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Title:
  Yu-Gi-Oh: Bonds Beyond Time

UK Distributor: Manga Entertainment

BBFC Certificate:  PG

Suggested Retail Price (SRP): 9.99 (DVD), 14.99 (BR)

Length:  60 minutes (approx.)

Audio Options:  English 5.1, Japanese 5.1

Subtitles:  English

Release Date:  25th July 2011

Reviewer:  Tom (Webmaster)
 

What?  A new Yu-Gi-Oh film?  I was under the impression the anime about the popular children's card game had died out in the west some years ago.  It seems I was wrong.  It went from strength to strength with new anime incarnations and I was surprised to find that my nephew played the game.  I had watched the original series of Yu-Gi-Oh! with him which we both enjoyed, so I could sit down and watch this new film with him too.  A generation on and Yu-Gi-Oh still has plenty of fans. 
 

The new film Bonds Beyond Time commemorates the tenth anniversary of the  franchise in style, bringing together the main characters of the original, GX and 5D's.  The cinema release was also made more special (or less special depending on your opinion) by giving viewers a chance to watch it in 3D.

The film opens with a history of the main characters and examples of their duelling prowess, with narration over the clips from 

 the various series.  This ten-minute recap was added to the English version, presumably as those in the West will be less familiar with the later series then the Japanese.  This is no bad thing as the added footage is well presented and entertaining enough.  Also it has to be said that without it be added to film, parents of younger viewers would have no idea what is going on.  This is because the film is short and moves at a fast pace that only fans can keep up with.  But this is a tenth anniversary celebration after all, so fans are the target audience. 
 

And fans will have plenty to enjoy when Yugi, Jaden & and Yusei fight together against Paradox, the villain of the piece.  Paradox wishes to erase the game of Duel Monsters from history, so travel back in time to kill the creator of the game: Pegasus.  This affects the future timelines for Yusei & Jaden, who then travel back to Yugi's time in which Paradox has launched his attack.  The 3-on-1 duel then begins and....that's it.  This short film (an hour running time including the added western intro) is one big duel.  To be honest, the duel

 is no more no more spectacular then any other Yu-Gi-Oh duel.  If you have not seen the series since your childhood then you will probably enjoy this for nostalgic value, but you could just pick up a copy of the original film/series for that purpose.  Even in the original cinematic 3D the duel isn't any more spectacular than the climax of the original Yu-Gi-Oh film, with the effect just creating CGI dirt around the characters.  Also putting up the main characters of GX and 5D's just proves that neither of them are as interesting as Yugi, the star of the original.  Yusei of 5D's is serious meathead and Jaden a cocksure upstart.  Yugi's split personality still makes for a more appealing protagonist, with his nervous child-self making us all believe we can achieve our goals when we use our inner power.  Hey, I'm only talking in the same terms of cheese you will witness in this 'lets work together and fight' flick. 

Fans will no doubt enjoy seeing the various beasts summoned up during the sixty minutes, but the predictably cheesy finale and 3D gimmicks (which are obviously ineffective on these 2D release), will have them picking up the original Yu-Gi-Oh or just having a good old-fashioned duel themselves. 

Extras

Interestingly this release does contain the original Japanese dub, which is unusual for a children's anime release.  It doesn't make the film any better, but fans will be interested to hear the original Japanese music being used, as well the sound effects being unedited in this version. 

Ratings

Game:   Extras:

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