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The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)
"Kumo no mukô, yakusoku no basho" (original title)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 5,766 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 21 critic

In an alternate postwar timeline, Japan is divided into the Union-controlled North and the US-controlled South.

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Title: The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hidetaka Yoshioka ...
Hiroki Fujisawa (voice)
Masato Hagiwara ...
Takuya Shirakawa (voice)
Yuka Nanri ...
Sayuri Sawatari (voice) (as Yuuka Nanri)
Unshô Ishizuka ...
Okabe (voice)
Kazuhiko Inoue ...
Tomizawa (voice)
Risa Mizuno ...
Maki Kasahara (voice)
Hidenobu Kiuchi ...
Arisaka (voice)
Masami Iwasaki ...
Emishi Seisakujo Koin / Eki Shanai Announce / Byoin Incho (voice)
Eiji Takemoto ...
Emishi Seisakujo Koin / TV News (voice)
Takahiro Hirano ...
Emishi Seisakujo Koin / Daigakuinsei (voice)
Takeshi Maeda ...
Daigakuinsei / Radio Hoso (voice)
Rie Nakagawa ...
Joshi Seito / Josei Kangoshi (voice)
Yûki Nakao ...
Joshi Seito (voice)
Maki Saitou ...
Joshi Seito / Josei Kangoshi (voice)
Kousuke Kujirai ...
Danshi Seito (voice)
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Storyline

The story takes place in a alternate postwar period, in 1996, where Japan is divided. Hokkaido is ruled by the "Union" while Honshu and other southern islands are under US authority. A tall tower was built on Hokkaido, which could even be seen from Tokyo. In the summer of 1996, three middle-school students make a promise that they'll cross the border with a self-constructed plane and unravel the tower's secret, but their project was abandoned after the girl, Sayuri Sawatari, became mysteriously ill and transferred to Tokyo. Years later on the brink of another war Hiroki Fujisawa finds out that Sayuri had been in coma since then, and he asks Takuya Shirakawa to help him finding a way to wake her up. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

violin | year 1999 | year 1996 | anime | 1990s | See more »

Taglines:

Against all odds, a promise will be kept.


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Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

20 November 2004 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Kumo no mukô, yakusoku no basho  »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Sayuri Sawatari: In the dream, I am alone in an empty universe. In that dream, my whole body... fingers, cheeks, fingernails, heels, and even the tips of my hair are painful with loneliness. Those warm days we spent together seem more like a dream. But as long as I don't lose those memories, I think I might be able to keep a grip on reality in the future.
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Soundtracks

Kimi no Koe
Music and Arrangement by Tenmon
Lyrics by Makoto Shinkai
Performed by Ai Kawashima
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User Reviews

 
Lovely if a bit convoluted
28 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Read the title a couple of times.

It's lyrical, evocative, even elegiac, and yet could have been expressed in fewer words.

Such is this film.

Formally, it's a pure joy to behold. From sweeping countryside panoramas and old, weatherbeaten structures that somehow plumb deep-seated sparks of nostalgia, to sweetly-embellished details like a softly rattling electric fan, Shinkai creates a vibrant, human environment. The soundtrack is equally enveloping, with heart-melting violin and piano work.

Beyond this is quite a decent film, with believable characters in often hard-to-fathom situations. The boyhood friendship of the two male protagonists is very real -- but their ability to engineer, fabricate, and pilot a sophisticated aircraft at age 15 is purely the stuff of anime fantasy.

And yet, everything, no matter how incredible or convoluted, is wrapped in these Shinkai layers of lyricism and beauty. Through a very sensitive and even transcendent treatment, scene after scene is made to appear pivotal, even if it's not.

And thus we have a film that is almost cloying in its presentation -- it's not layered with pure sugar; most of the time it feels genuine, even if it's becoming self-indulgent. But indulge it does, because the director knows how to indulge gracefully.

Normally style over substance kills substance. In "Place," it gently infuses it with some sort of warm, nourishing milk.


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