The Promised Neverland is one of those rare series that come around once a year. It is also a series that if you only read the first paragraph of the official synopsis, you would likely overlook.
The Promised Neverland is an anime adaption of the manga written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu.
The premise is as follows:
The story follows happy orphans in an orphanage run by a kind ‘mama’ which they love. Every orphan is happy and they all get adopted by age 12. Life in the orphanage is strict involving daily lessons and tests but afterwards, they get to play outside and generally have a good time. Other than this, there is only one rule - never leave the orphanage.
One day one of their siblings is being adopted and leaves behind their beloved stuffed animal. Two of the orphans, Emma and Norman, decide to bring the bunny to them. Much to their shock, they discover their sibling dead and about to be shipped off somewhere as meat for what can only be described as demons.
Following this, Emma and Norman together with fellow high archiver Ray plan their escape.
The characters are interesting and believable for the most part. Of course, the children are way more intelligent than normal children but that is common to anime and video games, plus they are geniuses for their age and this is made quite clear, being the top scoring children in the orphanage.
The mystery is what really gets us hooked here. It is clear they are being raised for meat given the dead body found at the beginning of the series. But are their other humans outside the walls? Where do the young children come from? Why are the adults so willing to to do this to their children? What does high test scores do to make the children more appetizing? Will the children manage to escape and what awaits once they do?
Furthermore, around the halfway mark after the Mama Isabella begins to suspect that some of the orphans know the secret, another adult is introduced. This adult is called Sister Krone and is here to assist Mama Isabella. The key three orphans immediately suspect that she is here to make things difficult for them but she has her own ambitions - to replace Isabella as the orphanages mama. She is an interesting character who gives us a little insight into what happens to the other adults in this world.
It is also interesting that despite what is unknowingly instore for them, that these children are so happy and well-adjusted. We all know how orphanages end up in real life. The children are anything but.
I am concerned about the length. This anime is only getting a 12 episode run and is only going to be adapting the Escape arc. While it doesn’t seem to be too rushed at this point, It seems like more time could have been put into adapting the arc and perhaps future arcs in the same run, considering how good the series is already.
The Promised Neverland can be watched for free at Animelab.
Recommendation? Must Watch.
Rating: out of 5 cups