New Anime Film Belle Seeks to ‘Break Gender Stereotypes
Belle Seeks: New Anime Film Belle is inspired to challenge Japanese culture’s Stereotypes’ of women and girls. As per Mamoru Hosoda’s (Director of Belle), the film is inspired by his 5-year old daughter.
Mamoru Hosoda said that the depiction of female characters in anime is always stereotype. He is trying to break all the Japanese stereotypes against women by his new film Belle.
In the words of Mamoru Hosoda females in Japanese are always exploite sexually. The women are generally seen as a person who has almost no freedom of expression. We always see women through the lens of lust.
Mamoru further add that there are many animes that have shown the power of women but it is never shown in a positive way. The way animation shows women influence a lot on how we see women in real life. Although this women’s exploitation happens in the fantasy world but the real-life and fantasy perceptions are connecte. These fantasies influence reality as well.
What is Belle? New “Gender Stereotypes” Breaking Anime
Belle is retelling the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast but in a different way. The story is about a 17 years old shy girl, Suzu. She is self-conscious about her looks. She has left playing music after her mother’s death. After she joined the virtual world, “U”. She takes the persona of Belle in this virtual world. Belle becomes an enchanting pop star. She gains an immense following after that.
Hosoda explains afterward that how his 5- years old daughter inspired him on taking this subject. Hosoda said that his daughter is still in preschool. His daughter is an introvert and generally runs away from conversations. Hosoda was tense that what would happen when his would grow and has to become a part of this online world.
How she would handle all the various sorts of interaction in this world was the question that motivated Hosoda to take on his new project Belle.
Hosoda added that the younger generations have to live in both the online world and the offline world. What they see in their online world will affect what happens in their real world. The internet plays a big role in how youngsters see life. Hence Hosoda has come up with this anime film so as to change the way people see females in real life.
Controversies around Belle Seeks:
Hosoda’s statement was true in many ways. But it has generated a lot of controversies in the anime industry. Many directors have taken it seriously and have asked for an explanation that his character is different from other female characters. Apart from it, there are many directors that are praising Hosoda’s efforts for changing the perception of girls in society. Professor Akiko Sugawa praised Hosoda and said that animes have a lot of potential in changing the way people think.
While projects like Belle are a huge improvement in the animation industry there is still more room for improvement. There should be more such critical and social issues conveyed through anime. The professor said that she want the animation to be equally balance and cover more diverse and socially connected topics.
Belle is expect to premiere in US theatres in the winter. The exact date of the premiere is not reveale yet.
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