Let’s cut to the chase: grisly fate for Krone this week. To be honest, after the implication last week that Isabella knew of Krone’s shenanigans (perhaps we blame Ray here) I didn’t really have high hopes for Krone’s continued survival. Really, did any of you really expect Krone to win the Krone vs Isabella contest? Yeah, neither did I. Isabella always seemed to be in control even as Krone became more neurotic. It doesn’t help that Krone’s motivations were bare to us while Isabella remained inscrutable; as we all know, in fiction nothing sinks a plan like explaining it in detail to the audience. No, there was no way Isabella would be so easily dethroned, and this episode she demonstrates her dominance. It’s not just a matter of strength and cunning either; she obviously has a great deal of influence within her organisation, able to summon Krone and then have her transferred away seemingly at her discretion. And she’s not even the final boss. Scary.

As you know by now, I’m quite sympathetic towards Krone, and I wrote as much last week. I assume this was Neverland‘s intention. I’ve been reading the comments and one of the additions to the manga that you guys have pointed out is Krone’s doll. The reveal that she has had the doll since her childhood is, no doubt, meant to illicit some measure of pity from us right before her miserable end. And perhaps the doll was also the foundation of her madness. Krone had, apparently, always nursed a spark of rebellion. Emma and the gang were evidently not the only children who learnt of the secret and plotted escape. Perhaps there were many like them, and Krone, who dreamt of freedom and defiance. But Krone, even after becoming a matron herself, seemed to have held onto it. If her ambition was was just to become a ‘Mother’, then she should have been happy with her transfer to plant 4. And if she had just taken that quietly, didn’t try to report Isabella, and didn’t rock the boat, perhaps she would have lived. But she ostensibly wasn’t just seeking promotion for herself. She wanted to topple the one at the top. Part of her, it seemed, still resented this system. And therefore, I think, the emphasis in this anime adaptation on Krone’s madness. In this world, freedom and defiance are impossible. But Krone held onto those childhood dreams, held onto her doll. And it drove her insane. Insanity was the only refuge as she played both rebel and oppressor. Fittingly, Krone routinely destroys her doll in fits of rage and then repairs it again. And in her final moments, when she wished for the children to escape, we can wonder if it was then that she was truly lucid.

While Krone went mad because she could not square her ideals with her reality, Isabella remained sane by accepting it completely. In contrast, Isabella is defined by despair. She had given up long ago. All signs point to Isabella truly loving her wards. By her words, she strives to provide the best care possible to the children but has accepted that their lifespans can be no more than 12 years. Perhaps her despair is justified, that there truly is no possibility of freedom, and escape is impossible, and even if it was there was no life to be had outside the plant’s wards. Perhaps this is why Isabella is the most accomplished Mother, being the most capable of the doublethink that allows her to both care for her children deeply yet so casually let them die, breaking them without hesitation even as she cradles them. And then contrast both her and Krone to Grandma, who betrays no emotions at all, speaking only in terms of ‘plants’, ‘production’ and ‘profit’.

Well, our protagonists are pretty doomed now and have hit their nadir. The only hope, it seems, is Krone’s parting gift. Whether it was left out of spite for Isabella or thoughts for the children none can now say. Perhaps someone had shown her mercy in the past. I wouldn’t be exactly satisfied if our protagonists are just handed a trump card, but at this rate, they probably need it.


  1. So I was waiting to see how this episode would be handled as opposed to the manga. Part of the major difference between the anime and its source is the way characters internalize their thoughts. In the manga, thoughts are elucidated to excess, while in the anime, they are not shown at all. Nada. The anime must use a device like the doll to make Krone tell us her true feelings.

    As a result, it became unclear why Krone was unhappy with being recommended as a Mother, and the anime didn’t seem to follow up quite properly, so Krone’s parting gift doesn’t make as much sense either. This might not be considered a spoiler but in the manga, Show Spoiler ▼

    1. As a non-manga-reader, I personally found it plain that Krone’s transfer was not good news, that Isabella was getting rid of her, and that Krone knew it. I didn’t find explication all that necessary. I am the type who usually prefers as little dialogue as possible, though.

  2. Good GOD this episode! I felt my heart seize up when Emma and Norman faced down their Mom. Isabella was utterly terrifying, being able to (at least in her mind) “truly love” her children and yet incapacitate Emma without a shred of hesitation. She honestly believes she’s “doing what’s best” for them.

    I couldn’t figure out at first why both Ray and Emma hugged their Mom when she had them against the proverbial wall until Emma made it clear when she tried to snatch the locator. It’s so scarily effective, the way TPN has shown–for all their cunning and planning, they are still children trying to fight a ruthless adult, and at least physically, they have no chance.

    I can’t imagine how they’re going to get through this, now that the already-slim odds have been stacked even more in their Mom’s favor. Crippling their most physically-capable and moving up the Shipment timeline so much? F*ckin’ A.

    I don’t know how they’ll possibly get out of this but I am glued to my damn screen in anticipation.

    As for Sister Krone: I did feel for her the more it became clear she had two sides warring inside of her, the monstrous caretaker seeking a false utopia as a Mom and the defiant, brilliant girl desperately wanting to up-end even part of this living nightmare. It helps to explain her deranged state and it made her a more fascinating character. I’m also glad that the anime seems to have at least downplayed some of her exaggerated depictions compared to the manga.

  3. I seem to recall that the physical condition of the kids played into how tasty they were leading to great efforts to reduce their physical injuries. I can’t imagine breaking a kid’s leg, particularly one of the extra special tasty kids, would be favorable.

    But given what we’ve learned, I suppose it’s reasonable for Isabella to not worry about Emma getting injured as she expects Emma is likely to be offered the Mom route instead of eaten. I’m sure there’s a similar route of fake-escape for boys. The kids come from somewhere…

  4. …have hit their nadir….

    I guess this is one cour. But really, now the story begins.
    And it’s a good story so far. (At least I hope) we _know_ this
    series isn’t about these kids getting shipped off as an entrée.

    The question is, how are they going to survive and do it in the
    limited time available to them. I don’t see a clear path so it
    definitely has my interest to see it through the end. I don’t see
    a cavalry or any other obvious hat-trick. So how will it happen?

    Breaking Emma’s leg destroyed all of their plans as she was/is the
    anchor – they’re not going to sacrifice her and escape (even though
    there’s a good possibility she would live as a future mom or mother).
    Breaking any of the boy’s legs would have meant that they would be
    sacrificed to let the others escape.

    It was always an aggressive plan to get everyone out. Actually, I
    still see the possibility of them somehow tainting themselves to be
    less palatable — maybe they won’t be culled, but maybe they’ll
    be allowed to live. Also, we/they know absolutely nothing about the
    outside world. Are they really better living on the farm..?


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