ANIME & MANGA - Review
15:00 - 7th September 2013, by Bridget Fox

Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time

With almost 11 minutes of introduction - essential if you're a Yu-Gi-Oh! newbie, Bonds Beyond Time establishes its three major characters and the world of duelling for the audience. Please note, if you find the pronunciation of the word 'duel' as 'dool', you are going to have a very hard time with this movie.

We are introduced to Yugi, who even those most ignorant of the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! will surely recognise - he of the improbable hair and split personality. Then, it's onto Jaden Yuki, star of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, before finally, we see Yusei Fudo, from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. This segment is narrated in cheesy American style, and is an essential introduction to the characters if you've never watched or read any of the series - but slightly superfluous for the Yu-Gi-Oh! faithful. There can be only one explanation for it - to keep the mums and dads from floundering with unfamiliar characters. Yes, we know there are plenty of adult fans for this franchise, but this movie is definitely aimed at the younger spectrum of the audience. Proof for that surely comes from the extremely short running time - at just under an hour, there's not a lot of action here, but when it comes, it's sure to enthral followers with an epic battle that unites the movie's three heroes against Paradox, a time-jumping menace from the future.

For the uninitiated, the huge battle sequence, that takes up most of the running time of the movie, is fairly ridiculous. There's plenty of talking, and if you don't really know much about Yu-Gi-Oh! it'll seem bizarre that characters continually explain their moves to their opponents. But, let's face it, this movie is not for non-fans, and if you've come this far with the franchise, chances are you dig the action on offer.

With Paradox threatening to obliterate duelling from throughout time, Yugi, Jaden and Yusei have their work cut out, particularly as Paradox has been gathering the strongest cards possible in order to wipe out the opposition. The stakes are high, the action is seriously over the top, and the whole thing is not to be taken seriously - if you go in to this movie expecting a solidly entertaining, yet slightly brainless, adventure experience, you won't be disappointed. This is no masterpiece of animation (see page 070 for our definition of what that is), but it'll score some points for its frenetic pace, the capable animation, and its refusal to overcomplicate matters.

All in all, this is an excellent outing sure to deliver an hour's worth of entertainment for the fans - much more so than the dreadful Pyramid of Light, anyway. If you're not a Yu-Gi-Oh! fan, this will not be your gateway into appreciating the series, but it's a nice way for hardcore followers to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the anime.

It should go without saying that this is a fan extravaganza only, but Yu-Gi-Oh! lovers should lap this up.
SCORE: 3.5/5
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