A few weeks ago, Studio Chizu’s latest anime from director Mamoru Hosoda made headlines after the film received a 14-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival. There’s a lot about the film that makes it commendable, from its sensational visuals to its timely message about how we interact in the digital age. However, it is the film’s haunting soundtrack that makes it truly memorable.
A playlist of songs from the film was recently posted on Spotify. In addition, the best tracks were also uploaded to YouTube, along with their own original music videos. ‘Belle’ is now hitting theaters across Japan, but if you haven’t watched it yet, it’s still worth listening to these four chart hits for a little taste of what will happen.
Millenium Parade – U
This firecracker from a theme song produced by the musical collective Millenium Parade kicks off with a bang. This clip, which has accumulated nearly 10 million views since its first release, plunges us directly into the virtual world of ‘U’ where we are struck by a sensory overload of colors and strange characters. The song’s music and lyrics are by Daiki Tsuneta while the vocals are performed by singer-songwriter Kaho Nakamura, who performs Suzu / Belle in the film.
Hanabare no Kimi and part 1
This melodic piece has a slightly different flavor to the main theme of the film, with mellow piano notes and a hint of nostalgia in the vocals. The accompanying video clip features live action visuals shot in Kochi Prefecture where the film is set and includes some of the locations Hosoda used as references for the film.
Kokoro no Soba ni
It’s no secret that Hosoda’s film is partially inspired by the 1991 Disney animation “Beauty and the Beast”, in which the main character is also called Belle. In this uplifting lyrical video, you’ll instantly recognize some of the visual similarities between the two animations as Beauty and the Beast (a dragon called Ryu) share a dance in a castle and float across the starry sky.
In this raw clip, Kaho Nakamura puts a different spin on a song she wrote for ‘Belle’. As if performing for herself, Nakamura sings about loneliness while trying to find solace in music – a sentiment also expressed by her character, Suzu.
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