Title: The Promised Neverland Vol. 12
Author: Kaiu Shirai (Story), Posuka Demizu (Art)
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Horror, Drama
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Volume twelve of The Promised Neverland does a lot of time skipping and by a lot… I mean… A LOT. Last volume, they said that they had two years in order to find the seven walls. Well, as of halfway through this volume, one year and ten months have passed. During this time, they found the clues that they were looking for in order to find the seven walls. It took a lot of traveling but they managed to do it. During this time, we did get some artwork updates on a few of the characters, namely Emma, who is looking a bit older now.
However, their plans come to a halt as Andrew, one of Peter Ratri’s top subordinates, finds the shelter they were all staying at and with a platoon of eight men in total, their mission is to eradicate everyone. A plan to escape using the shelter’s hidden passages proves to be futile as Andrew claims he spent the last year hunting down and killing all of their supporters which is how they found the shelter and know of its entire layout. The kids seem to be trapped but feel that there is a way out. In order to secure that route, Lucas and Yugo head into battle and our volume comes to an end.
I really disliked the time skip. While I do understand that if they did every search mission as a mini-story arc, the manga would have dragged on. Perhaps the time skip was a bit useful after all but still, I think the part where they found what they were looking for would have benefited from being fleshed out more. Instead, they found it… reported back… and filled in some of the details in a flashback. I don’t know why they did that when they could have just fleshed it out as it happened and then reported back. I mean, it does contain the same information but this method made it feel a bit rushed.
Still, this gave us the attack on the shelter and, honestly, I feel this is resolving too quickly as well. Had they fleshed out everything, reported back, and gave everyone there hope and then ended the volume on Andrew finding the shelter, that would have made for a much better cliffhanger ending.
Aside from looking older, we didn’t get much development of our cast of SIXTY THREE characters. If you thought Assassination Classroom had a ton of characters then hold its beer because The Promised Neverland, not counting Norman, The Ratri Clan, the Demons, Andrew and his platoon, Grace Field House, or ANYONE ELSE… has SIXTY-THREE characters. There has to be close to 80-90 total characters in this series and while large casts are fine and all, the problem is that the story takes the big focus and development becomes a mere afterthought. I mean, I’m happy Emma and a couple of others are looking older as it gives some believability to the passage of time but that’s the only development we’ve gotten.
If you want to count Andrew.. he’s simply a dog of the military-style character. He obeys Peter Ratri’s orders and cares not for anything Emma has to say. He is carrying out his mission to the letter because that’s what is expected of him. There’s really nothing more to his character and that makes him really one-dimensional.
At least we got to catch up with Phil and everyone else at Grace Field. It’s gone through some changes!
The Promised Neverland never really had good character development. We did get a lot of great moments during the Escape from Grace Field arc… especially with Ray and Isabella… even Sister Crone gave us some great character development but it all seemed to stop after that. I really hope we get some better information sprinkled in over the next few volumes.
While the story and the action are good, I felt this was a weak volume of The Promised Neverland. I’m in favor of time skips when they make sense but I don’t think they did here. It seemed to rush things way too quickly and there were a lot of opportunities to add in some subplots or other interesting points along the way. Perhaps each place that turned up false gave them a clue as to where to look next or maybe they found something that added to the lore of the world and the overall plot. Maybe they could have left more clues about the supporters or William Minerva himself. There was so much potential there to really breathe more life into the world and, yet, they opted to skip to the end of their two-year goal.
Even the attack on the shelter is wrapping up way too quickly. I don’t know what happens during creator and editor meetings but I can only fear that at 12 volumes in, The Promised Neverland may be speeding towards a conclusion. It was announced last month that the manga was entering its climax soon and that the manga wouldn’t extend too much. It would end between Volumes 20 and 30 meaning, at a minimum, we have eight volumes left. If they opt for the bare minimum then I can understand the rush, but if we have 18 volumes left and it’s going to end on Volume 30, then why the rush? There’s plenty of time to flesh out some of these parts they skipped over.
Right now, finding the Seven Walls is step one, making the new promise is step two, and keeping Emma’s promise by going back to Grace Field is the final step. Unless they are planning something more, the end of this series is already in sight. I hope not. I love this series too much to see it end like this. By “like this” I mean rushing plot points for the sake of getting to the end.
Also… anyone else find it strange that the manga is entering its climax in Japan… and the number of volumes left would end the manga right around the time the second anime season is set to air? Are you smelling a simultaneous ending of both anime and manga?
Seems to be lining up that way if you ask me.
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This item was provided for review by VIZ Media.