3 Reasons Why The Promised Neverland Episode 1 Was Perfect
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I always start a hyped Anime with a grain of salt. Most of the times the Anime just seems to fall flat and not as good as I was promised. So, when I started watching the beginning of the first episode of The Promised Neverland (Yakusoku no Neverland) I was terribly cautious. It’s still the first week of the Winter and there are already people saying this is going to be the best Anime of the season! So, to make sure I didn’t end disappointed I just entered this story with no expectations whatsoever. In fact, I haven’t even read MAL synopsis which, let me tell you, it made the episode even better.
The Promised Neverland is a mystery/horror Anime, which always puts me a step back. As we know, there are not many Anime shows of this genre coming out on a daily basis… At least, not good ones… So, for a horror lover, it’s refreshing to see an Anime doing it so well.
Basically, the Anime is about a group of kids, the main characters, who are the oldest, have 11 years old and all of them live in an orphanage. This orphanage is in the middle of a huge farm where they have space to play, run, and everything seems to be pretty nice. Normally, before the age of 12, everyone ends up being adopted. However, one night, Emma and Norman discover the truth behind and is not that happy.
3 Reasons Why The Promised Neverland Episode 1 Was Perfect
We have to start with the pace of the episode. One of the most important parts of a mystery to be well executed is the timing of the scenes. However, most of the first episode is not a mystery kind of thing, but more of a cute, slice of life kind of thing.
We just get kids being kids, playing tag and whatnot… Something that could become boring very fast. However, even here, The Promised Neverland is able to deliver a great pace. In fact, I ended up thinking to myself that I had no problem if the Anime was only that… Kids being kids, playing with each other… Truth is, there are so many kids that there is not even one dull moment.
But, right from the beginning, you start to see some strange things which start to build the suspense in a slow, but steady way. Why is there a place where the kids can’t go? Why are they doing extremely difficult tests? Well, in my idea, I thought they were in fact in a post-end type of world. There have been Anime shows like that. The kids, completely ignorant, will work hard and be the best both in logic as in physical skills so they then can go outside and save the World.
However, that is not what happens. It’s way more interesting than that. We get to the horror part by the end of the episode. Again the pace is done perfectly. Although slower, with scenes taking more time to pass from one to another, it’s never dull. On contrary, it makes you sit in the edge of the seat with your heart pounding afraid of what is going to happen next.
In conclusion, It’s beautifully done and I wouldn’t change one bit!
Probably the second most important part of a mystery/horror type of media… Maybe even the most important, it’s the music. Have you ever tried to watch a horror movie in mute? The scary part completely ends. This, because the music is always done in a way that you don’t consciously notice it started, but the truth is that it is there and it’s putting you on the edge.
There are many examples where this is done right, but I’ll go with the game Until Dawn. Truth is, the thing that happens does not have to be that scary. Most of the times they even play with the viewer and ends up being just a person instead of a monster. The jump scare happens only because of the audio, the build-up, getting more and more intense… That’s what makes our brain to be in alert and I just love that thrill!
But, what puts you even more on the edge is to have no music at all. Complete silence with a rhythmic sound happening in the background – normally it’s a water drop happening somewhere. Well, that’s what Neverland does. When s***t is about to get serious there is no music at all. You can only hear the characters footsteps as also a water drop which gives us that rhythm. It puts everything in suspense. What is going to happen? Are they going to get caught? Are they gonna die? It’s just very well done.
In the end, again, the build-up was perfect. The choice of going just for excellent sound effects instead of horror/mysterious music in the most intense part just made everything better!
The Message Behind It
It was enough to have the episode just like it is. But, after watching it, letting it settle in my brain and think a little more seriously about it, I couldn’t just bypass the message behind it.
(If you haven’t watched the episode yet, please pass this part. I’ve done my best to not have spoilers, but now there is no way that I can write this part without giving away spoilers)
At the end of the episode, we discover that all of these kids are meant to be killed and be sold as high-quality meat. Think about it for a second… They live on a huge farm where they can run and play around all day, completely free. What normally happens to cattle that is meant to be high-quality meat? They live in huge fields where they can go and be completely free. They will eat only grass instead of those powders that, well, are horrible…
So, basically, I think the message behind is… Think that a cow was an intelligent being… The children reaction would be the same as them. Truth is, they already pass through this, they are just not aware of it.
When I got the information that the children were just meat to be sold a thought came to me right away… What about children who are not “quality” meat? What happens to them? Will they be in places like our animals are when it’s supposed to be just for your general quality meat? Are they fed with steroids and things like that to grow faster?
It does put things in perspective, doesn’t it? I’m not a vegetarian, and I probably won’t stop eating meat because of this Anime… We are just seeing a world where humans are the ones to be the ones being eaten for a change… But… Again… It does put things in perspective, doesn’t it?
What About You?
Have you watched the first episode of The Promised Neverland? Were you hyped for it? Did it meet your expectations? Tell me all in the comments! 😀