The Promised Neverland has been featured and reviewed a couple of times on the Manga Bookshelf. Those posts introduced me to this manga.
Everyone’s praising The Promised Neverland – which I find absurd. I mean, this manga, with a fairytale-ish title and fisheye-like view on the cover, couldn’t be that good, right?
Well, it is that good. It deserves all the praises it gets. So good, you should buy it. Now.
What is The Promised Neverland anyway?
Hold up. While I try my hardest to avoid any spoilers. I might, just a little bit, include one here and there. Be warned.
Emma lives in an orphanage called Gracefield House, along with 38 other children. The House is like heaven on Earth for them – a good home with a lovely Mom and a whole bunch of adorable siblings. Emma loves them all. She even describes their daily lives which include dressing up in all-white and having numbers tattooed on their necks. And most of all, taking an IQ exam every single day.
Mom warns all kids to never get close to the gate or to the fence outside the woods. She never mentioned why. One particular event led to Emma and Norman breaking the rule. There, they discover that the House might not be a heaven at all.
As the two try to figure out their circumstance and find a way out, Ray joined in as well. He tries to put some logic in Emma’s emotional approach.
Emma, Norman, and Ray always get the top score on their everyday exam. I just love how their intelligence show throughout the entire book. More than just knowing it, seeing it in action is awesome.
My favorite panel is that shot above. The previous pages used solid linework with light backgrounds. Yet that page gives off an eerie feeling. For the first time, the kids seem more as test subjects and not happy, laid-back children. Gracefield House isn’t looking as graceful as it sounds.
The twists and turns keep me glued to The Promised Neverland, and I loved watching these kids outwit the adults. Yet the story reminds us that they are just kids. They lack far too many information and unseen enemies. I can’t wait to find out how the tide will turn to their side.