One of the most highly anticipated anime premieres of the winter season, “The Promised Neverland,” did anything but disappoint its wide range of viewers with its surprising themes of despair and anguish, setting up a stellar supernatural/mystery series for all audiences.
With an upsurge in the production quality of top anime series in the past few years, it should come as to no surprise that 2019 will produce some of the most stunning series yet. “The Promised Neverland” is clearly not an exception as the show’s first episode reels in viewers with its seemingly innocent storyline. In reality, something much more sinister lurks within the Grace Field orphanage.
Set in the year 2045, “The Promised Neverland” focuses on the hopeful, starry-eyed orphans of Grace Field House, each branded with a mysterious number and put through vigorous testing to ensure they all stay sharp. Like any orphanage, there comes a time when each child must leave, but when the series’ protagonists Emma, Ray and Norman make a discovery about their adopted friend Conny, they must quickly find a way for all 30 kids to escape.
“The Promised Neverland” has already generated a massive presence within the public sphere with its weekly comic run, earning it a spot as one of the most popular Shonen Jump titles to date. As the comic has been running for two years, fans are quietly waiting for anime watchers to slowly discover the twisted world that lies both within and outside of the orphanage.
Without a doubt, viewers will hold their breath throughout each episode, bursting at the seams at each move Emma makes to outsmart the seemingly ditsy caretakers Mama Isabella and Sister Krone. Demonic activity lies around every corner, and as viewers will soon find out, what waits for Emma and her cohort on the outside won’t be much better.
The genius of the series lies within its particularly appealing nature, as those who are not anime fans can easily enjoy “The Promised Neverland,” something that many anime series fail to do. The themes and storylines of betrayal, escape and hope are not exclusively linked to its Japanese roots.
Hours after the premiere, several Twitter users had many blood-curdling emotions about the show’s sudden terrifying turn near the end of its first episode.
“This anime took me by surprise,” Twitter user @Abdul_S17 said. “I was not expecting such a dark and sinister plot twist within the first episode. The episode started off beautifully, but it took an unprecedented turn that actually got me horrified and frightened.”
“I was ready for #ThePromisedNeverland to get dark and gritty,” @LongCiao said. “However I was NOT expecting to get jumpscared in the FIRST EPISODE”
“Duuude that was a cliffhanger and a half,” @jarjarbuns said. “The suspense is real. I heard from many that this series is amazing, and so far, I’m absolutely HOOKED.”
With 12 episodes promised for the show’s first season, fans of the comic are already anticipating an announcement for the adaptation of the series’ future arcs.
You can watch “The Promised Neverland” weekly on Hulu, Crunchyroll and FunimationNow.