Where we last left off, Norman had correctly concluded that the informant/snitch had been Ray all along – something that he had suspected for a while now. Ray explains that it was a system he had arranged with Isabella after discovering the ‘secret’ – in exchange for his silence, and his monitoring of the other children, she regularly buys him anything he wants from outside the farm. The things he has successfully ordered via this method have helped him to not only get a decent idea of life outside the walls, but have helped him to figure out potential means of escape. Norman decides to continue to trust him, persuading him to join their side – although Ray always had been, and all his actions had been with the aim of spurring Norman and Emma to try to escape – it was actually Ray that hit Conny’s rabbit toy in the hopes that they would try to deliver it to her.
Ray starts feeding fake information to Isabella to throw her off, and meaning Don and Gilda start doing some snooping around of their own -mainly to try to find out what the ‘secret room’ Isabella often retreats to might be.
There’s not really a lot that I can say about this episode other than the fact that it contained a pretty vital plot point – the fact that Ray is a traitor but not really. The scenes surrounding this were all quite well done, and I really like how well the anime has preserved the suspense. I also Other than that, the kids make a lot of creepy faces at each other, some humorous, some less so.
It’s a good thing this is a two-episode review, because I’m struggling to think of anything else to say. It turns out it’s actually kind of hard to review an anime based on a manga you’ve read, because a lot of this story’s strengths are in not knowing what will happen next. It’s still engaging of course, and I always look forward to seeing how certain parts are adapted, this is just a slower part of the story is all.
Wait, no, there is one thing, and I’m going to get it off my chest now. There is something that has been bothering me about The Promised Neverland ever since somebody on a forum pointed it out, and I can no longer stop thinking about it. Why do all the kids have knowledge of things that would help them learn the truth and/or escape? For example, they know what surveillance characters and tracking devices are, so presumably they read about them in books. You would expect a place like to censor any information that would allow them to gain knowledge like that – and you certainly wouldn’t expect Isabella to give things like tracking devices to Ray as gifts, so that he could figure out how to break them. Maybe this is a plot hole or something we weren’t meant to consider… or maybe Isabella wanted the kids to escape all along.
Don and Gilda are getting increasingly frustrated with how secretive Emma, Norman and Ray are – and start to suspect that they haven’t told them the whole truth about what happened to Conny and the other kids who have left. After successfully stealing a key from Isabella, they manage to infiltrate a secret room which contains a trapdoor leading to another secret room. In there, they find countless belongings of children who have left Grace Field – belongings that should have been with those children – and they start to suspect the worst.
Meanwhile, Emma introduces Norman and Ray to what she believes is a secret code from an outsider who wished to leave them a message. Numerous books in the library owned by a ‘William Minerva’ have strange symbols of owls and messages in morse code inside – cryptic single words like ‘run’, ‘harvest’, ‘danger’ and ‘promise’. They decide that Minerva is definitely on their side, and that they should try to find him once they escape.
Eventually the friction between our main trio and Don/Gilda boils over – and after they are finally told the truth, Don doesn’t take it well – attacking the other two boys and then blaming himself for Conny’s death. Eventually, the five children make up…but unfortunately, Sister Krone heard everything, and approaches them the next day. However, she offers to team up…
I can’t actually remember this part of the manga all that well so I can’t say for certain – but I don’t actually remember Don and Gilda getting this much focus – especially Don. He’s a character I didn’t really care about when reading the manga – not even because I disliked him, but because he didn’t really leave any impact on me at all. He makes somewhat more of an impact in this anime, but to tell the truth I was finding him to be annoying and impulsive at first. This episode, however, really made him believable in his characterization and I felt genuinely bad for him. I sympathized with his anger at being not only left out by the main characters but lied to – as though they didn’t trust him with the truth – and his sadness that he couldn’t do anything for Conny. It wasn’t really expanded on very much, but there is the implication that he was particularly close to her, like an older brother.
The scene where the kids all make up again after the fight outside in the moonlight was also really nicely done, and was another example of some of the many cool things this adaptation does with lighting and mood.
For those who have been complaining that the story is moving too slowly (and I have certainly seen a lot of those complaints), the bombshell at the end of the episode is probably welcome. Without giving too much away, the story has been climbing up a roller coaster hill the past few episodes, and its nearly at the top. In any case, Sister Krone’s sudden reveal that she heard everything has an unintentional layer of humour in the anime compared to the manga, since when I read the manga, I did imagine the kids were at least keeping their voices down when they discussed their escape plans. In the anime, they just blurt it all out in the open, and now there is finally an actual consequence to that.
The one thing that I was hoping the anime would improve a little is unfortunately more or less the same – theres something weirdly clunky about how the messages from Minerva are discovered/decoded, and how easily Emma decides he must be their ally trying to help them. Maybe it would have worked better if those messages had been hinted at or shown from the very beginning and gradually figured out up to this point.