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Published February 9th 2019
Emma is thrust into a new and very frightening situation
Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu. Viz Media.
The Promised Neverland enters a new story arc in volume seven and volume eight. After escaping from Gracefield House and avoiding their demon pursuers in the demon forest, Emma and the other orphans use clues and a mysterious pen left to them by William Minerva to discover a safe haven shelter called Shelter B06-32.
The shelter was built 13 years ago by William Minerva and left with fully furnished rooms, food stores, water, electricity, weapons and a fully stocked library. It was designed to shelter human escapees from the farms. The shelter is only able to be unlocked by someone who is in possession of a Promised Pen.
William Minerva created Promised Pens and planted them in various locations across the demon world to aide orphans being raised on the farms and plantations. The pens act as keys and contain codes and messages about demons and the demon world. After entering the shelter, the kids discover something shocking waiting for them…
An adult human male.
Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu. Viz Media.
He refuses to tell them his name. He calls himself "their upperclassman" instead and reveals that he was raised on a different farm and escaped 13 years ago. He has been living alone in the shelter as a hermit ever since.
The 'Old Geezer' (as the kids later nickname him), shows the kids that he has a barcode tattooed across his chest instead of on his neck as they do. He explains that he comes from another premium farm called Glory Bell. The kids learn that each of the premium farms mark their livestock in different ways. It's one of the ways that the demons can identify where their 'meat' comes from.
The Old Geezer is uncomfortable to see so many little kids arrive at the shelter after being alone for so long. He is harbouring a lot of mental and emotional and physical scars from the things he experienced as a child. The presence of Emma and the other orphans is very triggering for him and makes him unstable.
Emma and the other orphans take great delight in exploring the underground shelter and everything it has to offer. In one scene the kids find a bathroom and make a hot bath for themselves. The pleasure of feeling clean again proves so overwhelming to the kids they break down into tears. It was a moment that I thought drew a lot of similarities to the plight that real refugees currently face in the real world.
After a little bit of blackmail and some discussion, Emma and Ray manage to convince the Old Geezer to be their guide and to take them to a nearby location called Goldy Pond where they hope to find more answers. The Old Man agrees to take them reluctantly, but plans on killing one them at one point during the trip. Emma and Ray arm themselves with weapons and leave the shelter to go and explore. It is a perilous journey that almost gets them killed. Emma and Ray and the Old Man encounter a number of monsters but survive… until the poachers come.
Emma is kidnapped by a group of demon poachers and taken away from Ray and the Old Man to a secret hunting ground called Goldy Pond. There she discovers a town and a windmill and strange signs warning her to run from demons. This place is not like Gracefield House, she quickly realises. There are no adults to care for the children here. The truth is much more horrifying…
This isn't a farm.
This is a hunting ground.
A secret hunting ground where demons come to chase children and eat them for fun.
Goldy Pond was originally designed as a shelter for human escapees from the farms but was turned into a secret hunting ground by the demons. It is a place where children raised on the farms are brought after being told they are being adopted. Instead of going to a new family, the kids are dropped off in Goldy Pond to be hunted by demons. There are 50 humans residing inside Goldy Pond and the hunts happen once every 3 days by the same group of 5 demons. There is a resistance group operating within Goldy Pond made up of human children that is devoted to the destruction of the hunting ground. Emma joins the resistance group and vows to help them all escape.
What an exciting twist! The introduction of Goldy Pond was great. The Promised Neverland continues to get better and better. The demons are such cowards. Hunting down scared and confused children? That's not a hunt. That's not fair. It's like picking fruit off a vine or shooting fish in a barrel. I can't read to read volume 9 to find out how the kids beat them.
Why? The Promised Neverland continues in volume 7 and volume 8 with some horrifying revelations about where some of the kids raised on the premium farms go after being “adopted” and leaving for a better life.