The Place Promised In Our Early Days
(anime movie - http://www.crunchyroll.com/the-place-promised-in-our-early-days/videos
Wow, where to begin...
First of all, I think this is the most realistic sci-fi anime I've ever seen. It really feels like some theoretical physicists were in on this and the paranormal/neurological stuff was very believably tied in with the multi-verse displacement stuff - the science stuff causing what was considered paranormal stuff. The complex international relations that were a backdrop to the story took some time to figure out but seem very believable while knowing next to nothing about how
it happened (Japan is now split north/south kind of like Korea? there seems to be a large Union and the two parts of what were Japan seem to be "owned" or at least are considered part of the same ruling entity of different groups, its clearly future of today but not very far as things like current day trains are still used as major transportation and attitudes and politics are much the same, 'Murica is in there some where and there's even English lines spoken). And especially how and when the Tower was built.
But none of that is really that important. Yep, that's right, all that cool detail stuff that sounds alluring: not the direct focus of the story. Its certainly a big factor and ends up tying in but its not the main focus. This is a coming-of-age drama/romance. A group of three friends who spend their childhood fixated on reaching the Tower eventually fall apart due to the disappearance of one, but later on the two boys-become-men realize how interconnected it all is and try to set things right.
The story flows very well between past and present, explaining things, and revealing what early scenes meant through learning new technical details. Like I said the tech and science seem very believable with the only wtf commonly found in sci-fi in general let alone anime (which I've found to be a bigger sci-fi-wtf-infracter than most media) being the Tower and how it got connected to the girl; but given the level of detail on everything else its easy to suspend disbelief. While this is a drama it not super heavy (well, maybe in one part, depending on your experiences in life) and it also isn't over the top. Its realistic and relatable despite the extreme circumstances.
The only reason it didn't get a 10 is because I don't give tens unless its an absolute mind-blowing game changer (wonderful, but not that level of wonderful) or I'm stupid hella pumped after seeing it (like The Dark Knight Rise).
The only reason it didn't get a 9 is because of super picky things on my part.
While the music was well composed for the movie and the moments it played, there was cheap synth involved. I mean, come on guys, you clearly hired a proper violinist to play for the characters, you couldn't hire a couple more or at least do some layering for the songs? If there's one thing I seriously cringe at in show/movie music, its synth strings. Knock a couple decimal points off for that.
Then, there's the medical detail with Sayuri (I will try to be as vague as possible because this is a semi-spoiler, so skip this part if you plan on watching)
. While everything else is super realistic, people still seem to think they can get away with ignoring muscle atrophy. Not to mention difficulties with proper nutrition in that situation. Her appearance as an adult is entirely too healthy. Knock a few more decimal points off for that. See the end of the first season of Sword Art Online for an anime that gets that detail mostly right.TL;DR - A solidly realistic near-future sci-fi anime movie that's about the people instead of the tech. Its broken up into four sections on Crunchyroll, which is a little annoying but doesn't detract too much from the great story. Watch it.