With A08-63 turning out to be a secret human playground for the demons, some doubts over William Minerva’s true intentions have emerged. For Lucas at least.
Now when Emma is here with her pen, he can finally find out what is behind those doors with the owl symbol in the Goldy Pond windmill.
A phonecall with William Minerva
Behind the doors is some sort of a control room. But more importantly there is a lake. It’s the real Goldy Pond from the map. And it has a small island that floats and water that you cannot actually feel when you touch it. Lucas and Emma were as confused by it as I am…
This island has what appears to be an elevator with the owl symbol. Could this possibly take you to the human world? Emma tried using the pen to start the elevator but it hasn’t worked. Instead, the telephone rang and William Minerva himself spoke. In a way.
It was a recording of James Ratri, who is a descendant of the clan that made the promise with the demons. William Minerva is his alias. He left the children all these clues because he wanted to give them a chance of choosing their future. Goldy Pondy was created as a safe village but one of Ratri’s allies betrayed him. Later we find out that the traitor was Ratri’s brother Peter, who is the 36th generation head of the Ratri clan.
Another important bit of information from the phonecall was the fact that the 4 highest quality farms have ways to escape to the human world. How ironic. That made me think of Phil. What if he goes on a search himself and finds the way out? Although, without the pen it may be impossible. Either way, Emma and the others are bound to return to Grace Field anyway, to retrieve those they left behind the first time.
Project Lambda 7214
Emma and Lucas found a memory chip for the pen which brought them more information. Emma seemingly realized what are the “seven walls”. And they found out about the experimental farm called Project Lambda 7214. This is vital because they now know where Adam came from. Adam, the one that doesn’t speak and when he does, he repeats the number “22194”.
Yes, that number. Out of all the numbers, he is repeating the number on Norman’s neck.
It is here where I can say that I was right all along. Norman!!! Isn’t!!! Dead!!! He was fine all this time, he got moved to the experimental farm Lambda 7214 where he is undergoing tests. He actually did get a foster parent and his name is… wait for it…
The same Peter Ratri who is a traitor and who wants to keep the promise made with the demons no matter what it takes. Now if Season 2 of the anime is gonna be 12 episodes long, I can already picture the reveal of Norman being alive as the ultimate cliffhanger to end the season and annoy all the anime-only watchers for ending the season on that…
One last thing on Adam, its almost scary how he grew attached to Norman’s number. Poor Emma might even think Adam is Norman, which I also thought at one stage could be possible.
The battle begins
Now I’m gonna be a bit more brief with the rest of the chapters because I feel like its doesn’t really make sense to go into extreme details with these events as its best to just experience them yourself.
But basically Lucas and his group have prepared their plan to take down the Goldy Pond demons and destroy their playground. The weapons the group had are too weak to destroy the masks of the demons, but that didn’t stop Lucas and the others. They upgraded their weapons so they can destroy the masks, although their ammo is very limited.
They were forced to start a day earlier than expected. But they quickly regained their calm and started with the plan. It involved explosions, flashbangs, various traps… The most satisfying part was ofcourse when Gillian killed Luce. Especially after he was the one who now ended up as the prey and begged for his life, even daring to say all of this is just a game.
“I’ll give you 10 seconds. Just kidding”. Iconic line from Gillian who is definitely my favorite character from Lucas’ group and I can imagine it will be the same for anime-only watchers.
Sonya and Sandy’s group also did exceptionally well to kill Nous and Nouma. “The best time to hit your enemy is when they are enjoying their prey”. Once again Hunter x Hunter vibes, when Gon was hunting for birds with his fishing rod.
The volume ends with Emma encountering Leuvis, the most difficult of the demons to beat. But I trust the group to find a way to defeat him.
Truly a fantastic volume that had pretty much everything – big reveals, long awaited returns, epic and satisfying battles. Things are really heating up, and I know I keep saying this, but I’m so excited for more. My pre-ordered volume 10 can’t arrive sooner.
If you missed out on my previous The Promised Neverland manga reviews, you have all the links here:
I’m just gonna get straight to the point here – Shirobako is a masterpiece. I’m sure for anyone that follows me on Twitter, its not a surprise that I’m saying this.
It’s an anime that tackles different topics like the anime industry, goals, motivations and interests in life, the hardships of the work environment. It has many different layers but manages to make all of it work so well.
With my own goals being working on a real anime opening/ending sequence, it’s an anime that really hits home for me and has that special meaning for me. Rewatching Shirobako after almost a year truly filled me with so much happiness, and once again worked wonders for my motivation.
You could say Shirobako is a story that follows five girls with a common goal and their paths towards reaching that goal. But at the same time, its a story about making a story – in anime form ofcourse.
I believe it gives a good general insight of the anime industry. It’s chaos. But quite a lovely chaos. Much better than the chaos of university exams, that’s for sure.
The chaos most often occurs when a member of the group isn’t able to fulfill their duties properly or on time. And the production staff, mainly Miyamori Aoi in Shirobako, has to find solutions. What doesn’t help either is when certain members of the group have a different attitude than everyone else, disrupting the work flow. These are the hardships of the work environment that I mentioned earlier. I guess it shows why job interviews are a thing. It’s much harder if people don’t have similar goals and attitudes.
And yet every person is different and has its own level of ability and pace of doing things. Some may want to work from home. Some may not have issues doing things more quickly while some may need a motivation boost. Finding the balance between each individual needs and needs of the company is truly not an easy thing to do.
Shirobako makes the characters of its own story make new stories within its own story. The original anime project from Shirobako’s anime studio, Musashino Animation, is called Exodus, while their other anime, the Third Aerial Girls Squad, is a (fictional) manga adaptation. That’s a lot of different layers and stories to create at once, and its really admirable stuff from P.A. Works.
Miyamori Aoi has that stressful role among the production staff. It’s a job at the anime industry, which is her dream, but at the same time, it’s a much less specific job compared to a voice actor, storywriter, animator or CG artist. This fits Miyamori, who doesn’t have that specific occupation goal in mind.
Her friend Ema Yasuhara always loved to draw and she works at the same company as an animator. Ema is not fully confident in her work and criticism causes her to lose motivation as well as focus. Gradually, she began leaving her comfort-zone more. I totally understand that feeling of never being good enough. I mean, just look at the quality of my blog posts.
When that creative block hits, changing your setting really does help, as suggested by her co-worker Iguchi. For example, playing a bit with my dogs always helps “refresh” my mind. Going out and simply watching the sky during dusk does wonders too. Or indeed, doing special routines on music. I may not do it the same way as Ema, but I often find myself jamming to anime openings and endings which never fails to help. Especially if its the Shirobako OP or ED, but more on that later.
One of the main five girls is Misa Toudou, who wants to do anime CG work. Despite working at a well paid CG company, she is unhappy because her tasks only involve making tyres, which doesn’t exactly align with her dreams of making anime CG, and well, I can relate. Here I’ll go about university once again, but my first semesters involve struggles with electrical engineering, mathematics, physics, digital circles… None of that really aligns with my goals and makes me wonder what exactly am I doing here. The thing I could take away from Misa’s story is that even if the experience seems useless, it could very well prove worthy one day when you don’t expect it.
Reading literature thanks to Shirobako
Imai Midori, or Diesel-san dreams of being an anime storywriter. She got closer to her dream due to her love for discovering and studying new things. As you would imagine, she is really into reading, and her love for Dostoyevsky literally makes people read Dostoyevsky. Or at least that was the case for me.
You see, I watched Shirobako for the first time during those chaotic times called high school finals. And yes, even that was better than the chaos of university exams.
I had to do a lot of studying of the Croatian literature, as well as reading it. One of the books that had a very good chance of being on the Croatian finals was Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. And when Midori just casually said she spent the entire night reading Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, I got interested. I actually wanted to check out that book. Surely it was good if Midori appreciates it that much. In the end Crime and Punishment wasn’t in the finals. But that day, anime inspired me to read. And not manga or a light novel.
Sakaki Shizuka is the voice actor among the five high school friends. She is hugely dedicated towards achieving her goals, no matter the hardships she is facing. Her character and her growth prove that persistence and dedication are worth it. Shizuka lacked confidence, which caused her to fail auditions. When she was given jobs, it hardly felt like she was going towards anything. Yet she never gave up, kept trying, and in the end, her efforts proved to be worthy. Seeing her finally get a role after an entire anime of difficulties made for one of my favorite scenes ever in all of anime. Rare are the moments that can make me cry so much purely out of happiness, and every time rewatching the scene its hard to stop the tears again.
Making matters even more emotional is Miyamori Aoi’s reaction, basically mirroring my own reactions. Ema has also volunteered to make the keyframes for the scene that is voiced by Shizuka. And in the process she cried too. All of her friends just wanted to see Shizuka do well, and these moments were a beautiful way to show the bond the girls have.
Shizuka’s story truly does make me feel that working hard for your goals will be worth it, no matter how impossible it may seem.
I’ve mentioned the five main girls. But Shirobako has a lot of characters. Going through all of them would really make this a long post. But let me just give some love to Erika Yano, Miyamori’s fellow production assistant. She really knows how to calm down and support a person when they are in a pinch. Yano radiates so much maturity and calmness. Calmness, when she isn’t talking to Tarou, at least.
Kinoshita Seiichi is the director and the funniest character of the series. His voice actor did a stunning job, and let me tell you that his voice really fits a comedic character. Kinoshita often procrastinates, and seeing Honda-san taking drastic measures just to make him finish his work made me feel lowkey called out. Not that I need to be put into a cell to finish a blog post, but there are moments when I just… procrastinate. Not just with blogging stuff but university stuff as well. Also those scenes when Kinoshita came to see the mangaka of the Third Aerial Girls Squad are just legendary.
Honda-san went from Production Assistant to a pastry chef. And I respect that decision so much. It shows its never too late to start pursuing your dreams. I could go on but I’ll just say the cast of supporting characters feels incredibly real. Both of Musashino’s anime felt like a true team effort that you just wanted to see do well because of all the hard work and love the characters have put into it.
One last thing. Andes Chucky. Those old generation scenes when Miyamori’s favorite anime was made. It felt so nostalgic and it put me into tears. Once again when Miyamori cried I did too. I don’t think any job that involves so many different people can go entirely smoothly without some kinds of issues or rushed things.
Just as the anime itself is inspiring and motivational, so is its OST.
The second opening sequence has the effect of a calming pill. It’s among those openings and endings that make me feel everything will be alright. And in that post I already told this story but I’m gonna do it again here.
It’s once again about exams. Those final high school ones from June last year. It was a very stressful time, and I watched Shirobako in that time period. The exhausted Miyamori shown in the sequence was basically me thanks to all the studying. The song involves the words “panic” and “pinch”, just making me relate to everything even more. This is the English translation of that part of the lyrics:
But I can’t lose.
My head is in a panic.
It was relatable, yet so calming at the same time. It filled me with all this optimism and made me feel it will work out well. No matter how many times I listen to that song or rewatch the sequence the effect stays the same. It never gets old.
Meanwhile, the second ending sequence had 6 different versions, each of them being dedicated to one of the five main girls, plus Miyamori’s two plushies. As the episodes went by, the five girls have been gathering on the final picture at the end of the sequence, just as they all gradually ended up working on the Third Aerial Girls Squad. I really love it when sequences slowly add new details or things that build-up to something.
Shirobako’s first ending sequence also does something like that. Mimuji and Roro, Miyamori’s two plushies are dancing through the sequence and every time at the end, Roro attempts to give Mimuji a love letter. Mimuji refused every time, but Roro never gave up, and in Episode 12 when he tried once again, Mimuji accepted his letter. In Shirobako, even the characters that are only alive in Miyamori’s imagination are trying their best.
Don’t give up on your dreams. Passion and dedication can go a long way. If you find yourself on what seems like a detour, it doesn’t have to mean the experience won’t prove worthy in the future. But even if you achieve your goals, after a while you’ll have to make new ones. I guess that’s just the nature of the goal-oriented human beings.
Maybe reaching your goals doesn’t end up feeling the way you expected. If that’s the case, think back to why you even wanted to reach the goal in the first place.
Shirobako takes a closer look into the workings of the anime industry. At the same time, it reminds us of the importance of dreams, ambitions and persistence. It reminds us how important it is to be surrounded by a group of people with similar attitudes and ambitions.
Would it be too much to say that it is a gift given to us by the anime gods that we are not worthy of having? I have so much love and appreciation for everything Shirobako, and I’m so grateful to P.A. Works for making it a thing. That Shirobako movie that they announced can’t come soon enough.
As always, please leave your thoughts on Shirobako in the comments. I would love to hear from you!
How will Emma and Ray solve the difficult situation they found themselves in at the end of Volume 7?
Will their unnamed guide offer some help? Or will they have to find the solution themselves?
Emma and Ray in action
It turned out being the latter.
They had to find the solution themselves and it turned out successful – they realized that the demons die when they are hit in their eye. Their unnamed guide, however, is still convinced Emma and Ray are going to die soon. He will make that happen himself even if the demons won’t be able to. He even decided which of the kids he will let die. It turned out to be Emma, who a bit later on tried to make him open up to her and Ray, which he refused to do.
The unnamed guide has been suffering. It must have been hard. But it doesn’t seem that the children can do anything to change his attitude, so its better to just give up on that for now. I’m sure some things we found out later on will change his attitude anyway.
Emma got… Isekai’d?
Nah she didn’t. But she had one of those “Where am I?” moments once she woke up in a completely different surrounding than where she just was. The last thing she remembered before that was Ray’s voice while being taken away by… something.
This was real hype and excitement. Emma on her own not knowing where she is or why. It turns out she was taken to A08-63. How convenient. It’s the next Minerva checkpoint. Surely there is gonna be something good right? But first she needs to find out what actually is this place. Could it possibly even be the human side of the world? Or a new human farm? These were my guesses while reading.
Note how it said “Use your pen” on her left hand. I kind of doubt Emma was the one writing that. But who did it then?
Anyway what A08-63, or Goldy Pond turned out to be is a secret human garden. A secret playground for the demons where they hunt the children every three days.
Hunter x Hunter vibes
I’m starting to get some Hunter x Hunter vibes here. Which can only be a good thing.
The way they are trying to reach William Minerva – it’s kind of like Gon and Killua trying to reach Ging, isn’t it? But also, Emma, Ray, Killua and Gon are roughly the same age. And at their age they are already using weapons. During the hunter exam, Gon was aiming to steal the number plate of a much stronger opponent, Hisoka, and he succeeded. Similarly, Emma was targeting the eye of a much stronger opponent, a demon, and she was successful too.
And speaking of Hisoka from Hunter x Hunter, another thing reminding me of HxH was the demon that saw Emma as a chance for some fun. He decided to delay killing her, cause giving her more time would make her even sweeter. Doesn’t that remind you of a certain character that was waiting for Gon and Killua to grow before getting more serious with them?
The final thing that adds to all the Hunter x Hunter vibes is more related to the anime, but Killua and Ray have the same voice actor ofcourse. Which feels fitting.
Back to the manga stuff. Emma survived the demon hunt, but some of the new kids she met didn’t. The first person she talked to since coming to Goldy Pond, Violet, really reminded me of Norman at first.
I did not expect to see something like this in The Promised Neverland, but Violet is actually a “trap”. Her group of friends are from the high quality farm Grand Valley. They know the truth and they want to do everything they can to close the demon playground Goldy Pond. But how did they find out the truth?
Remember how I said certain things will change the unnamed guide’s attitude? Well this is what I meant by that. They found out the truth via Lucas. Yeah, that Lucas from the unnamed man’s traumas. He is dead for everyone else except Violet’s group of friends. And this is where Emma found out the clue related to William Minerva. Lucas found a door with his symbol, and it can only be opened with the pen.
What are they going to find behind those doors that Lucas has wanted to open for years?
I think that was my favorite The Promised Neverland Volume from the ones I covered. Loads of intriguing and exciting stuff. And it can only get better.
Who or what brought Emma to Goldy Pond? Similarly, who or what wrote on her hand that she should use the pen? What is behind those doors? So many things I’m dying to know.
Have you read Volume 8 of The Promised Neverland? If so, feel free to discuss it in the comments! 😉
Here are my previous The Promised Neverland Volume reviews if you are interested!
Volume 5 truly had everything in store for the children of Grace Field.
They escaped the orphanage but had to separate from their younger family. Then they faced new challenges by the nature itself and various demons.
Ray was forced to leave the group as a way to escape the demons. But even he doesn’t have infinite stamina for running away so how could he save himself from this situation?
Volume 6 of The Promised Neverland provides us with the answers.
When Emma collapses and things look quite bad for the group, a mysterious girl arrives and leads them to a safer place. Meanwhile, Ray also gets rescued by a similarly mysterious person.
He reunites with Emma in what looks like a cave. Upon meeting one of their rescuers, Ray is sharp-eyed as always and notices that it is in fact, a demon.
Emma thought for a moment that all the other children have been prepared as food. I just can’t not notice how similar she looks here to Hunter x Hunter’s Killua.
It turns out those demons, called Mujika and Sonju are actually not interested in eating humans due to their religion.
What Volume 6 does is reveal some hugely important details about the world of The Promised Neverland.
Demons and humans have existed on Earth for more than a thousand years. The two species have been constantly killing each other. In order to stop that, a promise has been made.
Demons won’t eat humans. Humans won’t kill demons. The world will be segregated with one side being for the demons and the other side for the humans.
Human farms have been created as a sacrifice in order to keep the promise.
The reason the ecosystem is different than what the children have been reading about in books is because they are currently at the demon side of the world.
And crossing to the human side is forbidden as part of the promise.
But oh well, the children of Grace Field are already quite used to doing things that are “forbidden”.
Note how the person that seemingly thought of the promise has an owl on his shoulder. Considering how the symbols from WIlliam Minerva have the owl, this is surely foreshadowing something.
Could it be that WIlliam Minerva is really the human that thought of the promise?
Even if its “impossible” to cross to the human side, Emma will still do it. I love her determination and confidence.
The children are aware that they have to be self-reliable. They are using the few days they have with Mujika and Sonju to learn some important new skills like cooking. Ray seems to have a bit of a talent for it.
Emma wants to learn hunting, and her first prey is a bird.
The gunpa is a ritual of piercing a flower through the heart of the prey. It helps drain the blood and if the gods accept the food, the flower will bloom.
With Conny in her mind, this left Emma heartbroken. But she pierced the flower through the bird anyway.
She doesn’t seem to enjoy hunting a lot. I think Emma would be a good candidate for becoming vegan.
(I’m so sorry)
As the children finally arrive to the place B06-32, it turns out that it’s actually empty without anyone around.
My first thoughts after seeing that were that they should dig. It turned out right because they soon found out they should go underground.
What they find is a human shelter. And a man in a messy room awaits for them.
I’m not sure if this is William Minerva but if it is I was expecting him to look differently. But I was probably influenced by the clothing his “alter-ego” had. If you don’t get what I mean let me just show you a picture.
Human shelters? I do wonder what is their purpose. If crossing between the two sides of the world is forbidden, this clearly means some have broken the promise.
Is the man waiting in the shelter William Minerva? Who is he?
All I can say is that William Minerva has surely at some point broken the promise if he is able to leave those signs for the high-quality farms.
And that owl. I doubt William Minerva is a 1000 year old person and that he really “made” the promise, but what does the owl symbolise? Maybe a group of individuals that William Minerva is a part of?
Also, Sonju has certain selfish plans… I can’t say it was surprising seeing something like that since he is a demon afterall. I just wonder if he will return in the future as the enemy.
Volume 6 was kind of what they would call an infodump. Loads of new vital information about the world has been revealed. Volume 7 could be the similar since the likelihood of meeting WIlliam Minerva or at least getting some information on him is high.
It’s gonna be interesting. And I’m very much excited for more. Writing this blog post is the only reason why I haven’t jumped straight into Volume 7 cause I think reviewing Volume 6 after reading the next volume would feel a bit weird.
If you’ve read Volume 6 of The Promised Neverland please feel free to discuss it in the comments 😉
You can find Volume 6 and all the other The Promised Neverland volumes on Bookdepository.
Or you can search it on Amazon where you can find that and other merchandise too.