Belle Poster

Belle (2021)

Animation | Adventure | Drama
Rayting:   7.3/10 4.8K votes
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Release date: July 16, 2021

Suzu is a shy high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. But when she enters "U", a massive virtual world, she escapes into her online persona as Belle, a globally beloved singer.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

witra_as 23 January 2022

Staggeringly breathtaking anime with convoluted plot about fame and tragedy masked in digital modern era. Mamoru Hosoda presented interesting surreal cyberscape and beautiful pop songs over Suzu's relatable teenager personal journey you could easily attached to.

themadmovieman 23 October 2021

From one of the best directors in modern anime, Belle is one of the most spectacular movies in the genre for a long time. Complete with typically gorgeous animation, an electrifying pace, riveting character depth, sweet humour and a handful of wonderful songs, this is a film that you won't be able to take your eyes off from start to finish.

But why exactly does Belle have this spectacular star quality? After all director Mamoru Hosoda has managed time and again to tell incredible stories, from The Girl Who Leapt Through Time to Summer Wars, Wolf Children, The Boy And The Beast and Mirai.

Not only is Belle the latest addition to Hosoda's incredible repertoire, but it's also one of the most dynamic anime films of recent years, blending the classic animation style with timeless storytelling and blockbuster-level action and thrills.

It's a film that really transports you to another world, with the as-ever spellbinding visuals delivering some of the most immersive fantasy you'll have seen in a long time, bolstering the film's originality from what at first feels like a mish-mash of different stories.

In the early stages, it's easy to see Belle as a bit of an update of Hosoda's own Summer Wars, along with influence from Hollywood's Ready Player One. What's more, the film also borrows heavily at moments from Disney's Beauty And The Beast, although that's more as a clever homage than a simple reinvention.

However, because there's so much going on, Belle proves itself to be a lot more than a remake or update of those films mentioned above. In fact, what's most impressive is the way in which it so effectively balances its focus between life inside the virtual world of U, and the characters who live in the real world.

Much like Summer Wars, the action in the virtual world is brilliantly complemented by the emotional stories of the characters in the real world, in this case a group of high schoolers who are living through all the typical trappings of a coming-of-age story.

This is where much of Belle's emotional heart comes in, and while the action in the virtual world is absolutely spectacular, you care for the characters because of how they're developed in the real world, with a wonderful group of friends whose own back stories play in wonderfully to the central action story.

Playing out at an electrifying pace for the vast majority of its runtime, Belle nears edge-of-your-seat levels of excitement, although its finale admittedly isn't as exhilarating as the thrilling conclusion to Summer Wars.

That said, Hosoda directs Belle with such confidence that it's a mesmerising watch at every moment, boosted further by a couple of spectacular and memorable songs that are both fun to listen to, and play nicely into the film's narrative arc.

All in all, I had a whale of a time with Belle. A genuinely thrilling watch from start to finish, the film is a spectacular combination of many of director Mamoru Hosoda's best films, along with homages to a number of others. However, with fresh storytelling, fast pacing, gorgeous visuals, riveting emotional depth and thrilling action throughout, this film certainly stands on its own as one of the most entertaining anime you'll have seen in a long time.

pranayjalvi 1 February 2022

Mamoru Hosoda's latest is colourful, but not deep enough to leave an appealing mark, just like his previous directorials used to do.

Belle is a mix of Beauty and the Beast meeting in a virtual world where love happens, although in a rushed and an unexpectedly lame way. Belle seems conflicted as to what kind of story it truly wants to be: a romance like the original fairy tale based on loving oneself, not judging a book by its cover, and being kind to others, or an action tale where there's a villain for the sake of having a villain, but no real conflict beyond Suzu briefly clashing with the Justices, learning The Beast's identity, and the consequences that come with it in real life.

To summarise, Belle had a good concept, a cliche romance story and a futuristic colourful virtual world which grabs the attention, but gets conflicted as to what it truly wants to be. It's a one time watch, and if you are Hosoda's fan, I would advise to watch Wolf Children and Bakemono no Ko a number of times, rather than watching Belle for the second time.

My Rating : 5/10.

ayoreinf 31 August 2021

Let's get it right from the start. This movie does have faults - the plot does lose its relation to common sense some times (at least once, but in a very key moment) and it does sink a few times in to very shallow cliché such as the basic premise of the virtual world which makes this story move - translating our inner qualities into a singular personal avatar that really represent who we are. But once again I find myself watching a movie, realizing it has faults and feeling these faults don't matter one bit. I rated it 8 stars but it felt much more like 9. Because Mamoru Hosoda understands the human soul like very few do. I've seen already one of his earlier films - Mirai No Mirai where the very same deep understanding is demonstrated, I rated it 9 but I must admit this movie was much more moving than Mirai. Because the earlier movie is much more analytical and easy to relate to intellectually, while this one works on a pure emotional level. I'm rarely moved by an animated film like I was while watching it, because the characters were real - it has a lot to do with the superb Japanese voice acting, I'm not sure it'll work so well when dubbed but in Japanese it was raw and real and spoke of real issues of grief as a formative experience and about learning to stand for your beliefs against overwhelming odds and about how the smallest support from one's friends can mean the world and work wonders.

One more point that wasn't made by the previous reviewers - it's called Belle (in English) because it's using the French La Belle et la Bete as a major point of reference. It's not Beauty and the Beast in a straight forward manner but the idea of Beauty's love as a releasing power is at the core of the movie. See it and you'll see what I mean, because I won't be adding on that issue.

colewaters 16 January 2022

Belle is a beautiful movie filled with great music, a fantastic story, a great cast, and some of the best visuals that I have ever seen in any anime or any animated film. When I went into this movie I didn't know what I was going to be watching, but what I witnessed was one of the best animated films I have ever seen. If all anime is like this or better then I am a fan. I highly recommend this movie and to take tissues. Is what's really sad is that I was the only person watching this movie they should of advertised it better because they really have something on their hands with Belle I mean it is a cinematic masterpiece.

Parents I strongly believe if you let your young ones watch anime then they will fall in love with this movie and I also strongly believe you will as well.

rgkarim 14 January 2022

LIKES:

The Voice Acting: When it comes to this world of animation, there are plenty of people who can make or break the characters, but in my perspective the Japanese voice cast scores levels that English Actors can sometimes miss. All of the group did a stellar job in the performances granted before them, a mixture of laughable tags, parody like delivery, and raw emotion that unleashes the struggle of the characters. When the musical performances come up, the assigned voice actor accomplishes a blend of emotional satisfaction and musical prowess. It accomplishes much of the mannerisms that make anime characters so great and memorable and Belle is no exception.

The Story To Some Degree: Belle's tale is very relatable to the modern era as it dives into the media that connects so many lives in one place, the internet. The story takes place in an app called U, which is all about bringing out your avatar via cool futuristic technology and allows you to be what you want in the world. In this world, anything is possible, and the movie shows the possibility of the communal watering hole and the fame/worship that comes. What's a big favor for me though is how this movie adds more layers to the film by integrating other parts of the tale. Our main character Suzu has a lot of baggage, and her friends have their own vulnerabilities that are certainly going to be relevant to the audience. It mixes these together in a lot of small subplots, and gives us characters that feel semi-realistic. These worlds continue to cross back and forth in the search for happiness, only to then wrap it up in an interpretation of Beauty and the Beast. This multi-tiered approach surprisingly works well, and gives us this mini-series feeling that is entertaining and yet deep the way anime can be.

The Songs: This movie is a lot of a love story component, but also one about finding yourself in the mess of all the horrors that the fickle world brings. While the story does a fine job of plastering the horrors of the modern world and how one must find strength and means to face those horrors. For me though... it's the music that really drives the point home and the scenes around it. Belle's songs are very few in terms of the track list, and the variety is very minimal as well, with few being the toe tapping pop or rock options that anime series have made famous. However, the movie uses the songs to an incredible degree to display the emotion of the moment and really drive the heart and soul. As mentioned earlier, the vocal performances are incredible, the combination of symphony and pop is beautiful, and really reflects the character of Suzu. It's not a parody of the famous Disney movies, but rather dives deeper and despite odd lyrics, the movie unleashes so much of the symbolism this movie wants to show you. Something definitely for a Spotify playlist, but I really enjoyed the beauty of this work.

The Animation, at least 75% of it: Belle is definitely noteworthy of the anime magic for me and much of it has to do with the animation they have brought to the table. For one thing, the design is brilliant on many levels, a mash up of typical Japanese school life, merged with Ready Player One computer assistance, and then further painted with a Japanese paint of Beauty and the Beast. All these styles manage to hold an emotion and magic to themselves, with shading, colors, and a style all about capturing the essence of the moment. Of these worlds, the U world was my style, well there animation is much smoother, the colors an

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