REVIEW:‌ ‘The‌ ‌Promised‌ ‌Neverland‌’ ‌Season‌ ‌2‌ ‌Episode‌ ‌5.5

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The‌ ‌Promised‌ ‌Neverland‌ ‌‌Season‌ ‌2‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌highly‌ ‌anticipated‌ ‌return‌ ‌for‌ ‌fans‌ ‌of‌ ‌both‌ ‌the‌ ‌manga‌, which‌ ‌has‌ ‌ended‌ ‌serialization, and‌ ‌the‌ ‌first‌ ‌season‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌anime.‌ ‌Season‌ ‌1‌ ‌of‌ ‌‌The‌ ‌Promised‌ ‌Neverland‌‌ ‌aired‌ ‌in‌ ‌Winter‌ ‌2019‌ ‌to‌ ‌critical‌ ‌acclaim.‌ ‌Season‌ ‌2‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌direct‌ ‌continuation‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌previous‌ ‌story,‌ ‌tracking‌ ‌Emma‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌children‌ ‌of‌ ‌Grace‌ ‌Field‌ ‌as‌ ‌they‌ ‌fend‌ ‌off‌ ‌the‌ ‌demons‌ ‌that‌ ‌inhabit‌ ‌their‌ ‌steadily‌ ‌growing‌ ‌world.‌ ‌

Promised Neverland Episode 5 showcased the world of the demons, as well as a bit of their society. It also refocused back on the children of Grace Field after having to abandon the shelter. Promised Neverland Episode 5 also marked a strong shift away from the source material into end game content, or perhaps, a mix of the manga’s story. Even as a manga reader, I found myself immensely confused, though I’ll admit I haven’t read the entire series. 

Promised Neverland Episode 5.5 is… a recap episode. I knew this going in, but it’s still a disappointment. Not only is it a recap of what’s happened in season 2, but it also recaps episode 1. The latter is understandable, to a degree. The former feels like a waste of viewers’ time, especially since most viewers will accurately remember the main plot beats from the first five episodes in this second season.

Here’s the thing. I don’t like recap episodes, especially not in the middle of a cour and especially not when they already recapped briefly in the first episodes. 

All too often, recap episodes feel like the show doesn’t trust its viewers. It comes off as a bit patronizing, and so often feels like it could have been a trailer for the series rather than a week of anime. In fact, I think this would have been a really cool “episode 0” to get fans hyped for The Promised Neverland Season 2. This would have been a great promo video to do just that.

Instead, this comes smack dab in the middle of an already flagging second cour, and unfortunately? Promised Neverland Episode 5.5 only continues to drag The Promised Neverland down further.

Promised Neverland Episode 5.5 is hard to rate because of the nature of the episode. While yes, it’s lovely to see Norman and Ray and Emma and even Isabella, this “special episode” feels unnecessary. Like I said, it feels like the show doesn’t trust its viewers. Additionally, this episode is a full-length one. That means an entire week was dedicated to recapping information even anime-only viewers already had. It means that viewers have to essentially wait two weeks before getting back on track with the main series.

I would much rather Promised Neverland Episode 5.5 be an episode that gave a bit more world-building in order to link all the events that have happened thus far. I’d rather it be a transition episode into Promised Neverland Episode 6. However, that’s not what myself and other viewers got. Like I said in Promised Neverland Episode 5, it’s a shame. This only solidifies The Promised Neverland Season 2 as a weakened follow-up to a dynamic first season.

I think that this is probably a shared sentiment whether or not you’ve read the manga. You don’t have to know the source material in order to tell that The Promised Neverland Season 2 isn’t putting its best foot forward. At this point in the season, I imagine that anime-only and manga-informed fans alike are pretty upset. I know I certainly am.

There are seven episodes left in The Promised Neverland Season 2, and honestly, I have the feeling that this will be it for the series. I don’t think viewers can or should expect a season 3. I have the sinking feeling that viewers probably won’t want a season 3, even if the show sticks its landing.

As I said before, time will tell whether The Promised Neverland Season 2 ends on a high note. There’s a lot of interesting tidbits. Now, it’s up to the staff to find a way to blend them together for the satisfying ending this series deserves.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 is streaming now on Funimation.

The Promised Neverland Episode 5.5
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TL;DR

As I said before, time will tell whether The Promised Neverland Season 2 ends on a high note. There’s a lot of interesting tidbits. Now, it’s up to the staff to find a way to blend them together for the satisfying ending this series deserves.