Anime

The Promised Neverland Episode 2 – The Power of Three

Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I continue our collab review of The Promised Neverland. The second episode, 121045, continues the exploration of a world that’s decidedly more sinister than it first appears. But you already know that if you survived the first episode! And it’s probably the reason you returned for the second.

Though I’m still uneasy about the whole children in danger idea…

I'll be in regular type, and Irina will be bold.

Did the second episode live up to the promise of the first? Is it a worthy successor in terms of suspense? Danger? Raw nerve and courage?

Let's just say that the scenes near the end gave me goosebumps. Not scared goosebumps. Impressed as hell goosebumps.

Irina, before we dive into this episode, any opening thoughts?

I continue to be smitten by the visuals. Those colours are the bestest. I’m pretty sure there was an OP last week but I think the episode overshadowed it because I had forgotten it entirely. It’s nice. I like the music. Very optimistic.

In contrast to that optimism, I had to feel bad for poor Emma! I don’t blame her for having a nightmare after seeing what she saw, but dang, the girl has got to get a game face! The first time she saw momma after the incident (you know, the big reveal at the end of the last episode? The one dealing with humans being livestock and such?), she looked positively stricken!

Emma, I know you're just a kid, but you're going to need to learn what "poker face" means! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

It was a great scene. You could taste the anxiety. She’s an eleven year old girl after all. All I could think was “be cool Em, just be cool”...

Good thing that Norman took her aside. That kid has nerves of steel! Given Emma’s general compassion for the kids, I sort of expected her to be the most freaked out, but I didn’t really expect Normal to be so cool and calculating.

That “cool and calculating” sure came in handy. I loved how the scene unfolded where Emma and Norman’s intellects fairly danced, one idea building on the last, until they had figured out they likely had two months to get themselves out of there. They were starting to feel a little more confident when they saw something that deflated them.

You know, this type of dystopian horror always works best when it’s almost plausible. Now the idea that the human brains are in fact the delicacy is interesting but the connection between the physical characteristics of the brain and actual intelligence is a bit more iffy.

Women’s brains are smaller on average but don’t decrease in weight as quickly. Height also has an impact. I noticed that Emma was in fact slightly taller than the boys and I’m wonderin if this was actually on purpose. If so, kickass!

Between the two of them, Norman and Emma were able to figure out a lot. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

What did you think, Irina, when mom pulled out what turned out to be a locator to helper her find a missing child -- and put Emma and Norman on notice that she could find them whenever she wanted?

I thought that Mama has to be one of the most terrifying villains I’ve seen in a long time. The disconnect between the visuals and the traditional nurturing role is really effective. I know this is a rather common trope, we’ve seen it a million times but it still works (at least for me). And doubly so since she IS nurturing, caring, tender… She does treat these children as her own… chilling.

Reminds me of growing up on the farm. You had to be gentle with the calves, and I’m sure that from the calves’ perspective, they thought they were being treated well. But fact it, we had to make sure we didn't bruise the veal...

Speaking of Mama, what’d you think of the scene where she confronted Emma? I thought for sure Emma was a goner! But you could just see her summon her courage and put on a smiling face!

That was my favourite scene in the episode (one of the best I’ve seen in awhile) -- the confrontation between Mother and Emma in the hallway. Emma had been fidgety and obviously still in shock all day but she pulled it together in a second. Not only was the turnaround disturbingly flawless but I liked how cruel she was. Sure they had marked mom as an enemy but Emma was twisting that knife with all her strength. She didn’t simply want to avoid getting found out, she was doing everything she could to hurt mom.

There was no thought that in a world of demons, Mother may not have that many options. No sympathy or compassion on that side. I’m not saying she should have any, it’s just worth keeping in mind that this same hero will gladly crush those in her way.

What is momma thinking? What're her motivations? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

Man, I really hope the show develops that idea. What’s more terrifying than a Mama willing to sell “her” children for food? A Mama who does that because she has to -- backed up by the narrative showing us the plausible reasons.

Undeterred by the homing device and by Mama’s steely resolve, Emma and Norman continued their exploration. They found that beyond the useless waist-high wall surrounding their orphanage was an enormous concrete wall. They figured out they could use sheets to make rope. They were trying to figure out how to get everyone over the wall when Ray showed up.

I thought it was awesome how he just said, “Yo.”

As I watched two prepubescent children calmly plan their escape over a huge wall, I was reminded of Attack on Titan and how once again anime is going out of its way to point out that Walls Don’t Work….

Too bad the kids don’t have 3D maneuver gear!

Irina, did you have any concerns about Ray being there? Any thought he might betray them?

None, I think Ray is the saving grace. Emma’s impulsivity and stubbornness might get them in trouble and for some reason, I think that if anyone was going to throw them to the wolves, it would be Norman. He seems like the type that has a “switch”. Know what I mean?

Ray turned out to be almost terrifyingly smart. He knew there was more to their trip to the gate than they were telling him. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

Like he was all suave-like? Able to hold a poker face? You have a great -- if scary! -- point there! I say scary because the people I've know with that skill? I had to watch them with both eyes.

If I thought Norman was cool and calculating, Ray was a computing machine. He immediately accepted their explanation about flesh-eating demons (making he momentarily suspicious!), but then he showed a brutally realistic side. Emma said that they had to take everyone with them, and Ray said absolutely not! He then described to her what it mean that demons were harvesting them: Namely, that there was an entire demon culture out there, and this farm was just a small part of it.

And Norman had already figured that out!

Were you as floored by that revelation as I was, Irina?

I sort of thought they had all already figured it out. I keep forgetting how young they are.

But I’ve always been wondering: what are you running to? I have a feeling it’s gonna get way worse before it gets better.

Ray had already figured out what awaits them outside the wall -- and he was adamant about what they had to do to survive. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

Remember how I said the scenes near the end gave me goosebumps? To understand why, allow me to let you in on a secret. It’s a secret that flies in the face of the lone entrepreneur motif; the image of the lone cowboy, or the renegade politician changing everything.

You want to change the world? You want to lead a revolution? You need an exceptional second in command. You also need someone who gets things done -- and you don’t want to know how they did it. You can’t just go change the world; you need specific kinds of help.

And sacrifice.

Yes. And sacrifice.

Near the end of this episode, Ray’s freaking out. He can’t believe that Emma refuses to buy into the idea that just the three of them should escape. Too many kids will slow them down, he argues. There’s no way they can travel with that many kids.

And then Emma said something that forever marks her as the leader -- the moral foundation of their team.

“Let’s change the world.”

"Let's change the world," Emma says, much to Ray's consternation. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

She understood what Ray was saying. She didn’t dispute it. But instead of bowing to that reality, she looked reality straight in the eye and told it to eff off. She was going to be the shining example for others to follow.

Think she’s being an idealistic idiot? Norman -- her perfect executive officer -- thinks differently. Ray appealed to him to convince Emma, but he shared this with Ray: “Emma was crying. I thought she was crying because she was scared... Emma was crying because she was scared of her family dying…”

Emma knew, in the emotionally challenging aftermath of seeing what happened to Conny, what the stakes were. Her first thought was for her family and how to save them. The key idea here is that she understood what was going on. There’s no wishful thinking here; she knows the stakes.

The perfect executive officer (XO) has to be dedicated to their leader’s success. Norman explained his motivation to Ray when he said, “I like Emma, so that's why I want her to always be smiling."

Wasn’t that a beautiful moment, Irina?

This is what scares me. What happens on the day when Emma’s smile is no longer the priority. The conviction needs to go beyond any individual.

I like hopeless optimists. I root for the foolishly idealistic. But you know, mercy and kindness have a price. And if you can’t afford it, they turn into something very different.

The point is Emma is willing to sacrifice Everyone is order to avoid sacrificing Anyone. It sounds noble at first but it’s also selfish. She doesn’t want to lose anyone else. She doesn’t want to be sad. It’s great if she can save everyone. But what do you say to the dozens that died because she insisted on taking a bunch of toddlers along they have no guarantee they can even provide for.

Ray appealed to Norman but found Norman was backing Emma's vision to save everyone. Even still, what if Ray's right? What if it's impossible to save everyone? What will that do to Emma -- at a critical moment of decision? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

I’m playing devil’s advocate mind you. I don’t know which is the moral high ground. But mercy is a luxury only afforded by the strong. Let’s hope Emma is as strong as she is nice, otherwise, everyone will have to pay for it.

And I don’t see Norman telling her those hard truths. Ray pointed out that it was absolutely necessary for her to understand, but what was Norman’s plan? He was intentionally shielding her from reality. I think that a pretty terrible XO, if a nice friend.

Even if you’re playing devil’s advocate, there’s a stark truth there. Emma needs to step it up. She needs to rise far above herself, or they all fall. She's going to have to inspire her team to come up with a plan to do the impossible -- at least according to everything they know now. That’s the burden of leadership.

This scene showing Norman, Emma, and Ray’s argument had already impressed me -- it was an amazing insight into the dynamics of group politics! The show wasn’t done, though. Norman knew he’d snagged Ray’s interest, so he pressed his advantage. And then Ray said that he was onboard! The XO's job is to get people onboard; and Norman was doing that. 

But real change often requires an additional component: someone who gets things done. Regardless of the cost, regardless of the morality. There’s a scene from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 5, episode 22. Buffy has just defeated Glory, one of the baddest bad asses Buffy had ever encountered. Glory had only one one weakness: she sometimes turned into Ben Wilkinson, a medical intern, who was a normal human. After Buffy wailed on her with a magical war hammer, she forced Glory to transform into Ben. But she didn’t have it in her heart to kill him. She showed him mercy and walked away.

Sounds like the dilemma you were just talking about, Irina! 

But Giles? Her Watcher? He knew that Ben would eventually turn back into Glory. He knew that Buffy had to show mercy, because she’s the good guy, and she has to set an example. She’s the shining moral compass. But Giles knew her mercy couldn’t stand. He knew that Glory would reappear to attack them again.

“She’s a hero, you see,” Giles tells Ben. “She’s not like us.”

And he proceeds to suffocate Ben.

Emma's idealism won't be enough. She'll need someone to be her Giles. I suspect that'll be Ray. Capture from the Hulu stream

Emma’s idealism, just like Buffy’s, needs a strong planner and supporter, just like Norman, to get things done above board. Both of them need someone who thinks like Ray (or Giles!) to take care of the rest.

At least, that’s my cynical take.

My considerably more cynical take was that Buffy was exhausted and things were winding down to The Gift, so she did something irresponsible and short sighted. She didn’t want to bother anymore. Where would that heroism be if Glory came back and murdered an entire town of innocents? Why would they have to die for Buffy to keep her precious idealism?

And yeah, Giles (Norman) acted out of love for the individual but what if some magic would have made Buffy completely immune to Glory? Would Giles have looked the other way? How’s that for cynical? 

You know your Buffy -- nice! And what do I Giles would have done? What’s necessary. Whatever form that would take.

What I hope Ray will do. What I fear he will have to do.

Back to The Promised Neverland (though now I want to review Buffy!), after this scene, for the first time in this series, I thought that these kids just might have a chance. And then the second “momma” showed up.

Uh oh! Mama got reinforcements! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

What do you think, Irina? Was my optimism premature?

Well, just like an extra ally can be a destabilizing element and a potential traitor, the same goes for the other side. These are monstrously smart children, they may be able to use the turn around to their advantage. To me though, I was wondering how they would expect to take an actual baby along. Talk about a handicap!

And we’re only to episode 2!

I wonder if I can keep my resolution not to read the manga...

Reviews of the Other Episodes

29 thoughts on “The Promised Neverland Episode 2 – The Power of Three

    1. Ah, dang it! You’re right — I didn’t think to add my customary spoiler alert!

      Thanks for the reminder — I’ll try to remember next time.

      Hope you can still enjoy the episode when you watch it!

  1. Ray, what else does he know? He instantly accepted Norman/Emma’s story about monsters/farms/etc. Last episode, when the kids were asked what they’d like to do outside the farm, they mentioned travelling, riding giraffes, visiting former friends… Whereas Ray said “I’d try to survive”. He also was the first to openly question Mama’s words, about the supposed utility of the fence, before the other two went to meet Conny.

    I think Crow’s right, there’s certainly more to Ray than meets the eye. My gut feeling says he saw something, but decided to keep quiet about it because he thought nobody would ever believe him.

    On Norman, I feel the same as Irina. Y’know, one interesting thing about him: reflecting on his immediate emotions after the horrifying reveal, he admitted being afraid for himself, whereas Emma was afraid for her entire family — not just herself. He seems to feel deep shame for his own perceived selfishness, but also is full of awe at what he sees as Emma’s kindness & selflessness.

    That’s probably the main reason why he’s so drawn to her. To some degree, this reminds me of early-ish Hunter x Hunter, specifically Killua’s feelings towards Gon.

    Today, Norman thinks he’ll be able to manage, because he’s a super smart kid who’s never failed in his life. But this doesn’t seem to be a very kind show. Eventually, push will come to shove & hard choices will have to be made.

    As a way to fight against his deep shame, I wouldn’t be surprised if Norman puts Emma on a pedestal & does everything he can to let her survive, at others’ expense — including his own if needed. And he’d probably do his utmost to “spare” Emma from these difficult decisions by not involving her in them, in order to protect that part of her he so cherishes. Which, if he dies — or maybe when, given that love confession — is just about the worse thing he could do for her, assuming the outside world is as unforgiving as it should be.

    So yes, I again agree with Irina: Ray might just be the saving grace. He’s rational, perceptive & has his priorities in order. And I appreciate his blunt honesty with regards to Emma’s idealism, his attempt to convince Norman or Emma with reason not untested arrogance or unyielding positions, and his ultimate deference to the consensus decision. Both of them will drive him mad, I want to see how hard he will be pushed, and he will cope.

    Thanks for the write-up guys, just thinking about this show hypes me about it. I wonder how much we’ll get to see of the monsters’ society, and how vivid or detailed it will be. I guess I’ll wait for those three to figure out how to drag the other kids outside first, as Dawnstorm says.. Anyway, see you next week.

    1. “there’s certainly more to Ray than meets the eye. My gut feeling says he saw something, but decided to keep quiet about it because he thought nobody would ever believe him.”

      I’m dying to see how the show develops that angle!

      “To some degree, this reminds me of early-ish Hunter x Hunter, specifically Killua’s feelings towards Gon.”

      That’s really interesting! I haven’t thought about that show for awhile… I never finished it (hope to someday!), but I remember the early episodes. I think your comparison fits!

      “And he’d probably do his utmost to “spare” Emma from these difficult decisions by not involving her in them, in order to protect that part of her he so cherishes. Which, if he dies — or maybe when, given that love confession — is just about the worse thing he could do for her…”

      That’s a chilling thought. I think Ray’s the remedy for that, though you also go on to say:

      “Both of them will drive him mad, I want to see how hard he will be pushed, and he will cope.”

      If they do, it’ll be because he’s so willing, as you say to defer to “the consensus decision.”

      I’m in awe of the writers who, after just two episodes, have given us so much to think about!

  2. “The conviction [of the XO] needs to go beyond any individual.” Much love, Irina, but you’re quite misguided on this–wrong, even. In order to provide perfect support for your leader, you must first forego your institutional loyalty in favor of personal loyalty. Leaders must make decisions in situ, whereas institutions establish rules that they expect to be followed. The second-in-command (the XO, the motivator) must be onboard with his/her specific leader (the CO, the decision-maker) or the party dies in a morass or rules. (And, as someone who has served in both the military and police, one final point: institutions don’t care about individuals; the strength of a real leader is that s/he does, and works a group accordingly.)

    1. But that’s assuming a competent and uncompromised leader, isn’t it?
      I assume my nurses will follow my orders in an operation but if I’m drunk and clearly going to kill the patient I want their loyalty to go to their duty and not to me.

      All I’m saying is that a passionate and emotional protagonist like Emma could benefit from a counterpoint. It’s possible tha executive officer is not the right term. Strategic attaché?

      1. Yah, you’re right and David is partially wrong… The XO is in a difficult position, yes he has to be loyal to his CO. But he ALSO has to be loyal to the institution and the crew, and mindful of the mission.

        That’s the reason XO is considered the breeding/testing ground for future CO’s – because in some ways, being neither fish nor fowl, it’s the more difficult position of the two.

        1. Btw, kudos for that “being neither fish nor fowl” comment–it has literally been decades since I came across it in conversation! (Probably my grandmother discussing the church term “Monsignor.”)

      2. What I mean is that you are loyal to office, your commander’s rank, rather than the individual because you want them to smile…

        Even if the commander is a jerk you’re not in love with, you still need to do your job, beyond individual preference.

        1. Nobody cares if the CO smiles. That’s called _ss-kissing, and there’s plenty enough of that as folks seek promotion. Just so you know, it tends to get in the way during an actual mission. If I’m in Patton’s 3rd Army, and Patton orders me east in the face of Eisenhower ordering a western push, I go east because I answer to Patton. Patton can answer to Eisenhower about the direction–that’s neither my job nor my place.

      3. I’m thinking Ray will be the counterpoint.

        “but if I’m drunk and clearly going to kill the patient I want their loyalty to go to their duty and not to me.”

        A good XO would likely prevent you from killing the patient, in part because it’s the right thing to do, and in part because killing the patient would destroy your future.

        Personal loyalty means a lot, and I don’t think it necessarily contradicts the greater good.

        “But that’s assuming a competent and uncompromised leader, isn’t it?”

        I’ve never been in the military, but in business situations, I’ve seen a good second in command (at a company or even department level) turn a lousy leader into a star.

        “It’s possible tha executive officer is not the right term. Strategic attaché?”

        Yeah, I’m wondering if I used the right terminology. I went with what I thought was the closest relationship that would be well-known. In my defense, “XO” sounds a lot cooler than “Manager” or “Associate VP!”

      4. That, or an aide-de-camp. And I clearly see your point about the nurses, but I was keeping with the military theme/comparison you first invoked. As XO, it’s neither your job nor your place to second-guess the CO–that responsibility unofficially falls upon the senior enlisted personnel present (the ranking Non-Commissioned Officer), who will actually be turning orders into actions through the soldiers/sailors/marines/airmen beneath him/her. As the action person, s/he sees what the idea person might not, and bears first responsibility for dealing with it.

        1. That kind of detail fascinates me!

          Couple of years ago, I tried to write a short story set in the military. I didn’t know the little details like some of the ones you just talked about, and the beta readers who had been in the military were all over it.

          So, I don’t try to write military sci-fi anymore, unless I seriously change the setting so it’s obviously not based on our military conventions.

          Still, knowing there’s a culture like that, and knowing that it often makes sense, is reassuring!

  3. First, the opening scene where we watched Emma from the point of view of a swinging pendulum? Please, show, don’t pull things like that. It serves no purpose I can detect, and it triggers my motion sickness. If this gets worse I may have to drop the show, and I really don’t want to. (It’s not likely to get worse; the rest of the episode was fine. But two out of two episodes showed danger, so there’s that, too.)

    ***

    Second: what I’m wondering about is the social aspect. They’re worrying about the logistics of escape, but there are very small children who love their mommy, so how are they going to convince them to escape, without anyone making scene and running straight to the “enemy”?

    The writing hasn’t quite convinced me yet. For example:

    “Think she’s being an idealistic idiot? ”

    I’m not sure what to think yet, because I haven’t yet figured out the “limits of the universe”. Just how “shounen” is this going to get and what sort of realism are they going to sacrifice? The way they stylistically portray Mommy is a little… villainous, and I’m not sure yet, how they’re going to frame this.

    ***

    Finally, the oldest are 12. Are really all of them going to be shipped out for food? There need to be breeding pens somewhere? Different stock? Is this your free range farm, and the breeders are elsewhere? How does this work? It’s a little suspicious that they’re shipping them out just before puberty? On that background, I was a little disappointed with the brains theory (because in shounen such theories usually pan out). I’d have guessed they’d need some profiling to separate the food stock from the breeding stock, but it’s possible that the decision’s being made way earlier. (I personally think the system’d be a lot more stable, if they eat the smart ones, and the rebellious ones, and breed the dumb ones and the docile ones.)

    Of course, some need to go on to become caretakers, as well (though, again, they might come from elsewhere).

    ***

    The biggest surprise would be if they found the viable biosphere ends not too far beyond the wall (e.g. too low oxygen levels).

    1. “Second: what I’m wondering about is the social aspect. They’re worrying about the logistics of escape, but there are very small children who love their mommy, so how are they going to convince them to escape, without anyone making scene and running straight to the “enemy”?”

      Good question! Heck, most of them are so young that they’ll likely to accidentally let Momma know about any plans. Which suggests to me that they’re going to have to trick the kids into going — make it a game, or something. Of course, that has its own set of dangers.

      “The way they stylistically portray Mommy is a little… villainous, and I’m not sure yet, how they’re going to frame this.”

      Irina brought up a similar point — we don’t understand Momma’s motivations yet. There’re a lot of dramatic possibilities there!

      “There need to be breeding pens somewhere? Different stock? Is this your free range farm, and the breeders are elsewhere?”

      The setup so far reminds me of when I used to work on a farm that produced beef cattle. Dairy, too. We’d leave the calves with their mothers for a short time (until they were weaned or no longer needed their mom’s milk), then move them to a feedlot to fatten them up.

      The orphanage reminds me of that feedlot!

      “I personally think the system’d be a lot more stable, if they eat the smart ones, and the rebellious ones, and breed the dumb ones and the docile ones.”

      Interesting. Not sure how the show’s going to address that, but maybe the “demons” have a conceit where they think intelligence equates to taste; or maybe the neurochemicals associated with intelligence are a delicacy to them?

      “The biggest surprise would be if they found the viable biosphere ends not too far beyond the wall (e.g. too low oxygen levels).”

      You come up with some great ideas! That would be an amazing development! My concern is that it would more or less kill any possibility of escape.

      But that itself could be interesting…

      1. “Which suggests to me that they’re going to have to trick the kids into going — make it a game, or something. Of course, that has its own set of dangers.”

        That might be what they’re going for, since the game of tag could be a set-up for that.

        “The setup so far reminds me of when I used to work on a farm that produced beef cattle. Dairy, too. We’d leave the calves with their mothers for a short time (until they were weaned or no longer needed their mom’s milk), then move them to a feedlot to fatten them up.

        The orphanage reminds me of that feedlot!”

        Yeah, but where do the mother’s come from? All I’m familiar with is a single family-run farm. They had a few pigs, chicken, and – as far as I remember – 12 cows and 2 bulls. They were producing mostly milk. I don’t know what happened to calves when they grew old enough.

        There’s a key difference between modern-day farming and PNL: we produce much more beef than veal; they seem to eat only “veal”, if you get my drift. That changes the logistics: you need to know how to get your stock. If you eat them all, you run out. If you use them for labour, too, for example, you need a method to decide who goes where. I’m not yet sure if that’s the sort of show who cares about that sort of worldbuilding.

        1. “All I’m familiar with is a single family-run farm.”

          That’s what I grew up on, too — but it was a 2,000 acre operation with beef and dairy cattle herds, as well as pigs, sheep, a large grain operation, and a horse.

          I think the horse got lonely from time to time..

          Anyway, my point is that I have an answer to “where do the mothers come from?” We had a bull we’d let loose with the dairy cattle at the right times of the year. Nature took care of the rest.

          More than a little terrifying in this context…

          “they seem to eat only “veal”, if you get my drift.”

          At least with this operation. We don’t know about what other operations might be ongoing…

          “I’m not yet sure if that’s the sort of show who cares about that sort of worldbuilding.”

          I realllllllly hope it is, because there’s all kinds of dark they could unleash here!

    2. There need to be breeding pens somewhere –

      Unless they’re grown in test tubes… Also, we are assuming the children are human and the word has been used but as you pointed out, the rules of the universe have yet to be established. Human may no longer be what we understand.

      1. Unless they’re homunculi, you’d need raw materials you won’t get from prepubescent kids, even if they’re test tube babies. But, yeah, we don’t know the rules of the world yet; neither the universe nor the narrative focus (I’m unsure what sort of SF-rigour to expect; and if any, in what direction.)

        One of the things that gave me pause in ep1 was that the “demons” were conversing in perfect Japanese (and were understood by the kids, so it’s not just meta-narrative translation). That despite their mouths not being suited to make that sort of sound. I’m not sure how to read this.

        1. “But, yeah, we don’t know the rules of the world yet; neither the universe nor the narrative focus (I’m unsure what sort of SF-rigour to expect; and if any, in what direction.)”

          You really have me questioning my assumptions! I like that!

          Right now, I’m assuming:

          1. Emma, Norman, and Ray are human, or close enough that we’d recognize them as human.
          2. They’re being raised as livestock, and like all livestock, they have to be kept content, or it affects the flavor of the product (shudder!).
          3. There has to be enough of a human-habitable biosphere to support genetic diversity; otherwise, inbreeding would affect the quality of the product.

          I’ll be interested to see the series prove or disprove these assumptions!

      2. Irina, in one of your comments on the first episode, you said:

        “I personally never saw it as horror. It’s an extension of the difficult discussion of medical ethics or industrial farming morality, but there is death and blood.”

        The more I recollect on my farming experience, the more your words make sense!

  4. Okay, I was loving reading your take on The Promised Neverland and then you two got into a Buffy discussion and now I’m completely in love with this post. The Giles/Buffy dynamic is amazingly rich and their relationship develops so much over the course of the series.
    Great job guys.

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