The Promised Neverland

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The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland, Volume 1.jpg
Cover of the first tankōbon volume of The Promised Neverland, as published by Shueisha on December 2, 2016
約束のネバーランド
(Yakusoku no Nebārando)
Genre
Manga
Written byKaiu Shirai
Illustrated byPosuka Demizu
Published byShueisha
English publisher
ImprintJump Comics
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Jump
English magazine
DemographicShōnen
Original runAugust 1, 2016June 15, 2020
Volumes20 (List of volumes)
Light novel
Written byNanao
Illustrated byPosuka Demizu
Published byJump J-Books
DemographicShōnen
Original runJune 4, 2018December 4, 2020
Volumes4
Manga
Oyakusoku no Neverland
Written byShūhei Miyazaki
Published byShueisha
MagazineShōnen Jump+
DemographicShōnen
Original runJanuary 11, 2019March 28, 2019
Volumes1
Anime television series
Directed byMamoru Kanbe
Written by
  • Toshiya Ono
  • Kaiu Shirai (s2)
Music byTakahiro Obata
StudioCloverWorks
Licensed by
Original networkFuji TV (Noitamina)
English network
Original run January 11, 2019 – present
Episodes15 (List of episodes)
Live-action film
Directed byYūichirō Hirakawa
Written byNoriko Gotou
Music byMasahiro Tokuda
StudioToho
ReleasedDecember 18, 2020 (2020-12-18)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

The Promised Neverland (Japanese: 約束のネバーランド, Hepburn: Yakusoku no Nebārando) is a Japanese manga series written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu. It was serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump from August 2016 to June 2020, with the individual chapters collected and published by Shueisha into twenty tankōbon volumes. The story follows a group of orphaned children in their escape plan from an orphanage after they realize a dark secret. In North America, Viz Media licensed the manga and serialized it on their digital Weekly Shonen Jump magazine.

The Promised Neverland has been adapted into an anime television series produced by CloverWorks and broadcast on Fuji TV's Noitamina programming block. The series' first season ran for 12 episodes from January to March 2019. A second season premiered in January 2021. A live-action film adaptation was released in December 2020. Amazon Studios is also developing an American live-action series.

As of December 2020, The Promised Neverland had over 26 million copies in circulation, including digital versions, making it one of the best-selling manga series. In 2018, the manga won the 63rd Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category. Meanwhile, the anime series has been considered one of the best of the 2010s.

Plot[edit]

Set in the year 2045, Emma is an 11-year-old orphan living in Grace Field House, a self-contained orphanage housing her and 37 other orphans. Life has never been better: with gourmet food; plush beds; clean clothes; games; and the love from their "Mom", the caretaker, Isabella. The bright and cheerful Emma always aces the regular exams with her two best friends, Ray and Norman. The orphans are allowed complete freedom, except to venture beyond the grounds or the gate, which connects the house to the outside world.

One night, an orphan named Conny is sent away to be "adopted", but Emma and Norman follow her after noticing that she left her stuffed toy, Little Bunny, back at the house. At the gate, they find Conny dead, and they realize the truth of their existence in this idyllic orphanage—to be raised, eventually butchered, and sold as meat to a species known as demons. Determined to break out of Grace Field House, Emma and Norman join with Ray to find a way to escape along with their other siblings before they get shipped off to be eaten.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The Promised Neverland is written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu. It is Shirai and Demizu's second collaboration; their first series was Poppy no Negai.[4] It originated from a draft, titled Neverland (later expanded to The Promised Neverland due to copyright issues), that Shirai brought to the Jump editorial department in 2014, which covered the series' entire first story arc in over 300 pages.[5] The series began in the 2016 34th issue of Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump on August 1, 2016.[6] In August 2019, it was announced that the series had entered the "climax" of its final arc.[7] The manga finished in the 2020 28th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump on June 15, 2020.[8][9] Shueisha has collected its chapters into twenty individual tankōbon volumes, released from December 2, 2016 to October 2, 2020.[10][11]

On July 25, 2016, Viz Media announced that they would digitally publish the first three chapters of the series on Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. Thereafter, published the manga's new chapters simultaneously with the Japanese release.[12] The first printed volume in North America was released on December 5, 2017.[13] Shueisha began to simulpublish the series in English on the website and app Manga Plus in January 2019.[14]

A 16-page one-shot chapter about Ray was published in the 44th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump on October 5, 2020.[15] A 36-page one-shot chapter about Sister Krone was published in the 2021 1st issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump on December 7, 2020.[16] A 19-page chapter will be released at "The Promised Neverland Special Exhibition", event that will be held in Tokyo from December 11, 2020 through January 11, 2021.[17] A 32-page chapter about Isabella was published in the 2021 2nd issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump on December 14, 2020.[18] A 32-page one-shot , titled "We Were Born", which tells the story of "another The Promised Neverland", was published in the 2021 combined 5th–6th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump on January 4, 2021.[19][20]

A comedic spin-off titled Oyakusoku no Neverland was published in the Shōnen Jump+ application from January 11 to March 28, 2019 and its compiled tankōbon volume was released on June 4, 2019.[21][22]

Light novels[edit]

Four light novels by Nanao have been published. The first light novel, titled Yakusoku no Neverland: Norman kara no Tegami (約束のネバーランド~ノーマンからの手紙~, lit. "The Promised Neverland: A Letter from Norman"), was released on June 3, 2018.[23] The second light novel, titled Yakusoku no Neverland: Mama-tachi no Tsuisōkyoku (約束のネバーランド~ママたちの追想曲~, lit. "The Promised Neverland: Moms' Song of Remembrance"), was released on January 4, 2019.[24] The third light novel, titled Yakusoku no Neverland: Sen'yū-tachi no Rekōdo (約束のネバーランド ~戦友たちのレコード~, lit. "The Promised Neverland: Records of Comrades"), was released on October 2, 2020. The story follows Lucas and Yuugo.[25][26] The fourth light novel, titled Yaksoku no Neverland: Omoide no Film-tachi (約束のネバーランド ~想い出のフィルムたち~), was released on December 4, 2020, and takes place after the manga's finale. The novel is about Emma, Norman and their friends talking about their memories.[27]

Anime[edit]

An anime television series adaptation was announced in the 26th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump on May 28, 2018. The series aired from January 11 to March 29, 2019 on Fuji TV's late-night Noitamina anime programming block.[28][29] The series is animated by CloverWorks and directed by Mamoru Kanbe, with Toshiya Ono handling series composition, Kazuaki Shimada handling character designs, and Takahiro Obata composing the series' music.[30] The series ran for 12 episodes,[31] which covered the series' first story arc, equivalent to manga chapters 1 through 37. It simulcasted on Amazon Video, but only in Japan, contrary to the contract giving Amazon exclusive streaming rights to shows that have aired on Noitamina since Spring 2016, as Wakanim has exclusive streaming rights in France.[32] UVERworld performs the series' opening theme song "Touch Off," while Cö shu Nie performs the series' ending theme songs "Zettai Zetsumei" (絶体絶命, "Desperate Situation") and "Lamp".[33][34][35]

Aniplex of America streamed the series on Crunchyroll, Hulu, Funimation, and Hidive, starting on January 9, 2019.[36][37][38] The anime's first season aired on Adult Swim's Toonami block starting April 13, 2019.[39] Funimation added the series to its streaming service on July 1, 2020.[40] On September 1, 2020, Netflix began streaming the series in the United States, Canada and Latin America.[41] Madman Entertainment simulcasted the series on AnimeLab in Australia and New Zealand.[42] The anime is licensed in the United Kingdom by Anime Limited.[43] On Halloween 2020, Adult Swim's Toonami aired all 12 episodes as a Halloween marathon.[44]

A second season was announced in March 2019.[45][46] Originally scheduled to premiere in October 2020,[47][48] it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[49] The second season premiered on Fuji TV's Noitamina on January 8, 2021.[50] The main staff and cast members are returning to reprise their roles and the original manga writer Kaiu Shirai collaborated with the scripts and supervised an original scenario featured in the anime series.[51][52] Kiiro Akiyama [ja] performs the second season's opening theme song "Identity" (アイデンティティ, Aidentiti), while Myuk performs the second season's ending theme song "Mahō" (魔法, "Magic").[53][54]

Live-action film[edit]

A live-action film adaptation premiered on December 18, 2020.[55][56] Directed by Yūichirō Hirakawa with Noriko Gotou handling the film's script, it stars Minami Hamabe as Emma, Jyo Kairi as Ray, Rihito Itagaki as Norman,[57][58] Keiko Kitagawa as Isabella, and Naomi Watanabe as Krone.[59] The casting for Krone was met with controversy as the character is depicted being black in the manga and anime, while Watanabe herself is Japanese.[60]

Live-action series[edit]

In June 2020, it was revealed that Amazon Studios is developing an English-language live-action series adaptation of the manga for Prime Video. Rodney Rothman is directing the series and Meghan Malloy is writing the pilot. Rothman, Masi Oka, Roy Lee, and Miri Yoon are the executive producers of the series.[61]

Other media[edit]

An art book, titled The Promised Neverland: Art Book World (約束のネバーランド ART BOOK WORLD, Yakusoku no Nebārando Āto Bukku Wārudo), was released on November 4, 2020.[62] A fan book, titled The Promised Neverland 0: Mystic Code (約束のネバーランド 0 MYSTIC CODE, Yakusoku no Nebārando 0 Misutikku Kōdo), was released on December 4, 2020.[63] An exhibition for The Promised Neverland is being held at the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi from December 11, 2020 to January 11, 2021.[64] In January 2021, it was announced that the series will get a game app.[65]

Reception[edit]

The Promised Neverland was the 24th top-selling franchise in 2018 (period from December 11, 2017 to December 9, 2018), with estimated sales of ¥1,934,599,524.[66]

Manga[edit]

As of August 2017, the manga had 1.5 million in print.[67] By October 2017, the number had increased to 2.1 million.[68] As of January 2019, the first 12 volumes had 8.8 million copies in print worldwide.[69] As of September 2019, the manga had over 16 million copies in print.[70] As of June 2020, the manga had over 21 million copies in circulation.[71] As of October 2020, the manga had over 25 million copies in circulation.[72] As of December 2020 the manga had over 26 million copies in circulation, including digital versions.[73] The Promised Neverland was the 8th best selling manga in 2018, with over 4.2 million copies sold.[74] It was the 4th best selling manga in 2019, with over 7.4 million copies sold.[75] It was the 6th best selling manga in 2020, with over 6.3 million copies sold.[76]

The manga was nominated for the 10th Manga Taishō in January 2017, receiving 43 points from the Manga Taishō's executive committee.[77][78] The manga was also nominated for the 11th edition of the Manga Taishō awards in 2018, receiving 26 points in total.[79] The series placed second at the 3rd "Tsugi ni Kuru Manga Awards" in the comics division for manga published in print book format in 2017.[80] In January 2018, the manga won the 63rd Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category.[81] On Takarajimasha's Kono Manga ga Sugoi! ranking of top manga of 2018 for male readers, The Promised Neverland topped the list.[82] The Promised Neverland ranked 26th on the 2019 "Book of the Year" list by Da Vinci magazine,[83] and ranked 35th on the 2020 "Book of the Year" list by Da Vinci magazine,[84] and ranked 18th on the 2021 list.[85] On TV Asahi's Manga Sōsenkyo 2021 poll, in which 150.000 people voted for their top 100 manga series, The Promised Neverland ranked 46th.[86]

The series won the "Shonen Tournament 2018" by the editorial staff of the French website manga-news.[87] Barnes & Noble listed The Promised Neverland on their list of "Our Favorite Manga of 2018".[88] The series won the French Babelio readers' award for the best manga in 2019.[89]

Anime News Network's Rebecca Silverman enjoyed the first manga volume and gave it a A−, saying, "Tense pacing, interesting literary connections, art and story work well together, strong plot and foreshadowing".[90] Leroy Douresseaux of Comic Book Bin gave the first volume a score of 9/10. Douresseaux praised the series for its characters, storytelling, and graphics, saying that the result is "a sinister, dark fantasy, and mystery thriller".[1] Gabe Peralta of The Fandom Post, in his review of the first volume, praised it for its plot twists and suspense, giving it a "B+" and saying "The Promised Neverland feels like a modern Weekly Shonen Jump comic in every respect—it’s energetic and eager to please".[91] Katherine Dacey of The Manga Critic enjoyed the series. Dacey wrote that she liked the world-building, crack pacing, crisp artwork, and a shocking plot twist in the first volume. She also praised the introduction of the principal characters and the main conflict.[92]

Anime[edit]

In February 2020, the anime series was awarded "Best Fantasy" at Crunchyroll Anime Awards, and the Grace Field House caretaker Isabella won the "Best Antagonist" category.[93]

In November 2019, Polygon named the series as one of the best anime of the 2010s,[94] and Crunchyroll listed it in their "Top 100 best anime of the 2010s".[95] IGN also listed The Promised Neverland among the best anime series of the 2010s.[96] Lauren Orsini of Forbes included The Promised Neverland on her list of the best anime of the decade.[97] The Verge also listed the anime series in its list of the best anime of 2019.[98] James Beckett of Anime News Network ranked the series 5th on his list of best anime series of 2019.[99] Toussaint Egan of Thrillist ranked the series 3rd on his list of best anime of 2019.[100]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2019 Newtype Anime Awards Nogizaka46 Award (Monthly Newtype Joint Special Award) The Promised Neverland Won [101]
2020 Crunchyroll Anime Awards Anime of the Year Nominated [102][103]
Best Girl Emma in The Promised Neverland
Best Protagonist
Best Antagonist Isabella in The Promised Neverland Won
Best Drama The Promised Neverland Nominated
Best Fantasy Won
Best Opening Sequence Touch Off in The Promised Neverland Nominated
Best Performance by a Voice Actor (Japanese) Yūko Kaida as Isabella in The Promised Neverland
Anime Trending Awards Anime of the Year The Promised Neverland [104]
Man of the Year Ray in The Promised Neverland
Norman in The Promised Neverland
Girl of the Year Emma in The Promised Neverland
Supporting Man of the Year Phil in The Promised Neverland
Don in The Promised Neverland
Opening Theme Song of the Year Touch Off in The Promised Neverland
Ending Theme Song of the Year Zettai Zetsumei in The Promised Neverland
Best in Adaptation The Promised Neverland
Best in Ensemble
Best in Soundtrack Won
Drama Anime of the Year
Mystery or Psychological Anime of the Year Nominated
Best Voice Acting Performance by a Female Mariya Ise as Ray in The Promised Neverland
Maaya Uchida as Norman in The Promised Neverland
Joint Character Wildcard Ray in The Promised Neverland Won
Phil in The Promised Neverland Nominated
Don in The Promised Neverland

References[edit]

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