The Promised Neverland Series Review

  • Author: Kaiu Shirai
  • Genre: Fantasy/Horror
  • No. of pages: AVG. 3840
  • Dates read: February 2022 – April 2023
  • Star Rating: 5 stars

Plot: Life at Grace Field House has been good for Emma and her fellow orphans. While the daily studying and exams they have to take are tough, their loving caretaker provides them with delicious foods and plenty of playtime. But perhaps not everything is as it seems… Emma, Norman and Ray are the brightest kids at the Grace Field House orphanage. And under the care of the woman they refer to as “Mom,” all the kids have enjoyed a comfortable life. Good food, clean clothes and the perfect environment to learn—what more could an orphan ask for? One day, though, Emma and Norman uncover the dark truth of the outside world they are forbidden from seeing.

Now I never thought I would find a manga series that I loved just as much as Fullmetal Alchemist. It was impossible I told myself. Yet here we are. I will try and keep this spoiler free as I really want people to pick up this series if they haven’t already!

The first thing I want to praise is the art design. Posuka Demizu is the illustrator for this series and they do an INCREDIBLE job. Every character looks wholly different in age, race and body shape. There is no carbon copy character to work from, every design looks well thought out and planned. The designs of the demons though… the best designs in the entire series. I have never feared a bunch of creatures so much in my entire life. The designs were scary, gory and also regal as well. The character designs were just amazing in this series.

In terms of characters. A friend of mine read the series at the same time I did and one of their comments about the main character, Emma, was so good I had to mention it. So, shoutout to Morgan! Emma is very similar to the likes of Tanjiro from Demon Slayer and Aang from the Last Airbender. She is smart, and athletic but most importantly kind. She has the ability to see outside of herself and extend her empathy to anyone and everyone. She also sticks by her guns and will always choose the kindest and most inclusive way out. Even if it’s the riskiest. Because she cannot succeed if she doesn’t have everyone with her. I think in manga and especially in these gory, horrifying settings we rarely see characters just choose kindness and that is what we love about Emma.

The plot itself. Masterful. Obviously, I cannot go into any detail as I am trying to keep this review spoiler free. But! Every ARC just got better and better. The first ARC was spectacular and I was worried that Shirai would never be able to top what he had just done but it just increased in quality with each ARC. Sometimes you have manga series that start to lose momentum or lost the vision of what made it so great in the first place but not with this series. I think this series being 20 volumes was perfect. Everything felt wrapped up nicely without it feeling rushed or dragged out.

I will say my one personal gripe and without spoiling the ending for you guys. The ending involves a specific trope that I don’t particularly like. I understand why the author did what he did but I just don’t like the trope so I was disappointed to see it be used at the end. I think, because the rest of the series had such masterful plotting and twists and turns, this final trope felt very last min get-out quick vibes rather than a masterful way of working around and finding a cooler solution.

But overall, if you love characters you can root for, brilliant art design, a plot that keeps you guessing and pulls the rug out from underneath your feet with a strong message of family. Check out this series!

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