Coming into the Season Two finale, and most likely series finale, of The Promised Neverland, I was not expecting it to be good.
The prior episodes had been of such low quality that the bar was almost floor level.
Well, the final episode was so much worse than I could have possibly feared, not just lowering the bar to the floor but right down to the damn basement.
This episode was directed by Yukiko Imai, Yoshiki Kitai, and Hiroki Itai, and written by… oh, wait, that’s right, the people who wrote the last couple of episodes, including this one, don’t actually want credit for it.
It’s almost like they know how absolutley insulting this episode is, crazy right?
Also, yes, I did just say insulting because that is exactly what Episode 11 is.
I suppose the most accurate way I can describe it is that its like a person dangling a delicious ice cream in a child’s face and then, while the child is distracted, they take the opportunity to punch them in the face.
But, before I get to the insulting scene that inspired this analogy, I have to talk about the expectedly bad opening to the episode, which sees the conclusion to Peter Ratri’s storyline.
This followed from the terrible cliffhanger in last week’s episode of Emma actually offering a chance for Peter to come and be free with them.
Again, this bad scene was in the manga so Cloverworks admittedly did not have much to work with here but, somehow, they managed to make it even worse than the manga counterpart.
The animation of this scene is absolutley abysmal, with constant still frames used during Peter’s backstory scene, where its revealed that he betrayed his brother and had him executed because he became William Minerva and tried to help the farm children.
It’s clear they had very little budget from this scene, otherwise this was a really incompetant way of animating it.
Almost as incompetant as animating Peter’s knife with absolutley no blood on it, despite the fact that he slit his own throat with it.
I mean, seriously, they want us to be shocked by Peter’s suicide but they just ruin it with this glaring error that draws you out of the moment.
Not that it was an intense or interesting moment to begin with.
Then, there’s the Isabella scene, where the children all just immediately forgive her for planning to send them to their deaths.
So, Isabella doesn’t end up sacrificing herself for them in this verion, no, instead she concludes her story by going with them all to the human world.
This was pretty disappointing to me because Isabella’s death is one of the most emotional moments of the manga, especially how she calls out to Ray in her final moments.
Here, there was very little acknowledgement that Ray was actually her son.
Come to think of it, why the heck was there that anime only scene in Episode Four that hyped Isabella up as a big bad villain if they were just going to give Isabella the exact same storyline she had in the manga, only for her not to die?
This all renders that new scene completley pointless.
Just like how Sonju’s scene, where he reveals in Episode Three that he wants to eat humans one day, is rendered pointless by it never being brought up in this episode.
Why add that if you’re just not going to follow up on it later?
It’s honestly laughable that a character like Vylk had more importance in these final episodes that freaking Sonju and Mujika.
Not only that, but Cloverworks actively teases us with things we are never going to get now.
They show the Goldy Pond door and the Queen and her nobles but these things will most likely never be explored because this is likely going to be the final episode.
Way to tease us with things we won’t be getting, Cloverworks.
But now we get into the really insulting part.
The scenes that made me simultaneously laugh and yell at the screen in outrage.
First, we get the moment when the characters are walking through the door to the human world.
Only, what’s this, Emma, Ray, Norman, and the Lambda escapees are planning on staying behind with Sonju and Mujika to change the demond world?
Oh, okay, so this means that we are going to get a season three and they are going to adapt the Goldy Pond and the Queen arcs in the third season.
Well, I’m not sure how I feel about this, considering that the character development is compromised because of how things were swapped around and rushed in the second season, but I’m willing to see where this goes.
And now we’re getting some kind of montage to build into this next season, alright, interesting, and is that Emma with The One, okay… wait, what?
Is that Emma and the others about to launch an attack on the demon capital?
Is that Mujika being crowned queen?
Is that Emma saying goodbye to Mujika!?
Is that Emma reuinting with Phil and the others, making that scene where it looked like we were going to get a season three nothing more than build up for a slideshow!?
This is how you end the series!?
You tease us with a potential season three and then you hit us with a slideshow montage of what we could have got in this potential season three before ending the story entirely!?
Who thought this would be a good idea?
No, they had to have known it was a bad idea because why else would no one be claiming responsibility for writing it?
This is what I meant when I said that the final episode is like a person dangling an ice cream in front of a child’s face before punching them while they’re distracted.
The child is us, the ice cream is the teasing of a third season, and the person punching the child is Cloverworks giving us a freaking slideshow montage instead.
This was insulting.
The absolute audactity of this moment left me wondering what the hell the writers were thinking.
I mean, why didn’t they just have Emma and the others go to the human world in the first place?
Why get us excited for a potential season three where they would adapt the missing arcs, only to pull out the rug from under us and show the scenes we all wanted to see in a slideshow?
What a terrible episode, no, a terrible adaptation.
You know what?
I’m going to say it.
This is worse than Tokyo Ghoul‘s adaptation.
That’s right, I said it.
At least Studio Pierrot didn’t have the audacity to unjustly tease us with the missing stuff.
This episode is the equivalent of how it would have been if Tokyo Ghoul √A’s ending had been a montage of all the events in Tokyo Ghoul: Re, which they then refused to show us.
An absolute insult and punch to the face to any fan of the manga and anime.
What a joke.
I now feel comfortable saying that Season Two of The Promised Neverland is one of the worst adaptations of all time.
Thank god this miserable experience is over.
This is hilarious.
Seriously, Season Two of The Promised Neverland is basically a comedy at this point.
I haven’t been this disappointed in a season since the final one for Game of Thrones and that is saying a lot.
If Episode Nine’s convient scene where Vylk somehow provided a pen that magically solved all of the characters’ problems had me laughing my head off, then the entirety of Episode Ten had me rolling on the floor.
Directed by Ayako Kurata, Ryō Kodama and Shigeru Fukase, Episode Ten is just one rushed, convenient, unintentionally hilarious scene after the next.
First, we get the instant reveal that Vincent was just acting like he was betraying Norman to trap Peter Ratri, rendering the cliffhanger scene as instantly pointless.
Then, the children somehow build mutliple hot air baloons in mere hours with no prior knowledge on how to do so and launch an all out assault on a heavily guarded farm.
Next, Vincent and Norman are somehow hacking into the system, despite it never being established that they had these skills beforehand.
It’s just convenience after convenience, in rushed scene after rushed scene that ruins various parts from the manga.
The manga may have had its issues, but there were still moments that had me tearing up, like Emma’s reunion with Phil.
Here, I felt literally nothing because of how rushed everything had been to get to that point.
But, oh no, Isabella, Peter Ratri and the other mothers have now surrounded and captured the children!
Oh, wait, no, Isabella and the mothers have betrayed Ratri, even though there’s been little to no build up for this happening.
But, oh no, now trained demon soldiers are about to storm the farm and overpower everyone!
Our heroes are doomed!
Oh, wait, no, turns out they have been taken out by a completley random and untrained army of demon civilians that just suddenly decided to rebel against the system.
Say it with me, “How freaking convenient!”
And then, the stupidest scene that brought the biggest laugh.
Emma literally gives the guy who wanted to feed them all to demons a helping hand and offers him a chance to be free with them.
This was a really dumb moment in the manga and, like everything else, it is 1000 times worse here because Emma coming to this mindset where she becomes so dedicated to helping everyone was skipped over, along with some very important story arcs.
Heck, this episode somehow even screwed up Sonju’s arc, since now he’s helping Emma and the other kids when this should go directly against his plan of eating their descendants.
Episode Ten is a joke.
It’s nothing more than an unintentionally funny series of convenient twists and turns that had me face palming when I wasn’t laughing at how god awful everything was.
Even the animation can’t save it, with weird looking shots all around.
At least there’s only one more episode left and then this misery can end.
In my review for Episode Six of The Promised Neverland Season Two, I said that Norman’s exposition scene was one of the worst instances of telling instead of showing that I have ever had the displeasure of seeing.
Well, after seeing Episode Nine, I can say that Season Two has done it again, this time providing one of the worst elements of convenience that I have ever seen.
Directed by Kakushi Ifuku, Sumito Sasaki and Tsuyoshi Tomita, everything about this episode is so freaking convenient.
Think about it.
The old demon, Vylk, just so happens to have found a dying human 15 years ago, who just so happened to have the pen part that Emma and the others needed, which just so happened to have a map into Grace Field, and also just so happened to have the cure for Norman and the other Lambda escapees’ illness.
Not to mention how ridiculous it is that all this informaiton is somehow up to date 15 years later.
The scene where this is revealed was so terrible that I was honestly laughing my head off at it.
I could not get over how absolutley nonsenically convenient everything was, and this isn’t even the end of it because we still have to talk about the beginning of the episode, where Norman and his squad all give up on killing demons easily.
This was rushed in the manga too but it is a thousand times worse here.
You’re telling me that Barbara, the person who was all gung ho on slaughtering and eating demons, now hesitates and gives in?
I don’t buy it one bit.
Also, was that dying human Vylk met supposed to be Yuugo?
I hope not because if it was then that is probably one of the most insulting things about this season.
And then there’s the cheap cliffhanger where Vincent is suddenly a traitor.
I’ll get into the reason for this being cheap in my review for Episode Ten, which, oh boy, is just as laughably bad.
There is absolutley no hope for The Promised Neverland now.
It’s a train wreck and Episode Nine is easily one of its worst episodes, full of characters who just magically change their minds on a dime and one of the most laughably awful cases of convenience I’ve seen.
The voice acting and animation are the only redeeming qualities at this point.
Episode Seven of Season Two of The Promised Neverland was such a boring episode that I honestly forgot what happened in it not long after.
It wasn’t even so bad that I just had to talk about it, like with Episode Six, it was just extemely forgettable.
Therefore, I never really saw a point in reviewing it, since I could not remember anything about it.
Episode Eight, on the other hand, is definitley worth reviewing since it’s one of the better episodes of the season.
Definitley not quite as good as Episodes One and Two but certainly a lot better than Episodes Five, Six and that extremely pointless recap episode.
Directed by Hiroki Itai, the episode picks up with what should have happened in Episode Six, a flashback to Norman’s time in Lambda.
This is what we should have got instead of that god awful exposition scene, which was one of the worst instances of telling instead of showing that I have ever seen.
I still think that we could have used an entire episode laying out Norman’s time at the facility but it was still decent.
We also got to meet the main villain of the story here, Peter Ratri, who, as an antagonist, is servicable enough.
He’s nowhere near as interesting as Isabella, or the character who would have been the main antagonist of the season if the Goldy Pond Arc hadn’t been cut, but he’s still servicable.
All in all, this flashback is good but could have been more fleshed out.
I wish the anime had expanded on Smee a bit because he’s essentially a plot device to randomly justify Norman’s escape.
Despite these problems, it was still interesting to finally see how Norman escaped Lambda and formed his own little Suicide Squad.
From here, the episode cuts to the present where Emma, Ray and the others are searching for Mujika and Sonju, while Norman and his cronies are preparing to initiate their attack early.
It’s all fairly standard stuff to move the plot along and, as a manga reader, I was disappointed with how one intense shot of Norman was extremely simplified.
In any case, Emma and the others finally locate Mujika and Sonju, only for Norman to attack the demon village early and, just like that, the episode gets way better.
Watching the effects of Norman’s drug on the demons is a pretty big gut punch and the music is straight up fire.
But then my excitement is slightly ruined by yet another contrived scene, when Norman hesitates to kill a demon girl all because the grandpa demon shouts Martha– I mean Emma!
Jokes aside, this had to be a Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice refrence right?
It’s just too similar and just as convenient.
But hey, at least it leads into the final shots of the episode, where Emma arrives just in time and sees Norman as a scared child, which gave me literal goosebumps.
So, overall, there’s a lot of good and a lot of bad about the episode.
However, despite the episode’s problems, it just edges out into the good territory because of the Norman flashbacks and the intense final scene, even if there is a lot of convience there.
In my opinion, Episode Eight in the best one this season, since Episode Two.
However, you will definitley not see me being as kind about Episode Nine, oh no.
I just watched that episode and rather than just being just forgettable, like Episode Seven, it’s just plain bad, like Episodes Five and Six.
Expect a full on rant when I review that one.
Oh well, at least we got one good episode before the show descended into train wreck territory again.
It’s funny how a couple of episodes has been enough for me to pretty much lose all hope for The Promised Neverland Season Two.
Episodes Three and Four did concern me with all of their cut content, including the best character in the entire story being removed, but I was hopeful because of new scenes given to characters who needed it, like Isabella.
However, then Episode Five happened, cofirming that they had skipped the Goldy Pond Arc, causing everything to make absolutley no sense, including Norman’s return, which was incredibly rushed.
Then there was last week’s “episode”, where they just pointlessly recapped the entire story, including everything in season two for some weird reason, and that would have been completley pointless to do a review on.
Now, we have what looks like the final nail in the coffin for me: Episode Six.
Wow, was this a bad episode.
Directed by Yoshiki Katai, this episode commits the cardinal sin that almost every story should avoid completley, instead of when absolutley necessary, by telling instead of showing.
After Emma and Ray’s reunion with Norman, which lacks any emotion because of how short he has been gone in the anime, Norman goes on a long exposition spiel about what he’s been doing for the past year.
He explains how he was taken to be experimented on at a place called Lambda, how he escaped with the help of someone called Smee, who was then killed, and has since created a drug that he plans to use to cause all demons to degenerate, with all of this happening off screen.
This scene has to be one of the worst cases of telling and not showing that I have ever witnessed.
I will give the anime some credit, though, because this was not entirely its fault.
From what I recall, the manga did not show many of these events either and Norman just explained it through an exposition scene as well.
So, this poor moment is partially the manga’s fault and the anime is just adapting it.
However, the anime still does it way worse because even in the manga we do see at least some of Norman’s time in Lambda, what lead him there, and his plan actually makes sense because he has the means to do it.
Here, he has none of the resources he had in the manga so his plan to eventually use this drug to degenerate all demons is just stupid.
Just as annoying is Emma’s response to this because most of her character development has been cut along with the previous arcs.
Emma’s trauma and now wanting to find a way to make peace with the demons makes very little sense in this episode because it lacks any context because of these cuts.
This makes the attempted emotional moment where Ray convinces Emma to go and talk to Norman ring extremely hollow.
Speaking of Emma and Ray going to talk to Norman, it is here that we are officially introduced to his crew of Cislo, Barbara, Vincent and Zazie.
Honestly, I never really cared for these characters in the manga.
If anything, I actually found them all rather annoying, so it’s a very bitter pill to swallow for me that these are the characters the anime decided to adapt, instead of the likes of Yuugo, Lucas and Leuvis.
Barbara especially got on my nerves, what with her crazed rant at Emma, which, again, makes no sense because Emma has not gone through any events that would make her feel this way, like she did in the original story.
At least this leads into the one redeeming quality of the episode, where Emma and Ray tell Norman about Mujika and Sonju being able to survive without eating humans, causing Norman to look horrified, calling Mujika the “evil blooded girl.”
It makes for a good cliffhanger, which will surely have anime only viewers speculating.
Other than this, though, Episode Six is a flat out terrible episode, full of rushed scenes, annoying new characters, character incosistency, and one of the worst cases of telling instead of showing.
I now have very little hope for the rest of this adaptation and am honestly not looking forward to Episode Seven, or any other subsequent episode for that matter.
I hate to say it but The Promised Neverland Season Two is getting the Tokyo Ghoul treatment.
Well, I really jinxed myself by saying I was optimistic after The Promised Neverland Season Two, Episode Four, didn’t I?
The third episode of this second season made me really concerned with the direction the story was going, with all the important cuts, including my favourite character being completley gone.
Then Episode Four happened and I began to regain some hope.
Sure, there were things that were handled rather poorly, like the laughably incompetant soldiers, but brand new scenes, like Isabella being recrutied to hunt the children, made me optomistic about where this anime original storyline could go.
However, Episode Five has now come out and, wow, did it drop the ball.
Directed by Takahiro Harada, the episode picks up a full year after the last one.
That’s right, we have skipped a year immediately after the children escaped the bunker and now they are living in the demon world.
How did they survive so long with all of the intelligent demons, wild demons, and armed humans hunting them down?
Good question because the anime offers absolutley no explanation.
See, this is why skipping over 60 chapters is an incredibly bad idea because it means where you pick up the story from will make absolutley no sense and, in this episode, it makes little.
How did the children get the material to disguise themselves as demons?
How have they not been noticed before when they got so easily noticed this time?
Most importantly, how is Norman back so soon with absolutley no build up?
This last moment, which is the cliffhanger of the episode, has almost made me lose hope about the quality of the rest of the season entirely.
The build up to Norman’s reveal in the manga, with Norman acting as the new William Minerva, was absolutley fantastic.
Here, he just shows up with no setup whatsoever and it comes off as extremely anticlimactic because of this.
Also, while it’s nice to see Maaya Uchida back as Norman, it’s only been seven episodes so he hasn’t been gone long enough that his return is a surprise.
Norman’s incredibly bland return and the other plot holes created by the episode are not the only problems, unfortunately.
First of all, the time skip made the scene hyping up Isabella last episode almost pointless.
She was tasked with hunting the children and she just failed for that entire year.
I don’t think the demons would have been too happy with those results.
Also, the chase scene in this episode, which leads into Norman’s return, is pretty bad because it lacks any tension.
To be fair, there are some moments that saved the episode from being terrible, like Emma’s interaction with the blind demon and the exploration of deterioration with the two sympathetic demon children.
However, the rest of it made me very disappointed, with the numerous amount of plot holes in numerous scenes.
It honestly feels like the anime is just going to end with this second season, given how much has been completley skipped over and the direction the story is going.
It feels like it’s going the Tokyo Ghoul adaptation route and I really hope it can find some way to prove me wrong about that.
Unfortunately, next episode is supposed to be a recap episode so it looks like those hopes are probably going to be crushed.
Episode Three of The Promised Neverland Season Two made me very concerned about the direction the anime was going, what with all of the cut content and changes.
However, after Episode Four, I’m feeling slightly more optimistic.
I still have concerns but I feel a little better about where the story may be heading.
Directed by Kakushi Ifuku, the episode follows the Grace Field children’s time spent at the bunker, which skips over quite a lof of chapters from the manga.
I’ll get my criticisms out of the way first because it’s easier which, again, is mostly down to the changes.
Right after the opening, with Emma being told the truth by a recording from William Minerva, or rather James Ratri, the episode quickly desolves into a bunch of segments that feel like filler.
Given what we could have been getting if the episode had just adapted the manga, this feels like an extreme downgrade.
Although, people who haven’t read the manga that watch this episode may actually these scenes, so I will admit I am biased in my sentiment.
My bias extends to the downgrade for the attack on the bunker, which is not only incredibly rushed but also laughable compared to the manga with how terribly incompetant the soldiers are.
These clear downgrades from the source material would have brought my opinions of the episode into the negative and would also have increased my fears for the whole season, if it wasn’t for the saving grace of the episode: Isabella.
One of my criticisms of the manga is that characters like Isabella did not get the screen time they deserved.
Well, now it seems that the anime is fixing this issue because Isabella is getting a brand new, anime original storyline, where she is tasked by the demons to hunt the remaining children.
This actually got me excited for what role she would play and I already have my theories about what could unfold in the future because of this, like that the demons potentially offered Ray’s saftey in return for her help.
This and the opening scene where James Ratri informs the children about his backstory, with a recorded phone message, not only saved the episode for me but also gave me some hope about the future of the story.
As I said, I still have my worries, increased by the preview, which seems to suggest a time skip, which would be way too early but, again, we’ll just have to see how this all turns out.
Overall, Episode Four is a decent episode that both has me concerned and makes me more optimistic for the rest of The Promised Neverland Season Two.
I was very excited for episode three of The Promised Neverland Season Two because it was supposed to be the episode where my favorite character in the manga would be introduced.
Alas, it was not to be.
I had heard rumors that The Promised Neverland would be going anime original before the season started airing but I had no idea it would be to this extent.
Not only was an incredibly important character from the manga missing, who, again, is my favorite character, but also many important scenes hinting at the future of the story were removed as well.
Since the episode aired, it has been pretty much confirmed that the rest of the season will be anime original and, honestly, I am very concerned about this.
If they had stuck to the manga then the story would currently be adapting my favorite arc of the entire story, so of course it is worrying to see this part of the story that I love so much being changed.
This could either go really good or really bad for The Promised Neverland Season Two.
However, I need to make it clear that, despite my concerns, I still enjoyed episode three.
Although, if I had not read the manga I would certainly have enjoyed it a lot more because my negative points about the episode mainly revolve around how the changes in the story could become problematic as the season goes on.
As for the actual episode itself, it is well done, with director Yayoi Takano delivering a good adaptation for what was kept, like the opening goodbye between the Grace Field children and Sonju and Mujika.
This part of the episode revealed a much darker to Sonju because it is revealed that he saved the children so they could survive and have children of their own, which he could then eat in the future since this would be in line with his religious beliefs.
Before departing though, Mujika shares a goodbye where we get our first removal of a vital manga scene, with an important line Mujika says being removed, the first of many such removals.
Then we get a brief action scene of Sonju facing off against the demons from the farm, which is pretty enjoyable, before we see the kids reach the bunker and the whole slew of manga scenes that have been left out becomes apparent.
It was honestly hard for me to focus on the rest of the episode when we got to the big scene where the important character was supposed to appear but didn’t.
This makes me concerned that his introduction being changed may damage his character arc somehow, if he hasn’t been removed from the story all together that is.
God, please don’t let him have been removed from the story.
In any case, now the kids have reached the bunker and seem to have a good base of operations for a while.
Or do they?
The cliffhanger of the episode has Emma and Ray finding a phone, much earlier than they do in the manga, and answering its call, while the other kids find deranged writings on a wall, which is thankfully a sign that the missing character is still around.
In any case, this cliffhanger with the phone does make me interested to see how episode four will diverge from the manga.
Fingers crossed that the anime original story Season Two appears to be going down is just as good, if not better than the original story arc.
At least in the next episode I will be expecting drastic differences this time around.
Overall, episode three is a decent episode, despite its changes from the source material.
I am concerned about the future of the anime, though.
Still, who knows?
Maybe it can surprise us.
After a great start to the second season of The Promised Neverland, episode two continues the quality of the last, delivering plenty of new information for the story, and formally introducing two new and interesting characters.
These two characters are Mujika (Atsumi Tanezaki) and Sonju (Shin’ichirō Kamio), two demons who, mysteriously, do not want to eat Emma, Ray and the other Grace Field children.
Directed by Ayako Kurata, the episode follows the kids getting to know these two demons, their way of life, and eventually learning the truth of their world, or rather worlds.
I say worlds because Sonju reveals later on in the episode that the demon and human worlds are split because of a 1000 year old promise.
Humans and demons had been in constant state of war before this, and the promise not only separated their worlds but allowed peace between them, at the cost of many sacrifices because those humans who were left behind are now breed, butchered and fed to the demons as livestock, in various farms.
This is a startling revelation that makes Emma and Ray cheer for joy, much to Sonju’s, and I’m sure the audience’s, shock.
The reason for their excitement is because, even though they are in a terrible situation, Emma and Ray now know that there is a place for them in the human world, they just have to get there.
Although, this will obviously be a tough ordeal because, as Sonju and Mujika point out, they are an exception, not eating the children for religious reasons, and most demons who gladly gobble up the Grace Field kids.
Along with this dark piece of information, however, there is also humor, with a scene of Gilda comedically coming at Emma with a fire in her eyes, demanding that she not push herself until she faints again.
This humorous confrontation then transfers to Ray, who is told by the younger children that he keeps trying to die, not helped by Sonju comedically cutting in to say that Ray definitely would have died if he hadn’t saved him.
Sadly, the entire episode can’t all be jokes because we have to get into the depressing stuff again, as Emma loses another piece of her innocence, when she asks to go hunting with Sonju.
Emma manages to kill a bird for food, with Sonju’s guidance, and I absolutely love how this scene was framed to mirror Conny’s death from the very first episode, with the falling water droplet.
Even more of a parallel is when Sonju has Emma perform the act of Gupna on the bird, draining its blood with the vampiric plant Vina, again, just like Conny.
This tragic scene is immediately followed by the cliffhanger of the episode, as Emma’s face is revealed, looking extremely depressed, despite her claims that she is fine, showing how she has lost more of her innocence.
Given how long of a journey she and the Grace Field children have, if they are to ever reach the safety of the human world, it is very likely she will lose more of it.
All in all, episode two is another enjoyable episode of The Promised Neverland season two, and it will be interesting to see if this quality can be maintained, or even grow, as we get closer to my favorite arc of the story.
The Promised Neverland is finally back.
I was already excited enough with Attack on Titan‘s final season airing but, with the second season of the adaptation of Kaiu Shiari’s great manga airing at the same time, and possibly being about to adapt my favorite arc in the manga, I might just collapse from overexcitement.
I started watching The Promised Neverland about four episodes into its first season and was immediately hooked to the point that, when I learned that the Covid-19 Pandemic had delayed season two, I read the manga.
Well, after the wait we finally have the first episode of that second season, which puts the follow up off to a promising start.
Directed by Takahiro Harada, the episode picks up after Emma (Sumire Morohoshi), Ray (Mariya Ise), Don (Shinei Ueki), Gilda (Lynn), and many other children escaped from the Grace Field House, where they had been unknowingly raised as demon food by their “mother”, Isabella.
Now free, but without their good friend Norman, who was shipped out, and the young Phil, who stayed to look out for the other younger children, Emma and the others are free to explore the outside world.
However, as Emma points out in the opening scene with her inner monologue, “freedom is so beautiful… Yet so cruel.”
This line, while sounding very similar to something Eren Jaeger would say in Attack on Titan, is a great way to kick off the episode, as it is revealed that the children are being chased by a giant demonic lizard.
The outside world is clearly just as dangerous for the children as it was at the Grace Field House, with another kind of predator pursuing them.
However, there is also the kind from season one hunting them down as well because the demons are back, angered by the children’s escape.
Before we get to these pursuits though, the episode cuts to before all this, when the children had time to get their bearings.
We have a cool discussion between Emma and Ray where it is shown just how much Ray has grown from his suicide attempt in season one, now being dedicated to protecting his family and survive with them.
Emma and the gang also come up with a plan, using the equipment gifted to them by William Minerva to locate him.
This equipment includes a pen given by Sister Krone to Norman, who then gave it to them, and a book that shows them how to survive in the outside world.
The book is an interesting thing about the episode because it is here where a lot of content from the manga was cut.
In the original story, there was quite a long scene where Emma and the others got trapped in a giant man-eating plant, which they escaped with help from William Minerva’s book, proving its usefulness in escaping danger.
This is changed in the episode to them learning this through just finding out where to get water with help from the book.
Now, usually I’d be against such a large scene being cut from an adaptation.
You only need to look at my review for episode three of Attack on Titan‘s final season to know that I mostly disapprove of large from the source material.
However, surprisingly, I actually don’t have an issue with the cuts in this episode because the scenes that were left out do not contribute that much to the overall story.
The big scene that is cut is basically just a long side quest that proves one piece of information that was simplified quite well in the episode.
Some fans are concerned that these cuts mean that the season will be rushed, with many important scenes removed but I really don’t think that, at least not yet.
Sure, there were a lot of cuts but, as I said, these cuts were made to simplify scenes that were really not that important to the story or character arcs in the manga, so I can see the important scenes being left mostly intact.
This includes the scenes with the two demon characters who rescue the children from their demon pursuers at the end of the episode, after Emma collapses and Ray is almost captured.
I really like these demon characters in the manga and I can’t wait to see how the adaptation will handle their role.
In any case, the ED seems to suggest they will have a bigger role at this point in the story than they did in the manga, with some great symbolism, like the female demon’s shadow looking eerily familiar to a cross.
The OP, “Identity” by Kiiro Akiyama, is also really good with a lot of great visuals to get you excited for what’s to come.
And, with the cliffhanger of the demons having saved the children, raising questions about why demons are helping their supposed food in the first place, a question Ray asks, there is certainly a lot to be excited about.