The Promised Neverland Wiki
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The Promised Neverland ( (やく) (そく) のネバーランド, Yakusoku no Nebārando?) is a manga written by Kaiu Shirai, illustrated by Posuka Demizu, and published in Weekly Shōnen Jump. The series has been running ever since August 01, 2016 at Issue 2016 (#35) of Weekly Shōnen Jump.

Synopsis

Setting

It is the year 2045, and over 1000 years after an agreement called "The Promise" was made to end a long war between humans and demons. "The Promise" was an agreement where each would live in their own separate "worlds": the human world, free from the threat of demons; and the demon world, where human breeding farms were set up to provide food for the demons. By eating humans, demons take on their attributes which prevent them from degenerating into mindless monsters. In the demon world, a special breeding program was set up under the guise of orphanages; there, a human "Mother" would oversee the children to make sure they grew up as intelligent as possible. These children had identifying numbers tattooed on them and had no knowledge of the outside world. They believed that they were orphans and once they reached a certain age or intelligence, they would be taken out for adoption, but were fed to high-ranking demons instead.

Plot

The bright and cheerful Emma is an 11-year-old orphan living in Grace Field House, a self-contained orphanage housing her and 37 other orphans. They lead an idyllic life, with plentiful food, plush beds, clean clothes, games and the love of their "Mom", Isabella. Their education is seen as an important part of their development, and Emma with her two best friends Norman and Ray, always excel in the regular exams. The orphans are allowed complete freedom, except to venture beyond the perimeter wall or gate which separate the house from the outside world.

One night, a girl named Conny is sent away to be "adopted", but Emma and Norman follow with her favorite stuffed animal toy. At the gate, they find Conny dead and discover the truth about their existence in this idyllic orphanage – to be raised as meat for demons. Emma and Norman plan with Ray to escape from Grace Field House with the children, but Norman is taken off to be "adopted". Emma and Ray then decide to escape with some of their older siblings, leaving the younger children behind.

The escapees find life outside Grace Field House is filled with dangers, but under the leadership of Emma and Ray, they become determined to return to free their remaining siblings, along with children from the other Farms. They encounter demons of all descriptions, including Mujika and Sonju who aid them in their quest. Emma and Ray later meet up again with Norman and together with their allies, they fight a battle for freedom against the demon queen Legravalima and the human Peter Ratri who manages the Farms. Eventually, through her own determination, Emma secures the freedom of all the children and re-forges "The Promise", but at the cost of her own memory.

Production

Development

The series first conception originated by the end of 2013, from a draft originally simply titled Neverland, but was later changed to The Promised Neverland after running into some copyright issues. Kaiu Shirai brought the 300 page of The Promised Neverland draft to the Weekly Shōnen Jump editorial department. Suguru Sugita, the editor of The Promised Neverland, said that the series was an ambitious work, with both bright and dark scenes that needed a world of fantasy that would also create suspense. They had difficulties trying to find an artist whose style could match the story, ranging from famous illustrators to new and upcoming talent. Shirai considered Posuka Demizu as one of the candidates, as he and Sugita felt that her art was the best fit for the series' imagery. Some candidates turned down the offer, giving comments like the story did not feel like a Jump manga, or that it would not become a hit, so they were "really happy and excited" when Demizu agreed to work on it.

Sugita said that Shirai and Demizu had a kind of synergy similar to Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, the creators of Death Note. Before The Promised Neverland began its serialization, Shirai and Demizu published the one-shot Poppy’s Wish (ポピィの願い, Poppy no Negai) on the Shōnen Jump+ online platform in February 2016. The one-shot was popular among readers and Sugita expressed that they were the right team for The Promised Neverland.

Inspirations

Shirai was inspired by children's folklore books from all over the world and video games like Final Fantasy for the series' setting creation, while for the horror elements, he said that he only used his imagination because he did not like horror films. He also mentioned that part of the story came from some nightmares that he had as a kid, especially after having read Hansel and Gretel, stories about children being eaten, and a manga focused on spirits that made him ask himself if the monsters could solve their problems if they raised humans like cattle. Shirai said: "All these fears, ideas, influences, have come together. This is how the story of The Promised Neverland was born".

Demizu said that the Japanese folklore and its monsters were a first source of inspiration, also citing European fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. She also mentioned Naoki Urasawa's Monster, Ghibli's universe and prison escape films, like Escape from Alcatraz, Papillon, The Great Escape and the American television series Prison Break.

The series's setting is based on the Victorian England, as Shirai expressed that he wanted to "destabilize the readers, to lead them on the wrong tracks" by making them think that the story was set in an English orphanage in the 19th century. He also wanted to avoid situating the story in a very specific time frame. He had no particular reasons to choose England, but the Grace Field House orphanage name written in English in the text appealed to him. Shirai also said that the European town planning is a benchmark, a very popular style highly appreciated for the Japanese. Demizu did a two-month language study trip to England when she was younger and took a lot of photos that she used as a reference for the series. She was particularly impressed by the English forests and its atmosphere.

Media

As a part of the JUMP START initiative, the first three chapters of The Promised Neverland were published in English in VIZ Media's digital Weekly Shonen Jump on the same day as the Japanese release. After, the series was added to VIZ Media's Weekly Shonen Jump lineup. The publisher has been physically releasing the series since December 5, 2017. The series has also been licensed in Polish by Waneko, and Spanish by Norma Editorial.

A comedic spin-off titled The Parodied Jokeland, illustrated by Shuhei Miyazaki (Me & Roboco author), was published in Jump GIGA on July 26, 2018, and it was later serialized in the Shōnen Jump+ application from January 11 to March 28, 2019. Its chapters were collected in a single tankōbon volume, released on June 4, 2019.

Reception

Manga

On Takarajimasha's Kono Manga ga Sugoi! ranking of top manga of 2018 for male readers, The Promised Neverland topped the list. On Da Vinci's magazine "Book of the Year" list, The Promised Neverland ranked 26th on the 2018 list, 35th on the 2019 list and 18th on the 2020 list. The Promised Neverland ranked 12th on Alu's manga community "My Manga Best5" 2020 ranking, in which 46,641 users (via Twitter) participated. On TV Asahi's Manga Sōsenkyo 2021 poll, in which 150.000 people voted for their top 100 manga series, The Promised Neverland ranked 46th.

The series won the "Shonen Tournament 2018" by the editorial staff of the French website manga-news. Barnes & Noble listed The Promised Neverland on their list of "Our Favorite Manga of 2018". The Promised Neverland was included on the American Library Association's list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens in 2018, and 2019. In Tumblr's Review of the Year, which highlights the platform's biggest communities, fandoms, and trends throughout the year, The Promised Neverland ranked 15th in the Top Manga & Anime category in 2019, and 46th in 2020.

Sales

As of August 2017, the manga had 1.5 million copies in circulation. By October 2017, the number increased to 2.1 million copies in circulation. As of January 2019, the first 12 volumes had 8.8 million copies in circulation. As of September 2019, the manga had over 16 million copies in circulation. As of June 2020, the manga had over 21 million copies in circulation. As of October 2020, the manga had over 25 million copies in circulation. As of December 2020, the manga had over 26 million copies in circulation. As of April 2021, the manga had over 32 million copies in circulation, including digital versions. The Promised Neverland was the 8th best selling manga in 2018, with over 4.2 million copies sold. It was the 4th best selling manga in 2019, with over 7.4 million copies sold. It was the 6th best selling manga in 2020, with over 6.3 million copies sold.

Images

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