Belle: part a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast”, part a look into the very en vogue idea of metaverse or virtual world, part a journey of self-(re)discovery and acceptance, Hosoda Mamoru’s animated film is certainly a very rich, almost hypnotic experience. There is a melancholic sensibility to it that makes the film even more interesting, and the protagonist’s trauma early on convincingly defines her actions going forward. The vocal performances are quite good; Nakamura Kaho, who voices the protagonist, emotes well and has a beautiful singing voice, as well. The animation is beautiful; the real world emulates with soft colors the feel of a small town in Japan, while the virtual world is represented with more vivid colors and unnatural geometric lines. The characters are very distinct in the real world and very creative inside the metaverse. The music, by Bandoo Yuuta, Ludvig Forssell, and Iwasaki Taisei, is an important element for the character and is very emotional and pleasing.
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