Okay, every single review of this movie that I have seen says it was basically the worst Anime movie ever, or at least a contender. Well, I am new to the Yugioh universe so I thought I would give this a shot. Yugi and his friends face their greatest challenge when their arch-rival Seto Kaiba obtains powerful cards from the now retired Maximillion Pegasus. More is at stake this time than a monster card championship, or even the rescue of Yugi’s amateur-Egyptologist grandfather. Kaiba’s challenge coincides with the discovery of the tomb of Anubis by a team of Egyptian archaeologists. They don’t do much to develop Kaiba’s personality, so it really helps to go into the movie already having an appreciation of it. If you do, then you’ll find his struggles against the influence of Anubis to be interesting. Again, since I came into this film cold I could sense the appreciation yet I couldn’t find myself drawn in.
However, the movie did manage to pack in a few lines that I did laugh at. They actually showed a bit more violence and blood. The move its self started like the original show would, but then it stemmed out to a part of the movie that wasn’t like the show, but more like an outting on it’s own. It had some more subtle, adult humor which I found refreshing, as an adult fan. Worst of all though, is if you’ve never seen the show you’re going to be lost. Actually, you’re going to be lost unless you’re a fan. Like most anime Yu-Gi-Oh! is serialized in nature. The movie takes place after the current season of the weekly TV series. In this respect, the timing could have been better. There are far worse movies than Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie, and a lot of anime films like this are getting unfair treatment. Of course you’ll like it if you’re a hardcore fan of the show, cards, games, etc., but if you don’t like Yu-Gi-Oh!, and haven’t been a fan of it at all, why did you see this movie in the first place?
I realized early on from the Yu Gi Oh series that despite the dumbing down in translation (that and the Shonen Jump Mangas) that Yu Gi Oh is really a darker more teenage Anime series. This movie expresses that a little and is equally entertaining. I accept I’m defending this movie because each scene through out the movie has some action sequence that keeps you watching until the conclusion of the film. Some of the new monsters were interesting, but it turns out that Kazuki Takahashi worked on a lot of their designs, so no credit goes to 4kids there. I really can’t take them seriously as a production studio so I won’t waste much time getting into the animation aspect.
Usually 4kids takes out every single bit of writing in the Yu-gi-oh dub, whether it’s Japanese, bad English or perfect English. It seems they believed American children can’t read. However, in this movie, they added quite a few words all over the place. Having said all that, I think this is an excellent movie for Yu-gi-oh dub fans to watch. It’s slightly deeper than the series, and since I barely ever noticed the music, it can’t have been as horribly out of place as usual. After about 30 minutes of the film, I started to get the same sensation I felt having seen Digimon in the theater years before- the sensation of being numbed by over-the-top, hideous displays of anime via lots and lots and lots of battles between characters that I couldn’t give a hoot about. Still…that is what the fun is all about, battle after battle; victory over defeat. I don’t know how to play it, but I learned some things watching the subtitled version. Come to think of it…Was this a 90 minute commercial to buy more cards and a duel disk? Consider me suckered then.