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The Promised Neverland, Vol. 1 Paperback – December 5, 2017
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But as Emma goes to return a forgotten toy to a girl who has just left the orphanage, she has a horrible discovery: they aren’t living in an orphanage but on a farm for demon food. Suddenly so many things make sense, from the rigorous testing the children undergo daily, their pure white clothes that reveal every accident and adventure, the safeguards on their house, and to their complete and total separation from the outside world. Emma, Norman, and Ray know that they don’t have long to make their escape — while children can leave the orphanage at any age, no one stays past their 12th birthday and time is quickly running out.
The Promised Neverland is an odd Weekly Shounen Jump title for English-speakers. There are no hot-headed heroes, impassioned battles against great odds, or prophecies about a great destiny for Emma. In the end, she, also a rarity in WSJ, is just a farm animal and the first volume of The Promised Neverland invokes a great feeling of suspense throughout the entire volume. Death Note, another WSJ title that needs no introduction, was also a high stakes, high tension story but in Death Note there was (arguably) a sense that Light was “safe,” that no one in the world would be clever enough to stop his killing spree and execute him.
There are no such promises here. Emma’s young age alone seems to up the stakes and there’s also the fact that she and the other characters realize that they know nothing about their world, not even what year it really is.
Younger fans are sure to enjoy Emma and co’s sneaking and testing to find the weaknesses in their prison. Not a single idea is left untried and at this point it’s truly a mystery how they will ever manage to escape the farm. Older readers will pick up on the many levels of terror that come from the adult characters who manage the farm, since clearly some people aren’t eaten by age 12 so both the characters and the reader really have no idea of what society the Grace Field House orphans are living in.
This first volume is mostly a build-up to adventure, as many first volumes are, and it does so with a terrific sense of suspense, tension, and genuinely makes the characters feel like clever children, not miniature adults. This is very possibly the best new WSJ title that Viz Media has put out in years, and it’s a joy to be able to start in on the story not very far behind the Japanese serialization.
Shirai-sensei's suspenseful tale of these intelligent, happy children seemingly growing up in an orphanage surrounded with love from each other and from "Mama", their caregiver -- and then the REAL story of who and where they are -- is thrilling, exciting, hopeful, empowering, disheartening, disturbing, saddening, and everything else you could hope for in a good story. Demizu-sensei's art is perfectly matched to the unique story that is The Promised Neverland (Yakusoku no Neverland), with incredible detail that you would not expect from a currently running Weekly Shounen Jump series. While the manga does run in Weekly Shounen Jump, the story is one that both males and females will find worthwhile.
Seemingly every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, some new development carefully planned to coincide with the end of the title's allotted page count, and reading it online each week is only for those who can handle the anxiety of waiting a full week for the latest chapter's cliffhanger to be resolved and a new one to take its place.
I really want to say so much about this manga, but I don't want to say anything that gives away even the tiniest hint about its content or secrets. So, please do yourself a great favor and buy the first volume. If you're interested enough to read this review, I will guarantee that you will enjoy the story and find yourself, like me, on the edge of your seat waiting for the next installment.
This also very suspenseful, gaining the nickname by fans, ‘The promised cliffhanger’. From chapter one and onward this manga always keeps me at the edge of my seat. This manga is a must read. It’s got beautiful art, great characters, unique story, kinda creepy atmosphere, and very suspenseful.
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A must read manga, highly recommended!