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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 5,991 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 22 critic

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

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Director: Makoto Shinkai
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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

Taglines:

Against all odds, a promise will be kept.


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Details

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Release Date:

20 November 2004 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

La tour au-delà des nuages  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Takuya Shirakawa: Sawatari. This time, for sure... let's go to the promised place.
See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
A pure and beautiful work
15 September 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Makoto Shinkai came back. And this time he is not alone.

'The Place Promised in Our Early Days' is a pure and beautiful piece of work. This has probably the most beautiful visuals of all animations that I've seen ('Please Save My Earth' and some others are also beautiful but they all have different characteristics, I must say). Pictures themselves are beautiful, and it is no wonder how people call him the 'magician of light'.

My overall impression of this anime is that it's like a poet but with Sci-Fi to match with it. 'Voices of a Distant Star (Hoshi no koe)' was quite boring for me honestly. But with a similar structure and image, 'The Place...' seems to deliver much better what Makoto Shinkai wanted to deliver, even though its story is slightly loose here and there.

I do think, however, that it is 'too' consistent throughout - from Makoto Shinkai's authentic poetic and solitary, pure atmosphere to its story/drama, visuals (e.g. lighting), music etc (I must say that sound aspects outside music is not very well done but let's put that aside), pretty much everything. This strengthens the sense of purity this anime represents, but I really think it would be better to have more 'bandwidth' to it, so it can have more dynamics and life in it. It is great how Makoto Shinkai pulled it off gracefully knitted altogether, though. I'd say that 'The Place...' stands on its very own ground, really. I think it is something that's quite different to all the rest, and don't really think it's appropriate to judge this by typical standards.

To hold it together for a much longer period of time, and to do it well, he has effectively implied editing (if I could say that) and careful laying out of the story. But the biggest difference I witnessed from 'The Place...' was how Makoto Shinkai has casted much more characters than before - though characters lack in variety as well. This enriches the story as well as adding complexity and depth to it so you don't get bored out easily.

But after all, it is superb how well Makoto Shinkai has put the whole thing together so well. I was very fascinated and captured while I was watching it - which didn't happen for quite some time. I think this is one piece of work that overwhelms viewers by its beauty and sense of purity.

P.S. Although I can understand how some animatings are not up to the feature animation quality, I personally think it'd be better for Makoto Shinkai to get somebody good to retouch on his characters' faces.


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