It seems like just yesterday I started this anime, and it gripped me on the very first episode, with the twist of Conny being killed by the monsters, or demons, whatever floats your boat. Then we had Sister Krone for all of 6 episodes, before she was killed off, a whole bunch of nothing for a while, the best episode of the entire series, the most depressing episode of the series, and the great escape.
I do like the idea that Emma only tells Phil about the truth behind the house, and what really(?) happened to Norman. It only makes sense, considering that out of all of the 4-year olds, Phil has had the most screen time, and for some reason, was the person behind a cliff-hanger in episode 5-6, I can’t remember RN. But the fact that he KNEW, or at least suspected something, shows, that he’s somehow more perceptive than 80% of Shonen Protagonists! Where’s my Phil spinoff at?!
It still baffles me that even when he’s left the plot entirely, Norman somehow manages to impact the plot in some way. Not only did he figure out some way that Ray was going to kill himself, but he also figured out a way to escape without going to the bridge, which was one of the obstacles that was in their way, because if they had escaped through the bridge, the monsters would have gotten them, so they figured out a way to find a way over the bridge, via zipline. WHAT?! That’s so insane, yet so amazing, at the same time! And all this in the span of 2 months, in which Ray was considering killing himself! In the end, Ray learns to swallow his pride, and admits that he was wrong about the children being a burden.
Isabella, realizing that the children are in the process of escaping, notifies HQ, but when they don’t go to the bridge, she realizes that they’ve found another way to escape. So Isabella’s gone to where the children are, and just about when Emma is about to zip across the way, Isabella catches up to her, and Emma doesn’t freak out, she doesn’t break down, she just says her goodbyes, to the children, to the house she grew up in, and Isabella as well. She zips across the cliff, and everyone has escaped.
The rest of the episode is dedicated to a flashback of Isabella’s childhood, before she became a mother of Grace Field. She had a friend named Leslie long ago, and he played her a song, which she never forgot, even after he got shipped out. She did try to escape, but her caretaker somehow convinced her not to, because she saw potential in her. From the day of her shipment, she underwent training, got pregnant, and became assigned the home. Until one day, she hears Ray humming a song to himself, which makes Isabella tear up, asking him where he heard that song from. Ray responds with,
Hey, Mom… why did you give birth to me?Ray
To which she responds,
It was to survive.Isabella
These lines of dialogue paint their relationship in a whole different light. First, Ray not only wanted to kill himself to take a stab at the bullshit system they’ve been forced into, but to hurt his mother as well, because she chose to put her own child into a system like this. On the flip side, it shows that Isabella was never really evil, she just wanted to survive. Yet, she made the choice to live, and in turn, she ended up motivating the children she raised throughout their whole lives to escape the system. And she doesn’t swear revenge on them, she doesn’t try to after them, she doesn’t even call headquarters. She just admits her loss, and wishes all of them luck in their journey.
The sun rises on January 15, 2046, and for 15 children, ranging from ages 5-12, it’s the first day of freedom.
EPISODE RATING: A+
WHAT. A. SERIES. I went in completely blind on this series, as many of my readers already know, and I was astonished by how the characters have developed, how the complex the story and setting is, how high the stakes are, man, this series is beautiful…
The one thing that I was personally disappointed by was how little the Demons/Monsters/whatever had an influence on the plot, currently, and how it felt that Sister Krone was there mostly to give exposition, and later die.
But I loved Emma’s character arc, Norman’s OP brainpower, Ray thinking “I AM THE DANGER” when he really wasn’t, Isabella seemingly being this EVIL amoral person who wants to kill these kids, but she merely wanted to survive.
Beautiful episode. I can’t wait until 2020. Why 2020, you ask? Oh, no reason, except that’s when Season 2 is happening! BABOOM!
But is it worth it to watch weekly? No. My advice, if you’ve got about 6 hours to spare, watch the whole thing on Hulu, HIDIVE, Funimation (unless you’re boycotting them because… well, you know), wherever you wish, so that you can push through the boring parts first, and you can get to the everlasting climax that is the final 5 episodes.
Thanks for reading my rambles on The Promised Neverland over the past 3 months! It was a lot of fun! Come back tomorrow for my JoJo review, and next week when I talk about my watchlist for Spring 2019! I’ve been Aze, and this has been The Promised Neverland.
Stay Twisted, People.
SERIES RATING: B+
+Strong Pilot Episode
+Interesting Character Dynamics
-Demons don’t influence the plot beyond the first episode
-Sister Krone is used as a glorified exposition dump