The Place Promised in our Early Days is a 90-minute long drama/romance. It features three middle-school kids (two boys and a girl). The boys are building their own airplane, in order to fly to a huge tower. This tower raises from the earth, into the sky with no apparent end. They’re planning to take the girl, who they just met and got interested, along with them. One day, she disappears. The two boys then quit building the plane, go to different high schools and split apart. Three years later, the story continues.
The story has been well written. The key parts always return, keeping this anime on track. It could basically have been done in 30 minutes as well, though this anime chooses for a slow pacing, giving enough space to show characters interacting, and doing the things they usually do. Because the show takes its time, no really rushed scenes appear, and strangely enough, no scenes really drag on, as plenty enough happens on the screen.
The characters also are likable. They receive a healthy dose of character development during the progress of the movie, and the 3-year time-leap shows quite some changes in both of the boys. The approach of and climax itself felt very sincere, ending in a rather predictable, yet somewhat touching ending.
Still, there are a couple of things wrong with this movie. In the end, this movie remains a damsel-in-distress, who has to be saved by the knight. While it has thrown in some creative events which give this concept a couple of twists, I couldn’t help but get annoyed at this fact. At some scenes, it features some annoying technobabble. We see a couple of screens and graphs, which don’t mean anything at all. Some events in the movie also don’t make any sense (why didn’t the tower explode when the girl was still awake?) and the movie leaves an awful lot of things behind unexplained.
The graphics are interesting. Despite being produced in 2005, the creators decided to keep the character art simple. If you combine this with fluid and natural animation, creative and stunning backgrounds and details, the result becomes quite interesting to watch. Overall, the graphics for this movie were very enjoyable to see. Except for one little detail. The creators liked to heavily abuse the lens flares. Every time when the sun goes down, one appears, asking way too much attention by being overly bright, big and centred. The musical score stays original, though consistent through the entire movie. You never really know it’s there, but it does give this movie something extra. When the music stops, it contributes surprisingly well to the scenes.
Overall, this was a good movie, with some flaws. Still, while it was a good watch, it’s nothing really special. Nothing really is outstanding in this movie. In the end, this movie kept me from getting bored, but it also kept me from getting excited.