Again, I’m an anime only but even I know that they skipped through a hell of a lot of stuff. I was definitely not expecting an entire year of a time skip with the children in god knows where. The opening shows the children older but I didn’t think we would get a skip like this so soon, and there’s so many things I wish they spent time on.
Also as happy as I am to see Norman again, the reveal was so…underwhelming? There was no tension, no build up. What should have been a “AHHH IT’S NORMAN!” reaction from me, it was more like a “Oh hey it’s Norman”. Which…isn’t that good. I’m happy he’s here, but that was anticlimactic.
One thing I will say I liked from this episode was finally looking into the demon world, a la the demon town the kids live close to. At least the world building they did this time was great, as we learned a great deal. The meat the regular demons consume aren’t the best pieces of meat, as the meat from the farms pretty much only go to royalty. That means the meat supply for regular and/or poor demons is low or not the best quality. Second, there are actual consequences if the demons don’t normally eat human meat such as degeneration, which we see with those two siblings. I hope we get to learn way more about that because Sonju and Mujika didn’t eat human meat and they didn’t seem to be suffering any type of degeneration. Which means there has to be more to the degeneration. With the reveal of the degeneration, we also can see that this is basically for their survival. The old demon that visited the temple even mentioned that the area would turn wild when the food supply would run short, and he didn’t mean in just the rioting sense. It seems like the demons could possibly lose their lives or just lose their minds and get violent, maybe turn into some horrible monster like that giant demon from the forest. There’s still much we don’t know, but this was an interesting insight into the demons who we knew nothing about. Also it gave a bit of a sympathetic note with the siblings, and the fact that these demons all have families too and they’re just trying to live. I guess like everything, nothing is black or white.
And I will say, while it was gross and horrifying, it was kind of fascinating seeing human heads, arms, legs, etc., hanging from the stalls or sitting in jars. Pretty much like our own markets with beef and pork, except it’s human children. Very macabre.
With that aside, I have to complain about pretty much anything else. Even if I hadn’t known about the manga arcs being skipped and whatnot, this episode still felt so off. So from the moment the kids escaped the farm, it’s been an entire year. Months have passed ever since the children had to leave their shelter and run off from the soldiers, and now all of a sudden we’re in a demon city. The kids are taking refuge in a temple a bit aways from the town, living the way they can with their limited food.
I have so many questions here. How did they escape and survive out of the forest? What happened with the other soldiers that were supposedly dispatched? How long did it take them to get to this temple? How long have they been living here, and how did they create their disguises without getting caught and learn to blend in with the demons? What even is their plan right now? From the sounds of it, it sounds like they don’t even have one and they’re just doing the best they can. Also them wanting to go back and save Phil is ridiculous considering their crappy situation. Where does Isabella fit in all this now? And this may just seem like my own personal nitpick, but did anyone else find it funny and dumb that Emma and Ray could jump from roof to roof like it was nothing? I know this is a shounen but these kids have never had powers or better-than-average physical abilities, so I thought it looked silly.
There’s just so much that makes no sense at all and the pacing is just too fast. I’d really love a whole explanation for pretty much everything we missed, but honestly Norman’s arrival will probably overshadow all that and we’ll just have to kiss that goodbye.
I’m just looking at this from a writing perspective. A sudden time skip with no explanation with the characters sort of summarizing the last few months with exposition, and then introducing a past character so quickly is NOT a good idea! And just pointing that out, it’s like The Promised Neverland’s foundation has just crumbled. The first 3 episodes I thought were pretty great and the mystery and suspense was done well, but the quality has taken a noticeable plunge so quickly that it kind of amazes me, and saddens me as well. This isn’t exactly how I thought this season would go, and I’m not even sure what to expect. This doesn’t feel like the same TPN I fell in love with. I’m going to hold out that things improve because there were some interesting things, but it was hard to enjoy this episode when almost everything made zero sense and I can’t quite ignore that fact.
And apparently, we’re getting a recap episode next week with episode 6 airing in two weeks. Which…okay then? I’m not even sure what this recap will be of? These last 5 episodes? I’m not even sure what’s happening anymore. Unless the recap is of importance, it looks like I’ll be taking a break next week so see you in two weeks!