Title: The Promised Neverland Vol. 10 Author: Kaiu Shirai (Story), Posuka Demizu (Art) Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 192 Genre: Horror, Drama Publication Date: June 4, 2019
Volume ten of The Promised Neverland was all action from start to finish as Leuvis and company carried out their Hunt ahead of schedule. The children were split up as they carried out their plan to the best of their abilities. Emma was left face-to-face with Leuvis who invited him to play the same game that Lucas did with him so long ago. Leuvis wasn’t going to fall for but despite that, he gave Emma ten minutes before he would do anything just to see if her friends would, indeed, show up to try and ambush him.
Meanwhile, in the woods, the biggest threat was the Hunting Grounds’ leader, Lord Bayon. Taking him on was quite the challenge but they managed to lure him into a trap and take him down. During the battle, we also saw that Ray and the person Lucas knowns (we still don’t even know his name) arrive and join in on the fight. Our mysterious man ends up taking down the, now-combined, Nouma and Nous.
Once the subordinates and Lord Bayon are taken out, it’s time to finish things with Leuvis; however, Leuvis is way too smart and strong for them to handle. No matter what trap is laid, it doesn’t seem to have any effect on him. That all is about to change when the man affectionately referred to as Geezer shows up to close out our volume.
Really nice action-packed volume that balanced its storytelling with flashbacks sprinkled throughout the book. One thing I didn’t expect to see was some backstory on Bayon and Leuvis. Meanwhile, all of the other children were simply just names for the sake of filling a role. I guess coming from their own farm is backstory enough to for them and for the sake of the scope of this series, I guess it’s fine. Not everyone can have a 10+ page chapter dedicated to their past Have to leave something for that spinoff money, right?
The biggest development came with Lord Bayon and, by proxy, Leuvis. Lord Bayon seemed to have sat at the top of the demon world 1,000 years ago. The treaty between the demons and the humans was formed and he came up with the idea of creating the farms to harvest children which didn’t violate the treaties. However, this wouldn’t satisfy him as he could never taste any flavor in the meat that was harvested. So, Bayon decided to have his own secret hunts on his property. When he caught those children and ate them, he could finally taste the flavor in the meat as he described it as tasting the essence of life itself. Of course, his hunters were found out which lead him to become the head of Goldy Pond where he could freely carry out these hunts. Leuvis was always beside Lord Bayon and, thus, decided to join him at Goldy Pond. The rest was history.
I thought it was a nice touch to give the demons a bit of a backstory. It really makes you see things from their perspective. It doesn’t matter if you think what they are doing is right or wrong but it does bring the subject of morality into question. Humans hunt and eat animals all the time but when demons hunt humans because we, to them, are the animals, does it make their positions justified? What makes it morally wrong? The fact that we are a rare breed of species on this planet that’s capable of thought and high intelligence? Because we, as humans, are self-aware? What if we weren’t? What if we were just like any other animal on the planet that reacted primarily on instincts and stimulation… if we couldn’t think in any perceived language? That we were unaware of the passage of time and our own mortality? Would that make the demons’ actions more justified?
Situations like this really make you think.
We also got a little bit of information on Lucas during the flashbacks, namely how he had lost his arm. Leuvis fought Lucas in the past and assumed that he had died; however, he seemed quite delighted to realize that he was, indeed, still alive. Leuvis is the kind of demon that feels more excited the more danger he’s in. He wanted everyone he was fighting to feel his own blood tingling. Emma even tried to reason with him but there was zero interest on Leuvis’ side. He was born to hunt and that would be the only thing that would satisfy him. The highest-level and most dangerous hunts give him the most pleasure. One who doesn’t fear death but actually smiles at the thought of being killed by his prey is a dangerous being, indeed! I’m really digging Leuvis as a character!
All of the other characters… Oliver, Gillian, Pepe, etc. They’re just there. All there for the sake of carrying out a plan, all there for the sake of playing the smallest of the small roles. Still, they find a way to make you care about them despite them all being cannon fodder.
Even though there was a battle going on, the pacing for the volume slowed down. It’s odd to say that because the previous volume was an information dump and I found it more exciting than a volume with action in it. That’s not to say that this volume was bad by any means, though. I thought this volume was great because things did get ramped up and it was awesome to see them successfully rise up against the demons to retake Goldy Pond for themselves. Despite this, though, I just felt that the volume was lacking that punch that Volume 9 brought to the table. Maybe it was all of the flashbacks that broke up the action or maybe it was the fact that a lot of the characters just seemed unimportant. Whatever it was, the great action and the triumph that these kids were pulling off was still overshadowed by a huge info dump volume.
Next volume seems to be another pivotal point, though. I’m sure we will see the downfall of Leuvis and we’ll probably find out what Geezer’s name is. I expect this to be a small portion of action mixed with more backstory so be prepared for more info on Lucas and Geezer. I also wonder if we’ll get to see more of a certain someone who I still don’t want to spoil from the previous volume!
Also, what’s up with Don, Gilda, and everyone else back at the first base? Guess they’re just chillin, growing vegetables, and having little campouts or something. Or they could have gone crazy and all killed each other. Now THAT would be a twist!