I’m a bit of an inconsistent reviewer. I’ve also been open about my struggle with post titles. Some series that I have reviewed episodically, I’ve stuck to naming convention, and others not. It’s quite random. And I have no clue whether the readers care about such things or not.

What bout you Crow, do you follow any guidelines when you come up with your post titles?

For a long time, I tried coming up with clever and witty titles. I thought my readers enjoyed them. Maybe the two readers that found my site did read them! I don’t know; they didn’t leave comments. Then I got on my SEO kick, and now I try to do something like you’ve done with this title: “The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 5.” That title helped readers find my posts. I still sometimes come up with what I hope are clever or fun titles after the main title. I like your “Liar’s Dice,” for example! 

I do find that coming up with clever titles get exhausting after the fourth or fifth year, though…

I’m bold; Irina’s plain text. There will be spoilers. Well, if we talk about the episode at all there will be spoilers! It’s that kind of episode.

The Promised Neverland has been doing a great job in its second season. Because I do really enjoy the anime, I consciously stopped reading the manga at season 1, and although I had some vague idea where it was going, these episodes are brand new to me. As such. I cannot confirm or deny the rumors I’ve read that the anime is already starting to stray from the manga in this second season. 

Then again, I have also read a few threads from readers that were less than thrilled with the direction of the manga, so the fact that the adaptation may be going more parallel than literal could be a good thing. It could also be a very bad thing with such a fidgety plotline and constantly evolving goals. It’s easy to lose track of the finish line if you’re not going on an already tightly plotted line. What do you think, Crow?

I like how you described it. I’ve avoided the manga, too, but I’ve also seen some of the discussions. They seem to boil down (with apologies for gross oversimplification) to this: If it deviates from the manga, it’s bad.

You express some apprehension about Isabella’s introduction in our review of the last episode. The difference is that your concern revolved around her plot implications. I get that — I agree it’s something to keep an eye on! 

TL;DR: I’m happy to see where the anime takes us.

I think I mentioned that I wanted to see a Demon town. I definitely thought so! In any case. I was served. Episode 5 of The Promised Neverland 2 has the kids hiding in plain sight as they are currently holed up in an old shrine(?) at the outskirts of an actual denim village. They go shopping and all!

I must say, the first thing that struck me is how apparently technologically devoid that town looked. The timeline is in our near future, mid-21st century I believe, so 30 or so years into the future. We know the humans have had some decent technology for a while, judging from that projection pen with a light interface keyboard from Minerva. And the farms seemed to have some pretty high tech equipment as well in the teaching rooms at least. But everything else is sort of old-timey. Wired telephones and radios for communication. An entire village without a single screen, or ATM machine. 

Here’s my guess, the human advantage, which was clearly not physical, is an overwhelming scientific dominance over the Demon side. I figure that by now, the only reason the humans haven’t just exterminated the demons is that they probably mind their own business (the demons that is) and don’t cause too much trouble. I think on the grand scale, the demons may be the underdogs. 

I think that’s a good insight. Thinking back, I don’t recall ever seeing Demon tech independent from humans. The human soldiers had tech equivalent to what we have now. 

So that begs the question: Why did the humans negotiate? Why not just wipe out the demons? Do the demons have something that humans want?

In broad strokes, episode 5 of The Promised Neverland 2, had three main points. First, the kids are hungry. All things considered, their escape has gone exceptionally well. From the comfort and safety offered by Sonju and Mujika, to the home they made in the shelter, they have been able to avoid the worst of having to fend for themselves. But those realities are sinking in now, and the kids are hungry. 

Worse yet, Emma and Ray are feeling the responsibility of the kids’ hunger. Actually, each of them is actually feeling a degree of responsibility and guilt for everyone else. Because they are good kids. And as painfully ironic as it may sound, they were raised well

For me though, it was seeing Emma burdened with worry and at a loss of ideas that hit home. Some of you may know this already, but I grew up a very happy and chubby little kid without a care in the world. And I did so, because my parents took turns not eating so that I could. As a clueless baby I never properly appreciated that. Heck, I didn’t even notice. As a marginally less clueless adult that eventually caught on, I know I can never even hope to repay that kindness, but it matters. Someone loved me enough to sacrifice like that for me and there’s a weight to that and a joy in it. Emma may think she’s responsible for suffering, but just the fact that she feels bad for it, is going to be salvation for those kids. 

Wow — I can’t imagine how that must have felt to realize! 

Emma’s willingness to sacrifice does have an impact on the kids. They know she’s working for them. She knows they’re working for her! As terrible as it is to see them hungry, it’s as uplifting to see how they protect each other and work together.

You’re right. They were raised well.

That scene with Emma going off while the others slept hit hard. It’s those moments in the middle of the night, when everything’s silent and there’s nothing to distract from the doubts. Emma was tearing herself apart. 

Did you see what Ray did? He said exactly what she needed to hear, and it was true, too: “I’m alive right now because I escaped with you.” 

I love scenes like that.

The second thing the episode brought across is that Demons have families, too. Families with children that are just as hungry. Except, they grow actually sick without meat. Now that’s a twist. Maybe they can’t just decide to eat something else. Or at least, not easily and not without consequence. It’s sort of a trite point. We all knew this already. But it does play into my underdog theory pretty well. It also gives a much more visceral motivation to your average demons. 

I was literally chewing my nails at that chase scene. I knew they wouldn’t kill off the two main characters with 8 episodes to go but… You know, it’s one thing to chase after prey as a predator or hunter. It’s another to chase after potential food because you’re really hungry. However, it’s an entirely different thing to go after the only hope your kid sister and brother have to survive. Now that’s something you won’t just brush aside.

Did I see that scene right — those two child demons were devolving without premium human meat? That little girl had a hand growing out of her head, and the little boy had practically turned into an indistinct blob.

That’s tough. It didn’t change who I’m rooting for, of course! But I’m not as enthusiastic about seeing the demons defeated! 

Now I’m dying to know how this came about. It seems like such an odd evolutionary development. Or maybe it’s artificial? 

This is where the big spoilers are going to be. If you read all the way here without seeing this week’s episode of The Promised Neverland, first of all, thank you. That’s pretty rad of you. Also, stop now and go watch the episode. Trust me.

She’s not kidding. Seriously. 

People in anime don’t usually give up fighting for their families. At least, not as long as they’re alive. We all have to deal with the fact that those two demon kids are probably going to die too now. And they seemed very sweet. That’s a truly sad thing.

But guys, Norman is back. We both knew he would be, but I didn’t think it would be so early or so, grandly. How? Who are those other people? There’s a small part of me that has learned to distrust any comfort and happiness that The Promised Neverland has to offer, so I’m already partly convinced that Norman is mega evil now (even more than before) and that any solace he can bring will be hollow and potentially worse than living in the shadows of demons. But also: Norman is back! I love Norman. I like Emma, and Ray is technically my favourite, but neither of them worked quite as well without Norman and I think they knew it too! 

Crow, did you hear? Norman is back!

I heard! I saw! I didn’t realize how much I missed him until I saw his blue eyes staring back out of the monitor. I had this huge grin! And in that instant, within the space of a second, I had the same thoughts you just described. It this Norman the Norman we know? How’d he get away? Is he in league with Mujika and Sonju? I hope so, because I miss Mujika’s smile! 

But all that can wait. For at least until the next episode starts, Norman’s back. And that’s cool.

Well duh I can’t wait for the next episode. We got Isabella last week and Norman this week, all the set pieces are in place. There are so many roads the story can take now and it hasn’t really disappointed me in the past so I am nothing but optimistic. What about you Crow, any closing thoughts on episode 5?

I’ll be honest: I’m getting a little nervous. It’s the kind of nervous you get when you’re on the seventh frame and you’re bowling strikes. Can you keep it up? Or will my bowling ball end up two lanes over? But the latest developments are fascinating, and I’m still anxious to learn more! So bring on episode 6!

Revious Episode Reviews

8 thoughts

  1. So I understand you are ok with the anime’s divergence, but I’m wondering if you think following the manga would’ve pulled more people into watching the anime. I’ve never watched or read this series, but I was thinking about watching the anime. Now, I’m not sure.

    1. I’m not sure. This is a second season so they don’t really need to build up an audience as badly and if they ae just doing the anime to advertise the manga then getting people who read the manga to watch the anime is probably not the main goal. So it depends on that and I haven’t really researched the production enough.
      The first season of the anime was in my opinion better than the manga. I read both but I stopped reading the manga at the point the first season stops so I’m not sure how the second season compares. I’m personally a little less prone to listening to the manga readers because I hear those same complaints about every sow and I like anime a lot. I don’t want to stop watching it.

  2. It will be hard to get across all the reason why this adaptation is so disappointing to manga readers without going into spoiler territory, but I’ll talk about the non-spoiler reasons at least.

    One thing you already touched upon, and that is that it feels like everything is happening at a lightning fast pace. Isabella was immediately back and now Norman returns about 5 episodes after he was last seen. That really reduces the suspense for me.

    The second reason I can go into without spoilers, and this is the big one, is that they skipped what I consider to be the best arc of the manga, if not one of the best arcs in all of shounen manga. There are characters that were absolute fan favorites in the manga, that will likely never be seen in the anime, and one of the most nail biting stories I’ve ever read is completely skipped. Think of the One Piece anime skipping Arlong Park, Naruto skipping Pain or Bleach skipping the soul society arc. That’s the kind of feeling this decision has to it.

    I know manga readers (myself included) are quick to judge an anime too harshly, but we only do it because of how much we love the source material. And I truly think this adaptation is in the same league as Tokyo Ghoul and Soul Eater, where the manga outshines the adaptation so much that it leaves a bad taste. This turned into a bit of a rant, but it’s just very frustrating to watch this season.

    1. I might go back to the manga after the season is over. But I have seen so many people complain about the ending of the manga that it has cooled my enthusiasm a bit

      1. I think the complaints about the ending are fair if you compare it to the rest of the manga, but personally I thought the ending was fine. At the very least it didn’t ruin the manga for me, it just wasn’t as amazing as some of the earlier stuff (that the anime seems to be skipping).

        If I were to guess, the main they’re adapting this season is the ending, but I could be wrong.

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