The Promised Neverland anime explains what happened to Norman and his plan to deal with demons, although it does so with less flair than the manga.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Promised Neverland Season 2, Episode 6, which is now airing on Funimation and Hulu.

After taking a week off to watch a clip, The promised neverland returns to follow up on the big reveal from the previous episode that Norman is actually alive. Season 2, Episode 6 explains what has happened to Norman since he was sent from Grace Field, while also setting the stage for the great moral conflict between him and Emma over what to do with demons.

Unfortunately, the way this episode delivers all this intense information is disappointing. Cutting Goldy Pond’s bow remains a mistake on several levels, and removing Adam’s character destroyed any omen of the horrors of the Lamba farm. However, even with little preparation, there was the possibility of properly dramatizing Norman’s plight through flashback scenes. This episode wastes that opportunity.

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Promised Neverland 119

To demonstrate the main flaws of this adaptation, let’s take a look at how Norman’s explanation of his escape from Lamba in Chapter 119 of the manga plays out compared to the same scene in the anime. The spoken dialogue in both versions is more or less identical, but the manga presents this information in a much more exciting way. The combination of violent flashbacks and dramatic angles sells all the pain and excitement that Norman has experienced; the reader feel why is he so eager for revenge.

Promised Neverland S2E6 Exhibition

In contrast, the anime’s version of the scene is just a mild expository monologue, with no flashbacks or interesting direction. Considering the beautiful direction of the first season (and even the premiere of season 2), it’s strange that the show is now so out of style. Is it just the pressure of completing a program during a pandemic responsible for this drop in quality? That’s the official explanation for why the season took a hiatus last week, and it could also explain other glitches in the animation (Ray seems to magically grow back his missing ear in some scenes).

Without effective dramatization, Norman’s backstory not only loses dramatic impact but becomes a bit confusing. In contrast, Norman’s explanation of how he plans to destroy the demons is much clearer because the show actually took the time to contextualize and foreshadow it. All references to “degeneration” in previous episodes are now fully spelled out: demons need to eat humans, ideally the smartest humans they can get, to maintain human intelligence. If they don’t, they become like beasts and are out of control. Norman plans to poison the demons to force them to degenerate into beasts. From there, they can destroy each other and the humans will be safe.

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Promised Neverland S2E6 Norman

This genocidal plot places Norman in direct opposition to Emma’s belief in peaceful coexistence. Ray is somewhere in the middle between his friends; he thinks Norman probably has the right idea, but still encourages Emma to defend her beliefs. Talking to Norman’s new partners Vincent, Barbara, and Cislo, further convinces Emma that her friend is on the wrong path of revenge.

Is it true what Norman says about demons? If Mujika was telling the truth about not eating humans, then clearly, at least Some demons can avoid degeneration without human flesh. Would the poison work on Mujika? In the final scene of the episode, Emma and Ray confront Norman about this, and Norman freaks out. From Emma and Ray’s description of Mujika, he dramatically declares, “Is the evil blood girl alive?”

New episodes of The Promised Neverland premiere Thursdays on Funimation and Hulu.

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