Harkins description in portion:
Heroic Yugi squares off against archrival Kaiba in an adventure even more dangerous when the imaginary monsters in their playing cards become ferociously real… and when an old evil enters the fray. Who will win this ultimate smackdown? Whether you’re a novice Duelist or a professional, you’ll want to watch and find out!
*I will be reviewing this according to the English Dub. I didn’t watch it in Japanese.
Read part 1 if you want to know about my experience: Part 1
It has been around 14 years since Yu-Gi-Oh! the Movie was in theaters. The movie came out in the summer of 2004 and this was around the time when watching anime movie was easy. What I mean is that back then if I remembered correctly, movies like Pokemon the First Movie and this placed in local theaters along with other movies back then. It also stayed longer than two days or a specific time. Now in this time of age, if you wanted to watch an anime movie in theaters, you really have to plan ahead. Movies like this, you have two chances and you must make sacrifices to make the time. Anyway, time for the long awaited spoiler-free review:
Story – Is just a fun game or a grudge game?
Taking place after the events of Battle City Duels (after season 3), every duelist in the world hears that Yugi Muto is the best duelist and he has obtained the three rare Egyptain God Cards, Slifer the Sky Dragon, Obelisk the Tormentor and the Winged Dragon of Ra. Can’t get over his loss and humiliation, Seto Kaiba goes far and wide to find out how to defeat Yugi’s monsters and defeat him. Meanwhile, there is a mysterious dark force who also wants revenge against the Pharaoh and he is awakened at the same time Yugi solved his Millennium Puzzle. To make matters worse, there is a discovery of an Millennium item called the Pyramid of Light and it belongs to the evil dead lord of the past, Anubis. When Yugi sees a dark vision about Kaiba and this mysterious vision of Anubis, Yugi must rely on his friends and the Spirit of the Pharoah to stop this vengeful spirit from fulfilling his doomsday plan.
Characters – old characters and new antagonist
The characters you know are back again for the adventure. The man cast, Yugi, Joey, Tristan and Tea return and so is their friendship. Yugi’s grandpa is here to and as well as Seto Kaiba’s little bro Mokuba who is not kidnapped. Returning from season 1 is card game creator Maximilian Pegasus. It can’t be Yu-Gi-Oh! without the two powerhouse duelists, The Pharoah/Yami (If you seen Yu-Gi-Oh! you already know is real name), the King of Games and Seto Kaiba the Game Champion. Showing up for this movie is an evil Sorcerer named Anubis who wanted to bring destruction to the world in Egypt years ago; however, he got defeated by the Pharaoh and his powers and soul was locked away along with his Millennium item, the Pyramid of Light. With his dark powers and manipulation, Anubis returns and seeks vengence against the Pharoah and wants to fulfill his goal of destroying the world.
Review – A Story aimed for the fans made for the fans
Much like any other anime movie from a popular series, this movie was made for the fans who watched the episodes of the classier series. If you grew up (or just enjoy) to watching the English Dub of Yu-Gi-Oh!, you kind of already understand the typical cliches. Examples like an evil force that wants revenge from the past, friendship is power and Kaiba won’t listen. On the pros of this movie, the animation of the anime looks really great and the remastered visuals is stunning. It feels like watching an HD, redefined episode from the TV series. The soundtrack of the anime is also great too. I like the song that played with Kaiba flying on his Blue-Eyes White Dragon Jet “You’re Not Me” and other songs from the credits like “One Card Short” and “Step Up”. If you do like the English Dub, the voices of the anime are back. The tone of the movie has a mixture of cheesy humor and also a hint of dark elements. Someone could get hurt in a hilarious manner or someone could appear as if they got seriously hurt.
Overall, the tone of the movie can be either light-hearted or scary. Like mentioned before, this takes place after season 3 of the anime and if you have not been keeping up with the anime, get ready for some spoilers and you might up getting lost. However, if you seen the anime, it’s not too hard to follow and it feels like watching anime arc, but most of the plot focuses on Kaiba being obsessed with winning.
Now I am about to tell you the major negatives of the movie. For people who prefer subtitles, this is not the movie for you! I watched this movie in English Dub and yes, this does have some cheesy dialogue just like the anime. However, if you don’t mind it, it actually makes the movie funny. There are scenes where either Joey and Tristan makes references to titles like Wizard of Oz or Scooby-Doo. Personally, sometimes the plot and explanation gets too repetitive. In the movie, we learn about Anubis and his quest for world domination more than once! In my head, I told myself “okay we know who is Anubis and we know what he wants, you don’t need to repeat more than once.” The villain, Anubis, gets little screen time. I understand he is the antagonist of the movie and his powers is scary, but I felt like this movie was too focused on Yugi and Kaiba’s duel; it felt little like Darkside of Dimensions.
Is this movie worth watching? Personally, if you are a fan of the series and you don’t mind the English Dub, I think it is worth it. You still have the cast of characters, the animation is an upgrade and the soundtrack is great and a guilty pleasure. If you don’t like the cheesy English voice acting, then you might get annoyed. Besides the dub, the duel scenes is entertaining and if you like the classic dueling in the classic Yu-Gi-Oh!, you can follow along. The expositions and plot of the movie can be repetitive and Kaiba’s character can be unlikable in this movie. I wish Anubis showed a bit early in the movie. Overall, I watched this movie in the theaters and watching this movie was both exciting and I got to enjoy it with fans who grew up watching the anime. The obvious cliches in the movie made it worth watching again. If you are like me who likes the classic Yu-Gi-Oh!, you might like it.
What did you think of the movie? Comment down below. Also feel free to donate to my Ko-fi.