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on 2 January 2015
Disappointed. The title is better than this rather confusing film.
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on 10 January 2006
To start with the animation. Visually this anime is one of the most detailed i have ever seen, from the backgrounds to the characters, even to the most insignificant little details you wouldn't notice unless you look for them, it is beautiful and smooth in every way.
As far as sound goes, the music used throughout fits perfectly with the setting at all times, and whilst I don't personally consider it quite as emotionally moving as "Hoshi no Koe" (Shinkai Makoto's other extremely renowned anime) it nevertheless draws you right in to the moment and feeling he is creating. The voice actors (Japanese soundtrack) are suberb also, and fit the characters perfectly throughout.
If you are someone who preferes to watch English dubs, then you would be pleased to know (from what I have been told, and what little I checked just to see for myself) that the English soundtrack and voice talent is very good too.
As far as the story goes, it depends on the frame of mind you are in when you watch it. If you are someone who likes to analyse every detail of the world depicted, then some unexplained aspects might annoy you. However, if you are content to accept what you are seeing for what it is, and simply react/enjoy it as it is then the story, authough seemingly suttle in some ways, is very moving. It is hard to explain without spoiling, but at times, it is almost as if Shinkai Makoto has managed to capture moments such as the time between when you are asleep and when you wake up; the fleeting reality that is there halfway between worlds for just a few moments - in this film there are moments like that.
The characters have well defined personalities, and develop extremely well over the course of the film. Sayuri is a very lovable character, kind and generous, often with her head in the clouds.
Suffice to say, I found this a highly enjoyable anime and if you are a fan of Shinkai Makoto then definately take a look at this film. Also, if you have not seen "Hoshi no Koe" (which he made all by himself, a truly remarkable feat) then watch that first !
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on 11 May 2008
Absolutely awesome! This is the only way I can describe "The Place Promised in Our Early Days". It is rare for me to gush so much about a film, but this is one of those masterpieces that will leave you in stunned silence long after watching it. The animation is flawless, the backgrounds beautifully painted, the special effects amazing, the dialogue rich, the characters well rounded, the story emotionally charged.

But it doesn't end there... the DVD itself is perhaps one of the best I have seen in recent years. The cast and director interviews are brilliant, with unusually good questions and responses. I would also like to complement ADV Films for their subtitling on this disc. Not only are the songs titled with English and Japanese (romaji) so you can sing along to them, but they have even gone to the effort of un-obtrusively placing subs below all important signage in the film. Some people may consider this excessive, but for the discerning viewer, it is an essential part of the whole that would otherwise be lost.

If you buy just one animated film this year, even if a science-fiction set-piece isn't your thing, this film has to be it.
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on 20 July 2015
Well Japanese animation is somehow without visual perspective and in deep consideration its ideas are covering some Traumatic mass experience related to some dramatic change - perhaps the loss of WAR or consequence of Hiroshima Nagasaki. The whole Japanese animation starting from Totoro ha some kind out personality disorder what is sometimes ended in Happy end. As some form of hidden militarism is reinserted in the movie I do not consider it better then 3 stars.
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on 22 February 2010
`The Place Promised In Our Early Days' is another masterful animation from Makoto Shinkai. This follows three young adults as they live in the time just before a war and how one of them, Sayuri, is linked to a tall tower they can see in the distance and which is connected to the coming conflict. This film looks at a promise made and how it is finally carried out. It is hard to give more detail without spoiling the film. This film has some beautiful animation, especially the backgrounds and the attention to detail is very impressive. The play of sunlight on objects and as characters move through sunlight really stood out. This has more traditional animation than in Shinkai's previous film `Voices of a Distant Star' (which had lots of obviously computer animated scenes) and I found it easier to watch as a result. This film has some wonderful 'camera' angles and scenes that made it feel more cinematic and like a film than an anime, it feels very polished and well thought out. This has a slight romantic edge to the story and softened the more hard edge, military themed aspects of the film and complimented it very well overall. The extras include interviews with the Japanese cast and director. This is a beautifully crafted film and if you are fan of either Shinkai or anime in general this is well worth considering.

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on 15 July 2006
At first, when I saw the title for this film, I was thinking "oh my god" how sad will this be. But because of increasing boredom at the time I decided to go ahead and watch it.

This anime was not sad at all and I regret thinking that at the start. It is truly an amazing piece with a beautifully done and very detailed landscape that will take your breath away and make you wish you lived there.

A must watch film.
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on 14 November 2006
Makoto Shinkai's second film "The place promised in our early days" tells a beautiful, touching and complex tale of three school friends who share a secret and take a vow to unravel the secrets of the mysterious tower in a war torn land, in Japan but things go haywire as one of them falls into coma. Will the promise be kept? Well, that's what shapes the rest of the film in a visually stunning and unusual way.

From the very beginning the movie draws you in with the way it unfolds. The breathtaking scenery and the mesmerising background score leaves you speechless. Fans of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli films will undoubtedly love this movie since it almost has the same beauty and depth as their films. The dreamlike scenery, open spaces, lush backgrounds of the film transports the viewer to the alternate universe which the film talks about. The artwork of the film is absolutely stunning, one of the best I've ever seen. The story becomes more and more complex as things unfold hence a second viewing may be in store. But trust me, its so much worth it!

"The place promised in our early days" is a must have dvd and not to be missed film, not just for any anime fan but for anyone interested in beautiful and meaningful cinema. Trust me, that's a promise!!
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on 4 December 2006
i was looking forward to seeing this film as it's the followup to his first film voices from a distant star which was a great anime film...this film is similar in that the visuals are amazing and the story is well written though there's less of a sci-fi theme in this one...a great dvd though and one that sits well in my collection of top anime films.
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on 6 January 2010
review of the story - it is complicated if you know lots about scientific terms, then you are safe!! The boys have grown up and i tended to be confused which is which as the film goes back and forth a few times.

I enjoyed it though
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on 13 September 2009
One of the best movies I have seen in a long time. The animation is great, the story is compelling and the characters likeable.
I can easily recommend this to anyone who likes anime in particular and films in general.
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