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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The prequel and film has Seto Kaiba raise the bar of his already well-known dramatics to the level of cosmic, life threatening efforts. Are his actions the result of just ignoring his previous character development for plot reasons, leaving him regressed to a point of pure Flanderization, all for the sake of a simple duel and pettiness? Or is that simply taking things a character defined by his unwillingness to fully express himself at face value? Is Kaiba's legendary pride and the inability to let go of a grudge a good enough in-universe explanation, and does it make more sense, from what we know of the character, to consider that the unprecedentedly extreme and desperate decisions he makes could have just been him losing it in a genuine emotional reaction to the closest thing he had to a friend going away, forever? The fandom is fairly divided by the implications of either side, and that's not even getting into the shipping factor. By extension, the ending could be taken as Nightmare Fuel or as a weirdly Bittersweet Ending, entirely depending on one's interpretation of Kaiba's motives.
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    • Tied to this, fans may see Kaiba as either playing a villainous role or the role of anti-hero.
    • In the prequel manga Sera is an ambiguously innocent Creepy Child who nearly succeeds in killing Kaiba, but in the movie she's a hero who wants to save Aigami from darkness, opening room for a lot of interpretation.
    • The Millennium Ring and its role have plenty of room for interpretation, as the Ring itself is apparently evil instead of it being Zorc and/or Yami Bakura possessing the wielder. Given its role pre-series and post-series, it could mean simply Zorc and Yami Bakura's evil was so strong it did things on its own and stayed evil after their defeats. What this means for Thief King Bakura has even worse implications.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Kaiba's Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon was hyped in pre-release promos as being a monster so strong it could end a duel in one turn. It's a Chaos Ritual monster with 4000 ATK, one of the few Dark-Attribute Blue-Eyes variants, and it inflicts double piercing battle damage when it attacks defending monsters. It lasts exactly one turn before Yugi uses his Magician Girls to destroy it, and it only did 1000 points of damage to him anyway.
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    • Dark Aigami, the Final Boss of the movie, goes down in his second turn when he's forced to attack Palladium Oracle Mahad and loses. Up that point, he essentially just repeated Kaiba's schtick of summoning three monsters with 3000 ATK and then fusing them into a monster with 4500 ATK, and didn't do much in the duel otherwise. For that matter, Kaiba and Yugi made a pitiful showing themselves since they only got one turn to play and didn't do anything very impressive with it. This is a sharp contrast to the preceding duel between Yugi and Kaiba, which is much longer and had much more intense dueling.
  • Ass Pull: Kaiba summons Obelisk the Tormentor without any clear explanation of how, just slamming his hand on the ground to summon it. Aigami lampshades this by wondering how he did that, as only the Pharaoh could wield the God Cards, but Kaiba refuses to tell him.
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  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Like Pyramid of Light, while fans liked the movie it's hard for non-fans to get into. Since the movie also takes place after the series' end, it assumes you've either read the manga or watched the anime already, and being set after the series in itself can be off-putting to some.
  • Awesome Ego: Kaiba, true to form from the anime. He's got a space station in the shape of the Kaiba Corp logonote , he's built a machine that can reassemble the Millennium Puzzle in a few hours when it took Yugi eight years on his own, and he's built a new Duel Disk system that pushes the limits of technology to the extent he can use it to overpower magical artifacts. He's still a selfish egomaniac, but darn if he can't back it up now more than ever. He even goes so far as to say that this world is so badly designed that if whoever was responsible worked for him, he'd fire the guy. That's right — Kaiba wants to fire God.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The remixed opening theme in the English dub, especially with all the bass drops that occur. It can bring tears in the eyes of those who were nostalgic for the 4Kids anime version.
    • The remixes of Passionate Duelists and God's Anger in the Japanese version are also worthy of mention.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Bakura fans tend to either love or hate Aigami, mainly for his role in the backstory and making Ryo Bakura cry. Others see him as either an interesting villain with an amazing voice, motives, and backstory, or a shallow retread of Marik and Thief King Bakura who doesn't deserve to be forgiven for what he's done.
  • Broken Base:
    • The possibility of the Pharaoh returning caused an uproar between people who want to see him in action again and those who want to see Yugi finally stand on his own two feet as a duelist, especially since we've hardly ever gotten to see him duel by himself. It's especially annoying to Yugi supporters since the final duel between him and the Pharaoh had him winning and the Pharaoh admitting he was the new king of games, yet we've never seen him duel by himself since. The series also built him up as a character so much in series as Atem's successor that it could make the ending feel cheap and necessitated by plot, and suggest Takahashi is more interested in the journeys of other characters. The final battle having Atem help Yugi defeat Aigami when he couldn't do it alone has also divided the fans, with some seeing it as a heartwarming and awesome reaffirmation on the theme of friendship and others seeing it as undoing the development Yugi went through to stand on his own.
    • Kaiba's motivations and goals have divided the fanbase, with some seeing it as him regressing and others seeing it as a logical conclusion to his story arc. The ending to the movie is the most heavily-disputed scene, as despite thanking Yugi and listening to what he has to say about Atem not coming back, he goes to the afterlife anyway, leaving Mokuba behind. Complicating the debate is a post on Kazuki Takahashi's Instagram. A potential future taking place four years after the movie, Yugi has become a successful game designer, and is testing out his newly created fighting game 'Spherium II' with a very alive Kaiba, whose company had co-developed it with him. However this is only one possible future, according to Takahashi.
    • Ryo Bakura's new backstory is heavily debated, with some finding it interesting, heartrending, and making sense, while others see it as contradicting previous continuity, not developing his character, and being tragic for the sake of it.
    • The dub, as per tradition. Some like the additions of more jokes and changes to the dialogue and motivations of various characters, others feel the jokes and story changes ruin what was a dark and serious story in the original Japanese version.
    • The DVD release gets hit hard with this, since while it is the second Yu-Gi-Oh! movie to provide both audio tracks, the subtitles are from the English version, rather than the original (though this isn't the case in the UK release, which has a subtitle track from the Japanese). Many fans were not happy about this, expecting to see an uncut film with names and terminology intact for both versions, while comparing how faithful the English script is to the original. Others think it is better than nothing, since it is the second film to even have both language tracks rather than English only. Even then, fans are sore that the song "To Believe in Something" is not in the DVD release. In response to this, Lionsgate provided a service where fans could mail in the DVD and receive a replacement disk with accurate subtitles, and also corrected the subtitles on their digital iTunes release.
  • Ending Fatigue: The movie feels like it could be close to wrapping up when Yugi defeats Diva. But then there's another climactic duel, this time between Yugi and Kaiba. And then we get the Millennium Ring-possessed Diva as the True Final Boss.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • With the new poster showing the Puzzle with a piece missing, people started to wonder if it was the same piece Dark Bakura put a portion of his soul into, and, if so, whether he could make a return alongside the new villain. While Dark Bakura only appears in a flashback, the Ring itself plays a role, possessing Mani and Aigami.
    • The "dimensions" in the title led to dozens of discussions on how the movie might be related to Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, as alternate dimensions are a big part of that series' plot. It turned out to not relate to ARC-V at all.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Kaiba, who will stop at nothing in his goal to seal Yami Yugi back into the Millennium Puzzle, and then is utterly devastated when he finally realizes that goal was always impossible and Yami Yugi is really gone.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • While not really derided for his previous work in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V as Dipper and Dennis, Daniel J. Edwards put on an excellent performance as Aigami even in comparison to the largely veteran cast of the dub, to the point that his announcement as a voice actor for characters in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS has been met with excitement.
    • While Dan Green was always well received for his performance as Yugi Muto, his performance was casually shy and friendly in the anime. In this movie, some of his takes have more of a sense of aggressive and confidence into his voice that really highlights his character development after sharing the same body with Atem for a long time, especially the scene where he demands Kaiba to make the first match be between him and Aigami.
  • Ho Yay: Kaiba's legendary subtext with Yami Yugi/Atem returns. Pretty much everything he's done in the six months since the Ceremonial Duel, as well as everything he does in the film, are to see Atem and duel him again. One could even interpret the ending to be that they're Together in Death.
    • Not only does Kaiba spend the last six months trying to get Atem back, he goes as far as creating a hologram of Atem to duel against, which imitates Atem's catchprase and speech patterns, flat-out refuses to accept the idea that he can't get Atem back, to the point where he looks on the verge of tears, and doesn't promise an obviously worried Mokuba that he will return from the afterlife. The movie, both dub and sub, seem to have a subtext about Kaiba mourning Atem and being unable to admit it, with him behaving in a near manic state in Transcend Game and having a more depressed, melancholy mood in DSOD. This movie is the only time we really see Seto express any attachment or emotion towards someone that isn't his younger brother Mokuba.
    • The dub adds a line about Kaiba recreating Atem's "perfectly coiffed hair," leading to jokes that he wanted more than just a duel with him. As if it wasn't enough, the way it was phrased is ambiguous enough that it could be interpreted that recreating his hair was the part he put more effort into.
    • The Japanese ending theme, To Believe in Something, seems to be about Kaiba's relationship with Atem. 'Oh when you found me for the very first time/Then I think of all/and does it matter anymore/I believe in you'.
    • Jonouchi is still having dreams that Kaiba is looking down on him as a duelist, much like in the DM anime. The dub adds the line 'Kaiba? You're not my pillow either!'
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Diva was once a student under Shadi, and one of the children that could wield the dimensional powers of the Plana. After Shadi was killed by Dark Bakura, Diva swore revenge on the killer's host, adopting the identity of "Aigami" to get close to him and Yugi. Upon learning of Kaiba's quest to bring back Atem, which would result in the Plana and it's power disappearing, Diva dueled Kaiba in an attempt to stop him, and when that failed stole two pieces of the Millennium Puzzle. Confronting and banishing Bakura to another dimension, Diva was forced into a duel with Yugi by Kaiba, where he attempted to coax Yugi into joining him before trying to kill him. Though the events that transpired resulted in Atem's brief return and the Plana vanishing, Diva ultimately accepted his loss.
    • Seto Kaiba is determined to resurrect the Pharaoh by any means necessary, developing highly complex technology in his attempts. When he excavates the Millennium Puzzle, Diva attempts to kill him with the Quantum Cube, but Kaiba repels the attack without effort. Kaiba turns the ensuing duel around by summoning Obelisk the Tormentor, and while Diva escapes, he's unworried. When Kaiba learns Diva stole two of the Puzzle pieces, he kidnaps him and agrees to Yugi's demand to duel Diva at an exhibition. He only briefly loses composure when Yugi reassembles the Puzzle to confirm the Pharaoh cannot return, and his reaction to seemingly losing their duel is a smirk. When Diva returns as a corrupted monster, Kaiba sacrifices himself to keep Yugi in the game, imploring him to call the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh returns and saves everyone, taking the Puzzle with him to the afterlife. Kaiba decides to follow him there, using the Quantum Cube and his own technology to breach through to the afterlife, prepared to duel. Throughout the movie, Kaiba is in control and weathers any setbacks to succeed in getting what he wants.
  • Memetic Badass: Kaiba's Awesome Ego in this film has made him this in many circles, particularly with the revelations that he has (among other things) bought Domino City, built a space station, invented cyberspace and Brain Uploading, No Selled being absorbed into a Hive Mind, and broken the boundaries of life and death. /a/ has proclaimed in particular that Kaiba could defeat any Magnificent Bastard or god figure in anime, and often says that his true power is being the most autistic man in the universe.
  • Memetic Mutation: Kaiba's hand in the first image released for the movie. Jokes saying that the poor guy broke it again spread immediately.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In a flashback, Yami Bakura crosses it when he kills Shadi in front of a group of children he'd been protecting, taunts them as they cry over Shadi's corpse, and then attacks the kids.
  • Narm:
    • Kaiba owns a space station. Shaped like the Kaiba Corp "KC" logo. When you make the Blue-Eyes White Dragon Jet look less ridiculous simply by existing, you've gone too far to be taken seriously.note 
    • Little Yami Bakura was meant to be terrifying but a lot of viewers found him adorable instead.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Young Yami Bakura, finally confirming a long-standing part of the series' mythos.
    • The Egyptian Gods in beautiful CG. Slifer shows up in a gorgeously animated flashback of the Ceremonial Duel, while Obelisk makes a grand return to utterly curbstomp Aigami.
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • The English dub's new joke additions wouldn't be out of place in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, particularly with how self-aware many of them can be. Examples including Yugi noting that Bakura's accent is part of why the schoolgirls love him, Kaiba making a quip about how much work he put into perfectly recreating Yami Yugi's hair for his virtual recreation, and Kaiba's AI assistant telling him it recognizes Kaiba likes to be reminded of how smart he is. Kaiba's snarky egomania in particular is really ramped up from the Japanese film.
    • The movie in general has been accused by some of being more focused on fanservice than plot, using common fandom plots like a new villain with ties to established characters attacking post-series, an excavation team finding the Items, Yugi and Kaiba dueling, someone trying to bring back Atem, Yami Bakura being involved in even more tragedy in Bakura's life, having Kaiba as the protagonist, and Atem acting as a Big Good to his friends who comes back at the last second to help Yugi.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Jonouchi not getting to fight, duel or do much of anything was not well-received by fans, particularly those who like the manga better than the anime. A particular point of contention was him being made to wear a dog suit at a job to help pay for a Duel Disk, which is a subplot that goes nowhere.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A major theme of the movie is the ability or inability to let go of the past and move on; Yugi and his friends are graduating high school and thinking about their futures, Kaiba wants to make Atem return to them, and part of Aigami's motivations relate to the death of Shadi. When Yugi puts the final piece into the Millennium Puzzle and nothing happens, it is supposed to be the final proof that Atem is gone and both Yugi and Kaiba need to accept that. Besides that, Yugi's character arc over the original series saw him become more confident in himself so he no longer needed the Pharaoh's spirit to help him, and his victory over Atem in the Ceremonial Duel was proof that he was ready to live on his own. With a new threat coming for him and Kaiba still nursing his rivalry with Atem, this is the time for Yugi to live up to that growth and prove himself a hero in his own right by triumphing over Kaiba and Aigami. All of this is then ignored when Atem does return to save Yugi from losing to Aigami, throwing all the talk about letting go of the past out the window and Yugi's Character Development from the original series along with it.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • In the prequel manga, Sera's eyes look very off compared to everyone else.
    • Yugi's new eye design looks a little odd in some shots, too.
    • Aigami's cubic monsters are CG, making them clash with most of the other monsters. This was likely intentional.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: To say the budget is through the roof is an understatement.
  • The Woobie: Ryo Bakura is this yet again. There's no mention of his sister and mother, who were killed in his manga backstory, but instead he gets possessed by the Ring as a child and has it fuse into his chest leading to Dark Bakura killing Shadi and Ryo's father, and Aigami wants to kill him for the incident. Ryo mentions not wanting to talk about the Ring at all and suffers headaches when pressed, becomes trapped in another dimension for the last third of the movie, and the Ring itself drives Aigami and Mani to kill him at one point. He's also the only one of Yugi's friends who doesn't have a dream for the future; Yugi, Anzu, Jonouchi, and Honda discuss their own dreams, but never ask him what his is.
  • Woolseyism: The dub fixed some of the complaints people had about the movie by having Kaiba appreciate his odd friendships with Yugi and Atem, having Joey escape Aigami's dimension through his willpower rather than being a helpless Damsel in Distress, and implying Bakura lied about where he got the Ring to begin with instead of revealing something different than what he told Yugi. Shadi's dying words describing which of the Millennium Items are inclined toward good or evil are also altered to have him only allude to the Puzzle having balance, making Aigami's refusal to accept Bakura's explanation that he was controlled by the Ring seem less irrational.

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