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.This film kicked off great, and I was invested from the start. However my excitement gradually faded into incredulity as the story seemed to fragment into sparsely fleshed out cliches.This film tries to be many things; high school romcom, technological dystopia, fairy tale, disney musical, domestic violence PSA. These genres are all attempted with varying success. The best scenes, in my opinion, are the awkward interactions between teenage characters. Unfortunate, since coming of age stories are a dime a dozen and this film certainly tried to elicit bigger emotions than a couple of brief laughs at a blushing and silly-walking teen.The music is on average fine, not memorable. However the soundscape in general was genuinely quite spectacular, and although I´m not a fan of this style of animation there is something to be said about the 3D feel it facilitates as compared to more traditional animation. The audio-visual experience was of course enhanced by seeing it on the big screen.The story, however, is a mess. The characters make stupid decisions, the technological aspect is left completely surface level and nonsensical, the reveal of the monster is completely underwhelming. It lacked credibility and nothing was really resolved in a satisfying manner. The way the story is sometimes told through chat windows, comment sections and video feeds is pretty unique, but overused and annoying.I chuckled a few times and was impressed with the use of the medium, but won´t be watching this again or recommending it.
Stars : Kaho Nakamura, Ryô Narita, Shôta Sometani, Kaho Nakamura, Ryô Narita, Shôta Sometani
Genre : Adventure, Animation, Drama, Fantasy, Music, Musical, Sci-Fi
Country : Japan