The Promised Neverland Season 3 anime will require that Emma, Ray, and the rest of the children forge a new path based on the anime’s original content.
But when will Yakusoku no Neverland Season 3 come out? Unfortunately, the anime requires a Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood-style reboot to adapt The Promised Neverland manga’s ending in a proper way since the second season spat out an anime original ending that’s left no one happy.
The anime series is being produced by animation studio CloverWorks, which is known for producing the popular Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai anime, co-producing Darling in the FranXX, and the Fate/Grand Order anime series. In 2021, they also released the Horimiya anime, Wonder Egg Priority, and Shadows House.
The Promised Neverland anime project is being helmed by director Mamoru Kanbe of Elfen Lied fame. Toshiya Ono (Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga) handled the series composition, while Kazuaki Shimada (Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara) created the character designs.
The original manga creator Kaiu Shirai was involved in the making of the second season. The writer created anime original content which expanded on the story.
The Promised Neverland Season 3 OP (opening) and ED (ending) theme song music hasn’t been announced yet.
For the second season, the OP “Identity” was performed by Kiro Akiyama. The ED “Maho” was performed by Myuk.
The second season was streaming on FUNimation and Hulu. Oddly enough, Crunchyroll carried the first season but not the second despite FUNimation buying Crunchyroll in December 2020.
On February 11, 2021 (past midnight in Japan on February 12), the anime series aired a special recap episode. That meant The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 6 release date was pushed back to February 18, 2021.
The second season was a single cour. The finale, The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 11, released on March 25, 2021 (past midnight in Japan on March 26).
- Updated June 16, 2021: Added The Promised Neverland Season 2 Blu-Ray/DVD disc sales numbers in Japan.
This article provides everything that is known about The Promised Neverland Season 3 (Yakusoku no Neverland Season 3) 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 Season 3 release date prediction: Promise unkept
As of the last update, Aniplex, Shueisha, CloverWorks, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed The Promised Neverland Season 3 release date. Nor has the production of a sequel been announced.
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, or if, the Yakusoku no Neverland Season 3 release date will occur in the future.
The elephant in the room is that the manga finished in 2020 (with the exception of several one-shot bonus chapters). Thus, the anime production committee apparently decided that the second season needed to summarize the remaining unadapted manga chapters in a single, short cour.
Manga fans were outraged at how the second season was handled, and the bad reviews in comparison to the first season reflect their outcry. The critics have also slammed the second season for continually breaking basic storytelling rules.
Thus, for the situation to be correct, there essentially needs to be a The Promised Neverland reboot. But it’s doubtful that the committee will make such a move when the manga is over and the financial numbers don’t justify such drastic action.
The first story arc was by far the most popular yet the Blu-Ray/DVD sales were only 1,372 copies in the first week in Japan back in 2019. Japanese fans showed their dissatisfaction with the second season by buying only 324 BD/DVD copies of Volume 1 in its first week of sales. BD Volume 2 didn’t do any better, selling only 317 copies in its first week in June 2021.
Fortunately, international streaming revenue is the major factor for success nowadays. The series has been popular on FUNimation, Crunchyroll, Hulu, and even Netflix U.S. licensed the first season.
At this time, the second season is planned to be the final season of the anime adaptation. Thus, making a prediction about The Promised Neverland Season 3 release date impossible to discern.
The Promised Neverland Season 2 Netflix release date
The first season of the anime series first began streaming on Netflix on September 1, 2020. The Promised Neverland Season 2 Netflix release date is still to be determined.
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. Similarly, the third season will follow the same pattern.
The Promised Neverland manga one-shots continue the story
The Promised Neverland manga was launched by writer Kaiu Shirai and illustrator Posuka Demizu (Kirugumi, Poppy No Negai). The manga was serialized in Shonen Jump from August 2016 through June 2020. The final Chapter 18 was released as part of Volume 20 in October 2020.
The official English translation by Viz Media still hasn’t quite caught up yet. The English Volume 19 comes out on May 4, 2021, while Volume 20 releases on July 6, 2021.
Multiple one shot manga chapters have been released after the final chapter. The First Shot (October 4, 2020) told the story of how Ray came to realize the dark secrets of the world. Seeking the Sky of Freedom (December 6, 2020) told more about Sister Krone’s backstory. A Mother’s Determination (December 13, 2020) shows what happened to Isabella (Mom) after gaining the rank of Grandma after Emma and Ray’s escape and her schemes with the actual biological mothers of the kids.
We Were Born (January 3, 2021) is more of a standalone story that can be read without knowing anything about The Promised Neverland. It paints the picture of a different orphanage in the human world that still betrays its innocents and how people can come to give meaning to their lives.
The story of the creation of the manga is almost as interesting as the manga itself. In 2013, Shirai literally showed up at a pitch meeting with 300 pages of the first draft, which was unheard of in general, never mind for an inexperienced author. The initial presentation included the first fifteen chapters, the entirety of the Jailbreak arc.
Originally, the title was supposed to be the rather mundane How We Survive in This World, but Eiichiro Oda of One Piece fame and the marketing department came up with Neverland only to add “yakusoku” since it sounded “kind”. The word also linked to the core of the story.
Shirai is also a manga artist but his editor believed his drawings couldn’t convey the strength of the story. Nine different artists were approached with the project, but these artists either thought their art style didn’t mesh or they could conceive the manga becoming popular. Demizu just happened to be finishing up a different project and when she read the earlier script she found herself enthralled and immediately signed up.
In the past, the two creators revealed that William Minerva initially did not exist in the story. According to their editor, they planned out the final ending sometime around Volume 9 and it was intended for the finale to be “like a rollercoaster” which is why it came to a stop so suddenly.
Yakusoku no Neverland manga compared to the second season: Episode 4 changes everything
Fans of The Promised Neverland manga know that the anime is essentially a retelling of the story that can be enjoyed on its own merits. Animation allows certain emotions to be conveyed in comparison to still drawings, but there are drawbacks.
While the studio tried to keep the heart of the story they were open about the fact that the anime was not going to be a one-to-one adaptation. Animation producer Yuichi Fukushima admitted, “While we were still trying to be faithful to the original work, we made our own, in an animated way, to make it into a living work.”
It’s quite evident that the anime production committee decided early in pre-production that they wanted the second season to finish adapting the entire story in as few episodes as possible. There were also some noticeable production schedule issues that affected the animation quality, but all of the real problems with the second season stem from that decision.
The first season covered the longest story arc of the entire manga series and so it was forced to condense dialogue and make other changes in consideration of the limitations of the TV episodic format. Some long scenes were skipped entirely and the inner monologues in the manga allowed readers to understand the character’s motivation better.
The first season ended with Volume 5: Chapter 37, which meant the pacing averaged about three chapters per episode. The next three story arcs are 58 chapters combined, so in order to maintain the same pacing the second season would have needed two cours.
Instead, the second season stunned manga fans by doubling the pacing for the first three episodes and reducing the season length to only 11 episodes. Episode 1 adapted Chapters 38 through 45, while Episode 2 covered Chapters 46 through 49. They bridged the gap between the manga and the anime original ending with new content written by original author Shirai.
Normally, you would think this would be a recipe for disaster, but CloverWorks made it work… but only for the first several episodes. The tonal shift is apparent right from the second season’s opening chase scene. While the first season was brimming with tension from mind games and psychological horror, the second season became focused more on survival horror action.
Even with the quick pacing the anime still managed to capture the tension and the characterization of the “kind” demons Mujika and Sonju. When Emma and Ray were regaled with the history of the world between humans and demons the anime director chose to focus on the emotions of the children’s faces whereas manga Chapter 47 used a flashback format to show what happened thousands of years ago.
Unfortunately, the concessions required by this fast pacing meant that dialogue was greatly condensed and entire chapters were skipped. The anime briefly mentions the tree root trap being in William Minerva’s book, whereas the anime actually showed the kids being trapped and escaping using their wits.
The mystery behind the pen is quickly summarized. Manga Chapter 48 also included foreshadowing about how the children will make enemies of “demon language symbol” if they break the “promise”.
The anime also didn’t mention at this point the existence of factory farming where nameless humans are kept drugged for the mass production of cheap meat. There are only 4 premium plantations like Grace Field in the manga, but the anime apparently extended that to five plants.
Episode 3 was the first big departure from the manga’s story. Despite adapting Chapters 50 through 55 out of order, the biggest surprise to manga readers was when Emma’s group arrived at Shelter B06-32 and no one was home!
The changes ran deeper than introducing original content since the anime also cut important dialogue between Emma and Mujika where the demon tells her to look for “the seven walls” after giving Emma the amulet. This seemingly small change was important since it signaled that the anime would be skipping many story arcs in a rush to the finish.
The anime shows that the two demons weren’t so friendly after all since Sonju’s true motivation for helping the children was the hope that he could one day hunt and eat wild, natural humans based on the limitations set by their religious faith. But the anime left out the important detail that only humans could break the promise and that more than one promise existed. The manga also showed that Mujika really did support Emma’s cause.
If the third episode was surprising, then The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 4 was absolutely shocking. The recorded conversation with William Minerva and the big reveal that he’s actually James Ratri wasn’t supposed to happen until Chapter 72 (a second recording from Minerva occured in Chapter 110).
The anime also revealed the Demons’ weakness when Ray luckily shot the large wild demon’s middle eye out with an arrow. Their weak spot is their middle eye, which cannot regenerate, which explains why all the demons wear masks to cover their middle eye.
By Episode 4 it had become apparent that the anime was going to outright skip the Goldy Pond arc entirely. Episode 4 went out of its way to note the passing of time by showing the children spending months in their new bunker home. When the children are listening to intercepted radio messages, Plant 5 (in the manga there are only 4 premium farm plants!?) says everything is normal on February 26, 2046.
That date is not random at all. In The Promised Neverland manga’s timeline, February 26 is when Emma learned Mister’s real name, Yugo, for the first time… after the Goldy Pond story arc is over! What’s more, the anime version also changed the scrawlings on the wall from “Poachers” to simply “HELP”, thus removing a Goldy Pond reference.
Another huge change was that scheming Mama Isabella returned. In the manga, she didn’t come back until near the ending.
The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 5 was probably a welcome change to manga readers in some ways, but even to anime-only audiences it must have felt disjointed. The manga also used time skips but the anime skipped many months ahead to 2047 without building on the major character developments.
Why bring back Isabella, tell us she has a plan to recapture the children, and then have her be absent and ineffective for literally an entire year? Worse, Isabella’s return fell completely flat since she became completely irrelevant in the following episodes.
It literally meant nothing. A change with interesting narrative potential became pointless since she’s never shown pursuing the kids. By the time she popped up later in the anime she’d already been promoted to Grandmother, an inexplicable achievement considering how the demons were shown treating her failure at Grace Field.
On the other hand, Episode 5 was a welcome change was that the original author expanded the time skip from Chapter 102, when Emma, Ray, Don, Gilda, Violet and Zack searched for The Seven Walls. The anime greatly expanded on their adventures in a demon village rather than simply showing them coming back 7 months later with answers conveniently in hand.
Emma’s experiences with the elderly blind demon and the families in the demon village provide a better context for why the characters develop competing worldviews. The anime version also briefly enacts the “show not tell” rule of good storytelling by neatly summarizing how demons degenerate into mindless wild demons after months of not eating human meat. In the manga, this fact was revealed by Norman in an info dump rather than shown in action.
Better yet, these anime original scenes reinforce why Emma makes certain moral decisions later in the story when she takes on Norman, whose opposing ideals intertwines with a god complex. When that conflict occurs the anime could have expanded the premise by building up the tension and creating consequences for that person’s actions so the climax maintains its compelling narrative.
Of course, the big surprise twist in Episode 5 was that Norman is alive. In the manga, readers learned that Norman was still alive in the middle of the Gold Pond arc. But Emma, Ray, and the rest of the children didn’t reunite with Norman in person until Chapter 118.
Norman’s early return meant that his adventures in relation to Lambda 7214 were summarized in an exposition dump. The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 6 introduced the main conflict that’s only resolved near the ending of the story.
Unfortunately, Norman’s progression into a revolutionary leader known as the Boss is completely glossed over by an almost stoic rendition of the horrors he experienced at Lambda. While many manga readers felt this particular story arc was weak, the anime version is weakened further by the fact that Norman’s stunning return was stunted by his character growth being delivered as a giant info dump.
Starting with Episode 7, the downward descent with the storytelling only fell off the cliff and began its plunge into the abyss. Basic storytelling rules related to “show not tell” went out the window along with any tension or dramatic mood that the first season worked so hard to establish.
Episode 8 literally wastes screen with a montage of the children aimlessly searching the wood in hopes of finding Mujika and Sonju and preventing demon genocide by the revenge-minded humans.
Also, who in the studio staff honestly thought it was a good idea to borrow the Batman vs Superman Martha moment? While it was weird how Norman gave up his genocidal plans in the manga, the anime made the conflict downright laughable by having the elderly demon Vylk cling to his granddaughter and call out her name as “Emma”.
We’re supposed to believe a blood-covered Norman change his mind simply due to a demon child bearing the same name as his dear sibling? It was ridiculous in Batman vs Superman and, thankfully, the anime staff realized it would be ridiculous in The Promised Neverland anime.
Hearing Emma’s name come out of the mouth of a demon was enough to make Norman pause, but not stop his attack. It was only Emma’s emotional appeal to his inner doubts that finally resonated with Norman, making him finally admit that he was clinging to his plan out of the desire to shoulder all the hardship alone.
Still, Episode 9 continued the manga’s mistakes by not having Norman face any repercussions for his actions. It’s downright convenient that both Mujika and the Elderly demon have the evil blood capable of undoing the damage done by Norman.
What’s inexplicable is that Norman’s Lambda crew of demon killers abruptly experience an about-face. Although Barbara hesitated when she saw herself in the face of the frightened demon child, would Cislo, Zazie, and the others really give up their obsession with revenge simply because the Boss said, “Oops?”
With the conflict between Emma and Norman off the table, the anime promotes Peter Ratri to genius mastermind villain. But since he’s never been developed as a villain he might as well be an empty cosplay suit.
Ratri doesn’t even pose a decent threat. The big conflict is that the younger siblings from Grace Field are scheduled to be shipped out early, but that dilemma is conveniently solved by the elderly demon possessing William Minerva’s pen with all the conveniently unchanged security schematics necessary for the kids to break back into Grace Field House and the central farm command center.
The pen even conveniently solves the illness that the Lambda survivors are suffering from. It was this illness that had caused the central conflict to come to a boil since Norman felt his time was limited and thus he must strike quickly.
Then in Episode 10 the Lambda kids just conveniently provide a whole fleet of hot air balloons in the middle of a wasteland. The Lambda kids are supposed to be special, but it still seems odd they manage to not only survive and concoct a genocidal drug plan yet conveniently have the time to scrape together the materials for hot air balloons.
I’m getting tired of typing out conveniently at this point, so I’ll just say the solution to the conflicts in this anime is one deus ex machina after another.
And when it seems as if Ratri might win, Isabella and her fellow Moms abruptly turn their guns on the cartoon villain. This plot twist is given literally zero development or foreshadowing. If the second season had received 12 episodes it could have made Isabella’s plot twist believable, which is especially sad since an entire manga one-shot explains why Isabella’s motivations shifted from self-preservation to turning traitor on the demons.
Another major point left unaddressed by Episode 10 was that all of the main problems with demon society were essentially caused by the royal family and the nobility. In Episode 7, Norman explained that they were the true villains who knew about the magic evil blood workaround that wouldn’t require humans to be farmed.
Yet hundreds of years ago the royals slaughtered most of the evil-blooded demons and kept all other demons reliant on the farms in order to main their oppressive power structure. Needless to say, in the manga, Norman didn’t have any qualms about slaughtering the queen and the royals for all of their evils despite coming to regret attempting genocide.
Upon the deaths of the royals, Sonju and Mujika served the purpose of filling in the power vacuum. By Episode 10, the nobility still exists as an existential threat to all evil-blooded demons willing to partake in an uprising against the world order. Since the royals don’t exist as villains in the anime these good demons can’t fix the source of the demon world’s problems by simply stepping up.
After all, the evil-blooded demons have been living in hiding for many years due to persecution by the nobility, so audiences are expected to believe their mere existence will magically alter demon society? That the nobility (which is just briefly shown in Episode 11) will allow their tight control to lapse to the point that the demon peasants are abruptly willing to rise up?
Yet, somehow, Sonju, Mujika, and the elderly evil-blooded demon magically convert hundreds of civilian demons into a Good Demon Army, rush across the world to Grace Field House, and arrive in the nick of time to conveniently rescue the kids from the big, bad villain.
Oops, there I go saying conveniently again. But that’s why all these literary contrivances come off as so absurd. The conflicts are all quickly resolved in contrived ways that remove high stakes and thus drastically reduce any tension that might come from them.
With only Episode 11 left to summarize the ending, it was inevitable just how low the anime’s downfall would become. It’s probably somewhere in the lower layers of Made In Abyss, since this TV show has already been transformed into something unrecognizable.
Petri Ratri’s motivations for his villainy were finally fleshed out as an obsession with the belief that it was the Ratri clan’s noble mission to continue the necessary sacrifices of their friends as was decided long ago. Unfortunately, this emotional confession about his betrayal of his older brother for becoming William Minerva was reduced to a PowerPoint animation of stills.
Isabella’s atonement scene essentially involved the children being willing to forgive an abusive mother. But that’s a delicate subject given a short amount of time, so rather than being emotional, it came off as unbelievable.
What’s really interesting is that Episode 11 completely changed the manga’s controversial ending by having Emma, Norman, Ray, and the other Lambda kids being willing to stay behind, save the mass-production children, and change the demon world. This anime original plot twist could have been an interesting premise for The Promised Neverland Season 3.
At least the anime’s writers recognized that the earlier episodes had left a major plot regarding the nobility. But this monumental struggle was instead reduced to yet another PowerPoint presentation with stirring music in the background.
But, hey, at least the anime version had a much happier ending than the manga.
How an anime reboot can improve The Promised Neverland manga’s ending
All in all, up until the anime original content the anime had been averaging about six chapters per episode (excluding Episode 4). A reboot of the second season could continue from this point, but then it could also keep some of the few improvements offered by the second season, including the demon village, the early reintroduction of Norman and Isabella, and perhaps even the new ending.
Although manga purists might be aghast, this option might make some manga fans happy, especially since it would fix several qualms critics have with the manga’s ending.
The main problem with the manga has always been the second half and the ending. While everyone agrees that the Goldy Pond arc was great, many feel as if the author couldn’t figure out a good way to resolve all the main conflicts.
The fact that the original author has modified the anime to augment the storytelling in the manga’s time skip with the demon village is the best example. Critics had long pointed out that the conflict between Emma and Norman over whether to wipe out the entire demon race didn’t feel right because the manga didn’t adequately depict Emma’s reasons for feeling compassion for her natural enemy.
The anime has already fixed this problem by showing audiences the demon village families and the reason why they’re so desperate to kill humans. Previously, it seemed as if humans were simply a delicacy favored by the demon nobility, but now we know that their survival as a race hinges on eating humans to avoid degenerating.
Thus, audiences can relate to Emma’s decision to oppose Norman’s genocidal plan for defeat their enemies. Better yet, by having Norman along for the ride earlier in the story it should be possible for this conflict to be resolved in a more natural way.
In the manga, there’s a lot of build-up to a big confrontation but then Emma simply manages to talk Norman out of his plan. To manga readers, this resolution to the problem didn’t feel realistic, especially since there were no major repercussions for Norman to experience.
The anime reboot should give ample time to showing Norman’s experiences in Lambda. By using show not tell storytelling, audiences should become sympathetic to his cause and thus his determination that all demons are evil.
What’s more, the story could be reworked so Norman is present for Goldy Pond, which gives ample evidence for Norman’s argument that all demons deserve to die. And then the demon village arc would give Emma’s side evidence for why genocide isn’t the answer.
Similarly, Isabella should be brought back in early again. But this time she should be shown re-earning the trust of the demons by chasing the kids over time, and there should be a series of near-misses.
Perhaps Isabella could be present for Goldy Pond and the horror of the human hunts. Through these interactions, Isabella’s shift in motivations can be developed, including how she manages to convince her fellow Moms to rebel against their demon masters.
If the original author is fixing time skips then another obvious target is expanding the ending in Chapter 181. In the manga, two years passed, leaving many unanswered questions, whereas the anime could further explore what happened to children and fill in the blanks.
What’s more, many manga readers disliked how the manga’s ending was handled. It was a bittersweet ending where Isabella sacrificed her life to protect Emma from a sudden attack. The price of the new Promise was that Emma lost her memories and then was separated from her family. While Norman and Ray eventually track her down, Emma doesn’t even recognize them, and yet they decide to live together despite Emma having no recollection of her past.
Arguably, having Emma and the others stay behind in the demon world to lead a revolution was a better concept. So, ending on that note and fleshing it out would make for a better ending an anime reboot.
If the anime production committee were to reboot the second season in such a manner, the second season’s finale could adapt this new vision of Goldy Pond and find a stopping point near Volume 11: Chapter 96.
It’s the best stopping point since 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.
This stopping point would leave 86 chapters in 6 story arcs for the anime to finish. A good scenario is that the third season is two cours and reduces the pacing so the ending is done right.
If the anime production committee chooses to go that path the story could be finished with 23 episodes while still reducing the adaptation pacing down to four chapters per episode.
Although some manga readers might still gripe about the anime skipping so much content with such pacing, at least such a reboot plan would fix the manga’s issues. Thus, it could be argued that when both the manga and anime are combined they offer a complete picture that’s a better vision overall.
In this scenario there really isn’t a decent stopping point based on the way the story arcs naturally flow from one to the next. Adding a season break would be like stopping a rollercoaster mid-ride. Thus, it would better for a rebooted third season to finish the story in one go rather than wait on The Promised Neverland Season 4.
Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait and hope that a The Promised Neverland reboot happens. Stay tuned!