Everyone grows up sometime, even characters of popular franchises like Yugi. So what does Yugi do when he grows up? Well, in Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yugi will stand up for others even without the Pharaoh. Oh yeah, the Pharaoh is gone.
We start the film with our old friend, Kaiba. Kaiba, ever the unsatisfied antagonist, is searching for the ever important Millennium Puzzle. As he unearths the puzzle, he is interrupted by a new, mysterious figure. The interference of the newcomer results in the pieces of the puzzle being scattered. And this is where Yugi comes in.
With the two antagonists pursuing the puzzle, and Yugi holding a piece of the puzzle himself as well as a history with the Pharaoh, the three are pitting against each other. All of this leads to a grand scale duel. This newcomer is full of surprises and makes moves never seen before in the battle. In the meantime, we learn more about his history and his source of power and moves. We also learn about why he is so driven to control the puzzle.
While I have seen a handful of episodes of the show over the years, I never really followed the show or the source manga. As such, I don’t have a long-standing connection to the characters and that definitely impacts how one receives this film. While the story was interesting, it does drag if you do not have a pre-existing investment in the characters. You know that the battle is coming and you find yourself just waiting for it to happen. Also, even the battle takes a long time. The battle is aided by the new tricks brought to the table, so the runtime isn’t felt as much then, but the two hour runtime is felt overall.
On the other hand, despite the lack of a connection to the characters, the characters are interesting enough to be interested in. The plot is also simple enough that it doesn’t rely much on the show so anyone can follow along with what is happening. In fact, the most interesting part of the plot is actually tied into the new antagonist. His history and motivation contains the most depth of the movie. This is without sacrificing too much time with characters that fans should know and care about already, so they should not be disappointed.
In the end, Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions feels much long a very long episode of the show. The motions feel about the same as I had experienced in the episodes I saw with just a little bit of added flavor and twist. Fans of the show should find enough to be interested, but the uninitiated shouldn’t feel it is necessary to catch.
Technical Side: 4/5
Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions looks quite good on this release. The lines and clarity are sharp and the colors look true and good. Blacks are pleasing and I didn’t notice any artifacts or negative consequences of digital treatments. Much like the video, the release comes with a nice DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track in both English and Japanese languages. The effects are reasonably well-represented on the track with effective use of the surround. Clarity is also strong with no dialog issues amongst the action.
Special Features and Packaging: 3/5
Favorite Moments with the Cast: A few of the voice actors discussing their times on the show.
Q&A with Dan Green: Short chat with the voice actor for Yugi.
Q&A with Eric Stuart: A similarly short chat with the voice actor for Kaiba.
Show Us Your Cards! Gallery of fans with their cards.
There is nothing wrong with the extras included here, but they are rather limited in scope and quantity. I will give some credit for including a slipcover despite it being just the same art as the coverart. Also worth noting is the Yu-Gi-Oh! Card that was included. I think that is a good and fitting inclusion.
I really think this is only necessary to catch if you are a fan of the show. The technical presentation is actually quite good, but the extras are pretty minimal. The extras will probably disappoint fans and new viewers alike. Honestly, I can only recommend Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions to fans of the show. And they honestly don’t need to rush out to see it, just watch it at your leisure.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.