Jan 31, 2019
cateapillar (All reviews)
The Promised Neverland is one of the most hauntingly brilliant anime I’ve seen in the last decade, and it definitely deserves the hype it’s receiving at the moment.

Horror is a genre that anime has always struggled with, as when you try to mash conventional horror tropes such as gore and disturbing imagery with eyes that take up half of a character's head, it usually isn’t horrific in the slightest bit. Because of this, horror in anime commonly strays away from the horror conventions of horror films in the western world, and instead revolves around psychological horror. This is the approach that The Promised Neverland has chosen to take when telling its story.

And it’s absolutely terrifying.

I suggest that you go into the first episode completely blind to get the full effect of the show, but if you need some more convincing as to why this show is worth your time, then read on.

The Promised Neverland revolves around a group of children that reside in an orphanage known as the “Grace Field House.” It’s an orphanage located in a secluded area in the woods, and the children that live in the orphanage are only given one rule by their “Mama”: they are not allowed to exit the gates of the orphanage that leads to the outside world, nor are they allowed to cross the fence that separates the children of the orphanage from the nearby forest. The children of the orphanage are raised to be naive, so they don’t question these rules. However, we as the viewer know something is off, which adds to the looming dread and tension of the beginning of the series.

Two of the kids then discover that the orphanage is actually a farm that raises children and prepares them for their “harvest”, when they’re murdered and fed to demons at a steep price. Upon discovering the truth of their existence, three of the orphans devise a plan to escape the orphanage once and for all.

After this, the story evolves into a terrifying cat and mouse game that is reminiscent of a series such as Death Note. There’s constant intellectual battles between the adults and the children, and the stakes are so incredibly high that it’s hard to stop watching. Every single scene feels more tense than the last, and the lingering fear of the chance that our three protagonists will be caught and immediately murdered permeates throughout the entirety of each episode.

Even more surprising about the series is that it’s based off of a Shonen Jump manga, and don’t let this turn you away from the show, as I checked out the source material and the manga feels nothing like the majority of the works published in the magazine. It feels far more Seinen than Shounen, and this adult edge helps to greatly elevate the levels of tension and horror in the manga.

Overall, The Promised Neverland is a terrifying look into despicable human behavior that could possibly make the entire anime community vegans due to its similarities with farm animal treatment. Jokes aside, The Promised Neverland is shaping up to be one of this years strongest shows, and one of the most horrifying anime of the past decade. This is not one that should be missed.