Promised Neverland Not Following The Manga, Fans Unhappy
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Promised Neverland Not Following The Manga, Drawing Criticism From Fans

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BY April 5, 2021

After the successful first season, The Promised Neverland recently aired their long-awaited season 2. Impatient fans already became so caught up with the manga, that they couldn’t wait to see the animated story in action.  So far, fans quickly noticed that The Promised Neverland is not following the manga. This is a shock, since most anime adaptations are very faithful to the source material. However, due to the overwhelming number of people who are caught up with the manga, there are plenty who look forward to new arcs and characters. 

Although, the creators have shaken many fans with their sudden change of plans. The real question is, is it worth it? (Spoiler: Yes, it is!) This anime full of battle, horror and twisted truths is certainly entertaining. It is the kind of anime that offers many surprises, equally delightful and disturbing. The storyline may be different, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be great. 

Some fans are actually excited to follow the journey of these new and old characters. They may be completely oblivious to the path The Promised Neverland is taking, but the creators are definitely doing their best to make it worthwhile. So far, with what we have been given, it seems they decided to take away famous arcs in order to add some of their own. 

Why It’s a Big Deal that Promised Neverland Is Not Following the Manga

The Promised Neverland live-action featured. Promised Neverland Not following manga Image via Viz Media.

The Promised Neverland is a short japanese manga and anime series that follows orphaned kids in an unknown ‘Farm’ or Grace Field, completely off the grid. Unfamiliar with the outside world, they become convinced that they are being adopted by true loving families when instead. We then come across three main characters who play a major role when it comes to revealing the dark twisted secrets that live within the Farm.

Emma, who is our main protagonist, is very optimistic and introverted. Known for her quick learning abilities and strong athleticism, she makes sure the rest of the kids are safe and happy. Then, we have Ray as our deuteragonists. Known for his avid reading and being powerfully cunning. He is a model student of Grace field. Lastly, we have Norman. Also known for being a genius and strategic planner, Norman is considered as one of Grace Field House’s three “Premium quality goods” next to Emma and Ray. 

So why change up? Why is The Promised Neverland not following the manga and going original? An old tweet was set out by the Japanese studio informing us that it wasn’t their call but rather the author himself. The tweet started to get attention which led the animators to delete it. To this day we still don’t know what made the author have a change of heart. The manga ended last year, so it seems that decisions were made to take the story in a new direction that may allow it to continue beyond the short run of the comic.

 How It’s Affecting the Show: Spoiler Warning!

The Promised Neverland anime review Trio. Promised Neverland Not following manga Image via CloverWorks.

Although The Promised Neverland is not following the manga, the storytellers are doing their best to add in connections to that version of the story. So far in season 2, Emma and Ray have both succeeded to escape Grace Feild with a handful of kids. After being endlessly chased, the group of kids stumble upon an underground bunker. This is where fans become disappointed. In the manga, Yugo played a major role after the kids came across the hidden bunker. After meeting Yugo, we come to find out he was the last survivor of his previous group after escaping from his farm 13 years ago. He was meant to be a big influence on Emma’s character, and help with the “Search For Minerva” arc. 

In the anime, the kids walk into a room where in the manga you would find Yugo sitting. Instead, it is a room filled with monitoring equipment. There is only a table with molded cookies and an empty mug. To the manga community, some fans may find this humorous since Yugo was said to be eating cookies when the kids stumble upon him in the manga. 

Another disappointing appearance was the rushed return of Norman. In the manga, we wouldn’t find out Norman is alive until chapter 74 and he wouldn’t have met up with Emma until chapter 118. For the anime, that would be seasons later. With such a rushed appearance, Norman’s absence lacked tension. At this point, fans were already expecting it with the path the anime was going. Which goes to show how disordered this storyline is becoming.  

The Important Relationship Between Manga and Anime

Manga. Promised Neverland Not following manga Image via Shueisha

In case you are new to the world of anime and manga, anime is made with the intention to promote manga sales and sell an abundant amount of merchandise. It is common to see manga multiply once the anime begins streaming. Even just an announcement can give the manga a huge boost! Unfortunately, with The Promised Neverland Not Following The Manga we only have a few options. Either continue on the journey of season 2, no more anime, or they end the anime much sooner than expected, leaving us with little to no context. Hardcore fans may not agree with the anime going original, but at the same time the backlash gives the anime more attention. Especially those who compare and complain about the differences.

For The Promised Neverland anime, the extent the author is currently involved is unknown. The series has three credited directors (Ayako Kurata, Ryō Kodama and Shigeru Fukase). Original writer Shirai Kaiu and person behind the novel Nanao, their roles have been mysteriously deleted. There has been no further explanation regarding the lack of credit and Shirai’s removal but I don’t doubt that one day the truth will ooze out. If you did enjoy The Promised Neverland season 1, why not continue the journey with us? Although, The Promised Neverland Is Not Following The Manga, the series definitely gives a promising series of events. 

At the very least, if the anime story fails to please fans, there is always the Promised Neverland live-action series on the way from Amazon.

What do you think? Are you upset that Promised Neverland is not following the manga, or do you want to see the new story play out?

Featured image via Cloverworks

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