Yakusoku no Neverland Episode 10: The clock runs out

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Norman relays everything to his friends

While this episode certainly seemed sad, I really enjoyed watching the build up to its finale. I’m looking forward to seeing how this development pays off in the next episode. This episode also did a good job of calling Isabella into question as an antagonist. I’m incredibly curious about her true intentions now.

Norman thanks his friends one last time

The beginning of the episode certainly played up Norman’s departure well. I was fairly convinced that the kids would find another way to weasel out of it, but it actually happened. I think it works well as a wake-up call for them. It’s probably especially the case for Emma, who had the most idealistic view of their escape.

Norman leaves it up to Phil

Curse you, Phil. I’m on to you! But on Norman’s departure itself, I think we can all agree that it’s unlikely that he’s actually dead. His “death” happens off-screen, and he has the strangest scene outside of the gate. Even Sister Krone was attacked right outside of the gate, so it’s definitely odd that he’s taken to a different room. Now it’s just a question of what his role will be in the future.

Norman shocks Isabella

I’m definitely curious about why this question shocked Isabella so much. It seems to suggest that Norman has seen through her in some way, which is making me start to rethink her role as the villain. I wonder if there’s a grain of truth in her words, meaning that she’s hiding some true affection.

Isabella offers Emma the chance to be a mother

I’m not surprised that Isabella offers Emma the chance to become a Mother as well, but I did find this line curious. From a logistics perspective, it makes total sense that the “demons” would use the Mother candidates to give birth to new children. They have to fill the plants somehow, right? But that line also strongly suggests that one of the main characters is actually Isabella’s child, despite being a very minor piece of dialogue.

Ray asks if Emma truly gave up

As I said before, I’m looking forward to seeing how this pans out. Honestly, I was willing to buy into the idea that Emma would be distraught after losing Norman, so I was incredibly happy to see that she hadn’t given up. The face she makes in the end is enough to rival Isabella herself. I can’t wait to find out what she was plotting the whole time.

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Yakusoku no Neverland Episode 9: When the wall isn’t enough

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Ray finds out about Norman's shipment

The challenges never stop for these kids. This week’s episode is probably the bleakest one yet. To be fair, I don’t think that the escape should be easy, so it’s nice to see these kinds of developments. However, part of me is worried that obstacles can keep popping up to artificially extend the time needed to escape. I hope it’s not the case, since I’m getting pretty curious about the outside world.

Norman tries to comfort Emma

This episode does so many interesting things with the camera to add to the scenes (it’s hard to convey with screenshots). In the scene where Norman walks to get the water, the camera follows his perspective, seemingly to heighten empathy for his sense of fear.

Ray tries to convince Norman to escape first

I do like the idea of letting Norman escape first, because it puts all of their plans into action. As a result, we get to see how it might have worked if they weren’t caught.

Ray remembers his life as a fetus

While I don’t really buy into this idea that Ray can remember being a fetus, I can accept that it’s a part of this world. That being said, I’m curious why this revelation exists. On the surface, it could just be another nod at how bleak their situation is. But I wonder if the scene is somehow suggesting that the gate, which is where all of the heaviest security is, will inevitably be the route to the outside.

Norman finds the note left behind by Krone

I’m curious about the fact that Norman finds Krone’s dying message before he tries to escape. I initially thought that it was going to be a warning about the cliff around the wall, which Norman later confirms. However, I’m getting the sense that it’s going to be next step. Perhaps Krone knew that their plan wouldn’t work, so she offers an alternative.

Norman finds a cliff

In that case, the fact that Norman goes to wall to see the cliff anyway might serve a dual purpose. He could have been confirming the information from Krone, since they never trusted her. Additionally, he probably gives the kids an extra edge by using the incident to make Isabella think that she’s broken their resolve. It might not be how things turn out, but that’s how I would see it.

Yakusoku no Neverland Episode 8: Isabella’s turn to move

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Isabella gives Krone what she wants

After so many episodes of buildup, Isabella finally makes her move, and it’s a sight to behold. I really liked how much effort this episode went through to portray her as a worthy villain. While these events should certainly make the kids reevaluate their plans, I’m curious to see where the story goes from here. I just hope that it’s not a soft reset on the story to artificially extend it.

Krone tries to cause trouble for Isabella

At the end of the day, Krone has her tragic backstory reveal, and I still didn’t end up paying much attention to it. It certainly is interesting that she leaves something behind to help the kids, though. I also liked the eerie way the scene is framed. As Krone is being attacked by the monster, the kids are simultaneously enjoying a meal. And right as she dies, the kids finish their food and say “thanks for the meal”. It’s an incredibly grim way to show the scene that works well.

Ray is found out

The way things fall apart in this episode is pretty insane. Given how instrumental Ray has seemed in the planning the escape, it’s jarring (in a good way) to see him tossed aside so easily by Isabella.

Isabella introduces herself

It’s a small scene, but I like the implication. Isabella basically states that she’s finally revealing her true nature to the kids, so she introduces herself to them as part of the gesture. But she’s effectively doing this for the audience, as she’s finally starting to show her hand.

Isabella insists that Connie lived a happy life

I know it’s asking too much, but I would have loved to see one of the kids respond to this line about how happy Conny’s life was. I would probably point out that Conny probably felt a lifetime of fear in the moments up to her death.

Also, I like that Isabella breaks Emma’s leg in particular. Out of the top three kids, she’s supposed to be the most athletic, so it’s important that she’s the one who fails.

I’m curious what the cliffhanger at the end was supposed to mean. At face value, it just shifts the focus on Norman’s limited time as well, but does it change the ticking clock? Wasn’t Ray supposed to be shipped first?

Yakusoku no Neverland Episode 7: Skirting betrayal

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Emma reassures everyone

As always, the tension continues to rise. I like how this episode plays out through what seem like tiny battles with Krone. It does end with this sense that it might be moving too quickly, but I want to believe that there’s more going on in that final scene.

Krone explains how to become a Mother

What I liked about this episode was that Krone acts as an easy antagonist, forcing a give-and-take scenario when she confronts Emma and Norman. I also get this real sense that I still shouldn’t trust anything she says, despite her willingness to help, which adds an interesting element to the information.

Emma asks why Krone wouldn't betray them

I’m a big fan of the common theme in these confrontations, which is that Emma tends to push the hardest when things get serious. That being said, I almost don’t understand this scene. Krone seems to lay out a mutually assured destruction scenario in order to gain their trust.

She can go to Isabella to betray the kids, but Ray can go to Isabella to betray Krone. However, this scenario just sets up the condition that the first person to rat the other wins. Is the idea just that the information Krone would give is worth not betraying her?

Krone figures out what the kids know about the tracking devices

While I still have trouble believing that Norman would fall for this, I do like how this scene plays out. Inferring based on inaction is a nice idea to trick the kids.

Krone talks about the outside world

I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t get any details about the outside world, but I suppose it’s not the focus now. I do get the sense that this reference to “Him” is an offhand comment that I should keep track of, though. This series seems to have a lot of innocuous scenes of that kind, which is nice for rewarding attention. There’s a similar moment when Emma asks Don and Gilda for a favor when Ray and Norman aren’t present, which makes me wonder how much Emma actually knows.

Phil walks in on Krone searching Ray's bed

Phil, you are so suspicious, man. Anyway, I have a hard time buying that Krone will get kicked out so quickly. Given the nature of other cliffhangers in this series, I wouldn’t be surprised if Isabella walks in to give her good news or something.

Yakusoku no Neverland Episode 6: It’s starting to go sideways

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Norman breaks down the overall plan

Though, I’m still a bit annoyed about the cliffhanger from last week, I felt like this week’s episode handled Don as a character well. It’s nice to see that he and Gilda have been reasonably integrated into the overall planning. The escape is also looking a lot more promising with this week’s introduction of a potential source of outside aid. I’m still super curious to see what it’s actually like outside at this point.

Phil shows up to play hide and seek

This episode seems to put a strange amount of focus on Phil. Between the opening scene and Emma’s comment that he noticed the Morse code in the books, it really seems like Phil’s contributing a lot more than you’d expect. There was a comment in a previous episode about him being the smartest amongst the younger kids, but it makes me wonder how much he’s doing on purpose.

The kids think about the messages they found

I do like the idea that the kids are immediately suspicious of William Minerva, even though the messages come as a small ray of hope. It would be nice to see them find some support once they finally escape, but part of me wonders if the messages were actually left by Isabella or something.

Don questions the main three

As impulsive as Don seemed, his rage towards Emma, Norman, and Ray seems perfectly justified. I like his line here a lot, because he’s correct to point out that the three are basically trying to take the kids out into a world they know nothing about. And if they’re already asking for Don and Gilda’s help, they should prepare them for everything.

Don berates himself as well

In addition, I like that Don also recognizes why they hesitated to tell him everything. He berates himself as much as he does the other three. He’s a hard character to relate to, but I think I understand him well enough.

Norman investigates Ray's stuff

This side investigation from Norman has me so curious. Building on the previous episodes, it seems like he’s figured something out about Ray, so he’s putting something together on the side.

Sister Krone sees everything

Sister Krone makes me groan every time she’s on screen. Even if she ends up being a makeshift ally, I might have a hard time feeling anything for her.

Yakusoku no Neverland Episode 5: Plans within plans

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The clock watches Norman and Ray

It’s fun to see this week’s episode turn things around coming off of the reveal in the previous episode. The added dimension to Ray’s character makes him really interesting. But wow, this series never lets up on the tension. Even the opening scene in the episode brings back the constant emphasis on time by showing Ray and Norman from the perspective of a swinging clock pendulum. I thought it was a cool scene, too.

Norman realizes that Ray was guiding them to Conny

Last week’s episode seemed to end with a triumph for Norman, as he finally discovers who the traitor is. However, I like that this episode throws a new card into play by revealing that Ray orchestrated Emma and Norman’s discovery of Conny. It’s not just the fact that it’s a twist, but rather that it completely makes sense. After all, Ray was the one who suggested that the two chase after Conny.

Ray threatens Norman

It’s hard to even fault Ray for trying to force Norman to help him abandon the other kids. His guarded approach to the outside world is clearly the safe play, and Emma is the one acting emotional.

Norman realizes something

I’m curious whether I missed something in that conversation. After Ray leaves, Norman’s expression seems to change towards one of relief, suggesting that he has realized something that Ray has missed. At the same time, Ray makes a noise that also suggests that he has also noticed his own mistake. I’m curious what it is, but I do appreciate how the episode portrayed it.

Emma interrogates Ray

I seriously enjoyed watching this side of Emma. It’s hard to take her seriously, so I often have to remind myself that she is genuinely on par with Ray and Norman. It’s nice to see someone like her suddenly shift her behavior, even if she immediately flips back to normal.

Norman warns Don not to make a stupid move

I get that Don is acting in character, given his obsession with Conny, but it was still painful to watch him immediately turn around and do what he was told not to do. Why did the main characters have to bring him on again?

Yakusoku no Neverland Episode 4: The nature of treachery

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Isabella compliments Sister Krone

I realize I’m missing a show in my lineup, so it’s time to bring this one back. To be fair, a lot has happened since I last talked about this show. Overall, I think it’s refreshing to see how grounded the kids, particularly Norman and Ray, tend to be when analyzing the situation. And while it’s true that I already knew about the reveal from the end of the episode, I always enjoy seeing the hints that are dropped throughout the episode in my state of anticipation.

Isabella tells Sister Krone to just follow her instructions

I’m not sure if it was the translation or just the underlying dialogue itself, but the conversation between Sister Krone and Isabella at the beginning of this episode was somewhat incomprehensible. I do like the way Isabella takes the role of mastermind, but I do admit that I’m somewhat biased against Sister Krone as a character. It’s interesting that she appears as a third party to throw the balance of power off, but she never really appealed to me.

Ray gives Emma 100 formation patters to memorize

I tweeted this opinion after initially watching the episode, but I’ll say it again here. I think this scene is strangely appealing. In most other shows like this, Ray’s idle comment about memorizing a hundred formations would be a joke to point out that Emma is the least brainy of the three. However, the kids in this series are taking incredibly intensive exams every single day, and Emma gets perfect scores consistently. So, it’s actually a reasonable request in disguise, which is why you never hear any complaint from Emma.

Emma reveals everything to Gilda and Don

You know, I honestly didn’t expect the main three to start revealing their plans so quickly. It’s true that they need more allies, but including more people in the secret increases the risk of discovery pretty severely.

Sister Krone questions Gilda

I think that this misdirection with Gilda is done well, especially since it’s hard to classify what level of betrayal it would even be. She’s talking to Sister Krone, after all, who has her own separate set of motives. That being said, I do appreciate that the series leaves extra room for ambiguity as needed. Even after Gilda returns, we see that Emma leaves once she’s heard what she wanted to hear. So for all we know, Gilda had more to say after gaining Emma’s trust.

Norman identifies Ray as a traitor

I was a fan of the reveal for Ray’s betrayal when I was originally reading the series. It comes so early in the story that it’s hard to get a read on it. Watching it a second time, the clues are clear, and I’m sure I always had a suspicion. But it’s just so hard not to trust a major character like Ray, especially when you expect him to carry the other two throughout the series. Still, I do like where this reveal goes, but that’s all I’ll say on it.

Yakusoku no Neverland First Impressions (1): And suddenly…

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Emma is coming for you

Well, I can’t really pretend to be surprised by the content of the episode since I knew it going in. That being said, this adaptation seemed pretty solid to me, with interesting visual representations and music. I do like the concept of the series as a whole, with the idea of a happy orphanage for kids holding some dark secret. Honestly, I think part of what turned me off from the manga was that the uncertain nature of manga release made me question whether I could handle the constant tension that’s inherent to a story like this. Perhaps it makes more sense in anime, which tends to have more defined time constraints.

An intense game of tag

I do like how the episode puts emphasis on the game of tag, though, since it’s such an innocent game on its own. This scene gains a lot more weight given the comparison at the end, and the constantly ticking clock is a valid representation of the central opposing factor in the show. The scene serves a great dual purpose of setting an early tone that is light while representing the harsh truth.

The fence is really low

Given the nature of kids, it’s hard to believe that no one has jumped this fence before. These kids are eleven years old, right? That’s a long time to notice something.

No one who leaves ever writes

As always, it’s fun to see these kinds of hints when you’re watching a scene for the second time. This conversation is pretty suspicious even on its own, and it’s fun to see how much the episode emphasizes the fact that Conny isn’t one of the brightest kids. I think it’s a testament to how well the episode builds itself to its reveal, dropping hints while keeping the tone light.

Conny leaves to be with her foster family

Honestly, I find it pretty funny that the orphans who leave to meet their “foster families” end up going in the dark. You’d think that this sort of event suits the break of dawn or something.

Making sure the shipment is right

I can’t remember what kinds of creatures these guys were, but I’m not sure I was ever convinced in the manga that they were especially important. Sure, they’re the entire reason for the system that’s in place, but it feels like they could have been anything. Shock factor?

Mama finds the bunny

The way the music abruptly cut out at this scene was amazing.

Mayoiga Episode 3: And so it begins…

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.20_[2016.04.16_11.41.53]

Starting right where we left off last week with the missing members of the group. Is it finally time for the deaths to begin?

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.57_[2016.04.16_11.42.54]

Everyone’s favorite game! The blame game! Everything’s falling apart!

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.10_[2016.04.16_11.44.47]

Wow…that eye looks super creepy. Still, maybe it’s just bad sound quality/choice, but the growls sounded like they were coming from multiple “creatures”, not just one.

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.59_[2016.04.16_11.45.43]

So did they really kill the black guy first? Because it’s looking more and more like they did! Either that or he was the culprit all along (always suspect the people who die earliest).

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.16_[2016.04.16_11.47.36]

This is probably the most interesting part of the story. Why does Yottsun say this? It’s like he noticed something weird, which makes no sense because they haven’t been in the village long enough for him to notice anything out-of-place.

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.59_[2016.04.16_11.51.12]

I don’t actually understand why everyone doubts her so much. We, as the viewers, have much more of a right to doubt her story because she’s being introduced as too innocent in a mystery series, which tends to be suspicious. However, I see no reason why the other characters would be hounding her about her story…I don’t even understand which parts of her story are supposed to be inconsistent.

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.42_[2016.04.16_11.54.11]

Yeah, the bus driver abandoned the bus and walked all the way over to the village because the bus started working again…makes sense.

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.01_[2016.04.16_11.56.25]

Definitely not suspicious at all that the bus driver doesn’t want to go back to the bus…

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.15_[2016.04.16_11.55.37]

Uhh…if I recall correctly, you guys all used those mountain trails in the middle of the night and no one was injured, so in what way are they more dangerous than the village?

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.56_[2016.04.16_11.58.38]

…this argument about how to do rock, paper, scissors is supposed to be funny. I’m totally laughing! No joke!

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.33_[2016.04.16_12.01.17]

I’m not agriculturalist, but is it normal for crops to remain organized when they’re left untended? Is this supposed to suggest that the deaths of the villagers were recent?

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.18_[2016.04.16_13.08.25]

Oh sweet…so I’m not totally crazy.

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.15_[2016.04.16_13.10.33]

What kind of team is this? I’m guess he means a video game team of some sort (obviously not an MMO because he would have said “guild” or “clan”). We know that these people all met online, but were they playing the same game? Frequenting the same forum?

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.33_[2016.04.16_13.12.50]

Well, that escalated quickly. This is what happens when you get too accustomed to anonymity on the Internet and say whatever you want…

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.56_[2016.04.16_13.14.38]

Yeah, there’s always a criminal in every Internet group. Take that, Reddit! I feel like I should be insulted…

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.24_[2016.04.16_13.16.40]

I believe in you! I’m going to get tired of this guy really quickly.

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.03_[2016.04.16_13.17.26]

She’s a little bit too interested in executions. Is she just supposed to be the obviously suspicious one that everyone thinks is the culprit? I don’t get it…

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.54_[2016.04.16_13.20.23]

…you realize a system designed by humans will always be vulnerable to human error, right? You might as well ask him to draw a red line with green ink (link if you don’t get the reference).

Anyway, they tried to make us forgive Valkana pretty quickly, huh?

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.19_[2016.04.16_13.26.15]

Aaaaand they made this joke…seriously? He’s being drowned, guys…

[HorribleSubs] Mayoiga - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.34_[2016.04.16_13.27.24]

RIP

There’s something off about this, though. They obviously want us to believe that Yottsun’s death is related to the claw marks on the tree from earlier, but he doesn’t look mutilated. Even next week’s episode is titled “Yottsun’s Drowning”, meaning that his cause of death wasn’t related to any wild animal attack. And I’m guessing they’re trying to imply suspicion by having Lovepon do almost exactly the same thing to Mitsumune?

This show obviously has issues, but I’m having fun poking at it…

 

Parasyte First Impressions (1): Time to start wearing headphones to sleep out of paranoia?

[HorribleSubs] Parasyte - the maxim - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.25_[2014.10.13_21.58.58]

This type of show really falls out of my normal spectrum…it’s not that I dislike horror. I’m just not a huge fan of grotesque monsters. The premise of this show, parasites invading people’s brains and taking over, seems familiar to me for some reason, but I haven’t quite put my finger on it yet. It looks like our main character Shinichi Izumi is put in a unique position of retaining his conscious mind. It also looks like this “invasion” is no coincidence. Either these parasites are really aliens and they’re invading the Earth (it looked like they were coming from space) or it’s some elaborate conspiracy for some scientific testing.

[HorribleSubs] Parasyte - the maxim - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.39_[2014.10.13_22.06.59]

Not too much to say about the music in this series. I think the background music throughout the episode was probably more enjoyable than the opening or ending themes to be honest. I’ve seen this series in manga form in bookstores around me, but I never really had the motivation to read it. I guess my only motivation here is that the anime adaptation exists and I was curious.

I was probably drawn in by the psychological tag, but it doesn’t seem to be much. My guess is that it won’t amount to much more than the standard “these guys were originally human, so is it okay to kill them?” sort of thing. Random side note: I’m curious about the whole bug thing with Shinichi. It’s true that the simple explanation is that the parasite took over and handled the spider, but maybe there’s some sort of subtle neurological influences going on here?