Title: The Promised Neverland Vol. 9 Author: Kaiu Shirai (Story), Posuka Demizu (Art) Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 192 Genre: Horror, Drama Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Volume nine of The Promised Neverland was a great blend of backstory, development, and action! We had so many big questions answered throughout the volume and one of my predictions also was proven to be true once again!!
We find out what is behind the door that can only be unlocked with a pen from William Minerva. Emma unlocks the door and they find a communication room behind it along with a path to, yet, another room. This second room looks like an opening in an underground cave filled with a golden liquid that repels itself when you try to touch it. This is where the name Goldy Pond originated from. In this middle of this odd liquid is a floating house which contains a telephone and an elevator. Emma uses the pen to call the elevator but it doesn’t work. That’s when the phone rings and a pre-recorded message from William Minerva himself is played.
Here, we learn a LOT. I’ll detail Minerva in the characters section but Emma’s suspicions about the elevator were correct in the fact that it leads to the human world but the recorded message states that if they’re hearing this then it means the elevator was discovered and the path was blocked by the people who betrayed Minerva and turned his settlement into a hunting ground. They gain a TON of knowledge that will help them escape to the human world but first, they need to tear down the hunting ground in order to escape. They all return and formulate a plan but the hunting bell sounds a day early.
Even though they were caught off guard, they still had their plan secured and they all got into positions. The hunters become the hunted as they begin to take the demons down one by one; however, our volume comes to an end with Emma coming face to face with the wild card amongst the demons… Leuvis!
I skipped another big reveal because as much as I want to talk about it, I don’t want to blow a MAJOR spoiler about one of our beloved characters. I’ll let you guys read the volume and discover it for yourselves. Also, one of the paths to the human world was revealed and it conveniently ties into a promise that Emma once made.
This story just keeps getting better and better. Volume three made a huge impact with so many plot twists but this volume rivals that one in terms of big reveals and key information dumps. I feel like every major question was answered in this volume but at the same time, the answers don’t resolve the issues. Instead, they help paint the path forward and gives us a very clear sense of what needs to be done to complete this journey.
The biggest development we received was with William Minerva. His real name is James Ratri and he is the descendant and 35th leader of a clan who made the promise 1,000 years ago between the humans and the demons. It was his duty to make sure that humans and demons lived in peace in their own separate worlds but despite this duty, he hated the thought of humans being brought up and raised just to be demon food. This is why he secretly left clues allowing those who could discern them to escape. He wanted to provide secret paths to the human worlds so that these humans could escape and make it look like they did so on their own, therefore, it wouldn’t break the promise and reignite another war between the humans and demons. Minerva mentioned he was betrayed which brings us to our new character: Peter Ratri.
Peter Ratri is the current and 36th head of the Ratri clan. He hated his brother’s ideals and was the one who betrayed him, turning his Goldy Pond base into a hunting ground for the demons. He’s conducting research at a new maximum-security field house codenamed Lambda. In addition, we see that he’s working alongside Lord Bayon, the head demon, making him one of, if not, THE main antagonist of the series. Peter has a no-nonsense attitude and is very direct and to the point with all of his words and actions. He’s also responsible for something else but it would be a major spoiler so read the volume for yourself to discover it!
We also get a little more information on Lucas and the unnamed man that brought Emma and Ray to Goldy Pond. It was because of the hunt and Leuvis that the unnamed man cannot trust anyone or anything. He watched as they slaughtered their family right in front of them. Now that we know more details on their past, I can see Lucas being the bridge that brings the unnamed man around and over to their side, thus restoring his trust.
Absolutely insane volume! As I said, so many questions got answered and those answers forge a clear path forward. Of course, not all paths are straight and narrow but it looks like we will be returning to some familiar territory. When or how that will happen remains to be seen. I have a feeling that one of our new characters, Adam, will lead us to another side mission before we get back to the main mission at hand. I omitted him from the characters section because it deals with even more spoilers. Just be thankful that I have a conscience when doing these reviews! I could ruin it all for you at a moment’s notice!!
Needless to say, if you were waiting for your next paycheck to pick up this volume, buy it and go hungry or incur a late payment fee (aka don’t really do that). This volume is just that good and is right up there with volume three at being one of the best in the series thus far. Although we haven’t been acquainted with Leuvis for very long, he’s done enough to make you want to see him get destroyed and I’m hoping that’s something we get to see happen in the next volume. Leuvis was built up to be insane, yet, crafty so I have a sneaky suspicion that he may just end up escaping in order to play a role further on down the line but he’s not going to get out of this unscathed. It seems that they built him up to be a good villain down the road that it would be a waste to kill him off next volume.
Also, I can’t wait for the Ray and Emma reunion. Once they get back to the shelter with the unnamed man, their forces will probably be doubled but I also can’t help but wonder if Lucas will take the Goldy Pond children and split to prepare their part of the grand plan, only to show up later when Ray, Emma, Don, and Gilda need them the most.
I really must resist reading the fan scanlations online. I’ve been so tempted to do so but if I did, then I would have these type of genuine reactions to my reviews. With a series this good, you have to understand how painful it is to wait and not know what’s going to happen even though the answers are just a few mouse clicks away! That’s just a testament to how great The Promised Neverland truly is!