Belle and the art of modern tragedy

Adrian George Nicolae
2 min readApr 29, 2022

Whether or not you’ve heard of this little nugget, it has made an impact in the west, at least based on how well it was received at Cannes last year.

Belle tells the story of Suzu, a high-schooler who has trauma and flees into the virtual reality of a game called U, that works if you earplugs in and close your eyes.

I’m not going to spoil too much about it, but unlike Free Guy or Ready Player One, the 2 more prominent movies that dabble into a virtual reality -before the metaverse becomes a real thing-, this movie does it a bit different.

In the majority of anime, the stories are generally about/with high-schoolers, because the Japanese say that that was their most free-spirited time in their lives, so they tend to make most things with that in mind, and this story is no different in that aspect, however, there haven’t been that many that dealt with trauma, at least not on a movie level, as some series do tend to do this.

I guess, you could say, that it picked up over these neck of the woods because, as we tend to start talking more about this kind of thing, we realize that it shouldn’t happen. Before, say over 60 years ago, not that it shouldn’t have happened, but they said that violence and death upon a child will instill something good in him. Who knew that that wasn’t the case?

Also, I’m mentioning because the Japanese people tend to be portrayed as stern, void of compassion or much sympathy, albeit they tend to be goofballs here and there, yet this one has a westernized approach to current society, in pretty animation form.

If you’re into psychology, trauma, and wanting to understand why some people behave a certain, you should check it out.