Alt title: Ryuu to Sobakasu no Hime

Movie (1 ep x 121 min)
3.954 out of 5 from 4,164 votes
Rank #1,208

Suzu is a shy, everyday high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. But when she enters “U”, a massive virtual world, she escapes into her online persona as Belle, a gorgeous and globally-beloved singer. One day, her concert is interrupted by a monstrous creature chased by vigilantes. As their hunt escalates, Suzu embarks on an emotional and epic quest to uncover the identity of this mysterious “beast” and to discover her true self in a world where you can be anyone.

Source: GKIDS

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For anyone that liked BELLE, that's great I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Okay onto my thoughts.... Did you watch those barbie movies as a kid? You know, Princess and the Pauper... Magic of Pegasus... I know you know.. Do you have the courage it takes to subject yourself to the anime version? There's your answer if you're trying to figure out if you want to watch this. The main girl has a nice voice but doesn't have the confidence to use it unless she's in a virtual reality "game"(?) called U. So when she gets on there she immediately starts singing and becomes an overnight superstar. Next, a player with a dragon avatar crashes her concert which is such a hot move so the young girl decides to investigate and quickly falls in love with him. You know this because they say I love you several times despite not knowing anything about each other. But worry not, they've done everything healthy couples do.  Yelled sweet nothings back and forth such as "GO AWAY" "DON'T LOOK AT ME" and "WHO ARE YOU?" (no joke, that's 99% of the little they said to each other) Danced in a ballroom and stared longingly into eachother's eyes while the girl sings to him about how much the guy has repeatedly told her to get the hell away from him Sing "I love you forever" on top of a jellyfish whale over a sobbing crowd SPOILER: Drove across the country to save the other because police outright refused to do a child welfare check (the group figured out where the player lives CSI eNLARge tHe PIXELS style, doesn't every high schooler know how to do this?) And most importantly, they've known of each other's existence for idk two or three weeks, doesn't feel like long at all. The seasons didn't change, am I wrong? Spoiler again: So when they finally meet at the end and say I love you face to face, sorry to say it feels nothing short of ridiculous.  And nobody in the game seems to be doing anything in particular in there besides flying around yet it's somehow the greatest thing since sliced bread because everybody is on it, even grandmas. It's annoying how seriously everyone takes U, and the movie expects you to do the same. Threats to unviel the player's true appearance in the game are supposed to be emotionally charged but to me they play out more like the kind of drama kids make up on a playground playing cops and robbers. Sorry but the songs weren't that great. As for the animation, it was typical anime-movie quality (bland but decent) but switched to a weird CGI hybrid in the game-realm. I watched this because of the dragon player's seiyuu (Mamoru Miyano 🤗) but if I'd seen a CGI tag I wouldn't have even touched it. There was not much to redeem it except a short funny scene about a few side characters nervously crushing on each other like normal teens instead of playing let's-have-a-spring-wedding-in-a-fairy-tale-what's-your-name-again. So to summarize, to me, this is a kid's movie. Maybe you're in the mood for that but it's just not my taste at all. I'd rather rewatch your name; it makes more sense despite being crazy sci fi and the romance is so much more believable and cute :/ Update: I totally get why some/many people viewed their relationship as platonic or even sibling-like but I didn't. I would rewatch it to consider the angle and gather more points on why I took it be romantic but I don't want to rewatch a movie I didn't enjoy. But all in all there's too much going on in this movie and viewing their hollow relationship as a platonic one would just make it even more awkward and jumbled in my eyes.


I'm a massive fan of Studio Chizu first and foremost and have been since I was 11. I'd heard about a movie called Summer Wars from the youtuber Akidearest, the way she talked about it seemed so raw to me and when she showed OZ I knew I had to watch it at least once.  The world of OZ is something that I'd absolutely spend hours and hours just exploring, the bizarre look of pretty much everything was something I'd never seen in anime before. Summer wars is one of my favorite movies ever and lead to me watching every Chizu movie I could get my hands on.   When Belle was first announced I lost my fucking mind, the trailer was so beautiful and the vocals had me saving the trailer to my daily playlist. Music has always been something very special to me, it let me feel things that would shake me to my core and make me feel like I was flying. I was 100% that one weird kid that had those massive computer lab headphones with them 24/7 even though I didn't own a phone or music player, being diagnosed with ADHD when I was still in elementary school meant weekly visits to the psychiatrist and consistently changing meds. I felt empty and alone, all my energy and joy where gone in the day and by night I felt trapped behind my meds. Music was the only thing that made me feel something.  Avoiding spoilers for Belle was hard, I knew that if I spoiled myself that I'd regret it so I waited till an official English release, it was me, my sister and our parents in a completely empty screening of Belle and I was so excited, I left feeling confused and embarrassed.  The first thing I noticed was how weird the pacing was, I was convinced that there was an error by a tired employee or a part timer but it kept happening, the sudden jumps left me questioning things more then what the movie actually solves.   What's Suzu's relationship with her dad? What happened to the child her mother saved? Why can't she sing anymore? How the hell did Suzu become friends with Hiroka? How does Hiroka know so much about U to the point she can make custom outfits for Suzu to wear despite the fact U doesn't let you customize avatars? Who the hell are the voices and why don't they do anything throughout the entire movie? Why do brands sponsor the protectors of U and what do they get from it? Why do people even give a shit about the beast, all he did was win a lot and crash a concert that is literally free? What the fuck happens to you when you log into U, it says that it transfers basically everything to U when you join so wouldn't you just pass out? How does Suzu manage running at full sprint and somehow singing and dancing at the same time?  Belle plays out like a public school book, half its pages are ripped out and someone drew shitty flames and skulls with the fattest sharpie they could find for a cool paper airplane. I feel like belle was 100% rushed and probably switched management multiple times because the movie never keeps the same flow for more then 3 minutes. I'm honestly shocked by how inconsistent the movie was.  Sadly the characters suffer and very similar fate, feeling like a broken music box that keeps resetting itself. The best we get in terms of personality and development is from the half baked rival who only has around 2 minutes of screen time, she goes from hating Belle to giving like half a shit about her. Suzu is so fucking annoying and I feel like she was supposed to be the quirky shy girl who lives a double life but ended up being a obnoxious, selfish, stupid, character that I wanted to see get hit by a car. The beast is a whole different can of beans that I really can't convey my feelings for no matter how hard and long I think about it, he's the kind of character you'd expect to see in a school girls wattpad self insert fic that involves MHA, RWBY and MCYT in a confusing and edgy mess.  The best friend was my favorite till the later half where all she does is yell and bitch about Belle this and Belle that, the love interest aka short stack felt so 2d that he feels more like a background character then the main love interest and his reactions are almost comical in how flat they are. Pretty girl and Crocs man are pretty decent characters because they don't give a single shit about the main plot till the last 20 minutes and have normal reactions to things, the pretty girl is chill and seems to really care about other's feelings and she has decent taste in men unlike every other girl in this movie, why did they add the random detail that the best friend has a thing for the local walking fossil and do absolutely nothing with it I'm still confused over that choice. Anyways crocs dude is the typical loud and stupid dude bro that is extremely dense or looks into things way too much, I like stupid so he gets a gold star   The animation is pretty decent with some of the U scenes looking really nice like the rose dress and her performance after getting unmasked, the lighting felt and looked decent and the special effects for clothing and the background really made it feel alive. The lip syncing is janky and tends to be a word or two behind unless you're taking about the parts where they literally didn't animate her mouth moving at all. It's clear that U had a very strong focus on big, bright and over the top but that's one of its greatest flaws, the big moments are filled with contrasting effects and makes it hard to look at sometimes or hard to understand what they want you to look at. I noticed that the film seems to drop in frame rate at times and I genuinely have no clue if that was intentional or not but it's very interesting once you notice it. Finally, the music    OMFG I LOVE IT IM NOT EVEN JOKING WHEN I SAY IVE LISTENED TO LEND ME YOUR VOICE AND U OVER 50 TIMES.  The voice actress for Belle is one of the only saving graces in this film, her performance is absolutely filling with passion and care that you can hear in the music of Belle. I have no idea why but her performance fills me with confidence and energy, the way she sings feels so beautiful and raw that I can't help but give massive props to not only her but the staff behind the instrument because holy shit did they pop off. The performance feels less like a song made for a movie but someone who spent hours writing, producing, testing and fine tuning something they truly cared for .     im low key jealous over the rose dress cuz like the bitch slayed      

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