So I started reading the Promised Neverland last month, It’s one of the best manga I’ve read in a long time. Many manga suffer from having a story that had potential but easily falls of the wagon, characters are bland and the setting is dull. The Promised Neverland doesn’t have these problems.
This manga actually reminds me of Death Note and Peter Pan, these two shows should have nothing to do with each other, both have different stories and characters and yet I find myself comparing The Promised Neverland to these two shows.
The main female character actually looks like Peter Pan funnily enough. This manga is definitely one everyone should read, it’s that good. I will be talking about the plot, the characters and the art style to give you an idea of why I think this manga is amazing.
There will be some spoilers in this editorial, so as usual read at your own risk.
The Promised Neverland’s plot
Gracefield Fieldhouse orphanage where babies are raised by the caretaker, Mama. These kids have to take written exams every day. When they are not taking exams, they are free to play outside with each other. When I was reading the first chapter, I had a feeling that something else was going on. I went in blind, I didn’t know what was going to happen at all. This orphanage is actually a farm, this is revealed in the first chapter, the kids are being raised to be eaten by demons. No, I’m not kidding the consumers are demons.
What makes this plot work is the character’s reactions. This is incredibly dark for them, the reality they’ve been living in is a lie but they have to act as normal as they can. The manga makes you worry a lot, the characters have found out but what happens next, what if someone else finds out? There’s a constant fear in the air as if something can go wrong any time and that’s what I love about it.
Change is a theme in this manga.
The Promised Neverland’s Characters
We have three main characters in this story, Emma, Norman and Ray. You would think when these kids found out the truth, they would give in to fear but they don’t. From the very start, they fight for their freedom. The problem they have is how to beat Isabella, their mama and Sister Krone, who appears later on to get in their way. What I like about these three, is the way they use their intelligence to fight.
The three main characters are interesting characters, the other children in the house have great personalities that make them stand out while also not making them clash with the main three. These kids are constantly reminded that they are kids, so how will they be able to fight two adults. The kids use the objects around the house as a way to outwit Mama but they later realise that they have never won against Mama physically and mentally which makes some moments in the manga interesting.
Mama Isabella is leagues above the three kids, she doesn’t even have to do much to stop the kids as the house itself and are around the house serve as a prison for the children. I love that all the characters are realistic it makes them stand out compared to other manga. The kids can’t rely on physical strength so they use their brains. At first it looks like Mama isn’t doing anything but behind the scenes she is doing whatever she can do to stop these kids from escaping, she relies on the house and her brain.
The Promised Neverland’s Art Style
The art style is amazing. At first I wasn’t a fan of it, but during the first chapter I started ti like it. The art style is on par with the story and the characters. When the characters run, cry, laugh, feel hopeless, you can see that all in the art style. It’s done in a way that makes you feel the same emotions as the characters especially the main three.
What makes me like it is the way some of the panels are drawn in the manga. In the first chapter, when the demons are shown, they are shown in a way that makes you feel disgusted. You expression is the exactly the same as Emma and Norman’s expressions, faces full of fear.
From the start, the children are all alone, they have no adults to back them in this fight as all the adults or on the other side, Mama’s side. Mama has an organisation on her side which makes the children vs adults fight interesting. Both Mama and the kids are very realistic. The kids do as kids naturally do, using tricks and different techniques to take out Mama while also using their brains.
Even though Mama has the organisation, she only uses them once and that is when she has Sister Krone join the fray. There’s some conflict between those two characters and the kids try to set the two against each for a while, which sort of works until Sister Krone finds out.
The characters have their limits and some problems with their characters. Emma wants to take all of the children with her and escape which isn’t possible or realistic as there are so many children in that house. The other problems with this is that there are babies and toddlers in the house, how do you convince them to come with you? You can’t and that part of the issue causes problems for Emma.
Mama is also restricted, there is a shipping date for these kids to be eaten, so Mama has to keep them alive, especially Emma, Norman and Ray as they are high quality goods. I love the restrictions on the characters, it makes you sympathize with them, especially the three kids.
None of the characters can do anything out of their range which makes this manga intriguing. Surprisingly there are some moments in the manga where you can take a breather, you’re not always feeling worried about the fate of the characters. I like that it adds some moments between the characters that we rarely get because they are constantly fighting.
In those moments we are reminded of the friendship between the three characters since they have been together since they were little. They only have each other which makes every move they make that much more meaningful.
The Promised Neverland is a manga that stands out from the same old manga plots and characters. It makes its characters realistic and tests the bonds between the children and Mama. It makes you and the characters question people’s motivations and inner thoughts. There are currently 47 chapter, you have time to catch up if you like.
My only problem with the Promised Neverland is that Shonen Jump publishes it. I’m ok with Shonen Jump being the publisher now, but if the manga gets darker than it is now, will Shonen Jump still be right for it and would the staff over there be ok with how dark it gets?