The return of The Promised Neverland to our screens this winter has reignited the audience's interest not only in the anime but also in the source material, from which season 2 deviates significantly, frustrating fans. Even anime-only fans, have considered picking up the manga due to the season 2 controversy. If you haven't read the manga yet, here's everything you need to know:
In The Promised Neverland we follow Emma, her best friends, Ray and Norman, and their younger foster siblings, as they try to survive in a world dominated by demons who treat humans as cattle and eat them. The first season and first manga volumes focused on the children's attempts to escape from their orphanage – actually a plantation. Consequently, we follow them as they try to survive in the outside world.
Unlike other series that are also aired this season, such as Mushoku Tensei and That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, The Promised Neverland wasn't originally a light novel. The source material is the manga of the same name, written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu.
The Promised Neverland might not fill our default idea of a shōnen anime, with a male protagonist keen on improving himself. Nevertheless, it was serialized in a shōnen magazine from 2016 until 2020. Thankfully for those who intend to try it, The Promised Neverland manga is not ongoing.
Volume 19, the second to last, is scheduled to be released in English on the 4th of May 2021. There is currently no known date for the release of the twentieth and last volume, but hopefully, we won't be kept waiting for too long.
Apart from the manga, there are 4 light novels, which serve as additions rather than adaptations. These include a letter from Norman, a story about the children's foster mother, Isabella, a story about Lucas and Yuugo, and a story that takes place after the end of the manga in which the children talk about their memories. These aren't widely available in English yet, but that could change soon.
With the deletion of an entire arc and the rushed, if the emotional return of a beloved character, the anime show has left many fans wondering whether the story can be salvaged in just 11 episodes. It's too early to tell that for sure, but thankfully, the manga is complete and will provide a welcome alternative either way.