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The Promised Neverland and the strong female lead character

Discussion in 'Anime & Manga' started by Bramblewild, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Bramblewild

    Bramblewild New Member

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    I'll put a SPOILER ALERT!!!! here, because there will be SPOILER MATERIAL IN THIS POST!!! So consider yourself warned, if you haven't already watched season 1 of this series.

    2019 has not been around long, but in movies there has been quite a bit of controversy over one subject: the strong female lead character. This controversy has centered around two films released early this year, Alita: Battle Angel and Captain Marvel. But while these two movies and their fans have been setting the internet on fire, a certain anime series, The Promised Neverland, was slowly giving us a notable look at the character development of a young female character into the series' leading role.

    Right from the start, The Promised Neverland tells us that it has three main characters: Emma, Ray, and Norman. But even among these three, it's quickly established that Norman is the leader; he's the one who listens to and balances Ray's conniving intelligence and Emma's concern for all the children of Grace Field House, and is the center around which their plan for escape comes together.

    Then things start going very bad for the kids, and never more so than when Norman is taken away. And with their leader gone, Ray and Emma seem to react in predictable ways, falling into despair and giving up.

    The last two episodes show us how neither Ray nor Emma had truly given up, but they also show how their personalities played into their plans. Ray is a loner, he's kept many things secret for a long time, and he's made his plans on his own while assuming that Emma has not given up. Emma, on the other hand, has been secretly telling the other older kids how to train for their escape while acting as if she's lost the will to fight, thus keeping their overseer's eyes on her and allowing the others to train behind Momma's back. And in this way, Emma has taken over Norman's role as the leader of the escape.

    But this is done in a way that does not denigrate either Norman or Ray. Norman had given Emma the rough plan for the escape right before he was taken away, and without trying to excuse Ray's plan to kill himself we can still understand his desire to keep his dignity as a human. But if the plan is Norman's, Emma is the one who has put the plan into action; and if Ray is right to want to keep his human dignity, he's wrong to give in to despair, and Emma is right to slap some sense into him.

    One of the signs of Emma's growth is that she has to question her own resolve to get all the kid's out right now; instead, she accepts that the older children need to leave now, but the very young ones are not in any immediate danger.

    Emma's character development from a capable lieutenant to the leader of the escape is well done, showing her own intelligence (she gets perfect scores on the kid's tests, along with Ray and Norman), and more strikingly the sacrifices she's willing to make for this escape to succeed. Her final words to Momma are quietly powerful; no long-winded speech, no screeching denunciations, but only a calm good-bye tinged with sadness, then she slides away before Momma has a chance to dissuade her from escaping.

    A Mary Sue character who wins without much struggle is easy to create, but is not very compelling to watch or read about; a character who struggles and grows, who fails and learns, who is wounded and overcomes, can be a character that people may agonize with and cheer for. This is why Emma leading the escape seems like a reasonable development and not something forced and contrived.
     
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  2. ProGoddess

    ProGoddess Daughter of My Lord

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    This is pretty cool series since it started in 2016. I haven't watched the entire season, but the first episode appeared to follow closely to the manga series.
     
  3. Bramblewild

    Bramblewild New Member

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    I've read the manga, though it's been a while since I've read most of the early chapters, but I think it does stick close to the manga.
     
  4. ProGoddess

    ProGoddess Daughter of My Lord

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    Since there are only 12 episodes in the series, it would be wise for the production to be on a fast-forward pace, that is, to make the anime as concise as possible in order to contain the entire story or various arc together, which it did appear so. I suppose the anime does compliment the manga. Fans would be able to watch the characters in action with their voices though I thought the mimicking of the different vocal could be improved. ^_^
     
  5. Bramblewild

    Bramblewild New Member

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    Season 1 doesn't have all of the manga's story, only up to a point. A season 2 has already been announced, it'll be next year.
     
  6. ProGoddess

    ProGoddess Daughter of My Lord

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    Yes, for a short 12-episode series, it can only contain so much. Reading the manga would be able to fill in the details, and bits and pieces in between the series. So far, the animation has been good. There isn't any unnecessary scene.

    Thanks for your write-up in the opening post. It is very interesting to read. :)
     
  7. Srom

    Srom Christian

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    This was a very interesting anime. I went in totally blind based on the first episode I thought this was going to be a somewhat wholesome anime, but stuff ended up happening and I was instantly hooked. Thankfully, there will be a second season coming out which I'm glad they announced that.
     
  8. ProGoddess

    ProGoddess Daughter of My Lord

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    The anime is great. It gives a summary of every part of the story. If you read the manga, it will provide the details of it. Hence, the anime compliments the manga. Additionally it gives life to the characters and the music is nice too.

    I'm enjoying the anime myself, on top of the manga. :)
     
  9. ProGoddess

    ProGoddess Daughter of My Lord

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    The final arc had been announced by the manga author, Kaiu Shirai, which was made sometime last August. I hope it will stretch longer till volume 30 or at least as what it was predicted, between 20-30 volumes.

    Here is the announcement's details:
    The Promised Neverland Manga Enters Final Arc
     
  10. Bramblewild

    Bramblewild New Member

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    I've been trying to keep up with the story, and it looks like it might be reaching some kind of big point. While I'd be sad to see it end, it would be good for it to end in good time and not drag on for too long and maybe tarnish the story.
     
  11. ProGoddess

    ProGoddess Daughter of My Lord

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    It would have to end at some point of time, especially when the entire rescue is completed and the children gain their freedom. That is, all the kids are out of their plantations, and the premises being abandoned and/or destroyed, as well as the destruction of the demon world or a reconciliation of both human and demon world again like the old times, except for the parting gifts (offering of human children to the demons). However, from the current progress of the story which I am only at chapter 108 (and still reading), it appears that it is moving towards the destruction of the demon world and the humans (the kids) returning to their human world for their freedom of life. Since this idea has already been told and embedded into the story at the early stage of the series, it shouldn't be diverted too far unless the author has something else in mind to alter the storyline.

    Nevertheless, like you said, if the story drags too long with no good content, it may actually do more harm than good to it. After all it started in August 2016 and till now, the series is already 2 years 8 months old.

    The author made the announcement of ending the series in August last year. So, we should be expecting it to end soon but I'm still not too sure about it yet. I will need to follow on to the latest chapter to get the full picture of where the story is standing at now. I just hope that there is no premature ending (for obvious reasons like poor sales which is unlikely, lack of sponsorship, etc) and leaving readers in puzzlement. Just keep your fingers crossed. :)
     
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