VIZ Media continues to roll out disturbingly gripping new manga this holiday season with the dystopian series The Promised Neverland. A sinister secret threatens the Grace Field House orphanage in this weekly Shonen Jump masterpiece. The story centers around Emma, Norman, and Ray, the brightest children at the orphanage. They enjoy an idyllic life. Good food, clean clothes, and the perfect learning environment under the watchful eye of their caretaker, Isabella. Everything feels perfect, until Emma and Norman discover the dark truth truth about their “Mama” and the outside world they’re forbidden from seeing.
The Promised Neverland, like the recently published first volume of Children of the Whales, examines the disturbing side of human nature through the eyes of children. An accidentally forgotten stuffed bunny rabbit shatters their paradise; this tale juxtaposes innocence against the threat of certain death. Writer Kaiu Shirai and illustrator Posuka Demizu weave the kind of fairy tale that would make the Brothers Grimm pale. The dynamic manga duo first worked together on the two-shot manga Poppy no Negai, and a match made in the darkest heaven was born. Bright, fresh colors combined with an almost all-too-clean art style make the macabre setting even the more jarring.
Perfect Pacing Makes Every Reveal Utterly Gripping.
What’s so enthralling about The Promised Neverland is how juicy each new puzzle piece is. Shirai balances exposition and looming dread without ever falling prey to gore shock value. You’d almost think Neil Gaiman wrote the story, it’s that fantastic. The first chapter, almost in spite of plot synopsis, lulls you right alongside the children in the orphanage. For the most part, we only learn new information when they do, and that’s a hard line to create. Paired with Demizu’s ability to frame and guide the eye, you’ll be wishing it was February already.
Danger lurks around every corner in the mysterious Grace Field House and threatens to literally consume the children within. Can Emma, Norman, and Ray save their fellow orphans? Can they even save themselves?
Volume 1 of The Promised Neverland hits store shelves nationwide on December 5th, with new issues slated for publication every two months. Pre-order your copy now for $9.99. You can also check out the first few chapters for free from Shonen Jump courtesy of VIZ Media if you aren’t already sold. While no anime adaptation of this hit manga series has even been hinted at yet, Shonen Jump announced back in August that a video game was in the works.