Book Review: Promised Neverland Volume 3

April 4, 2018

Promised Neverland Volume 3 cover

I hope that everyone is having a good day today, and trying to figure out how the weekend will be spent.

Things have been going pretty well here, as I can still do what I like.

Recently, the first two titles I have been expecting this month arrived, and I have already covered one of them, which means only remains.

Today, I will be reviewing that last remaining title, which is called The Promised Neverland Volume 3 by Kaiu Shirai.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

The trio of geniuses begin to look through something in the library, hoping that it will help them with their escape attempt, but when the two kids they realize that Emma, Norman, and Ray were keeping things from them, the five kids start to experience some problems.

However, an internal squabble between the five is not the only thing that they must deal with, because the adults have caught on to their scheme and they begin to make moves of their own.

While the first one or two installments of a series might be great, that does not mean that the series itself is going to be great, which is why it is normally best to try more than one installment.

And after reading this volume, I can say that I really liked this volume.

From the moment I opened up and started reading this volume, I found myself so engrossed with it that I did not want to stop reading for any reason.

Even though there are people that say that the ending is important, and there is some truth to that, how things begin is just as important, because readers need to be drawn into the world of the work, so that they can fully enjoy it.

Seeing as this is a series, and this book is another installment in this series, the beginning needs to pick things up in a way that makes sense and to bring the reader back into the world, which is something that many manga series do quite well, and this one was no different.

Back in the previous volume, things ended with Don swiping a key from Isabella and he try's to play to Gilda's curiosity, in order to go check the secret room that was mentioned earlier, and I was left wondering if there was going to be any new details that would crop up.

In this volume, in the chapter that starts everything off, Don and Gilda are seen exploring a room for the passage to Isabella's secret room, which helped me to remember what they had done in the previous volume, in addition to the fact that I am not left waiting long amounts of time for the next installment, like I am with Detective Conan and The Ancient Magus Bride, thereby fulfilling the requirements needed for a series that has a storyline spanning multiple books.

If the volume had not started off the way it did, I would have been pretty disappointed, because Shueisha, or whoever they had compile the serialized chapters into volumes, seemed to know how to end the other volumes in the series on a high note, by starting up the cat and mouse game and showing what the enemy intends to do in the first volume and utilizing feelings of curiosity to give the reader an incentive to read this volume, and would have made me question whether or not they have have competent staff working on this, as Viz Media does not really have too much freedom in doing whatever they want with their manga releases, other than maybe including something special, like they did back when they released volume 49 of Detective Conan.

Thankfully, that did not happen, and that makes me want to give Shueisha and everyone else involved in releasing this volume a good round of applause.

Hopefully, the future installments series will be able to start things off just as well as this one did, because I, and many of the other fans of the series out there, would like to see this series do well, but I am also aware that continually putting out gold is a feat that is next to impossible for mankind.

I also liked how Emma and the others were outsmarted and/or cornered in this volume.

In many works of fiction, especially manga, when the protagonist or, in the case of this series, protagonists are established to be geniuses, they have very little difficulty figuring things out and many scenes come across in a manner that seems like everything went according plan, which is something that plagues series like Code Geass and Death Note, and it completely and utterly ruins the potential tension that could have been there in the series because there is little, if any, question that the protagonist would succeed.

In our world, there are many people out there that can be considered geniuses, such as Albert Einstein and the recently deceased Stephen Hawking, but they do not know everything or enough to make everything go as planned, and, if the plan involves manipulation of others, would not have an easy time fooling everyone, as some people will suspect obvious attempts at manipulation or conformation bias would come into play.

Because of this, things will not go just as planned for characters all the time, and having things come off with a feeling of being just as planned would lead the work to feel both unrealistic and unbelievable, in addition to boring.

However, in this volume, the trio that are said to be the smartest in orphanage get outsmarted on more than one occasion.

First, when they decide to form an alliance with Sister Krone and go to get information out of her, the kids tried to have things planned out, so that they would not leak any Intel to the enemy, but Sister Krone realizes that the kids know about the tracking device, as well as figured out that they had a method for dealing with it, just by their reactions.

So far, it has been established that the adults at Grace Field also grew up in the same facility, though not necessarily the same plant, and the adults should have the same basic knowledge of things the kids do, in addition to knowledge of human behavior and the body well enough to gleamed information, and if the adults could not give the kids a hard time, this series would have gone down very quickly, instead of being able to maintain the level intrigue that would be needed to allow this series to have more than 4 volumes, seeing as the are currently 8 volumes available in Japan, according to the series page on Baka-Updates Manga.

Fortunately, Kaiu knew that the children needed worthy opponents to deal with and provided that, thereby making things seem to be just as interesting as the events in Death Note that happened before L's death, as well as the early portion of Liar Game, and that makes me want to continue on with this series.

Hopefully, things will continue to remain this interesting as the series goes on, but with the series are exceeding 60 chapters, especially where I live, thanks to Viz publishing the latest chapters in Weekly Shonen Jump, I am well aware that things will probably become terrible some day, so all that can be done is to just wait and see how things will progress.

Another thing that I liked was how the genius trio were confronted by the two kids that they recruited to their team for hiding things from them.

Back in the previous volume, when Emma and the others recruited Don and Gilda, they decided to tell them what was going on, though wording things a bit differently from what they knew and saw, and what we, as the audience saw, because they were not too sure how well they could trust the two, as well as leave them in the dark for their own protection.

While I did agree with their reasoning and that this was the best possible way of dealing with things, I was still pretty much annoyed because they seemingly assumed that Don and Gilda could not handle the truth, much like how a good parent will not try to put too much of a burden on a child by letting them know what is really going on, or maybe only presenting their side of the situation, but people can be tougher than they look, even when others perceive them to be a child, and they might be able to notice things at the same rate an ordinary child would, while having the understanding and knowledge level of an adult, not to mention that it would be hard for me, or anybody else to believe that these children in Grace Field are any more special than children or world.

This is why people cannot really understand each other too well, other than remaining stuck at the most basic step to learning empathy that is not really being empathetic, and why need to actually take the time to get to know people, before we decide how to deal with them.

Here, Gon and Gilda essentially chastise Emma and the others for not thinking that they, the fourth and fifth smartest children in the orphanage, would not be able to handle the truth, and because of that, they could not entirely trust Emma and the others, and seeing this kind of exchange helps to show that these children are still plenty human, even though they are very gifted with intelligence.

If this had not really happened, I would have been pretty disappointed because there would have been a little too much of a just as planned vibe and I would not really be able to believe that each child in Grace Field is really as intelligent as Kaiu made them out to be, which would give me the impression that Kaiu does not know what he is doing.

Thankfully, Kaiu remembered that there were quite a few geniuses running around, so that would not lose steam to the all too common scenario of everything being just as planned.

The thing that I liked the most thought was how this volume ended.

While this could be included with the mention of how the kids were outsmarted and corner, because of how things play out right up to the end, it deserves to be talked about here, because it delivers what the end of an installment in a series should deliver, which is a reason to go out and get the next volume as quickly as possible, as I have noted many times before already.

After Ray found out that Isabella made a move by taking Krone's piece off the board and casting him away, Ray, Gilda, and Don race out towards the forest, where Emma and Norman are checking things out for the big escape, and Isabella shows up in front of Emma and Norman without her mask, trying to convince them to give up on resisting the system.

However, instead of giving into her, Emma and Ray decide to continue investigating things in the forest, and Isabella injures Emma and tells Norman that he is going to be shipped out soon, with the volume ending with the shocked expression of Emma, Don, Gilda, and Ray.

By having things end like this, I am left wondering what will happen next so badly that I want to go out and buy the next volume right now, even though it does not come out until June, according to the product page on Amazon, and I still kind of remember what happens after this.

Seeing as Shueisha as control over the publication of these volumes, I have to give them quite another good round of applause.

If they had ended things any sooner or later, I would probably not be quite as excited to read the next volume as I am right now, and things would have started going downhill quicker than expected.

Fortunately, they did not make that mistake, and this volume was able to end on a fairly high note.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that could not be shoehorned in to what I already talked about.

Because my attention was captured quickly, by starting the volume on the right foot, and was able to hold my attention right up to the end, the protagonists were outsmarted and cornered, which helped to maintain the necessary tension, Emma and the others experienced internal strife because of their worries for their siblings in the orphanage, which served as a good reminder of why people should not be underestimated and helped to show that the children were still human, and that the ending made me want to check out what will happen next, even with my knowledge of future events, this book was a fairly decent read.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, such as typos, nothing really bothered me too much.

As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.

Considering that there was quite a bit to like and not too much to hate, this was definitely worth reading.

I mainly recommend this to fans of The Promised Neverland, as they will be able to enjoy this the most, though there is still something for those that enjoy seeing a good cat and mouse game.

As for everyone, this might be worth giving a try, but it would be best to read the previous volumes first, in order to get the most out of it.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon or either buy the reviewed title or preorder the next installment from Book Depository, who offers free shipping to many countries around the world, so I can continue following this series and possible find more worthwhile reads for you guys to read.

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