As it turns out, Suzu spends her time as a pop star in the parallel universe of “U,” a virtual reality that promises a fresh start and a fresh start, which is all too promising for a teen uncomfortable with her skin. Internet pop star Bill (to be clear, written without the “e” as in the title, as Suzu’s name translates to “Bell” in English) has found instant viral fame, which puts her in quick contact with another famous – Or rather, the notorious – resident of U: “The Beast”, with whom Suzu feels a mysterious kinship.
In some ways, Belle can be seen as gnawing at our growing desire to occupy fully envisioned virtual social spaces – as we’ve seen, for example, with games like Fortnite and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, serving as concert or interview areas, allowing people the ability to On mixing during closing. But it is also primarily about the whole nature of online communication, and the way it can facilitate personal transformation and self-reflection.
“I think the fact that there is this other world where we can be another version of ourselves [helps to show] “We are not just what we offer to society,” Hosoda tells BBC Culture. Bill and Suzu are so different that they are almost two different people, but they are actually the same person. Sometimes we end up thinking that we are just one side of ourselves, but in reality we have many dimensions. Learning that and believing it helps us be more free.”
Hosoda’s fantasies of digital life
Hosoda’s directing career began at the turn of the millennium, and as his films grew, parenthood and children’s lives became pet themes. His previous film, Mirai 2018, explores a father becoming a stay-at-home dad for the first time. Before that, both Wolf Children of 2015 and The Boy and the Beast of 2012 argue that single parents fear where their children’s independence will lead them, as well as how much it will affect their lives. But besides this focus on the family, the most specific interest he discovered time and time again was the role the Internet plays in the development of modern-day children – something he first touched upon in his first feature film, Digimon: The 2000 movie and back in ‘Summer Wars’ 2009, about a high school student who becomes involved in an online world called Oz, and now Belle.
Indeed, this notion of children seeking guidance and refuge in fictional digital worlds is perhaps the most striking element of his work – even in his films that don’t explicitly deal with the Internet like Mirai, where the young hero’s family tree is presented as a kind of web space that can be traversed. His films often reflect the influence of digital culture visually by having one foot in reality and one foot out of reality – for example, while his characters may be designed with a subdued and natural look, they often act with huge cartoon vibes. Objectively speaking, the ordinary usually collides with the otherworld as his young or teenage heroes navigate their rapidly changing lives by doing something that is physically impossible – time travel in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Mirai, as they are pushed away into another dimension in The Boy and the Beast, and the entry into virtual reality in Summer Wars and Belle.