The Promised Neverland Team’s New One-Shot Channels a Sci-Fi Classic

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for D3, by Kaiu Shirai,  Posuka Demizu, Stephen Paul and Mark McMurry, available in English now from Viz Media.

The Promised Neverland became hugely popular after the first season of its anime adaptation. While the second season was, in many viewers' opinion, a huge stepdown in quality, it remains quite a popular property to this day. The manga ended before the anime, and its creators have since moved on to new projects.

Following on the heels of Spirit Photographer Saburu Kono, D3 is a new one-shot from the minds behind The Promised Neverland, featuring a young girl who becomes targeted because of her scientist father. Though it's only a one-shot at the moment, there's always the potential for single-chapter manga to become full-fledged series in the pages of Shonen Jump. Available now for free through Shonen Jump and Viz Media, here's what D3 is about, and the clear sci-fi influences it draws from.

The Premise of D3

D3's main character is a girl named Saho, who's attributed as the reason behind her robotics genius father's success. In reality, this was due to her simply tinkering with his computer, allowing her father to crack the code and hit it big with robots. This causes the world at large to have varying opinions on Saho, for better or worse but all extreme.

Cultists worship her, rival companies try to take her out and those who hate the rise of robots see as her the ultimate harbinger of humanity's doom. Due to this, she's become quite accustomed to protecting herself at all odds from anyone who would threaten her. That is until her father gives her a cyborg bodyguard named DC3, but Saho is uninterested in his help. It's only after the threats on her life increase that she changes her mind, coming to trust DC3 more when things become heated.

Could D3 Be the Next Big Thing?

The series does have the potential for success, though this is based namely around how well it spices up its material. The story plays out like a sort of combination of both Home Alone and The Terminator, with the resemblance to the latter particularly hard to ignore: Saho is essentially in the role of Sarah or John Connor, hunted down by various forces who have deemed her threat in some way. Likewise, her cyborg bodyguard deployed to help keep her safe is a shoo-in for the Terminator himself, namely the protective variant of the T-800 in Terminator 2.

While some of these tropes and elements do seem a bit trite and cliché at this point, it seems that D3 would be able to consistently remix them enough to stay fresh. After all, the story also shares some of the foreboding tone of The Promised Neverland, which also had children in constant peril. It's obviously a more science fiction-based story than the duo's previous hit, however, which historically has not been as popular in shonen anime and manga than other genres.

Still, there's definitely potential for a longer version of the story that fleshes out the world more and showcases more of how Saho had to begin protecting herself amid her immense infamy. Said continuation, unlike a neverland, isn't promised as of yet, so it's unknown if fans of Shirai and Demizu's work will get to see more of this world or not.

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