ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘The Promised Neverland,’ Volume 16

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Promised Neverland Volume 16 Cover

The Promised Neverland Volume 16 is a manga written and illustrated by mangaka duo Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu. The Promised Neverland’s  English-language release is published by VIZ Media as a part of the SHONEN JUMP imprint. The series centers on the children of Grace Field Orphanage. For most of their lives, they believed they lived in a paradise with a loving caregiver and with everything they could ever want. However, they learn the dark and twisted truth about their home and that their caregiver is raising them to be food for demons. They work together to escape their fate in hopes of finding a place where they can be free from the threats of the demon world.

The Promised Neverland Volume 16 picks right back up where the previous volume left off. Emma and Ray continue in their search to find the Seven Walls. They find themselves trapped in a mysterious world that doesn’t abide by the rules of space or time. They’re determined to escape this quantum labyrinth and fulfill the promise that they will finally bring about peace for all of the cattle children. Meanwhile, Norman puts his own plans into action that requires Don and Glenda’s help to track down their friend the cursed-blood demon girl, Mujika.

Hands down, some of my favorite moments in The Promised Neverland Volume 16 are the ones that feature Emma and Ray searching for the Seven Walls in the interdimensional space. Posuka Demizu really has a talent for drawing twisted, mind-bending illustrations in a beautiful and captivating way. You can’t help but appreciate every detail they put into their artwork and style.

One of the best parts of this volume is that you learn how the first promise between humans and demons came about 1,000 years ago. The first promise separated the human and demon worlds but at the cost of sacrificing some of the humans for the demons to farm. Those humans would be the ancestors of Emma and the other cattle children. 

I found this part of the manga very interesting because the author, Kaiu Shirai, drew some great parallels between the characters from 1,000 years ago to Emma and Norman. You have some characters that are determined to find a solution for all humans while other characters feel that, in order to achieve victory for most of mankind, they must be willing to make some sacrifices.

This volume had some great writing on Shirai’s part to draw similarities between Emma and Norman’s current situation and stances to that of their ancestors. In their current situation, they are both seeking a solution that frees the cattle children from the demons for good. Norman believes that the only way to victory is a genocide that will wipe out all the demons. But Emma believes they can find a peaceful solution that doesn’t end in bloodshed. While they both want the same end result, they also have different ideas about how to achieve that end. 

My only issue with this volume is that I’m not a fan of the phrase “transcended race” which was used in this volume. Personally, the phrase makes me cringe because it is on par with other phrases such as “a credit to your race.” Phrases like that have been used for years as back-handed compliments towards people of color.

In my opinion phrases like that come off as saying that they overcame their race to accomplish something, which is insulting. Now I will say I don’t think the use of the phrase in this volume was done with ill-intention. However, I wish they had chosen another term or phrase to get the point across that the characters of different races united and worked together.

Overall, I highly recommend picking up The Promised Neverland Volume 16. This volume is full of beautiful mind-bending illustrations. he Promised Neverland Volume 16 also provides some great insight into the main plot that will interest long-time fans about the origin of the main conflict. And while there is some phrasing I wish wasn’t used, I can still say I enjoyed this volume thoroughly.

The Promised Neverland Volume 16 is available at bookstores and online on August 4. To find out where to buy, check out Viz.com.

The Promised Neverland Volume 16
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, I highly recommend picking up The Promised Neverland Volume 16. This volume is full of beautiful mind-bending illustrations. The Promised Neverland Volume 16 also provides some great insight into the main plot that will interest long-time fans about the origin of the main conflict.