My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
Published October 9th 2018
Will the orphans be able to lose their demon pursuers?
Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu. Viz Media.
In volume five of The Promised Neverland, Emma and Ray were able to escape from Mom and Grace Field House with a small group of their brothers and sisters. Now the orphans are in the outside world for the first time, fleeing from demons and facing brand new obstacles.
The second plot arc of The Promised Neverland gets off to an interesting start in volume six. The orphans have a lot of questions about what happened to the outside world that they want to be answered. In the opening pages of the book, the orphans are rescued from a band of hungry demons chasing after them by a mysterious girl dressed in a long hooded cloak. The girl whisks them away to a safe haven and is joined by a tall, menacing figure holding a long, curved blade. The two strangers reveal themselves as demons to the orphans but tell them that they do not eat human flesh because of religious reasons.
The children are uncertain if they can trust them at first. Emma and Ray ask them a lot of questions and learn that the truth about their situation is much more horrifying than they ever could have imagined. During their time in Grace Field House, the children's knowledge about the outside world was limited to a handful of books they had available to them that had secret messages written in them about the demons.
They always thought that if they managed to escape from the farm that there would be humans on the outside who would be able to help them. Their rescuers have some horrifying news for them: the world that they were born into is ruled by demons and that the only humans that exist are confined to farms just like they were.
A long time ago humans and demons used to co-exist. For ages and ages, the two races were constantly at war with each other. Eventually, a deal was struck. The world was halved into two: a demon world and a human world. Most of the humans left for the human world, but a small selection were left behind and confined to farms, where they would be raised as livestock to be fed to the demons.
Most of the human farms are factory farms where humans are bred and raised in terrible conditions. The humans are not clothed, given names, or taught how to talk or walk or think for themselves. They are just kept in pens and fattened up like pigs before they are shipped out to be harvested.
Farms like Grace Field House where children are raised in loving environments and fed and educated are the exception. The only reason farms like Grace Field House exist is because children who are well fed, clothed and taken care of, grow up to have well-developed brains which the demons find tastier to eat compared to factory farm raised brains.
It might be possible for the orphans to find a way to cross over into the human world but that would mean trekking across the demon world first to try and find the exit door. Emma and the others decide that it is a risk worth taking. The prospect of finding the human world has filled them with hope. They have a goal. A mission. Something to live for.
The introduction of factory farms for humans in The Promised Neverland was an obvious parallel to animal factory farms in real life. It made me wonder if the creative team behind this manga was trying to make a political statement about how we treat animals that we raise for slaughter. Are we just as bad as the demons in this book?