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The Promised Neverland (season 2)

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The Promised Neverland (season 2)
The Promised Neverland S2.jpg
A perfect example of how you promise to never ruin a anime adaption 101.
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Action
Adventure
Drama
Fantasy
Horror
Country: Japan
Release Date: January 8 – March 26, 2021
Network(s): Fuji TV (Japan)
Adult Swim (United States)
Starring: Sumire Morohoshi/Erica Mendez (Emma)
Mariya Ise/Laura Stahl (Ray)
Maaya Uchida/Jeannie Tirado (Norman)
Episodes: 11


The Promised Neverland is a Japanese anime television series adapted from the manga series of the same name written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu. It adapted the story arc "Promised Forest" (chapters 38–52) before turning towards an anime original direction starting within the beginning of "Search For Minerva" arc, all the while retaining a few themes and plot points of the original manga. While the first season of the show was well-received, the same can’t be said for this season.

Why This Season Isn't Promised

  1. Let's get the elephant out of the room first. They removed one of the most popular arcs in the manga in "Goldy Pond", but not only that but they also removed one of the most popular characters in the manga known as Yugo.
  2. Cramming 143 Chapters (and skipping a couple of important arcs in the series) into an 11 episode anime is a bad idea on it's own. Hell, how they did it makes Tokyo Ghoul:re (season 2) look good in comparison.
  3. The ending for the series was literally a PowerPoint which was basically a ton of stuff from the end of the manga that could've easily been a few seasons worth of material.
  4. Some things that happened in the season make no sense. For example in episode 4 Isabella was trying to retrieve all of the escaped children, yet in episode 10 with nothing explain she wants to save the children.
  5. While the animation is not the worst, it's not really that good, especially compared to the manga. It doesn't help that CloverWorks were working on 2 other series (Horimiya and Wonder Egg Priority respectively) when they were working on this.
  6. While the manga itself had it's fair share of problems, season 2 made it worse, especially how they treated any other character that isn't Emma.
  7. To add to WTSIP#2, the anime is extremely fast paced. Moments are constantly explained in a retrospect by the characters rather than be shown in the actual show. In fact, a timeskip abruptly appears out of nowhere with no buildup.
  8. The 6th episode is nothing more than a recap episode that wasted time and is pointless since the season just started air and the audience doesn't really need a recap.
  9. There is a chase in the 5th episode of this season and it takes up half of the episode and it is not really important aside from introducing Norman is still alive.
  10. Speaking if which, in the manga, Norman was not introduced to be alive until much later, here, instead of taking their time to have the audience miss Norman until the reveal, he is bought back 7 episodes after his departure. The reason why this is terrible is because there was no proper build up for him still being alive and it feels like he was shoved in early for the sake of him needing to be in plot.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Like with Tom and Jerry (CinemaScope Era, 1955-1958), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003, seasons 6 & 7), Tokyo Ghoul:re (season 2), and the CinemaScope Remake Six, no one is out of character in this season.
  2. The soundtrack as well as both the opening and the ending were pretty good.
  3. While unfaithful to the manga and considered to be terrible by fans, the ending has some good elements, like grown-up Phil reunited with Emma and company in the human world.
  4. It thankfully introduced some of the manga characters, but not a whole awful lot.

Trivia

  1. The anime was orginally supposed to air in Fall 2020, but it was delayed to January due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
  2. The anime changes were approved by Kaiu Shirai (the creator of the series)

Reception

The second season of The Promised Neverland received overwhelmingly negative reception for what many felt was a rushed and forced ending. Reviewing the series' second season, Rafael Motamayor of Polygon said that while an original story could course-correct issues from the latter half of the original manga's plot, the season, specifically from episode 5 onwards, broke the pacing and tension of its previous episodes. In comparing it to the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime series, which changed from being a faithful adaptation to have an original story that "still captures the intention of the source material in a satisfying way", Motamayor wrote that The Promised Neverland anime was not planning on telling its own story, but rather skipping the chapters of the manga "to be done with the story as soon as humanly possible", still telling enough story that somewhat resembles the manga's plotline, "but taking way [sic] whatever made it impactful in the first place", adding that it was similar to the final season of Game of Thrones.

Jairus Taylor of Anime News Network wrote that the anime adaptation of the The Promised Neverland was a "total disaster". He explained that the anime changed the main focus of the original manga, which was meant to be a horror fantasy, as a "more linear version of Hunter x Hunter", instead of being a mystery thriller ("in the way its earliest chapters suggested"), as "the second coming of Death Note". Taylor commented that the anime "did a pretty good job delivering on suspense", but that it was at the expense of other elements that were vital to the original work's "larger ambitions", including entire cut out or trim down of worldbuilding elements, the lack of internal monologues and characterization that diminished the motivations of certain characters and the simplification of the series' actual themes and its messaging. Regarding the second season, Taylor considered various possible reasons for the staff's decision to make the changes, but he wrote: "Regardless of what went down though, it doesn't really change the reality that the second season faceplanted pretty hard". Taylor concluded: "If the anime had chosen not to skip anything it could have still faced problems since it was arguably poorly equipped to handle anything past Grace Field. Either way, the end result here is really disappointing, because while it certainly wasn't faultless, The Promised Neverland manga was easily one of the most interesting and thoughtful entries to the Shonen Jump lineup. It's a shame that its anime counterpart failed to live up to its potential"

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