Hello dear readers and welcome to my first post of 2022! Today’s article is another one in my Shoot from the Hip series where I take a very brief look at a video game or anime to help you decide if you should try it for yourself. This time I’m looking at the upcoming anime film release Belle, so if you’ve been wondering whether or not to go and see it then hopefully this will help!
Belle is the new film by director Mamoru Hosoda who you may know from his previous works which include Mirai, Summer Wars and Wolf Children amongst many others. It will be released around the UK on February 4th (I believe it is already out in some other regions) so I thought this would be a good time to talk about it since I had the pleasure of being at an early screening of it at Scotland Loves Anime in October. I’ve tried to avoid spoilers but if you’d rather go in to the film with absolutely no knowledge I’d advise stopping here. That said, let’s take a look!
What you need to know
Year of Release: 2021
Studio: Studio Chizu
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Genre: Science Fiction, Musical, Drama
What’s it about?
Belle is a modern day re-imagining of the story of Beauty and the Beast with a few original twists. Set in, I would guess, the near future, it is focussed on the life of a teenage girl who finds a way to express her musical talents in the virtual world of U. This virtual world, a form of social media, allows users to basically be whoever they want to be and create a new version of themselves. I’m not going to get into the details of the plot as I don’t want to spoil it, but the story has many messages about the experiences of growing up with social media, both good and bad, and the hardships and problems that many young people are faced with as they try and make their way in the world.
Should you watch it?
Probably. I really enjoyed Belle and there are a lot of things about it that have stuck with me. For starters it is a beautiful film and the animation of the virtual world of U is nothing short of stunning. Then there’s the music, and again this is absolutely wonderful and worth listening to in its own right. Character and story-wise it impressed me as well and I was pleased with how dark it was prepared to get. I was also impressed by the messaging around social media, as often I feel it is depicted as an entirely negative thing when actually it has a huge amount of positives to offer. That said, it’s biggest flaw is that it could have been a much better film. It is over-long and there is at least one moment where the story becomes completely unbelievable which damages the impact of the storytelling. Overall though it is a great film which I encourage you to watch – just don’t let all the hype around it unrealistically inflate your expectations.
Belle will be screening at UK cinemas from February 4th. Get your tickets here: https://bellefilm.co.uk/
So there we have it! My very quick overview of the film Belle. But what do you think? Is this one you are going to get tickets for? Maybe you’ve already seen it and have a different opinion to me? Share all your thoughts below and don’t forget to join me next time for more anime and video game chatter.
Thanks for reading,