Monday, 8 August 2011
Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time 3D Review
A few weeks ago Manga Entertainment UK released Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time onto DVD & Blu-ray, however fans who purchased the Blu-ray were treated to watch the film in either standard 2D or in full steroscopic 3D, depending on if they had the right equipment.
The Basic Plot:
After falling through a time-slip, Yusei Fudo (who has just had his powerful card stolen by a mysterious stranger) meets with Juden Yuki and Yugi Muto, who agree to help Yusei defeat the evil Paradox, who is planning to destroy Pegasus before he can invent Duel Monsters.
The blu-ray has three different versions of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time movie, as it features the English Dubbed version in 2D and 3D, as well as the original Japanese version (in 2D) with proper subtitles - this has been added on as a special feature.
The Movie, in short, is 1 long duel and even though the film is 50 minutes in length, the first 25 minutes can feel slightly slow as the first half of the film is mainly used to re-introduce the characters and have small duels, However its in the second half of the movie where it really shines.
Depending on which version of the movie you watch depends on how it starts, as the English Dubbed version features an additional 10 minutes of footage, this footage is basically a "background" to the 3 Duelest Yugi, Jaden and Yusei - however once the introduction has finished then the film will truely start. This 10 minute introduction was put together by 4Kids Entertainment (aka 4KidsTV) and was never intended to part of the main film, hence why it has also been added as a special feature on the disc.
Once the film turely starts you will immeidately notice the difference in quality, espically in High Definition, but when it does start - it kicks off straight into action with Jaden being chased by monsters & a mysterious figure. It later turns out that the Mysterious figure chasing Jaden is none other than a duelist called Paradox.
Paradox has been travelling back in time chasing down the most strongest duelists in history and stealing there strongest cards, he first starts off with Yusei, then chases after Jaden, and then last but not least Yugi. Paradox believes that by collecting all of the strongest cards, he can use them to destory the creator of Duel Monsters and thus save his time from destruction.
Its a simple enough plot & movie to follow - however if you havent watched Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's then you may be slightly lost, as majority of the film is focused on Yusei and his friends. In my opinion, in this movie, Yusei is the lead role, while Jaden & Yugi are support acts as the main story starts to unfold with Yusei & ends with Yusei.
As Mentioned earlier the additional 10 minutes is bascially a backstory to the 3 different duelists, but what you may (or not) notice is the variable picture quality, some scenes are sharp and crisp as they were re-mastered and shown in High Defintion, however majority of the scenes are HD Upscales resulting in blur and softness in picture detail - my first reaction to this was that i felt like i was watching a homemade anime music video on Youtube with different picture quality sources, as it is a mixed bunch. The plus side is that this "variety" of picture quality is only in the backstory of the duelists and NOT in the main film itself.
The Film, with the exception of the first 10 minutes, is crystal clear sharp - each character has been re-drawn and re-designed in High Definition, with Jaden having a slightly different & darker highstyle then when compared to the TV Series he was in. Even Yugi Moto was drawn slightly differently, as he is now taller then when he was in the TV Series - but his outward appearence remained the same until he transforms.
Yet again the first half of the film looks fantastic in High Definition, however the Visuals are more stunning in the second half of the film, with a variety of different colours on display at any one time - making this High Definition experience alot more special.
The additional 10 minutes of footage (i.e. Introduction or re-cap to the three duelists) is in 3D but there is no special 3D effects during this part of the film, even though you will be wearing your 3D Glasses at this point, which is to be expected since it is old re-used footage upscaled into HD (and then yet again into 3D).
3D is used throughout the main film and is highly noticeable, espically if you watch the 2D Version then shortly after watch the 3D Version (or vice versa) - most of the 3D in this film is what i call "depth 3D" where each part of the screen feels different. For example at the start of the film when Jaden is being chased by monsters, the background looks and feels far away in the distance, where as Jaden feels like he is standing close to you. Another aspect is the fire effect brushing past Jaden's face, as it actually looks, and in some ways felt, extremely real - like if you could reach out and grab - where in 2D it looks as flat as a wall. It definately adds a whole new diemension to watching the film.
Out of the screen 3D (i.e. Pops out of the screen) is not used as much in this film, however when the Duel Logos appear on the screen (i.e. Attack Points & Health Points) - these felt like they were popping out of the screen and not actually on the screen itself, in a sense they felt like a sticker which could easily be peeled off, instead of a permant TV logo which is unremovable.
Bonus Features are quite mild, like most other anime release, however it contains:
* Feature Flashback - Introduction / Re-cap to the three duelists (i.e. first 10 Minutes of the English Dubbed Film)
* Original Japanese Movie - This is the original Japanese version, subtitled and uncut - i have to say this is an "extra" special feature as unlike some anime films the subtitles are subtitles of the japanese film and not dubtitles (subtitles taken from the english dub). An example of this is throughout the film Jaden Yuki (English name) is called Judai Yuki (Japanese name) - also the cards are left with all the original japanese text in-tact.
*English Trailer - English Trailer for Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time, this is the "cinema trailer" and not the DVD Release trailer.
I have mixed opinions on this, as the film itself is nothing special, the 3D Effects are great and the picture quality is superb (with the exception of the 10 minute re-cap), however the storyline of the plot is abit thin and weak and does nothing to introduce new people to Yu-Gi-Oh! or allow new viewers to enjoy it without much confusion.
I have watched all of Yu-Gi-Oh! , including the original 26 episode series and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX but i haven't seen much of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's - so i felt out of place & lost with the characters of that time frame - so i assume people will feel the same who haven't watched any of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise
The film was released mainly to celebrate 10 years of the franchise as well as a THANK YOU from the Yu-Gi-Oh! Production team to the people who watch the TV Shows & play the card game. But for newcomes looking to pickup and watch something new - they may get abit lost or bored.
The good side is that Manga Entertainment UK have released the Blu-ray and DVD at extremely good prices, the Blu-ray, which also includes the full 3D Version, is available for £9.99 online, where as the standard DVD can be picked up for as little as £5.99, so even if you do not like the film much it hasn't put a huge dent in your wallet.
If your Interested in Yu-Gi-Oh! or interested in seeing 3 of the best duelists together in 1 film then this is definately worth a purchase as the film can be enjoyable to watch - but if your looking for something completely new, then try watching the TV Shows (or the re-cap on the disc) before watching the film.