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.