The Promised Neverland, by Kaiu Shirai and artist Posuka Demizu, is arguably one of the best new horror manga of the decade. It follows the lives of a bunch of children at a dystopian orphanage called Grace Field House. The carefree lives of these children take a turn when they discover the truth behind the auspicious “graduations” of their older siblings. Turns out, the livestock-esque brands on their necks are just that, and all the time they spent testing their mental fortitude was so they could be used as food for the eldritch beings living outside their compound. Needless to say, we won’t ever be in need of a Chicken Run anime, because The Promised Neverland already exists.
What follows is a game of lies, double-crossing, and mind games as its main characters, Emma, Ray, and Norman, stage a jailbreak from their orphanage. Season one of The Promised Neverland anime is a damn-near-perfect adaptation, but I advise folks to skip season two of the show and read the manga instead. For whatever reason, CloverWorks decided to speedrun through the source material and skip nearly 60 chapters of the manga, including the fan-favorite Goldy Pond arc. Yeesh.