Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho

Title:Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho
Beyond the Clouds
The Place Promised in Our Early Days
The Promised Place
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - CoMix Wave
INOUE Kazuhiko
Original Concept - SHINKAI Makoto
R1 License - ADV (Renamed)
In an alternate reality, Japan is divided between the 'Union' (which has occupied the Hokkaido island) and the US-Japanese Alliance. Three mid-graders grow up in the northern province of Honshu, near the border between the two antagonistic forces and in the shadow of a strange spire that towers over the entire region. While the three teenagers work hard on their dream of building an aircraft to visit the spire on the Union side of the Tsugaru straits, time and school draw the three apart from one another.

Three years later, when Takuya Shirakawa has found a scientific position in a secret project that involves the strange spire, Hiroki Fujisawa finds out that their missing friend, Sayuri has been lost in a coma for past many years, a victim of a strange sleeping sickness. Hiroki turns to his old friend Takuya for assistance, together they begin to speculate that Sayuri's condition might be involved with the strange (mixed time/cross dimensional) properties of the Union's Spire and for very different personal reasons, they resolve to try to help their dear middle school friend.
[Movie, 2004, 90 min; Licensed by ADV for US theatrical showings along with the DVD rights - May 2005; R1 DVD available - July 12, 2005]
From the same animation team who worked on

2:12min Movie Trailer - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 10 9 9 8 9 9 Dreamer [series:987#2279]
After reading some of the reviews, I thought I'd give this a try. It turned out really good... but be warned. It's slow nature will not appeal to many viewers.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
The first thoughs as I saw the artwork was "wow"! The artwork was amazingly good. The colors were extremely rich and vibrant. The details in both the background and foregrounds were really high as well. The animation was equally as good. Character designs, though not extraordinary, they were still really good.... though not as good as the rest of the artwork. But their facial details were excellent and their motions were smooth and velvety. This was well above the average movie.... since movies are known for their higher quality of art and animation.

For the most part, the soundtrack were very light pieces, mostly piano and violins, that was barely noticeable. But they still worked well with the animation as a whole. There were moments when the camera would pan across a scene and the music would become louder and more dramatic to protray the vastness and beauty of the scene being panned. Great stuff.

Series and Episode Story
The way the story unfolds with a person telling his tale of his younger days... that just got me hooked right off the bat. One thing I have a soft spot for is portrayals of recollection... be it a series, an OVA or in this case, a movie. One thing is for sure, this is a slow paced story. Not a lot happens and there's a lot of dialogue. With that said, it will probably turn off a lot of viewers. But if you have patience and enjoy shows that tells stories from visual and audio perspectives, then this one is for you.

Overall, a great piece of work that was a feast for the eyes. The plot was slow but was a dream tale that makes one conjure up memories of their past and stories untold.

Last updated Sunday, May 10 2009. Created Sunday, May 10 2009.
Watch 10 10 9 8 6 Ggultra2764 [series:987#1552]
Compared to Voices of a Distant Star, the plotting for this movie was quite troublesome. It tries showing off too much in a short period of time with little explanation for what was going on from the rebel faction, talk on parallel worlds, a love triangle, and political tensions leading up to war. I had enough trouble trying to piece together what was going on behind the story backdrop, even as I knew that two boys were trying to rescue their childhood friend. While the sci-fi backdrop hampered my enjoyment of Voices of a Distant Star, I still enjoyed the simple tensions between the two characters. But for Place Promised, I had a hard enough time enjoying the movie because I couldn't figure out what was going on during most points in the film. The only big thing I could give props to for this movie is the improved visual quality. Character designs didn't look as jerky as Voices and the scenery and animation looked more lush.

I guess the hype ADV gave Place Promised when it licensed the movie back in 2005 was just hype. Thanks to little explanation of the world in which the movie takes place, I could never picture myself wanting to re-watch Place Promised.

Last updated Saturday, April 18 2009. Created Saturday, April 18 2009.
Buy 10 10 10 10 Violet D [series:987#1393]
I would agree with Devil Doll on this one. I just rented it at Hastings and have watched it three times so far. I like how they start out with the man telling the story about his younger days and his two friends. How they start out with them in middle school and how they are carrying out their plans and include a young lady in their plans. I thought the character design was appealing and the animation was magical and the film was a delight to watch.

Last updated Friday, February 17 2006. Created Friday, February 17 2006.
Rent Forbin [series:987#1573]
Drama : Med
Comedy : None
Action : Low
SciFi : Med
Ecchi : Low

From the guy who brought us Voices of a distant Star, this is about 2 guys growing up and a girl with a mystery.

Honestly I liked Voices better. Even though this one had a staff and extra budget, the storyline was a bit weak. Why have 2 guys? It would've worked better with just 1 guy and the girl. No real explanation of the war, it's just assumed we already know why everyone is fighting this time.

Not a bad watch, but it's not a buy, it just wasn't that entertaining.

Last updated Monday, August 08 2005. Created Monday, August 08 2005.
Rent 9 10 7 9 7 7 Devil Doll [series:987#752]
[Score: 79% = minimum "Rent+"]
Anyone who has seen the Korean animation movie "Wonderful Days" will notice a lot of parallels: The building far away, the air ride, the separated lovers and their friend, the depression on the verge of a war, and the ending, in many aspects.
The idea in itself, an explanation for parallel universes, is challenging. Unfortunately too many aspects are only hinted at or not explained at all; the most important missing piece for me is the relation between Sayuri and her grandfather, but the background of the war is similarly insufficiently explained as in Saishu Heiki Kanojo, for example.
What I like about this movie is that this isn't just a tech story. Technology in fact plays a significant role but only one of many. You may note the small number of category terms (I added "surreal") and their strange combination - they may give you a good impression what this anime is not about.
I watched this movie twice now, in two different languages (there's a German fansub already). All in all, a true visual feast with wonderful music, some heart-rending scenes, and certain weaknesses in the plausibility of the story; thus not exactly a "Buy" for me, but it came close.

Last updated Wednesday, August 10 2011. Created Monday, April 11 2005.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:987#967]
While having beautiful artwork, animation and music, this is a very strange tale that left for me an unfulfilling after taste, as it tells of the friendship between three special high school student. I think my concerns might be based on how this story just asks you to accept too much, and then leaves a thousand loose ends and unanswered questions which are just ignored. And just watching a happy ending in the closing credits just does not make up for these type of short commings. But I found this movie to be well worth a watch, probably a rent, but I don’t think it rates a <buy>.

I do have to share that (from a techno-brat point of view) the last 20 minutes of the movie offer an almost incredible series of scenes of an amazing air-ship that spins and rockets around the mile high Union tower. If anything, I can find myself wanting to rewatch the ending, if only to enjoy both the technology and footage.

Last updated Wednesday, April 06 2005. Created Tuesday, March 15 2005.

Other Sites
The Place Promised in Our Early Days (Japanese) http://www2.odn.ne.jp/~ccs50140/beyond_cloud/index.html
Homepage of SHINKAI Makoto http://www2.odn.ne.jp/%7Eccs50140/
Official Domain for the anime http://www.kumonomukou.com/

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