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The Place Promised In Our Early Days Blu-ray Review

The clunky sci-fi elements hamper “The Place Promised In Our Early Days.”

In 2004’s sci-fi anime film “The Place Promised In Our Early Days,” the story revolves around 3 friends (Takuya, Hiroki and Sayuri) living in a divided Japan (half of which is controlled by “The Union”). On the Union side, they have developed a mysterious giant tower which the 3 friends want to check out someday. Hiroki and Takuya are even building a plane to fly there. 3 years pass and a lot changes. Hiroki and Takuya have gone their separate ways and have stopped working on the plane, Sayuri has gone missing, war is on the horizon, and parallel universes are being researched. Matters become increasingly complicated when it is discovered that Sayuri is in a coma and that she may be connected to the tower (which poses a dangerous threat to all).

Makoto Shinkai (perhaps best known for directing “Your Name”) is certainly an ambitious filmmaker having wrote, directed, edited and produced “The Place Promised In Our Early Days.” Indeed, even the script is nothing short of ambitious as it’s filled with ideas about politics, global conflicts, parallel universes, romance, and friendships. Alas, it’s all a bit too busy for its own good.

‘Place’ starts out promising enough by setting up the core characters and delving into the unique alternate universe world they inhabit. From a visual standpoint, the animation work by Makoto Shinkai and CoMix Wave Inc. also impresses with detailed environments (nature, decaying buildings, the way sunlight reflects off of things, etc.). Once the story jumps ahead 3 years though, the film goes a bit off the rails with convoluted hard sci-fi elements and too much exposition which overshadows the characterization. Had the sci-fi elements been less muddled and more developed, ‘Place’ may have benefited more. As is, it feels like a movie with too many complex ideas for a mere 90 minute runtime.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? The animation simply looks beautiful in hi-def.

Audio Track: Japanese and English 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? The original language Japanese track is sharp while the English dub also impresses.

Extras include 32 minutes of archival interviews with 3 Japanese voice cast members, an archival 12 ½ minute interview with director Makoto Shinkai and 3 trailers.

June 4, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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