Reviews: Yu Gi Oh The Dark Side Of Dimensions

Eye candy of the highest caliber, but the substance is a bit lacking

DSOD was commissioned without the creator's involvement originally, but upon being asked to work on it he agreed and took control of the project, being solely responsible for the script, story, and designs. Originally it was going to star Seto Kaiba alone, without Yugi or his friends showing up, but adding Yugi and co. made it so long so an hour had to be cut from the script, which may explain some lack of exposition. A prequel manga called Transcend Game fills in some of the gaps, though several characters act differently than they do in this movie and Yugi and co. don't appear at all.

The animation quality and music is the best Yu-Gi-Oh has ever seen, and hearing the old voice actors in English and Japanese again was a treat. Aigami also has a very good design and voice, as do his sister Sera and confidant Mani. However, some of the plot threads don't align with the manga OR the anime, and characters who were very active in the manga, such as Joey, don't get to do much. Joey even wears a dog suit like in an anime arc infamous for putting him down.

Ryou Bakura also gets the short end of the stick despite his backstory role, as he doesn't have a dream for the future, he gets stuck in another dimension and almost killed, and his father is also apparently dead despite being alive in the manga and anime. While Mokuba Kaiba gets time to shine, his relationship with Seto isn't as close as it was, either. Tea and Tristan are mostly filler, but they get off relatively easy, while Yugi tends to react more to what Kaiba and Aigami do than act on his own.

Regarding deceased characters such as Yami Yugi and Yami Bakura returning, the former does appear, though how and when is a spoiler. Yami Bakura only appears in flashback, but the Millennium Ring is around, and it's still evil and able to corrupt people despite him/Zorc being gone, which is never really explained. How Aigami's powers work is also a mystery even if you have read the prequel manga, and if you haven't, then how Kaiba's VR tech works will be hard to follow. Aigami's motivations in the Japanese version revolve around quantum physics, which can also be hard to understand.

More significantly, the final duel also breaks the lesson of the main story by having Yugi need help to win when he couldn't do it alone, despite his entire arc being about standing up for himself on his own and beating the Pharaoh to prove he was ready. The ending to the movie is also very ambiguous as to what happens to a main character, while the manga and anime ended on a conclusive, if bittersweet, note with everyone mostly accounted for.

Overall, while I like PARTS of the movie, as a whole I think it's okay. The parts that work do so extremely well, but the rest left me feeling angry, confused, or sad for what happened to favorite characters. At some points it feels closer to fanfiction or pandering to the fanbase than telling a conclusive, cohesive story, despite the creator's involvement.

Really freaking good

Like aged wine served with a delicious desert, this film is the perfect way to end the original series. It shows off Seto's skills, Yugi's growth and gives an absolute ending for the series. It has a few weird moments, but nothing that ruins the movie, and constantly snarls at its own running gags. 10/10.

Impressive Film, But Needed Some More Polish.

Ahh, Yu-Gi-Oh. Such fond memories. I remember as a kid getting up every Saturday morning to watch a new episode. I first heard about this film on Youtube and decided, "Aw, what the hell? Let's watch it for old times sake". And while it's definitely fun to watch, it's far from perfect.

Pros:
  • While I don't pay too much attention to animation and art style, there's no denying that the art and the CGI in this film is stunning. The Duel Monsters in particular really look and feel alive in this film.
  • Little Yugi gets to show what he's made of without Atem and he doesn't disappoint. He managed to defeat Diva and would've won against Kaiba had Diva not interrupted. Plus his little threat against Kaiba at the climax was the most badass line I've heard from him.
  • Atem's Big Damn Heroes moment at the end of the film is truly something to behold.
  • The English voice actors reprise their roles, and if anything, they sound even better than in the show.

Cons:
  • Kaiba suddenly summoning Obelisk the Tormentor to defeat Diva is a blatant Ass Pull that was done for no other reason than Fanservice and just so Kaiba didn't lose too early in the film.
  • The fact that Joey doesn't have a major role in the film is an insult to the character. He's not the best Duelist, to be sure, but he's still skilled in his own right and a duel between him and Diva would've been interesting.
  • The rules of Diva's Dimension Duels are badly explained to the point that you think he's making it up as he goes along.
  • Diva himself... is not a very good villain. Don't get me wrong: his voice actor is great and a Composite Character of Marik and Bakura is interesting on paper, but the execution is poor. For one thing, he's not really that intimidating being a little kid. Also, he's not an effective villain as he constantly gets outsmarted to the point that Kaiba makes a better villain than him. Also, his motives are pretty shallow and selfish. He wants to kill Yugi and prevent Atem's return just so he can keep his powers and he wants to kill Bakura for something that wasn't even his fault.
  • Kaiba's characterization in this film is also pretty dumb. He's willing to force two kids to duel him just so bring Atem back all because he can't get over the fact that the guy beat him in a children's card game. Kaiba, let it go, man.

Overall, it's a fun film and definitely worth a watch, but there's room for improvement.
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