I know I wrote "more to come" in my last post, but due to certain spoilers being posted on Baidu while I was in the middle of writing my next part, I decided to defer it and tweak what I was going to say
Before we move onto the cliffhanger of this chapter, there's something I want to draw attention to first.
Of Lambda origins
From the brand we saw on one of the freed boys at Lion's Paw HQ, we have confirmation that they were from the Lambda 7214 farm, and thankfully answered a nagging question on my mind.
Back in Ch 113 when all of the children in "Minerva's" custody were shown, my first question was "where were they from?"
They were definitely not from the Mass Production Farms, so that leaves the 4 Premium Farms and Lambda. The Premium Farms I then found unlikely, since not only should that sort of stuff be endgame-level significant + occurrence, but given "Minerva's" meagre firepower, there's no way they are strong enough to take them on.
Thus, I found the likelihood of Lambda origins to be the highest. If that is the case, the ramifications would've been most interesting.
Intelligent children that came from Lambda, whose livestock were all previously shown to be of the mass-produced type? It lends more credence to my earlier pet theory on Lambda.
Other suspicious signs that help support this notion include surgical marks here and there on some bodies, "Minerva's" subordinates being suspiciously young, and Hayato's athleticism.
But even if I am on the right track, something about this stinks: our last glimpse of Lambda was at Jan 29th 2046, and it's now Sep 2047, about 1 year and 8 months time span in between.
Am I supposed to believe that those mass-produced kids' brains can be properly developed/re-engineered in such a short time?
(And that's before accounting for reports of farm liberations happening even earlier than that)
Crack theory: barring unethical super genetics technique/technology, the only other (still far-out) idea I can think of is that Lambda was enclosed in some kind of dimensional bubble where time moves faster inside than outside; like, outside 1 year had passed, but inside 5 years had passed.
A most ridiculous idea, but given that this series is called "The Promised Neverland" and that "Minerva" himself made a Neverland reference, Hyperbolic Time Chambers are fair game.
Plus, it may serve to explain the next topic...
Call me paranoid, but even with Norman's appearance this chapter, I hesitate to believe it's him.
So, my "more to come" segment was going to be me laying out objections to the notion that the "William Minerva" we had seen in the last couple of chapters is Norman. But since I was spoiled that he does indeed look like Norman, here's my tweaked post.
First, some things to highlight before I go through my reasoning:
- Norman's last appearance was in Chapter 97, nearly 4 weeks since the escape from Goldy Pond on Jan 29th 2046. Which places this appearance at about Feb 28th 2046, or even early March 2046.
- The first appearance of somebody who wears the same cloak as "Minerva" is in Chapter 98, in March 2046.
- The next appearance of "James/Minerva", who also possess the cloak, are in Ch 110, 112 and 113. Timeline is currently September 2047
I make a point to distinguish (2) and (3), in the improbable but still possible event that they are not one in the same.
My main argument was that, if we use Emma and Ray as benchmarks for physical growth, then Norman is unlikely to outgrow them. I can tentatively buy Norman breaking out of Lambda in the one month between (1) Feb 2046 and (2) Mar 2046, but I cannot buy the notion that he outgrew them in that span of time. And the person at (2) certainly had an adult stature.
And this very chapter, the contrast between Emma and "Norman's" appearance is clear.
So my current stance is this:
- If Lambda = Hyperbolic Time Chamber, then I will accept that this "William Minerva" before us is indeed Norman, and that farm-wide breakout between Feb 2046 and Mar 2046 is possible.
- Otherwise, I say that this guy is neither Norman nor the real Minerva, going so far as to accept clone shenanigans
Of course, since this man has yet to respond to Emma's distress, I might have winded up overthinking a few things.
In any case, I'll leave this post off with a list of what we do know about "Minerva":
- He has access to the secret line to the Shelter
- Has access to the "banner of revolution" recording from Minerva (however, due to the silence of manga, no confirmation if same voice as Minerva just yet)
- Provided a numerical code that also makes use of Minerva's book, so they're at least familiar with Minerva's methods
- Has been leading liberations on multiple Factory Farms since some time before the ambush on the Shelter
- His subordinates had addressed him as "James", so the group at least knows that "James" is Minerva's real name (not going to count the "James Ratri" from Ch 112's Editor Note)