Belle: Dysfunctional Digital Duality

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Belle – Dysfunctional Digital Duality

This movie was selected by our Patreon Supporters over at the Cinematic Doctrine Patreon. Support as little as $3 a month and have your voice heard! 

Melanie joins Melvin to discuss Belle, Mamoru Hosoda’s latest anime feature that combines real-life heart with the wonder of cyber-space! How well does he balance these ideas, and are we familiar with Hosoda’s filmography? Tune in to hear that and more! 


  • (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 38-minutes discussing our history with Anime, what we like and dislike about the style, and where we currently stand as purveyors of the medium (PATREON EXCLUSIVE)
  • Mamoru Hosoda clearly has a fascination with the duality between the real-world and digital-world as observed through his filmography (several Digimon movies, Summer WarsBelle).
  • Melanie connected with the way in which Suzu found her voice throughout the story’s progression.
  • Both Melvin and Melanie enjoyed most of the music, specifically the first song.
  • Melvin saw one of Mamoru Hosoda’s previous narrative successes, Wolf Children, and seriously disliked the movie. He routinely gets hate-mail for his scathing review left on MyAnimeList. Some problems he remembers from Wolf Children he also observed in Belle.
  • Belle has many duality motifs including the imagery of a whale, a sea-creature dependent on air, or the difference between online and offline personalities.
  • Belle is comprised of three narrative beats; digital world and concerts, slice-of-life, and the beauty and the beast. How you connect with each of these aspects will greatly impact your enjoyment of the film.
  • Getting into the controversial twist that more-or-less co-opts the movie during its third act.
  • Both Melanie and Melvin take issue with the severe lack of resolution presented by the introduction of Belle’s twist, apart from the fact it’s also comparatively uncomfortable.
  • There’s this expectation online that people have a right to information or knowledge regardless of boundaries or privacy. Melvin appreciated Belle‘s passive critique against this idea.
  • Melvin and Melanie go full script-doctor because we’re a podcast and that’s what podcasts do.


Belle and Suzu in Anime movie Belle

Belle is Rated PG for thematic content, violence, language and brief suggestive material. It features Kaho Nakamura, Ryo Narita, Shôta Sometani, Tina Tamashiro, Lilas Ikuta, Ryôko Moriyama, Michiko Shimizu, Fuyumi Sakamoto, and Yoshimi Iwasaki. Directed by Mamoru Hosoda. Belle is currently available here.

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Melvin Benson Cinematic Doctrine Christian Movie Podcast Host

Melvin Benson is the Founder, Editor-In-Chief, and Lead Host of Cinematic Doctrine. He’s written fiction and nonfiction for over a decade with short stories featured on the Creepypasta Wiki and Wattpad. His novelette Ethereal Temptation, a teen drama with a tinge of magical-realism, can be read for free here. His hope is to see King Jesus glorified as far as the east is from the west!

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