YU-GI-OH! THE MOVIE PYRAMID OF LIGHT
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie Pyramid of Light is the inevitable movie spinoff of the series. It has many similarities to the first Pokemon movie Pokemon: The First Movie Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998) it has been quickly and cheaply made to exploit the phenomenon (in a traditional, limited anime style where characters have eyes that take up nearly three-quarters of their faces); it has been pitched directly to the largely pre-adolescent fans of the series and games; and it makes no concessions (is almost entirely incomprehensible) to anyone who has not seen the series (like this reviewer). What one was struck by was the incorporation of the card playing as a direct element of the action. There are even little pop-up menus on the screen counting a combatants life and attack points. A lot of the action centres around this type of combat My Blue Eyes Shining Dragon card beats your ...., I play two cards and put two face down, I sacrifice 100 lifepoints in order to ..., I destroy two creatures and play my resurrection card etc etc. It is not clear what the creatures that appear actually do or where they come from it eventually becomes apparent that they are only like glorified holograms and have no ontology outside of the game arena and that the lifepoints being lost refer only to the artificial points granted in the game, not a players actual life, although in contradiction of this some cards later appear to be in danger of threatening the world.
As a story scenario, this is vague there is nothing to it beyond the card-playing concept and the set-up seems conceptually stretched trying to make the cardgame into a dramatic scenario. One clearly needs to have absorbed themselves in the animated series in order to understand who half the characters are and the complex backstory of their relationships it is not particularly clear, for instance, how Yugi became unbeaten world champ and exactly who the doppelganger that takes him over to play the game is.
That said, you have to admire the film for its wild profusion of elements. It seems to throw in elements from just about every anime out there Transformers, Pokemon-like creatures and just about every other fantasy trope imaginable dragons, magicians, robots, toons (and this is an animated film), mummies, Ancient Egyptian gods, demons, malevolent clowns and fairies. If nothing else, it is a film that keeps ones interest with the sheer profusion of fantastic elements. It also proves fascinating in watching the various games in play and trying to work out the rules by which they operate. Not enough to make a good movie but at least a better one than Mewtwo Strikes Back.
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions (2016) was a further film spinoff from the game.