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

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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 7,382 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 23 critic

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



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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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)


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


Against all odds, a promise will be kept.


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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?


Sayuri Sawatari: The sky, the clouds, the ruined city... No matter how far I walk, nobody appears.
See more »


Kimi no Koe
Music and Arrangement by Tenmon
Lyrics by Makoto Shinkai
Performed by Ai Kawashima
See more »

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User Reviews

A Truly Great Movie
11 January 2011 | by (Boston, USA) – See all my reviews

The director and writer of The Place Promised in Our Early Days is a certain Makoto Shinkai who is otherwise famous for movies like 5 cm Per Second and Voices of a Distant Star. He has been hailed as one of the greatest anime directors or even the greatest, up there with legends like Hayao Myazaki. Since I saw his other two movies first and absolutely adore them, it is needless to say that my expectations for this movie were sky high. Simply put, I was not let down. Unlike the other two movies under the same direction, The Place Promised in Our Early Days has a very definite plot with clear dips, rises and climaxes. All in all, it is an exciting story that puts you in the center of a divided Japan with different powers controlling both sides. The plot might seem dry and overused on paper, but it is quite intriguing once you actually see it in action. Also driving the storytelling forward is this movie's sci-fi twist on parallel universes and how certain people react with them. Again, this movie certainly brings around one of the uniquer feeling tales around, even if it doesn't sound it. Anyone who has seen another Makoto Shinkai movie however will be able to tell you though, that it is not the story that makes his movies special, but the characters and the emotion that few movies come close to matching. Although it is still a huge distant beyond any other movie in this respect, the power behind to emotions is probably the weakest of all three movies. Don't get me wrong; you will still find the characters and their relations hauntingly and irresistibly real, but you aren't AS horrified when a character's life suddenly changes for the worse. Still, the feelings of loneliness, desperation, or exuberance, all of which Shinkai is famous for, are still found in their distinct, amazing way. Since this was the second of the three movies, it also seems as though it is a technical middle-step between the OK animation of Voices of a Distant Star, and the truly breath-taking visual found in 5 cm Per Second. The animation will not disappoint you, and there are some truly clever tricks that are used that make it look truly wonderful, but they won't stand out among the best in the industry. The music might just do that however with its beautiful, violin-heavy soundtrack that creates a great ambiance for whatever scene is currently playing. Also, the fact that the violin is featured in the soundtrack is of relevance to the plot, and makes both the character progression and the music appear that much sweeter.

Although I have criticized this movie a lot, for every thing it did wrong, it did a million things right. This still stands with the truly great anime movies out there and is a great watch for any fan of sci-fi influenced plots that will bring a surprisingly personal tone to the story.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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