Book Review: The Promised Neverland Volume 11

The Promised Neverland Volume 11 cover.

I hope that everyone is having a good week, even if it has
been plagued with making preparation of the return of the overall monotony.

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

A while back, some titles I had been waiting to become
available for preorder finally got listed in a suitable format, thus allowing
me to reserve some copies, and the two I was able to get arrived recently.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those titles, which is
called The Promised Neverland Volume 11
by Kai Shirai.

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

The final battle of the turmoil of Goldy Pond is underway,
with Ray and a fellow acquaintance joining the fray, and Emma is determined to
bring everything to a close.

However, even if they can take down the demon who desires
the adrenaline rush of a difficult hunt, others in other parts of the world are
starting to make moves of their own that would pose more problems.

While the previous
volume
did have things that seemed quite interesting, it was not able to
completely satisfy me, so I was left with pretty good reason to be a little
skeptical.

And after reading this, I can say that I found this to be
okay.

Fortunately, there was quite a bit to like, so I do really
have much troubles of even thinking of good things to say.

From the moment I opened up this book, I found myself
engrossed enough that I did not want to stop reading, though it was not
particularly high enough that I would become irritated of I was distracted.

As I have said time and time again, one of the most
important things in a work of fiction is how things begin, as the beginning is
supposed to give the audience a temporary escape, which would help people
overlook the most minor of flaws.

While there are many ways to create this hook, depending on
the genre and the medium used to present the work, The Promised Neverland
is a serialized work, which means that the pull is created by picking things up
in a way that makes sense, based on the events in the previous installment, as
it builds upon the intrigue established by cliffhangers or expectations of a
new adventure.

In the previous volume, things ended with the start of the
battle against Leuvis, the most dangerous of the demons participating in the
hunts at Goldy Pond, which brought back the feeling of a cat and mouse game
that had been lost ever since the end of the escape arc, before ultimately ending
with the predictable, yet well executed, appearance from Ray and Yugo, the man
that Emma and the other met at the shelter, coming to Emma’s aid, and this
volume picks up not long after that moment.

By starting things off like this, my blood was already
pumping, just wanting to see how things would play out, though not quite to the
extent of the events found in volume 58
of Detective Conan, where the events were handled so well that it was
like I was really those events for first time again, and I was wanting to see
the kind of challenge Leuvis would pose after so much build up.

If Kai Shirai had not written things as well as he did or
Shueisha, or whoever they had put this volume together, did not start the
volume off like this, I would have been even more disappointed with this than I
already am, as things would have come across a lot worse.

Fortunately, both parties realized that this was the only
way to start off this volume, so I feel like giving them a good round of
applause.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to start off as good
as this one did, though I am actually wishing for better, because that will
help draw more people into checking out this series, letting people see why
many like it.

I also liked how things played out in a way that seemed to
be a bit of a return to form.

Even though the events of this volume play out in a rather
uninteresting way, at least for those that have already read through the
chapters contained in the volume, whether that be through Viz Media’s weekly
releases or fan translations, the way it reads here, in a format with multiple
chapters, gives me some feelings that the series has been lacking, such as the
cat and mouse game.

Over the course of my time reading through this series,
there are moments that I have found myself rather bored with chapters because
the endings try and drum up interest in things that I have no interest in
because my interest was focused on something else, but when those same chapters
get released in volumes like this, they tend to be better because there is more
than one thing grabbing my attention and the events play out better when they
are all together.

Like those instances, the events here seemed to play out
better because things were nonstop action and trying to outmaneuver the enemy,
like how things were before the escape from Grace Field House.

Now, some of you guys might be saying that this was all
because the fight with Leuvis was not really interrupted, compared to later
events, like what happened when Emma and Ray stood at the entrance to their
destination being interrupted by an appearance from demons, but everything,
including the events found in this volume, seemed to feel like the series
really devolved into another generic mess when reading it weekly, even though
Leuvis was supposed to be the first real challenge Emma faced outside Grace Field
House.

Here, however, the thinking, strategy, and tactics seemed to
outweigh the seemingly dull action and made me feel invested, at least in the
moment.

This is what I had been expecting from this series for quite
a long time, and it has finally come back, if only for a brief moment.

If Shueisha, whoever they had put these volumes together,
made this volume feel as sluggish as the weekly releases, things would have
been a whole lot worse, and I would have dropped this right here and now, especially
because of my knowledge of what is to come.

Thankfully, the volume was not as annoying as the weekly
releases can be, and that helped to make the volume seem to be a bit better.

Hopefully, the series can improve from here, so that it can
conclude just as well as it began, but since this is second volume in a row
that was not able to completely meet my most minimal expectation, I mostly see
things going downhill from here.

Another thing that I really liked was how future events
seemed to be foreshadowed.

While I usually do not make a big deal about things many
so-called literary experts think great works contain, such as themes, some of
which are only in the person’s head, symbolism, and all the other things used
to try and justify why a work the audience loathes is actually a work to be
admired, because many people read to be entertained, not to mention there
things that people do not truly understand, like the importance of family, which
most often gets associated with people related to a person because their blood
or a piece of paper says so, rather than the bond itself, which creates the
obligation, there are times in which they do create intrigue or leave a strong
impression.

In the case of this volume, the real foreshadowing happened
when Emma reveals her new goal to her comrades, after getting out of Goldy Pond.

Sometime after bringing an end to the horrors of Goldy Pond,
Emma gathers the people from Grace Field house together and says that she wants
to save everyone and make a place where they can live in peace, by meeting with
the mysterious god or elder of the demons at the seven walls and the children
show interest in a world where they will not be pursued, after there is mention
of a possibility of war, which Emma wants to avoid.

Even though I am kind of annoyed by these words, since Emma
comes off as way too naïve, being ranked among the top three of Grace Field
House, and reeks of way too much positivity, the desires she expressed reminded
me of the war that is currently taking place in the chapters Viz Media releases
weekly and how Emma is so desperate to stop it before more blood is spilled.

Out of all the things hinted at, such as a reunion with
Norman, which is old news, seeing as how he was explicitly confirmed to be
alive before this volume, this was the one that kind of slipped through my
radar until reading through these chapters again, especially since Yugo
describes it as a world where children are not eaten shortly before Norman
appears in two panels, most likely already having assumed the title of Minerva,
before the next threat shows their face.

Seeing this, it shows me that Kaiu did seem to have things
planned out quite well in advance, rather than just adding more fluff like many
other series targeting the same demographic, and makes me want to get the next
volume as soon as possible, to see how things will proceed from here, though
the series still seems to be taking its time reaching the finale in the weekly
releases.

If Kaiu Shirai had not played things off of the desires Emma
expressed in this volume, which was to set the stage for Emma’s ultimate
objective and drumming up excitement for the next adventure, this would not
have really been something that was good enough to be considered noteworthy, as
Emma is too confident that everyone can walk away happy, much like how the
luxuries we have thanks to technological advances and the disillusionment
created because of how long we lived in our cage called society has put it in
the heads of some that everyone can prosper if given the chance.

Thankfully, Kaiu Shirai played off this well enough that I
can see that the foreshadowing was not just of a war to come, which makes me
want to give him a good round of applause.

Hopefully, more moments like this can arise than just stuff
that is too minor too be worth noting, since the looming war was not the thing
that Shueisha, or whoever they had put this volume together, placed more
importance on something else, but I doubt that anything like this would be too
noticeable until the series concludes its run in Weekly Shonen Jump, seeing as
volume 15, which is currently the latest Japanese release of the volumes,
supposedly ends with Emma and Ray finding their way to the Seven Walls,
according to a page
on The
Promised Neverland Wiki
.

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

Other than the beginning, the other thing that is very
important in a work of fiction is how things end, as that is supposed to give
the audience either a feeling of satisfaction, if it is a standalone work or
the final installment of a series, or an incentive to read more.

While the was foreshadowing to the upcoming war is much more
noteworthy in my eyes, the way things have been progressing so far have been
feeling a little boring, because there was too much of a just as planned
vibe or the children, who lacked experience with reality, got lucky too often
to the point where I was not really surprised by things.

However, once Emma revealed her ultimate objective, things
shift to a man in from of containers holding human corpses talking to somebody
about things concerning the aftermath of Goldy Pond, and once he finishes the
call, he shows that he is determined to hunt the children down.

Now, this was expected and is a little predictable, since
Emma told the others that Minerva was killed by a member of his own family, and
that the traitor, as well as Minerva’s family, would pose a problem for them,
but the way things read and play out has me even more excited to get my hands
on the next volume as soon as possible because of the suggestion of something
big happening soon has me more interested than the coming war, as opposed to
looking through the pages, which makes the foreshadowing more interesting.

If Kaiu Shirai did not have the final chapter of the volume
end this way or Shueisha, or whoever they had put this volume together, decided
to end the volume differently, things might have turned out alright for those
reading the volumes with knowledge of future events, but it might not have been
enough to make other people interested, which would likely hurt sales even more
than piracy ever could.

Fortunately, both Kaiu and Shueisha decided to end things on
a pretty good note for both those rereading the chapters in this volume and
those reading it for the first time, which makes me want to give them another
good round of applause.

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

Because my interest was captured quickly and held fairly
well up to the end, there was a sliver of what made the series interesting to
me in the series in the first place, future events were foreshadowed well, and
the ending does what it is supposed to, this was a fairly decent read.

Although there was quite a bit that I liked about the book,
there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
only one thing really bothered me, which was this volume felt like it was
unnecessary.

In the course of my time of reading many works of fiction, I
never really came across a work that I would call pointless because I thought
people understood how to properly create a series, but when I decided to try
out Spice
& Wolf
, I encountered a book that I could see did not deserve to
exist because nothing really happened in the book, which picked up right where
the previous installment, which was also the final event shown in the Spice
& Wolf
anime adaptations, and the only thing of signficat note was that
a new character was introduced.

While this volume was not as much of an abomination as volume 6
of Spice & Wolf, seeing as the battle with Leuvis did take up almost
half the volume, whereas much of the aforementioned Spice & Wolf
book did not really have anything significant happen for much of the book, it
still felt unnecessary because almost everything else after Leuvis’s defeat was
dull, with no mysteries or turmoil occurring, mostly because I knew Emma was
going to survive, and not just because of future events.

Now, some of you guys might be groaning, saying that things
like this are not new in the world of manga, which is something that I know
quite well, but that does not change how stale things seemed to across.

Heck, even the battle with Leuvis felt a little dull, even
though he was giving the kids a run for their money for once.

If Shueisha, or whoever they had put this volume together,
had the fighting start in this volume uninterrupted, I would have been able to
enjoy myself more, and probably been able to put up with how everything else
went, instead of labelling all these character stupid and waiting for clichéd
moments, even if I could understand how they were feeling.

Sadly, the volume just had to start off with Leuvis’s end,
and that kind of killed the excitement quickly, despite how long it lasted.

Then again, seeing as how I had my time wasted in an even
worse way than this, I can cut Shueisha, or whoever put this volume together, some
slack and downgrade this to an annoyance, since it still affected the feel of
the volume overall.

Hopefully, things will improve as the series get closer to
the end, but I kind of doubt it will, knowing what is about to come and how
close these volumes are to the final arc of the series.

Thankfully, that was the only thing that really bothered me,
so Kaiu Shirai and the other can walk away knowing that they did not do
anything that truly deserved my wrath.

While there was only one thing that really bothered me, it
was enough to take an otherwise great book down to something that was just
okay.

Despite the fact that there was quite a bit to like, enough
so that I can see get some well-deserved praise, the fact that it became dull
after the big moment hurt it enough to make it only good enough to kill time.

I mainly recommend this to fans of The Promised Neverland,
as they will like this the most, though it would probably be best to have the
events of the previous volume fresh in the mind, to avoid what gave me
problems.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but
considering how close to the final arc the Viz releases are, it might be best
start with the first volume instead.

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
a copy of The Promised Neverland Volume 11
from Book Depository, who
offers free shipping to many countries around the world, so I can continue
following this series and possibly find more worthwhile reads for you guys to
check out.

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