REVIEW:‌ ‘The‌ ‌Promised‌ ‌Neverland,‌’ ‌Season‌ ‌2‌ ‌Episode‌ ‌5

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 5 - But Why Tho?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.‌ ‌ ‌Let’s dive into The Promised Neverland Episode 5!

The Promised Neverland Episode 4 focused on Emma and all the escapees of Grace Field and their sudden exodus from the shelter. Forced out by human invaders, the kids fled into the night, abandoning their temporary home for the wild once more.

Promised Neverland Episode 5 shifts perspective to the demons. Only this time… their lives mirror our own. The demons have homes. They have markets and street stalls, and food. They also have stalls filled with the parts of children: prime, succulent meat for demons to feast on.

The scene quickly cuts back to the children, who are surviving and thriving in a world wholly set against them. Using their wits, the children have been able to disguise themselves as demons, largely ensuring their safety as they forage for resources. In any other series, this might come off as incredibly grim. Somehow, Promised Neverland Episode 5 manages to remind its viewers of the strong bonds of love that exist between the children.

That being said, those lovely tidbits of found family bonding are not enough to salvage the plot, which feels like it’s steadily losing the threads that make The Promised Neverland so interesting. 

Realistically, Promised Neverland Season 2 is a very polarizing one. I imagine that fans of the manga are most likely incredibly disappointed as this cour seems to be skipping all of the Goldy Pond Arc. I feel comfortable saying that the Goldy Pond Arc is, and was, a fan favorite for many. And while I’ve kept from engaging in discourse so that my honest, unbiased opinion shines through. However, I feel like I’m making a pretty accurate guess about the fandom.

As a manga reader myself, I’ll proudly say that I was really looking forward to seeing Goldy Pond on the digital big screen. It’s a solid arc that introduces a lot of unique plot points, as well as an arc that gives Emma a lot more agency. Promised Neverland Episode 5 soundly takes all that away, reducing Emma’s presence in the series. It’s a real shame.

At this point in my watch, it’s likely that we’ll never see the Goldy Pond arc come to fruition. I feel safe saying that it’s a forgone conclusion. In fact, I’ll admit that I’m a bit lost in the plot right now. I have no clue where this is going, and I’m not sure I like this season, nor Promised Neverland Episode 5.

It feels like The Promised Neverland Season 2 has really lost its overall plot, straying further and further from what fans loved about the first season. My previous enthusiasm is waning as the series strays further from its chronological source material. A lot of that is because it seems to be skipping to endgame content.

In season 2, the kids are more action-oriented than clever. There are loads more chase sequences than there ever were in season 1. Admittedly, those are largely absent in Promised Neverland Episode 5. However, the interstitial bits with the kids are becoming more and more rote. It feels like everyone’s characterization has suffered. Naturally, being a girl, Emma has suffered the most. It’s quite disappointing.

Promised Neverland Episode 5 is ultimately very boring. It doesn’t really do much of anything, aside from further moving the characters away from the shelter. Emma gets downgraded as a protagonist, the plot suffers from sluggishness, and the overall story of The Promised Neverland Season 2 continues to suffer. The only interesting thread is that demons are still on the hunt for the “escaped meat” of Grace Field. However, viewers already knew that.

I’m still here for the long run if only to see The Promised Neverland Season 2 through to its end. However, I’m not sure what that end will be or if it’ll even be satisfying. At the time of this review, there are still seven more episodes left. This is excluding the recap episode promised to viewers next week. Time will tell if the next episodes are worth watching to the end of this season.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 is streaming now on Funimation.

Promised Neverland Episode 5
  • 6/10
    Rating - 6/10
6/10

TL;DR

I’m still here for the long run if only to see The Promised Neverland Season 2 through to its end. However, I’m not sure what that end will be or if it’ll even be satisfying. At the time of this review, there are still seven more episodes left. This is excluding the recap episode promised to viewers next week. Time will tell if the next episodes are worth watching to the end of this season.