Set six months after the events of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, Yuugi Mutou and his friends are in their final year of high school and are talking about what they will do in the future. Meanwhile, Seto Kaiba has commissioned an excavation to retrieve the disassembled Millennium Puzzle from the ruins of the "Shrine of the Underworld." The item had previously housed the soul of his rival, Atem, whom he hopes to revive in order to settle their score. The excavation is interrupted by a mysterious man, who faces Kaiba in a game of "Magic & Wizards" and steals two pieces of the recovered Puzzle. What is his ulterior motive?
I don't see any reviews here so I'll make one. This is my first, so please excuse any mistakes. This is a long review, so please bear with me.
First of all, the animation is so outstanding. It's really high quality and during certain scenes in the movie you may think that it's real life scenery instead of 2D/CG. I couldn't believe my eyes watching it, 'cause usually Yu-Gi-Oh! didn't have that high quality animation (except for Zexal). Even Arc-V has meh animation. The animation is so constantly beautiful you can't take your eyes off the screen. This, I think, is one of the gems in
this movie. Oh, and the characters' faces look beautiful all the time you may turn homo (jk). Kaiba looks like Light Yagami but with a gravity defying jacket.
Let's talk about sound next. There's not much to say here. The movie uses a few of the soundtracks in the original Duel Monsters series like Passionate Duelist and Wrath of God but with different arrangements of course. The nostalgia is so real when you hear them playing. Most of the soundtracks sound orchestral and it's awesome but I give an 8/10.
The original Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters didn't do a good job with characters. Everyone but Yugi, Jounouchi (Joey) and Kaiba were cheerleaders. Anzu and Honda remain useless even in the movie, and Jounouchi is too. Jounouchi has no real purpose in the movie but they give him more screentime than Yugi. He and Honda only serve as comic relief characters.
The original characters aren't developed well in the movie, except for Yugi, Kaiba and Bakura. Yup, Bakura. Bakura has an importance in the movie that connects to Aigami's backstory and that is a job well done. I really like what they retconned to the story, it gives more depth to both Bakura and Aigami.
Kaiba had always been an asshole with a surprisingly good side. At first you'd think Kaiba is the protagonist for this movie, but then you'd think he's actually the villain. Kaiba's character is complex yet simple, for he only wants to defeat Atem but he'd do anything for it. I can't say much about him, but he's my second favorite character in the movie even though I hated him in the original series. His character in the movie is very well written.
Yugi is supposed to be the protagonist? I think he has less screen time than Aigami or even Jounouchi. Yugi has grown, sure. But his character is still shallow. It'd be great if the movie goes deep into his character of a loser who gained strength or focusing on his growth, but even in this movie, he doesn't feel like the protagonist to me. I still can't like his character.
The mysterious beutiful kid Aigami is the best character ever made in the entire Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise imo. His character is so well written and lovable, he should be considered as the real protagonist for this movie. His motivation and backstory is deep, not what you'd expect from a yugioh (especially the original yugioh). The depth of his character really surprised me.
As for the story, it's really unlike what you'd expect from a yugioh. 5D's had a great plot, Zexal II's and Arc-V's were good too. But the original? Not really. DM had a shallow plot. But they expanded it in the movie. The movie answers a few questions people may have for DM, regarding Shadi. Aigami has a bitter backstory, and the plot revolves pretty much around him. The plot for me, is the best thing in the movie. It really surprised me for being deep.
In terms of enjoyment, I give it 9/10. At first I was like "the hell is going on? I don't get it" and there are scenes that feel kinda out of place, but that still didn't stop me from enjoying it. It's not yugioh without children's card games, so of course there are duels in the movie. The movie is 2 hrs 10 mins long and it has a lot of story to tell but they still included a few duels in it. So the duels feel kinda rushed, and I couldn't really pay attention to them 'cause they were so fast-paced. It's not like Bonds Beyond Time where they explain every card effect and stuff or whatever move they make. In my personal opinion, they should have made only one duel towards the end of the movie so that more time can be used for the story. The movie has a few pacing issues, but that still won't kill the awesomeness.
The best anime movie I've watched thus far was Gintama but this just surpassed it. I don't judge based on bias just because yugioh is my favorite anime. Heck, Gintama is my least favorite anime but the movie was so great I rated it as the best. The Dark Side of Dimensions however, is a real masterpiece, especially for a yugioh anime. I think it's appropriate to give the movie 9/10.
♪♫ Here I come, better than the best of them
I summon Blue Eyes, along with the rest of them
Silk coats tougher than leather
You can call me Kaiba, unlike Yugi I don't like ya.
I'd rather check my deck.
I'm the best duelist in the universe, you won't stop me with Dragon's curse
I fuse all cards on my field and it only get's worse
Unlike the rest, with my duel disk
I'm the best, no contest, summon Obelisk
Money first, then the weaks left♫♫
Kaiba's a bad ass the movie.
Yugi is back again in his first movie.........ignoring that crossover that no one cared about.
Jokes and fluff aside, I've recently been watching
the original Yugioh subbed, but I was waiting to see this movie dubbed. It just feels right. I managed to catch the first showing here earlier this morning and the theater was still full. After having waited and finally seen it I would say my verdict is.....it's alright. My main problem with the movie is it seems confused on what it wants to do, it doesn't know if it wants to tell a new story or be a fan service movie. The stuff that's fan service and self aware is actually really good. However, the actual story has a lot of various questions, plot holes, and a lot of boring bits during the second act. The movie tries to tell a cohesive and compelling story for the villain, but it just doesn't work. It would have been better just to focus on telling a story with characters we already know, as no one cares about the villain.
Another movie that I watched in theaters recently, One Piece: Film Gold, actually avoided the sympathetic villain plot line by a large margin by giving the main characters something TO DO first. Granted that villains backstory wasn't very developed either, but imagine having half the movie dedicated to an uninteresting villain and barely enough time for the rest of the cast. Honestly there feels like there is too much jumping around. The villain isn't fully realized and the main characters didn't have any objectives throughout the movie until the entire world is threatened. The messy bits could have been avoided, by keeping things simple. The world doesn't need to be on the brink of destruction, there doesn't need to be some contrived revenge plot supposedly connected to the original series. People would have been happy with just a standard Yugi vs Kaiba plot. I think the movie would have been much more enjoyable for me if it had just went full fan service, instead of half way.
Other than the plot being all over the place and too many things going on at once, a Yugioh fan should like it okay. There is a bit more Kaiba in this movie than Yugi, in fact he makes up for about half the dialogue and the first 40 or so minutes of the film. The animation is really damn crisp and clean. The characters are about as likeable as they've ever been. I do think that the duels don't really translate over to film that well as they go by a little too fast. It was a little less than stellar, but I really do believe it was a good watch. It could have benefited from a simpler plot, that's all I'm saying. Sitting in that theater though, it makes me believe that 4Kids did something right all those years ago. "Some".....things anyway.
[This review will cover most of the series, please skip to the bottom for the actual analysis of the movie.]
I want make things clear about the actual Yu-Gi-Oh anime franchise and this movie. If you are a fan of the Yu-Gi-Oh anime series from 5ds beyond or the card game, DO NOT WATCH IT. Its horrible. Complety horrible. If you want know why or this is your first Yu-Gi-Oh experience keep reading. This is my personal history about the all franchise. I hope it helps you:
Im a fan of the Yu-Gi-Oh card game and also from the anime series. I watch the original show on
the TV every day as a kid. Sadly, the Yu-Gi-Oh anime series was not issued on my country (Spain) from Yu-Gi-Oh GX. I keep playing the card game anyways. Later as a teenager thanks to the internet I was able to watch the entire GX anime on 3 lenguajes (south american spanish, english and japanese) been japanese my favorite one. I reconciled with the Yu-Gi-Oh anime franchise. And then 5ds came out on Japan and I was like: OH BOY! THAT WAS SO AWESOME! Every sunday I wake up early to watch a new episode. It was like been a child again. That anime made me interested about the all anime industry in general. I even watch RAW anime episodes for the first time because of the hype. My favorite anime. 10 out 10.
Later on, bonds beyond time came out and I couldnt freaking believe it. It was perfect. Probably not on the animation or history, but for me, it has all what I wanted (Which this movie doesnt have btw).
Every protagonist with his OWN cards (INCLUDING DUEL DISKS), fighting together combining their original cards agains a bad guy WITH THE MOST POWERFULL DRAGON CARDS ON THE YU-GI-OH UNIVERSE. SO AWESOME.
When 5ds ended with one of the most perfect ends that I could imagine (Just my opinion) I was really hype about the new series (Zexal) so I started watching it since it came out. Big mistake.
I considered Zexal as "the first failure of the anime series". You can not make an anime like this after 5ds. After a mature story and a protagonist like Yusei, Zexal history and Yuma is like a kids playing ground. They wanted to make the series much more friendly to casuals, okey, I get it. I dont want to stay al the day criticizing Zexal. Still a pretty enjoyable anime. 6/10 from my opinion. It gets better with the time, not so better as GX but still good. It is acceptable if is your first Yu-Gi-Oh anime, it can help to enter on this wonderfull world. I even get some affection to Yuma.
I didnt watch the entire serie of Zexal so I didnt saw Zexal II, I imagine that is the same thing.
Things really gets dirty on Arc-V. I gonna tell my opinion directly, the anime is complety garbaje. Like 2/10. Retarder argument and protegonist, they didnt even respect THE ORIGINAL CARD GAME RULES. Making cards appear from no where. Before this game my friends and me where always making jokes of how Yugi, Jaiden or Yusei always draw the perfect card on the perfect moment or even create a entire card only for that exact situation but THAT WAS COMPLETY STUPID. I didnt even saw 2 episodes of Arc-V and I dont plan to watch it on the future.
So, after that long history, I want to make some points to distinguish all the faults of this movie:
1. All the problems of Arc-V are on this movie. But thats not all, it gets much MUCH worse. The "new" type of art of the Yu-Gi-Oh series is on this movie and this isnt like the different animations on the end of GX on the batlle of Jaden and Yugi or the animation of bonds beyond time. No. Its trash. Everything is so dark that I cant even distinguish the monsters on the field or how much attack points they have. I CAN`T EVEN TELL HOW MANY SET CARDS DO THEY HAVE.
2. I've read some reviews where they say this movie is for nostalgic fans with the old protagonist, new animation... Wtf? This movie is the complety opposite. Neither Yugi or Kaiba play any of their original cards except for the Dark Magician or The blue eyes white dragon and even those cards arent exactly "the original". The black magician looks more like the black magician of caos and the blue has some robotic shit and sparkly trash. The animation is better? Are you kidding? They are just a bunch of CGI effects that make the monster unrecognizable. I mean, look at the ultimate blue eyes white dragon (https://gyazo.com/bddf3effd0c151854fa4a093b251e9a6) I just want to see the original animated monsters.
3. The actual duels are horrible. They make up with some "Dimensional duels" that alows to summon monsters without tributing and giving the ATK points that you want. Same shit as Arc-V: If you arent playing with the original rules of the game, whats the point? Why you dont play like... I dont know... 5 Five-Headed Dragons and end the game? Who cares? They dont even play with real physical cards except for Yugi. Everything is some type of digital cards bullshit. Even Kaiba summons Obelisk from no where. They use a lot of tramp and magic cards, none of them from the original protagonist decks, and they dont even explain what the hell the card do. Everything is so freaking fast that the protegonist lose LP and I dont even know why. The villain deck its retarder. It is so freaking hard to explain, I dont know what the hell his cards do. He simply doesnt explain anything. The duels are like the original card game nowadays, all pure OTKs, even you win in one turn or you lose. If you want to focus all the action on the monsters fighting over and over and over with new effects and tramps that you dont explain why Im watching Yu-Gi-Oh instead of freaking pokemon for example?
Thats pretty much all what I can say. This isnt a Yu-Gi-Oh movie, these characters arent Yugi and Kaiba. This movie is an insult to the old Yu-Gi-Oh fans.
To put this simply - This film is not for people that play the game, because you won't be finding much of that here. Instead this is a film of pure nostalgia and progression.
The story is nothing much to speak of, a slotted in bad guy with the wrong intentions and then another "bigger" villain. The heroes then all come together to save the day. But like I said, this film is about character and that's where it shines - Because this film is for Kaiba.
They knew perfectly what people love about Kaiba, his sass and utter fire that he talks. His personality is better
than it's ever been, it was all tuned up to 11 for this film as Kaiba does everything WAY over the top, and it's beautiful.
((( WARNING FOR SPOILERS AHEAD)))
But Kaiba's comedic ways aren't the only thing shown from him, we get to his his acceptance of the past. He refers to Yugi as Yugi and Atem as, Pharaoh. Kaiba isn't in denial anymore and we get to see this, but what's more is that we see him missing his greatest rival. His passion to defeat his rival is so great that he invents the worlds most advanced holographic systems and then even later on, breaks the barrier between dimensions.
Kaiba is having a struggle, because while everyone else accepts their loss, Kaiba for once is the one character that has completely refused to give up on someone.
He is the driving force for this movie, he sets up all of the plot and shows he's more than capable of crushing anyone in his path even if they possess magic.
On the other end we have Yugi. Having parted with the Pharaoh and grown up a bit, he feels as if a bit of him is missing but has chosen to move on. There's really not much else to say for this, Yugi is simply here within this film. He's here for Atem to have a single second of spotlight.
Speaking of which, Atem does show up and in the most glorious of fashions. A golden light suiting of his majesty, a draw of a single card that allows him to win, to prove his might. It was something that got the cinema cheering in a situation that should be silent.
Buuuut then everyone's spirits were crushed because in the three instances Atem has, he says NOTHING. I'm not sure what they were thinking with all this because it pissed a lot of people off, there wasn't a single "It's time do duel" or "You've grown" Or ANYTHING - But anyway.
Visually the film is stunning, probably the best YuGiOh has ever looked, they perfectly evolved the style whilst keeping it nostalgic. And the masterful use of CG models (Which doesn't have a frame lock) were perfect for a lot of the mechanical designs.
Duels are swift and don't give the intense nature or dramatic effect of the series duels, or Pyramid of Light. Because this isn't a dueling film, this is a presentation of character - And as I said before Kaiba is that driving force. So if you're wanting a nostalgic duel, you'll get the monsters, but not the feeling tactics or display. Because most of the film is taken up by showing where the characters are now and what they're up to. (But mostly Kaiba)
For villains and side characters it can literally be summed up with.
(( Friendship powers go - Random bad guy that comes out of nowhere, and is completely slotted in - Sad backstory for those villainous agenda's - loads of cliche crap ))
But Téa's new design is hot asf.
Overall I came out of this very upset with the ending, villains, plot, even some of the new monsters (Mainly those damn cubic things). But there are some characters in this film, that simply carry it all and put a smile on your face.
Also it's nice to see Takahiro Kagami's name as character designer, he was the best animator on the original series and his style has become a staple for YuGiOh to this very day.