Welcome back to this week’s breakdown for The Promised Neverland! Episode 9 is a mix of anime-original and adapted scenes from chapters 153-154, with some elements of chapters 161-162. I’m still separating technical spoilers for anime-only fans, which are clearly marked. 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!
As chaos continues to loom in the demon village, Norman tells Emma and Ray that they’re too late to stop him as he’s about ready to kill Vylk and his granddaughter. Emma doesn’t want to hear any of it, and tells him that instead of being tormented with the choice he made like an arrogant coward, he should allow them to share the burden with him. Norman is still hesitant, and while Ray calls him out on his actions despite stopping Ray’s own self-sacrificial act, Emma also extends her hand at him, asking him to live together with them. It’s from then that Norman finally breaks down and admits that he still wants to live on, while Emma embraces him, but he also mentions that because of Lambda, he doesn’t have much left either, just as one of the degenerated demons strikes to attack them.
Meanwhile, Don and Gilda arrive to find Sonju curing another demon by throwing into its mouth the his arm that he cut off from himself (which then promptly regenerated back). Mujika comes in and offers the other villagers nearby a cup of her own blood to the other villagers. Back to Emma’s group, Vylk saves them by doing the same thing Sonju did with his arm, and finds out from them that “the Evil-Blooded Girl” is still alive.
Cut to the forest, where we see Barbara corner the two demon orphans from a few episodes ago to a nearby tree, and is about to strike them with her spiked baseball bat. However, she hesitates killing them at the last minute, due to seeing her past self in Lambda in them, and suffers a seizure shortly afterwards. Zazie comes out from the village and is about to strike, but Norman manages to order him to stop in time as he and Emma arrive to that area. He then apologies to all of his crew from Lambda about not being honest with them regarding his feelings on the extermination plan or his health. Vincent is furious at this change of heart, but Cislo and the others are more receptive to it, realizing that they’ve put Norman under much pressure with their desire for revenge. Mujika and Sonju then arrive to the forest to meet with Emma, giving an update on how the residents of the demon village are, now that half of them received the blood.
Back at the temple, Ray arrives with Don and Gilda, only for Thoma and Lannion to come to them with urgent news: they had intercepted reports from Grace Field on the radio that Phil and the other children were going to be shipped immediately. We then get a shot of Peter Ratri at Grace Field, talking with one of the staff. We soon find out there the rest of the compensation that Isabella received for her assistance in finding the children: a promotion as the new Grandma of Grace Field. The reports of the younger children being shipped out also turned out to actually a trap laid by them to lure the escapees and Lambda crew to the farm, making use of of the fact that the kids took the radio with them when they investigated the shelter after the raid. The purpose for Lambda is expounded more as well, which is to provide better production for the farms by pumping the kids with the experimental drugs they developed back in the facility.
With all of the escapees finally in the temple, along with Vylk and his granddaughter, they then discuss how they go about with trying to rescue the younger children. Vylk properly reintroduces himself to Mujika, and then gives something to Emma, which turns out to be another pen cap for the Minerva pen. He then explains that around 15 years ago, he had encountered a dying human while he was venturing in the forest, muttering with his last words that the pen cap had to be given to the other children in the farms so that they have hope for the future. Vylk then performed the Gupna ritual on this human, and shared his body to be eaten with his family, but he had also come to the same realization that Emma had in the second episode, with how similar his species were with the humans. He also mentions the guilt he felt for hiding the fact he was given Mujika’s blood and the inaction of helping others of his kind to keep himself and his family safe, but feels that he now has a chance to do something that would change things for the better.
Emma installs the cap into the pen, and it turns out to have information on not just the internal structure of Grace Field, but also the research needed to cure the Lambda crew of their illness. As Vylk and Demon!Emma go back to the village, Norman walks up to them to try to apologize for his actions, Demon!Emma comes closer to her, also apologizing to him, as she’s now aware of how badly the demons had treated humans, to which Norman and the Lambda crew respond by being silently remorseful. Vylk then calls for his granddaughter to come with him, and human!Emma is surprised until she realizes she shares a name with the granddaughter, to which they both smile because of it. Norman then mentions in the background how he didn’t expect Emma to include the demons in her plan to save everyone, and Ray then tells him that it’s not like she had thought it through to get to her decision.
Later that night, while everyone else is sleeping, Vincent wakes up and makes contact with Grace Field through the radio.
“I have some intel, and would like to make a deal.”
I’ll be real here, after last week, this felt more of a letdown than I anticipated. The scenes that were adapted from the manga don’t have the same level of emotion it had from the original source, considering what was removed from it. There were also some adjustments and plot twists to the story that I just found weird and very confounding, given the background and logic of certain elements relevant to the plot. For some reason, the anime season started off making things very hard for Emma’s group than it should have gone, and then made it much easier for them, now that Norman is back in the picture.
Vylk eating that human from 15 years ago was a surprising fact, but seeing him actually talk about his struggle from that and also his inaction of using his blood to save other people was also something I thought was a good scene. The thing I found confusing was who the human he met was, to which I would leave my speculations in the manga spoilers section. The other thing I found weird was the plot twist with Vincent at the end, so I guess both anime and manga fans are gonna be in the dark until we see how this pans out. For some reason, I found the subpar animation and lack of dynamic direction of particular scenes more noticeable in this episode, which is a shame considering how good Season 1 played around with their scenes. I did think the reveal of Grandma!Isabella was one of the good parts of the episode, especially with how they used the fact that they had the shelter’s radio to their advantage, which honestly was a smart thing to see. At this point, I’m hoping the last two episodes makes an adequate landing with the story by the end.
- It didn’t have the same power it had in the manga, but I’m just glad Emma called Norman out for what he was. Ray, however, was also surprisingly harsher to Norman when he called him out on his self-sacrificial tendencies than in the manga.
- Once again, Ray seems to be shafted as the third wheel in the anime, as not only did he not offer his hand to Norman before his breakdown, but he didn’t join in the hug with him and Emma, unlike the manga. Don’t know if it’s a shipping preference on the anime’s part or not, but it’s there.
- Like I said earlier, it was smart of Isabella to use the knowledge that the kids had a radio to lure them back to the farm with false reports. What I was confused on for this one was the fact that they found that out by doing a clean sweep of the shelter after they escaped from it.
- With the way Ray pointed out how the false radio reports were traps set by Grace Field, this shows how well he knows his mother.
- I also didn’t expect both Emmas to be interacting within the same vicinity as long as they have, and have their same names pointed out, I thought it was pretty cute.
- It’s interesting to note that even after eating that dying human from 15 years ago, Vylk still either never thought to eat the children when he knew they were in the temple or had the self-control to be able to do so, though the guilt may be partly responsible for that.
- Hopefully, now that they drank Mujika’s blood, those poor little demon orphans would have better lives after this.
- I really wished Norman actually managed to muster at least one proper apology here, which is partly why I felt disappointed.
[Manga Spoiler Zone]
As I’ve mentioned above, there’s now speculation on who exactly Vylk met that was dying in the middle of the forest. Given the timeline in the manga canon, my first thoughts went to either Yugo or Lucas, right after their group encountered the demons of Goldy Pond. It was hard to rule them out or not due to the clothes on the person, as it didn’t match either of them, as well as the fact that the person still had both arms intact, but they were the only two cattle children known to have a pen on them back then. Another candidate is James Ratri/William Minerva himself, given the kind of information that was presented in the pen cap, as well as his last words of wanting to give hope to the kids in the farms. If it’s the first two, then the manga fans will definitely be angry when it’s confirmed, but if it’s the latter, then it would contradict the death he had suffered from in the manga story (which I showed in the previous episode’s article). Vincent’s seeming betrayal is something new to everyone watching this, but I’m prepared for the possibility of it being a red herring or a double agent situation, or him finally realizing that revenge against the demons is wrong. It’s all up in the air at this point, folks.
- How I wish a variation of this page happened with Mujika in the anime, if only because Norman gets called out more
- Barbara showing that she’s actually struggling with the reality of her desire for revenge was a good addition to the anime, which the manga didn’t have on account of her nearly dying after being impaled by Legravalima before Norman’s confession.
- Speaking of which, the location and what was going on during Norman’s talk with the Lambda crew felt more natural in the manga, as it didn’t feel like an exposition dump, since they were overhearing Norman’s talk with Emma and Ray while suffering from their recent injuries.
- The new pen cap brings a lot of questions besides me thinking it just made things more convenient for everyone, especially Norman and the Lambda crew. The first thing I thought was that if that dying person had this information on him, then why didn’t Smee have this in the pen he gave Norman, as that would definitely have helped him at least survive long enough and not take the genocide route. Also, how it was given was more convenient compared to how Emma and Lucas got to it at the basement of Goldy Pond in the manga. RIP Adam, I guess.
- Another thing I’m sad about the anime going where it’s going is that we don’t get to see more of the aspects of the Original Faith and the messianic implications it gives to Mujika, as she later becomes the new Queen of the demons.
- Extending from the above point, I’m also sad we won’t get to see the Emma’s new promise being made over the old one by Julius Ratri and Yverk, and the sacrifice/reward she gave up on to save everyone.
- Ray, I know it’s just inherent in Emma’s nature to include the demons in saving everyone, but the manga at least gave us opportunities to see her be challenged and actually think more about it.
- So if the anime is gonna be totally different with how some things are gonna be, would this leave us with the possibility that, dare I say it, Isabella actually lives on to survive by the end?
Let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments section.
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