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.
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.
- There will be SPOILERS. If you haven't seen the movie yet, don't read this review if you don't want to be spoiled. Definitely do come back after to share your opinions. I would love to hear what you guys thought of the movie. Am I in the minority?
- I am perfectly fine with nostalgia bait. The problem is when producers think that a show can succeed based on nostalgia alone.
- I am aware that this is a sequel to the manga and not the anime, accounting for some of the discrepancies. Yet, some of the characters actions
were just bizarre, in my opinion.
- Finally, please do not let my opinion of the film ruin your experience with it. This is my personal opinion and my opinion alone.
Alright... Here we go. I do apologize for the stream-of-consciousness ranting. It's like my mind is actively trying to erase the movie from my memories.
First off, it started off well enough, with the reintroduction of the characters and what they were up to after all the time. I particularly liked how they framed the story with Anzu's dream of going to New York. However, that's when things started to go South.
Essentially, to sum all of the problems up into one word, it was contrived... and rushed. Sorry, that was two words. In my opinion, everything that happened in this movie happened because they needed it to happen. They needed new monsters - insert a hundred different variations of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon that had no build-up, reason for existing or proper differentiation (more on this later). They needed a new enemy that had to be related to the cast somehow to make him relevant - shoehorn in some subplot was never hinted at or talked about in the original series so it felt like it came out of nowhere. They needed Atem to appear again and appear he did EVEN THOUGH IT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE ANY SENSE!
Urgh... the plot. Don't even get me started. I've already talked about the shoehorned-in villain, but boy does it get better. The plot was unnecessarily convoluted and yet still managed to be contrived and seem like it came out of nowhere. What in the world was with this collective consciousness nonsense? Why is it important and how does it relate to anything? Why was Kaiba's Duel Disk perfectly equipped to combat his powers? Seriously, it could have been anything else and have been much better explained and understandable. How could Kaiba pull out a God Card from the ground and play it with his virtual system?
Speaking of Kaiba, that subplot with his obsession was really at odds with Aigami's plot. There was hardly any correlation. Not to mention, sure he was obsessed with Yugi, but they really pushed his obsession a little too far in this one. Though, I have to admit, that would have been a compelling enough story in and of itself if they had taken their time to expand on it. At the end of the movie, people were actually LAUGHING at his hyperbolic obsession with Atem. Going back in time to duel Atem? Yeah, that's not obsessive at all. Seriously, Javert he is not. Also, Kaiba removing the Millennium Puzzle from the crypt and actually solving it with technology was kinda cool, but it completely ruined the mystique of the items. Wouldn't it have been even cooler if his high-tech machines failed to solve the puzzle?
That climax... Oh God. Remember how I was talking about them introducing new monsters for the sake of it? Well, screw duel tactics and anything of the sort, the ending was just a monster spam that got boring after the 100th "HERE'S A MORE POWERFUL MONSTER THAN YOURS". Seriously, if I have to sit though another Cubic monster and Blue-Eyes iteration that has zero differentiation from one another... This was obviously because they were rushed for time. They had a quota of monsters to push and there was no way they could dedicate 30 minutes to build up a single monster.
Also, the GOD DAMN CG. Why are some monsters like the Black Magician and the Black Magician Girl in normal 2D, simulated-cel animation while many of the other monsters were rendered in 3DCG? Seriously, STICK TO ONE. It's horrendous enough that they used CG, but if they had made ALL the monsters CG, there would have been at least a point! You know, creating a disconnect between the real and the virtual? But no, we can't have our Black Magician Girl be polygons, can we?
This is a perfect example of an unnecessary sequel that was made for the sake of being made. Regardless of what the creator said, I felt zero passion from this project and everything was paint-by-numbers and forced. For a fan, I really don't think I would have missed out if I hadn't seen it. Personally speaking, the ONLY good thing that came out of this was seeing Anzu actually fulfilling her dream. Anzu is adorable. Oh, and the bonus card and goodybag as well. That was pretty good.
Maybe I'm exaggerating. Maybe I just need to calm down and watch it again. And watch it again I will, because as a Yu-Gi-Oh! fan, I'm willing to give it another chance. But at this moment, while I'm a Yu-Gi-Oh! fan, I am not a fan of this movie.