The new two hour+ installment of “Yu-Gi-Oh!” is an adventure set six months after the original series. While it definitely won’t convert new fans, it will likely act as a good book end for hardcore fans of the series. Especially in the way that it resolves a lot of character back stories, and ends every plot thread as best as it can. With Anime though there’s never a huge guarantee these characters will be gone for long, but “The Dark Side of Dimensions” is a new and unique adventure with Yugi Muto fighting a new villain alongside his friends, dueling against old grudges, old scars, and hopefully save his loved ones so they can pursue their futures.
After the end of the pharaoh in the series, Yugi and his friends are readying their last year of high school. Meanwhile the villainous Seto Kaiba seeks to revive the pharaoh, and retrieve the Millennium Puzzle from the ruins of the Millennium Chamber. Just then rival Diva faces off against Kaiba, interrupting his attempt excavation, and steals pieces of the puzzle. Diva then stages a plan to avenge his mentor Shadi against Yugi’s friend Bakura, while Kaiba challenges his sister and Yugi for the last pieces of the puzzle. Creator Kazuki Takahashi ends the show and ushers in an original challenge for Yugi, while allowing fans a pretty beautiful and epic animated movie filled with vibrant animation and character models.
Back for the movie are Joey Wheeler, Tristan Taylor Téa Gardner, and Bakura, and the writers raise the stakes, giving Yugi much more to fight for, as the characters have evolved in to larger more realized versions of what we saw in the original series. In the end, “The Dark Side of Dimensions” is really all about selling the merchandise and bringing the fans in to the trading card game. There are a lot of very flashy monster battles, and duels, and references in flashbacks that only followers of the show will truly understand. “The Dark Side of the Dimensions” was originally released in its home country in 2016 marking the series’ 20th anniversary, so the relevance to it being the final chapter is even more interesting. While I didn’t take to this universe nor find it particularly fun, I guess the fans will find this niche animated movie much more appetizing, all around.
In Theaters January 27th