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Mamoru Hosoda's Belle Available on Online U.K. Platforms From Today

posted on by Andrew Osmond
The film is available to buy from May 30 from Virgin Media Store, Rakuten, Chili and the BFI Player; more platforms to be added, including iTunes and Amazon Video on June 13

Anime Limited has announced that Mamoru Hosoda's film BELLE (Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime) will be available to buy on online platforms in the U.K. and Ireland. All these platforms will carry the film in Japanese with subtitles, although Anime Limited says is it looking into offering the English0dubbed version in the near future.

From May 30, BELLE is available on the Virgin Media Store, Rakuten, Chili and the BFI Player.

On June 13, the film will be added to iTunes, Sky Store and Amazon Video.

On June 27, the film will be added to Google Play and Microsoft Store.

Anime Limited's home release of BELLE will be on June 27, with standard Blu-ray and DVD editions, and also a Deluxe Blu-ray. The Deluxe edition will contain the film on both Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray. It will also contain an exclusive extra Blu-ray disc, including interviews with the production staff and cast, as well as 'Making of' features. It will also nave BELLE's original soundtrack (the Japanese version) on CD; an A3 poster; a 60-page book including interviews, information, lyrics and artwork; and sixteen double-sided art cards.

BELLE had its world premiere at the Cannes film festival on July 16 and was released in Japanese cinemas on the following day. The BFI describes the story:

High-school student Suzu finds everyday social conventions difficult to deal with and is increasingly drawn into an alternative, virtual world via the U app – an Internet-based environment with five billion members. Here, she excels as singing megastar BELLE; her alter-ego even providing her with a confidence boost in reality. U allows people like Suzu, who battles to cope with the loss of her mother, to find some sanctuary from the pain and struggles of their real lives. Yet, within its atmosphere of beauty and wonder, an underlying danger surfaces. BELLE/Suzu's life becomes entwined with a disruptive presence known as the ‘Dragon’, as she recognises that behind this threatening façade someone pained is crying out for help.

Singer-songwriter Kaho Nakamura played the protagonist Suzu/Belle. Nakamura also sings in the film.

Hosoda (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars,The Boy and The Beast, Mirai) directed and scripted the film, and is also credited for the original work. The film marks Studio Chizu's 10th anniversary. Taisei Iwasaki (Blood Blockade Battlefront, Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan, The Naked Director) was the film's music director and composer.

Eric Wong, a London-based architect and designer, created the concept artwork for the film's online world of U. According to Chizu, "Hosoda personally found and commissioned Eric to come up with this universal and international "internet space" from both an architectural and design perspective."

Jin Kim (Frozen, Tangled, Big Hero 6, Moana) designed the titular protagonist Belle.

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