Mamoru Hosoda's Belle Confirms First Release Date and Voice Cast

Mamoru Hosoda's Belle has confirmed its first release date alongside the voice cast for the new feature film! Studio Chizu is currently celebrating their tenth anniversary in a huge way as Mamoru Hosoda, the famed filmmaker behind Summer Wars, Wolf Children, Mirai and more, has crafted a new project together with other major names in the animation world such as Academy Award nominated studio Cartoon Saloon (Wolfwalkers, Song of the Sea) and legendary Disney animator Jin Kim (who designed the main protagonist of the film, the titular Belle). Now the new feature is even closer to its full release.

While Belle currently doesn't have an international release date set just yet, Studio Chizu has confirmed Belle will be hitting theaters in Japan on July 6th. Celebrating this upcoming release date with a new promo, you can check that out below! The voice cast for the film has been confirmed as well with the likes of Ryo Narita as Shinobu Hisatake, Shota Sometani as Shinjiro Chikami, Tina Tamashiro as Ruka Watanabe, Rira Ikuta as Hiroka Betsuyaku, Toshiyuki Morikawa as Justian, Kenjiro Tsuda as Jelinek, Mami Koyama as Swan, and Mamoru Miyano as both Muitaro Hitokawa and Tokoraemaru all confirmed.

Mamoru Hosoda is credited with the original story and serves as writer and director for this new film. Studio Chizu officially describes Belle as such, "Our protagonist, Suzu, is a 17-year old high school girl, who lives in the countryside of Kochi Prefecture with her father, after losing her mother at a young age. She loves singing with her mother more than anything else, but as a result of her mother’s death was no longer able to sing. It wasn’t long before she and her father grew more and more distant from each other, and Suzu closed her heart to the rest of the world."

The synopsis continues as such, When Suzu felt that writing music was her only purpose left in life, she then discovers the massive online space known as 'U,' where she takes on her persona, Belle. Another me. Another reality. We are no longer limited to a single world. Suzu quickly realizes that when she is inside 'U' as her avatar, Belle, she can sing quite naturally. As she continues to showcase her own music in the virtual world, she fast becomes the rising star of 'U.' Nonetheless, that surprise is short-lived. Suddenly, a mysterious dragon-shaped creature appears before her…"

What do you think of Belle so far? Will you be checking it out if it releases outside of Japan someday? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!