Episode 357: Belle

We love a good blockbuster anime that presents emotional themes, striking visuals, and awesome musical numbers. Hosada’s latest doesn’t quite coalesce as strongly as we might have hoped, but his depiction of a metaverse and some moving themes still held our attention, and the film has some memorable highlights for sure.

* Note – full spoilers in effect for entire episode *

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One thought on “Episode 357: Belle

  1. Thanks for your review. I think I have to agree–it’s a good, even very good, movie, but its faults, especially toward the end, do take away from it.

    When they showed us the story behind the Dragon, they ended up moving the goal posts for the movie, from it being about Suzu and her problems to it being about helping these boys. That was made even stronger by Kei’s rage-filled “I’ll help you” speech. It set the bar for the story to where Suzu had to do something more, to actually do something that really helped them. And the movie just didn’t deliver on that, not really. And it could have easily done something, maybe a few seconds of them with some law officers or other official-looking people in the space between the kids hugging and Suzu arriving back at her home town.

    I also agree that Suzu going alone didn’t make much sense. I at least expected Shinobu, the boy she liked and who had watched over her since they were kids, to tag along. I wonder if that wasn’t them trying to stick too close to the Beauty and the Beast idea, when Belle had to ride off alone to the castle.

    The first time I saw it, I thought there was brief indication that Justin was actually the boy’s father, and the reason he didn’t attack Suzu was because he recognized her from U. But watching it a couple of more times, I don’t think that’s right any more.

    I guess I saw U as being basically social media with a few extra bells (huh, I made a funny) and whistles, and it didn’t need to be much more, at least for this movie. It could have been explored more, such as why was there some kind of seemingly abandoned part of it where the Dragon’s castle was hidden, and how could people interact both in the real world and in U at the same time. But maybe that’s like trying to understand something like the Tardis, it’s best to just accept it for the sake of the story.

    It’s still a movie I like and enjoy, and it’s certainly not the first imperfect movie that I like and enjoy. Again, thanks.

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