Including one visual with The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Over the weekend, BELLE became the highest-grossing film worldwide for director Mamoru Hosoda, who is best known for his work on the original Digimon film and Wolf Children. To celebrate this achievement, Hosoda's Studio Chizu created six "playful visuals" (above) featuring scenes from BELLE and one featuring the characters from The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, the first original work from the acclaimed director.
Here are three full-sized visuals from the studio that were previewed on Twitter:
The updated box office numbers for BELLE were also released today, once again affirming that the film is the highest-grossing for the director inside Japan and around the world. As of BELLE's 59th day in Japanese cinemas, the anime film has grossed 5.95 billion yen (US$55.16 million) on the back of 4.29 million tickets sold. BELLE surpassed Boy and the Beast's 2015/2016 worldwide run of US$49.76 million over the weekend.
BELLE was released in Japanese theaters on July 16, with GKIDS bringing the film stateside sometime in Winter 2021. GKIDS describes the film as such:
Suzu, a 17-year-old schoolgirl, lives with her father in a village surrounded by nature in Kochi prefecture after her mother died in an accident when she was a little girl. Suzu used to love singing with her mother more than anything else, but after her death, she has not been able to sing.
Writing songs is the only thing that gives Suzu any comfort until one day she is invited by her best friend to enter a virtual community in the Internet called U with over 5 billion members worldwide. In U, she can live another life as an AS, which is what avatars are called there. Although Suzu can’t sing in real life, singing comes natural to her in U as an AS known as Belle. Belle quickly captures the attention of U’s citizens with her songs and becomes a worldwide superstar diva.
The day of Belle’s huge concert viewed by millions of AS around the world— A mysterious presence known as the Dragon suddenly bursts into the concert hall. Her concert is ruined by the violent, arrogant Dragon. Belle, who wants to know why the Dragon suffers so much pain, approaches him. Dragon, on the other hand, slowly opens his heart to Belle’s gentle singing voice.
Soon, the search for the Dragon’s identity (unveiling) starts around the world.
A group of AS who claim to be the protectors of justice start their relentless pursuit of the Dragon who they believe disrupts order in U. The Dragon becomes the target of trolling and abuse both in U and the real world. The more people persecute him in both worlds, the more Belle feels stronger to find him and heal his heart.
Will Suzu’s voice from a remote corner in the real world reach this single, unknown individual in a world of billions? A miracle occurs when the two worlds merge into one.
Another reality. Another you. You’re not alone anymore.
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.