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The Promised Neverland Discussion

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Posted 2/4/19 , edited 2/5/19

It's more likely you're reading into it something the writers didn't intend.


Actually, it's been over a year so I could be wrong, but I'm like 99% sure that flash of lightning wasn't a thing in the manga, that was specifically created to be edited into the show mainly to make Ray seem a bit suspicious. Which actually does fit into the style of the series, overall, because this series is full of a lot of over the top posing and expressions that are meant to convey more of the feeling of the situation than it's meant to be realistic to how characters are actually meant to look and be acting.

And that's kind-of part of why I think this was at least intentional, you know? Because the mood is specifically set to make him seem intimidating or dark in some way beyond just being the cold one who reads books alone. Of course, that's not really the only interpretation of things or anything, but I feel like even if most people didn't consciously realize it, they probably at least picked up on the idea that it's an ominous shot that draws your attention to the idea that Ray might be a bit suspicious.
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Posted 2/5/19 , edited 2/5/19

Dethhollow wrote:


It's more likely you're reading into it something the writers didn't intend.


And that's kind-of part of why I think this was at least intentional, you know? Because the mood is specifically set to make him seem intimidating or dark in some way beyond just being the cold one who reads books alone. Of course, that's not really the only interpretation of things or anything, but I feel like even if most people didn't consciously realize it, they probably at least picked up on the idea that it's an ominous shot that draws your attention to the idea that Ray might be a bit suspicious.


Oh, yeah — I agree entirely that the lightning was intended to make Ray seem suspicious. What I think goes a bit too far is to suggest that the lightning was deliberately exaggeratedly suspicious, with the goal of misleading the viewer into thinking Ray wouldn't in fact betray them because that'd be too obvious. That was my impression of what your previous comment was arguing.
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Posted 2/5/19 , edited 2/6/19
I mean, it is what I'm arguing. That might seem like a huge stretch, but back during Erased that was very much how the audience responded to things, the clues were so obvious that most people straight-up said things like "This guy can't be the killer because it's too transparent." And then he ended up being the killer. So I feel like it's not impossible at all that this series might have been trying to get a similar audience reaction, just done in a much better written/edited way.
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Posted 2/6/19 , edited 2/6/19
Of course, we manga readers know that there are a lot more twists and reveals coming and "Ray is a cold and calculating traitor" is far, far from the whole story so it's easy to see various visual elements in a different light than how non-manga readers would see it. But anyone who is well versed in this genre of storytelling is likely to see certain exaggerated visual elements as red herrings. For a story that presents itself as a very intelligent thriller with super-intelligent kids, "Ray is the traitor" seems like a very easy solution and thus unreliable.

And as you yourself said, aurora, if you do not experience it that way that doesn't mean that others won't experience it that way or that this way of experiencing it is not perfectly valid. If it seems unlikely to you, well, once you have more information you might want to go back and watch the episodes again and see how they come across to you, as Dethhollow suggested.
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Posted 2/6/19 , edited 2/7/19

mythopoet wrote:

But anyone who is well versed in this genre of storytelling is likely to see certain exaggerated visual elements as red herrings. For a story that presents itself as a very intelligent thriller with super-intelligent kids, "Ray is the traitor" seems like a very easy solution and thus unreliable.


The problem I'm having is that, since The Promised Neverland seems to have been sincere in the various scenes linking Ray to the trope of the cold, calculating type, it's difficult then to categorize how exaggerated any of these scenes have to be to actually "be" exaggerated. They'd both have to be throwing us off and confirming our suspicions, because the show does confirm them. That's why it's hard for me to read them as exaggerated. Perhaps it's like a Gettier problem; it's a justified true belief that's not knowledge.

As I said — and you also said — it's really a question of how different audiences will read the thing. Well-versedness itself is an interesting notion, as works within a genre don't have to follow the exact same rules. Genres can expand or contract, and thus well-versedness is actually nebulous. It could be that a work tries to do something that doesn't follow what the "well-versed" person would expect; then everyone "well-versed" would misinterpret what was going on. Note that neither the creator nor the viewers "messed up" here, but there's still something both are missing — just as someone who doesn't know the genre at all might miss certain established signals.

Dethhollow mentioned that ERASED did the same kind of thing. I think the reason it was easy for me to doubt ERASED's obvious signaling that

was that

In contrast, everything The Promised Neverland has done with Ray has flowed directly to the conclusion that he might do something to ruin their chances because he's cold and calculating. Unless Ray actually hasn't betrayed them at all — and there's still a little room for that in the anime, though not much — I think it'd be hard for me to watch the earlier episodes without reading all the hint scenes about Ray being off as sincere foreshadowing of what actually happens.

As we've both said, if you go into it "well-versed" in mystery/thriller-type fiction, you might look for hints and false leads everywhere. But should you? I definitely don't agree that "present[ing] itself as a very intelligent thriller" means we should expect the story to radiate red herrings; I'd say an intelligent work would avoid doing so. Indeed, people have been disparaging that kind of storytelling as boring and formulaic for quite a while; I always enjoy sharing Edmund Wilson's 1944 essay in the New Yorker on detective stories:



I even began to mutter that the real secret that Rex Stout had been screening by his false scents and interminable divagations was a meagreness of imagination of which one only came to realize the full horror when the last chapter had left one blank.


Applying the mystery/thriller formula — the way "well-versed" consumers do — is a perfectly acceptable way to enjoy a work. Indeed, one of the ways such people enjoy these works is by running through the formula with others, arguing about what is a hint and what the story has implied so far at its various stages. But if you're well-versed in such conversations, you'll know that a lot of that speculation is baseless and falls flat. Because the mystery/thriller formula encourages people to see things that aren't there.

Not everything that looks like it could be a red herring is in fact one. The red herring might be "well-versedness" itself. That Dethhollow said the thing was definitely there was what made me say something in the first place.
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Posted 2/7/19 , edited 2/7/19
Well, I'll just say I think you're drawing a lot of conclusions from not enough information. There haven't been that many episodes yet and you know very little about what's going on. At this stage you should not be forming any hard impressions.
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Posted 2/7/19 , edited 2/7/19
I'm not sure what you mean; we all have to draw conclusions from the information we're given. Indeed, as I said, that's a large part of how people enjoy themselves with the mystery/thriller genre: trying to extract as much as they can out of the information given. Thus far the anime has not at all established the practice of radiating red herrings in an attempt to mimic the "intelligence" of the mystery/thriller genre. If it does so as it continues airing, fine. But I'd say combing the thing for hints and such would be precisely forming the hard impressions you say I shouldn't form yet. There is inherently enough information for me to say that, given what The Promised Neverland has done so far, it looks like it was simply being sincere in its foreshadowing of Ray. The rest of what I said is based on a critical understanding of the genre itself, and the number of episodes of The Promised Neverland we've seen so far doesn't constrain that at all.

EDIT: I should say, though, that you've done a good job talking about these things. Recognizing that genres train us to view works in certain ways is not easy, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear you say that.
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Posted 2/7/19 , edited 2/7/19
Episode 5

With that clever trap, Norman finds out that Ray is the traitor, but it is also revealed that he's a double agent as he became Isabella's underling in order to get close to the enemy. This has been going on for six years as he's doing all this so that he would be spared. And not to mentioned, he helped cover up the incident with Conny. Pretty much, this episode is all about Ray getting in the head of the enemy and using that to help these kids escape. Next plan of attack is to find out what's in that secret room with Gilda and Don going to find that out. The drama just keeps on building up as now a lot hinges on who is entering the room. I'm guessing it's Ray seeing that he knows just about everything there is to know about Isabella, but it could be anybody.
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Posted 2/7/19 , edited 2/7/19
I really do hate cliffhanger episodes and a series full of them is really annoying. I look back fondly at Hunter x Hunter but Lord that was excruciating.

That said a lot frustrations with this episode. Coming from the characters but myself too. I can't quite sympathize with the characters yet.

Everyone's motivations seem pretty simply but the way the do it is convoluted. Except Ray. His situation is actually the reverse.
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Posted 2/7/19 , edited 2/7/19

auroraloose wrote:mimic the "intelligence"
parroting tropes from various unrelated works to "analyze" pattern of coin toss results to "predict" result of next coin toss
now that's a true mimic of intelligence or rather mocking parody on intelligence
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Posted 2/7/19 , edited 2/7/19
This cliffhanger got my chills to 100% dammit.

The only thing that I'm worried about is that Don is so impulsive like: "I do not believe you guys! Gotta check myself!" He needs to think before doing stupid things that could get everyone literally killed, I know that he has a protective instinct like a father but, those actions are not what they need right now.




I can't wait for the next episode! and Fu&%$" cliffhangers

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Posted 2/7/19 , edited 2/7/19
Really good episode again.

mind blowing
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Posted 2/7/19 , edited 2/7/19
Damn Ray, what a mad lad. It was pretty funny when Ray revealed he's the traitor nonchalantly to Emma.

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Posted 2/7/19 , edited 2/7/19

flightform wrote:


auroraloose wrote:mimic the "intelligence"
parroting tropes from various unrelated works to "analyze" pattern of coin toss results to "predict" result of next coin toss
now that's a true mimic of intelligence or rather mocking parody on intelligence


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Posted 2/7/19 , edited 2/7/19
Some interesting faces on the trio today - and I just knew that Emma had a dark side to her
Ray is pleasantly turning out to be more complex of a character.

Mother was right to be cautious over those 6 years, and she did note the truck incident, so I have hopes that she expects a betrayal and has some good plans reserved for it.

Emma keeps hamstringing the party though, and the rest of the children don't really matter, right?
I can see Ray causing major conflict in the future, given he mainly looks after number one.

As for the cliffhanger? I'm going to guess it's a fake-out and it's Norman and/or co.
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