Manga Review: The Promised Neverland by Kaiu Shirai & Posuka Demizu @vizmedia @shonenjump

May Contain Spoilers

The kids from Grace Field House have caused a huge distraction by setting the house on fire, and run for their lives. Only Emma realized at the last minute, that no matter how desperately she wanted to save all of the orphans at Grace Field, the youngest of the children would only slow them down and reduce the chance of success for the everyone. After some very heavy soul searching, Emma talks to Phil, a four year old, and he agrees that it’s best for the younger kids to wait for Emma to rescue them when they are a little older and stronger.  Ugh. That was a really tough conclusion for Emma to reach, and I hope she doesn’t regret it.

Emma, Ray, and the older kids know that time isn’t on their side. With pursuit from their monster captors assured, they don’t waste any time. And what do you know? They actually make it off the grounds of  Grace Field House and into the forest on the other side of the wall.

The world they are suddenly confronted with is nothing like they expected. There are vampiric plants, hideous monsters, and the threat from their pursuers. I don’t know how these kids, with little knowledge of the world outside of the insulated orphanage, are going to survive. Within the space of a few hours, they are almost eaten by  plants and a very hungry monster, and they have little food, water, or basic supplies. So now the horror of being shipped off to be dinner for the aliens has become a battle against the wilderness, where the odds of their survival can’t be very high.

We got a tiny glimpse into Mom’s life when she was an orphan, and maybe I felt a twinge of sympathy for her. Isn’t there a universal drive to survive, regardless of the cost to others? Yes, she knows full well what happens to the children she nurtures, but does her desire to live, and to give the children under her care the best childhood possible, cut her any slack at all? She’s just a helpless tool for the monsters herself, unable to escape or free any of her charges. Does that excuse her at all? I’m definitely of two minds about that.

What will the kids find now that they have managed, for whatever span of time, to flee from Grace Field House? Is any place safe? Emma believes that if they find William Minerva, they will finally be free, but I have my doubts. I’m very interested to see how the story unfolds from here.

Grade: 4.25 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book:

As Grace Field House goes up in flames, Emma and the other children make their run for freedom. With Mom refusing to give up and an army of demons at her call, this escape from captivity won’t be easy. Just what will Emma have to sacrifice to pull it off…?