Spoilers will be everywhere in this so just turn back and get into this amazingly written, gorgeously drawn, high level suspense and horror manga. That’s literally all I can say that’s not a spoiler.
In Volume 1, readers learn pretty early that Grace Field Orphanage is actually a farm that cultivates youth to be fed to demons by the age of 12. 11 year olds Emma, Norman, and eventually Ray are in the mindset of attempting to stage an escape with all of the other orphans regardless of their age. As a new caretaker arrives named Sister Krone, the trio begins to learn that not only can they not trust their caretakers, but perhaps very few people are as they appear.
There’s very few manga that manage to actually make me feel on the edge of my seat. This series is so smart and so well crafted that all of the plot twists come by genuine surprise. There was only one plot twist I saw coming; Ray is a traitor.
Volume 2 further introduced readers to Sister Krone, a mysterious and clever woman, (much more on her later), but we also learn that Ray is a liar of high caliber. I slightly had the thought in the back of my head that his immediate acceptance of learning how the orphanage works was suspicious. Like a little too suspicious. This reveal made perfect sense and even Norman caught onto the bullshit so the trap was laid out perfectly so Ray to fall in. Although we learn that perhaps Ray was treacherous af for a long time in an effort to learn how to escape, I still call bullshit. Ray has been holding this information in for so long and KNEW they were lambs fed for slaughter KNEW the kids were going to die but said nothing. I get that he’s only an 11 year old, so what could he really do? Totally get it, but to still continue dishing information to Isabella instead of truly setting her off track doesn’t make him look any better.
The most interesting characters to watch as the series progresses are not only the orphans, but Sister Krone and Isabella. Isabella is similar to an overpowered male protagonist. You know, the kind that somehow pulls out a win with the power of friendship and a terribly named new attack? Take away the terribly named attack and replace the power of friendship with the power of evil and you’ve got Isabella; The woman that’s always a step ahead. Hell, not even just a step, more like miles ahead.
Isabella’s almost supernatural sense of situation awareness clearly puts the children at a disadvantage but also Sister Krone. Sister Krone is one of the scariest characters in the manga as she randomly appears in the shadows and quickly puts together who is trying to escape, but she has a motive of her own. Her desire to be a Mom, (the job position Isabella has), rather than just an extra hand drives her to uncover the identities of the children trying to escape. Unlike Isabella whose past is shrouded in mystery, Sister Krone serves also as exposition as she reveals to the children and readers quite a bit of how the world works in their universe. Chapters 22 and up in Volume 3 are the best that the series has offered so far as Sister Krone learns she isn’t safe from anyone either. The Promised Neverland is a supremely written and beautifully drawn manga series that isn’t letting up on the horror and suspense in this unsettling game of cat and mouse where who plays the role of cat and mouse constantly changes.
Rating: 11 out of 10