Title: The Place Promised in Our Early Days
Genre: sci-fi, drama, romance
Released date: 20 November 2004
Running Time: 91 minutes
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Animated by: CoMix Wave Inc.
Comment: After Voices of a Distant Star, Makoto Shinkai’s The Place Promised in Our Early Days confirmed me that the director’s huge success from his previous film was not a fluke. Similar to his previous work, this anime was mainly a love story with science fiction as a background. It set in an alternate universe in which Japan was separated into Northern and Southern part. The northern Japan was controlled by the Union and, using advanced technology, the Union built the mysterious tower which could bridge this universe with other parallel ones. The story followed three teenagers, Hiroki, Takuya and Sayuri. Sayuri was granddaughter of the tower’s creator and she was somehow connected to the parallel universe. As a result, Sayuri fell into prolonged sleep. The two boys (Hiroki and Takuya) who had romantic feelings for Sayuki planned to save her by flying her to the tower. The anime was a feast to the eyes with richly illustrated background and characters. There were enough widescreen shots and landscapes to make an art gallery. The anime took long time to slowly establish the relationships between the three main characters which gradually changed and developed throughout the film. The pace, consequently, was slow but no scene or dialogue was without meaning. The climax in which Sayuri revealed her true feeling to Hiroki knowing that she would soon lost her memory was, at least for me , heart breaking. The music was sad and sweet. Conclusion: The Place Promised in Our Early Days was overwhelmingly beautiful both on the surface and from deep within.