Taking a ball a ball to the face is not fun at all. I speak from experience. Once upon a time a younger, fitter Passerby made football (soccer to the Americans, association football to the pedantics) his school yard pastime of choice. And you know how little kids are at sports. Boundless energy, zero discipline. It didn’t help that I was a zealous defender, always getting up in the opponents’ grill. Not like they cared; there’s only one thing kids want to do in football and that’s clearing the ball across the field whenever possible. But Passerby wasn’t going to let that happen! He’ll be marking you, ready to intercept. With his face. At point-blank range.
Brain damage, you say? Developmental issues, even? Nonsense. I turned out perfectly spatula.
Still, you’d think that demonic mind flayers would be more careful about preserving the skull-meats of their livestock. Why not just keep them indoors with mental exercises, instead of letting them run around outside where injury and concussions await? Is there more to their diet than the the tasty, tasty grey matter? Does free-range taste better?
I don’t know if Yakusoku no Neverland wanted us to think about these things, but there is some level of casual sadism that it invites us to indulge in. I’m never really sure whether I’m supposed to be horrified or intrigued. Sure, eating children is terrible but… what’s their recipe? This kind of complicit spectator perspective is enforced by the camera, which is often voyeuristic. Of course, part of the reason for this is that we know there’s a snitch, but we peek on the villains too. On that note, I’m glad Sister Krone is here because she adds much to the narrative. In stories like these, villains are always more interesting than heroes. The heroes are simple; they don’t want to get eaten so work to escape. But why do the villains do what they do? Were they humans once? Ex-orphans? What motivates their apparent cruelty? The entry of Sister Krone gives Mother (Isabelle?) someone to interact with, so we can see more of her business side. And we’re also fortunate that Sister Krone is actually insane and will freely monologue and even break into character-developing song. But even then, there’s only more questions. What do thse ‘plant’ hierarchies actually mean? What’s the use in climbing them?
But for now, I guess we have to worry about the snitch. Unlike the horrified Emma, though, I’m once again more curious. Does the snitch actually know the secret? Are they selling out humanity willingly? Or are they naive and being manipulated? And I really hope it’s not actually glasses girl. These things are no fun when they’re made obvious.
By the way, let me know in the comments what you feel about coverage of Yakusoku no Neverland. THere are a lot of great series this season but, as always, limited time, so if you have any strong feelings about this show then make sure you’re heard.
Motives and villian pacing for the 1st arc are quite small-scale and farm-limited, but will grow together with worldbuilding in future arcs.
Plus, the reasons why demons eat humans have just been revealed in the latest manga chapter, but it’ll be a Long Time before any potential anime seasons cover that point.
If I know anything from young adult fiction (which Yakusoku no Neverland likely draws inspiration from) it’s that they tend to start to lose the plot when they open up their world, so perhaps it’s best we stay on the farm a while.
I so very badly want to continue that train of thought but… Discretion is the better part of valor here.
For the anime-only watchers, there are 3 characters in this arc that the manga showed their internal monologue: Emma, Norma, and Krone. There were a few scenes where Mama’s thoughts were shown, but those were the main 3. The scene where Krone talks to the doll and dances around was not in the source material, but the same monologue did happen internally during the scene where Isabella interacts with Krone.
Now that we’re at episode 3, I have to say that I am disappointed in the anime’s decision to externalize the characters’ thoughts. The doll scene makes Krone appear comically insane, and the scene where Emma said out-loud “I must protect these kids” makes her look incompetent. Seriously, Krone is supposedly in the room that is between the 3 children’s rooms and is loudly dancing and singing that she will ship someone away. How did no one hear that? The manga internalized that entire information exchange, showing Krone is smart enough to realize the opportunity at hand, but not so stupid as to actually say it out loud, let alone sing about it. Had the doll scene been animated such that it was clear Krone wasn’t talking out loud, then the impact would have been much different.
We know that Emma gets perfect or high scores every morning and Isabella said to Krone “easier than getting perfect scores every morning” (implying Krone was also cattle, based on her smile), so we are told the characters are intelligent but we are shown otherwise when they actually say their internal monologues out loud. To me, that is a sign of poor decision making on the director’s part.
The anime is in a difficult position, I think. The internal monologue tells us a lot about a character but without dialogue boxes like a manga implementation is impractical. I’m of the opinion that adaptations need to tailor a story for their medium, even to the point of changing characterisation. Making Krone slightly more unhinged is not ideal, but we should think of it as a compromise.
I disagree on the implementation. There are several great examples in the “battle of wits” genre where the voice actors speak, but the characters themselves do not. One example is Light from Death Note; lots of scenes where the viewer can hear what he is thinking, but can also see that the scene calls for Light to not actually say anything or risk giving away information. There were similar scenes in Code Geass and Re: Zero that also worked well.
In this case, knowing what I know about the character (I won’t spoil anything), I actually like the scene with the doll. To maintain the character but still work with the different storytelling medium, a much better way to do this scene would have been to animate Krone the exact same way, but not show her mouth move. Then, have the voice actress speak the same dialogue and have her softly hum in the background. The humming would get louder as she starts to dance and sing in her head.
If they had taken the direction I just came up with, the viewer would be left with the impression that Krone is unhinged, but not stupid. That would maintain consistency with the prior scene where she started to quickly memorize the children’s profiles. If the anime wants the portray Krone the way it started to in the scene with Isabella, then it should maintain consistency with how the character behaves. Same thing with the other characters; the portrayal should be consistent and believable. I didn’t see that in this episode 🙁
Now, having said all that, I think this adaption is still great. I also think that due to the nature of the story itself, anime-only viewers will also enjoy it. There hasn’t been a good “battle of wits” anime in a while, and I would enjoy reading your coverage of the show.
I dunno. Into the Spiderverse made effective use of multiple techniques of handling internal monologue – including dialog boxes.
It will be interesting to see how/where anime adopts them.
I totally agree with you. I like to watch anime-only reactions on YouTube, and there were multiple people who were confused about Emma talking out loud during the scene where she’s searching Carol’s body for a tracker. People were like, “Dude, glasses girl is gonna hear what Emma’s saying!” I just don’t understand any reasoning behind changing it from an inner monologue to openly talking to herself out loud. Why? Is it so difficult to animate thoughts instead? Death Note did it, countless other anime have done it.
I am 100% in favor of covering The Promised Neverland. It’s by far my favorite new anime this season, and as someone unfamiliar with the manga it is thrilling to be spoonfed the mystery bit by bit.
Thanks for your input.
Welcome to Blank-Faced Establishing Shots: The Anime.
Me too. I’m 100% in favor of covering this, this season. Every episode so far has been intriguing, intense and suspenseful. And I dont expect that to change anytime soon.
This along with Dororo, Mob Psycho 100, and Tate no Yuusha are my top picks for thr season.
Yeah, definitely all for the coverage of this series going forward! Am an insane fan of the manga so it’ll be interesting hearing your thoughts on the anime (even if it doesn’t live up to the manga).
Well, it’s worth following, for sure.
It’s a big world (building) going on. I don’t know how many eps it is,
so it could turn into a rushed train wreck if the #’s too low.
This ep explored the lead’s deductive ability. And of course, the new Mom was
testing their abilities using the game of tag. Pretty devious, if you ask me…
We already know there are several “farms.” So in this world, this is not
an isolated case of children-eating nuts. Which means it’s a cultural thing
and socially acceptable. What’s on the outside, even if the children all
manage to escape, may be worse than being the entrée for a group of fiends <sic>.
And how are they gonna pull it off? If it were just the 3 main leads, I’d say
probably, but it’ll be tough. But crying babies and first graders
ain’t gonna cut it.
There’s a couple of ways this could go (maybe more):
1. They’re high-quality. Is there a way to taint themselves w/o getting killed?
2. Does their tastiness expire after they reach a certain age? Do they only
need to survive on the outside long enough to become “stale?”
So there’s a lot of potential in this horror / mystery series. And yes, if you’re
watching a show about children being consumed, it’s a horror show, IMHO.
Neverland is for sure very intriguing, since I have not read the manga.
The anime should not have a chance to reach this point, but I do worry about manga with cool premises and start of strong, esp if the mystery aspect is their big selling point in the beginning, but then they can easily go downhill once they’ve exhausted the use of their initial shock factor.