Starlight Promises - Reviews

Alt title: Yakusoku no Nanaya Matsuri

Halex's avatar
Aug 16, 2020

Not a great story, it's just average with nothing that makes it stand out from the norm. It just seems like a 1-hour tourist promotional commercial for the Tanabata Festival. They added some sci-fi elements to try to make it more interesting and to serve as an excuse to give the protagonists greater abilities, but they fail at delivering the graphics for such abilities, as the fights are unimpressive and it's just average animation for 2018. They insinuate the plot quite early so you can see the outcome of the story almost from the beginning, but the plot twist itself didn't have the weight to carry the mystery of the story further anyway, as we have seen this kind of story done better in previous animes, Anohana comes to mind and Children Who Chase Lost Voices. The reasons for the fights are quite lame, so it's the use of amnesia as a lazy plot device. There are quite a few plot holes that I cannot mention in order to avoid spoilers. I should also mention that the focus of the show it's more on the festival than anything else that perhaps, should be more important for the story, hence why it feels more like a commercial than an actual drama.

Overall, do I recommend it? No, although some people have enjoyed it as shown by other reviewers, which is why I give it a try, and also why I'm writing this review to warn others to lower their expectations. If you are someone who watches anime because of the graphics, then you'll probably enjoy this a lot more than someone like me, who watches anime because of its creative stories.

3/10 story
5/10 animation
5/10 sound
4/10 characters
5/10 overall
SimplySharanya's avatar
Feb 29, 2020

Not so time consuming (1hr 2 mins only). Beautiful and high definition animation with an engaging but not too emotionally draining or overly romantic storyline, interesting edo period like theme with an unpredictably gentle mix of sci-fi elements, realistic characters, ear pleasing musical/nature background soundtracks.

Good to pass an hour without being too emotionally invested!!

9/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
krofire's avatar
Mar 29, 2024

Yokohama Animation Laboratory’s 2018 fantasy drama comes packaged as a short movie at just over an hour’s worth of runtime. The story revolves around two High School teens at a secret seven-day festival deep in rural Japan. Shoma Mihara has trekked there thinking he has been invited by an old school friend Atsushi Fujii whom he has not seen in three years. After a difficult journey he finds the mysterious location but Atsushi is not there. Apparently it is an invitation-only event and they were not expecting him. The mystery deepens when his host turns out to be an AI hologram. Thankfully a pretty girl his own age Shiori Senozawa quickly befriends him and he decides to stick around as it seems the festival organisers have a special role for him to play. Something about this show is uniquely Japanese. Firstly, we have a 15-year-old kid turning up to what would appear to be some strange cult organisation hidden in the woods. Why is he so trusting? We would hope most teens would wisely run the other way screaming. But no. Not this one. He happily goes along with whatever he is told to do to matter how weird or creepy.

Then there is the “festival” itself. Despite the story being over-loaded with pointless “supernatural” events nothing is actually ghostly at all. Everything the festival goers experience is down to high technology holograms and AI-gone-wrong. Something about this just doesn’t really work in a Western mind-set. If everything in the story is just hi-tech wizardry what is the point of the festival and its arcane customs? Why the decorations, dances and role-playing? Why the mystery? The whole thing seems wholly contrived. The resulting finale scenes should be majestic, emotional and visually stunning yet the whole show is under-whelming. The audience is left searching for meaning in the story where there is none. It just doesn’t make any sense other than as a fop to Japanese cultural sensitivities. The poetry is blunted by intrusion of the technology that robs it of any real enigma or beauty. It ends up like a big virtual reality computer game gone wrong. It lacks enough back story to give it a proper narrative. Better writing and a longer length might have made better use of the material. It rushes through to its conclusion. It is nice enough to look at and harmless enough. Pretty but not overly engaging. There is plenty of good anime out there that makes this look so flat in comparison. Pretty average and a waste of a good story idea. [Incidentally, the same studio is currently (2024) regaling us with “The Witch and the Beast” series which is all together a much better put-together show.]

6/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
6/10 characters
7/10 overall
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aeab32's avatar
Aug 18, 2018

This beautiful story is a real tear jerker - you need the tissues ready. The characters are developed throughout the story, getting hints about their past all the time. The storyline is based around a festival and tells the story of the past and the present. 

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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KimGiKyun's avatar
Dec 19, 2018





10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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