Book Review: The Promised Neverland Volume 10

The Promised Neverland Volume 10 cover

I hope that everyone is doing well, regardless of whether it
is relaxing on break or dealing with the monotony of the daily grind.

Things are going well here, especially now that my schedule
is going to be much more free at the end of the week.

I know I have been neglecting this place quite a bit, no
thanks to not being able to get in preorders for the regular series early, but
I was able to get things squared away and one of the titles recently arrived.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called The Promised Neverland Volume 10
by Kaiu Shirai.

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

After discovering the truth about what William Minerva
intended, an uprising has begun and two of the demons haunting the grounds of
Goldy Pond have been slain.

However, things get complicated when the demons find out
that not only has high grade meat entered their territory but that somebody
that vanished was still alive and taught the current crop of children how to
take out the demons, and the kids must adapt to the situations they all face,
to secure victory and have a chance against the biggest threat among the demons
of Goldy Pond.

While the previous
volume
was pretty good overall, that does not mean that the rest of the
series would be as enjoyable, especially because there were a couple of
annoyances in the volume that preceded this one, so I must be very cautious
about each installment in this series.

After reading this volume, I can say that I liked it, though
not quite as much as I wanted.

From the moment that I opened up this volume and started
reading, I found myself drawn in enough that I wanted to read it in one sitting,
but not quite to the point where I had the urge to do so, like with previous
entries in The Promised Neverland.

While there are many ways to create this draw, depending on
the kind of work and the medium used to tell the story, manga like this is
usually published in a serialized format, and that means that each installment
in the series must pick up where the previous installment left off, or even a
point that makes sense in comparison to how things end.

In the previous volume, one of the demons being targeted had
been killed, which greatly affected another demon, and the final few panels
showed Emma confronting Leuvis, the demon who poses the biggest threat.

With this kind of set up, I see only two ways this volume
could have started off on the right foot, which are either start things off
with the scene with the dead demon or start things off with Emma and Leuvis.

Here, in this volume Shueisha, or whoever they had put this
volume together, decided to start things with demons, and that seemed to be a
good decision, though not particularly one that I personally like.

By starting things off like this, readers get put right in
the middle of the action, creating intrigue in how the kids will get out of
their predicament, as well as keep focus on what is supposed to be the most
interesting part of the volume, creating the perfect way to grab the attention
of fans of the series.

If volume had started off in the manner that I would have
preferred, considering what the last few panels of the previous volume were, I
would have been a little disappointed because it was a pretty small part of the
volume and it would have made things even less interesting, though it could
still work out.

Thankfully, Shueisha, or whoever they had put this volume
together, and Kaiu Shirai chose what was likely the best way to start this
volume off, as well as the first chapter of the volume, which makes me want to
give them a good round of applause for a job well done.

Hopefully, future volumes will start off just as well as
this one did, but seeing as everyone working on this bringing us this series
are human, just like us, I will not be too surprised to see a volume start off
in an even worse way than this one did.

I also liked how there were a couple of times where I felt
like I was on the edge of my seat.

Seeing as how the focus on this part of the series is on the
uprising of the children and their comrades against the demons of Goldy Pond, I
did expect to see how the groups would take out the demons and wanted to see
it.

A big problem I have had with this series has been feeling a
little stale ever since the children successfully escaped Grace Field House,
because there has either been too much of a just as planned vibe or
things that were way too predictable, which made me doubt that Kaiu Shirai
could even bring out any intrigue, regardless of how well Posuka Demizu
illustrated their vision.

However, in this volume there were two instances in which I
was truly wondering what was going to happen next, even though I already know
what will happen later, thanks to the fact that both online scans and Viz
Media’s chapter releases are current with Japan.

For example, when the volume eventually returns to the scene
with the demons that the volume started off with, I keep wondering if these
kids, who have mostly been running from the demons of Goldy Pond will survive
and things start progressing to the point where I expect one of the children to
die, after one had been killed already.

However, instead of letting the child die, which I would
preferred, due to the fact that a lot of the manga published in the same
magazine, and even one rival magazine, seem to give the protagonists and their
allies victories in the stupidest ways, rather than show some real effort, The
child is stopped by Ray and the mysterious man they met at the shelter that is
their main base.

Now, one could say that this is a pretty predictable event,
when you look at it from either the perspective of an avid reader or writer,
and I did expect this to occur, but the way Kaiu Shirai wrote things made me
forget about this possibility because I was so focused on what going on that I
expecting Nous to kill all the kids.

If Kaiu Shirai had not tried shifting my focus away from the
possibilities or even made me feel like as much of an outsider as movies
released by Hollywood today, I would have been really disappointed by the
predictable appearance of Ray.

However, Kaiu Shirai was able to get me focused on what was
occurring right then and there, which made me feel like I was on the edge of my
seat.

The other thing that had me on the edge of my seat, though
not quite as much as the incident where Ray appeared on the scene, was when the
final battle of the Goldy Pond uprising began.

While it was not solved by a rightly timed appearance of Ray
and the mysterious stranger, though I kept wondering when they would show up,
considering what happened and what was said earlier, the thing that really had
me on the edge of my seat was that the action was finally getting interesting
and that somebody that was likely a much bigger obstacle than Isabella was
finally around.

For much of the volume, I felt rather bored with what was
going on, wanting to see what would transpire between Leuvis and Emma, rather
than seeing the struggles with the other demons, because it felt like this
series was getting back something that it had lost after the escape arc.

However, when Leuvis finally appeared in the volume, my
interest was captured in the way that I was hoping for from the very start, and
when the battle final began between Emma’s group and Leuvis, I could not tear
my eyes away because I was wondering how things would turn out, even though I
know what the outcome will be.

If Kaiu Shirai had left the entire confrontation with Leuvis
out until the final chapter of the volume, instead of incorporating bits of it
within the pages, I think I would have been pretty disappointed with the volume
overall, not to mention that I would not have been able to get this feeling of
being on the edge of my seat when things began.

Fortunately, Kaiu Shirai knew the importance of establishing
some build up beyond cliffhangers found in the chapters.

Hopefully, Kaiu Shirai will remember the need to have more
build up than just cliffhangers as the series progresses, especially since both
Japan and the weekly releases from Viz Media are in the final arc of the series,
but I would not be surprised if things go down hill.

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

While it was rather predictable, like the sudden appearance
of characters earlier in the volume, and was expected, It did what an ending
should have done and gave me an incentive to continue on with this series.

Once the battle with Leuvis was under way, I may have been
excited to see how this battle would play out, but like with Ray’s sudden
appearance earlier in the volume, I had no idea what was going to happen at
that moment, expecting one of the main trio to die, before ultimately ending
with a reunion.

By having things end like this, I want to go out and get the
next volume right now, though it does not come out until August, according to
the product page on Amazon, and I
cannot preorder it in my preferred formatted yet.

If Shueisha, or the people they had put this volume
together, had not decided to end things where they did or Kaiu Shirai had
written the ending like Love & Lies, where not only was it
predictable but it was uninteresting because of the feeling of being generic,
instead of giving off a vibe of originality, I would have been really
disappointed because I want to like this series and see it do well.

Thankfully, both parties chose a proper way to end things,
and that makes me want to give Kaiu Shirai and everyone else working hard to
bring this series to the masses a big round of applause.

Hopefully, each successive volume will be able to end just
well as this one did, but I would not be surprised to see a few bumps in the
road.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked, at least that stood out as much as I talked about.

Because it was able to draw me in well, because the people
who put this volume together chose the best possible way for this volume to
start, I found myself on the edge of my seat at least a couple of times, and
that the ending has me anxious to find out what happens next, in spite of how
predictable it was for somebody like me, this was a pretty 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, and things that I mentioned already, only one thing really
bothered me, which was how this volume started.

While I did say that it was the best way that this volume
could have started, compared to the way in which I would have liked this volume
to start off, I had a pretty hard time being drawn in.

If I had to say why, other than what has already been
mentioned earlier, in that things felt rather boring, it would have to be
because of Viz Media’s release schedule.

Even though The Promised Neverland has a pretty
decent release schedule schedule at almost 2 volumes every quarter of the year,
whereas Detective Conan sees only one new volume each quarter and Hayate
the Combat Butler
went down to 2 volumes or less a year, in spite of being
way behind the Japanese release, it has a similar problem to that of Detective
Conan
and volume
9
of The Ancient Magus Bride, where I am either confused, because of
not remembering all the details of what has happened or the excitement is not
there because of the wait.

In the case of this volume, it is the wait, in addition to
not remembering everything that occurred in the previous volume.

One of the things I really dislike about this series is that
the way things flow, even when one pays attention to the chapter releases, is
how I can find myself so intrigued with what is going to happen, only to not be
quite as interested later on, making it feel like this series is more enjoyable
when binged, instead of waiting a week or even a couple of months, though a
weekly schedule is not that bad.

Here, the way things begin does not bring me right into the
world of the series because it expects me to have the events of the previous
volume fresh in my mind, to even be able to immerse myself any sooner than when
Leuvis shows up in the volume, which was the only thing I remember from the
volume, aside from all the stuff that really should have been taken out, such
as the confirmation that Norman is alive.

The beginning of an installment of a series should be
grabbing a person’s attention right from the start, and because Shueisha, or
whoever they had put this volume together, decided to have the volume start here
and Kaiu Shirai decided to have the chapter that starts this volume off with
Nous and Nouma, instead of Emma and Leuvis, it fails to do that with the kind
of release schedule Viz Media has for this series.

If Viz Media had released both this volume and its predecessor
at the same time, I would have been thrilled, as I would have been able to
enjoy myself as much as I would have liked.

Sadly, because I had to wait the regular two or so months,
it ended up being hard for me to get into, in spite of the fact that I have
been keeping up with each new volume Viz Media releases.

Hopefully, Viz Media will speed things up, but because this
series is not quite as huge in popularity as Attack on Titan or One
Piece
, I doubt Viz will do anything about speeding up releases enough to
the point where we see new volumes come not long after the Japanese release.

Thankfully, that was not anything else that irritated me to no
end, so Shueisha and Kaiu Shirai can walk away with the knowledge that they did
not do anything to earn my wrath.

While there was only one issue, it was a relatively minor
enough issue to not cause any real damage, though it is still something readers
should not have to deal with.

Despite the fact that there was something that did annoy me,
the good outweighed things enough to make it definitely worth reading.

I mainly recommend this to fans of The Promised Neverland,
as they will be able to enjoy this the most, but I really recommend reading
this immediately after the previous volume, to avoid the problems I had.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try,
though I highly suggest reading through the previous volumes first, to be able
to fully enjoy this.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on either Patreon or SubscribeStar, or if you would
like a copy of the reviewed title, buy
The Promised Neverland Volume 10
from Book Depository, who offers
free shipping to many countries around the world, so that I can continue
following this series and possibly find more worthwhile reads for you guys to
check out.

Copyright © 2019 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.