Yakusoku no Neverland Ep. 3: Hella goofy

Sister Krone is hamming this up. Early on in the episode, there’s a scene in which you can feel the tension between Isabella and Krone. They just started working together and yet the relationship is already fraught with difficulty. Krone is not exactly subtle with her facial expressions. You can tell that she’s off her rocker. More importantly, Isabella doesn’t have a very high regard for the woman. Her words and actions are dripping with disdain for Krone. The other woman is told that she is nothing more than just an assistant. So during this entire conversation, I’m thinking to myself, “Oooh, they’re going to butt heads. Krone will be more of a hindrance than an ally. I wonder how this is going to play out.” So what do we see next? We see Krone sitting in her room, blabbering everything to some doll.

Alright, the woman’s crazy, but it’s like the story is afraid that this “little” detail would fly over our heads. So what does it do? It had to hammer the point home. Look, look, she’s talking to herself! That’s what crazy people do! Likewise, the story also wants to make sure we know right off the bat that Krone is scheming to overthrow Isabella and take over the plant. That tension-filled scene I just talked about? Not blunt enough. Krone should look directly at the “camera” and tell the audience exactly what she plans to do. Y’know, subtlety isn’t the end all and be all of storytelling, but you don’t have to take it to other extreme end of the spectrum and just cram the plot down my throat like this. Just relax. Let things play out. Let the suspense build. You don’t have to be deliberately obtuse like, say, Twin Peaks, but you also don’t have to shine a spotlight on every little detail. It’s clear, however, that this show is allergic to suspense since this episode mirrors exactly what happened in the first episode.

Anyways, we get a little world-building in this week’s episode. Obviously, orphanage is just one of many orphan farms under the demons’ control. But the bad guys refer to these places as plants. Okay then. More importantly, the other plants aren’t doing so well, so the Boss — yeah, that’s all we know about them — has high expectations of Isabella. After all, she’s the youngest to become a Mom. I guess that’s a special distinction? Whatever. In addition to that, we learn that she’s the best organic orphan farmer — we’re talking supreme prime quality orphan brains that no other plant can attest to. We then cut to a bunch of edgy-looking demons sitting around a room, talking about how they can’t wait to get some good quality orphans for Him. Yes, Him with a capital “H.” So basically, demon society worships a bougie dude who gorges on only the finest of orphan brains. The smartest Pip of them all! I dunno what to tell you guys. World-building is world-building, but this all seems kinda silly to me.

So let’s get right to our trio and see how they’re doing. For much of this week’s episode, Emma, Norman, and Ray would sit in a room and just talk. The boys’ genius brains just run wild as they pore over every crucial bit of knowledge in their possession. Leave no stones unturned, because a single screw-up mightlead to their deaths! Okay, fine, they’re super smart. But then every so often, I see them very conspicuously huddling around, whispering to each other, and watching the adults’ every movement. If you’re trying to be secretive, that’s not exactly the brightest move. On the one hand, they’re just kids, so they’re bound to screw up. But on the other hand, the story keeps hammering home the fact that Norman and Ray are brilliant beyond belief, so I’m just kinda perplexed that they would make their sneaking around so plainly obvious.

Luckily, Isabella is not a dumb woman. She already knows who to suspect. I mean, who else could it be, right? Her problem is, of course, her ego. Like almost every other villain, she thinks she’s got everything under control. The easy thing to do is report the situation to the higher-ups, immediately ship the problematic kids out, and mosey on along as if nothing ever happened. But for this to happen, Isabella would have to admit to her superiors that she screwed up. She has no problems spilling the beans to Krone, because she doesn’t regard the woman as being on her level. But if Isabella used to be one of these orphans, and she is so well-respected because she’s the youngest to ever assume the position of Mom, then it’s likely that she’s an obsessive perfectionist and control freak. Trying to maintain this lie might be her undoing.

Towards the end of the episode, our trio realizes that they need to get the rest of the orphans up to speed. No, the other kids won’t run as fast nor jump as high as Emma, but they can get into better shape. No, they won’t become MENSA jerkoffs like Norman and Ray, but they could wise up a little. And to help train the kids, our trio resorts to the classic game of tag. If you can elude Norman, then maybe you might just have a chance against the adults. I’m not sure how effective this will be with the super young kids, but let’s just roll with it. Well, they actually get to experience running away from an adult firsthand when Krone insists on playing with the children. What follows is a goofy scene in which a deranged-looking Krone bears down on the innocent like some sort of predator, but the show doesn’t portray this in a scary way. With the upbeat jazz music playing in the background, this is still just a game. Maybe that’s the point, I dunno.

In the end, Krone has no problem tagging everyone except for our two boy geniuses, so I guess she now knows what she’s up against. At the moment, I can’t tell if Krone is cunning or not. When she was chasing after Emma, she listed off the trio’s weaknesses. She was letting Emma know that she had read up on all of the children and studied them inside-out. If push comes to shove, she would know how to handle them… in theory. For example, Emma’s weakness is her naivete. So then what does Krone do? She follows this up by telling the girl that if she knew about the harvest from the first episode — i.e. Conny’s death — then the woman would be on her side. Um, okay. Hey, you’re weak to scams. Know that. Know that I know that. By the way, would you like to buy some essential oils? Again, I dunno. Maybe this some sort of brilliant mental manipulation that I’m not aware of.

Alright, let’s wrap this post up. Emma is not very careful, so she may have inadvertently spilled the beans to Gilda, the shy girl with big round glasses. Besides, it’s a bit suspicious when you perform a full body pat down on the new kid. But more importantly, this is a problem, because our trio has noticed that Isabella hasn’t really been doing much lately. They can only conclude that Mama must be getting her information from an insider — a traitor, to be specific. So… might it be Gilda?! C’mon, man. Ray has been looking hella shady for the past two episodes. The anime hasn’t been shy about showing us shots of Ray just “mysteriously” staring at his two friends. Even now, he interrupts Ray to suggest firsthand that there is a Benedict Arnold among them. Who else could it be but him?

After three episodes, the show’s alright, I guess. I’m not feeling anything special here, though.

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7 Replies to “Yakusoku no Neverland Ep. 3: Hella goofy”

  1. In the manga Krone just has internal monologues, there wasn´t a plushie. On the other hand, she used to look really racist when doing the creepy faces (mostly the lips), the anime toned down that a lot and it helps making her more likeable. So it a fair trade, even though the internal monologue would still be the same.

    1. The assumption is that she can relax because somebody is feeding into to her.

      Also, the show just wants you to trust Norman’s judgment because he’s a super genius.

  2. I feel like after 2 episodes of showing Ray as the only suspicious actor, the writer suddenly thought ‘oops, we need readers to actually wonder who the traitor is!’

    And so Glasses Girl, the last-minute red herring, was born.

    Not sure why Norman even assumes there’s a traitor. If Mom doesn’t 100% know it’s them by now, then she’s grossly incompetent — they’ve been flat out ignoring the fact that they’re tagged by tracking chips while they hold long, casual conversations next to the wall they aren’t supposed to have seen… Emma makes facial expressions like she’s been stabbed every time an adult looks in her direction… these kids are their own worst enemy, there’s not much a traitor could do to them that they aren’t already doing to themselves.

    I actually wonder if Mom doesn’t secretly want them to escape… there was no reason whatsoever for her to show them the tracking device, and there’s no reason she shouldn’t have caught them by now… in fact, I wonder if Isabelle didn’t call in Krone and spill the situation to her knowing that she’d try and throw her under the bus and usurp her position. Once Krone steps over the line into mutiny-mode, she can be fed to the aliens instead of the smart kids… that way the kids can be allowed to escape, but ‘God-Boss’ alien still gets his big-brain meal and Isabelle maybe gets a lesser penalty.

    1. Emma makes facial expressions like she’s been stabbed every time an adult looks in her direction… these kids are their own worst enemy, there’s not much a traitor could do to them that they aren’t already doing to themselves.

      Yeah but it’s probably just the show being bad at subtlety. Y’know, like most anime. This is for kids, after all.

      Once Krone steps over the line into mutiny-mode, she can be fed to the aliens instead of the smart kids…

      I think they’d rather have orphan brains for “Him.”

  3. Yeah, I’m sure most of the OTT expressions are just for dramatic flair. Still, Isabella said at least once that she could tell something was wrong, so I’m not sure how literally I’m supposed to be taking it at this point. Rip.

    If I assume that Isabella wants the kids to escape (since she revealed the tracking device), then I must also assume that her reason for calling Krone was not really to help stop the kids. In that case, ‘scapegoat’ seems like a good bet. If Krone is caught being uncooperative, Isabella can pin most of the blame for the kids’ eventual escape onto her.

    Eh. It’s the direction I would go if I were writing it, lol

  4. I think you hit the nail on the head about the big difference between the anime the manga. The manga conveys information to the audience in more subtle ways. Not super subtle, but more than this. The anime is determined no one falls behind and the story suffers for it. Yeah, there’s a lot of internal monologue in the manga but you can make it work but it’s harder. The anime’s taking the easy way out, but the story’s so strong it won’t completely ruin the experience.

    Also, I take offense to the showrunners implying people who talk to themselves are crazy. I talk to myself all the time. I even call myself on the phone every day. But, I don’t answer. That’d be weird.

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