The anime film scene has many famous auteurs. Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Satoshi Kon have distinct styles that captured the public eye. Because the latter two are gone, anime fans may be searching for another auteur’s career to follow. Enter Mamoru Hosada and his anime trailer for “Belle.”
Hosada directed “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” and “Summer Wars,” but here in the west, he’s probably most famous for “Mirai,” his 2018 Oscar-nominated film. I personally have followed his filmography with great interest. However, I was totally unaware of his upcoming film “Belle” until the release of this trailer.
Even those who aren’t anime fans will notice the film’s similarity to another animated story. Clearly, the story of “Beauty and the Beast” has many interpretations, and this one seems modern and full of style. Since another popular fantasy franchise is getting an anime spinoff, this familiar story seems like the perfect place to create new anime watchers.
Fans of Hosada will note a lot of similarities to his previous work. Most noticeably, the animation style is very close to Hosada’s work on almost every one of his previous films. Additionally, the “U” mentioned throughout the trailer is very similar to “Summer Wars” crazy version of the internet. The schoolgirl protagonist is also a classic Hosada character, although that admittedly might be more of a convention of the form rather than the author.
“Belle” will come out on July 16th in Japan. GKIDS has agreed to distribute the film in the U.S., but we have no confirmed domestic release date yet. Collider reported that the film will release sometime this winter in the US, possibly trying to barely qualify for this year’s Oscars.