Beyond The Promised Neverland Review

It’s time to look at an anthology that came out recently for the author of The Promised Neverland. It brings some stories I’ve already reviewed but some that I haven’t so lets look at this collection as a whole. Naturally I’m not the biggest fan of anthologies in general but I do think it’s great that you have a way to read these stories physically as opposed to having to try and find them online. That’s always a better outcome than the stories never being released at all so this is the best reason to have an anthology in general. Since the stories are all oneshots I would throw a spoiler warning right at the front here since I will talk about somethings that would be considered as a spoiler. So if you want to fully enjoy the oneshots you should read them before reading the review.

Okay first I’m going to put a link to the stories I already reviewed. One of them is DC3 and you may remember this one since I just reviewed it last year. I thought it was a fun story and gave it a positive write-up. It captures your attention well for a oneshot and has a good setup about it. A oneshot is supposed to grab you with the premise and then they flesh things out later on so on that level this film definitely succeeded and I can’t say that I had any big issues with it. I would go as far as to say it was the best story in the collection.

Then we also have the story about the Spirit Photographer. I was far less impressed with this one. The concept is interesting but the first story is rather dark out of the gate and if that’s any indication of how the series would go then I don’t think it would have really been for me. Of course it is early so the series could have ended up being amazing for all I know but the objective of the oneshot is to get you ready and this one didn’t succeed there. So for that reason this would end up being the weakest one in the collection.

I got the feeling that I had read the original premise chapter “We Were Born” for the Promised Neverland before but I don’t see a review for it so maybe I just saw some images back in the day. This is a pretty solid story. Basically it is The Promised Neverland but you can see how the idea changed over time. There are no monsters here and it’s more of a classic story about the humans being the true monsters all along. Basically there is an orphanage and the main girl does her best to live life as happily and perfect as possible. She’s done a rather good job of it and finally there is a foster home that will take her in. Her life is thrown upside down though when she finds out that this isn’t true and being “adopted” actually means that you are going to be an organ donor and will die. The head of the orphanage tells her to embrace this as her duty in God but she is unsure.

Meanwhile, the world at large has been put in a tough place. Wars are constant and almost everyone is dead so many people wonder what the point of life even is anymore. There is one guy who gets saved by the child and he wants revenge on a mobster who crossed him but also has time to help her out once he finds out about this. It makes for a good introduction and you figure the rest of the series would be about getting his revenge but along the way they get more and more hope about living in the now. It seems like the series would be a little more hopeful than The Promised Neverland because at least when you’re not dealing with monsters there is a chance. So I liked this story, it covered a lot and had potential.

Then we have Poppy’s Wish which is about a genius named Takashi who lives alone with an A.I. he created known as Poppy. Takashi is perfectly happy to live out his days without going outside but Poppy wants to experience the outside world and get a body of his own. Takashi gives in and makes Poppy a body but things get a little stressful when Poppy wants them to both go outside. The outside world isn’t so easy though. It turns out that they are on an alien planet and that’s part of why Takashi doesn’t want to go outside anymore. It’s just too tough and nobody likes humans. It was an effective way to go about the story and gives extra reason to why he wouldn’t want to go outside beyond just being timid.

After all now it’s more of a safety thing. In the end the story does have some hope that they can change things though. It’s not nearly as dark as almost any of the other stories and while it’ll be a tough journey for them, it doesn’t seem impossible. Being a super genius is also handy as you figure Takashi should be able to find some way to fit in on the sneak although it will always be tough to do this long term. Poppy is a reasonably solid A.I. even if I think he should have been more patient with Takashi. The guy did his best to give Poppy a good life and even made him a body so maybe give him time to go outside instead of immediately dashing off and jumping to conclusions. For an A.I. Poppy was very emotional here.

The story must have done well as we actually get a follow up to this one. It’s more of a quick excuse to get a lot of cameos as they warp from planet to planet and we get cameos from all of the other stories. That was fun and they see how each world is so different which gets them confident enough to try and succeed on the first planet. I’m not sure that a toast shop will be the most successful but they’re giving it a go and that’s the important thing. It’s got a fun ending and while I’m not sure there would be enough material for a long ongoing, you could absolutely make some kind of limited run series about this concept and execute it rather well.

Finally there’s the actual Beyond The Promised Neverland story. If that is what you are here for then you will probably be a little disappointed to be honest since it’s really short. It’s really just a few pages and Emma finally gets to live out the dreams that all of the kids had. It’s a little bittersweet since she still doesn’t have her memories intact but she tries to look on the bright side. It can’t be easy for any parties involved to know that Emma doesn’t truly remember what happened but they still get to have fun with her and that’s the important part. These memories are still things that she won’t forget. I’d have liked the story to have been longer even if it’s just about them having fun and experiencing different things though. After all the trials and hardships they went through, it would be really satisfying. I’ll take what I can get though, it was still a good story.

The artwork is solid here as you would expect. I feel like there is a very distinctive style here which is fairly detailed and works well. The characters always have a lot of emotion in their faces that’s for sure. It’s easy to read through the stories. It can get a little busy during some of the more action stories but when it’s a clear page the artist is really able to go all out. It may not be top tier but it gets the job done.

Overall, Beyond The Promised Neverland is a good book but the title is incredibly misleading. The Promised Neverland just plays such a small role that you feel like they only called it this to maximize sales. It may feel a little jaded to say that but that’s absolutely the vibe that you get from it. Still the other stories are mainly good, there are more hits than misses here and you should have a good time with this. See which stories you think could have been full ongoings and which ones you’re glad stayed as oneshots.

Overall 6/10


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