Yakusoku No Neverland 01

As I’ve written recently, the ability to tell stories for grown-ups is a big part of the appeal of anime, and sometimes there’s nothing like a dark and suspenseful story to get the blood pumping. One show that looks promising is Yakusoku no Neverland (The Promised Neverland), the story of 38 “orphans” who live in a happy facility called Grace Field House, overseen by a kind caretaker they call Mama. When one of the children leaves to be “adopted,” several characters inadvertently learn the horrific truth: the children are all being bred as food for hulking monsters who harvest them to eat.

Yakusoku no Neverland is based on a popular manga published by Jump Comics and is animated by Cloverworks in Fuji TV’s Noitamina time slot, where some of the best anime seem to flow from. I’m really liking the way the drama of the story is unfolding so far. The children desperately want to escape their horrific orphanage, but ensure that all the children can go free, even the youngest ones. Another problem is that they don’t know what lies outside. What if the entire world is populated by those monsters? The enclosed space inside a wider mysterious universe makes Yakusoku no Neverland similar to Attack on Titan, though made darker because of the young ages of the characters.

Some other great suspense/horror anime that have hit home with fans include…

  • Made in Abyss, the outstanding 2017 series about a girl named Riko searching for her mother with a robotic boy named Reg. An amazing story and world that everyone should check out.
  • Death Note, one of the true masterpieces of anime of the past two decades in terms of concept and quality of writing.
  • Another. Something of a marriage between Japanese and Western horror, with character designs by Haruhi creator Noizi Ito.
  • Higurashi and Umineko, two outstanding murder-filled anime series based on popular visual novels and repeating time loops.
  • Steins;Gate. The gold standard of time travel anime, and a must watch. (Or cut to the chase and play the visual novel.)
  • Erased. Another well-executed drama series built around time travel.

Will you watch Yakusoku no Neverland? Tell us on Twitter!

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About the author

Peter Payne

I live in Japan and I run J-List, an anime shop famous for shimapan and Tentacle Grape. I love being able to bring Japanese culture to the world.