The Place Promised in Our Early Days is Shinkai Makoto’s first full length feature, and second widely distributed anime work. It is set in an alternate history, where Japan has been split into two – the mysterious Union controls Ezo (formerly Hokkaido), and the Allies control the south. Even from far away Tokyo, everyone can see a gigantic tower; it is said that the Union is somehow using this tower to develop a weapon. To three middle school kids, the tower is the object of their dreams. Fijusawa Hiroki and Shirakawa Takuya have been building a plane in secret so that they can one day cross the sea and reach the tower in Ezo. They befriend Sawatari Sayuri, who has had a crush on Hiroki for a while, and promise one day to go to the tower together. Before this can happen, Sayuri disappears suddenly, only to turn up later in a comatose state. The National Security Agency believes her dreams have something to do with the experiments the Union has been conducting around the tower, and before anyone can say anything, war is declared. Three years later, Hiroki leads his own life, but is haunted by dreams of Sayuri. It seems like she’s trying to tell him something, but he can’t quite piece it together. All he knows is that he has to fly to that tower, despite the impending war.