Horror Manga: Pretty Scare in Promised Neverland

horror manga demizu posuka anime
Illustration by young mangaka is to be featured in first collection of her work 'The Art of Posuka Demizu' available from July 10th
horror manga demizu posuka anime

Thanks to the collection of her artwork being published in English two weeks from now, international audience is "officially" getting to know a new star rising in the sky of Japanese manga - 29-years old Demizu Posuka.

Her pretty stempunk illustration and cover work is hugely popular among all kinds of web audience, from foodies to sci-fi fans which are impressed with innovative concepts such as cyborg-mechas , squid, fish and turtle-mecha being among them. With a new book it's going to be much easier to locate her pieces for people unfamiliar with Japanese language. Unfortunately, unless they're in "anglosphere" where they can read it legally with VIZ Media's weekly Shonen Jump, her fans among manga enthusiasts all over the world still have to rely on Mangahelpers site for translation of hit horror story Promised Neverland , written by Kaiu Shirai, as the English edition in Album format comes out only in December.


 Calls for Anime 

Too late for their taste, as they are already demanding anime to be made, and they want it to be done "yesterday". Their enthusiasm is understandable as nobody has given them that much scare since legendary master of horror manga Kazuo Umezu. Popularity of Promised Neverland was recognized by the publishing house Shueisha as well, so they issued 1,1 millions of copies of first three albums.

Therefore, the short promotional anime Demizu Posuka made about launching Volume 4 of Promised Neverland sent the fans into trance, because few characters blinked in the rythm of mesmerizing music perfect for the ocasion. Needless to say - it looks (and sounds) awesome. Fourth volume of Promised Neverland in Japanese comes out in July as well.

Movie Technique

Unlike Demizu Posuka's cute stempunk illustrations, which are eye catching for broader audience, as the art resembles Miyazaki's style in somewhat darker colors and subjects portrayed, black and white panels of Promised Neverland use different approach to visualise the narative.

demizu posuka manga horror neverland
Adorable cover for manga hiding horrifying story

There, cute motives are not mixed with gothic-stempunk decorations and backgrounds, but just like in horror movies by Japanese director Takashi Miike, she catches you by suprise: after you've already concluded you mistakenly took your sister's shojo manga - intended for girls and mainly about romance, exhibiting cute faces and almost empty bright backgrounds without much contrast in drawings overall, after 40 or so pages - Promised Neverland suddenly gets splashed with dark and nervous inkwork depicting monstrous reality.

The transition between genres is comparable to the legendary scene in Takashi Miike's horror movie Audition where protagonist's sweatheart Asami answers the phone and a bag, obviously containing her previous victim, suddenly starts moving in the background.
In a similar way, change in genres from cute shojo manga to pure horror in Promised Neverland happens without absolutely no hint about it in the artwork beforehand.

By realizing the real reason for them having tattooed number codes, like branded cattle or concentration camp inmates -  despairing children of Promised Neverland are getting the chance to become proactive and fight their circumstances, which is basis for all the plots in following pages.
As we are naturally inclined to care about the children, and in this read their every mission is so very important as it's a matter of life or death, the audience keeps being emotionally engaged, so even the most sensitive people, usually not inclined to a horror genre at all, stay with the characters to cheer and support them in their efforts to survive dreadful world they live in.

With superb artistry exhibited in both technique and stilistic choices in Promised Neverland, Demizu Posuka has set a high bar for young mangakas of her generation,  and potentially cult status the piece will earn in the future makes it a must have for both manga fandom and lovers of proper horror regardless if they are Japanophiles or not.