|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||Ryu to Sabakasu no hime|
|Production country:||Japan 2021|
|Running time:||Approx. 124 min.|
17-year-old Suzu is not exactly one of the most popular girls at her school. Rather, the girl, who lives with her father in a small village, leads an existence as an outsider. Only on the social media platform "U" things look very different. Here, thanks to her avatar, Suzu transforms into the beautiful Belle, who is loved and adored by millions of followers. And everyone wants to know: Who is this Belle? A secret that Suzu, of course, does not want to reveal. When Belle gives a virtual concert in front of an audience of millions, her performance is disrupted by a mysterious creature. This "beast" exerts an unexpected attraction on Suzu. She wants to find out who is behind this monstrous avatar and what makes him so extremely angry. But the truth could also put her in danger...
The anime film "Belle" transports motifs from the classic "Beauty and the Beast" into the digital world. Here, TikTok and co. are combined with classic fairy tale elements and mixed with sometimes very dark themes such as exclusion or violence against children. The sometimes very strong discrepancy that this creates should really not be allowed to work. Scenes that seem like a brightly colored music video contrast with almost dreary moments from the everyday life of a girl who seems to have no real hold on life since the death of her mother.
And yet: "Belle" is not only a very good anime film, but quite generally a really successful flick - both dramaturgically and visually. It quickly becomes clear why Suzu takes refuge in the artificial world of "U", why she enjoys being admired and yet wants to remain absolutely anonymous. At the same time, however, it is made very clear that real problems and fears cannot be solved by escaping into virtual worlds, but must be faced in the real world in order to overcome them. And only in the real world can there be real happiness.
Yes, in some places the film could have gladly dealt with the topic of social media and virtual reality a bit more critically. But all in all, the story is told with just the right nuances for the target audience it wants to reach. You'll be carried away and really emotionally touched - even if you're not a real anime fan. From me there is clearly a: Absolutely worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp