The Promised Neverland anime deserves to be canceled after season 2 - and that's a sentiment more and more fans seem to be agreeing with. In just one year, The Promised Neverland went from being one of the most promising newcomers in the manga/anime genre to its anime being called one of the worst adaptations of the manga source material ever - arguably worse than Tokyo Ghoul. The controversy has exploded with the release of The Promised Neverland season 2, and the shocking revelation that the anime is cutting out one of the biggest and most key storylines in the series - and a whole lot of fan-favorite characters along with it.
Anime series changing manga source material isn't anything new, but The Promised Neverland has made the case for its own cancellation once season 2 is over.
WARNING: The Promised Neverland SPOILERS Follow!
The Promised Neverland anime chose to basically cut out the entire mid-section of the manga series, in favor of a quick, convenient, core character reunion. In the manga, Emma and Ray's liberation of their fellow "brothers and sisters" from Grace Field House takes a much longer path before the kids are ever rewarded with the big revelation that Norman is still alive. The most notable omission is the "Goldy Pond" story arc, in which Emma and some other kids are captured and taken to an illegal secret hunting ground for elite upper-caste demons, to be hunted for sport by a particularly cunning and sadistic demon, Lewis.
The Goldy Pond arc of The Promised Neverland is one of its most beloved, with good reason. First, it is one of the biggest mythology-expanding arcs in the series, laying down a fantastic example of depth for the expository mythos about demons and how they evolve (or devolve), and why the creatures could be deeply intriguing antagonists. Lewis is arguably the best villain in the entire series, and the anime not making use of that just robs fans of the best The Promised Neverland has to offer in terms of story.
Goldy Pond Arc also had the unique distinction of being the biggest arc in Promised Neverland where Emma got to shine solo. Emma is separated from the group when she's captured by the Goldy Pond poacher demons, and it's a long beat before Ray eventually tracks her down. Fans appreciated that focus on Emma, but she's not the only character that just got shorted by the anime. Goldy Pond had an entire array of new characters that stuck with fans.
The aforementioned Lewis was a standout villain, but the other big "Poacher," Bayon, was also a big standout. Then there was the Gold Pond Resistance - a group of kids that came from other farms and had been hiding in the hunting ground for years, trying to end Lewis and Bayon's twisted ritual. The GPR had important ties to Yugo - another fan-favorite character The Promised Neverland anime just cut, from its truncated Shelter Arc.
Right now, it's still unclear if The Promised Neverland anime is going to find some way to work these missing characters in - but it seems like the show has rendered them obsolete. Ray and Emma have now made contact with Norman's group of enhanced kids from the Lambda Farm, which seems like it will be the only coalition needed to set up a final battle with Demon Queen Legravalima, bypassing the demon aristocrats like Lewis and Bayon. And at this point, it's just as well: The Promised Neverland shouldn't slow down now, bring the rushed story to a rushed close in season 2, and end this failed experiment. The world-building and character evolution that sustained the series beyond the initial mystery and reveals has all been cut out. The conflict between Emma, Ray, and Norman is now so much thinner, and the factions clashing in the Demon World are much less complex and interesting. This Promised Neverland anime is about as thin and pointless as adaptations go.11comments
If nothing else, the failure of The Promised Neverland anime should cause enough infamy to make more fans curious enough to check out the manga. Silver linings.
You can read The Promised Neverland Manga FREE online HERE.