Welcome to AiPT’s weekly The Promised Neverland recap column. As new chapters are released, I’ll be sharing my reactions to the series’s latest twists and turns. From bloodthirsty demons to elaborate battle strategies, writer Kaiu Shirai and artist Posuka Demizu always have something compelling up their sleeves. Be warned, though, that in order to elaborate on my thoughts I will be including SPOILERS.
This week’s chapter consists primarily of a flashback, as Emma recounts her search party’s latest exploits to the rest of their allies at the underground shelter. Emma and co. have located the temple from her vision at Cuvitidala. While disguised as demons, they quickly examined the contents of the temple, which consists of six towers containing barred rooms. All the rooms shown contain a variety of mysterious artifacts and busts, including statues of demons and a faceless humanoid of unknown species. There are also multiple relics embellished with the dragon’s eye symbol from Cuvitidala. After the chapter shifts back to the present, Emma reveals that the group has also obtained a jug of golden water which will somehow assist the children in making a new promise with the demon king. Before Emma can elaborate, however, Andrew blows open the entrance to the shelter and declares that he’s come to massacre everyone there.
Needless to say, this is an eventful chapter. Thankfully, its pacing is well-done enough to handle all the subject matter without seeming clunky. Demizu’s flow of motion across panels is fantastic as always, slowing and speeding the reader’s eye where necessary to give different images appropriate levels of emphasis. Even the protagonists’ frantic examination of the temple’s rooms doesn’t feel rushed, as their quick speed makes sense given the danger inherent to their actions.
Speaking of danger, Emma and co. see a lone demon while at the temple. This might not sound immediately notable, but the way Demizu frames them within the panels suggests that they will become significant later on. The children never speak with the demon, which is understandable given that they want to avoid attention as much as possible. Even so, Demizu composes her paneling so that the reader’s gaze falls upon this unknown demon multiple times. The demon just sits in tranquility, which creates a heavy tension all on its own. It’s also worth noting that the demon feeds what appear to be demon-birds, further bastardizing the image of a peaceful church attendee.
As cool as the temple’s lone inhabitant is, the contents of the barred rooms are even more intriguing. The faceless humanoid is especially foreboding, as it looks like something one would see while suffering from sleep paralysis. Emma also says that something about the figure is reminiscent of the demon king, further ramping up the sense of mystery. The lack of clarity as far as what species some of the statues are meant to represent is also interesting, as we still know relatively little about early interactions between humans and demons. Here’s hoping that Shirai and Demizu reveal more about the series’s lore prior to its conclusion.
Art-wise, Demizu does a great job as always here. Besides her previously mentioned strong compositions and flow of movement, Demizu also delivers lovely scenery and shading. The skylines throughout look beautiful and even include birds, making the world feel more alive. The contents of the temple are also a source of many arresting images, thanks largely to the previously mentioned terrifying statues. There are a variety of nice textures in this chapter, perhaps most notably in the case of the children’s demon disguises. The contrast between the soft fur of their coats and their hard, brittle-looking masks really helps to highlight the unique looks of both materials.
Lastly, I have to mention how pleased I am with this chapter’s conclusion. Given how many months passed during the time-skip, it would have felt unbelievable if it took Andrew much longer to find the underground bunker. His arrival also signals a sort of immediate danger we haven’t seen since the Goldy Pond arc ended. It should be fun to see Emma and co. think on their feet, as opposed to missing out on their thought processes like we did with everything that occurred during the gap between chapters 101 and 102. Of course, Andrew’s presence also signals upcoming examination of more humans’ roles in the demon world, which should be enlightening.
That’s all for this chapter! Stay tuned for more recaps as The Promised Neverland updates every week. If you’re interested in reading more of our thoughts about the series, check out our column on last week’s chapter, as well as our review of the latest collected volume.