[Anime] Why I Loved “Belle” (Hosoda Mamoru) and Its Message of Helping Others

I wrote this article in Japanese and translated it into English using ChatGPT. I also used ChatGPT to create the English article title. I did my best to correct any translation mistakes, but please let me know if you find any errors. By the way, I did not use ChatGPT when writing the Japanese article. The entire article was written from scratch by me, Saikawa Goto.



Movies and books covered in this article

(Click This Image to Go Directly to the Amazon Prime Video Movie “Belle”: Image from Amazon.com)

I will write an article about this movie/book

What I want to convey in this article

I hope for a society where it’s easy to say “I want to help someone” even if you’re not taking any action.

Saikawa Goto

I hope that helping others is considered “cool” in society.

Three takeaways from this article

  1. I’m not always take action, but I have the desire to help others.
  2. I think it’s the worst to try to “one-up” someone by criticizing them.
  3. “Belle” feels wonderful because it depicts a world where the desire to “help someone” is not denied.
Saikawa Goto

I want to live in a society where positive words can be spoken “easily.”

Self-introduction article


Please refer to the self-introduction article above to learn about the person writing this article. Be sure to check out the Kindle book linked below as well.

Published Kindle books(Free on Kindle Unlimited)

“The genius Einstein: An easy-to-understand book about interesting science advances that is not too simple based on his life and discoveries: Theory of Relativity, Cosmology and Quantum Theory”

“Why is “lack of imagination” called “communication skills”?: Japanese-specific”negative” communication”

The quotes used in this article are based on notes taken at the movie theater from movies in Japanese and are not direct quotes from the foreign language original movies, even if they exist.

Nonetheless, I Believe I Want to be Someone Who Says “I Want to Help Someone”

I Always Have the Thought of Wanting to Help Someone

“Belle” is a movie that you can enjoy without thinking too hard. However, I really liked how the story dramatically changed from a scene where a character says “help, help, help…” in the latter half of the movie and it made me think about many things. So, in this article, let’s first touch on the difficulty of “helping someone.”

I think I probably have more of a “desire to help someone” than the average person. I can’t prove it, but I have the feeling that “if there is no reward and it helps the other person, I’ll do it.” Even when talking with people around me or reading articles online, I feel like “I might be better than average.”

However, here’s a big problem: if someone asked me if I actually take action, the truth is that I haven’t done anything. I haven’t taken any proactive actions, such as volunteering, except for occasionally making donations on a whim.


You always feel like “I’m just barely surviving myself,” don’t you.

Saikawa Goto

I don’t feel like I can help anyone if I can’t even help myself, but I also think to myself that’s just an excuse.

No matter how much they say they have feelings, if they are not acting on them, it would be as if they have no feelings at all. I feel like it’s understandable to be judged that way. In a sense, I think the criticism that “if you are going to talk big, you should act first” is fair, and from the point of view of those who are actually suffering, it is probably like “I don’t need your feelings. I think that I am understanding all of these things.

However, even with that said, I can’t help but hope for a society where people can still say easily “I want to help someone”. Even if they’re not able to act on it, I wish that society would accept people who express their desire to help others as a good thing.

That’s because I believe that a lot of human behavior is determined by whether it’s considered “cool” or “uncool”.

Saikawa Goto

For example, the only way to solve bullying is to create an atmosphere where it’s not cool to bully.


You think it applies to the issue of bullying as a whole, leave aside individual cases of bullying, don’t you.

Regardless of whether people can actually take action, I hope that if there are many people expressing the desire to “help someone,” it will be recognized as a “cool thing.” Conversely, I have heard that in countries like the United States, there is a culture of donation because it is considered uncool not to donate when one becomes wealthy. Human behavior changes significantly based on the “overall atmosphere” like that. Therefore, I believe that as a first step, it would be great if it becomes a society where it is natural to “express the desire to help someone,” even if action is not taken.

In that sense, I find the world of anime and manga, like “Belle,” to be wonderful. It’s because there are many worlds where the feeling of “wanting to help someone” can exist as a matter of course without being denied. Since anime and manga are so popular, I even feel that many people are actually hoping for “such a world.”

Saikawa Goto

Well, in the world of anime and manga, only the people around the main character may feel that way, and it may not be the case for the entire world, but who knows.


Actually, you hardly watch anime or manga, so you don’t really understand, do you?

Basically, SNS is the Problem

But in reality, we live in a world where it’s hard to say “I want to help someone,” and I think most of the reason for that is because of SNS.

Personally, I don’t really like the act of “criticizing.” That includes both when it’s done to me and when I do it to others. After all, there is no such thing as a “100% perfect human being,” so everyone can find something to criticize about anyone in any situation. And those who criticize can stay in their safe zone by firming up their own arguments with “irrefutable opinions” that won’t be challenged.

In other words, for me, “criticism” is the “act that even people with little ability can ‘easily illusion that they are in a better position than their opponent’.”

Saikawa Goto

Sometimes I’m amazed at how stupid people can be when I glance at situations where they’re being flamed on the internet.


You often find yourself skeptical of the claims made by the “side causing the flame,” don’t you.

And I think that “SNS” has made it too easy to make such “criticism.” Until now, unless you committed a criminal act like “the Glico Morinaga case (The case of a person who blended in cyanide-laced candy into a retail store, wreaking havoc on society.),” individuals could not have a significant impact on society. However, with the advent of SNS, individuals can now have a certain amount of power in society with their “criticism.” I think this is a tremendous change.

If it becomes easy to perform “criticism,” which is a “simple means of gaining an advantage over others,” to an extent that is incomparable to before, it is natural to say that the number of “bad criticisms” will increase.

Of course, in the world, there are also “good criticisms” that can improve the situation. However, the difference is not accurately understood, and they are often treated as the same “criticism.” And as that happens, the number of people trying to make “good criticisms” decreases. Therefore, as a result, it falls into a vicious cycle where only “bad criticisms” increase.

Unfortunately, due to SNS, “criticism” has become easier, and the barrier to saying positive words like “wanting to help someone” has been raised. Probably, criticism like “all talk”, “hypocrite”, and “practice what you preach” will come out, and because it is easy to predict such things happening, the number of people making such statements will decrease.

Saikawa Goto

I really don’t like that trend.


It’s a bit scary that in today’s world, only mentally strong people can say positive things.

Of course, it’s understandable for people in difficult situations to criticize others who say they want to help but may not actually do anything. It’s important to accept the harsh gaze of those who are truly seeking relief. However, I believe there are words that are worth saying, even if they may only be words. And I hope for a world where it’s easier to speak those words.

In the movie “Belle,” I felt that Belle’s singing voice was refreshing in the way it blew away the terrible trend of “criticism” prevailing. My argument may seem “idealistic,” but I believe it’s within the realm of possibility through individual efforts, without requiring huge amounts of money. I think it’s okay to speak about such “ideals.”

Content Introduction

Suzu, a high school girl living a plain life in a nature-rich countryside, lost her mother in an accident when she was young and since then, she couldn’t sing in front of others despite of loving to sing. She admires her bright and popular childhood friend Ruka, but has given up on becoming like her and spends her student life quietly. Shinobu-kun, also her childhood friend, is popular in school, and has become a distant figure before she knows. Only Hiro-chan, a classmate, is her trusted friend.

Since the accident, she has been living with her father and they hardly have any conversations. Her school life is uneventful and she feels like every day is the same.

One day, Hiro-chan invited Suzu to “U”. “U” is the world’s largest virtual space with 5 billion accounts. A device worn on the ear reads the user’s biometric information, which is then used to create a virtual self called “As” within “U”. The unique feature is that each account is linked to a specific person’s biometric information, so only one account can be created per person.

Suzu registered under the name “Belle” and tried out the world of “U”. She had never been able to sing in public before, but maybe she could do it here. When she tried, she was surprised at how good it felt to sing. Satisfied with being able to sing, Suzu left the world of “U” and went to sleep.

The next day, something unbelievable had happened. Belle’s followers were rapidly increasing. Even though she had only sung once on her first day of registration, the video of her performance had gone viral, and Belle had become a superstar within “U.” Many people praised her, saying that they felt she was singing for them personally. Before long, Suzu was holding large-scale concerts within “U.”

However, Suzu does not get the elation of becoming a celebrity. On the contrary, she is bewildered by the gap between reality and…….


Some people may disagree, but I really enjoyed this movie. I don’t use social media much and I’m not particularly interested in virtual spaces or metaverses, so I wasn’t particularly drawn to the world of “U,” but I thought the way they delved into “Suzu/Belle” by creating a “fiction like reality” was really well done.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I was really moved by the scene “where wanted to help someone” in this movie. It’s like the goodness of a world where the desire to help someone isn’t outright denied is being fully utilized. I also understand that some people may see it as “unrealistic,” but it made me realize that it’s my innermost desire for this kind of world to exist.

Saikawa Goto

“That’s idealistic,” is a criticism that I can’t really get behind.


Regardless of whether it’s feasible or not, I feel like “talking about ideals” should be accepted in any situation.

Also, regarding the feeling of “wanting to help someone,” I particularly enjoyed the scene where Suzu (Belle) sings in front of a large crowd with a decision in her heart. I feel that it was brave of Suzu herself to make a heavy decision, but I also think it was good to see a further development that depicts “what she has come to understand by changing her position. Suzu had feelings of dissatisfaction towards her mother’s death for a certain reason, but because her standing position has changed regardless of whether or not, she came to understand her mother’s feelings and was able to accept her mother. I didn’t expect the story to unfold in this way, so I also felt that this was a wonderful scene.

Suzu’s Father’s “Presence”

Even though he doesn’t have many scenes, I felt that Suzu’s father played a very important role. As mentioned earlier, it is suggested that Suzu undergoes a significant change in the scene where she sings with determination, but it is only hinted at. Suzu is not a person who shows her emotions much, so it’s difficult to capture that change correctly. However, the change becomes apparent in the scenes with her father.

From the beginning, Suzu continues to behave coldly towards her father. It gives the impression that she has closed herself off while her father tries to communicate with her. Since there are few descriptions of Suzu and her father, it is just my imagination, but I felt that for about 10 years since her mother’s death, Suzu and her father’s relationship had been like this.

One reason I felt this way was because Suzu’s father asks her the same question every day, but she doesn’t respond properly. Since this exchange is portrayed as normal, I judged that this situation has been going on for a long time.

Saikawa Goto

I think that if the father stops asking questions, he would be perceived as having a reason for stopping.


He probably struggled with how to interact with her.

I think the father probably realized that the only way to resolve the situation was to take time. The reason why Suzu closed her heart was due to the “actions taken when her mother died,” and Suzu cannot understand those actions. Without understanding, nothing will change, so the father probably decided that he had to spend time with her.

One scene that conveys his determination is when Suzu and her father have an exchange at the train station. Here, the father asks Suzu the same question he asks her every day, but this time she responds differently. Despite Suzu’s unexpected response, her father doesn’t show any surprise and behaves as he always does.

I felt his determination here.


It’s just a normal scene, but it was really good.

Saikawa Goto

I feel the fact that she interacts with his father, who little turns, makes the scene all the more poignant.

Normally, if someone receives a different response after 10 years of hearing the same answer, they would react differently on the spot. However, since he didn’t, we can assume that the father had decided “not to be surprised even if he gets a different response than usual.” He must have been conscious of it every day so that he could be ready for that moment at any time. This may be my own subjective interpretation, and it’s not something that is specially depicted, but I found this father, who had a small role in the movie, impressive throughout the entire film.

I Want to be Friends with Hiro-chan

This has nothing to do with the movie, but I really like people like Hiro-chan.

She has just the right amount of edginess and darkness, and her way of thinking and acting is off the charts, but she still has a sense of decency as a human being. I’m really drawn to that kind of person like Hiro-chan. I wish I could have a friend like Hiro-chan.

I was surprised when I saw the credits of the movie and found out that the voice actor for Hiro-chan was Ikuta Lilas from YOASOBI.


But it’s not that you were surprised that it was Ikuta Lilas.

Saikawa Goto

I already knew that.

Before watching the movie, there was a special feature on a TV show or something like that that said “Ikuta Lilas challenges voice acting for the first time in ‘Belle'”. So I should have known that “Hiro-chan’s voice is Ikuta Lilas” as information. However, by the time I watched the movie, I had forgotten about it and didn’t realize it until I saw the credits. That’s why I was very surprised by that fact.

I may sound rude for saying this, but if it were a “first voice actor challenge,” it wouldn’t be strange to feel that “there is discomfort” or “it’s not good enough.” Hiro-chan appears in many scenes in the movie, so there is a high chance of exposing flaws. Even so, I was surprised that I could watch it to the end without feeling any discomfort.

It makes me think that people who can do something well can do anything. I’m envious.


I really liked the movie overall, but I felt like there needed to be a bit more explanation about the “Dragon” and its related information. Personally, I felt like the lack of explanation was contributing to a sense of something not quite fitting together.

I’ll repeat myself, but even if it’s called “idealistic”, I felt once again that I want to be someone who advocates for “wanting to help someone” and I also want to become a person who can take action to actually “help someone”.

Published Kindle books(Free on Kindle Unlimited)

“The genius Einstein: An easy-to-understand book about interesting science advances that is not too simple based on his life and discoveries: Theory of Relativity, Cosmology and Quantum Theory”

“Why is “lack of imagination” called “communication skills”?: Japanese-specific”negative” communication”

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