The Promised Neverland Vol. 5 Review

Title: The Promised Neverland Vol. 5
Author: Kaiu Shirai (Story), Posuka Demizu (Art)
Publisher: Viz Media
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
Genre: Horror, Drama
Publication Date: August 7, 2018

The Story

Volume five of The Promised Neverland has all of the orphans on the verge of escape when it is discovered that Phil is still back with Isabella. Surely, Emma won’t stand for this, right?

Wrong!

Apparently, Emma decided that everyone four and younger will be left behind during the escape. They know that they have two years at minimum before they are shipped out so the plan is to leave the younger ones and return later to rescue them when they’re older. Isabella is quick to figure out their method of escape but she’s too late. By the time she finds out where they escaped from, they’re already gone!

Now that they have escaped, they have many unknown dangers ahead of them such as not knowing the lay of the land, possible wild beasts, nature itself, and the eventual threat of the demons who will refuse to let them escape. The first peril befalls them when all of the kids suddenly disappear. They fell into an underground cave which ended up being a trap of a man-eating tree. Thankfully, Emma figures out the solution and they overcome the odds. Just when they think they are out of the water, a wild demon beast shows up and gives chase.

Ray offers himself up to the best so they could escape. Just when Ray was about to win, the beast suddenly gets his head cut off! The pursuers found Ray! Emma senses that Ray is taking too long but she collapses. The wound of where her ear used to be has opened up and she begins to run a fever! Things are looking a bit grim!

I can’t believe they actually escaped! I didn’t think we would see the escape happen this soon into the series but I was wrong. This story just took a brand-new turn as it went from a story of escaping to survive to a story of just simply surviving out in the wild. They do have some direction and a beacon of hope to cling on to but there are way too many challenges for them to face in order to meet that goal. The story is getting more and more interesting with each and every volume.

Characters

We are actually treated to some character development this time around! It comes in the form of Isabella. She reflects on her life growing up on the farm, how she became pregnant, how she becomes mother of the farm, etc. I won’t spoil the results of her backstory but one of my predictions of being the mother of one of the kids is true! It always feels to get one right!

In the end, Isabella has a huge change of heart. She felt that she could have gone after them but she remembers just how much she actually loved all of them. That whole “loving the children” thing wasn’t a façade. It was a genuine emotion which makes me wonder how she could stand sending child after child off to die if she loved them so much. The turmoil she felt must have been tremendous. The fact that she actually lets them escape and wishes that they find their own light really paints her in a positive picture. In the end, Isabella’s character serves more as a vehicle to hate the demons more than anything. It’s really clear that she doesn’t enjoy doing any of this and is only doing it so she, herself, won’t die by their hands.

Ray also had a bit of a change in character as well. Before, he was very rough around the edges, straightforward, spoke his mind, etc. He was a realist through and through and while that really hasn’t changed, he has a better attitude about things. The vow his made in the forest showed him in a softer light without really damaging the core of his character. You saw this slowly happening over the course of the story but now we get to see Ray’s redemption in full effect!

Even if it was as an afterimage, it was still good to see Norman. His spirit lives on but I’m still not convinced he’s dead. Like I said in my last review, Conny and Krone were shown dead with a flower growing out of them. We only saw that with Norman in Emma’s dream. We never saw what happened to him once Isabella handed him over to the demons. That’s an obvious sign that he’s not dead. Or he could have just silently died without confirmation and I’m overthinking things.

Final Thoughts

Another great volume of The Promised Neverland. Until the final page of the volume, I had a sneaky suspicion that they would get caught and brought back to the farm which would set up a plan for a second escape, armed with better knowledge of the outside world but that suspicion changed after the volume came to a close. We have a mystery character that is on their side but we don’t know anything about this person. The character looked female but it was wearing baggy clothes so that could be something to throw us all off. The figure is about the same size as Emma and Ray so maybe my Norman theory was right all along? Maybe this is a new character altogether?

I don’t know but it does spice things up. Plus, we have to see what happens with Ray. Maybe he gets caught and is brought back and the escape turns into a rescue mission? There are so many ways this story can go but it really makes you think of the possibilities.

This series is just too damn good!

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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.

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