If you’re a fan of Yu-Gi-Oh, which you probably are to be reading this, you must see this film. It takes only a couple of minutes to take us back to our childhoods. The familiar smug face of Kaiba opens the movie which is shortly followed by the gang. It feels like a reunion with our little card crazy family and oh has it been too long.
The movie centres around Kaiba’s obsession with defeating the pharaoh Atem, whom you may remember (spoiler from the original tv series coming up) Yugi defeats in a duel before he says his permanent goodbye now that he had proved his duelling ability without the Pharoah’s help. Kaiba is intent on reassembling the pieces of the Millennium Puzzle to hopefully conjure up Atem from his spiritual sleep for one last duel.
The story doesn’t in any way feel forced into what’s happened before and that’s important. The Millennium items once again feature heavily in the story but are used in an interesting and refreshing way, rather than just rehashing old ideas. They still have their powers but they serve a much deeper purpose this time around. The new duel disk used by Kaiba is pretty awesome too, making for some fantastic new animations and genuinely terrifying monsters.
Most of the screen time is devoted to Kaiba and the new and charismatic Aigami. He’s an interesting character with a back story that blends nicely into the wider arc of Yu-Gi-Oh. Kaiba is his usual arrogant and unrelenting self which makes him a character we love to hate but he remains important because of that respectful rivalry that has developed since THAT duel where Exodia was summoned. It’s nice to see that even he too has some pretty humorous lines too; being so straight forward in the way he assuredly insults people!
Let’s talk about new cards! The characters have reworked their decks since we last saw them to keep up with the current trends, so as not to simply replay the same duels we’ve had before in the series. Some of the lesser important characters through the series have cameos that are more important than simply showing up for the sake of it. It all feels very fundamental to the overall world and the development of the story through flashbacks is always welcome. I Be sure to keep an eye out and challenge yourself to spot the lesser characters, it’s good to know that they haven’t been forgotten.
The movie isn’t without faults, of course.There are a few aspects which are not fully explained, such as the dimension summons that are used throughout the film. The ending also seemed a little rushed, without going into too much detail, the final battle appeared to be a little… abrupt. There is a lot of build up through flashbacks which are useful and interesting but at times feel like slightly overused and it ruins the pacing a little.
Ultimately though, this really is a great addition to the Yu-Gi-Oh world. There are some genuinely exciting moments and some fantastic laugh out loud moments. The true pull is the nostalgia it brings along with meeting back up with our old friends in Yugi and co, but all the characters have their moments to shine.
Expected to be available on DVD/Blu Ray in the UK on 29th May 2017