Saturday, 25 March 2017

[Dark Side of Dimensions] Movie Review by Ken Sir

I finally got to watch the movie.

Commentary typed as I watch the movie. Kinda like a twitter timeline ranting session:
  1. Movie starts. Wow, Kaiba build a spaceship in outerspace? With a lift to it? Outer Space Office. Way to spend your wealth. At least he stopped making Blue-Eyes planes and jets.
  2. Interesting way to start the movie - Kaiba plans to unearth the millenium puzzle in order to bring his longtime rival back.
  3. Oh and there is Mokuba. Not kidnapped.
  4. Grandpa Mutou's shop seems to be doing well in the technolgical age where kids supposedly don't bother with board and card games anymore.
  5. Yup, Score 1 for the animation. 
  6. Yugi Mutou grew slightly taller. And he bears more resemblence to Atem. Confidence boost.
  7. Joey Wheeler is late. What's new.
  8. Bike riding skills. Easter Egg/Reference to Riding Duels?
  9. Bakura becomes the popular kid after he is done being Evil Villain #1.
  10. Bromance. Tristain hops unrealistically onto Joey's bike.
  11. Talking about dreams and the future. It is a nice touch, I feel this ages and matures the character as we realise they enter adulthood.
  12. Joey Wheeler as a Pro Duelist? He is better off making a living at the Casino. lolz
  13. I like how Yugi is planning to be a game developer. As I previously mentioned, Yu-Gi-Oh's initial concept was about plenty of different games.
  14. Mysterious new guy has a seat by the window + special colored hair with spikes + gold colored eyes = important character
  15. Is no one gonna comment on the change in card designs? I was hoping for a fitting explanation.
  16. OMG at Slifer's animation. wow. I am so impressed.
  17. Nice flashback and Yugi's expository. It reminds viewers and fans of their partnership.
  18. Kid being bullied. Well, this feel like deja-vu.
  19. Joey survives jumping off the bridge without breaking his legs.
  20. Evil Aigami does evil things.
  21. Atem appears, yet by the context and story thus far, it should be obvious this is a dream at worse and holagram/program at best. Or Kaiba's fanboy imagination.
  23. I have missed Atem's voice more than I realise.
  24. The new duel disk looks cool. It incorporates a mixture of touch screen function and a more mordern digital interface.
  25. Fusion Summon to a new Blue-Eyes monster right off the bat. Coz the -4 shouldn't matter if you are Kaiba.
  26. The animation... ya you get it. Nicely animated Lifepoint and Stats.
  27. Lifepoint count is now at 8000 to better reflect the TCG/OCG game.
  28. I like how old monsters make a return in their original form or retrained version. Saggi the Dark Clown reappears as a tribute. lol
  29. "Scars of defeat run deep". Wow. Salt. 
  30. Come on Kaiba, did you forget you can win by threatening to commit suicide over a Children Card Game?
  31. I wish they explain more about the new cards, such as the retrained version of Celtic Guardian and Vorse Raider. Such as the typical narration of the effects. They narrated Pot of Greed's simple effect for over a dozen times in the anime. Surely they can afford some time to talk about the new cards. Narration of effects is both annoying and nostalgic. 
  32. But at least we have cheesey dialouge. You will never be able to stand up to my power. Not then not now.
  33. HERE IT IS. THE FAMOUS MAGIC WORDS REQUIRED FOR VICTORY: "Is that so?" それはどうかな Sore wa dō ka na
  34. Kaiba still refers to Atem as Yugi. Hmmm....
  35. "Duel Links Solid Vision", wow way to throw some familiar names in. It would be real nice if the phone game Duel Links can have such Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality aspect in years to come.
  36. At least with such groundbreaking technology, Kaiba's wealth is justified.
  37. "Strangely shaped hair".
  38. Hey, at least Duke Devalin makes a cameo. Wish he had more of a role. He DID create quite a revolutionary game in the Yugioh universe, only to be ignored after his filler arc was over.
  39. Kaiba Corp's advertising department deserves a reward. Kaiba's product makes it to the big screens and has his advertisement prepared in such a short time.
  40. I wished Joey's mascot was a monkey, which would have been perfect, given how Kaiba called him a Dueling Monkey in the dub.
  41. #PlotDump by Aigami
  42. Screw my first comment. He is still making Blue-Eyes jets and planes.
  43. Okay, after watching Kaiba land, Joey's landing seems to be the lesast realistic.
  44. He survives that with swag. #SuperheroLanding
  45. Come on, Kaiba, you couldn't wait any longer for your plan to land?
  46. That's because Yugi has the simple mind of a child. Simple mind of a child beat you tons of times LOL
  47. Kaiba recognises Aigami, and has the information on him. I like how this proves Kaiba's competence as a character and one of the few instances he lives up to his genius IQ which was established in the anime. At least he knows his enemies of supposed-enemies.
  48. Will the guns be censored into finger-pointing again? lol
  49. There are no limits when you are as brilliant as me. LOL cocky much? narcassitic much?
  50. That aside, the activation of the Duel Disk deserves a thumbs up from me.
  51. And the first duel of the movie begins.
  52. Aigami deserves the award for the most unique and weird duel disk ever.
  53. New rules are introduced as Dimension Summoning is explained. No "Screw the rules, I have money" reference?
  54. Okay, I have to admit that I wasn't the least interested in this duel and it felt filler. Then Kaiba slams his hand onto the ground, and when his field was loaded with monsters, indicating that the only possible summon from a drawn card will have to be a tribute summon. I started to wonder, could this be it?
  55. BAM! The accompanying soundtrack and the new Obelisk look goes well together, reminding viewers that Kaiba once wielded the Egytian God.
  56. So Kaiba cheated....?
  57. He isn't a monster. He is a god. YUP HE DEFINITELY CHEATED LOL
  58. Still, nice turn of events. Screw the rules I have a God. I appreciate how he mentioned Yugi's name before activating Obelisk's effect. It was like Kaiba knew Atem had something to do with it, or maybe Atem was lending Kaiba his power. Still, for a moment, it felt like gratitude.
  59. Kaiba proves his competence once again. I am liking him more than I ever did in the entire anime length.
  60. I really thought this is where Mokuba gets kidnapped and the ransom would be the millenium puzzle.
  61. More unrealistic landing and no broken bones. This time by Aigami.
  62. Burst Jet Stream of Destruction.
  63. It is realistic that the Millenium Puzzle wasn't the only Millenium item unearthed.
  64. Out of the remaining items, with the Ring being the second one shown, it paves a nice foreshadow that something bad is gonna happen.
  65. The blimp makes a return. A cameo in the dream, but still. 
  66. Kaiba's mockery of Joey is so realistic, even if this is a dream.
  67. More foreshadow pointing towards the fact that Atem will make a reappearance and be revived.
  68. Red-Eyes makes a cameo with an unchanged artwork. I was hoping other iconic monsters like Jinzo and Panther Warrior will too.
  69. Elevator to space. Why do humans even need spaceships anymore?
  70. A machine to reassemble puzzle pieces. I wonder if Kaiba trained the AI by giving it rubic cubes.
  71. Get it? Rubic Cubes. Which would be funny since Aigami uses Cubic monsters.
  72. No? Okay let's move on.
  73. The fruit Magician girls make an appearance.
  74. "Shadi Shin" Even Shadi makes an appearance in this movie. lol.
  75. More plot dump. Move on.
  76. Puzzle piece appears in the box. Similar to how it was when it first got reassembled by Yugi.
  77. Bakura's backstory and Thief King Bakura's revival is revealed. 
  78. I expected more characters to appear in Joey's memory/dimension trippy experience.
  79. Mani's death and loss felt..... empty? To me it failed to make an impact. Perhaps it was to deepen the hatred Aigami had for Atem/Yugi.
  80. Despite leaving for the afterlife, Pharoh Atem still makes an impact on plenty of others' lives. I am glad the movie didn't gloss over Joey's and Atem's rivalhood and friendship, even though Kaiba was the focus.
  81. That having said, I was hoping for the flashback between their duel after the Domino City Arc after the tournament on the Kaiba Corp blimp concluded. Joey is seen with Red-Eyes in future episodes, implying the card that he entrusted Atem with was returned to him, and he managed to win it back. The events of the duel was never shown nor was the result revealed.
  82. Joey makes a cool return but fails to contribute to the plot LOL.
  83. Half-expecting a Joey+Yugi duel.
  84. Some of my memories are forever. Friendship magic. 
  85. Fine that was slightly heartwarming.
  86. Kaiba Corp Black Ops in action. Isn't this kinapping though?
  87. Kaiba insults traffic rules and stands in the middle of the lights just because he is a multi-billionaire.
  88. Kaiba's obessesion for the Pharoh is starting to get out of hand.
  89. Mokuba greets Yugi. Somehow that reminds me that he is still a young kid who was semi-excited to see a familiar face after flying around the world for his older brother's sake. lol
  90. Jet planes. At least they weren't Blue-Eyes jet planes.
  91. Explosion, crashes. For a moment I thought this was a Micheal Bay movie. 
  92. No one cares about the pilot right? Since he is just a small time character.
  93. Kaiba either has a god complex, is super narcissistic and vain, or is both.
  94. Yugi wants to fight first. Nope, not surprised.
  95. Yugi grows fierce. I think this is a nice element. We witness how much Yugi has grown from the cowardly young boy who hid behind the shadows of Atem. And that while he may had matured slightly when battling Atem, this goes to show that the change and maturity was not temporary.
  96. Kaiba yields to Yugi's demand. I was hoping there would be a monologue stating that it was because he sensed Yugi's determination.
  97.  Just imagine for a second how hilarious it would be if the thrown Duel Disk hits Yugi on the head and kills him/gives him a concussion.
  98. With an arm that can throw the Duel Disk like that, Kaiba should be starting for the Mets in Leftfield.
  99. As previously mentioned, this scene where Yugi dons the Duel Disk is animated by....
  100. Yugi learns the rules of Dimension Duels while he plays. It may just be me but I feel that this is very in-character, given how he earned the title of King of Games.
  101. Plenty of iconic monsters made a reappearance of sorts. I am pleased.
    • Sentry Stone
    • Gaia
    • Silent Swordsman 
    • Curse of Dragon
  102. I am sorry but I fail to see Shadi's contribution to the plot, and the meaning he has for the movie. Why him? Is a question I keep asking. However, I acknowledge that the Millenium Item arc started from his character's introduction.
  103.  Dangerously low LP to attempt to convince the audience that Yugi might lose.
  104. Yugi ends the duel dramatically with a triple trap combo invoking an endless loop. 
  105. DUEL. And the iconic OST plays once more. 
  106. Blue-Eyes Vs Dark Magician all over again. 
  107. More evolution/variations of Blue-Eyes are shown. 
  108. Nice dialouge. As Atem taught me, I can't give up until the end. It reinforces the Sudent-Mentor relationship between the duo.
  109. I was hoping all Magician Girls would appear. Sadly, no. :(
  110. I completely forgot about Gandora-X. I recall it was printed as a card, meaning it would have an appearance. But it slipped my mind. It is nice how Yugi summoned it, as I felt Gandora is a monster that represented Yugi's independance from Atem, and one of the few ace monsters that Yugi had, but did not share with Atem.
  111. Yugi completes the puzzle in a similar fashion as the first time. Unsurprisingly, Atem did not return. Yet?
  112. The Millenium Ring consumes yet another soul.
  113. The hardest thing for me is saying goodbye. This sentence gave me the feels so hard, since the movie also touched on the graduation of the characters as students, and how the future have different paths waiting for them. Graduation, farewell and seperation has always been a heartfelt and sensitive topic for me. So I would say this was the moment in the entire movie which (for the lack of a better word, and also to annoy some of my readers)...
  114. Anyway I feel that it was real mature for Yugi to accept that his former mentor and friend who changed his life is now gone. While Kaiba felt like a child who wouldn't let go. 
  115. Kaiba's OST plays as he attempts a comeback, the timing couldn't be more perfect.
  116. For a moment, before calling the attack, Yugi called out Kaiba's name, seemingly empathatic about how Kaiba felt.
  117. Kaiba smiled, perhaps indicating he finally accepted that he won't see Atem again?
  118. To me, I implied the smile to be Kaiba's acceptance of Yugi Mutou, and not Atem, as a rival as he wtinessed how well Yugi can duel even in the Pharaoh's absence. Don't forget, Kaiba's original plan was just to battle Atem as he believed Atem could be returned by simply fixing the puzzle. But now, battling Yugi, he is satisfied.
  119. When Yugi banished all the monsters in their respective graves, I was half expecting Kaiba to use Return from the Different Dimension. Sadly, no. Dissappointed.
  120. Yet another duel with an inconclusive ending due to it being interupted. 
  121. Typical third villain to force Kaiba & Yugi to join forces.
  122. Once again disappointed as I expected too much. I was hoping for a Dragon Master Knight appearance or a new Black Luster Solider monster. I would have been fine with Kaiba having one Envoy monster and Yugi having the other.
  123. Oh, so this is where Silver Gadget and Gold Gadget appears.
  124. Metalhold is like the Fortress trap that the original three gadgets had.
  125. Kaiba's loss before Yugi secures victory reminds me of their duel against Dartz. Kaiba redirected the attack similarly back then too. Back then he entrusted Yugi with additional lifepoints, and this time with the Puzzle, and the faith that the Pharoh will return.
  126. Not sure about you, but the moment when Yugi wore the puzzle back, was when I was convinced that Atem would return.
  127. As Yugi seemingly loss all hope, he returned. The 'ding' sound, and the transformation sequence. King of Games it is. I can only imagine the hype that fans had when watching this scene in the cinemas.
  128. Pharoh Atem drew Mahad and played it. Not only is this an suitable scenerio given Mahad's effect, it is also a nice callback in the Ceremonial Duel, where Atem 'sensed' Mahad before playing it.
  129. And Atem saves the day.
  130. Still deciding if it would have been better if Atem had a dialouge here.
  131. Atem and Yugi both share a precious moment. With no words spoken. This, I am satisfied. It is as if both characters were saying "We don't need words. All we wanted to say to each other have been spoken. But it was nice seeing you."
  132. A nod ended the interaction between both characters from different time, and the hero out of time gets sent back. Appropriately short.
  133. Kaiba never stopped believing, and in this moment, his obsession felt like a lonely player who couldn't meet his equal and missed his rival which left the game. A kindred would be a better word.
  134. You have your bond with him, and I have mine.
  135. Kaiba leaves with a promise that both duelists paths would cross again. A fitting farewell.
  136. Graduation time~
  137. An ending sequence which shows how poor Kaiba was able to meet the Pharoh at long last.
  138. Does the Pharoh have a deck? It would be awkward if Kaiba travelled that far and tideous to fail to have a proper showdown with his opponent.
  139. Atem in his Pharoh attire, smiling as if he was expecting Kaiba's arrival. Yup, I am satisfied as a fan as to how the movie ended.
 Easter Eggs?

Not sure if I was reading too much into it but I noticed a few elements that could be counted as easter eggs?
  • When the main cast was questioning their memory of Aigami, it seems to mirror how Fujiwara was viewed by the main cast of GX in the fourth season.
  • Aigami's soul absorption/dimension-transferring process is quite similar to Professor Viper from the GX anime.
  • Aigami and his sister's relationship, I feel, parallels Saiou/Satarious from the GX anime.
  • Aigami/Diva's final form reminds me of Darkness from GX and Don Thousand from ZeXal.
  • While Duel Stadiums generally look the same, I say the one they had in this movie bears a striking resemblence to Arc-V's. Then again maybe I have been watching too much Arc-V.

Plot: 6/10
  • The plot was mediocre at best. It is a typical Yu-Gi-Oh! movie, but unlike the previous one, where the villain from the future has a sort-of-justifiable reason to be evil, Aigami came off as weak. Kaiba's obsession and powerful presence did nothing but shed a poorer light on the movie's antagonist.
  • Moreover, it seems to instill some continuity issues, given how Gx and 5D's which supercedes the First Yugioh Series shows a decline in technology and Kaiba's new system wasn't seen in Gx, where he is still visibly alive.
    • Perhaps the events at the end of the movie convinced Kaiba to discontinue his work on Duel Links Solid Vision?
  • I appreciate the continuity of Tea's dreams and ambition of being a dancer but that's probably just it.
  • I gave this section a passing mark for one simple reason - Kaiba
    • On the surface, it seems like Kaiba is just a crybaby who hopes that Senpai Atem notices him. But think back again, when the anime concluded, Atem returned to afterlife and the Millenium items were burried, severing his connection to the current world. Yugi cried, Yugi's friends cried. I teared up, and I am pretty sure plenty of other fans choked too.
    • BUT. KAIBA. DIDN'T. Kaiba merely accepted it as it is, and plenty of times in the dubbed version, he instills his disbelief for all the magic hoo-ha and ancient egypt lore about previous incarnation and afterlife. 
    • But now, our rich man character probably felt empty, as reality sunk in - that no matter whether he believed in all this supernatural/fantasy, his longtime rival is gone, and despite his best effort to recreate this opponent, the battles or even regain the feeling of battling him, he ultimately failed. Hence he turned towards using the Puzzle to revive Atem, in hopes of calling him back.
    • Hence, this section deserves a passing mark - because some actions run deeper than it seems. 
Animation: 9/10
  • The animation is top notched. Much attention is paid to the finer details of each characters' design. If Yugi had pimples, I am sure I can see each and every of them. LOL. I was very pleasantly surprised by Joey's facial features. I later learned that he is a favourite of Takahashi, and hence particular attention was paid to give him a nice face.
  • Duels and summoning sequence are nicely animated too.
  • The missing mark, and the reason why it isn't 10/10 is because in some scenes, characters' fingers look wonky and weird. Kaiba's finger bones should have been broken countless times by now.
  • This one is tricky, since both Subbed and Dubbed versions differ.
  • I say the subbed version hit my right in the feels, while the dubbed one was pretty entertraining - You fight me with fruits?
  • 8/10 Passable, and made me grin from time to time.
Duels: 9/10
  • Like I said, I had low expectations for the initial duel of Aigami vs Kaiba, and the plot surprised me. Yugi vs Aigami was nicely written, and throughout the entire duel I just keep realising how much Yugi has grown, and I didn't know it was even possible as I thought the character was exhausted at the final anime episode. Also, another fact that I had to keep reminding myself was that this isn't Atem, It is Yugi Muto. It is just like Kaiba said in the dubbed version of the anime "Guess you really are the King of Games". Yugi managed to mature and establish his worth on his own. I guess that has to count for something.
  • Yugi vs Kaiba
    • I really appreciate how the duel ended, with Yugi nullifying Monster Reborn (in a sense), which reflects how Yugi did so in the original anime. He sacrificed his copy to place in the Golden Sarcophagus, and with its anime effect, sealed and negated Atem's copy. Similarly, in the movie, after giving Kaiba his own copy to fulfil his card's activation cost (revoking his access to the power staple), Yugi was able to negate the card from properly serving its use in the hands of the opponent.
    • Just like Ishizhu mentioned in the anime, I forgot if it was the dubbed or subbed version, Perhaps this is a sign, that the dead should remain dead. Wow. Deep.
  • I would also say that the pace was appropriate; duels had quantity and quality.
  • On an additional note, I appreciate how plenty of cards have Dimension in it to reference the movie's theme even more.
    • Dimension Reflector
    • Dimension Sphinx
    • Dimension Guardian
    • Dimension Mirage
Nostalgia: 10/10
  • OST with perfect timing. I may be biased.
Characters: 6/10
  • Have to give credit for the original voice actors reuniting to reprise their roles, for both subbed and dubbed versions. As cringeworthy as the dubbed version can be for me sometimes, I went ahead to watch it anyway, solely for the sake of hearing Dan Green and Eric Stuart again.
  • Kaiba and Yugi took the limelight, and frankly, I felt that the movie could have done better without Aigami. 
  • The reason the score isn't higher, is really because of how flat I felt Aigami is. Paradox set quite a high bar for a movie villain, and tying it to the 5D's anime made him even more interesting. Aigami failed to live up to my expectation, and pulling a "Shadi trained him" card isn't gonna change that. Sorry folks, but feel free to argue/convince me in the comments.

Final Words

Other comments:
  1. I was kinda expecting Mai Valentine to cameo in Joey's memories. But it turned out that Atem's memory was what rooted Joey to reality. Oh well.
  2. Serenity also wasn't showned. Though I have no complaints for that.
  3. Atem's appearance at the closing scene was revelevant and applicable, bringing an end to the movie, giving Kaiba fans closure. I liked how he appeared at the end, where Kaiba finally managed to locate him and duel him by harnessing the cube's power.
  4. Dimension Duels is appropriately named, seeing how the movie is named 'Dark Side of Dimension'. However, this new element failed to add anything interesting to the game. It did however, feel like the earlier versions of the card game when rules have yet to be established and monsters can be summoned right off the bat without tributes.
  5. I find that this movie humanised Kaiba by a large extent, as he is no longer the villain or antogonist fans saw him as in the anime, but more a lonely player trying to revive the memory of the closest thing he had to a friend.
  6. Best line of the movie goes to Kaiba "YOU FIGHT ME WITH FRUIT?"
    • All jokes aside, I like how Kaiba commented that he shared a bond with Atem too. 
  7. I really like the smaller details, like how Kaiba mentioned Yugi's name when he summoned Obelisk, leaving viewers to infer what he meant, be it gratitude or something else. 
  8. This feels like a Kaiba movie, and all of a sudden, I am more of a Kaiba fan than I ever was.

I quoted dialouge loosely. And even though I mocked the movie and poked all the unrealistic events, I enjoyed it plenty. It brought out the child in me, and I am pleased to see how all the characters have grown and aged.
Now I got to catch up on the Weekly Shonen Jump's prequel manga - Transcend Game.
All in all, a nostalgic movie to mark the 20th anniversary of Yu-Gi-Oh!

I felt that I enjoyed Bonds Beyond Time's plot more.

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