Hello blossoms! I am excited to finally launch a section on Cherry Tree Verses that I have been planning for a while. Now, I finally gathered the time, material and the disposition to do so!
Welcome to the first edition of SAKURA SCREENINGS, where I will be reviewing anime series I have never seen before, based on first three episodes that I watch.
I am open to genres, popularity, themes, etc. I will be choosing them at random, so that we keep things interesting 😉
I will try not to give out too many spoilers but please be aware that that some may slip here and there.
I will not be going online to check plot summaries before watching so all views will be based on general impressions from the first few episodes.
With all that blurb out of the way, here we go, the very first anime I will be exploring with you for the first time is: The Promised Neverland.
Usually, the animes that I know will draw me 100% in even before the plot has unravelled, have creative opening seq and a catchy theme. It was the case with “The Rising of the Schield Hero”, it was the case with “Dororo” and not to mention classics from my childhood like “Naruto” and “Sailor Moon”.
Seeing the amazing visual and that beaty theme has got me hooked. Check it out:
It’s imaginative, fast-paced, I could sense some cool visual metaphors. Something told me that will be a top watch.
EPISODES DURATION: ~ 23mins
OVERVIEW: The year seems to be around 2045 and the place – what it seems the happiest orphanage in the world. And that immediately makes me nervous because I don’t believe in overly joyous places even in the anime universe…
The main protagonists are Emma, Norman and Ray, who looks and behaves so much like Sasuke, I caaaan’t! In fact, I may go ahead and call him Ray Sasuke.
They are all very bright kids and seem to be the oldest from the group. Everyone with the exception of Ray Sasuke is happy, cheerful and full of energy, and even from the very beginning you could sense the deep bonds between the characters.
The kids are in the care of “Mother” Isabella who seems gentle and meek and always in a good mood.
We learn that from time to time foster parents are found for one of the kids and they leave. In the first episode the characters start to wonder why no one ever writes back and here is where it all begins…
One of the youngest, cutest kids – Connie – has been found foster parents. Everyone shares a bittersweet moment letting her go and she promises not to forget them. Norman and Emma find that she had forgotten her plush bunny behind and rush after Mother and Connie to give it back. They reach the gate between the orphanage ground and the outside world – it is a place they are forbidden to go but they decide to do it for Connie. However, one look in the parked vehicle behind the gate and Emma and Norman realise that the orphanage is not what it seems and they have been raised there for a horrible purpose… This is the turning point that puts an end to the carefree days at the orphanage and turns into a relentless game of cat and mouse between the prying adults and the children desperate to escape.
HONEST THOUGHTS: I can’t believe I had gone for SO LONG without watching this! The plot seems like it’s done before yet I find it very thrilling. I can’t say anymore for those of you who haven’t seen it and it is on your list. All I know is that a binge watch is headed my way.
CHERRY HIGHLIGHTS: This show is very suspenseful! I have watched far more violent anime but this is the FIRST one I had to watch episode 2 and 3 on MUTE with happy music on at times – this is how genuinely creeped out I was. And the rest will probably not get less creepy.
It is all in your head. You almost never see anything violent but the creators do play with your imagination a lot – think dimmed lights and terror written all over the characters’ faces; slow motion and stills that will make you think twice before your midnight trip to the bathroom.
So far, I am loving it all. I am loving the sense of danger but if I have to choose one moment, I would choose the moment when we see a picture that little Connie drew of her and Isabella. Childish innocence in the face of brutal reality – it is an amazing juxtaposition that is actually the essential theme of the series.
CHERRY TREE VERDICT: It is a must watch! It is a great story even a disturbing one, but it carries a lot of spirit and a lot of hope which we need every day while fighting our personal “monsters”. There is a sense of impending doom that lingers all the time from the first episode on and before you know it, you become thinking frantically of an escape yourself. And this is what you want from an engaging thriller/ horror anime. “The Promised Neverland” does it incredibly well because it puts you in a constant “the calm before the storm” place of state, and you are holding your breath for the next creeping danger. You will be terrified, you will cry and you will enjoy every second of it. 10/10!
BLOOMING QUESTIONS (to you): Do you find “The Promised Neverland” as scary and fascinating as me? And how would you react if you were to find the dark secret? Leave me a comment – would love some thoughts! ^_^
Thank you so much for taking the time to read, comment, like, etc.
Until next screen time with another surprise anime. Baibai!