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Parents' Guide to

The Place Promised in Our Early Days

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Complex coming-of-age anime has some violence.

Movie NR 2004 90 minutes
The Place Promised In Our Early Days Movie Poster

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This is a heady coming-of-age anime that imagines an alternate reality and alternate universes. The Place Promised in Our Early Days imagines a Japan split into two regions between the Soviet Union and United States after World War II as three teens come of age in the mid-'90s on the border between the two, fascinated by a tower high above them on the other side. It's not without the melodrama that typifies so much anime, but this alternate reality angle is what makes it so unique and enjoyable, provided you can keep up with the story's complexities.

It's a lot to digest, and younger viewers will be forgiven for not being able to follow along. Stories and movies commenting on geopolitics and theoretical physics are obviously not for everyone, and especially not for kids who like their entertainment silly. Therefore, one's enjoyment of this movie is dependent less on the emo melodrama of most coming-of-age anime and more on how interested tweens and teens are in more complex sci-fi. This was the debut film of director Makoto Shinkai, and the high quality of the animation and his strength in using vibrant imagery to convey story come alive in nearly every scene.

Movie Details

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