Not without a little sputtering here and there, it’s hard to quibble with this vivid Japanese anime from Mamoru Hosoda.
Belle (In subtitled and dubbed versions) works off a notable fairy tale with cunning and heart in a slightly futuristic setting.
Traversing social media moves and personal anguish in disparate realities has the milieu of the protagonist Suzu becoming more captivating than expected. Especially as she morphs into the titular, highly revered singer with flowing pink locks and mesmeric freckles in the popular, virtual “U.”
The gifted director does quite well with his technical staff to help a quandary from Suzu’s detached high school raised by her father and dealing with a mysterious bestial presence in the global internet realm resonate.
An optimism for the power of technology coalesces with the distaff in a veritable genre inversion emboldened by insecurity. Belle might be less enhancing for more younger onlookers given its perceptive, shaded ways into abandonment, grief and loss, not to mention abuse. Still, as it delves into the curiosity and what emerges from the inside it’s hard not to be gratifyingly affected by the result.