Monday, October 28, 2019

Anime Monday: The Promised Neverland

Welcome to NGR's first ever "Anime Monday!" This is a new blog series where I will be discussing a random anime every Monday! (Or whenever I get a chance.) Although this is a gaming blog, there's no denying the strong focus on Japanese gaming here, so anime sorta fits in with that. Besides this isn't the first anime post here, as it's something I've been bringing up ever since 2011. With this blog series though I wanted to do something a little bit different.

As I just mentioned, each week an anime is chosen at completely random using a RNG. If the series chosen is something I've watched, I'll discuss it. If it's something I've never heard of, I just might check it out and then cover it later. This way things will be interesting for both you guys and me, and it'll force me to even bring up series I'd rather not admit to watching. So yeah.... Love it or hate it, I'll be talking about it!

Anyway, let's get on with this week's chosen series: The Promised Neverland.

The Story:

The Promised Neverland is a relatively new series. Originally starting as a manga series back in 2016, it has been adapted into anime form by the company CloverWorks. Although quite popular, it's actually something I never heard of until recently thanks to Hulu. One day it simply popped up on my recommended list, so I gave it a shot. And man, am I glad I did.

When the show first starts we get introduced to our main character, a young girl by the name of Emma. Emma is a smart kid living with the rest of her family at the orphanage. She scores high on her tests, she's responsible, and she really cares about her friends. She'll do anything for them, and is just a good person in general -- always wishing others the best. But then one day she realizes something isn't quite right, and everything changes.

Early on in the story Emma and the rest of her family is informed that one of their own would be leaving. The 6 year old Conny has found a new forever home, and would be adopted shortly. Of course everyone was sad to see Conny go, but they were happy for her as well. Finally she was going to have a real family, and get to see the outside world for herself. So they all said their goodbyes, and watched Conny walk off with their caretaker Isabella. However, things didn't go quite as smoothly as everyone had hoped.

After Conny left, Emma and her friend Norman noticed that she had left her favorite toy "Little Bunny" behind. Being the good friends that they are, they decided to take it to her before she left. So the two disobey their "mom's" orders and go to the gate of the orphanage. Upon arriving there however Conny was nowhere to be seen, with only an "empty" truck awaiting them. At first they think it's too late, and that Conny had already left, but soon they realized this wasn't the case. In reality Conny was only a few feet away.

Discovering Conny's mutilated body in the back of the truck was quite the shock to Emma and Norman. Why did this happen? Who did this? What is going on!? Neither knew how to react, but they knew they had to hide before they were found. That's when "they" walked out of the building, and got back inside the truck. Although they spoke human language, they were anything but.

When Emma and Conny returned to the orphanage, they began collecting their thoughts on what had just happened. Why was Conny dead? Just what exactly was this so called orphanage? The kids who were adopted before, did they meet the same fate? They both had so many unanswered questions, but one thing became clear pretty quickly. The orphanage they all have been living at was in reality a farm.

Why You Should Watch It:

The thing that's so interesting about The Promised Neverland is it's mysterious world. Here you have a group of kids who realize they are being raised just to be eaten, and nothing else about the outside world is very clear. Sure there are books and things just like we have in the real world, but does that mean the world in Promised Neverland are one in the same? Are there humans outside those walls, or does the world belong to these so called "demons?" Then if that's the case, who is their caretaker? Is she one of "them," or is she too human? The first episode sets up so many questions, and it's hard to stop watching because of that.

Needless to say, the kids have to escape from this house. If they stay there any longer they too will eventually die, with some of the older kids already getting close to being the max age of 12. Their time is extremely limited, so they have to act fast and come up with a plan. With each episode we see these plans slowly come together, and we also get to see bits and pieces of what the world is really like. Some answers come easier than others however, and sometimes it's not always clear who it is the kids can trust. What of the other children? Could one of them really be siding with "mom?" Or what about mom herself, what are her reasons for doing what she's doing? Is she being forced to, or is she fully aware of her actions? Whatever the case may be, The Promised Neverland does a great job building suspense, and it always keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Sadly at this time not all of the answers are clear. As this is a newer manga series, the anime version only has so much to work with at this time. The first season currently only has 12 episodes, with season 2 not coming out until next year. On one hand it's great knowing there is a lot more to come, but on the other the wait can be extremely hard. At least it's something to look forward to though!

Where to Watch:

At this time there are multiple ways to watch Promised Neverland, but the easiest two are over at Crunchyroll and Funimation. Both options are free, but can be watched without advertisements if you have a sub to either service. The show can also be found on Hulu.