ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘The Promised Neverland,’ Volume 15

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Promised Neverland Volume 15

The Promised Neverland, Vol. 15 is a fantasy thriller manga written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu. It is published for English-language release by VIZ Media as a part of the SHONEN JUMP imprint. The Promised Neverland tells the story of the Grace Field House orphanage children whose lives were suddenly turned upside down when they learn that their loving caretaker, Mama, has actually been raising them as cattle to feed to demons. The children work together to escape their fate while they desperately try to find a place in the world where they can exist and be free from the threat of the demons.

Volume 15 covers chapters 125 through 133. In this volume Norman, under the alias of William Minerva, and his group of followers prepares their plan to eradicate all of the demons. Meanwhile, Emma and Ray look for an alternative non-violent solution that would allow the cattle children to escape the demon world for good. However, they are in a race against the clock to find and forge a new promise with the powerful deity demon.

The first thing I fell in love with about this series was Posuka Demizu’s art style. It is the juxtaposition of the fantastical and macabre illustrations that makes Demizu’s so unique and stand out amongst other Shonen series. I just love how Demizu balances beautiful vibrant illustrations with the dark and twisted ones.

Demizu’s art, in my opinion, feels unique and can easily draw people in with their use of fantasy and macabre designs. What I like most is that it seems they aren’t scared to hold back when it comes to their illustrations, particularly when it comes to the demons. They aren’t scared to push the limits with how grotesque and horrifying the demons are designed.

Another thing I enjoyed about this volume is that it shows the protagonists have polarizing views on how they can obtain freedom. I thought it was an excellent move on the writer’s part because it shows that just because the main characters share the same goal does not mean they share the same beliefs on how to accomplish them. For example, Norman is convinced that the only way the children will ever truly be free is if they completely eradicate demons for good.

In order to do this, a war would be needed and that is exactly what his plans involve. On the other hand, Emma, who knows Norman’s plan is the most logical, especially after everything the demons have done to human children for thousands of years. However, she has seen first hand that not all demons are bad and doesn’t believe they should have to die. Instead, she is determined to find a way for the children to be free without killing all of the demons.

I also thought this exchange between Norman and Emma was very reminiscent of how they were at the beginning of the series when they first learned the truth about their home and the demons. Norman looked for the solution that was most logical and had the best chance of success. Meanwhile, Emma, thinks with her heart first and looks for a solution that can save everyone no matter how risky it might be. It shows that just because they both want to accomplish the same goal doesn’t mean they are on the same page of how to get it done.

Lastly, in this volume, I like that we get a deeper look into the demons’ culture and history and how it allowed for more world-building. At the start of The Promised Neverland there wasn’t much information about the demons. However, as the story has gone on, the creators have added more interesting details about the demons that show they aren’t all bloodthirsty mindless monsters. For example, when Norman explains his plan on how to defeat the demons he mentions that their society is not a monolith and that they have their own hierarchy system.

This information gives the readers more insight into the demons’ culture and how they are ruled.  It also shows that not all of the demons are treated equally and fairly just because they are all demons. Some of the demons are actually treated very poorly and not given the food they need because of their class status. Then there are the wealthiest and higher-ranked demons are the ones that are able to control the masses as they wish because of their status.

Overall, I can’t recommend The Promised Neverland Vol. 15 enough. Shirai’s storytelling allows for more world-building that adds to the quality of the series. Demizu’s art style is unique and captivating in how it balances beauty and macabre together.  The story also takes readers in an interesting direction when two of the lead protagonists have polarized views. I think long time fans will enjoy the direction the story is heading. If you are a fan of the anime or completely new to the series, then I highly recommend you start reading this series from the beginning because the story just keeps getting better and better as it goes on.

The Promised Neverland, Vol. 15 will be available at bookstores and online on June 2. To find out where to buy, check out Viz.com.

The Promised Neverland Vol. 15
5

The Promised Neverland, Vol. 15

I can’t recommend The Promised Neverland Vol. 15 enough. Shirai’s storytelling allows for more world-building that adds to the quality of the series. Demizu’s art style is unique and captivating in how it balances beauty and macabre together.  The story also takes readers in an interesting direction when two of the lead protagonists have polarized views. I think long time fans will enjoy the direction the story is heading. If you are a fan of the anime or completely new to the series, then I highly recommend you start reading this series from the beginning because the story just keeps getting better and better as it goes on.