Welcome to AiPT’s weekly The Promised Neverland recap column. As new chapters are released, I’ll be sharing my reactions to the series’s latest twists and turns. From bloodthirsty demons to elaborate battle strategies, writer Kaiu Shirai and artist Posuka Demizu always have something compelling up their sleeves. Be warned, though, that in order to elaborate on my thoughts I will be including SPOILERS.
This chapter picks up right after last week’s cliffhanger, where Leuvis simultaneously stabbed Emma through both sides of her stomach. It was a major “Oh s--t” moment, and Shirai and Demizu spin more plot threads out of it than I ever expected. The follow-up isn’t as simple revealing whether she lives or dies; rather, we get to see how both Emma and Ray react to the prospect of her death. Ray’s immediate thoughts make up perhaps the most emotionally striking panels in the chapter:
Out of all three main characters, Ray is perhaps the most shrouded in mystery. His motivations have been the most fluid and questionable, as he started out willing to leave more of his siblings behind than either Norman or Emma. Once Norman was shipped off (seemingly to his death), however, Ray has slowly changed. He’s worked alongside Emma to protect their siblings, giving his full support to plans he didn’t initially believe in. Shirai and Demizu haven’t dived very deeply into Ray’s new frame of mind as of yet, but hearing his thoughts firsthand helps provide a stronger sense of his new motivations.
More surprising, however, is what happens to Emma in the wake of her being stabbed. There is a long scene–presumably a hallucination, although this isn’t confirmed–in which she finds herself submerged in water and, while struggling to swim up to the surface, sees various important figures in her life. Some of these figures are loved ones (Norman, Phil, etc.), some are new allies (Lucas, the Nameless Geezer), and some are antagonistic but pivotal caregivers (Mom, Sister Krone).
Many of these figures encourage her to return to consciousness, which is interesting considering that some of them (Mom especially) are currently her sworn enemies. The presence of both dead and living characters seems to discount the possibility of this scene taking place in some spirit world or purgatory between life and death. With that said, not all of the visions are from Emma’s own past. There is a brief vision of Lucas and the Nameless Geezer huddled next to what are presumably the corpses of their dead friends and fellow Glory Bell escapees. This inclusion of characters Emma has never actually seen could hint at her hallucination sequence having a supernatural aspect, but for now any such elements are purely speculative.
As if that weren’t already enough content for a single chapter, Shirai and Demizu also deliver what I’ve been waiting for during the last ten or so chapters: the downfall of Leuvis. The protagonists have had him on the ropes for a while now, but in last week’s installment he seemed to have reached peak fighting shape yet again. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case, and he finally goes down here. With that said, he was a great villain, and he doesn’t exit without giving us one last demented smile:
Overall, this is the most eventful chapter since Emma discovered William Minerva’s elevator. We get a quick dive into Ray’s head, and hopefully upcoming chapters will dive deeper into his current thought processes. We also get Emma’s long, potentially hallucinatory, near-death sequence. The true nature of this scene is as yet unknown, but I hope Demizu and Shirai address it rather than leaving it as an unexplained one-time thing. Last but far from least, we get Leuvis’s much anticipated defeat. The battle may have gone on for too long, but at least the villain we were stuck with all this time was one of the series’s best.
That’s all for this chapter! Stay tuned for more recaps as The Promised Neverland updates every week. If you’re interested in reading more of our thoughts about the series, check out our column from last week, as well as our review of the latest collected volume. Also, feel free to share your own thoughts about this chapter in the comment space below!