It is a successful manga series serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine since 2016 and has gained notoriety thanks to its winning anime run in 2019. It is not your typical Weekly Shonen Jump series for reasons that will be explored in this article among others, so let’s go through 10 reasons why it’s a must-watch anime.
10. Doesn’t Follow Some Typical Shonen Tropes
The perfect place to start in terms of the appeal of The Promised Neverland and its overall narrative is in how it sets itself apart from other anime, particularly in the shonen genre. To be fair not all shonen series follow the same general shonen guidelines, tropes, or formulas–however you choose to address them. This particular manga and anime series tends to swerve away from that tendency itself.
For one, typical shonen series tend to center around a plucky protagonist that has an ultimate goal in mind and needs to become the best–insert title here– to achieve that goal. Without getting into spoilers, this series’ protagonists do have a seemingly insurmountable goal in mind. But it does so without following the typical formula you’ve seen elsewhere. However, it is important to note that adherence to a formula isn’t an indicator of a bad anime or manga by any stretch of the imagination.
9. Each Character Has Their Endearing And Defining Personalities
This factor particularly and especially applies to the three main protagonists of the series. Those three main protagonists are Emma, Norman, and Ray. All three of them are best friends since their early days at the orphanage which they grew up together in.
As one would expect, the three of them have different personalities, letting the audience enjoy how unique they are as well as their friendships together. Emma is the bubbly, athletic, and always positive one. Norman is the smartest and wisest of the three. Ray is the calculating one. All three have different personalities but they’re all endearing.
8. The Art Style
After all, this is anime we are talking about. One of the most important aspects of any animated work, in addition to the actual substance of the work, is how it looks.
This is what opens the door for fans curious enough to check out The Promised Neverland. Then the substance of the narrative and characters reel the audience in. The art style of the series is very cleanly done and pleasing to the eye, with vibrant colors throughout.
7. The Mystery And Twists
The Promised Neverland is not your typical high-octane intense battle and action anime series and that alone sets it apart from most shonen series. It is primarily a thriller and mystery series.
The mysteries surrounding the world of The Promised Neverland and the twists and turns that the characters discover on their own is absolutely thrilling to watch. This is arguably one of, if not, the, biggest appeal of the series as a whole. Discovering every little nugget of truth behind every closed door is a constant thrill.
6. Layered Antagonists
Especially as a thriller and mystery series, The Promised Neverland needs to have some powerfully written antagonists in order to keep things interesting. The ones that are presented in this first season of The Promised Neverland are well written and have a certain level of depth to them that gives them proper backgrounds and motives.
The major villains of the narrative are not yet fully revealed, potentially waiting until the scope of the story has gotten much larger, but the ones the audience gets in season one are interesting. Their backgrounds help explain who they are and why they are in their particular positions.
5. Intelligent Protagonists
Since The Promised Neverland prides itself on its sense of mystery and thrilling suspense, the main characters of the series need to be smart enough to face the challenges particular to the genre. Thankfully, Emma, Norman, and Ray do not disappoint at all in this particular department.
This is important to the viewer as well especially since we, as fans, need reliable protagonists to ultimately unravel the many mysteries of the world for us. These three characters are extremely intelligent–especially for their age–and seeing them set and act upon their various plans is a joy.
4. The Suspense
This is, once again, one of the the series’ many strengths. This is due to the fact that The Promised Neverland prides itself on its ability to be an effective and suspenseful mystery and suspense thriller. There are plenty of great moments throughout the series’ first season that create a consistent air of suspense. The heroes have uncovered several revelations and are constantly trying their best to execute their plans and thwart their main antagonists.
Given that this was just the first season and the characters have still such a way to go to achieve their ultimate goals, expect this to just be a taste of what is to come.
3. Its Mature, Dark Setting/Tone For A Shonen
One thing that is surprising about this particular series is how mature it feels, especially for a Weekly Shonen Jump adaptation. That is not to say that a series, manga or anime, must be dark and serious to be good, but it is certainly serious and mature by shonen genre standards.
This list will avoid diving deep into spoiler territory, but given the context of this show’s overall narrative, it makes sense for the series to be dark. But in spite of that, the characters always seem to find a light in the darkness.
2. The Side Characters Are Used Well
Every series, regardless of form and platform, has its main cast and its side characters. However, this does not mean the latter have to be unimportant. And the side characters of The Promised Neverland definitely pull their own weight.
The audience is given an incentive to care about even the side characters of the series. Once the main cast catches wind of some of the secrets of their world, the side characters are pulled into the plot and do more than just help out, particularly in the latter stages of the season. They have their own motives, goals, and lives.
1. Early Episodes Draw You In
A mystery and suspense series wouldn’t be doing its job if it did not plant the seeds early to draw you into the world and make you ask questions about its mysteries. The earlier episodes of this series do just that and then some.
There are many puzzles that are more than unclear to the viewer and the characters at the start of the season. The beginning of the season is meant to lull the main cast and the rest of the minor characters into a false sense of security before something happens that leaves the characters in shock and awe, and the audience along with them.
Source of: ComicBookResources