Posuka Demizu, the artist and co-creator of the hit Shonen Jump manga The Promised Neverland, answered questions about the series and its characters while drawing heroes Emma, Norman and Ray in a video from Viz Media.
The video, posted in full on Youtube and abridged on Twitter, answers many questions, both about Demizu's collaborative process with writer Kaiu Shirai and about the story and characters of The Promised Neverland. When asked about how different Emma is from the standard Shonen Jump protagonist, both in terms of gender and personality, and what Demizu's goals were in creating such a different sort of hero. Demizu answered, "Thinking about it, I didn't have any goals per se. [Kaiu] Shirai Sensei's story naturally needed the existence of a character like Emma, so she was very natural to draw. It wasn't necessary for her to be doing special fight moves or attacks." The unique qualities can be explained in part by the artist's different experiences: "I was originally with non-Jump magazines, so maybe I didn't feel it was necessary to follow that Jump style."
Demizu also provided a detailed answer about her approach to designing the demon world: "I try to come up with as many ideas as possible, and have them narrowed down. This was when the series was ongoing, so I didn't have much time... Emma's culture is heavily influenced by Western culture, so I used Eastern and non-Western influences as the demons' culture. Although I did consider something space-influenced, I ended up choosing to incorporate elements from cultures we are all familiar with." Demizu notes specific influences from trips to Thailand, Africa and Korea.
Surprisingly, Demizu says she is not a fan of the horror genre in general despite being regularly assigned to draw horror manga, but when one question praised her manga's ability to scare both children and adults, she responded, "I think I'm a little happy about that..." When asked what jobs The Promised Neverland's main characters would have if they grew up in the human world, she answered, "Emma would be a teacher. Ray would be a researcher. Norman is so smart that he would become the CEO of a company, sell it and live an easy life." Thoma and Lannion are the two characters Demizu empathizes the most with.
At the end of the video, Demizu signed her drawing with the English message, "Thank you for supporting the manga & anime! More to come!!" Demizu confirms in her final answer that she is working on more manga with Shirau, but what exactly that "more" consists of is uncertain. While Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu have written many bonus chapters of The Promised Neverland, the main manga series is over, and the second season of the anime rushed ahead to the conclusion. Shirai and Demizu have drawn several one-shots together since The Promised Neverland's conclusion (most recently the sci-fi manga D3), so perhaps the "more to come" message isn't about The Promised Neverland specifically but the duo's continued artistic collaboration.