The Promised Neverland (a.k.a. Yakusoku no Neverland) anime episode 1 premiered January 11, 2019, by Japanese time zone standards. It was viewed on television in Japan, but was also streamed online simultaneously at Crunchyroll in most places outside of Japan. I have been keeping up with the manga source of The Promised Neverland for a while before its anime debut, and I can see that this first anime episode is the perfect anime adaptation of the source material.
In anime episode 1 of The Promised Neverland, similar to the manga source, the plot is shrouded in mystery until pieces of a puzzle actually start forming. The episode places the most emphasis on three characters, but other characters are also detrimental to the plot. The tone for the most part has a happy atmosphere, but there are parts of the episode where it’s just eerie and dark. Also, the cinematography perfectly captures the artistic style of the manga source material.
Now, in the paragraphs that follow, I will give you a detailed explanation of the points I made above.
The first episode of The Promised Neverland shows that there are children living happy and healthy lives at an orphanage. All the children have been living at the orphanage ever since they were born, and the three oldest and brightest are Emma, Ray, and Norman. The children of the orphanage must get adopted before the age of 12, some earlier than others.
As the little girl named Conny was preparing to leave with her adopted parents at the gate, Emma and Norman realized Conny left something behind. Even though it was forbidden, Emma and Norman go to the gate anyway to bring the little girls belonging back to her before she left, but the two end up discovering something sinister instead
Emma is one of the main cast of characters who is the most caring person, especially for her family. She has great athletic ability and she is a quick learner, keeping up with the minds of the two smartest at the orphanage. For a long time, she has been curious about what’s outside of the orphanage, and it seems that she will soon know the truth.
Norman is known as a genius among all the other kids at the orphanage. His mind is his strength instead of his athletic ability, and he is great at being strategic at least in the domain of the orphanage as far as we know. He has a dream of exploring the world once he gets adopted from the orphanage.
Ray is known as someone who has a sharp intellect that keeps up with Norman’s genius. He is seen as being more relaxed and doesn’t really play much with the other kids. Ray also wonders about the outside world and why all the kids are in a gated orphanage.
There are other characters within this episode who have their own personality traits and dreams. The overseer of this orphanage is known as Mama, and she acts like a caring mother, but looks may be deceiving. The character Conny has the most importance in this episode because of something she helps reveal about the nature of the orphanage.
Tone & Themes
Mostly, this episode was happy and cheerful, and it made you care for the characters. Although, there were moments of eeriness when it came to the children living in a gated orphanage facility, and the numbered markings on kids neck and the tests they took were strange. The big shocker of the episode was dark and a couple of the characters world got turned upside down.
One theme in the episode is that you should use strategy to outsmart your opponents. Another theme that is the most important is that you can have a fulfilling life by being around the ones that you love.
The animators definitely brought the art style and creativity of the manga right to the anime. Also, by adding color, motion, transitions, and the appropriate camera shots, I was more immersed in the anime than the manga. There were certain scenes that I like where the animators placed an object that a character was looking at right into the background of the same shot or a different shot. For now, I did not notice any apparent CG animation, and I hope it stays like that for the remainder of the series.
The opening theme had great animation that reflected the tone of the series and the song that went with it could’ve been better, but it might just be my taste in music. And the closing theme was a minute and a half long with a peaceful song, and the animation represented the children s fate and a character’s mission stop it.
Most of the music soundtrack within the episode itself was good for the mysterious plot because it wasn’t loud or stood out too much. The voice acting was so good that now I can picture these voices as I continue reading the manga.
The Promised Neverland Episode 1 – Final Thoughts
I’ve been waiting for this anime to be released for a long time ever since started reading the manga. I am very happy with how the animation turned out because this is one of the best stories about survival and outsmarting your enemies. Now, this was only the first episode, so if it hasn’t caught your attention yet, then I recommend that you watch at least four more episodes before fully judging the series.
The plot of this episode gives you time to care for the characters, there is a lot of characterization in just one episode, the build up to a shift in tone was paced well, the art style of the manga crosses over into the anime, and I like the creativity the animators put into the cinematography.
Based on my analysis, I give this episode a score of 9 out of 10.
Please send me your thoughts about my review or the episode down in the comment section below.