In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, the stakes have never been higher; the rivalries never as fierce; the risks never so great. One wrong move, one card short, and it’s game over for good. A decade in the making,
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions features new designs and an all-new story from the original creator of the global phenomenon, Kazuki Takahashi. His masterful tale features the most beloved characters of anime in their long-awaited return: Yugi Muto, Seto Kaiba, and their faithful friends Joey Wheeler, Tristan Taylor, Tea Gardner, and Bakura.
(I won’t spoil the entire movie but this will be spoilers if you have not read the entire manga or watched the classic anime.)
It has been a long time since we heard from the original cast of Yu-Gi-Oh!. The last Yu-Gi-Oh! movie we had was the crossover movie Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time with Yugi/Yami (classic), Jaden (GX), and Yusei (5Ds). In Japan, this the fourth movie and in America, this would be our third since the original movie in Japan never came out due t the dark contents of the story. As a way to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the manga creator Kazuki Takahashi created this movie and directed the story after the events of the manga and anime.
Story – A tale of two duelists
Previously mentioned, the movie takes place after the events of Yu-Gi-Oh!; the Pharoah Atem goes back to the Spirit World after losing the duel with Yugi and the God Cards are disappeared. The movie switch back and forth and focuses on two primary characters, Yugi Muto and Seto Kaiba, and they both have their own story. After the events of the anime series, Seto, still wanting a rematch with Atem, goes through extreme lengths to call him back by taking the pieces of the Millennial Puzzle and even constructing a new duel disk which enables the duelist to select cards from memory. Kaiba wants to duel Atem and be the next King of Games. Yugi’s story a little bit more relax as the story focuses on him and his friends as they prepare for the final year of school. Besides finishing school, Yugi still misses Atem and have moments of sentimental feelings. Also taking the spotlight as well is the new character and antagonist, Diva (alias name was Aigami at school). Around the same time we meet this guy also comes mysterious disappearances of people in Domino City.
Diva is a new character created by Takahashi and serves the movie as an antagonist. He is accompanied by his sister Sera and his friend Mani. Diva’s goal is to rid the world of evil by using the power of the Quantum Cube, an eight Millenial Item with equal powers of the Millennial Puzzle. Diva hopes that once the Puzzle is complete, he shall rule over the world and rid of everyone who is evil.
The whole story of the movie made feel like I was watching a new episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! in Saturday mornings. I find it amazing how well done Takahashi did when he was put into charge of directing his own creation. The story did feel like an anime season but it also had some content that reminds me of the manga. What struck me the most is the scene where Yugi and his friends are talking about what do they plan to do after graduating high school. This hit my childhood as I saw my favorite characters I grew up watching on TV and now growing up and graduating school in this movie. I also found it really surprising that they brought up the eight Millennial item in this movie since I was used to the Pyramid of Light from the movie Yu-Gi-Oh! the Movie (or also titled The Pyramid of Light), but I guess that movie was non-canon and belongs in the anime universe (in the anime, Pegasus is alive where as the manga, he gets killed off by Yami Bakura). This movie does have its moments of few laughs and epic moments and overall, the movie is a welcome back to the fans. Personally, the pacing is feels pretty good as the movie tries to slowly reintroduce the series to the fans before we jump into the main plot.
Characters – Welcome back everyone!
I watched this movie in English Dub and I will say this, welcome back everyone! As a kid, I grew up watching this anime in English and I have adapted to having the original voice actor Dan Green reprise as Yugi Muto and Eric Stuart as Seto Kaiba. If you remember watching this anime from 4Kids, FoxBox or whatever Staurday morning channel you watched, the cast are all here. However, if you are watching this movie in English, they still use the English names for example, Joey’s name is still Joey and I assume the Japanese Dub is Jonouchi and Tea is Anzu. I haven’t watched the Japanese but this what I assume. Besides having the voices back, I really like how the spotlight is generally more focused on Kaiba. At first, I thought it was going to only focus on Yugi and a little bit on Kaiba and Diva, but the movie did a great job on showing both these characters. The movie really showed me how awesome Kaiba was and Yugi has matured and got stronger without Atem.
Joey was another great character to have in the movie as he provided the comedy relief as he tried to be cool and wanted to be number one. We also got some backstory on Bakura and his past which was a bonus to me and it gave us answered on how did he acquire the Millennial Ring.
My minor complain for this movie is that I wish we got more spotlight for Atem, I won’t go into details. I also wish we got to see more involvement with Yugi and his friends just like the anime. They did appear in the movie as a group but I was hoping to see them more action or seeing them supporting more just like the anime. I felt like the movie just focused on Yugi, Kaiba and Diva. We also got Duke but too bad he has the fewest spotlights in the movie.
Dueling – Epic battles with complicated rules.
Like any other Yu-Gi-Oh! adventure, it has dueling but this dueling is very different. This movie has actually two new different dueling styles. Kaiba greats a new version of the Duel Disk (Wiki calls it version 3) and based on the technology’s power, it can give the duelists the ability to draw virtual cards and summon monsters based on the memories they have experienced (there is one epic moment in which shows it with Kaiba summoning an iconic monster. If you bought the disc movie, you would know). You see this used a lot from Kaiba and then later the showdown with him and Yugi. Another dueling system introduced by Diva is Dimension Dueling in which both players can play any monster regardless of star level and attack points but it depends on the spirit and will power of the duelist. I was most surprised that the starting life points was no longer 4,000 and it doubled to 8,000.
All I can say to the dueling moments is that it’s a very impressive display and I found it pretty epic to see it have it in 3D animation. However, with new cards introduced and new rules, it was very hard to follow; instead of complaining the new rules, I just go with the flow. The art style of Dark Magician takes some adjustments but it looks epic as heck!
Do I recommend this movie? As a fan of Yu-Gi-Oh!, I say yes! The movie is big throwback to fans who watched the classic anime and if you love the English Dub and the accents, you will definitely feel at home. I forgot to mention but the some music in the anime like the opening Yu-Gi-Oh! song and some music from Music to Duel By are played in the background as instrumental music. In my experience of this movie, I felt I was in Elementary school all over again because I got to see the same characters and the similar plot. Now as an adult, I got to witness these characters again and see them grow up. Just like my friend Allie from Visionaries, this movie will make feel like a kid again and will bring up memories. I would also like to say I would recommend to any Yu-Gi-Oh! fan and it doesn’t have to be classic fans.
This movie might not also be recommend it if you have not seen the anime or even read the manga. It’s going to take a lot more than watching season 1 or read Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist manga. If you can tolerate the 3D CGI moments, complicated rules and English Dub, it’s a good movie to watch and own. The ending does make it possible there could be more if there was a sequel but it also adds some closure.
This is my review. What do you guys think about the movie?