Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu's The Promised Neverland came to an end not long ago, and to put it bluntly, the ending simply does not work. The series has had a lot of debate surrounding whether or not the quality of the arcs have declined over the manga's run. Regardless of where people sit with that argument, the ending of the series has seen a lot of agreement across the board. While there are many who enjoy the ending, there is a growing number of those who felt dissatisfied with the final chapter of the series.
Ultimately, why does The Promised Neverland's ending not work? What exactly went wrong? It will be difficult to place the blame on any one factor, but this sense of dissatisfaction with the final chapter of the series is due to the fact it is not long enough. There just is not enough time dedicated to the final few moments of the series, so it does not allow for a moment of true catharsis.
Series running in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine do tend to have problems with their endings. The magazine is beloved due to how strongly each creator's vision does make it to the final product, but the series creator is not the only one involved with a vested interest in any given series' success. There are a number of creatives involved in any given manga, and sometimes this means series go on longer than they should.
There are a number of series that fans can agree outlived their natural story conclusions, but The Promised Neverland just might be one of the biggest showcases of this problem. Unfortunately for this series, it arguably peaks early on with the Jailbreak saga. There are few moments in the series that top this debut story, and while there are a few great arcs sprinkled throughout, the majority of The Promised Neverland's run felt like it was spinning wheels.
Each arc led to a new mystery, and while not all were truly compelling, the final arc of the series admittedly handled this well. Mysteries continued to be solved, and more questions popped up about the other half of the world we heard about this entire time. But at the end of the series, we only spend four chapters in the human world.
We learn about this side of the world through an exposition dump in these final chapters, and on top of this, the final major tragedy of the series didn't even get a full chapter to truly explore! We find out Emma lost her memories, and a time jump brings us to her final reunion that only lasts a few pages before it ends. There's just not enough time to sit and fully experience not only the human world, but the final emotional reveal of the series as well. There's no room to breathe and truly send off the series with an emotional, cathartic experience the best endings can bring.
But funny enough, it all comes back to the Jailbreak saga. Remember how you felt the first time you read through that ending and the kids escaped Grace Field House? Did you see the anime and love that season finale? Now what if that were the actual ending of the series? Because the open nature of that ending is the same one we get in the finale. The final moments of the series are heartbreaking, but carrying that weight of hope and positivity for the future. It's just done better after the first arc, and it's tough to not only replicate but somehow top the cathartic impact of their initial escape.
The Promised Neverland's first arc is considered the best for a reason, after all. It's such a complete story that even with some lingering plots it would have been a great ending. Now with the official ending coming 100 plus chapters later? We've all just kind of moved on already and, like the final chapter, are going through the motions until the end. But what do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!