Kumo no mukô, yakusoku no basho (The Place Promised in Our Early Days) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Kumo no mukô, yakusoku no basho (The Place Promised in Our Early Days) Reviews

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½ November 21, 2016
In preparation for Your Name, I decided to check out Makoto Shinkai's feature length films in chronological order, starting with his first film, The Place Promised in Our Early Days. With that said, some people seem to hate this film. Well, I don't. In fact, I loved it. So much so, it might actually be my favourite film of his so far.

The one thing I love about The Place Promised is how the story unfolds, because it's unlike any other film I've ever seen. What starts off as a sweet tale of these 3 kids keeping a promise that they will go and see this incredibly tall tower that's present in the film in their plane, the bela cielo, eventually evolves into something quite unexpected to say the least, but I don't want to ruin that for you.

This turn in the story creates an intense and very emotional climax that felt very satisfying. It was a bittersweet ending that really worked for me.

The animation was also fantastic, but if you're familiar with any of Shinkai's films, that's no surprise as his use of lighting, detail and ultra-realism in his animation is always spectacular.

The characters, while nothing phenomenal or incredibly well developed, were still likeable and I wanted to see them fulfil their promise of reaching the tower.

While the film probably could have explained some things a little bit more, such as the whole divide between the north and south regions of Japan, it didn't really bother me too much as that wasn't the focus of the film. The emotional aspect was at its heart and that worked very well for me.

Overall, I love the story, ambition, originality, animation, emotion and final act to this film. It's not perfect, but it's a film that I thoroughly enjoyed and the Blu-Ray has been released here in the U.K. so I'm looking to receiving it for Christmas and re-watching it over the holidays.
½ January 4, 2015
Not quite a four star film but better than three stars. This film is a beautifully told story. Two teenage friends attempt to build a plane together and fall in love with the same girl. Truth be told that is probably sub-story of the overall film, which itself is quite hard to explain because there is so much going on. The animation is very mature and the ending is almost heart-breaking. I watched it in Japanese with subtitles and is one of the few anime I would genuinely recommend. Though the film may not suit younger children because they would get bored very easily. Though for everyone else it's definitely worth a watch, especially for anime fans.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ November 26, 2014
In "The Place Promised in Our Early Days," Hiroki and Takuya are a couple of childhood friends who go to work at a junkyard in the middle of nowhere in exchange for parts, so they can repair an airplane that they intend to fly in order to explore a mysterious tower just across the border. Soon after, they are joined by Sayuri, another friend.

After which, "The Place Promised in Our Early Days" jumps ahead seven years. And what I had initially thought of as a movie about the near future(unless I missed something), becomes something much more interesting and weirder in simultaneously taking on the topics of dreams and parallel realities, in this case a plausible sounding one where Japan like Korea and Germany is divided after World War II. So while this is the rare science fiction movie, albeit an animated one, that is truly evocative, it also proves that alternate realities can be just as headache inducing as time travel and I mean that as the highest compliment. Now, if the ending had only made a little more sense...
November 22, 2014
The self-absorbed narrative and melodramatic plot overshadowed the poetic and sublime animation.
July 28, 2014
This is like 5 Centimeters Per Second, if that movie wasn't a fairy tale. This has all the visuals, beauty, and emotion as 5 Centimeters Per Second, just a different setting and situation. Since I loved 5 Centimeters Per Second, I rather enjoyed this movie too. Definitely check it out.
March 25, 2014
kinda boring at the beginning, but when the main plot of the story revealed, suddenly you will love this one
February 15, 2014
es bonita, pero se vuelve tediosa por el exceso de "pensamientos" de los personajes
January 16, 2014
Slow burning yet beautiful and moving, an instant classic for all fans of anime and animation alike...
January 1, 2014
With vibrant, colorful and truly breathtaking animation, with emotional investment from the characters, very original story and with, as always, moving and poetic romance, The Place Promised in Our Early Days is a wondrous debut for sensei Makoto Shinkai and although it is very hard to follow, the film is also wildly authentic and beautiful. His directorial debut features, as always, such a romantic and beautiful story that you never see in American cinema. He is definitely one of the very best anime directors and, having in mind his early age, he has a lot of potential to make tons of quality films and even be the next Miyazaki.
October 11, 2013
Hiroki Fujisawa: [Narrating] Living alone, the nights seemed to last forever. When I couldn't pass the time effectively, I went to a nearby train station and pretended to wait for someone.

Conceptually, this was pretty interesting-- the idea about parallel universes is always an intriguing subject and to connect that theory with something as commonplace and ordinary as dreaming and de ja vu, is just so clever and the science behind the whole film seemed plausible. The idea that one universe can take the place of another is simply fascinating. The secondary story regarding the effects of the impending war on the residents of the island was also interesting: how families have been torn apart or one-time friends being forced to choose sides. The ideas for the stories were all good; unfortunately, the way it was animated and interpreted was odd and a little convoluted, which made watching the movie and trying to figure out what was happening confusing. This was kind of sad too; maybe it was supposed to seem more uplifting by the end but it was just too difficult to follow that I was just glad it ended by the end and checked on Wikipedia if what I think happened, actually happened.... either that, or its been so long since I watched anime that my brain is no longer in tune with the anime mentality.
December 13, 2012
I watched this one year ago today, so I decided to re-watch it. It turns out, there was a lot I'd missed. After the second viewing, I think I'd have to rank this up there with some of my favorite films. Admittedly, it took that second look to grasp the complex and obscurely related plot, but even so--it's such a beautiful, thoughtful, sad piece. Exactly what I needed today.
October 13, 2012
Some part of this were quite boring. But the whole movie was very interesting!
½ September 14, 2012
Underneath the voice-overs and exposition, there is a bit of a good sci-fi story in this movie but you have to really search for it. This movie abandons any normal plot structure and just develops characters and has barely any action or even conflict. Things just happen and people talk and I couldn't even get into this movie at all even when the action starts.
½ September 13, 2012
While the story has some minor flaws and seems a bit overdone at some point, it still is a magnificent piece of animation. The Place Promised in Our Early Days happens in a parallel universe, and centers on three teenage friends (two boys and one girl), who spend all time together, but when they eventually grew up they went their own separate ways. Yet, because of a series of mysterious, mind-bending, complex discoveries and dream-based occurrences, they're bound to meet up again, but maybe not under such pleasurable circumstances. This is a sci-fi story combined with a coming of age tale, and a very detailed look at teenage love and the promises that keep us together or break us apart. It's crucial to point out that it's a feature debut of Makoto Shinkai, and it surely deserves recognition, as it might as well be a great contender for Studio Ghibli movies.
½ August 2, 2012
Doesn't quite carry the same weight as Voices of a Distant Star (Hoshi no Koe) for me, but still another superb piece of work from Shinkai. The simple love and innocence portrayed concerning friendship and relationships is beautiful and moving.
½ December 21, 2011
The Place Promised in Our Early Days is a complex and sophisticated story told in a complex and sophisticated manner. You will doubtless be confused by the story many times along and some may still be confused at the end because so much is implied or expressed visually rather than stated in words. The story is based in quantum physics and the many universes hypothesis and set in one of the alternate universes that hypothesis posits, but like most good science fiction it is not really about the scientific ideas. It is a story about love -- in its many forms, including romantic love, love for a friend, love of adventure, and love for one's country -- and about commitment. Visually, it is beautiful. This is anime as fine art. An excellent anime!
Super Reviewer
½ December 1, 2011
From Makoto Shinkai's three best-known pieces, The Place Promised in Our Early Days possesses the most pronouncedly plot-oriented narrative: An ambiguous love triangle, a symbolic separation of worlds, and characteristic to Makoto, an open-ended and beautifully depressing conclusion. The characters of The Place Promised in Our Early Days are rather stationary and similar to those in Shinkai's other productions, are young, quiet, wounded, idealistic, and marvellously uninteresting. The characters are simple but their raw emotions are beautifully portrayed. Above other merits, characters in this movie are representative of good sense, human integrity, and beautiful resilience to losing love, being alone and growing up.
November 27, 2011
Breathtaking animation with a brilliant opening, but loses steam in the second half.
September 14, 2011
Watching for the second night in a row. Hope I can stay awake this time.
½ August 6, 2011
A good film with absolutely gorgeous backdrops, imagery and musical direction. However, the film's poor character development, bad pacing, and messy plot holds it back from its true potential. It's a film worth watching due to many poetic moments and beautiful visuals, but overall it's less than the sum of its parts.
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