Posted by AidanAK47 on 20 January 2019 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Yakusoku no Neverland

Thus the story of the Promised Neverland starts in earnest now that the first episode has revealed it’s book and the nature of the orphanage is revealed. As someone aptly put it, this is like Chicken Run, the anime. It’s quite interesting seeing things from a new perspective now that the curtain has risen as this episode does have a scene which would be heartwarming in other circumstances but turns malevolent once put in context of the new narrative. Such as when a child becomes lost in the woods and Mama goes to search for her, returning with her safely in tow to all the kids welcoming her back. If nothing was revealed last episode this would be a sweet moment but as Norman points out, the action showed deliberate to everyone who knows the truth that Mama can track any of the kids down thanks to tracking devices on them. Though it’s a wonder that even after learning this Emma and Norman don’t seem too concerned over traveling to the wall of the garden often where Mama could look at her watch and figure out what they are up to any moment. But this is under the impression that Mama doesn’t already know which by all accounts doesn’t seem to be the case.

I truly must appreciate just how magnificent an antagonist Mama is for this series and how her particular brand of villainy is a rarity. Mama does not rule through physical force, nor through fear or other typical methods. The endgoal for her is keeping these kids happy in the playpen till it’s time for the slaughter and with that she doesn’t need bars or chains in order to do so. For this woman knows these kids, she is their mother after all for better or worse. That’s what makes her so terrifying. It is a safe bet that the minute she held that bunny at the gate that she knew exactly who left it there. And now her moves all seem calculated to ensure that whatever Emma and Norman plan is sure to fail. That one scene of Mother staring directly at Emma during her one moment of mourning for Connie felt like the first peak past the fake smile to the woman who manipulated and controlled these kids till the moment she lead them to their deaths with them none the wiser. Even the small movement of placing her hand on her neck which could be interpreted as a caring motion or Mama measuring her pulse for signs. Her last move of the episode almost seemed to be generated to crush the kids newfound determination to save all the children as Mama introduces a infant to make matters harder along with a brand new caretaker. If we have an award for best anime antagonist of the year then Mama is going to be a strong contender.

The direction of this series remains excellent as I particularly like the nightmare sequence of the beginning along with the show of Emma afterwards being watched from a swinging pendulum. Though there were these odd shots where the screen would blur and a characters face would be superimposed on screen. I get this was to somewhat emphasize their emotions and facial expression at that moment but the change I find somewhat disconcerting. This episode also has our three main characters truly get together in the mission and I rather like the aspect of freudian theming here with Emma being ID, Ray being Ego and Norman acting as Superego. Otherwise meaning that Emma is the emotional center, Ray is the rational thinker and Norman is the negotiator who generally guides or decides. It makes their approaches to the situation different from each other and how they see things. The mind games are now beginning and it’s looking hopeful that Promised Neverland can keep up the presentation to make this a tense claustrophobic experience. I am just hoping that new black character with the design similar to racist stereotypes doesn’t generate some stupid controversy which will probably make the show more popular but gives me a headache to deal with.

4 Responses

  1. Avatar anon234 says:

    Manga readers had the same concerns with Sister Krone possibly becoming a caricature of a racial stereotype, but that didn’t happen. In the manga, the story for this arc is told from the point of view of 3 characters. By that, I mean there are thought bubbles so the reader can understand what the three characters are thinking. Emma and Norman are the first two, and Krone is the third. Hopefully the anime also shares Krone’s thoughts with the viewers; she becomes the most relatable of the characters once you understand her situation and motives.

  2. Avatar Vonter says:

    IMO the anime is a bit more expressive than the manga. It’s interesting watching how in the standoff with Mama, how the lighting adds to the mood in that scene. Also in the manga the children look scared but in the anime they look ****ing scared.

    If I may be nitpicky the song they used when discussing if the should save all the children was a bit loud for that type of conversation. I hope it’s not overused like how FMA:Brotherhood abused it’s chorus song.

    • Avatar SuperWooper says:

      You’re talking about the guitar-heavy song with the choral vocals that played during Norman and Ray’s conversation, right? I actually started laughing during that scene, it was so ill-fitting.

      • Avatar Vonter says:

        Yeah. “That kids is an example of overdoing something.”

        It felt like the direction was to put emphasis to a normal conversation and “make it more interesting.”

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