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Two boys build an airplane and promise a girl to fly her to a nearby island.
PlotIn an alternate version of history, Hokkaido in the 1970's has seceded from Japan and renamed itself Ezo. Causing further tensions with its neighbor, it begins construction of an enormous and mysterious tower at its center. By the late 1990's, with the completed tower rising high above the horizon, tensions are leading to a threat of war.
Two boys, Hiroki Fujisawa and Takuya Shirakawa, decide that they want to see Ezo for themselves, so they begin building an airplane that they name the Velaciela. Their shop is an abandoned train station within sight of the island nation, and they secure the necessary parts by working at a nearby munitions plant. After revealing their plans to a classmate, Sayuri Sawatari, the boys promise to take her with them on the maiden flight. However, circumstances change, and the three friends become separated before the plane is completed.
Three years later, Takuya is working at a government-funded research lab, Hiroki is living alone and attending high school in Tokyo, while Sayuri lies comatose in a hospital bed. Scientists from the lab where Takuya works have theorized that Sayuri's condition is somehow preventing the Ezo tower from becoming active and swallowing up the world into a parallel reality. And so they make plans to move her to the lab's facilities for further study.
In the meantime, Hiroki is having dreams that overlap with Sayuri's, where he discovers her trapped alone in a dead world. Convinced that he can save her by fulfilling the promise made three years before, he returns to the abandoned station and recommences work on the Velaciela. He then locates Takuya and tries to enlist his help. But Takuya is now involved with a terrorist group bent on destroying the Ezo tower before it destroys the world. The two former friends are at odds, until eventually realizing that, in order to save both Sayuri and the world, they must finish the Velaciela together.