I remember watching Yu-Gi-Oh! as a child. It was a great show with memorable characters, wonderful duels, and a plot which unlike other children’s programs (*cough* Pokemon *cough*) actually went somewhere at the end of the day. So when we heard some years after our original acquaintance with it that they were releasing a feature length movie my brother and I went bananas, promptly going to see it on day one. Needless to say our younger hyper-active minds adored the “return to their roots plot” yet the question remained: would the same feeling remain years later?
From a recent watching I can say yes, the feeling, though altered by age and maturity, fundamentally remains. While embarrassing to watch it as an adult, it difficult to hide my numerous grimaces, I still thought well of the basic premise: an evil which was unleashed when the protagonist (Yugi) finished piecing together the Millennium Puzzle is now back to wreck his revenge on Yugi’s alter-ego (Yugioh) and thereby destroy the world. Set against this simple backdrop of a plot are cameos of all of the cast members one remembers from the series proper.
Crafted with humor, wit and a certain talent for imagining the most epic card battles in the history of the show, the movie would inspire any fan of the original television series. Nothing is amiss with the film; the cannon is accurately represented, the characters ably acted and displayed (meaning no sudden and unexplained shift in personalities or function), and plot suitably creepy yet heart warming. As it is a kids movie there is no foul language or course dialogue, not a speck of gore to be seen (unless you count mystical black ooze as “gore”).
So I enjoyed reliving this fragment of my childhood. Haters of the show will still go on hating, those accustomed to the new generation of Yu-Gi-Oh! series will be unaware or confused about why this movie exists, and those not interested in card battling anime will go on rolling their eyes. Yet for that group who loved the program with all their hearts will find no misstep here.