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Geek It! Anime Review: The Promised Neverland

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From the director that brought you Elfen Lied and Demon Prince Enma, Mamoru Kanbe has breathed life into Kaiu Shirai’s PROMISED NEVERLAND, making it one of the best thriller masterpieces of 2019.

Set in year 2045, 11-year-old Emma is a super bright, energetic girl who has the whole world ahead of her. Living in the Grace Field House, Emma is housed with other orphaned siblings. For as long as they can remember, they have the perfect life as orphaned kids: comfy beds, plenty of food, clean uniforms, and a good education. The best thing of all, was having a good Mom known as Isabella, and they have the luxury to do whatever they want — except to venture beyond the gate and forest.

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Every now and then, a kid is sent to their new adoptive families beyond the Grace Field House. On a fateful night, Emma and Norman wanted to deliver a beloved rabbit toy that was accidentally left behind by their sister Conny after she left for adoption. Little did they know that their little trip turned out to be the most horrifying night of their existence – it turns out that all the kids were ‘harvested’ for the unknown. For what exactly, you may ask? You will need to watch the show to find out —  but that is just the beginning!

At first, the premise of Promised Neverland seemed like an average story. A story about a group of kids who attempts to find a way to escape the house? Yeah, nothing shockingly new (you know, because nothing is really shocking when it comes to anime now)

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For a twelve episode series, Promised Neverland has done a fantastic job in delivering the story. Each episode is a constant psychological mind game with a lot of intensity. Who will be next? Who are their true allies and enemies? What kind of tools do they need to escape? How do they go past the Mom and the security around the house?

But it is not just the potential issues that may arise in the lead up to their freedom — it is also the outside world. Will they even survive in the real world? Or should they stay at the house and live happily ever after till it is their turn to go?

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As expected of a thriller, Promised Neverland wouldn’t be that good of a thriller if it weren’t for Takahiro Obata’s music. With a compilation of orchestral and piano compositions, the soundtrack perfectly accompanies the story in all situations. From the sound of impending doom to the heart-racing moments, we applaud Obata’s soundtrack and how it naturally goes hand in hand with the ominous storytelling and colour palette.

Although the majority of the first season focused on the kids finding out the house’s secret and strategising their escape, each episode is filled with exciting energy that makes the viewing electrifying. Even if nothing eventful happens, the story stays alive by adding twists, turns, and revelations at every corner, making it almost impossible for the kids to escape.

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With the Mom constantly throwing spanner in the works, a dawning realisation overrides them knowing that they may never escape from their fate. Yet, it is truly inspiring to see that nothing can break their spirit.

Emma, the main protagonist and ringleader of the group (yay, for female empowerment!), never lost sight of what is ahead of them — and that is the strong thirst and desire for freedom. Even when they are constantly knocked back by obstacles and challenges, we still see great courage and an unbreakable bond demonstrated by Emma, Ray and Norman. Episode after episode, it is these moments that ultimately lead up to the fateful day — will they manage to escape? 

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PROMISED NEVERLAND is an unexpected masterpiece that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. With high adrenalin and nail-biting energy, Promised Neverland is a mix between fan-favourite anime series such as Erased and Attack on Titan. As much as we want to unleash our excitement and babble about this anime in great detail, we rather leave it here and let you see it for yourself. A must watch! 

Rating: 9/10

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