The Place Promised In Our Early Days ——————————–
Ever wonder why New York City is called the media capital of the world? A good reason behind that is that New Yorkers get to see a lot of things first and that includes this title in which I will be expressing my views upon. ‘The Place Promised In Our Early Days,’ by Makoto Shinkai. You know, the same dude that created ‘Voices of a distant star’ on his Mac alone…The screening began at 8:00PM on Tuesday, May 10th, and I was still on campus at 7:00 something PM. My university is approximately fifty miles from the Tribeca Grand Hotel in Manhattan, so I had to step on it a bit on the highway. I knew I was in quite some luck when I hit traffic along the way. Nonetheless I continued to drive on and got to the screening room at the last minute.
When I arrived, the NYT dude greets me like I am a n00b, but that is cool, because I believed it was the same dude who made me miss out on the Newtype USA first launch goodies bag. I still remember it vividly, ‘Press only, press only…’ Pisses me off, but okay I let it go as Taeko comes out and I told the NYT crew that I told Taeko that I was coming (I have never met Taeko before so I did not know it was her when she came out), hence I did not need an invitation card :P.
Got inside the room, the place was packed. I ended up sitting at the back, because I like to be alone. The people next to me annoyed me when I was watching the first Makoto Shinkai work (Voices of a distant star), when the DVD skipped, everyone acted like it was the end of the world (comical). I did not find anything funny about it so I did not laugh. After the end of Voices of a distant star, we had a five minute intermission in which Taeko and her lovely assistant take the business cards from the viewers, dump it in a bag and pick out the winner for some prizes which included: a Voices of a distant star poster and the other two prizes were the Voices of a distant star DVD. So three winners all together heh. I never win so I was not high on my chances. I then proceeded to walk over to Taeko to ask her about the goodies from when Animesou did the Appleseed Watcher. She forgot :O, oh wells, by that time, the second, and main feature comes on, ‘The Places Promised In Our Early Days.’
I have to say, you can kind of tell it was a Makoto Shinkai work, because of the nice backgrounds that accompanied the anime. The characters were much more detailed, compared to Voices of a distant star (Ushio Tazawa was the person that did the character designs) and of course, this film features more than just two characters :). The story revolves around two friends whose dream was always to fly to the Tsugaru Strait so they can see how magnificent a structure it is. They first start off by building a plane… as for the parts and hands on skills, they obtained from their part time job. The people that they worked with and hitting the books also helped them a bit. Half way through their building, Sayuri Sawatari, the girl that Hiroki Fujisawa likes, tags along, because he could not resist to say no to her. As time went on all three of them grew together and the plane was still in progress until… of course this is as much as I will leak out to you, because if you cannot imagine what will go on next.. you should go see it :).
Now, for what I thought about the film. I have to say I like Makoto Shinkai, but this film is a back track from Voices of a distant star. It did not make an impact from the beginning. It was more like smooth sailing… kind of like another regular teen drama (does change at climax). I felt so isolated. I did not feel as if anything else moved when the characters were interacting. This is supposed to be a secret, but I will tell you anyways hehe. I actually fell asleep at times because some scenes were not interesting at all. Although I do have to mention that my day consisted of three finals and one presentation, so I had a real migraine after the last final… I actually second thought if I should go to this screener, because I was in such a bad shape, but I chose to go, because I have been missing a lot of NYT events hehe.
Okay back to topic. The plot did not connect with me, unlike Voices of a distant star, which just clicked in on first sight. Furthermore it was just too slow. It became boring because of the large amount of story told through dialogue. The constant shifting from one scene to the next also confused me, as it was too constant and did not connect to each other all that well.
Let us say, the three friends were playing in the water after Sawatari and Takuya falls in. Then we black out onto another scene literally asking ‘WTF?’ The little jokes were not funny enough to make me chuckle, but the other viewers though otherwise. (Well they did have the sense of humor to laugh at how NYT fast forwarded to a scene where we left off because the DVD player decided to go bonkers instead of skipping to the track.) The woman next to me said, ‘Are you kidding me hehe?’ I said in my mind, ‘What is so funny?’ I mean technical problems do occur in the world you know. Sigh oh wells, by the end of the screener I was so out of it I could not wait to get home and sleep. The headache went away after the nice hot shower I took, for those who was concerned about me for any reason :).
Main Idea of this Rant?! - Just my .02 on The Place Promised In Our Early Days.
Closing Statement(s) - All in all it was not a bad event. I would have had more fun if I did not had a headache. It was cool to finally meet Taeko instead of always contacting her through email. I probably would not give ‘The Places Promised In Our Early Days’ another view, but hey, I am not leaving out the possibility of doing it. I might look at it differently from the second time around (without the headache), like I do some of the times for other titles. But as it stands right now, ‘The Place Promised In Our Early Days’ is long like its title and just unimpressive overall. Oh wow, I almost forgot, here is an honorable mention. Big thanks to ADV Films for making the whole screening possible! <3.