BELLE: Almost a Masterpiece. Almost

April 30th, 2022

BELLE, beautiful animation, god tier songs, great writing and packed with emotions. I cried when watching this, it was a touching anime. A touching anime that ALMOST was a masterpiece. You see, this anime tries to do a bit too much for it’s own good. There’s a beauty and the beast element, you see the name Belle, like Bell from Beauty and the Beast, except with an extra e to not get sued 😊. Cancel culture with sponsorships. Constant reactions from the mass internet to see how people pile on others. A silent mass majority that becomes strong when they unite against the tyranny of the minority. There’s a minor romance, and teenage girl feelings.

  All of this in less than 2 hours, yeah, way too much. The fundamental theme throughout the anime was Suzu, the main character, trying to comprehend why her mother would go so far to help a stranger. Everything else, literally everything else, could’ve been cut out and not affect the emotional impact of this movie. In fact, it would’ve strengthen it as more time could’ve been spent on the main story, instead of sub stories.

  The most useless parts of the movie was beauty and the beast and cancel culture man. You see, the beast never ends up with the beauty in the end, so why even include this fairy tale for? In most of the anime, you see Suzu crushing on Hisatake, and dealing with feelings of insecurity due to his popularity. So, if she ended up with the beast, it’d be illogical. Since she didn’t, then the fairy tale has no moral value. Beauty and the Beast exists to say that the beauty can transform the beast into who he could be by seeing past his obvious flaws and exterior. Honestly, I think that was added for the marketing department. Beauty and the beast does sell, the movie cover on my anime list contains them. If you removed that part, there would be no change to the overall story. Sure there needs to be a new way that the beauty meets the beast, but that’s for the better.

  The second part that could be removed was cancel culture man. His powers to unmask people in real life was a bit strange and raised many questions. Like, is he the only one with those powers? Does anyone else have those powers? Why does he have it? He was the main antagonist that drive beauty to meet the beast. For a villain, he had no real good development, and too much screen time to justify the cost. He either needed some serious rewriting or to trim off his scenes, like trimming off the fat, so the movie could get to the real meat.

  In the grand scheme, my complaints don’t make or break the movie. It’s a great film that everyone who likes great writing and anime should watch. I’d give it an almost a masterpiece out of masterpiece if not for all the things mentioned above.

Selection Project: An idol anime that could’ve been much more

March 13th, 2022

At first, my friend told me to watch this, but I have an allergic relation to idol animes. They’re all the same generic garbage where a bunch of girls sing. However, the first episode blew me away. The ambience, the emotions, the writing and the animation. A little girl that dreamed of singing, being an idol, despite being stuck in hospital. Despite all odds, during high school, she enters SELECTION PROJECT, a show game for training idols. For over 10 years she dreamed of this moment. For over 10 years she’s trained and is a great singer. However, disaster strikes during her performance, stage fright. She lost the popular vote and failed her dream of being an idol. Putting on a strong front to her friends, her family, but alone, she cries. A dream she made over 10 years ago. 10 years’ worth of practice, of ambition, of sacrifice, all gone poof from a single mistake.

 In that moment, SELECTION PROJECT was more than just than an idol anime. What would she do now? Despondent, faking being fine so nobody worries about her. How would she lead her life now that she didn’t become an idol? That was the high point, then everything went downhill. One of the girls in the competition, that won, dropped out and said you deserve it more than me and I’ll make it in America. Thus the asspull happens, the main character will now join SELECTION PROJECT as an idol. She made it, right?

 Later on, as the anime progresses, we get manufactured drama between the 9 idol members. Over the drama sequence, they learn something that changes their mind and everyone makes up. Then they live happily ever after. After the main character became an idol, due to the winner dropping out, SELECTION PROJECT became just another generic idol garbage anime. Sure, it does have good animation and songs, there’s no doubt about that. Except, the story was just like the rest, uninspired, following a formula. In fact, the anime existed to sell the songs!

 Honestly, it’s a tragedy. She didn’t make it to the SELECTION PROJECT to become an idol. She fucked up. Her dreams were crushed. But, would she really let things end like this? Would she really give up a 10 year dream because she failed an audition? At that moment, I wanted her to strive and struggle on to become an idol, despite her failure on the grand stage. I wanted her to try alternate means to become an idol. For me, that was where a true story could’ve happened. Where life isn’t about magically succeeding because you wanted it. Let’s get real here, everyone wants to win, even if you tried everything in your power, you could STILL fail. It’s not when you fail over that matters, but what you do when you’re beaten down, trodden on and laughed upon that truly defines who you are.

 So SELECTION PROJECT is a great generic idol anime about girls who sing and dance. If that’s what you’re into, then watch it, listen to the songs, and enjoy the anime. But if you’re like me, someone who wants to watch something real, where 2d characters transform into something much more. Characters who, despite not existing, feel more real than real life. Who occupy a space in your heart, where you won’t forget their struggle, their hopes, their dreams and how they existed. Then, it’s not an anime for you.