The Place Promised in Our Early Days

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The Place Promised in Our Early Days
Hey look at this pretty poster art. Wow cool.
Film poster.
Director Makoto Shinkai
Format Anime (Movie)
Made By CoMix Wave Inc.
Running Time 91 minutes


Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

Sum it up in a Sentence

Boy builds a plane to impress a girl, ends up having to save her with it.

Main Description

In an alternate timeline, Japan was divided in two after the second World War: Hokkaido was annexed by the mysterious "Union" while Honshu and other southern islands were under US sovereignty. A monolithic and mysterious tower was built in Hokkaido which could be seen clearly from Aomori (the northernmost prefecture of Honshu) across Tsugaru Strait. In the summer of 1996, three junior high students make a promise to build an aircraft and travel to the tower, but their project was abandoned after Sayuri Sawatari, one of the three, began experiencing sleeping sickness and was moved to Tokyo for better treatment. Three years later, Hiroki Fujisawa accidentally finds out that Sayuri had been in coma since then, and he asked Takuya Shirakawa to help him find a way to revive her. They soon find out that Sayuri's coma is somehow linked with secrets of the tower and their world.


  • Hiroki Fujisawa - A child prodigy with the goal of building a plane with his friend, mostly to impress a certain young lady.
  • Takuya Shirakawa - Hiroki's more quiet and serious friend. Also a genius.
  • Sayuri Sawatari - The girl who Hiroki has a crush on. A cheerful girl who is an adept violinist. She has been experiencing strange visions along with her sleeping sickness. After being transferred Tokyo, Hiroki loses touch with her only to find she has been in a coma for three years.

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Personal Opinions


Probably the weaker of the three films Shinkai's put out, it's still pretty darn good. Expect wonky character designs on gorgeous backgrounds and a solid emotional story.

Robert Denby

You usually struggle when coming up with a way to describe a movie this different from what you'd normally see, anime or otherwise, but "The Place Promised In Our Early Days" is literally what you'd get if Terrance Malick directed an anime feature. The gorgeous shots of nature, magic hour skies, minimal love story narrative, character development through short bursts of narration, and lack of dialogue is all classic Malick.

This may be the best style imitation of another filmmaker I've ever seen, and I'm not even sure if Shinkai meant it to be or not. It's a heart-breakingly beautiful movie visually, the music is fantastic, and the minimal narrative doesn't overstay it's welcome thanks to the tight 90-minute runtime. Well worth watching.