Emma, Norman, Ray, and many other "siblings" live at an isolated orphanage cut off from the outside world. They live a charmed life surrounded by friends and watched over by Mama, their caretaker, until they leave the house for a foster family by the age of twelve. The only rule is that they must never venture outside of the gate that isolates them from the rest of society, for dangers await. But one day, the children learn the true horror of what's in store for their short lives...
This review will be spoiler free, aside from revealing the overall tone of the show. The Promised Neverland is a compelling thriller that utilizes sound and animation to form an effective tone. In particular it’s use of sound effects and music serve to build tension and create emotion. Story(10/10): While I can’t reveal much of the story’s contents, it remains a tense thriller with incredibly high stakes should the main children fail in their task or be caught. From the beginning the show always feels off, even before revealing its hand in how it will terrify the viewer. The world the show builds is mysterious but very well put together. What is revealed hints at a larger narrative beyond the main children, but leaves much of the world outside of the Gracefield house a lingering mystery. The ending of the season still leaves the viewer questioning things about the world. However, unlike certain other shows, the ending remains impactful and feels complete and satisfying in spite of the remaining questions. For those who desire the continuation of the story, while the show is not due to continue soon, the manga has continued far beyond the end of the first season. However it isn’t yet finished as of the time of this review. The story is complimented well by the show’s animation, character art, and sound, which all serve to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat throughout. Animation(8.5/10): Nothing in the show looks particularly bad animation wise, though nothing is spectacular. Many scenes of characters talking are shot well to convey the tone of the piece, though much consists of characters simply talking. While the story they’re discussing is compelling and the shot composition is good, it’s not always the most interesting to visually look at. Two characters standing together and speaking, even if framed welll, doesn’t always add to intrigue. However, when building tension the show is expert. It’s use of cgi in a first person perspective is fantastic at making the house feel huge and foreboding. The background art and coloring are quite lovely to look at. The colors are realistic, bright, but not oversaturated, capturing the view of a child well. When they alter for the sake of a flashback, such as in the last episode, it works quite well. Overall character designs are effective. Adults appear huge and menacing without losing their humanity. Certain creatures are bizarre and terrifying. The only character design you may have already heard discourse of is that of Sister Krone. Sister Krone is a black woman who comes to assist Isabella with caring for and watching over the children. She is a fascinating character but her design - as often happens with black characters in anime - has been the cause of some controversy. Honestly, while she retains the large lips and hairstyle typical of African stereotypes in the United States, her design is toned down from the manga. Her personality is still immensely over the top, but she’s a enjoyable character. Honestly, if you’re particularly sensitive to this sort of design it will probably still distract you. Sound(10/10): The opening and ending themes are both excellent. I enjoy them musically and they fit the tone of the shoe, with the opening being more rebellious and the ending more somber and subdued. As hinted at in previous sections to music and sound mixing in this show is absolutely superb and truly makes horrifying scenes more palpably effective. I do not want to know how they foleyed the sounds of the creatures in this show. Further, music overall enhances the experience that the manga provides and makes characters like Iabella more sympathetic in its presence. Characters(10/10): Despite much of the cast being young children, the characters are fascinating and deal with heavy issues. With much of the show surrounding intelligent children attempting to outmaneuver manipulative adults to achieve their goals, the characters always feel intelligent and compelling. While I cannot go into much detail, I can express that they all work well. Overall(9/10): If you enjoy psychological thrillers, I highly recommend you check out The Promised Neverland. While the show isn’t always the most interesting visually it is an absolute treat in its storytelling, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the genre or curious about the show.
This anime is a great psychological thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and leaves your nails a jagged mess from biting them in anxiety. Without giving away important parts of the story, as I feel it's better to go into this anime without knowing much or anything at all, the first episode appears to seem like a normal story about orphans living their lives in an orphanage with no real obstacle in life than lacking parents. However, it very quickly turns into a horrific situation and left me, who is rarely surprised by the stories in anime, incredibly surprised and feeling a sense of, "Oh my God, what the hell is happening?" Each episode, including the first, adds layer upon layer of a mystery that makes you suspicious of everything and everyone, and also makes you want to play along with the mind games. The story becomes progressively more complex with each passing episode without feeling like the writers are trying to cram everything into a single episode to fit the entire story into twelve episodes. The story itself is captivating and I always find myself trying to play the mind games with the characters and trying to solve the games before the characters do, which makes the anime even more enjoyable. The animation is absolutely stunning, as it seems, in certain points, that a "camera" is actually moving with the character. The facial expressions of the characters are also believable and convey the proper emotions of the scene, in most cases. Though every character isn't the most complex, they still add a certain level of depth needed for the story to be interesting and progress through plot points to the eventual end. Honestly, you should just be watching the anime instead of reading my half-baked review. You'll thank me later.
A show similar to Made in Abyss where a group of young kids slowly become aware of how brutal reality is that they live in. The show does an excellent job in building suspense and it also manages to keep you on your toes, wondering who is really in control of this multilayered chess game. The animations are amazing and there is always something going on in the background which always makes you second guess if you're focussing on the right thing.. The show does a really great job in creating a very dark and gloomy atmosphere which will keep you feeling like something can happen at any time. The show does a great job in capturing the emotions of the kids. Going from joy, sadness and anger in the blink of an eye. Brilliantly executed project and deserves nothing but highest praise.
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