Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Manga Review: The Promised Neverland, Volume 1, by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: December 2017
Volumes: 8+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The children of the Grace Field House orphanage have their happy lives upended when they find out they’re being raised to be fed to demons. Can they escape their fate before it’s too late?

Life at Grace Field House has been good for Emma and her fellow orphans. While the daily studying and exams they have to take are tough, their loving caretaker provides them with delicious foods and plenty of playtime. But perhaps not everything is as it seems…

Emma, Norman and Ray are the brightest kids at the Grace Field House orphanage. And under the care of the woman they refer to as “Mom,” all the kids have enjoyed a comfortable life. One day, though, Emma and Norman uncover the dark truth of the outside world they are forbidden from seeing. The children of the orphanage are being raised as food for monsters, and their loving caretaker is behind it all! Emma and the others plan their escape, but can they make it out before it’s too late…?


The volume starts with everything looking good and happy, but there's a sense of ominous pervading. The narrator is hinting, but it takes a chapter to see why. Aside from the overbearing testing they do, for who know what reason (at first).
And then Emma and Norman stumble upon the reason for the orphanage, for what the kids are being prepared for. We find out that Emma, Norman, and Ray are the oldest, and possibly the smartest of the kids at the moment. Emma is active and not street smart; Norman is happy on the surface but always thinking ahead and calculating; and Ray is the quiet one, who's always reading and staying in the back. But all of them help around the house and care for everyone else.
Even from the beginning, the Mother of the house has an eerie feel—that placid smile on her face is clearly hiding something, which we discover later in the volume.
One they find out the secret, they start watching and calculating and planning, but they have to keep pretenses up or they'll be discovered.
I was hoping that they would get to discover the outside world faster, but it looks like they have quite a bit of obstacles to overcome first, plus they have high goals for getting out.
This volume was really good. It was rather unsettling, but done very well, and I want to know what happens next. I want to see what's beyond the orphanage, and what happened to their world.

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