Studio Chizu announced on Wednesday that Mamoru Hosoda's new Belle (Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime, literally "The Dragon and the Freckled Princess") anime film has cast singer-songwriter Kaho Nakamura as the main lead Suzu/Belle. Nakamura will also sing in the film.
According to Chizu, Hosoda said that Nakamura is perfect to play Suzu. Nakamura added that she and Hosoda actually met several years ago behind the stage of a concert in Nara. She recalls watching Hosoda's The Girl Who Leapt Through Time film with her mother at Osaka's Umeda district, when she was in high school.
The film will open in Japan on July 16.
Chizu describes the story:
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.
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...