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The Promised Neverland’s Dystopia Revisited

“It was for survival. Longer than anyone.”

-Mom Isabella, The Promised Neverland, Episode 12

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The anatomy of a turning point: more on the cinematography of The Promised Neverland

Since the series’ second episode, The Promised Neverland had settled into a pattern. Episode 8 broke that pattern, visually, aurally, and narratively.

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The Camera of The Promised Neverland

Anime series don’t have a camera in the traditional sense, which means that they can get away with shots that would be impossible, or at least require extraordinary effort, in live-action filmmaking.

The Promised Neverland cleverly stays grounded, choosing shots that would be possible for a film camera. Reminiscent of other suspenseful action-adventure series like Made In Abyss, The Promised Neverland makes full use of this grounded camera, framing, and lighting to play with our expectations as viewers while heightening the tension, fear, and distrust expressed by the series’ three leads in Emma, Norman, and Ray.

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