The Promised Neverland Season 2, Episode 7: Conflict of Interests

Welcome back to this week’s breakdown for The Promised Neverland! Episode 7 is adapted this time from chapters 127-130 of the manga, with some elements of chapter 99. 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!

With a brief moment of Mujika and Sonju shown elsewhere, we return to Norman shocked after finding out that Mujika is alive. He explains to Emma and Ray about what he had learned about her from his research: Her existence being first recorded between the promise and the building of the human farms, Mujika is a rare demon who has neither eaten a human nor degenerated because of it. Not only that, her blood also has the ability to cure other demons from degeneration just from drinking it and passing it on, which she used in saving dying towns from family and exit a long time ago. However, due to their own greed, the demon king and nobles captured those that drank her blood, and killed and ate them, but Mujika had managed to escape their hands.

Emma is puzzled at the actions that the king and the nobles took, to which Ray explains that they did so in order to keep power within their society instead of improve it, and Mujika and the demons she saved were in the way. Norman also sees her and Sonju as a threat because of their blood, and wants to kill them so his plan doesn’t get affected. Emma then tries to dissuade Norman from his genocide plan and instead get Mujika to help him. Norman, however, says that it’s useless as he thinks the demons would still try to hunt down and kill them. When asked why not just to let all the kids escape to the human world to avoid annihilation, he reveals that the D100 shelter and almost all other areas that had gates to it were destroyed by the farms, with the one in Grace Field the only one left intact hidden too deep underground to access safely.  Not only that, he doubts there’s a guarantee that the cattle children would be accepted if they do cross over, as James Ratri/William Minerva and all his supporters were killed by fellow humans, and also mentions a gatekeeper who might get in the way.

With Norman basing his plan on probable certainty, Emma tells him that she can’t condone any future which would lead to killing anyone, especially her friends. She’d rather take the chance with the peaceful solution so that no lives would be lost when it’s done, and even mentions their escape from Grace Field wasn’t based on certainty, to which Norman says he got shipped out because of it. As Norman anxiously tries to leave them in the room, Emma stops him in his tracks to make a deal with him: if she and Ray can find Mujika and Sonju in five days, Norman will not go through with killing the demons. He agrees to it just as Zazie asks him to follow him.

You say that as if we do not remember you choosing that yourself in Season 1

Going down the hidden basement of their hideout, Norman and Zazie meet up with the rest of the Lambda group making progress on their plans. They ask Norman what Emma and Ray wanted to talk to him about, and get angry when he tells them what happened and the news about Mujika. As Barbara goes into a seizure in the middle of her rage against Emma and the demons, we find out that the group is on borrowed time as their conditions continue to worsen. When asked if he’s changed his mind on their plan, Norman says he hasn’t, and that he’s already too far gone to stop now as he walks to the post that has the corpse of an imprisoned, nearly-degenerated demon.

He would be a god or a devil if it helps him succeed with his plans

Back at the temple, Emma and Ray return to the kids to tell them of the new plan. They’re shocked by it, and ask Emma why she’s doing this. Emma explains to them that as much as she doesn’t like the demons, she’s realized how similar they are to the humans, in that they also have families and are eating to survive. She also mentions that if they do go along with Norman’s plan, they would cause a lot of pain and suffering to the demons in the village, to which the weight of the realization finally dawns on the kids shortly after she mentions it.

The anime would benefit from showing these imagine spots to emphasize certain points

Gilda is still upset about this, since she doesn’t want to Emma to nearly get eaten by the demons again after what happened the day before. Emma apologizes to her but she’s also resolute with her decision, as she wants to choose a path that she doesn’t regret. She and Ray also mention that they want to stop Norman because he is once again taking all the burden on himself, and that they don’t consider their escape from Grace Field as a true success as a result of allowing him to get shipped out, so they want to prove him wrong this time. For that, they ask for Gilda and Don’s help to search for Mujika and Sonju based on the migration pattern of the birds they hunt, which they agree to. Meanwhile, the anime pans back to Norman experiencing a seizure and coughing up blood alone in his hideout, showing that Lambda did more to him than just take tests.

Near the end, we get a flashback to the night Norman was shipped out, but this time we get to hear the voice of the person who brought Norman to Lambda.

[Minor manga spoilers ahead] Honestly, this episode was better than the last one, if only because the anime was able to adapt most of what was in the manga for this part of the story. The anime is once again making things more difficult for Emma’s group, because for their adaptation, they have removed every other option of escape to the human world besides Grace Field House, which leaves very weird implications about the other farms if their own gates were destroyed. One gripe I have is that because the anime is in the direction it’s currently going in, a lot of criticism that Emma received for not going along with Norman’s plan in the manga has now become legitimized here, since they have so far removed all mentions of everything that would have given her stance more support to stand on. Another thing that the anime does is that they don’t adapt certain flashbacks or imagine spots, which I assume is more based on keeping the story set in its present moment, but a lot of impact that the manga presents from these panels (of which I posted two above) would have benefited the scenes they were meant to be shown with. Overall, I hope the anime either has a third season ready for itself or has a way to tie up all the loose ends in four episodes competently enough, especially in regards to how Norman and his group are cured of their seizures.

Other Notes

  • Shirai in Volume 19 provided a blueprint for how the headquarters in Grace Field looks, which also has where exactly the gate to the human world is
  • The anime’s way of ending Emma and Ray’s talk with Norman was interesting in that it actually got more heated the moment Norman refuted Emma’s view on the Grace Field escape with his shipment to Lambda
  • Related to the above point, Norman never actually said that line in the manga, but as the panel below shows, he still had the same mentality there.
  • The scene where Emma negotiates how long she can search for Mujika is also an anime original scene, but it did remind me a bit of the time when Ray challenged her to learn ten/one-hundred formation patterns back in the first season
  • Vincent was in the basement area to finalize his experiment for Norman’s plan, but the manga also had Cislo and Barbara say why they were there, and well…
  • I give points to the anime for putting in the foreshadowing of the migrating birds to help Emma’s group find Mujika and Sonju, because it would narrow the areas to look even more than how it happened in the manga, where Norman provided a map of their possible hiding locations based on his analysis.
  • The radio gets mentioned again by the younger kids, and I suspect they’ll hear something very important from Grace Field while Emma’s group is gone.
  • There’s an interesting parallel with the flashback of Norman asking Isabella if she’s happy with her life in Grace Field, and present-day Emma asking Norman if he’s really fine with going through with his plan.
  • In the midst of discussing so much about Norman and his plan, there wasn’t that much focus on Mujika other than what was revealed at the start. So, anime-only watchers, what do you think of our Evil-Blooded Girl?

[Manga Spoiler Zone]

What’s both interesting and yet so frustrating as a manga reader for this series right now is that while we know how it’s going to end more or less, the changes to how the anime gets to this end makes us question whether the flow and logic they have will still be just as coherent as the manga canon, especially with what they removed. I already mentioned above how taking out certain plot points and characters such as the Seven Walls and Adam makes the circumstances more difficult for the current cast than they should be experiencing, and gives those who only watch the anime a very different take on these characters to those who read the manga first. We did finally hear Peter Ratri’s voice for the first time, after being teased of his appearance in the OP, so it would be interesting how much has changed or stayed the same with him in this adaptation next week.

Other Notes

  • It is confirmed in this episode that anime!Norman isn’t acting as the second William Minerva in this adaptation (at least for now)
  • Gilda being upset that Emma’s going against Norman’s plan has more ground in the manga, in that Emma was in a three-week coma after getting impaled by Leuvis in Goldy Pond, and also when Zazie saved her from being eaten by a large group of factory farm security demons.
  • I was honestly surprised they didn’t adapt these scenes as they were from the manga for whatever reason, it would have been cool to see how they would tackle them
  • It’s probably more striking now because Norman doesn’t have his freak growth spurt from the Lambda drugs he took, but it does look more evident that he’s also at least partly influenced by the huge amount of pressure he faces from people who mostly much older than he is.
  • Peter’s voice sounds nice, but it’s much deeper than I thought it would be based on his appearance.
  • Emma and Ray asking Don and Gilda to come with them not only references the main role the latter two had with searching for Sonju and Mujika in the manga’s version of the events, but also to the time when they brought them along with Violet and Zack in their research trips for Cuvitidala and the Seven Walls.
  • Seriously though, if Grace Field has the only gate still available to use for the cattle children, what is the anime gonna do for the rest of the farms when they start going to the human world?

Let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments section.

The Promised Neverland is streaming on Funimation & Hulu in the US, and AnimeLab in Australia.

3 thoughts on “The Promised Neverland Season 2, Episode 7: Conflict of Interests

  1. Great break down! (Though I didn’t read the manga spoilers part because, anime-only right here!) I like the parallel you draw out between Norman’s question to Isabella in S1 and Emma’s to Norman in this episode and how the flashback subtly references it — o how things have changed in a year, Norman!

    Re: your question about Mujika — I’m intrigued by this character! The first time I saw the ED, I was really struck by how her shadow forms a cross and wondered if it was foreshadowing her significance as a saviour figure, and well, looks like it! Very cleverly done.

    Having not read the manga, I nevertheless found Emma’s reasoning for not wanting to annihilate the demons convincing and true to her character as someone who leads by inspiration and vision rather than logic or according to what seems possible. She’s all heart (and conviction) to Norman’s head (and pragmatism)…

    Here’s hoping for a third season rather than a hurried ending in S2!

  2. Thank you so much! I was actually waiting for an anime watcher to make note of Mujika’s role, but alas, most of them seem to be more focused on Norman and his plan when they talk about it.

    1. She’s such an interesting character! I can’t get that evil grin she flashes out of my head, when Sonju catches her leading Emma and Ray down the wrong tunnel when they first meet. She explains it away as her tendency to get lost down there, so it could just be a red herring, but it does make me wonder if she is as trustworthy as she later appears…Definitely a nail-biter! Looking forward to seeing how her role plays out!

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