The Promised Neverland 042-044 – Manga Review
Reviewed By: Tom
Synopsis: Emma is an 11-year old girl living at an orphanage along with thirty-seven other children. They spend their days playing in the yard, the nearby forest, and taking test over their headsets in the house’s school room. When they turn twelve the children leave the orphanage, going beyond the gate they’ve been warned to never venture near. However, despite how quaint and comfortable this life has been for Emma and the other children, there’s a much darker truth awaiting them beyond that gate.
(Warning: Spoilers to Follow)
While exploring the gate one night, in hopes of delivering a forgotten stuffed toy to a departing friend, Emma and Norman, one of the smartest boys within the Orphanage, discover the horrible truth: The orphans are being raised as mere meat for horrific demonic creatures.
Joining forces with the other top kids, Ray, Gilda and Don, they plot an escape. But Mom closes in on them and thwarts their plans. Norman gets shipped out, but not before giving Emma and Ray the means and plans to escape with. Emma and Ray manage to escape with many of the children, leaving only the youngest behind. Now as they make their way from the Demon’s farm they find themselves in a whole new, and dangerous world.
Right from last time the children are chased by a rather large and ferocious demon. Promised Neverland generally requires a little more suspension of disbelief than other currently running Shonen as we have fairly young children performing some tough physical feats. This chapter is where I feel like a little too much is being asked of me. This demon is huge and the art portrays at least part of this chase as a straight run through trees. I feel like it’s pretty ridiculous that the Demon doesn’t manage to catch a single child in the group. Either that demon is incredibly slow or these children are The Flash’s illegitimate off spring.
Moving past that, whether you find it a problem or not, the children quickly split up and from here the chase becomes a little more believable with the fast children guiding the monster away from the slower ones. Eventually Ray comes up with a plan to lure the monster into the same root trap they just escaped from.
But just as he gets the monster in place the pursuing demons finally arrive. And for once we finally get to see again why they’re such a threat as they make short work of the giant ferocious monster demon with ease. It’d feel more powerful to me if the monster demon had done more than ineffectively give chase, but I guess it’ll have to do.
Chapter 43 mainly focuses on Ray trying to figure out how to deal with the purseurs, who’ve spotted him at this point, and how best to lead them away from the others. Meanwhile Emma collapses from a fever likely induced by having cut off her ear. It’s nice to see that came back into play and is offering up some unforeseen complications. Though it seems like it’s always Emma who’s suffering from some physical issue by this point. Either having a limb broken by mother or collapsing from her wound while Ray remains seemingly healthy.
Either way a mysterious individual arrives, beckoning for the group to follow her to safety.
This chapter revises the introduction of this mysterious girl just a tad. Gilda doesn’t trust the girl and refuses to follow her until she removes the hood from head and shows them her face. It’s a solid development and injects a little, if temporary, mystery into the story when it’s primarily focused on full action for the moment.
In a nice showcase of the demons’ ability, Ray is unable to outrun or evade them as they give him chase through the woods. Up to this point the demons had been outwitted by children, so seeing that they can’t always be outdone is a relief the manga desperately needed.
Of course, allowing Ray to be captured so soon after escaping isn’t quite as dark as this manga wants to go and a mysterious individual, much like the girl, swoops in to save him. I’m fairly confident that The Promised Neverland will never as dark again as its opening chapters. Our heroes will often skirt life threatening danger, but never suffer from it. It’ll be a constantly series of slim avoided perils and while that may continue to work for a younger audience, it really takes the bite away with which the series opened.
What I think remains an outright positive however is the world and mystery building. Promised Neverland still has that going for it and it is what keeps me reading week to week, even if the thrills and danger don’t have an effect on me anymore.
Thanks for reading! Please let me know your thoughts these chapters in the comments section below! Feel free to include your own speculation on where the series is headed!