Book Review: The Promised Neverland Volume 12

The Promised Neverland Volume 12 cover

I hope everyone is having a good week, even if it is just
more of the usual monotony of the daily grind.

Aside from the poor luck of the calendar, things have been
going well here, as I can still do what I like.

Recently, I have been able to put in some orders for the
titles I am following, and the first two I was expecting have arrived, which
means that it is time to get down to business.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those titles, which is
called The Promised Neverland Volume 12
by Kaiu Shirai.

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

With Goldy Pond no more and everyone back at the shelter,
Emma and the gang decide that is time to search for the seven, while waiting
for a person they contacted.

However, their next enemy is already on the move, trying to
hunt them down, and they must find the location of the seven walls before the
enemy finds their shelter.

While the previous
volume
felt like it was largely unnecessary, thanks to the fact that the
finale of the fight with Leuvis and everything afterwards felt too dull, that
does not mean things will get worse, so I can still hope that it was just a
little bump in the road.

And after reading this, I must say that I kind of liked this.

From the moment I opened up this and started reading the
first few pages, I found myself engrossed enough that I did not want to stop
reading for any reason.

One of the most important things in a work of fiction is how
things begin, as that is what helps to give the audience that temporary escape
from reality that they desir, by transporting them to another world.

While this necessary hook can be given in a variety of ways,
depending on the genre of the work and the medium used to present it, this
series, like many other manga, is published in serial publication, which means
that things must pick up in a way that makes sense from where the last
installment left off.

In the previous volume, after Goldy Pond was taken care of, we
see a man standing in front of containers of human corpses, telling somebody on
the phone that they are now in charge of searching for the children who escaped
from Goldy Pond, wondering if it was a coincidence that Goldy Pond was
destroyed two weeks after the escape from Grave Field and showing determination
to capturing them.

In this volume, after a brief scene showing traitors in the
Ratri clan being executed, some men are shown raiding places, trying to find
the escapees, before shifting the spotlight back to Emma’s group.

By starting things off like this, I found myself on the edge
of my seat, as I expected to be, wondering just when Emma and the gang had to
deal with these people.

If things started right off with Emma’s group, I probably
would have been disappointed, though there is still a way that things could
have worked out, because it would have made the last volume as dull as the last
one felt just prior to the appearance of the new enemy, thereby making me want
to give up on this series, in spite of the fact that the final arc starts in
this volume, according to a page listing
the arcs on The Promised
Neverland Wiki
, though I highly doubt its accuracy because the previous
volume contains chapters 80-97 and this volume contains chapters 98-106, as
shown in the images of the TOC of the volumes below.

volume 11 table of contents

TOC for volume 11.

volume 12 table of contents.

TOC for volume 12.

Fortunate, Kaiu Shirai remembered that the audience needed
something to get excited about and started things off on the right foot, which
makes me want to give them a good round of applause.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to start off just as
well as this one did, because I would really like to see this series end on a high
note, just like any other fan of the series, but because I have been
disappointed before, I would not be surprised if things got worse.

I also liked how I found out what Norman was up to before the
panel showing him in the previous volume.

For the longest time, even up until now in the weekly
releases from Viz and Shueisha, where Emma has already met the mysterious being
and the bloodbath began, people have been wondering whether we will see how Norman
escaped the facility he was in, and while that has never really been on the top
of my mind, it has become of interest to me with the latest developments.

In this volume, even though it is not really part of the
main story, we see Norman noting things down, like the fact that he is not the
only kid in the facility.

Later, roughly 91% through the volume, Norman is talking
about escaping, noting that he needs a collaborator and trying to get in
contact with somebody, to which he finally gets a response.

Now, this might not be exactly what people were asking for,
like what happened there at Lambda, aside from the constant tests they put
Norman through, but it does give me insight into how he made contact with the
allies he has in the weekly releases, as well as how he could have found out
the information he has when Emma and Ray reunite with him, which was obviously
going to happen because of his one or two panel appearance in the previous
volume.

If Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu had completely ignored, I
would have been alright with it, because my questions concerning Norman never
really surfaced until events that happen much later in the series, and they did
not seem important, but others might be a little mad because they do not get
how Norman could change so much.

Thankfully, the duo and Shueisha, or whoever they had put
this volume together for them, made sure to add in these moments, helping to
mitigate something fans of the series had problems with when these chapters
were new, which makes me want to give them all a good round of applause.

Hopefully, there will be more bonus content in later volumes
that will cover things other than Norman’s tests, to help out with the moments
in which things outside anyone’s interest occurs, but considering the fact that
it will not be long before things make it to the final stage, I would not be
surprised if this is all that is revealed about Norman’s time in Lambda.

The thing that I liked the most though was how it is
revealed what happened to the children of Grace Field House plant 3 after the
escape.

Even though this was never really a big question for me, or
even anyone else, seeing as the spotlight has most focused on Emma and Ray and
what they were up to, there was a reminder in the volume that Emma and the gang
remembered them and were still determine to retrieve the children left behind.

After Emma and the party she formed to search for the
whereabouts of the search seven walls, there is a transition over to Phil, who
reveals what happened after the escape and wonders how Emma is doing, and we
find out that is tormented by what he knows, wishing to see Emma.

While I would have preferred to find this out much later,
because I am more interested in seeing the first leg of Emma’s journey, it was
still nice to see what happens in events like those Emma, Norman, and Ray
orchestrated, giving some hope that Emma will be able to reunite with them one
day.

If these moments were ignored, I would have likely been fine
with things, since the only thing that may have been affected is how Emma’s
enemy in this volume has the data he does, and the series could just continue
on the way it has been.

However, because these events were included, it gives an
even greater desire to see Emma rescue the other children as soon as possible
and raises the stakes a bit.

Hopefully, Phil’s fate will be revealed later on this series
and be an even greater reunion than the one between Emma, Ray, and Norman, but
with how the recent chapters seem to feel like the ending is being rushed, I
would not be surprised if that is glossed over.

Outside of that, I cannot really 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 and held right up to the
end, Norman is seen plotting his escape in some bonus content, which helps
mitigate something annoying, and what happen at Grace Field House after the
escape was revealed, 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, only one thing kind of annoyed me, which was how things seemed
to feel a little rush.

Even though this series is not necessarily slow paced, like
either Detective Conan or Spice & Wolf, things still seemed
to be progressing at a fairly decent rate to the point where I felt like I was experiencing
the same adventure these kids were experiencing, and I was hoping that I would
be able to see everything they did, like finding out how to get to the seven
walls, but it was all glossed over.

Now, some of you may be screaming at your screens, saying
that I should know the importance of time skips in works of fiction, because of
how much I have read and that I have written some books, but time skips must
also be used wisely.

The audience that reads works like this series wants to be
able to find things out with the characters, and when they feel like they are
missing something or things just progress way too quickly, they feel like they
are a little lost.

While this volume is not necessarily plagued with things
that are missing, unless you want to look at the series overall, the latter
felt very much like that.

If I had to say why, it would have to be how this volume
ended.

After Emma and the gang find out how to get to the seven
walls and she tells everyone, the enemy starts their raid on the shelter, which
did have me on the edge of my seat.

Not long after, Emma and the gang manage to escape and Yugo
and Lucas decide to take care of things themselves, with the last panel marking
the beginning of their suicide mission.

Even though Andrew is just a subordinate of Emma’s real human
enemy, the way the volume built up this moment made me think that things were
going to last longer than they were, and by having the volume end with Yugo and
Lucas prepared to die, it seemed like things had gone by a bit too quickly,
even if it did manage to make me interested in reading the next volume like it
should have.

If the people at Shueisha had made Kaiu Shirai cover more of
the adventures Emma had leading up to the discovery of how to reach the seven
walls, things could have progressed well enough to at least end at a more
appropriate spot, like the sudden attack on the shelter, but because it ended
where it did and I remember this event does not end too long after the final chapter
of this volume, it seemed like Shueisha and Kaiu Shirai were trying to rush to
the moment where Emma reunites with Norman.

Sadly, things ended more of in a way where things were just
getting started, making it hard for me to see how this volume even remotely
ended well.

Hopefully, future volumes will end better than this one did,
but because I know what will happen after this, I would not be surprised if
things get worse.

Thankfully, that was the only thing that really bothered me,
so Kaiu Shirai and the others working to bring this series to the masses can
rest easy, knowing they did not completely and utterly fail.

While there was only one annoying thing to be found, it was
not bad enough to really do any major damage to the overall quality.

Despite the fact that there was one thing that annoyed me,
the good outweighed things enough to make this definitely worth reading.

I mainly recommend this to fans of The Promised Neverland,
as they will enjoy this the most.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but
because this volume starts off the final arc, it would be better to 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 want
to check out the reviewed title for yourself, buy
The Promised Neverland Volume 12
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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