- Title: The Promised Neverland (Yakusoku no Neverland)
- Genre: Sci-fi, Mystery, Psychological, Horror, Thriller
- Studios: CloverWorks
- Episodes: 12 – 22min (Completed)
- Date: 10 January 2019 — 29 March 2019
- Original: Manga
Everything seems peaceful and blissful in the Grace Field House, where despite being orphans, the children are happy and satisfied. The children are given time to spend as they please, other than having to take tests on a daily basis. Outside, the house is surrounded by an open field and a forest which the children use as their playground. But there are certain rules that the children must abide by, no matter what — do not go past the gates and do not venture too far from the house. Every few months, a child would have to leave for adoption, only to never be heard of ever again. Their peace quickly turned to horror when the children discover the secret of the Grace Field House.
Imagine living a life filled with happiness and hope (yup, I can only imagine). Freedom, comfort and safety. But what if one day, you find out that everything that gave you such happiness, turns out to be a lie? From author Kaiu Shirai and artist Posuka Demizu’s original manga “Yakusoku no Neverland”, CloverWorks’ anime adaptation presents us with one of the best psychological mysteries of its time.
Having the horror tag as its genre, I must admit that the anime had brilliantly terrorized my emotional senses, but only for the first 2 episodes. The series remained scary throughout, but it did lose its horrific luster once we became accustomed to the situation the children were in. Now, this doesn’t undermine the show in any way whatsoever. While horror wasn’t really prominent as the series went on, it still remained powerfully thrilling. Instead of being horrifying per se, the show incites fear through tension and thrill. The only difference was that instead of us viewers being scared of the elements in the show, we’re instead scared for the children’s safety and success. Still pretty scary I must say.
Story wise, I love the questions being raised. I always try to keep my reviews spoiler free, so you probably don’t get what I mean yet. But if you’ve never heard anything about this show, then the ending of the first episode will probably leave u gasping in shock and excitement. The show’s premise itself is interesting, with the entire orphanage being built upon a lie. But even more interesting, is the tragedy of the truth. The children uncover mysteries upon mysteries in their plight to escape the treacherous Grace Field House. And with each discovery, they could only wonder if the gripping reality of their situation would only leave them with despair. One of the most satisfying mystery anime I’ve watched in a long time.
While the show focuses on a few main characters, the entire cast of children in the orphanage each have distinctive qualities that in some form or another, add quality to the show. But rather than simply being unique individuals (which they refreshingly are), the anime shows us how these unique talents or personalities come together to affect a certain outcome. Just like how sports anime focus on teamwork and what each member can offer to the team, except in this case the “sport” is to escape and if you dare lose, well then.
The colour choice in the anime is ideal, adding to that eerie atmosphere. Its frequently darker toned colour schemes along with an effective use of shadows creates this foreboding feeling. Even in the day, the blue skies, wide field and the forest were nothing spectacularly bright. While distinct (being blue and green), they often feel rather flat, and at times even dark. All these serve to maintain the ominous aura in the Grace Field House, and effectively so. The style of art and fluidity of animation is a pleasure to look at as well.
Overall, what makes The Promised Neverland special is how it intrigues its viewers with its countless mysteries and its unexpected moments. How they give details so minor that we turn a blind eye towards it, only to find out later on that they have meaning. It is a thrilling ride with mind-blowing twists and fearsome discoveries. Truly a masterpiece of today.
Should I watch The Promised Neverland?
The answer is a resounding YES! It doesn’t matter if you hate thrillers (okay well maybe it might matter) or if you loathe mysteries (how dare you), The Promised Neverland is one of the most fascinating concepts I’ve seen being explored in an anime, in a manner that’s thrilling and immersive. I implore any and everyone who hasn’t watched this to give it a try.
On the other hand, if you did come here looking for actual horror, or perhaps a bit more sci-fi, then The Promised Neverland may be lacking, at least in the anime. It is indeed a great show, but I wouldn’t let it represent the horror genre, and unlike the manga, there’s still too little sci-fi being showcased in the anime to make it among the headliners of its genre.