Well, I don’t want to add too much to the vitriol out there and I doubt I’d have anything new to contribute to some of the… discourse (such as it is) either.
But this season certainly didn’t feel quite right.
The Promised Neverland (Yakusoku no Nebārando) Season 2 (2021)
And rather than go over each and every issue, I think I could just suggest “see what your fav blogger has to say” since they’ve probably covered it, and better than I could. Having said that, there will be spoilers below – and in a way, half the pics are too.
I left this season feeling sad – I’m kinda worried that the production team were dangerously overworked and also not given enough time? Were they producing a flawed adaptation from the start, or did something else go wrong somewhere along the way?
And on top of those possibilities, I worry that some great things in season 2 will be simply obliterated by the negatives.
Due to that, I’ll try to confine myself to just 6 observations here – 3 for bits I really liked, and 3 which I did not.
But I want to finish on some positives and so I’m starting with the aspects I didn’t enjoy so much.
Without having read the manga I could still feel how fast the second season was, how often it skipped over or abandoned the stuff I was excited to see more of.
I wanted extra time in the shelter for one, more time to explore and deal with the demons in town, more time to see the leads struggle with certain decisions, more time on Norman’s return.
This time around, it felt like Emma maybe softened without enough of her change occurring onscreen for the audience to witness.
Norman and his crew seemed to come around from their positions too fast too – a scene or up to half an episode is all it seemed to be, instead of what could have been explored across entire arcs or seasons, I guess.
Montage is very appropriate for the compression of time and events… but I guess I didn’t want so many of them here.
For me, again, without having read the manga, a fair few things that were shown in the end were empty referents. It felt like somewhere, someone had decided that season two would serve as a way to nail down the lid on any possibility of future seasons.
Switching now to things I enjoyed:
After the tension in the house, the barriers both physical and psychological, it was exciting to see the kids explore a bit of the world.
To see creatures, plants and tunnels, trees and plains – I was pretty thrilled. It also allowed the story to include a bit of action, which was fun (not just via Sonju) and of course, the mystery of Minerva became a bit of a quest too.
There were plenty of ethical dilemmas in season two and while I wanted more time spent on each of them, it was still nice to see it onscreen.
The kids are all pretty smart to say the least, but they’re not immune to doubt or to a deadly rage – I guess I’m thinking mostly of Norman and Emma here and their struggle with/over genocide.
Finally! After watching the poor kids go through so much suffering in that first season, it was great to see success, joy, happiness and reunions etc.
Obviously not just between the main heroes, but even good old Phil (whose scenes border on treacle I guess, but I didn’t care) – I wanted to see them all happy 😀 (Even the ending didn’t mar that feeling for me, for the most part).
Okay, and there we go – after this, I’ll wrap things up with a few shots or pieces of background art that I really enjoyed, I think.
It’s a shame this season doesn’t compare well to the first one, but if you have zero plans to ever read the manga, then I guess try season two one day but perhaps don’t expect things to be as consistent as the first.
(Oh, and I love the closing sequence – watched it every time).