WARNING: This following contains spoilers for The Promised Neverland Season 2, Episode 3, now streaming on Funimation and Hulu.
Episode 3 of The Promised Neverland Season 2 is not the most eventful episode, but it might prove a pivotal one in terms of the anime's approach to adapting the manga. Season 1 was overall a very faithful adaptation of the source material and the first two episodes of Season 2 were more condensed but still following the important beats of the manga.
The latest episode, however, diverges from the original story once the kids leave the demons Mujika and Sonju and arrive at Shelter B06-32. It remains to be seen whether this divergence is just a different approach to the same story or the start of a different story entirely.
In the manga, once the kids unlock the entrance to Shelter B06-32, they are greeted by a man known as Mister. Mister is the last survivor of an older group of farm escapees, and he's initially antagonistic to the idea of sharing his resources with the kids but some hardline negotiations from Emma turn him into a begrudging ally in their search for William Minerva. This leads to one of the manga's most exciting storylines, the action-packed Goldy Pond arc.
After Season 2, Episode 3, many fans are worried the anime might skip over Goldy Pond entirely. So far, Mister is nowhere to be seen in the shelter. The second half of the episode is mostly anime-original content, with the kids exploring the seemingly-empty shelter and enjoying their independence.
Of course, carefree happiness can never last long in The Promised Neverland, so the episode concludes on a one-two punch of cliffhangers: the discovery of the word "HELP" scribbled on a wall and a phone call from William Minerva himself. Given the wall graffiti in the manga had additional names and a hint about "Hunters" instead of just the word "HELP" and the phone call doesn't happen in the manga until Goldy Pond, it seems like this will be a very scrambled adaptation if it doesn't just abandon the source material entirely.
It was known going into Season 2 that mangaka Kaiu Shirai was writing an "original scenario," so new content was to be expected. If the anime is telling a different story from the manga, it also might explain why certain cuts were made to Mujika and Sonju's exposition; while the demons explained the Promise and made references to demons "devolving," they did not explain the Seven Walls or the mass production farms as they did in the manga.
It will be disappointing if the anime completely abandons Mister and the other characters of the Goldy Pond arc. Next week's episode should clear things up significantly as to whether Mister's introduction has been merely delayed or if The Promised Neverland anime is on a wildly different track.
New episodes of The Promised Neverland premiere Thursdays on Funimation and Hulu.