Meeting Date: 1/24/2019

Disclaimer: The Herald Anime Club discusses shows as they’re airing. Naturally, there will be spoilers for a given episode. You have been warned!

Samantha Ferreira: Tonight we’re talking up The Promised Neverland Episode 3: 867-5309, or that one with Sister Krone.”
Matt Brown: Or literally the witch
Samantha Ferreira: To be honest, I kind of like her as a character. She’s a self-serving asshole, but in that smart low-key way that you’d expect to see in a typical work environment. (Her character design, though… yikes)
Matt Brown: The design alone makes me take care with her description, even in the context of “adults are evil”
Samantha Ferreira: Yeah… it’s clear that they drew very heavily from some old, incredibly offensive stereotypes with her design.


Matt Brown: Did the last meeting talk about the uh, richness of the ending sequence for the episodes?
Samantha Ferreira: Not that I know of
Matt Brown: Ok, so this is interesting. It starts with food — food people eat, which is disturbing enough.
Samantha Ferreira: Yeah.
Matt Brown: Then it shows hydrangeas. Bright, strawberry red hydrangeas.
You know what gives hydrangeas a red pigment? Alkaline substances, including human blood.
Samantha Ferreira: Interesting.
Matt Brown: And to drive it home they show a child’s boot under the flowers :V
Samantha Ferreira: So you’re implying that the flowers are tied with the way the kids are murdered for demon sustenance?
Matt Brown: No, because I don’t think the show is either.
They’re showing how little human life is valued in this world.
The orphanage is referred to as a plant or farm (I forget which), as if the kids are livestock. Or even worse, raw materials.


Samantha Ferreira: Well they are livestock.
They’re being sold to demons as a food source
Matt Brown: Right, but words matter. If it’s a farm, then it’s like the demons are eating vegetables.
We can research the terminology later…just throwing that out :3
Samantha Ferreira: True, true.
Matt Brown: So even early on, regardless of the verbiage, we know that children are being grown as food.
Samantha Ferreira: That we do.
Matt Brown: Which makes me wonder (and again, sorry if I cover familiar ground) how it is that their age matters in this industry.
The demons aren’t interested in infants or toddlers…why?
Samantha Ferreira: If I remember right, they eat the brains, and age 12 is a feasible point where it’s developed, to some form of ripeness?
Matt Brown: Is the culling of children at age 10 or 11 a practical matter (i.e. they’re old enough to put together that they’re being used), or is it a kind of delicacy to take a child who’s developed intelligence?
Right, okay, so that creates even more questions. Do the demons relish fear?


Samantha Ferreira: That’s a good question
Matt Brown: This episode does mildly suggest that intelligence is the delicacy, but maybe for the overall demon race it’s just fine to eat whatever’s available
We learn that the trio of Emma, Norman, and Ray are coveted for the big boss, or sorts
*of sorts
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed. And we learn with certainty that Isabella is 100% on to their big escape plan… even if she hasn’t told her superiors
Matt Brown: I don’t know about that exactly, but I can see her hesitance in reporting progress — even to suggest they can take a child whenever they see fit.
BUT
Before we get into that, I want to say something about the kids — they really seem to know more than they should.
Samantha Ferreira: Yeeeah. They seem to be a lot sharper than they should be.
Matt Brown: Case in point, Ray infodumps that the tracking method the adults use to find the kids is akin to RFID, but the longevity of the device is greater than the 2015 tech allows
Samantha Ferreira: Yeaaah. That entire scene struck me as incredibly weird
Matt Brown: That said, I’ll allow it, because the show is making a point of screwing with our heads. They show a scene where Krone is plotting against Isabella, with her creepy doll and a mirror being the target of her words


Samantha Ferreira: Indeed.
…god that doll was creepy
Matt Brown: So it’s two cases where an adult shows up, and we’re meant to think she’s evil
But as a counterpoint, they’re both human, or so we have reason to believe
Samantha Ferreira: As far as I know, they are. (Please, Promised Neverland, don’t turn Krone into a literal monster… please don’t go the lazy racism route)
Matt Brown: This covers the first half of the episode. The second is the test, as it were.
Samantha Ferreira: That was fascinating. Krone getting wise and using tag as a means of asserting what the kids are up against
Matt Brown: Yes, but is that what happened? ;)
This is where it got interesting for me.
Samantha Ferreira: She lost, ultimately. Also, she explicitly referred to The Harvest


Matt Brown: So we could look at this a couple ways:
1) she was trying to identify the smart kids who witnessed the culling before
2) she was trying to identify the smart kids who witnessed the culling before
….;)
So in case #1, she wants to offer a gift to the demon overlords.
In case #2, she wants allies.
Samantha Ferreira: Interesting.
Matt Brown: Or if not allies, she wants to save them
Samantha Ferreira: And, given that she has clear motivations to be the Mama of Grace Field House, she could easily help them escape, which would absolutely ruin Isabella’s records
Matt Brown: So not saying that’s the case, but it’s possible
It’s also possible that Isabella wants to save the kids she can, albeit by biding her time and sending off those whom she couldn’t save


Samantha Ferreira: Hm.
But in that case, how would she save them?
Matt Brown: All speculation of course. But it’s difficult not to believe that the adults want to save the kids
Samantha Ferreira: I’m inclined to think ONE of them wants to save the kids, but I’m not sure it’s Isabella
She strikes me as a sociopath.
someone who’s mastered the act of appearing warm and caring to get what she wants
Matt Brown: Very possible, but it could be that she’s just lost hope
Samantha Ferreira: Also possible
Matt Brown: It could be that her shrewd demeanor says to the demons that this is the rate at which we can harvest, and no more.
It could be that they sent Krone to see if Isabella is withholding the merchandise
Samantha Ferreira: True enough.
Samantha Ferreira: But she requested Krone, I thought she said?


Matt Brown: Oh, ok. If that’s true I missed it
…that changes things. That says to me that they’re allied.
Samantha Ferreira: Yeah. I do think that Krone has some motivations that aren’t on the level, after the monologue
Matt Brown: And the thing I didn’t mention before: Krone catches Emma in tag, and suggests that she’s on her side. That stuck with me.
Samantha Ferreira: It does intrigue me
Right up there with the “I know you saw the harvest” bit
Matt Brown: Okay, so my prediction is that the adults are intent on finding a solution that saves lives, and they’re so desperate that they’re going to loop the kids in.
Samantha Ferreira: My prediction is that Krone is going to save the kids, albeit not for selfless reasons. Isabella is too far gone.


Matt Brown: Think about it. Let’s say they knew everything the kids were up to, and they want to save their lives. Wouldn’t it make sense to appear more menacing, and that they were onto their activities, to encourage their survival instincts?
Samantha Ferreira: That’s true
But this is a Shonen Jump title, so I’m not expecting this level of depth in an arc-1 villain
Matt Brown: While I would agree with you, do we really know who the villain is?
Samantha Ferreira: Not really, at this point
It’s still very much black and white “kids = good, adults & demons = bad”
Matt Brown: Right. I think we’re going to see that a) the adults are demons or b) the adults are good. At some point
Samantha Ferreira: Oh definitely


Matt Brown: But I won’t rule out your theory that one or more of the adults might think they’re better off serving the demons. The thing is, I hope that either a) that doesn’t happen, or b) the demons are shown to be not as bad as previously thought.
The remaining branches of this adventure are left as an exercise to the reader.
Samantha Ferreira: Absolutely
There’s a lot to see at this point, and there’s tons that’s clearly left to be told
We’re still in that big “setup” phase if the current pace is any indicator
Matt Brown: If this were a normal evaluation for me, I’d take idle notes until episode 8, where the real story emerged.
Samantha Ferreira: That’s what I’m thinking, as well
Matt Brown: I say 8 because the pace of manga is predetermined, really.
At least this kind of manga :3
Samantha Ferreira: Of course, hehe
Matt Brown: It’s like how the shit goes down on episode 9 of every season of Game of Thrones
These things are fairly predictable.


Samantha Ferreira: Good point.
You kind of learn the rhythm over time
Matt Brown: Welp, I’ve run through all my notes on this episode of The Promised Neverland. Got anything to add from yours? :3
Samantha Ferreira: Not really. At this point, I think we’re going to see something go down next week. What, exactly? No clue. However, we’ll have some real revelation
Matt Brown: I’m thinking it’s too early, but I don’t have a good sense for the timing of this thing. Maybe they’ll explode it early.
Samantha Ferreira: I don’t see an explosion yet, but at least some development
Matt Brown: I think it’s equally possible that the demons are held at bay by stalling tactics, which would clue the kids on things being more complicated than they thought.
Samantha Ferreira: Very true.
Matt Brown: Or perhaps Krone increases her demon capital, fueled by something we don’t know about, like her family being on the chopping block, or something. There’s a number of directions this could take.
Samantha Ferreira: There really is!
That’s why I’m so enthralled by the show – it’s one where we legitimately don’t know what’ll happen next at this point
Matt Brown: Indeed, I like where it’s going.
Samantha Ferreira: Any other comments this week?
Matt Brown: The opposition would assert that I have nothing left to say. And you know? They would be right!
Samantha Ferreira: Haha, very well, then! I guess that wraps things up this week. ’til next time, remember: in anime, everyone can have an encyclopedic knowledge of RFID!
Have a great night
Matt Brown: Hasta la vista, aka-chantachi