The Promised Neverland is worth your time


Sage Dorrance-Minch, staff writer

The Promised Neverland, aka Yakusoku No Neverland, is arguably one of the best animes to watch since its debut in 2019 and many fans recommend people to watch it. What exactly is it about and why do so many fans enjoy watching that anime?

For the sake of increasing the pace and shortening the topic a bit, The Promised Neverland will be abbreviated here as TPN. TPN can be found on many anime websites with both English sub and dub versions, so it’s fairly easy to access from devices. When you finish watching the series, there is an option to read the manga if you’d like to know what happens next, that is if you haven’t read the manga first. Clearly some of you have read the manga before watching the anime.

Moving on with the plot, TPN is a remarkable horror/psychological/thriller/supernatural/drama anime that focuses more on hinging emotional stories, increasing dread within the atmosphere, and disguising the terror within a seemingly innocent setting to deceive viewers, only to give a surprise in the end that will really terrify at least some of you. The main characters in the anime are the top scoring 11 year old children in Grace Field Orphanage called Emma, Norman, and Ray.

As we begin watching the anime, we’re introduced to Grace Field House, which seems to be an orphanage much better than the ones existing in real life to be honest. Every orphan has their own assigned and clean clothes to wear daily, a loving caregiver which they refer to as “mama,” proficient education, such as daily testing, that allows healthy and advanced brain development, various activities, a large field to play games like tag, and very warm and welcoming environment with everyone being seen as a family (well, Norman may or may not have other opinions…).

Orphans are told that once they leave GF at some point, they’ll be promised to have a nice foster family and live in an utopia, which can be described in the books they read and perhaps stories from “mama” herself. Does this sound like a perfect lifestyle? If any of you were in GF and you hear about the utopia outside, what would you look forward to doing?

Well guess what, everything is a lie. Is it convenient that no one ever sends letters back to GF and that every orphan who’s adopted at an older age is rather intelligent while younger adopted orphans are seemingly less bright? Nope! Not at all. If you were skeptical about the adoption and curious about why no one’s allowed to enter and leave the gates, then you aren’t wrong to suspect any of that. 

When the protagonists are exposed to learning GF’s secrets, they immediately take action to help everyone escape from its horror, which isn’t easy considering that there are many challenges such as a cat and mouse battle between them and unfortunately their “mama” Isabella, who isn’t what she seems to be, keeps a very close eye on everyone while trying to hinder their schemes. Yikes! Are all orphanages terrible? That’s why the U.S. gave up on them.

I have to say TPN is definitely an anime I recommend watching. Not only do they have incredibly well-written and complex characters, they manage to skillfully express horror as soon as the protagonists witness the truth of GF, and make the loving and bright setting shift into an eerie and unsettling gallows that they’re fatefully branded to. The anime really makes it appear as if someone’s stalking the characters and it’s CGI environment contrasting 2D characters further increases the feeling of dread in the orphanage. Other details increasing the scare factor is the fact that outside the orphanage is a terrifying world that won’t see the orphans any different compared to their environment and that if they do manage to escape, chances are they can still die in the outside world. Keep in mind that the characters ARE CHILDREN. Out of curiosity, if you’re orphans in TPN, how would you try to escape and survive the outside world? Do you think you’ll escape? Would you survive in the outside world? There are many possibilities determining fate that awaits.

Another thing I admire about TPN is how symbolic it can be as it manages to conceal the full picture and only expose bits and pieces that can add up as layers to the secret plans, thus driving the plot. To make things more interesting, most of the characters have a reputation for being much smarter than an average person, especially the main trio. Isn’t it satisfying for a protag to be highly intelligent and even a female? Heck yeah! If anyone enjoys watching an anime or reading a manga that has intelligent characters, TPN definitely has them. Not gonna lie, I think some of the characters may be smarter than us, lol.

Alrighty then, I’m done explaining season 1. Now to move on with explaining season 2, which just came out about a month ago with its first few episodes. Unlike season 1, season 2 will be mostly anime original and follow a different plot. From what I’ve noticed from the fellow TPN fans, they have mixed feelings about the recent season. Hey fellow season 2 viewers reading this article, what do you think of this season so far? Honestly, Shirai may be up to many surprises here and could possibly be rearranging the story, perhaps removing some arcs and replacing them, rearranging some or all the arcs, or maybe both of the following? Who knows? Season 2 is definitely a mystery and I suppose maybe it’s worth watching since every episode may be surprising us.

For those who are fond of at least the anime would totally notice that I didn’t bother explaining specific details and my reason for that is because I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you reading my article. I’d rather not ruin anything for those of you reading who are new to this franchise and are reading because they’re curious. Overall, I do recommend you watch TPN season 1 and 2, and also read the manga if you want to. This is an excellent franchise for those who like horror, psychological, thriller, supernatural, drama, suspense, action, adventure, fantasy, and sci-fi.