuming the anime doesn’t change that either, we have to remember that we found out where her actual loyalties lie near the very end of the series, after weeks of speculation since her manga return.
Now with the scenes of the armed guards, not only does that happen much earlier than it should, by more than two years, but we don’t have one prominent character associated with them present either: Andrew. I could argue that his presence is probably one of many factors why the group in the anime wasn’t as intimidating as they were in the manga. The scenes with Sarah also imply that she was the one who called for their assistance rather than Peter Ratri himself. Adding on to that, their failure to capture the children would be the catalyst that leads to her getting killed off by Grace Field.
Aside from that, the scenes where the kids try to evade the guards played out slightly differently. For the first one, instead of Don, it was Lucas who was in the monitor room with Rossi, and funnily enough, both scenes had them use wrestling moves to at least knock the guard down to unconsciousness. The second one was when Christie was leading the group out of the shelter, where Andrew was supposed to appear. Aside from less dead bodies involved, Christie didn’t nearly get shot in the head either, which also means he evades his two-year long coma for now.
Now, with what I said in my last point in the anime section, both Andrew and the armed guards attracted a wild demon that ate them in the end. However, Andrew had the bigger disadvantages of being heavily injured after the explosion that also killed Yugo and Lucas, which would attract the demon more by his blood, and his mission of capturing the children driving him into madness. Finally, unlike in the manga, only the entrance to the shelter was destroyed, so if the rest of it is still intact, that opens the possibility of a return to this place in the anime. Whoever comes across it next is up in the air until it actually happens, if it ever happens.
[End Manga Spoiler Zone]
Let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments section.