Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu's The Promised Neverland has had a strong manga run over the last couple of years, and now that the series has finally made its anime debut, fans have been introduced to anime's next big villain.
Toward the end of the series' first episode, the rug was pulled out from unsuspecting anime fans as the series was revealed to be more than just a story about children, but a story of children trying to survive in a world of literal monsters.
Fans were introduced to Emma, a young girl living in a nice orphanage where it's only strange that the kids who have left have never written back to those still staying in the home. It's soon revealed that the kids who leave the home don't find a home with a family, but are instead farmed as foods for a race of monsters.
When Emma and Norman try to catch up to their leaving friend Conny, they find out she's been killed and nearly eaten by these giant, monstrous beings. These monsters have large eyes, claws, and mouths and they feed on human flesh. They preserve Conny in a large tube, to save her for the monsters who have paid a high price for her, and it's revealed the orphanage is a farm for the rich.
The second twist comes in the fact they are working together with the human woman named Isabella, who's been raising the kids for this very purpose. Higher scores on the tests given earlier on the episode makes for better feed for the monsters, so even Emma and Norman are on the list to be killed as well. Although The Promised Neverland gets off to such an explosive start, this is only the beginning of this world of monsters. These "Demons" are going to be a terrifying presence shaking up anime as we know it.
Originally created by Kaiu Shirai with illustrations provided by Posuka Demizu, The Promised Neverland joined Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 2016. It's been a key series ever since its debut, leading to selling over 4.2 million copies in such a short time.
The Promised Neverland is licensed by VIZ Media for an English language release and is described as such, "Emma, Norman and Ray are the brightest kids at the Grace Field House orphanage. And under the care of the woman they refer to as “Mom,” all the kids have enjoyed a comfortable life. Good food, clean clothes and the perfect environment to learn—what more could an orphan ask for? One day, though, Emma and Norman uncover the dark truth of the outside world they are forbidden from seeing."
Licensed by Aniplex of America, The Promised Neverland is now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu, and HIDIVE. Mamoru Kanobe directs the anime for CloverWorks, and Toshiya Ohno handles the series composition, Kazuaki Shimada serves as character designer for the series, and Takahiro Obata composes the music.