We have all been waiting patiently for the upcoming anime movie by Mamoru Hosoda, the man who gave us The Boy and The Beast, Wolf Children, and Summer Wars. Titled Belle, this movie was announced back in December with just a snippet of what is going to be about. Mamoru Hosoda is a Japanese film director and animator. He has given us tons of amazing works, including Mirai, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film in the 91st Academy Awards.
He first started his job at Toei Animation after submitting an original animation work that he had made in his spare time. Around the 2000’s he started getting a lot of attention after his first two films came out in the Digimon franchise. Toshio Suzuki, the head producer at Studio Ghibli, was one of the many people who noticed his work.
After Studio Ghibli was impressed by his work, they recruited him for a huge project the studio had under work. In 2001 it was stated that he was going to direct Howl’s Moving Castle but unfortunately ended up leaving the project due to creative differences.
After he departed from Studi Ghibli, he rejoined Toei Animation and worked on a few short animations. He went on to direct an episode for Ojamajo Doremi, which caught the attention of another studio, Madhouse, and they recruited him. He went on to work for them till 2011.
At Madhouse studio, the director found himself earning critical acclaim for his works which included Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. The latter won the Japan Academy Prize for Animation Of The Year in 2007.
Finally, in 2011 he left Madhouse and went onto create his own studio named Studio Chizu. Till now, the studio has released 3 anime films directed by Mamoru Hosoda, which are The Boy And The Beast, Miari, and Wolf Children.
Now let’s get back to the main topic at hand. Belle is shaping up to be an amazing project, and let’s discuss all the information we have on it.
Let’s first understand what the official site of Belle tells us about the film. The protagonist of the film is going to be Suzu, a 17-year-old teenager living with her father in Kochi, Japan. The site also references their city as the best example of depopulation in Japan.
Suzu has always been traumatized and wounded from losing her mother at a very young age. But one day, her life changes when she stumbles upon “U”, a massive online world. She heads into this world which houses a completely alternate reality which makes her take upon a new avatar named Belle.
It is also stated towards the end that all eyes of the world of U will be fixed on Suzu. She is approached by a huge Dragon like figure who seems to be very famous in this reality.
The U reality is ever-growing and massive, it has over 5 billion registered players.
Mamoru Hosoda has stated that Belle is a movie that he has been wanting to create for a long time now. He had the idea for a long time, but because of the abundance from his previous works, he never had the time to attend to this one.
He said with this movie, he wants to explore many aspects of cinema, from romance to action to the suspense. He also goes on to talk about how the movie will express various elements of life and death.
We have always seen the aspect of the digital world in multiple movies, one by the director. He has a way with these types of concepts, he shows the connection we have with technology and how it plays a very huge part in our lives.
He and the company have also talked about what the year 2020 has done to the digital and real world. Our dependence on technology has increased tenfold in just this year, it has somewhat become an unavoidable part of our lives. From what we have heard so far Belle is going to be a magical journey that will take us through some very beautiful aspects of life. We can’t wait for this amazing movie by the legendary director. The movie will release in Japan in the summer of 2021. We don’t have confirmation on the international release date as of yet.