Anime Editorial: Why I think the Promised Neverland is amazing.

So I started reading the Promised Neverland last month, It’s one of the best manga I’ve read in a long time. Many manga suffer from having a story that had potential but easily falls of the wagon, characters are bland and the setting is dull. The Promised Neverland doesn’t have these problems.

This manga actually reminds me of Death Note and Peter Pan, these two shows should have nothing to do with each other, both have different stories and characters and yet I find myself comparing The Promised Neverland to these two shows.

The main female character actually looks like Peter Pan funnily enough. This manga is definitely one everyone should read, it’s that good. I will be talking about the plot, the characters and the art style to give you an idea of why I think this manga is amazing.

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There will be some spoilers in this editorial, so as usual read at your own risk.

The Promised Neverland’s plot

Gracefield Fieldhouse orphanage where babies are raised by the caretaker, Mama. These kids have to take written exams every day. When they are not taking exams, they are free to play outside with each other. When I was reading the first chapter, I had a feeling that something else was going on. I went in blind, I didn’t know what was going to happen at all. This orphanage is actually a farm, this is revealed in the first chapter, the kids are being raised to be eaten by demons. No, I’m not kidding the consumers are demons.

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What makes this plot work is the character’s reactions. This is incredibly dark for them, the reality they’ve been living in is a lie but they have to act as normal as they can. The manga makes you worry a lot, the characters have found out but what happens next, what if someone else finds out? There’s a constant fear in the air as if something can go wrong any time and that’s what I love about it.

Change is a theme in this manga.

The Promised Neverland’s Characters

We have three main characters in this story, Emma, Norman and Ray. You would think when these kids found out the truth, they would give in to fear but they don’t. From the very start, they fight for their freedom. The problem they have is how to beat Isabella, their mama and Sister Krone, who appears later on to get in their way. What I like about these three, is the way they use their intelligence to fight.

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The three main characters are interesting characters, the other children in the house have great personalities that make them stand out while also not making them clash with the main three. These kids are constantly reminded that they are kids, so how will they be able to fight two adults. The kids use the objects around the house as a way to outwit Mama but they later realise that they have never won against Mama physically and mentally which makes some moments in the manga interesting.

Mama Isabella is leagues above the three kids, she doesn’t even have to do much to stop the kids as the house itself and are around the house serve as a prison for the children. I love that all the characters are realistic it makes them stand out compared to other manga. The kids can’t rely on physical strength so they use their brains. At first it looks like Mama isn’t doing anything but behind the scenes she is doing whatever she can do to stop these kids from escaping, she relies on the house and her brain.

The Promised Neverland’s Art Style

The art style is amazing. At first I wasn’t a fan of it, but during the first chapter I started ti like it. The art style is on par with the story and the characters. When the characters run, cry, laugh, feel hopeless, you can see that all in the art style. It’s done in a way that makes you feel the same emotions as the characters especially the main three.

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What makes me like it is the way some of the panels are drawn in the manga. In the first chapter, when the demons are shown, they are shown in a way that makes you feel disgusted. You expression is the exactly the same as Emma and Norman’s expressions, faces full of fear.

From the start, the children are all alone, they have no adults to back them in this fight as all the adults or on the other side, Mama’s side. Mama has an organisation on her side which makes the children vs adults fight interesting. Both Mama and the kids are very realistic. The kids do as kids naturally do, using tricks and different techniques to take out Mama while also using their brains.

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Even though Mama has the organisation, she only uses them once and that is when she has Sister Krone join the fray. There’s some conflict between those two characters and the kids try to set the two against each for a while, which sort of works until Sister Krone finds out.

The characters have their limits and some problems with their characters. Emma wants to take all of the children with her and escape which isn’t possible or realistic as there are so many children in that house. The other problems with this is that there are babies and toddlers in the house, how do you convince them to come with you? You can’t and that part of the issue causes problems for Emma.

Mama is also restricted, there is a shipping date for these kids to be eaten, so Mama has to keep them alive, especially Emma, Norman and Ray as they are high quality goods. I love the restrictions on the characters, it makes you sympathize with them, especially the three kids.

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None of the characters can do anything out of their range which makes this manga intriguing. Surprisingly there are some moments in the manga where you can take a breather, you’re not always feeling worried about the fate of the characters. I like that it adds some moments between the characters that we rarely get because they are constantly fighting.

In those moments we are reminded of the friendship between the three characters since they have been together since they were little. They only have each other which makes every move they make that much more meaningful.

Final Thoughts

The Promised Neverland is a manga that stands out from the same old manga plots and characters. It makes its characters realistic and tests the bonds between the children and Mama. It makes you and the characters question people’s motivations and inner thoughts. There are currently 47 chapter, you have time to catch up if you like.

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My only problem with the Promised Neverland is that Shonen Jump publishes it. I’m ok with Shonen Jump being the publisher now, but if the manga gets darker than it is now, will Shonen Jump still be right for it  and would the staff over there be ok with how dark it gets?

 

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Anime Editorial: The Late for School Trope

Ah, the late for school trope, my favourite trope. You know, it never gets old for me. Maybe because many different characters do it. I just think in real life it be weird and funny if I saw a high school student running down the street with toast in their mouth. Tardiness is something that is used to move the plot, it’s also a great trope to introduce new characters.

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The main character usually bumps into the new character, apologizes and speeds off, one thing you should know though is that you will see that new character usually in the same class as out main. Both our main and new character yell out when they see each other.

The first time I saw this trope was when Usagi from Sailor Moon was running down the street with toast in her mouth. I thought it was very bizarre. She meets a magical cat called Luna and from there her magical girl adventure begins. So you can see with Sailor Moon Usagi advanced the story thanks to her tardiness.

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I have to say, I love the parodies that this trope has. My favourite one is from The Daily Lives High School Boys. The scene is so funny if you know what they are referencing, if not you end up missing out.  Most people think that tropes are just done because they are popular but that isn’t the case. There are reasons for these stereotypical tropes. For me, there are just some tropes I never get tired of, such as this trope.

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Anime Editorial: The Problems that Naruto Shippuden had.

So if you’ve seen my Top 5 Naruto Shippuden Fights then you would know that at the beginning of that post, I mentioned the reason why I felt Naruto Shippuden was disappointing. So in this post I will be talking about some of those points, the story, the characters and the fillers. Just to let you know as usual, there will be some spoilers so read at your own risk.

The problems with the story

Naruto’ journey to become the hokage and a great ninja was a fun one in the first part of Naruto. There were many moments in the part 1 that I loved, the Zabuza arc of course, which showed how dark things could get, the real meat of Naruto. The Sasuke Retrieval arc is another I loved because it allowed not just Naruto to shine but the supporting characters too such as Neji. His fight against Kidomaru was amazing. Every character in that arc put their life on the line.

When I watched Naruto Shippuden, I thought the first arc was great. This was when Naruto, Sakura and Kakashi went to save Gaara from the Akatsuki. Now the Akatsuki have been a threat since part 1 but never really got to see what they could do. We get to see them somewhat shine in this arc. What made me like this arc even more was we get to see that neither Naruto or Sakura are playing around, the two showed off their strength and skills it was great to see.

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But as the story went on we saw less of Sakura and other characters and it became the Naruto and Sasuke show. Now don’t get me wrong this was evident from the start, Naruto and Sasuke are both main characters. But I didn’t want to see Naruto go on chasing Sasuke forever, I wanted to see Sasuke realise his ways and maybe meet Naruto half way or something.

The problems I had with Naruto Shippuden is that it became less about ninja’s and all about who has the coolest eye technique. It wasn’t about strategy anymore, Naruto and Sasuke became gods at the end all because now the two are reincarnations of some kids who hated each other or something.

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Techniques that were shown in part 1 made in to part 2 but they were just spammed. One of my major problems was the Susanno. When Itachi revealed it when he fought Sasuke I thought it was cool, amazing, this thing is a real threat. When sasuke learned it I was like fine, that’s cool but when he used it over and over again, it go boring so fast.

I hated the way he used it in the war, when he fused with Naruto’s kyuubi form, I thought it was the dumbest thing on earth. The story had some potential but it looked like Kishimoto didn’t know where to go from the pain arc. I honestly still think Naruto should have ended at the pain arc. It really felt like the end, but no you just had to have the five kage most of weren’t that important except Gaara and Tsunade.

I’m not sure how you can expect me to connect with characters we have barely seen. Gaara and Tsunade are fine, they had their development in part 1 and became great characters. Don’t even get me started on the war, so much of it was rubbish. Neji’s death is something that I will never get over.

The problems with the characters

Naruto’s supporting cast were great in part 1, most of them had their chance to shine. They had intersting jutsu’s and the characters had great reasons for why they wanted to become ninja. When part 2 rolled around, I was expecting some great moment with different characters but I didn’t get that. Great characters such as Lee, Neji and Kakashi were kind of pushed to the side.

I know that most of the characters are side characters but some of them had great development in part 1. I would have liked to have seen Naruto go on missions with Neji, Kiba, Hinata. We got that in filler in part 1 but those are fillers not canon episodes.

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The side characters could have popped up every now and then, I wanted another version of the Sasuke retrieval arc, it displayed the bonds the characters shared, how far would they go to save a friend? Well… Sasuke was Naruto’s friend but you know what I mean.

Sakura’s treatment was looking good at first. her and Lady chiyo’s fight showcased how much stronger she’d gotten during the timeskip. But after that, not much happened it was like she didn’t really exist and if she did she was healing people or whining about Sasuke. I would like to have seen inner Sakura pop up again. What happened to that? It was like she didn’t exist anymore. It’s been said many times in the anime that Sakura was good as genjutsu and had great chakra control so why wasn’t that expanded upon?

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I didn’t hate Sakura, I wanted to her to be a great character but she wasn’t, it wasn’t just her obsession with Sasuke that bothered me, but the way she treated Naruto and the other characters was awful. I don’t understand why Kishimoto decided that her personality should be that, an awful bully. You’d think she’s had learned when she bullied in the past because of her forehead. I questioned her decisions throughout the anime. She wasn’t the only character who had this issue but because she’s a main character, I had a problem with it. 

It’s such a shame that many characters who got some development, faded into the background until the war where they could show how strong they had gotten. Honestly when those moments happened, it wasn’t impressive. I know the show is called Naruto Shippuden and it will focus on Naruto, but you have to admit the main character isn’t the only one who makes the show, the other characters do as well.

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As I said before, the biggest crime in Naruto Shippuden was Neji’s death, the fact that Kishimoto said that Neji died so Naruto and Hinata could be closer is absolutely atrocious. Seriously, I still bothered that I cried when he died, I shouldn’t have Neji arc was done in shippuden so had no development in part 2 so why did I care? He was my favourite character, he should have been handled way better that what we were given. You know thinking about it, i wouldn’t have minded that Neji had died, in a Ninja way! He is a ninja why is he dying to toothpicks!

Ok so I’m going to stop here before I turn this into a huge Naruto Shippuden rant XD

So that’s my problems with Naruto Shippuden. There are many issues with it, but this post is already long, if you liked this, leave a like or comment about what you thought of Naruto Shippuden. Thanks for reading this.

Note: Sorry about stopping it abruptly like that, this post was already long enough as it is.

 

 

Anime Editorial – What kind of content is needed to make a good anime?

This is a topic that has caused arguments with a lot of people. Everyone has something they want to see in their anime, whether it’s story, world-building, character design all of us have different opinions when it comes to anime. So down below, I will be explaining what I like to see in anime and why. If you think I’ve missed anything in this topic, feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Pacing in an Anime 

When I was a kid, I was ok with the pacing in anime. It wasn’t something I noticed because I was too busy focusing on the cool character designs and voice acting. I had never seen Anime before, so I was taken in by how great it was. As I got older, I realised what I wanted to see in anime. If a pacing in anime is too slow, I get bored and move on to the next anime, it doesn’t matter how many fellow Anime fans say its good or amazing. I will drop it, like when you drop your phone on the floor and the screen cracks because you suddenly have butter fingers. If the pacing it too fast, I lose track and end up having to watch the previous episode again because I believe I’ve missed something.

If you know the Shonen Genre, then you will know that the genre is guilty when it comes to pacing. It’s especially a problem with long running anime like One Piece. Now don’t get me wrong, I love One Piece its second to Gintama for me, the manga it great and amazing to read. But when it comes to its anime, the pacing ruins it for me. So the One Piece intro in an episode is about 2 minutes long, then there’s the recap which is 3 minutes long.

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The intro and the recap are only a problem for me if the recap adds on an extra 2 minutes which happened once or twice in the anime.  So that leaves us the rest of the episode which is so slow, you could microwave some popcorn chicken and hang out the washing to dry and you’ll still be able to finish before the episode ends. When it comes to pacing the worst thing about it is when a huge problem is introduced at the beginning of an episode, only to be solved at the end of the episode.

For me that ruins the tension that I felt at the beginning of the episode, why add this huge problem only to then resolve it at the end of that very same episode? It doesn’t make sense to me. Good pacing for me is a problem is established at the beginning, the characters try to work it out throughout the show but then the problem gets solved at the end. It gives a reason to keep watching the show, to see how the story progresses. Pacing doesn’t need to be super fast or slow. An in-between is nice to see sometimes.

Character Design in an Anime

Now Character Design is all down to choice. For me character design is important in anime because it allows me to remember a character. An example of great character design are the teens in Danganronpa The Animation. Why? All of the characters look unique in that show, you can tell them apart. That character design is enough for me. There are some anime that don’t have amazing character designs but they make up for this by adding a focal point to the character that makes them easier to remember.

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Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist is a good one. He wears a long, red trench coat that makes him stand out against some the dark settings in this show. If he’s in the background shot then you will spot it right away because if that red coat, he’s the only one who wears it. The red coat stand out from the rest of his outfit which is black. It’s a great focal point for a character.

Too much character design exists. Too much armour or hair on a character bothers me a lot. When I look at these kind of characters, I feel like the anime studio tries to hard to sell some of these character as unique and cool looking but it just comes off as an eyesore. I know why they do it, to sell figurines or to watch the anime. It’s a shame they have to do that as sometimes a simple character design works just as well as an amazing one.

Character Development in an Anime

Character Development is always important in anime. I can’t relate to characters if I don’t like them. Characters need to grow, adapt and change for me. Assassination Classroom is a great example of character development. If you’ve seen the show then you know what I mean. The 28 students in this show all get some character development. The bigger characters get a lot of it. It’s a long running show so it has to develop its characters otherwise people won’t care.

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In this show instead of explaining what a character is good at, they are place in a situation where they get to show off their skills. We don’t have to go through lines of dialogue that explains what the character and their skills it shows this and I love it. Character development can also be shown by having the character at the beginning of the show go through a change and by the end of the show it’s like their a different character. Poorly developed characters is awful to see. This is a problem sometimes when there are too many characters in the show on-screen, not enough screentime equals boring and unrelatable characters to me.

Soundtracks in Anime

This one is all down to opinion. I have no problem with anime using specific music tracks to set the scene. What I don’t like is when Generic music A is used for a happy scene or Generic music B is used for a sad scene. It gets boring when the same music track play for the same happy or sad scene. When a certain track is played at the exact moment, that’s when you know the music was great. Soundtracks to me in anime is all about creating that strong feeling, you know it’s strong when you want to find the soundtrack that was used but you haven’t finished watching the episode yet. Clannad is a great example of an amazing soundtrack.

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Take the music track, Nagisa for example. The reason why I remember it and so many fellow Anime fans remember it as well is because most of the time it’s played when Nagisa is on the screen. It’s her theme, if you don’t know this then you will once that track is played over and over again. When the track is played you know exactly what to feel in that moment. I react instantly when that track plays because I know what to expect in the scene. When a certain track played in an anime makes your remember when you heard it in a scene, you know it’s great. That’s how I feel when it comes to soundtracks.

Overall

All of what I have said here is all down to your opinion. One anime may have an amazing story but the character development and animation makes it lose marks. One anime may have great animation but the story is boring and slow. Anime’s that have the issue of the week have this problem at times. Myraid Colours Phantom World is a perfect example of this, the animation is beautiful to look at but the story pacing is awful. The issue of the week storyline could have been way better. 

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An example of a great anime that has all of the content I have spoken about is Gintama. Now you may think that Gintama is all about its gags. But underneath all of that their lies a great story. Little moments between different characters mean so much more when the story arcs start. I love the animation, the characters, the story and the pacing. I have loved it from the start. Gintama has a way of making me watch its anime all over again. If you haven’t seen it, check it out if you’re looking for a comedy anime. Gintama being a beautiful package of everything I’ve spoken about is just my opinion of course.

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Even though I’ve expressed my thoughts on what kind of content is needed to make a good anime, it’s still something that will be debated for many years to come. And that’s ok as it makes for a great discussion between fellow Anime fans. If you have any anime that you think is great let me know.