Updated March 28, 2019: The Promised Neverland Season 2 confirmed!
Updated March 27, 2019: Added unconfirmed reports and statements concerning The Promised Neverland Season 2.
The Promised Neverland Season 2 is a necessity for all anime fans wanting to know what happens next after Emma, Ray, and the other children escape Grace Field House into the demon forest.
After all, the Yakusoku no Neverland anime has yet to explain what’s really going on in the larger world and there’s the mystery surrounding William Minerva.
Thankfully, the second season has already been confirmed to be greenlit for production and the release date for Yakusoku no Neverland Season 2 is scheduled to be in 2020.
Even before the official announcement, Yakusoku no Neverland Season 2 seemed likely considering how popular the anime has been on streaming platforms. While Blu-Ray/DVD sales used to be the major source of revenue for the anime industry, it’s now revenue from streaming platforms like Crunchyroll, FUNimation Now, and Hulu that is the major factor in determining whether a second season is greenlit for production.
Animation studio CloverWorks (known for the popular Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai anime and co-producing Darling in the FranXX) produced The Promised Neverland anime with director Mamoru Kanbe of Elfen Lied fame at the helm. Toshiya Ono (Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga) handled series composition, while Kazuaki Shimada (Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara) created the character designs. Hopefully, the same staff and cast will come back for the second season.
This article provides everything that is known about The Promised Neverland Season 2 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
The Promised Neverland manga took years to even start
The Promised Neverland manga was launched by writer Kaiu Shirai and illustrator Posuka Demizu (Kirugumi, Poppy No Negai) in August 2016. By March 4, 2019, the Shonen Jump serialization was up to Volume 13. Based on the previous release schedule, Volume 14 will likely come out during the summer of 2019.
Viz Media has licensed the official English translation of the Yakusoku no Neverland manga. New chapters are available online to read for free weekly while older chapters require a membership.
By the time The Promised Neverland Episode 12 was released, the English manga was up to Volume 8. The release date for Volume 9 is scheduled for April 2, 2019, while Volume 10 comes out June 4, 2019, Volume 11 is set for August 6, 2019, and Volume 12 releases on October 1, 2019. Volume 13 is currently To Be Announced.
During an interview from February 2017, Shirai told the story of how the manga came to be created. After graduating from university he was working for a company and creating story ideas on the side.
Feeling untalented and ready to give up on being a mangaka after trashing multiple scripts, he wrote 300 pages in 2013 for the first draft of the script that detailed the story events of the first major story arc (which is where Season 1 ends).
Bringing a 300-page document to an evaluation meeting with Shonen Jump is considered absurd in the industry but in this case, it worked.
The hard part was finding an illustrator. Shirai is also an artist, but the editor believed his art style didn’t do the manga script justice. The editor also wasn’t sure if Shirai could keep up the quality of the writing while also drawing the manga.
Three years later, Demizu encountered Shirai and read the entire 300-page script. The artist would normally grow bored halfway through reading scripts, but she found herself enthralled by the story and couldn’t stop reading.
Having fallen in love with each other’s work, Demizu managed to convince Shonen Jump to give them a chance to work together even though Shirai was a nobody at the time. Even after the duo was given the go-ahead, they spent half a year planning character designs, settings, and specific scenes.
Originally, the manga was supposed to be titled just Neverland, but Shirai wanted something better and he wants the “Promise” to be linked to the core of the story. The setting and story of the world where Emma, Norman, Ray, and the other children will escape to is somehow directly related to the meaning of the title.
Other changes to the first draft were made. For example, in an interview contained in the special edition of manga Volume 13, the two creators revealed that William Minerva initially did not exist in the story.
The creators admit that they enjoy deceiving and challenging readers. Shirai realizes that TPN is unlike most Shonen Jump stories since a girl is the main hero and there are no battles, but he wants to tell the message of the Jump motto “Friendship, Effort, Victory” in the story.
“Within Jump, while other manga are creating flashy and fierce battles, we only have to make strong pulls with psychological warfare that exceeds that,” Shirai said.
Shirai likes situations with two-sided characters and excitement, which explains why the “villains” are complex instead of having one-dimensional motivations. Both sympathetic and horrendous at the same time, Isabella and Krone are both victims and perpetrators of the demon’s human farming system.
Shirai says he made the main protagonist a female because the first antagonist Isabella is also female.
“I thought the mother/daughter relation made the story look more interesting,” Shirai explained in answer to fans’ questions. “Like when Emma shouts, ‘Mom!’ and wins over her heart.”
The Promised Neverland manga compared to the anime
If it were a standalone anime, The Promised Neverland would probably be considered one of the most hauntingly brilliant TV shows by anime fans. But it’s not standalone so the manga comparisons are inevitable. A bit slow-paced for an anime targeting the shonen demographic (teen boys), some might be surprised to hear that the manga is even more slow-paced.
That’s not to say slower means worse. Every chapter ends in a cliffhanger moment. Readers peek into the inner thoughts of characters, which allows readers to understand the character’s motivations better.
In fact, fans of the manga largely consider the pacing of the anime to be way too fast. Some long scenes from the manga were completely removed in the anime. The focus with the first major story arc is on mind games and all of that is accomplished with dialogue and internal monologues, not action.
Anime-only audiences who found the first season a little too sluggish will perk up when they hear that The Promised Neverland Season 2 will be more action-oriented. Without getting into spoilers (see below), there will be adventures and then action elements on top of the mysteries and psychological horror.
Overall, the anime was clearly written with pacing intended to reach the goal of finishing the manga’s first major story arc by Episode 12. Each episode covered the events of about three to four chapters. It could be argued that 13 episodes would have allowed for more fleshed-out character writing, but what the anime accomplished with just 12 episodes is amazing.
The good news is that The Promised Neverland Episode 12 found an ending right around Chapter 37 of Volume 5. Anyone who wants to read ahead should start with Chapter 38 of Volume 5, which is already for sale in English.
Considering that the next two story arcs are 64 chapters combined, it’s very likely that The Promised Neverland Season 2 will need to be a two-cour season with at least 24 episodes. The next major story arc doesn’t offer a decent stopping point, so only 12 episodes would leave audiences hanging on an extremely sour note without offering a substantial climax or plot resolution.
Therefore, the best stopping point for Season 2 would be to adapt the manga all the way to Chapter 96 of Volume 11. Without getting into spoilers, Chapter 96 offers a touching scene between characters and serves as a wind-down point before the action picks up again in a different part of the world. The chapter also foreshadows the resurgence of a specific antagonist.
Assuming a two-cour Season 2, there’s currently not enough source material for The Promised Neverland Season 3. But that circumstance will change rapidly since new chapters are released weekly. How the anime adaptation is handled largely depends on how the creators choose to end the story.
The Promised Neverland manga ending by 2020?
While there is plenty of story in The Promised Neverland manga left to adapt into new anime episodes the manga itself is apparently running swiftly toward an ending.
In February 2018 (when the manga was up to Volume 7), supervising editor for the series Suguru Sugita told Mantan Web news that the story had reached the “turnaround point,” which is a reference to the halfway point in a race.
“From now on, as the story races at full speed to the end, I would be happy if you continue to watch over these kids as they learn the truth of the world and meet their destinies,” said the editor.
Fast forward to August 2018 and writer Kaiu Shirai told FranceInfo that he expected the manga series to end within 30 volumes.
Warning: The following contains major spoilers for the ending of Season 1.
“The basic manuscript [of 300 pages] went until the children escaped from the orphanage,” Shirai explained. “Ideally, I would like, in agreement with my editor [Sugita], that the story is not extended too much. Ideally, I foresee 20 or even 30 volumes.”
Scope creep will likely play a factor based on history. The manga’s escape arc was originally supposed to be finished around Volumes 3 or 4, but in reality, it took Volume 5 to reach an ending to that critical story arc.
Since the publisher releases about 5 volumes per year, Volume 16 should be out by the end of 2019. And by the end of 2020, the creators will pass the Volume 20 mark. Reaching Volume 30 would put the manga’s ending in 2022.
While Shirai did estimate up to 30 volumes, it’s possible he discussed the matter with his editor since a note released in Weekly Shonen Jump in September 2018 claimed the manga was entering the final story arc.
“Thanks for all the votes you sent,” Shirai wrote. “The final arc is starting now. I will work hard!”
Unless the final story arc is extraordinarily long in comparison to all the previous story arcs combined then it seems like he and illustrator Posuka Demizu are shooting for an ending somewhere closer to the Volume 20 mark. Let’s just hope it ends in such a way that would make for a decent length Season 3.
Yakusoku no Neverland Season 2 release date
As of the last update, CloverWorks (a subsidiary of Aniplex), A-1 Pictures, or any company related to the production of the anime has only officially confirmed that The Promised Neverland Season 2 release date will be in 2020. The production of a sequel was announced but not the exact premiere time frame.
Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when the Yakusoku no Neverland Season 2 premiere date will occur in the future.
Already there are rumors abounding. On March 26, 2019, AnimeTV tweeted, “The Promised Neverland Season 2 should be released in January 2020. The info could change!” This tweet appears to be based upon an unconfirmed report from a Japanese spoilers website, which makes the same claim.
Yonkou Productions (who often receives insider information) has been discussing the TPN Season 2 announcement and other anime fans have speculated on when production might start.
Cloverworks is working on FGO and that's due october, while if a yama no susu s4 is in the works then a lot of the TPN animators and the character designer will be be busy. I expect them to start working on Season 2 no earlier than February 2020
— Ryu X (@RyuX09471745) March 28, 2019
It’s possible a different animation studio could produce the second season of TPN, but CloverWorks only has several future projects announced so far.
The Rascal Does Not Dream Of A Dreaming Girl movie is scheduled for June 2019 and the Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Fine movie is set for Q4 2019. The anime TV series Fate/Grand Order – Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia is also scheduled for an unknown time frame in 2019.
Anime projects take years to develop and thus new anime are scheduled years in advance. Most studios are booked up completely. Even though Season 2 is already in the planning stages, that’s why audiences will likely have to wait until late 2020 to watch what happens next to the children of Grace Field House.
The Promised Neverland Season 2 spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)
Note: This article was initially published before The Promised Neverland Episode 12 aired in Japan and the spoilers will be updated.
Mother Isabella may have done her best to foil the plans of the escaping and tried to get Emma to give into despair by allowing the system to convert her to its whims. In the end, Emma, Ray, and several of the children managed to outwit the Mom and escape Grace Field, a task which Isabella considered impossible.
Now that the children are gone into the demon forest, Isabella hides the evidence of how Emma and Ray’s group escaped Plantation #3 by jumping the gap. By taking this action, the demons will be hunting for the children in the wrong places within the plantations. Isabella prays they have the courage she lacked to survive and then thrive in the outside world.
Emma and Ray plan on searching for William Minerva in a spot discovered by dismantling her pen, which turns out to have an image projector built in. The projected image shows a Morse code owl for B01-14. But their planning is quickly interrupted when the children begin to disappear!
The kids are separated and dragged underground by a blood-sucking tree creature that preys on animals… and apparently unwary humans. While the children manage to escape carnivorous plants, it’s not long before the demons realize where they’re at and assault the area using communication devices to coordinate their actions.
The attack by the demon turns into a deadly game of tag. Ray has a plan to entrap the demon using the underground roots cave, but suddenly the demon’s head is severed by a second demon holding a sword. Other children find themselves rescued by a strange person riding a horse.
Confronted by these strange rescuers in a cave, the ever-wary Emma and Ray discover their saviors are actually demons named Sonju and Mujika! It turns out these two demons belong to a religious sect who don’t eat humans and they just want to talk to Emma and Ray.
Emma asked Sonju and Mujika what happened to create the world they live in. Based on reading the books back at Grace House, the children had wrongly thought they might not be on Earth, that it wasn’t really the year 2046, or that demons had overrun the world 30 years ago.
Warning: The following three paragraphs reveal what is really happening in the world.
Instead, Sonju and Mujika revealed that demons and humans had coexisted for centuries, with some humans hunting demons with bows and spears and demons eating humans. Humanity offered to split the world in two and a pact was created one thousand years ago where both sides would stop hunting each other.
Emma is aghast to learn that humanity offered her own ancestors as a parting gift to the demon world to be raised and treated like cattle. Similar to how Isabella pragmatically sacrificed everything for limited survival within the human farming system, humanity itself had chosen to sacrifice Emma’s ancestors so they could live in relative peace.
Besides information, the demons also teach the kids some survival tactics. Hunting animals presents a moral quandary for Emma since she’s forced to reckon with hunting for survival.
Although Emma and Ray hoped to find a way to the human world they were informed that an impassable border was created between the two worlds.
Because they believe everything in Grace Field house from the books to the house was created in the human world they believe Minerva must have a way to travel between the worlds. With this knowledge in mind, Emma and Ray swear to escape the demon world.
The search for B06-32 leads the children to an underground shelter where they find a grown human man who was an escapee from a different plantation 13 years ago. Haunted by his past, this unnamed man refuses to tell Emma and Ray his actual name. So, Emma just calls him Mister, while Mister refers to Emma as Antenna due to her hair.
Based upon the information contained in the B06-32 shelter they decide to go to a location called A08-63 in search of William Minerva. Mister causes the children all sorts of problems and has to be blackmailed in order to help. Even though the kids are now armed with guns, the journey is made even more difficult by wild demons lurking in the forest.
The final act of The Promised Neverland Season 2 will be the most action-packed episodes in the anime to date. Called Goldy Pond, the underground facility A08-63 has been overrun by demons and for years has operated as a top-secret hunting reserve for hunting humans maintained and owned by the aristocrat demon Lord Bayon.
1,000 years ago, Lord Bayon was the demon who came up with the farming system that allowed demons to consume human flesh regularly while still complying with the treaty. Bored with mere farming, demons called the Poachers gather children into Goldy Pond by buying kids from farms or poaching humans from the outside.
Goldy Pond has three rules: Music, Monsters, and Survive. Every three days, the music starts playing and five demons and their attendants descend upon 50 human orphans in a great hunt. The children must survive until the music stops and then three days later the hunt starts up all over again.
These battles will culminate in the fight against Demon Archduke Leuvis, a poacher who has grown bored of “pathetic” hunting. Capable of catching bullets and regenerating, this demon is truly a creature of nightmares.
Almost caught in an ambush, Leuvis marks Emma as his target prey because he considers her a worthy opponent. Never mind Lord Bayon and the other demons, Emma, Ray, and Mister must figure out how to survive against Leuvis and uncover the secrets of Goldy Pond.
Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until The Promised Neverland Season 2 release date to find out what happens. Thankfully, the wait isn’t too long. Stay tuned!