Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Place Promised in Our Early Days Anime Review

The Place Promised in Our Early Days
ADV Films
Movie - 90 mins. - 1 disc
$29.98 (2005)
ISBN 702727127724
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Makoto Shinkai
Studio - CoMix Wave Inc.

Synopsis: Hiroki and Takuya are classmates and obsessed with building an aircraft in order to fly over to Hokkaido where a mysterious tower reaching to the heavens can be seen.  Japan split after WWII with the southern region occupied by the US and the north by the Soviets.  The tower is on the northern side while the boys live in the south.  It's visible for miles around and represents an unknown force hanging over the lives of everyone around.  Befriending the two boys is Sayuri, a girl classmate and the three teenagers spend the summer before high school together.  The boys promise to fly Sayuri to the tower with them, but she mysteriously disappears before the end of summer.

Fast forward three years and the two clever boys are working for the government investigating parallel dimensions bordering our own.  Apparently the tower on Hokkaido is an advanced technology linking to other dimensions in order to research them.  It begins acting unstable and leaking another dimension "over" our own.  The boys have grown apart and come to uncover a mystery linking Sayuri to the tower.  Can they rescue her even if it means the overlap or rewriting of the world?
Incredibly stunning visuals

Pros: Beautiful animation and visuals, compelling characters, a decent mystery, voice acting was good, tons of extras including interview with director

Cons: Slow-paced, not much action, vague at points (like why Sayuri is linked to the tower)

Some neat sci-fi designs - that's a plane?
Mike Tells It Straight: A very pretty film with stunning visuals and an interesting plot.  Two friends have a dream in childhood, but drift apart as adults.  The show is very slow-paced in the beginning and then speeds up near the end.  Recommended if you want a thoughtful story progression with a sprinkle of sci-fi, but avoid if you're looking for any type of action. 

TO BUY and Recommendations: