I’m going to say something that’s probably unpopular at the moment. Not only that but I’m about to spoil this here post for you guys. I liked this episode of The Promised Neverland. It got a bit too heavy-handed for me towards the end there but the very last scene was sweet. And there were quite a few moments that had me roped in. I’m going to tell you guys all about it but first let’s catch up with Crow.

As much as I hate to admit it, when everyone gets down on an anime I get influenced. And I was getting disheartened with the Promised Neverland after a few rocky episodes and the onslaught of hate on social media. How did you feel Crow?   

Before I forget, Crow is in bold and as usual and always, there shall be spoilers!

Hi, Irina! I’ve read the headlines saying that they should just cancel the series or the adaptation skipped the best parts of the manga. I tend to feel a bit discouraged, given how much I’d looked forward to this season. But in the end, when I’m watching the show, I honestly try to see it for what it is.

“Heavy-handed” is right. At the same time, “the last scene was sweet.” That’s a great capsule description of this season.

We started off with a small taste of what it was like at Lambda labs. And like any testing facility, it was horrific. We still don’t know what long-term damage was done. 

There are a number of humans that seem to be working alongside the demons. However, up until now, we have seen only the mamas and the ones at their facility. The overall impression is that these humans in question were in it out of pure self-preservation. But that doesn’t seem to be the case for Peter Ratri. He seems to be genuinely thriving and holds no ill will towards the demons at all. What do you make of that Crow?

I’m scratching my head over what he thinks he’s doing. Not only does he have no apparent concerns about working with the demons, but he wanted to control all of the children on all of the farms and “not give them an inch of hope.” I have no idea why. So he’s an enigma, and it bothers me.

Also, how’s he related to James Ratri, the guy who moonlighted as Minerva? Lots of questions for episode 8!

Speaking of mamas, where the heck is Isabella

I keep expecting to see shots of her, panting and out of breath, arriving at the scene where the kids had been just minutes before. Such a great character to re-introduce and then do nothing with.

So, Crow has been examining the themes of vengeance and forgiveness throughout this entire season. You can certainly see how that plays out for a lot of the characters. Although I would say that the current conflict between Norman and Emma isn’t really about either.

Norman does want to exterminate the demons, and certainly part of it has to do with the atrocities he’s suffered, but I don’t think his driving force is to make them pay. He simply wants to make sure future generations don’t have to suffer as he did. It does look like revenge but it’s not quite the same thing.

Whereas the way I see it, Emma’s motivation is not forgiveness of the Demons. I don’t think she believes that what they did to her brothers and sisters is not that bad and that they are all ok now. To me, it’s more that she doesn’t believe exterminating the entire race is the solution. And she also doesn’t want to take on that guilt. It’s more akin to pity in my head. 

What do you think Crow?

The show’s doing a good job of showing two conflicted characters trying to figure their way forward. I agree that Norman is driven to a large extent by a desire to protect his family. But when offered the choice of protecting them using Mujika’s blood or wiping them all out, he chose the latter. Let’s say no one had ever tortured him. Would he have still been so adamant to choose extermination?

Forgiveness lets Emma get past what the demons have done to them and move forward. It’s a one-sided forgiveness; a letting go. It’s not like the demons came to her and said they were really sorry and begged for her forgiveness. Its presentation is that she takes pity on them, so pity is definitely involved. 

I kinda feel like I’m back in one of my theology classes!

Emma, Ray and company do manage to find Sonju and Mojika in time. Barely. It was more of the same but I genuinely enjoyed that forest scene. I think these tense action moments work very well in TPN. I enjoyed the CG less.

This said, it was too late.

It was hard to watch Emma’s expression when she’d realized Norman had betrayed her. It was also nice seeing Sonju and Mujika again. 

The final act of the episode has Norman going back on his word and essentially destroying the demon village a day early. It’s super on the nose and annoyingly obvious with lots of scenes that are supposed to feel grandiose but felt trite to me. Norman realizing the enormity of his actions and coming to grips with becoming all that he loathes. Meanwhile, the little demon kids mirroring the orphans… Yeah, we get it.  Except…well… 

For one I do like Norman and even in this weak performance, I find him more fun to watch than a lot of the other characters. But mostly, those last 5 seconds got to me. The lost little kid Norman completely lost and Emma saying that she will not let him go alone this time. I liked it. That bit I found actually emotionally resounding and for me at least, it helped redeem that last act quite a bit. A lot of it was still obnoxious but the episode left me with a generally good impression. And I want to see the next one. How about you crow?

I think you’re being kind when you say “on the nose.” It was brutally heavy handed, up to and including the demon grandchild being named “Emma!” But it shows how much we still care for these characters when an instant of Norman’s genuine terror at not knowing what to do got through all of that. I agree it was a powerful moment, made more potent by Emma’s determination not to let him be alone. 

I guess I’m left thinking “what if…” As in, what if the narrative were tighter? What if we had time to learn more about this world? I get Norman’s hatred of demons, but what about humans? Peter Ratri played as much a role in Norman’s fate as any demon. Other humans helped him in Lambda. So, why not try to go after some of the humans, too?

Previous Episode Reviews

15 thoughts

  1. I hate to be so negative, but ever since the time skip I haven’t enjoyed Promised Neverland at all. It’s not just that they cut and changed so much from the manga. The pacing has made things very confusing, and I hate how over the top they made Norman’s whole dilemma. I’m worried the show may end with this season which is what, three episodes away? I loved the manga story and binge-read it obsessively, but this adaptation feels so watered down and cheesy in comparison that I’m already kinda checked out.

    I don’t like all the hate on the internet for the Cloverworks and the studio though. It seems like there are some production issues or some BS corporate mandate that’s been requiring these changes. Either way, I think the animators, directors, etc. are trying the best they can.

    1. Adaptations can be though. Clover works is also doing Horimiya this season and that’s awesome

  2. This is a heck of a moral dilemma being presented!

    Norman’s plan is problematic in my view but he’s supposed to be a preternatural genius so maybe we’re expected to just accept that it can work because he says it can.

    Here’s my theory. Remember the demon leadership destroyed the ability of demons to live without eating humans because humanity was a food supply that could easily be controlled? Control of a food supply gives near absolute power, which the demons are all too human in pursuing. This appears to require an low overall population of demons, a fairly small world, and a highly centralized government. Large populations, competing power structures and vast distances would all militate against it.

    The real objective is the demon lord and whatever subordinate governmental outposts that may exist. The village was just a test. Look at a typical farm animal to consumer ratio (or predator to prey ratio) and you can see there MUST be far more children around than humanized demons. Once government is destroyed you can pick off the villages one at a time.

    Or you can start the distribution of blood again and free the demons from their curse.

    Did you notice the humans seems to be the ones handling the high tech systems? That implies collaborators. Also that humans are still a tad bit brighter than demons. Collaborators come in different flavors ranging from those who do it for simple survival, those who do it because they like the bit of power it gives them, and those who enter a “Stockholm syndrome” state of mind. Keep it up for long enough and collaboration stops being collaboration and starts being just the way of the world.

    A question I’m curious is whether the collaborators were chosen from farms or were they grown in separate facilities. Separate facilities makes more sense because the natural tendency for humans to break up into “us v. them” could be used to assure loyalty. People selected from the food farms might still see the kids being experimented on as siblings. The soldiers would be from yet another class of farms.

    I have yet to see any industry to support the technology I’ve seen. Maybe it is imported from Earth through gates? That would be very bad news for the kids if our Earth were cooperating for some reason.

    I’d rather live in a world of wild demons than a world of intelligent ones. Intelligence is far more dangerous. Wild demons are then just a part of the ecosystem. Most will starve or be eaten by other predators. The natural balance is many prey species to a few predators. Many herbivorous species to a few carnivorous species. Many plant species for every herbivore.

    We’d adapt like we did to cave bears and dire wolves and saber toothed cats.Only these kids are starting out with a much higher level of technology and native intelligence than early man. Fast forward a few thousand years and there might be preserves to protect endangered demon species.

    1. “The village was just a test. Look at a typical farm animal to consumer ratio (or predator to prey ratio) and you can see there MUST be far more children around than humanized demons”

      That’s an interesting theory. You’re right – we don’t know what demon society’s like broadly, just in the small slivers we’ve seen.

      “Only these kids are starting out with a much higher level of technology and native intelligence than early man.”

      And like you said, we don’t don’t the intentions of the adult humans in the equation. We know there were those who sympathized with the children, but at least one group (Minerva’s) is dead.

      There’s so much potential here that the last of delivery is driving me nuts.

  3. What makes Norman’s plan really dicey is that regression doesn’t actually kill the demons, it just makes them really dangerous and incapable of reason. Sure they will kill some of their own kind but the ones who survive are going to be pretty nasty and the kids are then going to be living in a world filled with unreasoning and monstrous creatures. Not sure if Norman really thought that one through.

    1. Again I’m not sure how much I’m inventing but I thought that Normans main purpose is to destroy the farms and labs. The organized efforts. Also I thought regression did kill the demons in some time. That’s why the little kids were suffering a few episodes ago?

      1. I don’t remember the details, but they did address the point when the plan first came up (I think?). Something about demons being easier to fight off when they just rush at you, as opposed when they form a society and tactics? I think it was in episode 6?

  4. Maybe it’s time to question Norman’s strategy? How is this going to work? Will it spread on its own? Surely, he doesn’t intend to run around the globe with, what, 4 people spreading the thing village by village? Wouldn’t that give headquarters time to react? I mean, if he starts in the middle of nowhere news may not travel so fast, especially since they’re all poor, and maybe regression was inevitable, or maybe it’s not all that rare for villages to disappear? But he’ll eventually tip the system, and then? This just doesn’t look like a well-thought-out strategy. He’s telling the demons both what he’s up to and where he is. Is there something I’m missing.

    I was sort of fine with the episode. I like the old demon, for example. But I didn’t really feel for Norman or Emma for that matter. But it’s entertaining enough to just hitch a ride along the events. The demon girl being called Emma actually made me laugh.

    I don’t know where Isabella is either, but part of me hopes they just forget about her. She was such a great antagonist in season 1, and I don’t have enough faith in the writing that whatever they’ll do with her will amount to more than just season 1 fan service. We’ll see.

    1. I was under the impression that the regression is contagious. Maybe I just invented some stuff to fill in the holes mind you

      1. It’s entirely possible, but wouldn’t you start this closer to a population centre then? Maybe this is actually close to a population centre?

        1. I think this was a trial and a smaller recluse village would be easier to escape if anything went wrong?

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