Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time Review

Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time is a 2010 Japanese 3D animated film directed by Kenichi Takeshita, starring Yuya Miyashita, Shunsuke Kazama, KENN, Greg Abbey, Dan Green, Matthew Charles, Atsushi Tamura, and Sean Schemmel.  The story follows the evil Paradox, who is planning to kill Pegasus before he can invent Duel Monsters, and it is up to duelists Yusei Fudo, Judai Yuki, and Yugi Moto to stop him.


Positives:

  • Great voice performances
  • Great characters
  • Intense action
  • Decent score

Negatives:

  • Lackluster script
  • Stupid plot
  • Unnecessary characters
  • Extremely lame antagonist

Plot:  The story follows a duelist from the future who comes back to assassinate the creature of Duel Monsters to prevent the world from ending.  An interesting plot right?  Wrong. The plot is so thin without the slightest bit of exposition that it is stupid. Sure, the duel is segment is pretty cool but the plot is bare bones thin with no substance. (1 out of 5)

Characters:  The main protagonists portrayals are really good and there is definitely a good sense of camaraderie in their chemistry.  The villain, Paradox, was a very uninteresting character and his dueling style felt like a copout because he stole cards to make his deck instead of building his own, especially since he was from the future.  There is literally nothing to like about the character or even sympathize. There is literally no motivation shown. The lack of the show’s popular characters who (although make brief cameos) don’t contribute nothing to the movie. Why the hell weren’t they involved? (2 out of 5)

Cast:  Great voice performances by the main and supporting cast. The Japanese cast includes Yuya Miyashita (as Yusei Fudo), Shunsuke Kazama (as Yugi Muto), KENN (as Jaden Yuki), and Atsushi Tamura (as Paradox). The English cast include Greg Abbey (as Greg Abbey), Dan Green (as Yugi Muto), Matthew Charles (as Jaden Yuki), and Sean Schemmel (as Paradox). The Japanese dubbing is decent but the English is far better. (3 out of 5)

Visuals:  The animation style is visually appealing enhancing the duel aspects of the film. (3 out of 5)

Score:  The soundtrack is pretty decent and does make for some compelling moments. (3 out of 5)

Writing: The writing is kind of a mixed bang. Awesome that Yu-Gi-Oh! main lead characters team up for the duel of the century. And actually the three on one duel is pretty cool, however the fact that it was one duel is kind of stupid. There should’ve been several duels with team ups of other characters. The duel is really intense and a lot of the strategic combos fit.  The tension that time is collapsing just doesn’t feel important.  The film doesn’t elaborate how Paradox can travel through time, how he can steal monsters, how he makes monsters real, and what the hell happened to the world in the future for it to be destroyed. (1 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time is an awesome premise that doesn’t live up to its potential.  Yes, it’s a great idea, yes, the duel is entertaining, and yes, the voice performances are solid.  But the movie suffers from a ton of unused characters, a total lack of exposition, a terrible script, and a pretty lame antagonist.  Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time gets 3 out of 5.

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