In Belle, the Internet Unlocks Our Best Selves

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where our Others themselves live before the Internet? “It used to be that there was only one reality,” says director Mamoru Hosoda. his new movie, rangili, is about how the Internet has introduced the possibility of multiple selfs to many worlds. Released on Friday in the US, rangili As a pop star in the virtual world U Online follows Suzu Naito as he struggles with newfound fame, Hosoda notes, “People can explore other possibilities. They can find alter egos more freely.” can live by.” Which, when she’s belle, is exactly what Suzu does.

In Yu’s vast digital cityscape, Suzu is surprised by her presence as Belle, a shiny, pink-haired beacon. Yu’s technology automatically generates avatars based on users’ biometric information. In Suzu, who quit singing after his mother passed away, Yu sees the potential for greatness. It’s a fascinating notion that a mysterious virtual world created by anonymous sages can transform an ordinary girl into an idol. and it only works because rangili More concerned with emotional truths than technical ones.

Hosoda, who also directed Mirai, wolf kids, And summer Wars, has taken over the Internet as the subject of its anime films since 2002. Digiman: The Movie, His obsession with the virtual as a place where our other selves emerge fits neatly into one of anime’s most influential modern genres: isekai. Best Embodied in 2012 sword art onlineIn , isekai describes the transition and reincarnation of characters into other worlds, especially virtual ones, where they self-actualize. “When I see other directors dealing with the subject of the Internet, it becomes like a dystopia negative,” Hosoda says. “But I’ve always seen the Internet as something for the younger generation to explore and create new worlds for. And even today, I’m still on the Internet today. So it’s always been optimistic.”

watching rangiliIt’s easy to get absorbed in that optimism. It’s visually stunning, with both its rural landscape and a digital megalopolis packed with a breathtaking number of pixels. Sometimes Hosada’s film is a bit heavy to watch. In the beginning of Belle’s Diva she is riding a giant flying whale, petals and confetti filling the sky. At her first concert, she appears as the neck of a story-tall crystal chandelier, which explodes into a dazzling underwater constellation. At several points in the film, Hosoda juggles basic moves in high-stakes animations that reflect their true emotional impact—such as gossip battles in a high-difficulty strategy board game. Hosoda delivers these forceful scenes well, punctuating them with cozy, lo-fi slice-of-life moments from Suzu’s rural life.

Actually, rangiliThe most fascinating moments in the analog world happen (including perhaps the best love confession scene in an anime). Suzu’s trek to and from school, on the same bridge and on the same train, is where we learn more about who she is, not just in Yu. It’s when we first hear her tense voice sing, see her pine over a childhood friend. Much of her character development in the virtual world feels divorced from her character development IRL. Suzu self-isolates from family, community, potential friends and love interests until everyone is brought together through Belle, a metaphor for Suzu they all already adore—not a diva. , just a country girl who loves to sing.

In contrast, Suzu in U immediately feels complete and utter comfort in her new role as an international pop sensation. She sings, she dances, she changes outfits with the chivalry of Ariana Grande. And she decides she’s singularly equipped to take out “The Beast,” another player known to be unrighteously terrible. Where in the real world is this brave new Suzu?


This material can also be viewed on the site Born From.

bouncing between IRL and Yu, each with different plots and love interests, rangili Like two or three different movies. Of these, its virtual world component is the weakest. stretch to include so many subjects and places and things, rangili leaves only the surface of its most envelope-pushing ideas—especially its message about online empathy and the potential for human connection.

Hosoda told Nerdshala that he had “no special virtual worlds that I built after U.” Actually, a London architect helped him to design it, not the game designer. U is completely unrestricted, with no clear purpose, design principles or topology. It is also completely uncontrolled, with self-appointed police who have somehow acquired the technology to incarnate at will. And although we know that users use the Yu using earbud technology that according to Hosada “controls the part of the brain that controls vision”, it is impossible to discern throughout the movie what the characters are inside the Yue. and are out there, and under what circumstances do they go there.

It would be okay if u didn’t match any of today’s MMORPGs or cyberspace rangili It was a fantasy film, not a commentary on the power of technology. Structure gives technology meaning. It decides how a technology is used and its impact on its users. Game designers know better than anyone that the ability of players to self-actualize in their games is the product of deep expertise and attention to detail; From the process of character building to the extent of combat power. As they say: constraint is the mother of invention.

Yu’s structurelessness, then, is the film’s weakest point. rangili Less a film about the impact of technology on people and more a film about escapism. And escapism, basically, is always about the place you’re running from. therefore rangiliThe best moments of the U.S. are in the province of Kochi, not the U.S. In the unlimited and unknown world of. rangiliInternet remains a tool.

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