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Anime / Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light

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Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie, known in Japan as Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Pyramid of Light (Yūgiō Dyueru Monsutāzu Hikari no Piramiddo) is the first film based on the second Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, and the first Yu-Gi-Oh! movie overall to be released outside Japan. It was commissioned and produced by 4Kids Entertainment in response to the franchise's growing popularity worldwide; the Japanese version features 13 minutes of additional footage to further explain the plot.

Five thousand years ago, the young Pharaoh killed and imprisoned Anubis after he tried to destroy the world using the power of the Shadow Games. Millennia later, Anubis' tomb is uncovered by archaeologists, complete with his most valuable treasure, the Pyramid of Light. At the same time, Yugi Moto completes the Pharaoh's Millennium Puzzle, causing Anubis to awaken from his eternal slumber and begin his return from the dead.

In the present, Yugi has become the King of Games, being the world's greatest player of Duel Monsters. Yugi defeated Seto Kaiba and obtained the three powerful Egyptian God cards. Now desperate to beat Yugi, Kaiba turns to Maximillion Pegasus, the creator of Duel Monsters, to gain any kind of advantage over the God cards. Kaiba ends up taking two cards, although Pegasus claims he only created one.

Yugi and Téa go to the Domino Museum where Anubis's corpse and the Pyramid of Light are on display, meeting up with Yugi's grandfather who reads a prophecy describing a clairvoyant eye which will bring about the world's destruction unless blinded. Anubis' spirit attacks the group, and Yugi has a vision of a monster manipulating and attacking Kaiba. Yugi awakens to find Anubis and the Pyramid of Light have vanished, and he races to warn Kaiba. He is taken to Kaiba's duel dome by Kaiba's little brother Mokuba, with Joey and Tristan in pursuit.

Yami Yugi and Kaiba engage in a duel, which soon turns dangerous when Anubis manipulates Kaiba into using the Pyramid of Light card, which covers the field in a huge replica of the actual pyramid and destroys the God Cards. Worse, a Shadow Game has taken effect, meaning when players lose life points they lose their life energy. Yugi and his friends are trapped inside the Millennium Puzzle, where Anubis awaits his rebirth. It's up to Yugi to save Kaiba and rid the world of the evil Anubis.

The film was a box office disappointment in North America (where it was titled simply as Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie), although it is still the sixth-highest grossing anime movie of all time there, just barely ahead of Studio Ghibli's The Secret World of Arrietty.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: The side effect of summoning the Pyramid of Light is to have both duelists' life energy drained to feed Anubis whenever they lose Life Points in the duel. Kaiba isn't aware this is happening, but Yami Yugi is. Kaiba comes within 200 Life Points of killing Yugi without even realizing it.
  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: Pegasus's first explanation for his prophetic dream is too many white wine spritzers before bed.
  • After Action Patch Up: Happens in the background after the climactic battle with Anubis. Mokuba can be seen bandaging Kaiba's arm, which was injured when Anubis threw him into the ground arm-first.
  • Animation Bump: The animation is cleaner, the figures are drawn more solidly, and there is a greater amount of attention to detail, light, and shadows.
  • And This Is for...: Kaiba has a moment of this after he attacks Yami Yugi with Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon.
    Kaiba: For all the times you humiliated me in a duel, when CLEARLY I should have been Champion! For all the times I had to listen to you preach about the HEART OF THE CARDS!!!
  • Any Last Words?: After blasting Yami Yugi and preparing to finish him off, Kaiba asks if he has any last requests. Yami refuses to dignify that with a response.
  • Apocalypse How: If Anubis' Evil Gloating when he's Storyboarding the Apocalypse is to be believed word-for-word, he'll inflict a Class 6 on the world with an army of Fantastic Nuke and city-destroying monsters if he wins.
  • Artifact of Doom: Anubis's Pyramid of Light, which he uses to call a Shadow Game, summon cards into reality, and orchestrate his revival. In the past he apparently used it to try and destroy the world, and in the finale he uses it to turn into a monster. The Pyramid of Light card can also count, as it banishes the Gods and Anubis planted it for Kaiba to find.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Yami Yugi apparently duels and defeats Kaiba again early on, only for it to be revealed as a simulation.
    • The Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon gets a very dramatic summoning animation before revealing itself as a wacky Toon.
  • Big Bad: Seto Kaiba causes the plot with his desire to beat Yugi. However, he's nothing more than a pawn of Anubis, who manipulates the duel to result in his own resurrection.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Yugi first assembles the Millennium Puzzle, he's surrounded by monsters — and then Yami emerges to deal with them.
    Yami: Shadow creatures, be gone! I command you! Return to the dark realm from whence you came!
  • Bilingual Bonus: Anubis speaks Egyptian in some scenes, though it's unsubtitled.
  • Black-and-White Morality: Unlike most major Yu-Gi-Oh antagonists where they prove to be more complex and human than they let on, Anubis is a straight-up evil spirit out to destroy the Pharaoh and begin his long reign of destruction.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Averted with the Dagger of Fate, which lands hilt-first, but does manage to make a crack in what Yugi was aiming at.
  • Blasphemous Boast: After banishing the Egyptian Gods, Kaiba mocks Yugi's faith in them and advises him to start praying for mercy.
  • Body Horror: As Anubis regains his human form, the Pyramid of Light protrudes from his flesh and grows out of his skin in a horrific, veiny closeup. He's also shown regrowing his skin, eyes, and muscles in mummy form, which isn't pleasant at all.
  • Bond One-Liner: Kaiba gets one after defeating Pegasus's Toons.
  • Break Them by Talking: Anubis tries to get Yami Yugi to give up on the duel by saying his friends are already lost.
  • Breath Weapon: The Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon's attack, Shining Nova. It's pretty impressive to watch.
  • Call-Back:
    • Kaiba's duel simulation is set in a similar colosseum as the one from Battle City, only this one is run-down and there's nobody to watch the fight.
    • Tea reminds her friends of the smiley face she drew on their hands in the first episode, which inspires them to fight Anubis.
    • The first part of the Opening Monologue is the "Long ago, when the pyramids were still young" speech from the early episodes of the anime.
  • The Cameo:
    • Rex, Weevil, and Mai cameo early on as duelists watch old footage of Yugi's duels.
    • Marik briefly appears in footage of the aftermath of Battle City.
  • Canon Foreigner: Anubis was made exclusively for the movie and doesn't appear anywhere else.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In Kaiba's duel simulation, Yami Yugi increases Obelisk's attack power to infinity by tributing Slifer and Ra. This is also how he defeats Anubis.
    • We first see "Return from the Different Dimension" and "Attack Guidance Armor" in Kaiba's duel against Pegasus, and they become vital in Kaiba's duel against Yugi.
  • The Chessmaster: Kaiba plans his duel with Yugi out from the start, and it's only through Anubis's intervention that he doesn't actually win.
  • Continuity Nod: The opening montage just before the main story kicks in shows Yugi solving the Puzzle for the first time, which was only seen in flashback in the anime proper.
  • Counterpart Artifacts: The villain Anubis wields the Pyramid of Light, the eighth Millennium Item created in the image of Yami Yugi's Millennium Puzzle and as such appears as an inverted blue version of it.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Kaiba beats Pegasus easily early on, only taking one hit from him.
  • Damsel in Distress: Téa has to be rescued from the mummies, though she kicks the heads off of two of them by accident.
  • Darker and Edgier: Despite being partly produced by 4Kids themselves, being free from the restraints of tv-ratings meant the writers could get away with a lot more than usual. Pegasus for example drinks wine instead of fruit juice, Never Say "Die" is no longer in effect, characters are allowed to punch people, and typically-censored cards like Injection Fairy Lily are on full display.
  • Deadpan Snarker: This movie is probably the snarkiest Kaiba has ever been in the series.
  • Determinator: Over the course of one movie Yami Yugi gets blinded by his own cards, has his life energy sucked out to the point of near-death, gets stabbed through the back in the heart, gets mocked by Kaiba and Anubis, and gets blasted so hard he's knocked unconscious for several minutes and can barely stand when he does get up. He pulls through and helps save the day anyway.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Pegasus's final crack about Kaiba's losing streak.
    Pegasus: Anubis is gone. No one could return after suffering a defeat so thoroughly devastating as that. Well, no one but Kaiba, that is. I'm sorry, did I say that out loud?
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Kaiba does all sorts of crazy and stupid things to try and beat Yugi in the movie just because Yugi defeated him before. Justified, as he was being manipulated by Anubis in the duel.
  • Don't Ask, Just Run: Yugi runs into Joey and Tristan while fleeing a horde of mummies.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Anubis threatens this with a plan to summon Duel Monsters into reality and sic them on the world at large. He storyboards it for Yugi at one point.
  • Evasive Fight-Thread Episode: Since Anubis takes over the duel when Kaiba tries to destroy the Pyramid we never see who would've won if it had continued normally, though Kaiba is confident he would've.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Anubis is not, by any means, a malevolent god in Egyptian mythology. Here, Yami's mere mention that he is the Egyptian god of the dead seems to be concrete proof that he's up to no good. Since the movie mainly refers to him as a sorcerer, it's implied Anubis isn't the actual Anubis but was named after him, or deluded into thinking he was the god.
  • Evil Gloating: Kaiba does this all the time when he has Yugi on the ropes, as does Anubis.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Anubis and Kaiba are very hammy, especially when they're winning.
  • Evil Laugh: Kaiba, Anubis, and Pegasus are all guilty of this trope.
  • Evil Overlooker: Anubis appear as this as seen in the poster above.
  • Evil Plan: Anubis' plan is to manipulate Kaiba into killing the Pharaoh, using his stolen life energy to restore his body, and begin his conquest of the world.
  • Exact Words: After waking up from his nightmare, Pegasus swears to give up white wine spritzers before bedtime. In a scene that takes place a little later, however, he's having a red wine spritzer around midday.
  • Fan Disservice: While Anubis is muscular and shirtless, he's also very veiny, and when he finally appears to interfere in the duel he's naked at first.
  • For the Evulz: Seems to be the reason Anubis tried to take over Ancient Egypt in the first place.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Anubis doesn't really have much characterization or motivation for any of his heinous acts beyond just being an evil force that must be stopped to prevent inevitable destruction.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: A rare aversion for an English dub by 4Kids. Pegasus' beverage is actually referred to as wine in this case.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Anubis created the Pyramid of Light, and the card version of the Pyramid results in the two Yugis' situation in their duel with Kaiba. Subverted, as his spirit is revealed to be manipulating Kaiba the whole time to resurrect himself, making him the true Big Bad the whole time.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: As Anubis regains his human form, the Pyramid of Light protrudes from his flesh and grows out of his skin in a horrific, veiny closeup.
  • Groupie Brigade: Early on, Yugi is mobbed and chased by a bunch of fans who really want to duel him.
  • Hearing Voices: Implied when Anubis reveals he was whispering in Kaiba's ear the whole time and guiding his actions.
  • Hero Insurance: Lampshaded. After Anubis' defeat, Kaiba leaves in a huff, and Grandpa says, "I'm sure glad he didn't bring up all the damage you did to the Duel Dome, 'cause I don't think his insurance is gonna cover this!"
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When Anubis assumes his One-Winged Angel form at the climax, this allows Duel Monster cards to become real, which means that Yugi and Yami are able to use the Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon's "Shining Nova" ability to destroy Anubis for good.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: Yami Yugi goes through a lot of punishment in the movie and comes within 200 LP of death, and while he pulls through to defeat Anubis in a duel and helps Yugi against Anubis after the duel, he looks exhausted afterwards.
  • In the Back: Peten the Dark Clown stabs Yami from behind as his attack.
  • Large Ham: Both Kaiba and Anubis, and Pegasus and Yami of course.
  • Life Drain: The side effect of summoning the Pyramid of Light is to have both duelists' life energy drained to feed Anubis whenever they lose Life Points in the duel.
  • Light Is Not Good: Anubis uses the Pyramid of Light's magic as well as shadow magic to accomplish his evil goals.
  • MacGuffin: The Millennium Puzzle and its counterpart, the Pyramid of Light.
  • Mind Rape: Seto Kaiba is manipulated by Anubis throughout the entire duel, and doesn't take it well when he finally shows up in person.
  • More than Mind Control: Kaiba isn't outright possessed by Anubis, but he is nudged into following his orders by thinking they're his own thoughts.
  • The Movie: While Toei's 30-minute movie came earlier, this was the first one to be feature length, and the first to be dubbed.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Pegasus's Toon Gemini Elf, which looks kind of like Jessica twins. In Yugi's deck, Dark Magician Girl and Magician's Valkyria count as well.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The scene of the archaeologists finding Anubis's tomb has a near shot-for-shot remake of a team of archaeologists finding the Puzzle in the Toei anime.
    • In the manga, the original explanation for how Yugi's grandpa got the Puzzle was that it was found by a team of British archaeologists who all died mysteriously, but not before passing it on to him. In Pyramid of Light archaeologists find a mysterious artifact in a tomb and also die, but not before passing it to the museum.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Anubis, the Egyptian Lord of the Dead.
  • Near-Villain Victory:
    • Kaiba comes closer to beating Yugi in this movie than he ever has, to the point that the only reason he doesn't actually win is due more to New Rules as the Plot Demands than anything else.note  Also, Kaiba's own ego is partially to blame for this. He planned to deal what he believed a "perfect victory" to Yugi by summoning Yugi's own Egyptian Gods and using them against him; however, he had to destroy the Pyramid of Light card before he did that and didn't know that there was no way Anubis would let that happen.
    • By the time Anubis takes over the duel, Yugi's deck has been thinned to two cards and he has only 200 LP, which Anubis quickly makes 100. When Yugi makes a comeback, Anubis summons Theinen the Great Sphinx, which is boosted to 35,000 ATK.
  • Never Say "Die": Very soundly defied, especially by Anubis during the climax.
    Anubis: It is no longer time to duel. Now, it is die!
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Exaggerated, as every piece of dialogue from the trailer wasn't in the movie itself.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Anubis reveals to Yugi that when he completed the Millennium Puzzle and the Pharaoh awoke, he also awoke Anubis.
    • While Kaiba is technically one of the good guys in the movie, just about every other bad thing that happens is (both directly and indirectly) his fault.
  • Nightmare Face: Anubis spends most of the film as a rotted mummy. When he starts to come to life and regrow his skin and muscles, his face is even worse than when he was dead.
  • No More for Me: Pegasus's dream makes him swear off white wine spritzers. Red wine spritzers, on the other hand...
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: After Yugi defeats him in a duel, Anubis turns into a monster and decides to skip the card games, attacking his foes directly with intent to kill.
  • Non-Serial Movie: It's non-canon to the anime, taking place sometime post-Battle City but before the Memory World. Averted in the English dub, when The Bus Came Back in Season 4 for Pegasus and Tristan offhandedly mentions "the last time" they saw him after Duelist Kingdom, suggesting it takes place between seasons 3 and 4.
  • Noodle Incident: The Pharaoh is stated to have defeated Anubis in a battle long ago with the Dagger of Fate, but the circumstances are never explored due to his missing memory. All Anubis says about it is that last time they met he was unable to summon Theinen the Great Sphinx.
  • Not Himself: Mokuba notices that ever since receiving the Pyramid of Light card, his brother's been acting more stubborn and revenge-crazed than usual.
  • Not Quite Dead: After Anubis's human body is destroyed and the Pyramid crumbles, its eye is still active and empowers him to take the form of a monstrous jackal, requiring another fight to put him down for good.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Joey is implied to beat every single duelist that tried to duel Yugi early on. He even takes an Injection Fairy Lily's direct attack (which can increase from 400 to 3400) and comes out on top.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Joey and Tristan when the Pyramid of Light appears.
    Tristan: Oh, man, not more freaky magic!
    Joey: This weird stuff always happens when Yugi duels.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: To showcase how desperate Kaiba is for the chance to defeat Yugi, he challenges Pegasus to a duel and freakin wagers all of his Blue-Eyes White Dragon cards in exchange for a card that can beat the Egyptian God Cards.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: There's Ominous Egyptian Chanting during scenes involving Anubis.
    Peteh nebw mer n seshep. Peteh nebw mer n seshep.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Anubis' two sphinxes combine into Theinen the Great Sphinx when destroyed, and a power boost gives it 35000 attack points. Yugi's only able to win through re-summoning the Egyptian Gods to make Obelisk's attack infinite.
    • Anubis himself transforms into a giant jackal that grows more powerful the more the fight goes on.
  • On Three: When Joey and Tristan distract a mob of Yugi's challengers so Téa can get him to safety.
    Joey: The usual plan, T?
    Tristan: On three, partner.
    Both: Three!
  • Parental Bonus: Pegasus, waking up in the middle of the night from a nightmare, simply mutters, "No more white wine spritzers before bedtime for me..."
  • The Power of Friendship: Tea, Yugi, Joey, and Tristan cite this as the reason Anubis won't succeed, as nothing he can bring is stronger than their friendship.
  • Precision F-Strike: As close as this movie gets to one, anyway.
    Kaiba: Oh, please. Spare me all your bull about friendship, will you?
  • Proscenium Reveal: An early scene is a duel between Yugi and Kaiba. When Yugi's God Cards deliver the winning blow, the screen turns to static to reveal that it's a simulation, with the real Kaiba watching.
  • Revealing Reflection: Pegasus sees Kaiba approaching him via the reflection in his wineglass.
  • Revenge: Kaiba's motivation for dueling Yugi this time around is about payback for being beaten in the past, which lines up nicely with Anubis' goals.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Kaiba is so eager to take revenge on Yugi he ends up almost killing him, and refuses to back down when Yami Yugi explains how dangerous their duel has become.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Anubis was sealed away in the Pyramid of Light, and is woken up when Yugi completes the Millennium Puzzle. He spends most of the movie orchestrating his rebirth.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: There's a black-on-red silhouette when Kaiba launches his first attack on Yami and his monster appears behind him - and drives its dagger right through him. The only other thing that can be seen is the life energy flowing out of him afterwards.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smug Snake: Even though Kaiba is this most of the time, here he's even more arrogant and sure of himself. He assumes that Yami's cries of pain are that of his pride or ego being hurt, even when Yami Yugi collapses right in front of him.
  • Storyboarding the Apocalypse: Anubis shows Yugi, Joey, and Tristan visions of the world being destroyed, since they won't be around to see it themselves.
  • Stupid Evil: Anubis. How else would you describe someone whose plan involved manipulating Kaiba to get to Yugi, which, in effect, opposes both of them simultaneously?
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Anubis' whole backstory is very similar to Zorc/Bakura's - he fought the Pharaoh in the past and was sealed into a Millennium Item, being freed at the same time as the Pharaoh was.
  • Synchronization: When Yami is severely weakened during his duel with Kaiba, Yugi (currently trapped in the Puzzle) collapses in pain.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: The Pyramid of Light was made to imprison Anubis, only it didn't work out as well as it was supposed to after five thousand years have gone by.
  • Take Over the World: Anubis' secondary goal, after destroying most of the world, is to rule over what's left as the new Pharaoh.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Double Subversion. Yugi throws the Dagger of Fate at Anubis' eye... and it lands hilt-first, barely denting it. Then the tiny crack it did cause saves the day.
  • Title Drop: The titular Pyramid of Light is mentioned quite frequently.
  • Translation Nod: When Kaiba runs a simulation of how his new Deck with the cards he won from Pegasus fares in a Duel against Yugi, the screen quickly runs through the names of the monsters in their decks in English text, and even in the Japanese version they all show the Dub Name Change that the cards get in the English TCG rather than the Japanese OCG, including Des Feral Imp instead of Death Gremlin, Dark Magician instead of Black Magician, and Slifer the Sky Dragon instead of any version of Osiris.
  • Trampled Underfoot: Joey and Tristan get trampled by a mob of duelists who are looking to fight Yugi.
  • Tron Lines: When the Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon is first summoned, it's shown as a black silhouette with blue glowing lines.
  • Troll: Pegasus has a blast needling Kaiba over how many times Yugi's beaten him.
  • True Companions: Joey, Tea, Tristan are this to Yugi, inspiring him to not give up and helping him save Yami Yugi.
  • Truer to the Text:
    • The movie aligns closer to the manga in some respects, with Joey's fighting skills coming into play and the dub having Yugi and Yami call each other "partner."
    • The cards themselves resemble the actual real life cards much closer than the anime cards ever did due to being allowed to directly advertise the cards.
  • Villain Protagonist: The first part of the movie focuses on Kaiba whose aggressive desire to defeat Yugi leads him to acquire the Pyramid of Light card.
  • Visual Pun: After Joey kicks a mummy's head off, it lands on his head as he congratulates Yugi for using his head to solve a puzzle.
  • Voice of the Legion: As Yami Yugi nears defeat, Kaiba and Anubis speak as one as they prepare to finish him off.
    Kaiba: You may have beaten me in the past, but now (with Anubis) there's nothing you can do to stop me from having my revenge. You're finished!
  • You Can't Kill What's Already Dead: Joey and Tristan run into this problem when they kick and punch mummies' heads and arms off and they still keep coming.
    Tristan: These carcasses won't quit! How do you destroy what's already dead!?
  • You Have Failed Me: Kaiba fires several of his employees for failing to devise a way to defeat the Egyptian God Cards.
    Employee: Please, sir, we're close to postulating a winning strategem!
    Kaiba: Well, if I were you, I'd start "postulating" myself a new job! You've had more than enough time to find a way to defeat Yugi's Egyptian God Cards, but as usual, I'll have to do it myself! Now Get Out!
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Anubis pulls this on Kaiba, knocking him out and taking his place in the duel against Yugi. And he quotes the trope word-for-word, to boot.
    Anubis: You have served me well, little worm, but you have outlived your usefulness!
  • Zombie Puke Attack: A kid fighting Joey summons Maju Garzett, who attacks with Sludge Regurgitate.