Outerhaven Anime: First Reaction – Yakusoku no Neverland

I decided to check out a show just because there had been a bit of some buzz surrounding it. People kept saying that this should be the show of the season. The premise gave me a vibe where it would be a slice-of-life show with some sort of dark vibe twist to it. I’m always down for a good story like that so I fired up Yakusoku no Neverland (The Promised Neverland) and gave it a whirl. So yeah… about that first episode…

Let’s Go!

First Impressions

The show opens up with three kids, two boys named Norman and Ray and a girl name Emma. They are inspecting a fence wondering what lies beyond it. So right away we set the tone with a bit of mystery mixed with curiosity.

Then the opening hit.

RIP the next half hour of my life. I literally sat here and listened to this opening a total of 23 times before I continued on with the episode. Hell, I’m sitting here with the thing on repeat as I type up this first reaction! Yes, I am mentally keeping track as I write this. This is, not only, one of the best openings I’ve heard this season, but I would stack this up against anything that came out in 2018. The funny thing is that this song, which is called “Touch Off”, is by UVERworld who also did an amazing job with their My Hero Academia opening last year, but this song EASILY blows that one away. I also loved their opening to Arslan Senki as well as D.Gray-man. I’ve listened to more than just their anime songs, though and they are easily one of my favorite Japanese bands right up there with LiSA, Last Alliance, and FLOW.

I can’t do this opening justice with words. The constant upbeat tempo.. the pure energy in the vocals that don’t quit, that jazz sax intro. My ears have heard Valhalla and all that it offers. There are some good openings this season with Boogiepop wa Warawanari, Dororo, and the new Sword Art Online Alicization openings but I think they all pale in comparison to The Promised Neverland’s. 2018 has 11 months to go and I am already labeling this as Anime Opening of the Year. It’s going to be incredibly hard for any show to top this song but the challenge has been laid down. Prove me wrong!

As for the show itself, after I stopped playing the song on repeat (we’re at 29 listens as of this sentence, by the way, haha), we’re treated to what I initially thought this show would open with: some slice-of-life stuff with 30+ orphans living under one roof. They eat together, play together, take their (highly futuristic) tests together and even get jealous when others outscore them. Norman has the highest IQ among them and he’s constantly challenged to a game of tag by the other students as a way for them to get their redemption but they end up losing anyway because Norman is just OP at everything.

The 12th comes and it’s time for a little girl named Connie to say her goodbyes as her new family has come to pick her up. The mother of the house leads her away but Emma notices that she forgot her favorite stuffed rabbit. Emma and Norman give chase to give it back to her but when they reach the gate, they see that they are a bit too late as Connie is nowhere to be found. They see a truck there and assume that it’s the vehicle that will take her away. Emma says they’ll just put the toy in the back. That’s when the shit hits the proverbial fan.

Connie’s corpse is laying in the back of the truck and out comes two otherworldly beings!!

There’s the dark twist I’ve been expecting but still, that gave me chills!

Emma and Norman then learn that they are nothing more than just food for these beings. The orphanage is just a farm used to cultivate them for sale. So yeah… this anime is Soylent Green with aliens! Yum!

Of course, after witnessing all of this, the plan is to escape and that’s where our first episode comes to an end.

Worth Watching?

WHY HAVEN’T YOU WATCHED IT BY NOW!?– WOW! Just wow. Everything from the visuals, the unique character designs, the awesome animation, and that KILLER opening song. Everything is coming together to make this a potential anime of the year candidate. The first episode was a little slow in the beginning but you just enjoyed the slice-of-life elements so much that it kept your interest and left a smile on your face while doing so. Then the dark twist hit and it didn’t disappoint one single bit. If you can survive the endless loop of replaying the intro over and over again and finish the episode then I think this show is HIGHLY worth your time!

A better question is… should you overlook this show?


Oh and the opening song listening count by the end of this article was 37.

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.