Season 2 of The Promised Neverland picks up almost right after Season 1 ended – the kids have escaped the farm and are on the run. The kids are barely able to get their bearings (using a handy holographic map) before being attacked by both whatever passes for wild animals now and an organized squad of demons. As the episode ends, Ray and Emma have been separated from the rest of the kids, but have been rescued by a different pair of demons, whom they trust not at all.
A solid start to a new season of a show I really enjoyed for its first season. With the kids finally outside of the farm, we’re starting to get our first glimpses of what life is like outside of its idyllic recreated-old-Earth feel, and those glimpses are strange.
I’m impressed by the stark contrast between the look of the two seasons. While everything there was human-scale and felt like we were roughly in the middle of the 20th century, everything here feels vast, organic, and alien. It’s a really good way of letting us know that things are going to be very different. We’re also getting to see the demons close up for very nearly the first time, and they’re interacting directly with the kids.
Another nice touch was that character motivations from the first season are preserved and continued. Ray had been contemplating killing himself in an act of sour grapes back when the farm looked inescapable, but he takes the time to let Emma know that he sees things differently now.
Other elements also require and assume that the viewer is fresh off a watching of Season 1, from mentions of William Minerva (a mysterious figure who had sent guiding messages to the kids through morse code hidden in books) to the pen that Norman gave them.
There are a few things that I was questioning, however. The pen can display a highly advanced interactive holographic map.
It seems odd that this comes up now, rather than back at the farm when they first had the pen. The technology behind the pen does offer more intriguing mystery about what the state of the earth is and how long it has been since the vision of old Earth the farm offers.
Then there are the local critters and plants.
I get that the farm had walls and a moat that would keep out the larger creatures. But how is it none of the kids ever saw one of these little flying things, or saw a plant that looks like the plants out here? They have a neat guidebook in the form of a children’s adventure story that teaches them about these things, but it’s odd that none of them ever crossed over into the farm’s sizable estate. Still, these are minor things, just the buy-in for what is already looking to be a very interesting and engaging season.