I hope that everyone is doing well, even if the daily grind is stressful.
Things have been going pretty well here, and I can still do what I like.
Recently, I have not had that much time to take a gander through things, which does not help when I cannot preorder things too far ahead, but I finally got the time to do so and found out that one of the titles that I have been had a new release and I was able snag it.
Today, I will be reviewing that book, which is called The Promised Neverland Volume 6 by Kaiu Shirai.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
Not long after escaping Grace Field, demons start hunting down Emma and the others, who have realized that the demons are not the only threat to their survival, and the demons have caught up to them.
However, just when things look bleak, mysterious entities appear, and their motives are questionable, when Emma and Ray discover who they really are.
While The Promised Neverland has been able to stay strong, though not to the degree of how things were in the beginning, a series will not always be able to remain just as good, so it is best to try to keep things in perspective.
And after reading this volume, I must say that I really enjoyed it.
From the moment that I opened up and started reading this volume, I found myself so engrossed that I did not want to stop reading for any reason.
As I have stated time and time again, one of the most important things in a work of fiction is how things start off.
While the way in which it is done varies, based on the story and the medium used to present it, manga like this comes out in serial publications, which means that each chapter must start at a good point from where things left off that does not make the audience feel lost, as that might anger the fan base, whom series and overall franchises rely on the most to get a continued stream of income.
In the case of this volume, things started off well by picking up where the last volume left off, which was when the demons caught up to the children and Ray decided to become a decoy and Emma collapsed from exhaustion, with the final panel featuring a mysterious individual, and continued things from the point of Emma collapsing.
Even though manga series do not usually have any problems in regards of where to pick things up, as the people behind the series and those that are helping them make the best work that they possibly can tend to make sure things start off well, I have recently encountered an instance in which that was not the case and it led to me being much more confused by things than just the simple fact that too much time had passed between releases.
However, unlike volume 9 of The Ancient Magus Bride, the book the brought about the kind of confusion that I never experienced before, this volume reminded me of what had happened in the previous volume.
If Kaiu Shirai had done what Kore Yamazaki did, I would have been pretty disappointed, as this series is supposed to revolve around the adventures these children have while being able to find a place where everyone can live a full life, and by not starting off right around where the previous volume ended, I would have been lost, though flashbacks or brief narratives could work just as well to bring things into perspective, seeing as not much happened between the end of the last volume and the start of this one, whereas the beginning of volume 9 of The Ancient Magus Bride gave the impression that something more had happened.
Fortunately, Kaiu Shirai decided to start off the first chapter of this volume in the best possible way, and Shueisha, or whoever they had put the volume together, chose to start things off on the right foot, which makes me want to give them a good round of applause.
Hopefully, the future volumes will be able to start off just as well as this one did, but because there has already been a volume in this series that gave me the feeling that I reached the end of the installment when it had only begun, I would not be surprised if things get worse.
I also liked how it was revealed that not all demons eat humans and that the children, mostly three of the four most intelligent and eldest children, were praised for being suspicious.
While neither of them really seem that interesting, seeing as how they had to engage in a battle of wits with Isabella and her superiors to escape Grace Field, as well as learn from their mistakes, and recently discovered that the demons are not the only threat to their existence, it ended up being interesting because the way in which things were presented made me think that every demon did consume human flesh.
However, after finding out that the people who helped them were demons, they claim that they do not eat for religious reasons.
Even though that kind of strikes me as funny, because demons are usually considered enemies of religious groups and organizations, I found it to be believable for the world that they are in, because beliefs really can affect a person's decisions and action, even when those actions and decisions are wrong.
The thing that really made this stand out though was how, in spite of their supposed religious beliefs, one of them remarked at how wise the children were to doubt them.
In my life, I have met many people, and one thing that I am very annoyed with is how there are people try to convince others that their way of living is the right way, or that they try to convince people to fall in line by saying that we will understand eventually, and that is what led me to hate religion, aside from the fact that many people in them do not understand how to properly help people or understanding the real world.
Here, however, the demons understand why their society craves human flesh and even why the children would doubt them.
By showing moments like this, Kaiu Shirai shows that there are people out there that can understand others, even though we would still be the only ones that understand our own pain completely, and makes these demons feel like actual people, as well as expanding the view the children, and the audience have of this world.
If Kaiu Shirai had not put in moments like these, I would have been disappointed, as these demons would have come across as even more of a deus ex machina than Captain Nemo's appearance in The Mysterious Island, which would have taken Kaiu Shirai down a few pegs.
Thankfully, he fleshed out these demons a bit and also seemed to give those demons a bit more reason to be there than just because Kaiu wrote himself into a corner, and that makes me feel like giving him a bit more applause.
Hopefully, things like this will continue to occur in future volumes, but I am aware that Kaiu might just fail to live up to my expectations, so I am ready to tear into him if and when the time comes.
Another thing that I liked was how I myself kind of surprised about the truth of the world of the series.
All throughout the run of this series, I, and many others have been led to believe that the world that is being presented has not always been this way, and I was hoping that they would find a settlement with other humans, as the children were told that there are other humans around.
However, when the children asked the demons who rescued them what happened to the world, they reveal that they are on the planet they thought they were on and the year was correct, but that the world they knew has existed for at least a millennium and humans in their world mostly existed on farms.
While I should not be too surprised by this because I am up to date with this series, which possible for practically anyone, whether that be the weekly releases from Viz or the online scans, the way in which things are presented in both this volume and the series makes me forget what will transpire and had me just as surprised as the children of Grace Field, much like how Gosho Aoyama handled the incident between Akai and Kir in volume 58 of Detective Conan so well that I was left wondering what happened, even though I already knew the answer.
If Kaiu Shirai had not been able to write things so well in this moment, I would have been really disappointed, because I would have gotten the feeling that things really had gone downhill after Emma and the other escaped Grace Field House, though things have definitely not been as interesting as those events were.
Fortunately, Kaiu Shirai did not write things in a way that were too obvious upon rereading things, and that makes me want to give him another good round of applause.
Hopefully, there will be more moments like this as the series goes on, but I would not be surprised if this disappears in the future too.
The thing that I liked the most though was how this volume ended.
While the beginning of a work of fiction is important, because it is supposed to pull the reader in and give them a reason to try out the work, the ending is just as important because it will allow the reader to determine whether they found something good or, if it is part of a series like this volume, if they want to see how things will unfold.
Even though manga volumes do not generally have problems with the way they start out, except for the 9th volume of The Ancient Magus Bride, which had a beginning that made the volume enjoyable only if the prior installment was fresh in one's mind, I have seen quite a few instances in my time reading manga where the ending did not do its job, whether that was because I knew things were being dragged out unnecessarily or just failed to give me any reason to read more for one reason or another.
This volume, however, ended at just the right point and in the right way that I want to go out and get the next volume right now, though it does not come out until December, according to the product page on Amazon, and, as expected, I cannot preorder in my preferred format yet, by introducing a character and having me wonder if they are Mr. Minerva, though I already know who he is.
If Shueisha, or whoever they had put this volume together, had not ended things right here, I would have been disappointed, as I cannot find any other place in this volume, or even remember too well about what happens in the chapters that will appear in the next volume, that would have been able to end things on a better foot.
Thankfully, Shueisha, or whoever they had put the volume together, made a good decision this time, unlike the choice they made back in volume 4, though it might have been the best option for them, and that makes me want to give them a good round of applause.
Hopefully, future volumes will be able to end just as well as this one did, as that will give me, as well as other fans of the series, a good reason to keep following it, but I can easily see a possibility of Kaiu not writing chapters in a terrible enough way that it would be hard to give each volume the best possible beginning and ending they can have, so I am ready to pounce when the time arrives.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that I could say without spoiling things too much.
Because this volume was able to grab my attention quickly and hold it, due to having a beginning that makes sense, regardless of how fresh the previous volume is in your mind, there were demons that did not eat humans, which made things seem more believable and realistic, and understood why the children doubted them, the truth about the world was handled in a way that was surprising, regardless of whether I was reading this for the first time or not, and this volume had an ending that makes me want to read the next volume now, this 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 nothing to really hate, unless you want to be really nitpicky, 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.
As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but I would recommend giving the previous installments a try, so that this can be enjoyed to the fullest.
If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon, or either buy volume 6 or preorder the next volume of The Promised Neverland from Book Depository, who offers free shipping to many countries around the world, so that I can continue following a series many of us enjoy and possibly find other worthwhile reads for you guys to check out.
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