…or should I say The UN-Promised Neverland.
In 2019 the world was introduced to the animated version of The Promised Neverland (Yakusoku no Nebārando), and what an introduction it was! The anime had the audience waiting eagerly for each weekly episode, of which there were 12. A short season, but this is usually the case when an anime is making its debut.
Back in 2019 I wrote a blog on The Promised Neverland. If you haven’t seen or read The Promised Neverland, check it out, it may persuade you to join in with the dramatic adventure!
This year The Promised Neverland fans were enthusiastically anticipating the release of the second season, after waiting nearly two years for it. In the meantime, a lot of fans had started reading the manga, as they could not wait to see what fate had in store for Emma and the other children. I was one of these people and I was blown away by it. The manga was amazing. I haven’t finished reading it yet, I’m about halfway through and it is awesome so far. The first three episodes of The Promised Neverland season 2 were great however when episode 4 aired the fans were given a slap in the face. What on earth had happened???
FYI, The Promised Neverland is a great anime and both seasons are good, but season 2 is very disappointing if you have read the manga.
BEWARE – from here on there will be SPOILERS!
The Promised Neverland manga is wonderfully written, the characters are great and the design of the human world in which they live is very fitting. The land of the demons is eerily like ‘earth’ and then not at the same time. Each demon is unique in looks and character, they have their own etiquette, hierarchy and laws in place in order to keep ‘the promise’ with the humans intact. Yet, for some reason season 2 of the anime discards all of it and rushes through a lot of the chapters of the manga, scrapping major story arcs, such as ‘Goldy Pond’.
The Promised Neverland season 1 covers chapters 1 to 37 of the manga, so practically 3 chapters per episode, which makes it really well paced for an anime. The Promised Neverland season 2 however covers chapters 38 to 181 of the manga in 11 episodes, that makes 13 chapters stuffed into each episode! Nope, nope and nope again! They have cut a lot of it out and have rushed along the storyline. I stopped watching after episode 4 as I was unsure where the anime was headed and if it would go past the point that I was reading. I can live with some spoilers, but watching the anime skip so far forward in the space of one episode was crazy!
I was so excited for The Promised Neverland season 2 to be released. When I found out that there were only going to be 11 episodes, I really thought that most of season 2 would have been about the Goldy Pond arc. This arc is about 20 chapters long in the manga, and it would have followed on well from episodes 1-3 at the start of season 2. If the makers had covered this storyline as their main focus for Season 2, this would have meant that there would be just over 3 chapters per instalment, like the first season. But no. For some reason, the producers and even the writer of The Promised Neverland Kaiu Shirai, who supervised the anime writing, wanted to skip over one of the most gripping story arcs that I’ve ever read in manga. I am unsure why the decision was made to cut out so much content from a best-selling manga when making the anime. I have failed to find a valid explanation online. Some have suggested that it was to rush the story along so that Norman (who everyone thinks is dead) is reintroduced into the story before the end of the season. Others think that it’s the use of weapons, like guns, in the Goldy Pond arc that helped to make the decision to cut it out, although I doubt this. Either way I think that the producers of The Promised Neverland missed out on creating a potentially amazing season which would have created an even larger fan base.
The Promised Neverland manga has ended now and once I have finished it I will return to the anime, to see if they were right to make such severe cuts to the story. Eventually, when I get over the fact that there’s been a massive story change, I will sit down and watch it. Although when I do watch The Promised Neverland I will watch it as an anime in its own right, appreciating all the fantastic work that has been put into it rather than how much it has deviated from the manga.
If you haven’t read the manga then I would highly recommend The Promised Neverland as an anime and if you really love it, read the manga! If you are reading the manga then just ignore season 2 exists until you have finished reading the whole thing!
If you’ve watched Season 2, I’d really love to hear your thoughts – please leave a comment below!