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The Promised Neverland Season 2 release date: Yakusoku no Neverland Season 2 delayed to 2021 by coronavirus

The Promised Neverland artwork
The Promised Neverland Season 2 will still be brimming with tension from mind games and psychological horror, but now the story will be much more action-oriented. Pic credit: Posuka Demizu

The Promised Neverland Season 2 release date in Japan has officially been confirmed to be scheduled for January 7, 2021, the winter 2021 anime season.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Netflix release date is still to be determined. The first season of the anime series first began streaming on September 1, 2020.

Netflix U.S. usually sets up anime seasons for binge-watching, so the earliest we might expect Netflix U.S. to start streaming the second season is in spring 2021.

Earlier in 2020, the official Twitter account for the anime series had announced that the premiere of the Yakusoku no Neverland Season 2 anime had been delayed due to the worldwide SARS-COV-2 coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement was made shortly before The Promised Neverland manga’s ending was released in Chapter 181.

After all, watching 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.

The Yakusoku no Neverland Season 2 anime will finally explain what’s really going on in the larger world, and there’s the mystery surrounding William Minerva.

During Anime Expo 2019, TPN director Mamoru Kanbe said that adapting the manga’s story will definitely be a “challenge”. He also said the staff is already working on the anime’s script.

Producer Kenta Suzuki spoke about how The Promised Neverland Season 2 will be different since the first season was focused on the main characters escaping from Grace Field House.

The Promised Neverland Emma
A key visual for The Promised Neverland Season 2 anime that was released in August 2020. Pic credit: A-1 Pictures/ Cloverworks

For the second season, they want to focus on whether Emma will be able to keep the promise that she made.

“I definitely want everyone to feel the same intense experience as the first season,” Suzuki told audiences at Anime Expo 2019.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 anime is being produced by animation studio CloverWorks, which is known for producing the popular Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai anime and co-producing Darling in the FranXX.

The project is being helmed by director Mamoru Kanbe of Elfen Lied fame. 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.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 OP (opening) and ED (ending) theme song music have not yet been announced.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Key Visual
A key visual for The Promised Neverland Season 2 released in December 2019. Pic credit: A-1 Pictures/Cloverworks
  • Updated November 5, 2020: Added exact The Promised Neverland Season 2 release date.
  • Updated September 1, 2020: Added The Promised Neverland Season 2 Netflix U.S. details.
  • Updated August 11, 2020: Added new key visual for The Promised Neverland Season 2 anime.
  • Updated June 15, 2020: Added The Promised Neverland manga’s ending info, Volume 20 release date, and how the final chapter 181 impacts the anime series.

This article provides everything that is known about The Promised Neverland Season 2 (Yakusoku no 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 July 3, 2020, the Shonen Jump serialization was up to Volume 19.

Historically, the release schedule has been predictable, so The Promised Neverland Volume 20 will likely come out in October 2020. Volume 20 will contain the final ending, Chapter 181.

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 10. The release date for Volume 15 occurred on June 2, 2020, while Volume 16 comes out on August 4, 2020, and Volume 17 on November 3, 2020.

The Promised Neverland Volume 14 Cover Art
The cover art for The Promised Neverland Volume 14 is such a tease. Pic credit: Posuka Demizu

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 Volume 6 Cover Art
The anime ends in the middle of Volume 5, but Volume 6 is where the story really begins to pick up. Pic credit: Posuka Demizu

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 The Promised Neverland 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 Yakusoku no Neverland Season 2, the ending of the manga series offers enough source material for The Promised Neverland Season 3 to be a two-cour season again.

The Promised Neverland manga ending in 2020 with Volume 20

While there is plenty of story in The Promised Neverland manga left to adapt to new anime episodes, the manga itself has already reached its 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 “ideally,” the manga series will end within 20 to 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 played a factor in the length of the story. 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.

While Shirai did estimate up to 30 volumes, it’s possible these plans were revised greatly since, in August 2019, the manga entered the final story arc beginning with Chapter 160 of Volume 18.

“Thanks for all the votes you sent,” Shirai wrote. “The final arc is starting now. I will work hard!”

What’s more, Chapter 175 of Volume 20 contained world-changing story events. The manga could have introduced an unexpected plot twist in chapters released in May 2020, but it seems like Shirai and illustrator Posuka Demizu decided to tell the story they wanted to tell without lengthening it unnecessarily.

Considering that The Promised Neverland 181 contained the ending, manga Volume 20 will be the final volume. As previously mentioned, Volume 20 will be released in October 2020.

Thankfully, the manga ended in such a way that The Promised Neverland Season 3 will definitely be necessary to finish the anime’s story.

The Promised Neverland Manga Characters Emma Ray Children
The main The Promised Neverland characters right before they embark into the Demon Forest. Pic credit: Posuka Demizu

Yakusoku no Neverland Season 2 release date delayed to 2021 by the COVID-19 pandemic

CloverWorks (a subsidiary of Aniplex) and A-1 Pictures initially planned for The Promised Neverland Season 2 release date to be scheduled for October 2020, the fall 2020 anime season.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the premiere was pushed back to January 7, 2021, the winter 2021 anime season.

“Notice of postponement of broadcasting of TV anime ‘Promise Neverland,'” stated the official Twitter account. “Due to the spread of new coronavirus infection, we will postpone the [rebroadcast of the first season and the broadcast of Season 2]. We plan to rebroadcast [the first season on Japanese TV stations in October 2020], and [the second season in January 2021].”

In April 2020, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a national state of emergency. Many anime studios’ schedules have suffered from cascading effects due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the mitigation efforts by all nations.

Many studios outsource parts of the production process to contractors located in China and South Korea. Sometimes compositing is outsourced entirely, and these companies handle multiple projects at the same time.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 anime is just one of several major anime that suffered delays. Black Clover Episode 133Sword Art Online: Alicization ~War of Underworld~ Part 2That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime Season 2Slime Diaries Season 1The Seven Deadly Sins Season 4Haikyuu!! Season 4Pokemon Journeys: The Series, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Season 3The Quintessential Quintuplets Season 2Re: ZERO Season 2, and No Guns Life Part 2 were all pushed back to later dates.

Anime projects take years to develop, and thus, new anime are scheduled years in advance. Most studios are booked up completely.

It’s believed that production on The Promised Neverland Season 2 began in winter 2020, which would explain why the anime was delayed by the global pandemic.

Due to the interlinked nature of the production process, the progress rate for many studios decreased dramatically to the point that rescheduling was necessary.

Industry insiders claim it’s taking about double the time to create new episodes and three times as long to produce dubbed versions of episodes.

Even though Season 2 was already in production, that’s why audiences needed to wait until 2021 to watch what happens next to the children of Grace Field House.

Hopefully, The Promised Neverland Season 2 premiere will not be pushed back a second time by the pandemic’s Second Wave.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)

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 that 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 demons named Sonju and Mujika! It turns out these two demons belong to a religious sect who don’t eat humans, and they 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 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 Promised Neverland Manga Yugo Mister Unnamed Man
Emm, Ray, and the kids find a mysterious man waiting for them at B06-32. Pic credit: Posuka Demizu

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 on 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 to help.

Even though the kids are now armed with guns, the journey is even more difficult by wild demons lurking in the forest.

The Promised Neverland Manga Emma Ray Yugo Guns
Locked and loaded! No longer defenseless, Emma and Ray set out into the Demon Forest with the unnamed man as an unwilling guide. Pic credit: Posuka Demizu

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.

One thousand 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 gathered 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 attendees 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 all over again.

The Promised Neverland Manga Goldy Pond Resistance Characters
An orphan organization called the Goldy Pond Resistance patches up the kids’ wounds in-between hunts. Like Emma and Ray, the resistance knows about the demons and their plantations. Their goal is the destruction of Goldy Pond and to protect as many unwitting children as possible. Pic credit: Posuka Demizu

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.

The Promised Neverland Manga Archduke Leuvis Demon
The demon Archduke Leuvis is easily the manga’s most memorable villain. Pic credit: Posuka Demizu

Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until The Promised Neverland Season 2 release date to find out what happens. Thankfully, the unexpected delay isn’t too long. Stay tuned!

Patrick Frye is Monsters and Critics' Anime Editor. He considers himself a "woke-taku" and he enjoys covering all the latest news related to Japanese entertainment.... read more


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