Monday, March 11, 2019

Manga Mini-Review: The Promised Neverland Vol. 1 by Kaiu Shirai & Posuka Demizu

The Promised Neverland, Vol. 1
The Promised Neverland Vol. 1 by Kaiu Shirai & Posuka Demizu (illustrations)
VIZ Media LLC, 2017
Paperback. 192 pages.

About The Promised Neverland:

"'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. Good food, clean clothes and the perfect environment to learn—what more could an orphan ask for? One day, though, Emma and Norman uncover the dark truth of the outside world they are forbidden from seeing."

I read my first few mangas last year and have been itching to try out some new series ever since. I stumbled across The Promised Neverland somehow and as soon as I read the premise for this manga series, I knew it was one I had to check out. 

I had high hopes for this manga and I was not let down in the slightest. This story is atmospheric, the characters full of personality, and the storyline dark and intriguing (and at times a bit gruesome). Manga volumes tend to read pretty quickly on their own, but I was so drawn into the protagonist's story and the slow unfolding of the events of this volume that I read through it all in the same day. The Promised Neverland takes some horrifying turns and it soon becomes obvious that this story and world are not going to be as perfect as they appears to be in the opening pages. The pacing is mostly fairly fast-moving, but there are moments of longer discussions and drawn out thought processes that do slow things down a bit, though this doesn't negatively affect the story. 

The protagonist, Emma, is a great character to follow--she has a good amount of confidence and energy, seems to have a lot of care for the other kids at the orphanage, and has plenty of awareness of her surroundings that come in handy. In addition to Emma, the most prominent characters featured are her friends, Norman and Ray, and their "Mom". Norman and Ray both have unique personalities and although we get to know a bit more about Norman than Ray, I'm hoping future installment showcase a bit more about the mysterious Ray. Mom is a delightfully creepy figure that I also can't wait to see more of. 

This story has elements of horror, dystopia, fantasy, and everything that makes for the start of something with plenty of potential to grow into a strong series. Overall, I'm giving this first volume 4.75 stars! I was hooked throughout and am fascinated to find out what's going to happen in the next installments.

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

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