Yesterday we were lucky enough to check out the new Yu-Gi-Oh! crossover film... IN 3D!
Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time is the film created for the 10th anniversary of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, and brings together the protagonists from the three main Yu-Gi-Oh! franchises - Yugi Moto from Yu-Gi-Oh!, Jaden Yuki from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yusei Fudo from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's - to battle new villain Paradox and save their respective timelines.
The screening - in London's Apollo West End cinema - was notable for two reasons, firstly it was the UK premiere of the film, and secondly it was the first anime to be screened in 3D in the UK! Manga Entertainment went all out for the premiere, with most of the invite only guests being children, free food and drink on hand and Konami running Yu-Gi-Oh! card games and giving tips and freebies. All attendees also got a goodie bag containing volume 1 of the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX manga, a Yu-Gi-Oh! score pad and pen, plus the rare Malefic Red Eyes Black Dragon card shown in the film. There was also a prize raffle hosted by Manga rep Jerome Mazandarani with posters and DVDs up for grabs.
The film itself was pure Yu-Gi-Oh! fanservice, with a brief intro for each of the three heroes re-capping their greatest victories and importance before pretty much throwing you straight into the action. The film ties into the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's storyline and starts by jumping between Yusei fighting a mysterious Duel Runner and Jaden fighting the same strange opponent in his time. In Yusei's timeline the masked rider steals his most powerful card - the Stardust Dragon - and then takes it back in time to destroy Jaden. However, Yusei is able to follow the man back in time and after saving Jaden they pursue their opponent back to Yugi's time where his masterplan is about to come into fruition. The man - Paradox - is from the far future and has seen his world destroyed by the Duel Monsters game, so after stealing the best cards from history he returns to the past to kill the creator of the game - Maximillian Pegasus. With the game gone Jaden and Yusei's worlds will cease to exist so they team up with Yugi to bring down Paradox before he can succeed.
The majority of the anime is just one big card duel, with Yugi, Jaden and Yusei fighting together against their enemy. As an ultra-high level duel the sheer number of traps, trap counters, fusions, spells, special abilities and support abilities reaches dizzying levels and to be honest if you are not familiar with the game it just becomes massively confusing. The 3D is passable, but when applied to 2D animation it does seem to lose something, instead of the immersive feel you usually get it's just like several flat layers have been put one in front of the other. It works in places but the film isn't detailed enough to give the depth that 3D imaging could bring to the medium. It does, however, work quite well on some of the dragons and more CG-heavy aspects of the film.
That said, the film is still pretty entertaining and even if you are not fully invested in the franchise there's the usual posturing and over-the-top pep talks you often get from kid's series that makes it quite a funny watch. There's also one other surprise about the film, it's pretty short. Even with the intro the whole thing weighs in at under an hour in length, and about half of it is one big card battle. It won't be for everyone but kids will love it, it's good cheesy fun and fans of the franchise in any of its incarnations will no doubt like seeing all three characters on the screen at the same time!
The film's getting a limited cinema release on 14th May through Picturehouse cinemas (check you local listings for details) and will be coming out on DVD and Blu-Ray on 25th July, with the Blu-Ray carrying both the 2D and 3D versions of the film. Both home versions will also include both the English and Japanese dubs, which will be the first time a Yu-Gi-Oh! title has been released in the UK with the original language track on it.
- Current Location:Bristol, England
- Current Mood: calm
- Current Music:Alice Cooper - Poison