The Promised Neverland (Episode 1)

A group of children play and learn at an orphanage on an idyllic plot of land. The staff are loving and caring, the children are like a family, but something is not quite as it seems!

What did you watch? This is my first series of the Winter 2019 schedule and it’s likely to be the only subtitled one that I am able to fit in. My original goal was to wait for four episodes and then watch them, but it would appear that everyone and their dog is doing a review for this series, so I’m jumping in too. Also, there are a lot of spoilers flying around and I hate spoilers.

What happened? Hold on, I’m still recovering from that sucker-punch! Even with my best efforts to avoid the spoilers, I had a sense of what was about to happen, so I thought I was prepared for it. I was not nearly prepared enough. The following review will likely contain spoilers, stop now if you don’t want to see them.

All right, let’s get down to business. Emma, Ray, and Norman are three eleven-year old children living in an orphanage. It’s set on a beautiful estate with rolling green fields, trees, and a large home. They have room to run and play. Everything seems wonderful.

During a game of tag, the children venture too close to a fence that they have been forbidden from crossing. They wonder what is beyond, which leads them to consider the others that have left the orphanage and why none have written them letters. Red flag!

The children attend classes and are tested regularly to see how they are performing. Emma, Ray, and Norman are the top of the class. The other children all look up to them, but it’s a sad day at the orphanage, Conny, a six-year old girl has been adopted. Mother, the head of the orphanage collects Conny and walks her to the front gates.

Whilst completing their chores Emma discovers Conny’s stuffed rabbit. Accompanied by Norman, she decides to try to catch up with Mother and Conny, but when they arrive at the gate house all is quiet. They decide to leave the rabbit in the back of a truck, hoping Conny will find it…

What hooked you? Given the hype that this series has got, I knew I had to watch it. When you first see the children, you quickly notice the numbers branded on their necks. That’s your first clue. I’ll admit I am a big fan of dark stories, especially when everything seems so idyllic to begin with. This first episode was excellent. If the rest is anywhere near as good as this it will be an incredible series.

What was your favourite thing? The twist. I love a good twist. Honestly, I really don’t want to reveal the big twist, so I’m going to skirt around it for a moment. All the best twists leave you with breathless. You just sit there and stare at the screen soaking it all in. It’s even better when you think back to all the clues that you noticed, but didn’t quite put it all together until it’s too late. That was my favourite thing about this episode.

What was your least favourite thing? Knowing that there was going to be a big twist. It left me holding my breath, waiting for it. Was it going to be a subtle reveal where it’s been going on all along, but you just didn’t notice because of all the joy and happiness? Maybe, it’s going to be a big, over the top explosion of a twist and completely floor you when you least expect it. That’s also one of my favourite things.

Who was your favourite character? At this early stage, I think Emma is my favourite character with Norman a close second. It’s going to be intense watching, because thanks to this episode it’s probably not advisable to connect with anyone, but that’s not how it works. They’re going to do everything in their power to make us love these characters and then…

Who was your least favourite character? Damn you, Mother. Damn you! I knew I didn’t like her from the start. If there’s weird stuff going on at an orphanage, the staff are always in on it, but then she was this smiling, loving, caring person. That’s pure evil right there!

Are you ready for more? Oh, yes! And this time, I’m not going to wait until three days later. I have the date and time in my phone and I’m going to be on this at the earliest opportunity. This is going to be so deliciously dark I can’t wait.

Other reviews in the series

18 Comments

  1. David Boone (moonhawk81)

    So, I’ve got some trusted folks trying to convince me that this is suspense (which I like) rather than horror (which I abhor). What’s your take?

    • From the first episode I’d say more suspense than horror. Can’t comment further though. I’ve reserved the first three manga from my library so may know more soon.

      It definitely does a great job of making you feel uncomfortable despite the apparently tranquil setting. I think it’s worth a go.

  2. hmm, so its got itself an anime adaptation already?
    I’ve read the manga, and yes, it is REALLY dark.
    haha, it reminds me that I have to catch up on a bunch of anime. :'(
    I actually kinda forgot about this series (im very forgetful, NOTHINGwrong with this series) and now im gonna recommend this to my friend and get her sucked into the charm (or maybe curse) of watching seasonal anime. Muhahahahaha

    • Ok, I kinda emphasized dark a little too much.

    • It’s still dark though.

    • Even after one episode I’m inclined to agree.

    • No, I think you nailed it. I’ve reserved the first three manga, but there is a wait. Hopefully, they’ll come in before the series finishes. Loved that first episode.

    • Oh, you can go to the official VIZ website and make a free account and read more than what you can in the published volumes for free! And it isn’t pirated! They are official translated chapters!
      That’s how I actually knew about the series before the anime came out, actually.

    • Thanks, I will have to check that out.

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