Instead of intense, The Promised Neverland (約束のネバーランド) ended up being more of a fun watch.
The Promised Neverland (約束のネバーランド) Synopsis
Emma, Norman, and Ray are three teenagers living peacefully in a beautiful orphanage. For Emma and Norman, though, blissful days come to an abrupt end when they accidentally discover what happens to the orphans upon formal “adoption.” The duo, with the assistance of Ray, then hatches an elaborate plot to flee with the rest of their adopted siblings.
Unlike Soul, I was really looking forward to this live-action adaptation. I was really upset when I couldn’t get tickets for the sneak peep last weekend.
The only reason for this … Naomi Watanabe. Yeah, I’ve been watching her on Waku Waku Japan for a few weeks now. Thanks to that, she currently ranks pretty high, very high, on my list of Asian divas …
And she doesn’t disappoint! At least not for me. Like most of her renowned skids, Naomi indulges in absurdity but still succeeds in engaging and tickling. If any, my only complaint is that her role follows the original story too closely. I nearly wept when her story abruptly ended …
As for the rest of the cast and the adapted story, well, I feel Keiko Kitagawa deserves praise for her intense portrayal of detached “Mama.” She will never convince anyone she’s a caring caretaker, hell no, but when she switches to sinister mode, let me just say Sadako herself will approve.
The story itself is also faithful to the source material but ultimately one that lacks any real punch, especially for Anime lovers. There are some tragic and gripping moments but I suspect even those unfamiliar with Anime or Manga will be able to guess the ending.
Predictable, in other words, though not entirely a bad thing. After all, who would go to such a movie with the expectation that the escape fails?
As for the younger cast members, it’s obvious that they are enjoying their roles too. Shoplifters’ Kairi Jō, in particular, is clearly savouring the opportunity to depict the classic Anime/Manga sulky hero. The lad often goes overboard, but more so than not, his youthful enthusiasm, and charm, easily rub off on you.
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