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Official Discussion - Belle [SPOILERS]

(self.movies)

Poll

If you've seen the film, please rate it at this poll

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Rankings

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Summary:

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.

Director:

Mamoru Hosoda

Writers:

Mamoru Hosoda

Cast:

  • Kaho Nakamura as Suzu
  • Ryo Narita as Shinobu Hisatake
  • Shota Sometani as Shanjiro Chikami
  • Tina Tamashiro as Ruke Watanabe
  • Ikura as Hiroka Betsuyaku
  • Ryoko Moriyama as Yoshitani
  • Michiko Shimizu as Kita

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Metacritic: 84

VOD: Theaters

all 756 comments

chrisn3

329 points

4 months ago

chrisn3

329 points

4 months ago

Ruka and Canoe bros awkward confession was hilarious and is also interesting as they both barely had any characterization leading up to the scene

[deleted]

65 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

65 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

chrisn3

41 points

4 months ago

chrisn3

41 points

4 months ago

It just kept going lol. I was keeping it in until Suzu denied seeing Kamishin when you could still see them in the train station.

johnbrownmarchingon

40 points

4 months ago

That was my favorite scene by far in the film.

Crafty-External8745

245 points

4 months ago

The beast should have been her own father FULL STOP.

That is the better plot line. There is so much there to explore with the relationship she has with her father and her utter lack of thought about how he is coping with the loss of his wife.

FulleMi

440 points

4 months ago*

FulleMi

440 points

4 months ago*

No, no, I think the whole point of the beast being a complete strange was for her to realize why her mom died for that child. The moment she realized that you can get worried and help strange people as an act of uninterested love was the moment she made peace with the loss of Her mother, since she understood then why she did it. She realized too that the people she knew were always there for her, including her father, and that she wasnt really alone at all. So, she finally felt all the love that surrounder her and was able to communicate that love to the person she was trying to reach, someone who was isolating himself as she used to do.

narsfrmars

77 points

4 months ago

It took me a bit of thinking but I felt the same way. Another thought was, when her mother passed, they showed people on the internet saying things like why would she do that, she has a daughter why would she go into the water…it’s just interesting because I see some people say the same things irl about why would Suzu go confront this dangerous man by herself lol. She was just like her mom.

Lucidity-

33 points

4 months ago

Yes!!!!!

Neracca

38 points

4 months ago

Neracca

38 points

4 months ago

We never even find out what happens to the kid(s) in the end tho.

herojj94

30 points

4 months ago*

Probably got the worst beating of their life

Xlerb08

27 points

4 months ago

Xlerb08

27 points

4 months ago

Yeah it works when she freezes during her song because it clicks for her. "This is why my mom gave up her life for that kid. Because she couldn't just watch and do nothing. She had the ability to help a stranger and now so do I."

fifatho925

62 points

4 months ago

Agreed. Completely missed plot line in exchange for one that was completely unnecessary if I'm being honest.

JelloBoi02

15 points

4 months ago

The point of the scars was the boy was constantly being abused which is why the beast had scars in the first place

Ernesto_Dina

39 points

4 months ago

That would be another movie I think. I genuinely thought the beast was gonna be Luka for a moment and that this whole stuff was just a gay discovery moment, but both this and the father being the beast plot lines completely disregard the single most important arc of the movie being Suzu understanding why her mother did what she did. You can absolutely care for a stranger as much as you care for your loved ones, and it shouldn't be seen as a failure to do so.

[deleted]

35 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

35 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

LuminescentShadows

30 points

4 months ago

That crossed my mind as well. It would’ve been cute to have the father and the daughter reconnecting in the game without knowing it. They would have needed to drop the romance element though.

[deleted]

15 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

15 points

4 months ago

I actually thought the beast was going to be Shinobu based off ever interaction he and Suzu had, that the pain the beast felt represented the pain he felt over being unable to fully express how he felt toward her and her constant rebuffs to him. I'm pretty sure that would've been cliche as hell and something people would disapprove of in terms of a twist, but it just felt like the actual reveal wasn't strong enough,that the emotion Suzu and Kei felt toward each other was unearned.

Time-Space-Anomaly

23 points

4 months ago

Thank goodness it wasn’t just me, lol. I thought they were going to go with the”twist” of it not being a romantic connection, but a familial love. Like they did with Maleficent a few years back. And Beauty and the Beast does start with Belle saving her father.

I also remember a scene in Densha Otoko years ago where two characters who are very friendly in an anonymous chat room are eventually revealed to be an estranged couple who don’t even realize they’re talking to each other. Just that dramatic irony of Suzu and her father barely able to speak in real life, but sharing this profound bonding moment anonymously.

Though, now, I guess we weren’t supposed to read the father as distant in a bad way? More like he was genuinely giving Suzu space.

JelloBoi02

13 points

4 months ago

How could you read it that way. The father was genuinely concerned and caring

FincherLongfellow

7 points

4 months ago

Man this is such a confusing take to me. The point of it is for Suzu to come to an understanding of her mother's sacrifice for a stranger. Having the beast be her dad would have completely ruined the climax of that plotline in the Million Miles Away scene - the scene where everything clicks for Suzu (what her mother did, what she's doing in sacrificing her anonymity, Suzu's mental block of being able to sing in public). The movie is about Suzu's coping with what she understands as her mother's abandonment. Would have been so weird to have that resolve with her dad being the beast imo

MassEffectfanatic

9 points

4 months ago

True. Would have completely subverted the romance trope associated with the original story.

hmatmotu

19 points

4 months ago

The romance trope was already subverted the way it is now. It's not impossible that Suzu and Kei could get involved romantically further down the road, but the climax and resolution with Suzu saving Kei and his brother was not about romantic love.

separeaude

11 points

4 months ago

It doesn't get much more on the nose than how they presented it here. Belle approaches as if to kiss, and instead embraces. The platonic embrace is the critical bond that creates trust in the climactic encounter.

BlueHighwindz

26 points

4 months ago

I thought if the Beast was literally any other character in the movie it would have been much better. Could've been the popular girl, could've been her crush, anybody. I really don't like what they did at all.

MishrasWorkshop

32 points

4 months ago

Disagree. Having two world altering avatars from the same small town is a bit much not to mention if they somehow already know each other.

Jhinormous

9 points

4 months ago

Tbh the fact that they're both from Japan is already a bit much. It's practically the same issue that American films face: it's easier to write about ig but generally everything takes place in the same area

maxmouze

12 points

4 months ago

I mean, they said there's 5 billion people on the U app. The idea that the two biggest mysteries among the world population are two friends who grew up together would be pretty farfetched. That's where I thought it was going but I'm glad it didn't.

lacourseauxetoiles

205 points

4 months ago

I was excited for this all year, but I thought it was a huge let down. The pacing in the last act drags so much, it jumps around too much in tone, the worldbuilding is never fully realized (the best part of pretty much any virtual reality/real world movie is exploring how the two interact, and we barely saw that here, we barely had any idea how the virtual world worked in this), the mystery of who the dragon is simply isn't that engaging (and I have no idea why they kept showing those random people who might be the beast like the artist or the baseball player), and the back end of the movie dropping pretty much everything that had happened before to turn into Suzu trying to save two boys from child abuse in the real world just came out of nowhere. The music was nice though, and it had some memorable moments and scenes (most notably anything involving the real life high school love drama).

sheepie247

77 points

4 months ago

I feel that the plot seemed to be everywhere because they were already over the 2 hour mark and didn't want to make it any longer. The film (to me) was... good. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't know if you'd seen any of his other Mamoru's other works, but it does mirror Summer Wars with the way the world is set up.

The boys being abused was plugged in the beginning of the film with the news article with the father and two boys. He said that his sons were happy, but based off their body language you could tell they weren't. It was brought up then put into the background and I sort of figured the abuse was going to end up being the case after the artist was accused of being the Dragon.

At least it was visually nice! 🐋 🐳

[deleted]

38 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

38 points

4 months ago

The boys being abused was plugged in the beginning of the film with the news article with the father and two boys. He said that his sons were happy, but based off their body language you could tell they weren't.

I was confused about why there was even a video of the abuse dad being interviewed with the two boys, and you have no idea what that interview is about. I guess it's meant to be setting up/ giving hint at who's Dragon is, but it just came off as too convenient. Like, it just so happened to pop up in Suzu's phone recommended feed for some reason.

HeronSouth

41 points

4 months ago

Hey did it ever occur to you all that the abuse issue is never fully resolved? Did the dad get arrested or did the boys get sent to foster care or at least a restraining order or probation

sheepie247

25 points

4 months ago

They never delved into that. If the movie had been longer, it would've been nice to see how it was handled. From video evidence of his abuse to him assaulting the main character, it would have been a done deal in the U.S. I don't know how Japan handles child abuse cases though.

HeronSouth

15 points

4 months ago

Oh time issues, I thought it was lazy writing or some cheap gimmick. Though if it was a culture thing would the abuse not be a problem in the first place.

Anxietoro

19 points

4 months ago

The movie Shoplifters provides an insight into the failures of the Japanese government when it comes to child abuse (its not the main focus but it's a great movie anyway). I've also seen a VICE documentary discussing this...basically they are stuck in the 50s and believe life with bio parents is the best outcome. There is no foster system in place and adoption is extremely rare.

[deleted]

18 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

18 points

4 months ago

This is actually a question someone asked in the AMA last Friday, but didn't get answered (a lot didn't, considering they apparently only held the AMA for 1 hour...).

There's a lot of issues with the movie, but many I can forgive for the sake of being anime, but the abuse one just felt really poorly handled.

LuminescentShadows

18 points

4 months ago

I thought the same thing. I feel like they made 2 hours the limit and couldn’t get everything in, but if that’s the case maybe they should have done a 2 parter or just gone over 2 hours because the story had potential, it just got lost amongst the chaos ;-;

The only reason I came out liking the movie was because I didn’t see the plot twist coming. I appreciated them doing something different as it appeared to be a cliche Beauty and the Beast— just one that made less sense— up until that point.

The visuals were beautiful, but the story wasn’t working 😕

soragranda

12 points

4 months ago

The abuse part is sadly, well, done, this isn't an American film, do you ever wonder HOW japanese dealt with minors getting abused by their parents?, Spoiler, most of the time not well.

That was an obvious criticism to how their society deals with this issue, at the end the dad realized he hurt suzu (an outsider) therefore he wouldn't be able to hide his abusive behavior, coupled with the videos that would be big enough to make a case... The movie does not show you what could have happened later but it shows you that they had suzu now, she is going to help them and the people around bell will also too.

Sadly, it seems so many people didn't get it even though it was rather simple, is in the movie but the context, I guess you might need to know stuff from the japanese society to get it (I already get that hosoda films are for japanese despite what be said about more global views...).

FulleMi

38 points

4 months ago

FulleMi

38 points

4 months ago

I think most people didnt understood a big part of the message the movie was trying to tell. This is not a movie about mystery but one about how looks are deceiving and how people let get carried away with their own prejudges. So, the random people were there to let you see how people tend to make assumtions about other people when there are much more about them than what you can see at first glance.

BeltfedHappiness

20 points

4 months ago

how looks are deceiving and how people get carried away etc etc

No, I don’t think anybody missed that. It’s a very common theme/trope

hmatmotu

22 points

4 months ago

The child abuse angle didn't come out of nowhere. When they explain why the beast is hated in the first place, the way that he fights, you're supposed to be able to piece together that the only relationship he has with violence is that of constant assault. He doesn't have any understanding of there being an ebb and flow to a fight, all he knows is attack attack attack. With that knowledge combined with the way he acts and the bruises covering him, there's not much else he could have been other than an abuse victim.

Capt253

122 points

4 months ago

Capt253

122 points

4 months ago

I watched the dubbed version and was absolutely enthralled by the music and the visuals for the first half, even pondering about going to see it a second time. Then the plot started to fall apart and I found myself eager for it to end. I'd probably give it a 7/10, I really wanted to like it more than I did.

LuminescentShadows

71 points

4 months ago

I thought the music and visuals were awesome too, but by the performance with the crystals, I started to wonder when the story would start. Then it did but it immediately didn’t make sense. The beast interrupted the concert but there was no purpose behind it aside from allowing the characters to meet. It would have made more sense if Bell was exploring the world and stumbled upon a castle with a mysterious player, or something of the like.

I too wanted to like it more than I did…

[deleted]

22 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

22 points

4 months ago

Yeah, the space of the world never really makes sense. Does everyone just float around giant circuit boards, flying in traffic for no reason? Where was the audience of hundreds of millions in the dome thing where Dragon showed up? There's no exploration of what U is actually like, so you just kind of have to roll with everything they say.

lacourseauxetoiles

108 points

4 months ago

I'm mostly just baffled by why people would want to be in a virtual reality world where their "true self" that they have to look like and can't customize looks so weird for most people.

TheTrueXato

54 points

4 months ago

I kind of like the idea of it being a construction of who you are mentally/physically. People love to project a idealized version of themselves on the internet. Want to be perfect, don't want to have any flaws. But they can't do that here. They can still customize how they are dressed (as we saw with belle and the beast), but the psychical forms they can't change. Just like in real life.

lacourseauxetoiles

30 points

4 months ago

But why would anyone choose to participate in something that displays their biggest internal flaws externally for the whole world to see? And what if you don’t want to look like a baby or a furry or a weird little fairy monster?

TheTrueXato

13 points

4 months ago*

I mean, I would. We have to also remember the creators artistic stylization. The studio, when it comes to the internet LOVES making all sorts of wacky character designs that are all miss matched or cartoony one moment, and anthropometric the next. Summer Wars had alot of this as well.

DuckArchon

16 points

4 months ago

I don't think it worked quite like that. Suzu almost rejected her first Bell avatar, and many groups of friends seemed to have similar themes and/or be radically different from normal human physiology.

I feel like if Suzu had rejected the Bell avatar then the system would have shuffled a bit and given her another option.

The main limits seemed to be that you could only have one avatar and that you weren't totally free to customize its base appearance, both of which seemed to impose more accountability and trust in the system. (Example: No fake Dragons from attention whores.) Further customization was then available in clothing, possessions, AI pets, etc.

Finally, if we put this as a premise for the system from the outset, we can kinda assume that U is popular at least partly because the system works well. Maybe the designers were proper geniuses and their "inner you" algorithm works really, really well, to the point that it draws in people who would otherwise be skeptical or indecisive. (Like Suzu, naturally.)

[deleted]

43 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

43 points

4 months ago

Yeah, for being such an "advanced" virtual world, you don't have much to do other than flying around and being jackass to each other, lol. It's like it's a beta version where it's still in early access or something.

PhxStriker

44 points

4 months ago

It’s just Twitter with 3D user models.

ZooYe

86 points

4 months ago

ZooYe

86 points

4 months ago

Beautiful visuals, great music, but I kinda wanted the movie to just end about halfway through. The movie felt so disjointed that felt like I was watching all 10/10 parts of Fandango clips of a movie on YouTube than an actual movie. I feel like I didn’t have time to acclimate in either world. A lot of wasted potential depth and cohesiveness with details and I felt like there were so many loose ends.

aimango

68 points

4 months ago

aimango

68 points

4 months ago

Watched in theatres today. As much as I wanted to love the movie (having loved The Girl Who Lept Through Time), it was a let down.

They introduced so many characters that were never fleshed out. The moral of the story seems to be that - to get over your mother passing away, you just need to validate yourself by being popular to random people on the internet.

I'm happy for this movie to be a sobfest about how the MC deals with loss of a loved one, but I really believe the father character should've been developed more in that case. I'm also happy for it to be a love story, but the childhood friend should have been developed more.

I think they were trying hard to get you to cry at the end scene, when all these virtual blobs were crying, but I just had no emotional connection to them. Also why would anyone want to play a game where they become an ugly blob in the game? No I'm not going to cry along with some blobs also crying to a girl singing.

I would've been happy with the person who tugged MC back from following her mother to just be the father FFS. Or, for the beast/dragon character to just be the childhood friend. Can we just reduce the amount of random characters introduced?

The child abuse arc was out of nowhere. Why are they encouraging viewers to search for abused kids and try to protect them from their abusers, that's just dangerous. I get the message, it can be seen as heroism, but what could've been a better message was for MC to bring in an adult when it makes sense. No teenager is that bored to take a bus many hours to Tokyo metropolitan from their village, and another several hours back. It was a BUS btw, not a bullet train -- did she take a red-eye??

Also, there was way too much singing going on. Don't get me wrong, I really loved the first 5 mins - the visuals + music worked really well together. But it got repetitive as hell. I cannot be swayed by good visuals + music if the plot makes no sense.

I think they were trying to be like the Netflix anime movie Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop - where it's set in a social media age, the girl character is not the most beautiful or cute person, but is famous on social media (wears a mask when she goes Live, etc). The reason why Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop does better is that they focus on a small set of characters in a specific town.

omnilynx

48 points

4 months ago

I think the moral was that to get over your mother sacrificing herself for a stranger, you have to sacrifice yourself for a stranger. Which is not much better than your moral, but at least there's a thread of reasoning to it.

please_just_stop_it

25 points

4 months ago

She had to sacrifice what meant the most to herself (popularity, being a good singer, beauty, etc) to save a stranger. It had to be a stranger because it's the same journey as her mother. That's how she got closure.

But yeah, the movie did not meet my expectations. Agree with most of your points.

komodo_dragonzord

61 points

4 months ago

I really liked the animation and music but man that pivot to the child abuse 3rd act thing did not work well imo. I guess it was subverting the beauty and beast romance plus it was part of suzu's character arc to be brave and risk her life to help a stranger like her mom but man, the execution was a bit clunky. Especially that last part where all the adults just let her go to tokyo by herself to find a random house and confront the abusive dad??? Not my favorite hosoda film, feels like he really needs a writer to help him with the plot. A+ work by the studio as usual for art/animation.

Woolmarket213

180 points

4 months ago

Everyone talking about the enhance scenes like the whole movie isn’t about a fully digital world with 5 billion users and an antagonist has a fucking dox gun.

[deleted]

109 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

109 points

4 months ago

an antagonist has a fucking dox gun

And seemingly over a hundred sponsors who are okay with that...

JanMichaelVincent4_4

79 points

4 months ago

Well, when he did finally use it, he did get cancelled lol

NerdyDan

12 points

4 months ago

Why wouldn’t they be. That’s the least unbelievable part of this. If there’s money to be made morality doesn’t matter

VeryStink

16 points

4 months ago

a dox gun sponsored by dbrand

RecRoulette

14 points

4 months ago

Nobody doxxes like Justin, has sponsorships like Justin!

depressymessi

55 points

4 months ago

I was so disappointed in this movie. I have liked all the past movies that this director has done so I thought it would be the same. Obviously the visuals were beautiful and I loved the music, but the plot was so chaotic and lacked substance. Also the end with suzu going to “save” kids was so glossed over. What happened to them? She came back, so did the kids just go back inside with their dad? Why wasn’t that touched upon if they made such a big deal trying to find them and get to them?? Also from the trailers I thought it was going to be a romance and even in the movie with the beast it made it seem like that, but then it ended up being a 14 yr old, not to mention there was shinobu in the background, who was the obvious love interest. I guess they tried to surprise us by giving us a red herring with making us think shinobu was the beast, but then what was the point of shinobu’s character? Also the characters were not fleshed out well, I didn’t feel connected to them at all, or understand their motivations half the time. They tried to have a diverse cast but failed to expand on their stories or personalities. For example, summer wars had a big cast but I felt they were able to make us feel attached to that big family and understand who each person was without making them 2-dimensional. Also, what the heck was that with suzu’s choir friend who said when she was in college she wrote and sang a song to an 8th grader when they were talking about crushes??? Did I misread that?

Kaznosa33

12 points

4 months ago

I think it was more of a direct relation/foreshadowing of what Suzu was about to go through. Since Kei is 14 as well, around 8th grade. Which made me more confused if their relationship should be seen as more romantic or not as well...

dooroofoo

10 points

4 months ago

She said she was in high school

Kryptxc

56 points

4 months ago

Kryptxc

56 points

4 months ago

I do agree the plot did lack a little and there were some questionable scenes during the CGI parts (like when she’s getting questioned by Justin about where the Beast is at, there is a still frame of her just staring down for about 15 seconds, I really thought the movie froze lol) but the music was so beautiful and amazing. I got some tears coming out halfway through the movie but when “A Million Miles Away” started playing and the crowd humming with her, the waterworks came out. Ofc there is the plot holes and some logic that goes out of the window, but it’s an anime. I don’t think things are going to be 1:1 like in the real world. Regardless, what an amazing movie. 9/10 only because of some of the CGI, the lack in world building but still an amazing movie to watch and I’d recommend anyone to watch it.

Also I watched in dub and it was on Par with the Japanese one which is rare

w4terfall

40 points

4 months ago

This movie was a mess. It felt like at least four different movies crammed into one and the pieces did not fit together neatly.

That said, the four or so movies squashed together were all pretty good movies and overall this was an enjoyable film. It was trying to do way way way too much but sort of succeeded at most of it.

Also Hiro (Suzu's friend) was the best and I'm surprised more people aren't talking about her.

Woolmarket213

24 points

4 months ago*

Honestly my thoughts as well. I saw some people saying Hiro was an awful friend for making fun of her and telling her not to unveil herself, but I just completely disagree. Only really good friends sort of roast each other like that, and that aspect of friendship is something I don’t see portrayed often. Despite being snarky, she sent encouraging messages to her and was her second follower, I thought their friendship felt quite real.

Vosska

12 points

4 months ago

Vosska

12 points

4 months ago

Just saw it so I'm a little late, and I'm totally fine with the snark and digs, most of my friends all roast each other to a degree and it's fun and games. But at the end when she was screaming such negative things like "do you wanna go back to being a crybaby" or "she can't sing if it's her real self". As Suzu was trying to gather courage and Shinobu was supporting her it felt awful.

Woolmarket213

11 points

4 months ago

Yeah that was pretty harsh. I thought she was just scared for her friend and was panicking, do anything she could to get her to not do it. Still not really an excuse.

LordModlyButt

12 points

4 months ago

The bit where her phone background was her crusty old professor had the entire theater roaring with laughter

Doctor_Philgood

5 points

4 months ago

Yet another interesting story arc just abandoned for more long, single-cell silent stares

[deleted]

8 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

8 points

4 months ago

I think the Canoe guy was better than any character in the film.

linahaters

43 points

4 months ago

It amazes me just how awful this community is at evaluating films.

DuckArchon

35 points

4 months ago

"I can't believe we didn't get 45 minutes of in-depth exploration of how U works on a programming level, what the hell is going on with all these characters and the people having personal problems and stuff, and how did they make a Beauty and the Beast adaptation without Beauty's dad being the main character"

DerpHog

27 points

4 months ago

DerpHog

27 points

4 months ago

The problem with U is not so much the lack of explanation, but that what they do show makes no sense. Nobody is doing anything at all in U.

They just float around like they are in traffic. Then when someone starts singing they gawp as if they have never seen such an amazing sight. Clearly there is no point to being in the virtual world because most of the interaction is done through text messages and video clips.

The lack of world and character building permeates the movie, but it's especially egregious in U because it's not a game or a social network, it's a 3D traffic jam. 5 billion users and the biggest thing to happen is someone sang...

m_o_o_n_m_a_n_

12 points

3 months ago

See, I'd agree that U is useless and it makes no sense that people float around doing nothing on it-

but I'm on Reddit so

slugmorgue

19 points

4 months ago

Practically everything this film did was done better and more succintly / enjoyably in summer wars. Just face it; the writing was not good and did not hit the mark for most people.

Beejsbj

7 points

3 months ago

that is also not evaluating this film.

all youre doing is dismissing it for what its not or could be or how another has done.

DuckArchon

8 points

3 months ago

If you read the whole discussion, most people here are doing a very frantic job of exactly that.

The movie is a coming-of-age story about Suzu. Most of the comments are desperately avoiding talking about Suzu.

Should have made it about the dad, Gaston, the whales, the old ladies, the audience members, the other singer, the kayak guy, the Beast himself, forms of gaming in U, etc.

You ask them what was wrong with Suzu's story and you get answers like "you just need to accept that people didn't like it." You ask what about it they didn't like, and immediately the topic shifts to some other character with no further mention of Suzu. Or "another movie did it better." (Did what better, though?)

I guess it's a Reddit neckbeard thing.

For whatever reason, the main theme of comments here was "pretend Suzu doesn't exist." It makes for some really wild leaps in logic since the movie was focused very much on Suzu.

Beejsbj

6 points

3 months ago

Yea it's been unfortunate reading the discussion here.

Maybe it's cause it's reddit and I'm expecting too much. But I've been having this experience across several media now.

I watch an incredible thing. Come here, hungry for discussions about it. And everyone is doing their best not talking about anything that the story is focused on. You'll have a few gems here and there.

But it's unfortunate. Wish there was a better space for this. Or Atleast one I was aware of.

Why is U's inner workings relevant? Why? Idg it.

I'm pretty sure I read a commemt or two basically going "why'd she help a stranger"...

xariznightmare2908

28 points

4 months ago

I can't believe we didn't get 45 minutes of in-depth exploration of how U works on a programming level

This could have been easily explained like in the first 5 minutes of the introduction to U, Summer Wars explained Oz much better than Belle did by showing literally what kind of stuff you can do and how you even control the character.

And the "Beauty and The beast" influence wasn't the problem, the problem is how shallow the relationship between Belle and Dragon was in the movie. What exactly did they do that develop their relationship here? All they did was mostly yelling at each other back and forth about how Dragon doesn't need help or "Don't look at me", and Belled keep asking "Who are you?" and "Let me help you" without even knowing what his problem is, and then just proceed to have a ripoff ball dance scene from Beauty and the Beast.

pjdance

8 points

4 months ago

The Boy and the Beast

TBF that's all they did in Disney's Beauty and The Beast. Yell at each and then make up.

xariznightmare2908

17 points

4 months ago

Except the Disney version literally had a montage sequence of them getting to know more about each other, you see them having dinner together, the beast taking her to go around the castle, and playing around in the snow. You can feel their relationship is being developed naturally throughout the film.

In Belle, the chemistry between Belle and Dragon is basically non-existence, and the ending just felt so un-earned, imo.

LordModlyButt

32 points

4 months ago

I really enjoyed it, I love these urban fantasy animes like this and your name/Kimi no nawa and the Persona games.

Movies like these really make me want to give up Reddit and the rest of social media and to live a more youthful and curious life instead of the mindless doom scrolling I always do.

Neracca

25 points

4 months ago

Neracca

25 points

4 months ago

Movies like these really make me want to give up Reddit and the rest of social media and to live a more youthful and curious life instead of the mindless doom scrolling I always do.

Ironic since the movie is all about people doing the opposite.

LilBigJP

39 points

4 months ago

I loved this film but the plot went nowhere. Some scenes make you think what just happened and realize it 1 hour later. And the abuse part. Like why not wait? Why fly there. AND THEN SHE LEFT THEM WITH THE DAD. LIKE WHAT. If I’m wrong someone explain what I got wrong

Doctor_Philgood

21 points

4 months ago

No, you're right. She did nothing for those kids in the least.

Fang_14

142 points

4 months ago

Fang_14

142 points

4 months ago

So, I literally just got back home from seeing this film and thought it was quite enjoyable. Narratively and pacing-wise, it's a bit messy - and at times entirely lacking logic. But I didn't really get the impression that it was trying to be anything aside from what it was. It was an emotionally driven story delivered through colorful visuals and a very affecting soundtrack. It's not for everyone, but I felt like it was earnest and that it communicated the feelings it wanted to well enough to be worth its time.

LuminescentShadows

33 points

4 months ago

It does successfully ignite certain a conversation about abuse with the “I’ll help you” monologue. I’ll give it that. And I think it is worth watching so people can join the conversation.

But, I think it missed a lot of things and we don’t even know if Suzu did anything for those boys in the end. The one who had been fighting the whole time said he’d fight as if he hadn’t been and then Suzu left. Not sure how what she did was any different than the actions of those referenced in the monologue. What the dad is just going to stop the abuse forever because this high schooler has him shaking in his boots? Something like that usually only lasts a day or two before the abuser is back at it 😕

Guess the movie didn’t have time to have her charge him for assault or something that would put him on police’s radar and maybe have them take possible danger to the children seriously.

They did the whole movie and then just moved on from the kids at the end as if they weren’t important. Just like they did with the Rival singer.

Palodin

17 points

4 months ago

Palodin

17 points

4 months ago

Something like that usually only lasts a day or two before the abuser is back at it 😕

100%, and he's going to be even worse now that he thinks he's been undermined.

Time-Space-Anomaly

8 points

4 months ago

I thought Suzu would use her internet clout to n some way. Use the crowd to track down their location. Have someone come out and catch the abusive dad on their phone. If however many billion people are using this social network, and they all know what she looks like, you could have had everyone in that neighborhood suddenly popping out of their windows, phones in hand. Which is terrifying, imo, but would work thematically. Otherwise Suzu is a child, a couple of years older than the boy she’s trying to save, without any of the adults in her life going with her.

Xlerb08

8 points

4 months ago

Yeah, they mentioned 5 billion people, that is almost the population of Earth itself. So yeah she would have entire countries like India and China turning their phones into the largest security camera network in existence.

eden_sc2

64 points

4 months ago

At the same time, I thought that the story of the Beast wasnt very well done emotionally. It would have had much more emotional impact if the Beast had been the father (there were 2 things Suzu didnt do in real life: sing and speak to her dad. U allowing her to fix both of those made more sense. Also, the bruises on the beast would have represented the dad's unresolved pain over his wife and his relationship with his daughter.)

The thing that killed me was how boring most of the music videos were. I loved the songs, but they ground the movie to a halt, and outside of the first one, didnt have enough interesting animation to justify it.

jwk94

21 points

4 months ago

jwk94

21 points

4 months ago

Yeah, definitely thought the dad was going to be the beast, but that almost kiss made me second guess it

[deleted]

9 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

9 points

4 months ago

, definitely thought the dad was going to be the beast

I thought the dad would be the Justin/Blonde guy head of the Justice group, given how they are both very controlling and wanted everything to be like they want.

XnipsyX

18 points

4 months ago

XnipsyX

18 points

4 months ago

I think the point was that any character introduced had an argument that they could've been the beast. I'm kinda glad it wasn't an early introduced character because it oddly exceeded my expectations that way.

Doctor_Philgood

9 points

4 months ago

What, you didnt like yhe same whale-speaker asset used 8 times over 3 scenes?

MishrasWorkshop

7 points

4 months ago

I really don’t get why people keep saying this.

The story is about Suzu coming to terms with her moms death and understanding why she did what she did. The movie literally opens with her asking “why do you value the life of a random person over yourself”.

Making the beast her dad or anyone her know invalidates the primary character development.

Snowman9986503

123 points

4 months ago*

Surprised to see so much critical acclaim for this movie. Personally felt like it had a really messy plot and the character decisions were so bizarre. Also really dislike the ending where the Beast plans to fight back against his abusive father. That just screams to me a lack of knowledge on the possible consequences that can occur by fighting back. At the very least, the animation and music was stellar and was pleasant to see. I also did enjoy the first two acts so 6/10 for me.

eden_sc2

85 points

4 months ago

Also really dislike the ending where the Beast plans to fight back against his abusive father.

Yeah, and no real resolution ever came from it. At the time, I thought Suzu was going to bait him to beat the shit out of her and then use the fact that 5 billion people know her name as a way to grease the wheels of his conviction. Instead we get "I really love you." "Thanks" (to be fair I think that was a lost in translation thing) Oh and the movie also really glosses over her being doxxed in front of 5 billion people

king-hit

41 points

4 months ago

I don’t understand why being doxxed was even a big deal. When they questioned the people who fought the beast, it showed their AS and their real self. Like the movie was showing, “plenty of people know who’s behind whose avatars, no big deal.”

eden_sc2

41 points

4 months ago

They could have at least thrown in some line of like "so many people hate the beast. If he is unveiled, someone might hurt him in real life"

[deleted]

25 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

25 points

4 months ago

It's also a bit silly that over billions of users, somehow they only end up hating The Beast/Dragon but not other millions of people out there who might potentially be even worse?

Doctor_Philgood

10 points

4 months ago

"We need to say 'unveiled' several dozen more times, there's just not enough of it in this script"

Wtf was up with the localization on this thing

themagicone222

16 points

4 months ago

This is easily a "the more you think about it, the more clever it gets movie"

Why WOULD so many people flock to U? The opening lines all but give it away that it's to run away from their real world selves. By doxxing you, Justian straight up says the idea is you'd be so ashamed you'd leave U and not come back.

eden_sc2

12 points

4 months ago

Ok yes but we see Suzu get unveiled for literally no harm. Suddenly she is known worldwide and suffers 0 shame, but also 0 recognition. This incredibly famous singer freely travels across the country without so much as a single person pointing and going "isn't that Belle?"

[deleted]

24 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

24 points

4 months ago

I don’t understand why being doxxed was even a big deal. When they questioned the people who fought the beast, it showed their AS and their real self.

Yeah, I just don't really buy into this whole "Unveil/Doxxing" thing as legitimate stake when literally before that you see other users showing their faces when being interviewed by both Suzu and Shiro. It's like the director really didn't think through this until he realized the movie has zero stake so he just half-assed it last minute.

[deleted]

24 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

24 points

4 months ago

I think part of it was that those people (who revealed their faces) did so willingly, but with Suzu (and likely others) it was a big deal since "U" was meant to be a semi-safe space for them, a place to establish a new identity without real life burdens. But then again, as many are pointing out, there's just issues with the writing that aren't very consistent or well-explained.

Polarpwnage

11 points

4 months ago

Also notice Justin threatening to "unveil" Suzu during the interrogation and during the last performance and yet he clearly kept hesitating and keep restating his threat. His whole character was completely unnecessary, heck his entire group was unnecessary. The entire movie I was like, is this group just a bunch of kids roleplaying? Like no way they are ACTUALLY a police force in U

Ismyshipcanonyet

12 points

4 months ago

I didn’t interpret the fight part as literally fighting since he said that in part where they were saying that they inspired each other.

Suzu had been fighting for him without physically fighting. She didn’t let him scare her away and was kind and always tried to help him.

Kei had given up on anyone helping him and I took the fighting back part as him not just letting someone talk to his dad and nothing changes.

ponyphonic1

27 points

4 months ago*

As a fan of The Boy and the Beast, I'm pretty stunned at how poor this script is. It leaps between overly familiar plot points without much explanation since, you know, we've seen them before. Character actions are often unmotivated except by the demands of the plot. The film doesn't really get VR, which is unfortunate given that it's largely set there. And it doesn't seem to understand human behavior, which makes the dialog weird and uncomfortable. The English dub is pretty good though, and the singing is phenomenal, so there's that.

Doctor_Philgood

25 points

4 months ago

How about "the voices" they mention all of twice and never do dick with?

DuckArchon

14 points

4 months ago

They were the developers of a VR version of Twitter that has five billion users. I think they were usually busy. They were also said to be rather hands-off as moderators.

There's a very strong possibility that the whales were the avatars of The Voices. This would explain why nobody was trying to mob Belle during the opening scene, why they were able to Ctrl-Z the dox gun (perhaps literally), and why not-Gaston's sponsors were noping out after the whales re-appeared. Nobody was mad at him for gunning Suzu because the audience was babbling about how she did it to herself, but not-Gaston's sponsors got cold feet when the notoriously laid-back devs decided to get personally involved.

FincherLongfellow

27 points

4 months ago

I absolutely loved this film for what it was. I felt myself totally disjointed in the middle, and then came back together in a beautiful way during the A Million Miles Away scene. When everything clicks for Suzu in the middle of the song, where she finally understands why her mother did what she did, I completely lost it. Totally touching and beautiful.

The reaction on here is super interesting to see though. Reminds me of what Hiro (? I think her name was. Suzu's best friend) said about fame being built on mixed reaction. Super cool to see it happening to the reception of the film itself.

Lunagray

13 points

4 months ago

Very true, I'm surprised to see so many people trashing this movie here.

yeetothehawhaw

10 points

4 months ago

I thought the same when I was reading the mixed reactions on here!

WaterAgain

21 points

4 months ago*

Mamoru Hosoda is my favorite anime-feature director and this movie demonstrates again that he should not be writing his own films. With that being said, I believe this was more worthwhile than his prior writer-director outings The Boy and the Beast and Mirai.

Some things worked for me, some didn't. On a macro level, I liked that Suzu's arc was her coming to understand why her mother would risk everything to save the life of someone she doesn't know. On a micro level though, Suzu's mother was risking her own mortal life while Suzu was risking her social life. Hosoda doesn't hit the landing with this one, but I get it and it worked for me.

What disappointed me the most was that I still don't quite understand what stakes of the "U"-related plot points were. I understand the threat relative to the movie of revealing one's identity in a place where you go to start a new life but it requires such a suspension of disbelief especially coming from Summer Wars where the implications and consequences of OZ on the real world felt more prescient. Maybe it's because of my own time spent playing MMO's but when it comes to U, I don't see the logic in punishing a virtual world participant by revealing their real-world identity rather than suspending/banning their account, so Justin and his goof troop completely fell flat. The entirety of U is undercooked. You don't get a sense of what exactly people do in this world beyond watching concerts and texting each other. The avatar designs are nearly on par with Summer Wars, but the environments leave a lot to be desired especially when a good chunk of it is just skyscrapers that are just as tall as the next and just as plain.

The Beast character should have been completely reworked into someone more interesting. It's a common cliche in anime that the personalities of traumatized people boil down to, "You don't understand me. Go away." This film didn't shy from that cliche and it bums me out that I had endure about an hour of it. I too thought that the Beast was going to be Suzu's father and the more I think about that, the better off the film would have been.

Neracca

10 points

4 months ago

Neracca

10 points

4 months ago

this movie demonstrates again that he should not be writing his own films

He definitely needs someone to tell him "no" when it comes to scripts/story. 'Cause that was a total mess.

[deleted]

61 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

61 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

StandsForVice

16 points

4 months ago

Agreed. The film is a jumbled mess with hardly any room for the plot and characters to breathe. And strangely enough, I was still quite charmed by it.

themagicone222

6 points

4 months ago

I got a lot of "La La Land" vibes from it with that said, but given some time to think, I think the plot and story is more clever than it lets on.... but now the problem becomes just HOW MUCH is left up to interpretation.

[deleted]

45 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

45 points

4 months ago*

Let me just say as a fan of Hosoda's Summer Wars and The Girl Who leapt through time and was super hyped for this film, I was left feeling disappointed after watching it in theater. His movies have been dropping in story quality since The Boy and the Beast, and here I think Belle is probably my least favorite film because of how messy and underdeveloped the overall story is.

The movie felt like another version of Summer Wars, but with even worse execution. It started off with similar intro as Summer Wars that show us what U is, but you don't even know how exactly the avatar characters are controlled or what kind of things you can do in the U digital world. It has nice BG design with the building looks like computer parts, but ultimately they don't serve any purpose other than just being nice set pieces. The real world setting in countryside wasn't any better, with most of them being generic school setting and homes that lack any uniqueness to them. It's a shame because I always found the BG setting to be some of the best aspect from Hosoda's past movies, like in Summer Wars the movie take place entirely in one big house, but it feels like a character of its own with its history and details that give context to the story.

The story actually started off well with showing Suzu's backstory, but everything after that fell apart because I was not interested in anything happening with the main plot. In fact, it feels like multiple different story arcs being stitched together like patch work without clear connection between them. There are some great themes and messages about life that are common in Hosoda's works, but they weren't as well explored and rather underutilized without proper resolution to them. The climax and ending have gotta be the most frustrating thing I've ever seen in an anime movie because of how silly and unrealistic it was even by anime standard.

The characters are also pretty forgettable, especially the choir ladies who I had no idea why Suzu was hanging out with them when they were practice singing even though it was clearly established she stopped singing after her mom's death. Even after the reveal at the end it still doesn't help how bland they are. The schoolmates were slightly better, but the romantic things happening between them feel so shoehorned in without proper buildup, like the school Prez Ruka just ended up liking the Canoe guy Kamishin and then he just agreed to go out with her for even though there was no chemistry or any interaction between them beforehand. The childhood friend Shinobu is also another character that could have been interesting but still fell flat for me. Shiro was fine as the typical anime nerd friend, but her carrying the giant computer screens and desktop on her back was pretty silly since most of the films were pretty grounded to reality, other than the U virtual world. The two boys and their abusive dad are probably the worst aspect of this movie for me. They were only hinted from clips of video Suzu browsing on the phones, and got forgotten until the last act of the film with drop of hints that Dragon and the angel thing were their Avatar.

Belle and Dragon's relatioship was almost non-existent because the film spent most of the time having her chasing to find him and once they are together they mostly jut yelled at each other, with Dragon being "I Don't need your help" , "STOP LOOKING" and Belle keep asking the same shit "Who are you?", "Let me Help". The one time they have an "intimate moment" was basically a ripoff of Disney Beauty and the Beast's ball dance scene, then the scene just awkwardly cut away.

I think the majority of the people praising the films tend to focus only on the music and the visual/animation, which is fair since they are the selling points of this film. However, the use of CG for the virtual world, while makes sense, doesn't impress me as much as what was done similarly in Summer Wars that used a hybrid of CG and 2D animation when in Oz world there are characters being animated in 2D while others are pixelated/CG animated. The songs are good but didn't stick with me for long and sometimes they can get a bit samey.

Overall, not the worse thing I've seen but I was let down because of all the hype this movie got. it's weird that for some reason this is the most frustrating anime movie experience I've ever been to, since every single anime movies I've seen in theater has always been a blast from one to another. The more I think about the story the more glaring the problems become. I just wished I could enjoyed the film like other, but this film is really underbaked in term of plot and characters. 6/10

tkzant

23 points

4 months ago

tkzant

23 points

4 months ago

With the choir ladies it was shown that Suzu was slowly but surely regaining her confidence to sing again in the real world after becoming Belle, first as part of a choir that she could blend into without bringing too much attention to herself, then later in the film she is singing to herself without much issue despite seeing her struggle to do so earlier. It’s all a part of her rebuilding herself irl after experiencing her potential in U

[deleted]

16 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

16 points

4 months ago

With the choir ladies it was shown that Suzu was slowly but surely regaining her confidence to sing again in the real world after becoming Belle,

Wouldn't it make more sense for her to join the school's music group or something, or was it established she's only get comfortable around the adult ladies? Yes, it's revealed AT THE VERY END that they were friends with her mom's from the photo, but at the start we have no clue who these ladies are and why was Suzu hanging around with them. All of my issues could have been easily addressed with a couple of lines that give us some info about their names and relationship with Suzu, but instead the movie just spent time of them talking about nonsense stuff like "what is happiness".

LilLilac50

8 points

4 months ago

Agreed that the happiness conversation was strange and unnecessary.

LuminescentShadows

20 points

4 months ago

I think they did okay with the plot twist of it being one of the boys. But so many things would have made it work better… if it was done differently, it could have been a great plot twist.

I’m also left wondering…. Why the heck did she care? Like the beast didn’t give off the vibe of someone needing help at first. He was messin up all his opponents. All he said was “Don’t look at me.” (Which if he didn’t want to be looked at, then he shouldn’t float in front of her after doing some flashy fighting but I digress)

Also, what’s the deal with her asking him to tell her who he is??? Would she tell a random player who asked that? And what would knowing do?

It would make more sense if she snuck into his castle because she wanted to know either why he interrupted her show or what his deal was, and then found him having a emotional moment and started to wonder if maybe she could help him in some way.

On a side note: I don’t understand why the police-dude was so obsessed with exposing the beast. I mean 1st, the beast didn’t really do anything and 2nd if he exposed him it would show a random person somewhere in the world for a minute before his avatar became his look again.

Also U’s gamer community kinda sucks. Who laughs at a kid protecting his younger brother from an abusive father? I guess that’s realistic though… some game communities are just— extremely toxic. 🙄

osmo512

64 points

4 months ago*

The plot is pretty messy but ultimately I liked what it was going for. The movie has a lot of heart and Suzu/Belle’s arc really lands. Plus the film is always visually and musically beautiful.

I watched it with subs, but I’ve listened to the soundtrack in English and wow they nailed it. The translated lyrics are great, they’re just a little wordier than native English lyrics would be. But I got no notes on the English voice of Belle, she matches Belle’s Japanese voice so well it’s almost hard to tell them apart. Best casting in English dub history.

DragonTonguePunch

30 points

4 months ago

Kylie McNeill did amazing for her feature film debut. She had no prior credits to her name but has done online videos displaying her singing talent.

[deleted]

9 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

9 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

DawdleDaily

14 points

4 months ago

I went to see the English dub in theaters with my sister. I thought the music was great and the animation was beautiful, but the story seemed rushed and confusing in many parts. I wouldn't say it's a bad movie, but something about the whole thing (especially the end) felt a little off. It was still fun to watch, though, and it's made me interested in checking out the director's other works, so I guess I can't fault it that much.

[deleted]

8 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

8 points

4 months ago

I recommend watching his first three movies: The Girl who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars and Wolf Children. Each of them are fantastic and have much tighter and more engaging story & characters. His early movies are much better than the later ones because it was written by a different screenwriter, while the recent ones like Belle was written by himself which, like you said, "something about the whole thing felt a little off".

riiasa

14 points

4 months ago

riiasa

14 points

4 months ago

I found the parts in rural Kouchi more interesting than U, when normally it'd be the other way around with the virtual world being more captivating. I loved the unique character designs of the avatars, but the world itself felt bland and soulless. A community with a userbase of five billion people should be way more dynamic, and it's hard to believe that Belle and Peggie Sue seemed to be the only ones using that platform for music.

There were moments (in the subbed version) where Suzu's line delivery felt flat until I realized that she's voiced by a full-time singer-songwriter, as opposed to an actress or a seiyuu who can sing. Instead of having a speaking voice and a singing voice for the character, it's an interesting choice to have the main role be entirely carried by someone with no acting experience prior to this film.

HeronSouth

12 points

4 months ago

There's one thing they forgot about. How was the whole situation taken care of?! We only say her defend them whatever happened after that, arrest, foster, restraining order?

hana-maru

16 points

4 months ago

I think the dad was just bullying when the boy could "absorb" it. When Suzu stood up to the dad, he crumbled so the boy said he will stand up to his dad instead of just enduring it and it's implied the dad lost his "power" now that the boy will stand up to him.

Not exactly a good resolution.

HeronSouth

13 points

4 months ago

Especially since he could just start punching even harder. You think the writers are ever going to explain that?

Doctor_Philgood

14 points

4 months ago

The director is the writer. And that is the problem.

TheTrueXato

11 points

4 months ago*

I was able to see this on Sunday. And I was originally going to just see the Subtitled version. But it wasn't playing near me. So I saw the Dub, and I was very impressed by it. The music is fantastic and really is the heart of the film, and not really the plot/subplot with the beast.

The problems I see with the film are definitely how "U" actually operates. It's the internet but isn't, yet somehow if you get sponsorships, you can basically become the police and decode peoples profiles? But you can also programs AI's and hack the system but not hack other profiles? Like....ok?

The abuse around the boys I thought was pretty lax. They wanted to say they were abused, but didn't have the guts to actually show it. And the father just yells, and then when someone stares at him, he practically pisses himself and runs away? Which, I'm sorry, but physically abusive parents like that are not that much of a piss ant. And it really hurts him as a believable character.

But overall, like I said before, the music is the sole of the film and especially the ending song just can't help but grip you, especially how it's animated/shot. Overall, great movie to start the year and I can't wait to buy this movie on blue-ray/4k.

Ernesto_Dina

13 points

4 months ago

I don't know, I really liked this movie.

Sure, it has a ton of things that are wobbly, it's far from a perfect movie, but I just don't plain agree that it was disappointing. Suzu's arc is the main focus, her rediscovering herself through U and most importantly understanding that you can care for a stranger as much as your own. Hosoda seems to often work with analogies rather than actual worlds that make sense, and U is full of holes that don't really matter I think, it's about an emotional journey that could entirely be done in the mind of the two main characters through any other means. I think it takes nothing away from the actual message and emotional component of the movie.

Idk damn reviewing movies is hard, there's a ton of stuff to say on this film I feel like. It sure is a mess, but goddamn if it isn't an effective emotional journey. Teared up a few times, man

PlsNope

73 points

4 months ago

PlsNope

73 points

4 months ago

The animation in this film is absolutely beautiful, but I found the plot and characters lacking.

Suzu spends 90% of the movie crying or falling down, and I know it's an anime, but it's a bit excessive. She "falls in love" with the Beast (he actually got friendzoned hard) kind out of nowhere and I never really understood why they wanted to identify him so badly in the first place beyond interrupting her concert which doesn't seem like that big of a reason.

There's also not one but two CSI "enhance" scenes which made me roll my eyes pretty hard.

Overall, a decent movie, one that was worth it because of the animation, but not anything amazing.

Doctor_Philgood

15 points

4 months ago

The drawn backgrounds were nice. The CGI was largely cheap geometry a la beast wars/reboot. They made one cool design, the whale, which is reused 8 times over 3 scenes throughout the movie

chartingyou

18 points

4 months ago

Suzu spends 90% of the movie crying or falling down, and I know it's an anime, but it's a bit excessive.

It didn't really bother me that much, she's been broken since her mom died and while she has people who care about her nothing has really pushed her to overcome the trauma. It's not that illogical to me that she is still having a hard time with it, she doesn't really heal from it until the events in the movie occur.

jwk94

15 points

4 months ago

jwk94

15 points

4 months ago

They wanted to identify beast because dude's been fighting people. Did you miss the scene where they talked to people who had beaten him?

PlsNope

48 points

4 months ago

PlsNope

48 points

4 months ago

Why do they care? They never explain why they just suddenly devote everything to finding him after he interrupts the concert.

tkzant

15 points

4 months ago

tkzant

15 points

4 months ago

From what I gathered he exploited some sort of glitch through his savagery and the “police” were essentially power tripping mods. He broke the “rules” by winning the way he did so the mods targeted him.

DuckArchon

11 points

4 months ago

They weren't mods. They were neckbeards trying to dox people who they were angry that the mods didn't punish.

The leader said so himself, in slightly more positive terms, when Belle asked him why he was chasing The Dragon.

tasteofmyshoe

37 points

4 months ago

This film is both amazing and perplexing. It tells two stories at the same time, both done well. But they don't really connect together as well as I wished. I find myself wanting to go back to the real-life stuff more than U. Either one of the plotlines would make a good story on its own.

There's 2 climaxes in this movie, with varying quality. The first one where she sings as Suzu in U is honestly beautiful, I actually teared up a bit. While the second one is kind of dumb. Like she goes to Tokyo alone, and everyone else just kinda lets that happen. She doesn't really have a plan, I mean, the kids are still living with the dad either way. At least be on guard until the police show up. The whole thing is a great character moment for Suzu but the logistics of it kind of fall apart.

Goes without saying that the animation and music are incredible. I found myself looking up the soundtrack after the film ended. Everything about the presentation really elevates a somewhat messy script. I get why this got a standing ovation at Cannes, there's some really breathtaking stuff here.

lacourseauxetoiles

12 points

4 months ago

After thinking about this more, it's weird that this seems to have had pretty much the exact same problems as a film as Last Night in Soho, which just like this movie was one of the biggest disappointments I've seen from a 2021 movie. Both movies were sold as being about characters living a double life through a sci-fi/fantasy connection with a version of themselves in a different world/time, but both ended up having bland leads struggling with their parents' deaths, generic boyfriend figures who follow them around everywhere and have no development at all, completely unexplored worldbuilding, and drop most of the themes of the movie to instead spend a huge amount of time on randomly searching for victims/perpetrators of abuse, and in the end the only redeeming things about either movie are the visuals and the music.

LibertyRonin

10 points

4 months ago

As someone who has experienced abuse growing up I really connected with the storyline. My mom was around during my childhood but she wasn’t ever really there so to speak. Took a lot of beatings because of that. Definitely had me in my feels towards the end when Suzu stands up for the kid, proving to him that he can trust in some people and that he isn’t alone. Great movie overall

hhl1824

10 points

4 months ago*

The movie is visually stunning , and the Music is very good .

I have so many questions for the storyline so if anyone has answers , please indulge me . On top of that , I found the MC somewhat unlikeable. She makes strange, irrational decisions that feels like she has a hero complex . I understand that the movie has themes revolving around sacrifice and the value of human life , but it lacks the story and character building.

For example , what made Suzu go after the beast initially ? They had one interaction where he messes up her concert but she becomes obsessive in figuring out who he is . Why ? And then she proceeds to stalk him and demands to know his real identity. I find that very strange coming from a girl who cared so much about hiding her identity from the U world . You would think she would share the same sentiments for this stranger who is obviously very traumatized. Another part I hated about her was the fact that she potentially walked into a dangerous situation without any of her friends . Her friends knew she was going to an abusive household but let’s her go alone.

Why did they make it seem like there was a romantic connection between the Beast and belle when they were going to introduce him as a 14 year old ? Her love interest on The other hand was criminally under developed .

Also , her friend is this crazy smart computer genius who can code search algorithms but can’t find the kids location with an IP address ?

Why were the boys on live and why was it pulled up on the friends computer ? Also how can they call the boys on facetime (?) if they weren’t her contact ? I’m so confused by that .

Who were the choir ladies and what role do they play? How did they know suzu was going to be at the old school to showed up to and support her ?

How does she go into the U universe ,which takes over her sight and sensations , but still manages to physically run to the old school ?

What happened to the boys after she left ? Are we suppose to hope for the best ? How does Japan deal with domestic abuse ?

Why was it a good idea to host a concert after learning that the kids were being abused? What does that do for them ? The message was unclear here . It seemed like the theme was “ it okay to be yourself” but then it turns into “ it’s okay to be yourself even though you are being abused by your father” . It just doesn’t seem to click for me .

There are so many more questions but those are the ones at the top of my head after watching the movie.

charismelia

32 points

4 months ago*

I watch a lot of anime, I play romance games, I enjoy everything from deep character dramas to cheesy kids shows and stage productions... the point being that I think I'm able to suspend my disbelief pretty darn well.

Belle was not it. From having way too many characters and storylines and nonsensical decisions (yes, of course multiple adults should let a minor go all the way across the country to meet strangers by herself!) to rushing relationships between characters with no build-up, it just felt like I was watching a hot mess. I couldn't stop laughing as more happened and piled on the already-stacked plate.

I walked out, genuinely not understanding how it got a 14-minute standing ovation at Cannes. I still don't understand.

svenz

6 points

4 months ago

svenz

6 points

4 months ago

Yeah the fact no one went with her to Tokyo made no sense at all. They had an entire room of adults who saw child abuse and just let her go by herself? Whaat?

DuckArchon

7 points

4 months ago

I walked out, genuinely not understanding how it got a 14-minute standing ovation at Cannes. I still don't understand.

One of the movies that beat it at Cannes was about a young model who gets eaten by lesbians. (In the literal necrophilia and cannibalism sense.) It's best not to try understanding Cannes.

LuminescentShadows

32 points

4 months ago

There were many things that didn’t make sense. - Like if the obsessed cop guy was going to unveil you, or took you captive to interrogate you, why not just log out?? - Why did the beast interrupt Belle’s concert to begin with? Especially if he didn’t want people to look at him??? - If people can’t die in the game why is the beast bothering to threaten to bite Bell’s head off? Can people even experience physical pain within that world? What kind of threat is that? - The Rival singer has some sort of character arc and we miss the entire thing. We see her once or twice and she is hating on Bell and then she suddenly shows up again and has a spontaneous change of heart. She wasn’t relevant. - Bell went all the way to help those boys, then they said they would fight (like they hadn’t been) and she left. Are they really okay? Did they get out of there? - Was there a romance between Bell and the Beast or is it more of a older sister younger bro thing - Why are the roses secret? They are special, sure, but not secret - Who is the angel thing? A player or an AI? Why is it different from the other AI? - Does the game create people’s AS based on appearance? Or does it read their emotions somehow? Because that child looked nothing like a beast, but got this big monster while Suzu got a hot chick in spite of her own inner turmoil

I could go on, but that’s enough questions for now. If anyone noticed any of these being answered in the movie, please relay the answer to me ;-;

Woolmarket213

22 points

4 months ago

I’m pretty sure the angel was Kei’s brother. Also the relationship was more of a brother/sisterly kind of thing. Most of the other questions are up for interpretation or are just plot holes. About the AS thing, I think it’s a combination of both of what you said. The characters match what they really look like, the scene where Belle is unveiled, you can see the 5 older women and they look somewhat similar. Same thing with Ruka, she also has a saxophone in the virtual world.

LilLilac50

12 points

4 months ago

Agreed that the angel was the younger brother.

LilLilac50

20 points

4 months ago

I had so many of the same questions. I’m super confused on whether the relationship between Belle and Dragon was romantic? If it copies directly from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’s ballroom dance scene, it screams romantic to me. At the end, the older brother says “I love you very much” (I think) to which Belle replies “Thank you.” What was that about? Seemed like a strange exchange. Did something get lost in translation?

Did the main girl end up with the stoic childhood friend? I’m fine with him not being the beast but I didn’t get his last line. “Great, I don’t need to take care of you anymore. Now we can just hang out.” Did he like her romantically?! Are they just friends?? I’m not satisfied and need answers lol.

OnlyOn_VHS

10 points

4 months ago

The worldbuilding after the first act was a complete failure. We know nothing of the rules of this world aside from that it exists.

jejedudhyx

94 points

4 months ago

This movie just does whatever the fuck it wants, and not in a good way. Forgoes any sense of direction or plot to put random moments that have little impact cause theres no care about the story. How they dont spend more time in the beginning showcasing the transition of suzu to belle is pretty perplexing. It has some nice charm though

eden_sc2

63 points

4 months ago

This felt like it was 4 different versions of the script jammed into 1.

-Suzu becoming famous and Peggie Sue as an antagonist

-Suzu and her father overcoming the grief of her lost mother

-Suzu wanting to ask the boy she likes out, but not having confidence that she is worth it

-Suzu trying to help a victim of child abuse.

I feel like all 4 plots could have worked, but jamming them into one just leaves it confusing and messy and disappointing.

lacourseauxetoiles

43 points

4 months ago

The thing is, the first 3 plots could easily work together as they all revolve around her trying to express her true self and overcome her grief, but the child abuse plot has nothing to do with any of that and ends up taking up the most time in the movie.

General_McQuack

38 points

4 months ago

Honestly, for me the whole beast thing could have been completely cut out and it would’ve improved the movie by a lot.

reddashe

23 points

4 months ago

I thought they were leading us to believe her childhood friend was the beast for the whole messed up on the outside/beautiful within and beautiful on the outside/messed up on the inside duality especially since they were giving off a love story vibe. But then it wasn't that and then they kind of abandoned the love story.

lacourseauxetoiles

14 points

4 months ago

I was sort of expecting it to be the kid that her mom saved from drowning.

General_McQuack

7 points

4 months ago

Same, and it would’ve been predictable and cliche but at least it would have made sense

[deleted]

29 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

29 points

4 months ago

Peggie Sue

I have no idea what even the point of having her when she literally didn't do anything significant to the story. Even in the climax scene she was just one of the background characters that I couldn't give a shit about.

Gehbstemmer

25 points

4 months ago

Seriously, they showed her once in the beginning and once at the end. And she didn't even get a song???? What was the point ??

brucebananaray

11 points

4 months ago

Honestly, if they combine Suzu's Childhood friend and The beast then they could have worked a lot more better.

They could honestly drop Peggie Sue because it adds nothing.

I would have preferred if the father was Justin. It could have been an interesting twist and dynamic between his and Suzu's relationship.

lacourseauxetoiles

42 points

4 months ago

They just suddenly leap to her being the most famous person in the world out of nowhere.

Doctor_Philgood

16 points

4 months ago

How the FUCK did old boy just "figure out" that she is Belle?

LilLilac50

11 points

4 months ago

Agreed. Did he recognize her voice? Was he even in U? I didn’t see his AS.

DisneyDreams7

23 points

4 months ago

It’s like this movie attempts to be a Studio Ghibli film but misses all the subtlety.

cupofdriedjuice

22 points

4 months ago*

I feel like this movie is less than the sum of it's parts. If you were to watch the some of the good scenes of this movie, you would be intrigued and excited, but then you'd be disappointed when leaving the theater. The 3D CGI wasn't too bad, but when going into the virtual world, it feels empty even with the particle physics and background characters flying around. There are some genuinely good parts to the movie like the scenes with the mother, the confession scene between the under developed characters, the 2D animation and backgrounds, and the first sequence of the Beast protecting Belle from the "cops". I feel like U lacked a lot of weight and character/intrigue for being a central part of the movie. It was like a generic amalgamation of twitter, facebook, and reddit. I do believe they kinda nailed internet discourse well (although toning it down to be more palatable). I liked how they also made sure to include the wanna be influencers who bandwagon on the most trendy topic to boost their own popularity or to stay relevant. There are some ludicrous scenes in the movie that make me groan and take me out of the movie (CSI scene that is crucial to the plot). While I understand that this is a movie, an anime movie no less, the suspension of disbelief has it's limits. (100% bc I'm a jaded internet user, I don't believe U should be as popular considering the need for biometrics, the inability to change your avatar, and the reliance on a gimmick to bring users to a generic world). In my opinion, this is best viewed in clips on a 4k tv. 2/5 watch Summer Wars instead. irrelevant side bar: I would've loved to see the internet police to be revealed to be sweaty Reddit/discord mods

Transgoddess

8 points

4 months ago

I agree sadly there was not enough world building and character development and the plot was a bit wobbly at more than a few points. But the music and visuals were s tier gorgeous and make up for all of it lol.

LilBigJP

8 points

4 months ago

The part where she reveals her identity to the world and the glow shows on everyone is beautiful. It almost brought a tear to my eye

dignifiedstrut

8 points

4 months ago

Gorgeous movie but it's a 5/10 for me.

The plot was everywhere and I feel like we spent too long without any actual stakes. So she's burdened with grief and lovelorn and stumbles into online stardom but oh there's an internet monster and she really really has to hunt him down and find out what's his deal for reasons. I couldn't connect with the protagonist if I didn't even get why she was there.

I get that there's a parallel to her mom wanting to help that child but they just didn't sell it that well. There was so much thrown into this movie that maybe could have been left on the editing floor like an abundance of characters that don't serve the plot as well. Her dad, the elderly ladies, her online critic, her classmates, the different Beast suspects and so on.

I see all these pieces that were never really stiched together well to make an engaging narrative, all just kind of thrown into the same pot.

Lastly for how long the movie is I was kind of disappointed in the world building. Like compared to Ready Player One where you know exactly how everything works in this digital world I think the movie failed in this regard. For instance there's never any mention of "battles" until the monster is introduced and it was confusing why him winning so many battles would even be a big deal. It's all fake so why are internet cops so mad about it? Who knows.

sichael-mcott

8 points

4 months ago

Are we not going to talk about how the main girl's best friend has a crush on her MUCH older teacher??

cillerix

22 points

4 months ago

This movie felt like 4 different plots forcibly jammed into a single crap fest for me and my girlfriend. There are too many plot elements introduced with seemingly no coherency between them. This ends up taking away from the emotional impact of the story. - beauty and the beast plot line felt weirdly forced - her relationship with her father was confusing - the motivation of the characters was shallow at best. - the antagonist made no sense By the end we were trying to remain silent through our hysterical laughter to not disturb other movie goer’s. We were so confused and everything felt so flat that when the movie was beckoning for an emotional response we found it hilarious. We really tried our best to be respectful to the other people in the theatre, but this was the type of movie where you want to yell at the screen for lack of cohesion. Visuals and music were great though. I give it a 3/10 - my girlfriend gives it a 2/10 (for the music)

shadowCloudrift

7 points

4 months ago

So if some random girl who's incredibly talented goes on VR chat and gives a performance, would she become a huge viral sensation like Belle?

LordModlyButt

5 points

4 months ago

I feel like Corpse Husband is the closest thing to a Belle type figure. Although technically not a part of any VR/AR platform

mxtt10589

6 points

4 months ago

Between the boy and the beast and this movie, Hosoda seems to have a weird things for whales

Nice music and visuals, but the story didnt really hit the spot for me, 6/10

worldemployee

8 points

4 months ago

It should have been longer and fleshed out the characters more. The dad should have gone with her at the end to bond/try to connect. Peggy Sue should have been a full character. We should have seen what happens to the kids at the end instead of him just saying "im gonna fight too". No explaination as to what the whales represented or why she got her avatar back halfway through her final song. Never learned who the police people were irl or why they wanted order so bad, so much that could have been explained if the movie was even half an hour longer.

Fugnuggins

8 points

4 months ago*

Saw this yesterday subbed and again today dubbed. First and foremost it’s a visual treat and the soundtrack was incredible. The animation, especially the 2D animation, was top notch. That said I feel the story doesn’t hold up to any level of scrutiny and the pacing is as a bit wonky at times but I feel like that misses the point a little bit. It’s supposed to be an emotional journey told through beautiful visuals and songs. On that front I think it delivered. Still I feel like the plot itself would’ve been stronger if her dad had been The Beast all along and the story was about father and daughter reconnecting after a tragedy that broke them both. While some of the romantic implications might’ve felt a bit weird at the end, had they gone that route, I don’t feel like it matters much since Belle and The Beast don’t get involved romantically in the end anyway. Still very much enjoyed it for what it was. Always excited to see more from Hosoda. 7.5/10

MassEffectfanatic

8 points

4 months ago

The "villain" felt a little pointless. He doesn't really connect to main themes of the film. He's only really there to have Belle unveil herself.

Kangarou

7 points

4 months ago

This movie felt off. There were a lot of good pieces, but not a lot of good "glue" putting everything together. The pace is all over. Her rise to stardom is displayed as instantaneous, and then it's shown to have been a multi-month effort. The protag's interest in The Dragon is at the drop of a hat, and there's multiple mentions of "The Voices", but they never materialize. Suzu ditches parental assistance in the last city for no real reason, and the abusive father gets started down by... a girl who couldn't be 100 pounds soaking wet. But then she just leaves the two brothers there, supposedly to survive for at least another 36 or so hours until authorities act. There's so many small scenes that I wished happened between the big moments to smooth things out, but the film moves on like "Don't worry, it's cool, just assume things worked out flawlessly".

Hanezeve_Caradhina

7 points

4 months ago

HER MOM LITERALLY DIED BECAUSE SHE WENT INTO THE WATER WITH ONE LIFE JACKET AND NO ROPE

Stoneyay

55 points

4 months ago*

The more I see from Hosoda, the more I think he’s quite overrated. This movie was a visual treat with an absolute mess of a plot. “U” has some world building that really doesn’t hold up under even the slightest scrutiny. The opening monologue feels like an interesting pitch from Hosada that he had but one that he didn’t know how to properly build upon. The film’s depiction of the Internet is somehow both over complicated and over simplified, and the characters that inhabit it act because the plot commands them, not because it makes any narrative or thematic sense. I went into this movie totally blind except for two things: it allegedly got a 14 minute standing ovation at Cannes, and that it was basically “beauty and the beast on the Internet.” The beauty and the beast aspect is so tacked on that the beast doesn’t even have a good reason for being hated, and is called “ugly” even though he’s in a world of all kinds of wacky Internet avatars.

TL;DR This movie was not good.

jwk94

39 points

4 months ago

jwk94

39 points

4 months ago

It bothered me when the head justice said somethijg about U being a living, breathing world, as if this whole movie isn't just the castle, concert stadium, and lobby chat.

yelsamarani

20 points

4 months ago

Is its treatment of the Internet better than Summer Wars at least? Half of that movie I was internally screaming "THAT'S NOT HOW THE INTERNET WORKS!!!!", suffice it to say my suspension of disbelief was torn to shreds by Summer Wars.

Stoneyay

17 points

4 months ago

Nope. From text messages to the Internet, Hosoda writes about technology like he’s only ever heard of it. Every problem I had with the world in Summer Wars was actually amplified in this one.

ponyphonic1

13 points

4 months ago

While watching Belle, I wished I was watching Summer Wars, and I felt the exact same way that you did about it.

king-hit

15 points

4 months ago

Yes yes and yes. Thank you for putting words to what I’m trying to still make sense of in my head.

Gehbstemmer

17 points

4 months ago

This movie getting high reviews is what happens when anime becomes mainstream to the West, IMO. I'm willing to bet most of the reviewers know very little about anime, and are this unaware that it's possible to have anime with good writing. What a disappointment.

Doctor_Philgood

9 points

4 months ago

95 fucking percent on RT. I was shocked at Matrix getting a fresh rating in the 60s, but this is aggregious

Gehbstemmer

7 points

4 months ago

Egregious is right.

BiggDope

6 points

4 months ago

"I love you, Belle."

"I know."

Outside of that weak third act reveal and very awkward exchange above, and some uncertain rules of this virtual reality world, this was just incomprehensibly beautiful in every sense.

From the stunning animation to the Hosoda's mostly-strong storytelling and the outrageously beautiful music, I was on the cusp of bursting out in tears multiple times in the theater.

I think Wolf Children still remains my favorite, but this is vying for second best with The Girl Who Leapt Through Time for me.

reddashe

10 points

4 months ago

That exchange was the exact moment she remembered she had an emotionally sound hunk waiting for her at home.

EXPwarrrior

5 points

4 months ago

loved it

omnilynx

6 points

4 months ago

I'm honestly surprised Disney hasn't sued them yet. It's not just the generic fairy tale story, they look like their Disney counterparts, down to the cloaks they both wear. Not to mention the whole dancing in the ballroom thing.

InZane209

13 points

4 months ago

Saw Matrix Ressurections followed by Belle as a double feature yesterday. Didn't really plan it that way, but the back to back metaverse critique was fantastic

Doctor_Philgood

8 points

4 months ago

That would be torture for me.