I hope that everyone is doing is having a good week and finding a way to put up the temperature extremes found at this time of the year.
Things are going well here, now that my class is nearing its end, and I can still do what I want.
Recently, I was looking through available books I noticed that there were still some that I had yet to get, because I had to keep my schedule open for the class, but I got only one title, and that title recently arrived.
Today, I will be reviewing that book, which is called The Promised Neverland Volume 7 by Kaiu Shirai.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
After parting ways with demons who claimed that they do not eat human, Emma and the other children of Grace Field have finally found the place they have been looking for and find a man they think is Minerva.
However, much to the disappointment of the younger children, this person is unwillingly to help them and tries force them to leave, and if Emma and the gang are to get anywhere, they need to find a way to make this man cooperate, even if it means destroying the first safe place they could find.
While The Promised Neverland has not really seen as much of a decline in quality as A Certain Magical Index, no thanks to the fact that things that should have been exciting weren't and other issues, things might not be able to remain as good as before, so it is best to see where things are going.
And after reading this, I must say that I really liked this book.
From the moment that I first opened this book and started reading it, I found myself so engrossed in it that I did not want to stop reading for any reason.
As I have said many times before, one of the most important things in a work of fiction is how things begin, as it helps to pull the reader in quickly, which helps to both give them the temporary escape that they need and makes sure that the readers can overlook the most minor of flaws.
While this can be accomplished in many different ways, depending on the medium used to present story and what kind of story it is, manga like this series are usually serialized in magazines and the best way to start things off in such a format is to pick up at a point that makes sense from how things ended in the previous chapter, or, in the case of releases like this, the last installment, which was how this one started off.
In the previous volume, Emma and the children arrived at the shelter at B06-32 and started to look around the place, leading them to encounter a man that the children, and, likewise, the audience at the time the chapter was new in both Japan and Viz Media's weekly release of Shonen Jump, seeing as how that publication is current with the Japanese releases for the series, thought might be the infamous William Minerva, and this volume, things seemingly pick up right from there.
If Kaiu Shirai had not started the chapter off like this, I would have been disappointed, because I was waiting to find out who this man really was and whether or not he was a new ally, seeing as the series has by this point already primed the audience to be suspicious of everyone, with the big reveal that the children were being bred like cattle, and by avoiding a great starting point like this, I do not think that I could have easily immersed myself in the book as much as I would have wanted.
Fortunately, Kaiu Shirai decided to start things off on the right foot, and Shueisha, or whoever they had put the volume together for them, picked the best possible place for this volume start things off.
Hopefully, the future volumes will be able to start off just as well as this one did, but because the people who are responsible for bringing this series to the masses are just as human as we are, I would not be surprised if there is a volume that has a pretty disappointing beginning.
I also liked how more was revealed about the world and people in it.
While I am not particularly big on world building when I read a story, as I know that it takes a lot more to make a great work of fiction than having a world that is fleshed out as the story progresses, and is also a reason why people like me have a great dislike for people that do not realize how hard writing can actually be, I can see how it can be important, especially when it comes to keeping the audience interested, by giving them questions and/or giving them something to look forward to.
So far in this series, we knew that the orphanages where children like Emma grew up were actually farming facilities to provide food for demons and women had a chance to survive longer than most, though at the possible cost of having to send their own child to the slaughter, like how Isabella found out that her own child was sent to her plant in Grace Field, and Emma and the gang were supposedly the first to successfully escape.
Now, to some, like me, they obviously could not have possibly been the first to escape, especially because we saw in a flashback that Isabella attempt to escape once, but from the conversation between Sonju and Mujika, it did not seem to happen too often, just like how people more often than not fall into line with the rules of society and stop asking questions, which ultimately results in a diminished capability to learn, according a blog post by Robert Chen on Embrace Possibility that I had to find a cached version of for this review, and stop trying to improve their lives, so actually encountering other people who escaped lets me know that there are indeed other people out there in the world, aside from those that are needed, considering that the technology seen in The Promised Neverland seems to be quite primitive outside of the devices used to monitor and control the human populace.
Not only was the fact that there really are other escapees from other farms, but the farms themselves have unique enough branding of human livestock that a simple glance will let people and demons know where a person came from, much like how ISBNs tie a book to a publisher.
Knowing all of this, it makes me wonder how these kids are going to survive until the very end, even with everything that I know is about to come to pass in the series from Viz Media's weekly releases being current with the Japanese releases, and wonder if the kids will learn how to cover those unique marks.
If all of this had not been revealed, I might have been a little disappointed, I would have not found it very believable as to how this new character, who is unnamed at this point in this series, knew that Emma and the gang were from Grace Field and were the recent escapees just from a news bulletin/report, because there are people out there with similar appearances and similar voices, even in different regions of the world, thereby making the meeting with the man in the shelter feel like nothing more than a moment that Kaiu Shirai thought there needed to be tension and anxiety just for sake of giving the readers those feelings, which would be just about as bad as how the fifteenth book of A Certain Magical Index, where there were things that I knew should have immediately grabbed my attention and got me interested, yet those moments came off as really dull.
Thankfully, Kaiu Shirai and the people proofreading and editing this series did not allow that happen and gave me more reason to continue reading the series, which is something that every reader wants to see.
Hopefully, more things like this will come up as the series progresses, but I am aware that this series could one day crash and burn, so I am ready for the time where I must give up on yet another series.
Another thing that I liked was how the nameless man called the children weak because of their lack of knowledge, saying that they will all die.
Now, I can see how some of you guys would feel like calling me out, most of which I suspect is because we live in a society that favors optimism over viewing things realistically or negatively to the point where the optimism does more harm than good, but I can see his point because these kids are still not fully prepared for the dangers, nor have they encountered any kill or be killed situations.
So far, every situation the children have come out was solved by utilizing books and what they understood of the world at the time, first believing that only the demons were their enemies, before realizing that nature itself poses a threat, and their closest brush with death was solved by demon who would only eat humans that are not raised as livestock, so they really are going to be guaranteed to die in every scenario, though I highly doubt Kaiu Shirai is going to kill any of these kids in the foreseeable future, since the children of Grave Field are the main characters.
However, what made me really like this was how I could also say the same thing about the people that attend the church that I abandoned.
Like how the children in this series have only a very basic understanding of what they need to survive in their current, the people of that church only focus on the basic teachings and do not really try to understand the basics in depth to the point where the culture gives it its rightfully deserved label as a cult, all because they think that what they have been taught is all they can handle now, due to their milk before meat mantra, and from seeing the effects of that culture, I can see that they will not be able to walk the path that they aspire to walk.
In the case of this series, however, I think that this might be the catalyst that makes the children stronger and has me wondering just how they will be able themselves when things get messy.
If Kaiu Shirai had not put in something like this, I would have been alright, seeing as the children have not been put into the same level as Kirito or Sherlock, who either always succeed or are almost never wrong, but being able to believe that these characters are actually children would start to become less feasible for me, even if these children are supposed to special children.
Fortunately, Kaiu Shirai reminded me that the characters we are following are children who do not have very much knowledge of the outside world, making it possible for the characters to grow even further.
Hopefully, this really will keep the children of Grace Field in a state in which they can continue to learn and struggle in a way that makes me want to see where things will be headed, but seeing as almost every series with geniuses that I have encountered tends to give off a just as planned feeling after a while, I will not be surprised if things go down hill any more than they have.
The thing that I liked the most though was how this volume ended.
Just like how the beginning is important because its purpose is to draw readers in, the ending is another part of a work of fiction that is important.
While the ending in a standalone work, or even final installment of a series, is supposed to leave the readers with a sense of satisfaction, and/or something that will drive the reader's imagination enough to create their own ending, an ending in a series is important because its purpose in each installment is to give readers an incentive to continue on until the series concludes.
Even though I would not say that the ending in this volume is perfect, or even as close to it as the other volumes, it still accomplishes that purpose, by leaving things on a great cliffhanger, unlike the one found in volume 4.
What made the ending so great was that in spite of it being rather predictable, due to the new character's behavior earlier in the volume and that the audience has already gotten into the mindset by this point to suspect everyone, the way the last few panels read has me wondering just how Emma and Ray would get out of their current predictment, as well as makes me want see how the journey would be turning into a living hell that I have been promised, though I doubt that it would get too grizzly, seeing as this series is published in the same magazine as One Piece.
This may not have exactly been the kind of ending I wanted, but Kaiu Shirai, and Shueisha, or whoever they had put the volume together, still chose a decent enough way to end things in a way that has me interested in checking out the next volume as soon as possible.
If either Kaiu Shirai ended this chapter in a different manner or Shueisha, or whoever they had put this volume together, chosen a different place to end this volume, there is a chance that the ending may have been better, but I would have likely been more disappointed, seeing as I cannot really think of a way that this could have ended better.
Thankfully, Kaiu Shirai was able to deliver an ending that was good enough to end an installment, which makes me feel like giving them a good round of applause.
Hopefully, the future installments will be able to end just as well as, if not better than, this volume did, as that will help the series get enough praise for it get more readers, but I am well aware that the endings can could also become worse and I am ready for that day when I will have to pounce.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I really liked, at least that stood out as much as what I talked about or could not be shoe horned in.
Because my interest was captured quickly and held right up to the end, more things about the world were revealed that make me want to see how the characters will struggle, a new character said something that might prove to be a catalyst that makes the characters stronger later on, and the ending that was decent enough to give me an incentive to check out more the series, 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 seemed to bother me too much.
As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.
Considering how there was quite a bit to like, and nothing to really hate, unless you want to get 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 reading the other volumes first, so that it can be fully enjoyed.
If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon, or buy a copy of The Promised Neverland Volume 7 or preorder the next installment 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 enjoy and possibility find more worthwhile reads for you guys to check out.
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