U.S. Premiere of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions in New York City

January 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Posted in English dubbed, Konami, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 4 Comments
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On the evening of January 24, Yu-Gi-Oh! voice actors, production crew members, guests, and fans descended on the Cinépolis Chelsea Theater in New York City for the U.S. premiere screening of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions. The movie celebrates the 20th anniversary of Yu-Gi-Oh! in Japan and the 15th in the U.S., and the gathering would be filled with a night of fun and lasting memories for everyone who has ever worked on or loved the franchise. This post highlights some of the happenings of the monumental event.

Check-in sign at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening

The red carpet festivities kicked off at 6:00 pm. Upon checking in, attendees were presented with some goodies.

The all-important ticket for the screening.

Front of the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening ticket

Back of the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening ticket

Postcard flyers for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links mobile game and Scholastic’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Handbook, and a $10 off coupon for 4K Media’s new merchandise store, ShopYuGiOh.com.

Postcard flyers for Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, Scholastic's Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Handbook, and ShopYuGiOh.com

VIP badge and lanyard.

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening VIP badge and lanyard

And of course, the gold secret rare promo card Obelisk the Tormentor.

Packaging of the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions Obelisk the Tormentor promo card

yugioh_the_dark_side_of_dimensions_obelisk_the_tormentor_promo_card_close-up.jpg

Don’t be surprised if you see photos from the premiere in some marketing materials for the movie.

Photography release notice at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening

In the hallway outside the screens, guests mingled and took photos. 4K Media hired some cosplayers to help light up the evening.

Yu-Gi-Oh! cosplayers at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening

That’s @Kaibu__ as Apple Magician Girl and @KitsuneSqueak as Yugi. Who are Seto Kaiba and Dark Magician Girl? Leave a comment if you know so I can link to them.

Here’s @LiberationMaidN as Téa Gardner posing with Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon.

Tea Gardner cosplayer and Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening

All together, and joined by Yu-Gi-Oh! fan Knightstickexcelladon as Seto Kaiba.

More Yu-Gi-Oh! cosplayers at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening

The concession stand. Yes, those are Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links advertisements behind them.

The concession stand at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening

This event was sponsored in part by Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links so there were ads for the mobile game throughout the theater.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links theater ads featuring Yami Yugi and Blue-Eyes White Dragon

There was even a setup in the hallway where you could play the game while waiting.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links banner and tablet setup

Naturally, trailers and movie posters for Yu-Gi-Oh! DSoD were also everywhere.

Trailer and digital movie posters for Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions

A view of the hallway where the guests waited. Busy, busy!

Guests gathering in the hallway at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening

More guests gathering in the hallway at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening

The gentlemen in suits with their backs toward me in the photo below are the Japanese producers of Yu-Gi-Oh!. They flew in from Japan just to attend this screening.

Another shot of the hallway at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening

At 6:30 pm, it was time to head inside and get ready for the movie.

Welcome screen at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening

Before the lights dimmed, 4K Media producers Shane Guenego and Arthur “Sam” Murakami welcomed the audience to the U.S. premiere of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions. They then introduced Dan Green and Eric Stuart, the voices of Yugi and Kaiba, who took the stage to warm up the audience in character before the movie began.

It was dark and my photos are all really lousy, but they were there!

Eric Stuart and Dan Green warming up the audience at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening

“You know what’s really great about tonight?” asked Eric. “It’s that finally, on the big screen, we are going to see me, Seto Kaiba, prove once and for all that I am the greatest duelist ever and the best duelist to ever pick up a Duel Disk.”

“The only thing you’re the greatest of, Kaiba, is being completely duel-lusional,” Dan quipped.

After each duelist tried to one-up the other with his best roar of “It’s time to duel!” it was time to get serious.

“Have a great show, everybody. It’s a great honor and a great privilege to be here. I hope you have a lot of fun,” Dan said.

With that, the lights dimmed. First up was a new trailer for Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links narrated by Seto Kaiba, an English-dubbed version of one of the Japanese promo videos. Then, the movie began. It’s very long, clocking in at a tad over two hours. My spoiler-free thoughts about the movie are at the end of this post.

Afterward, VIPs headed one floor down to the after-party.

After-party sign at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere screening

There, they were greeted by hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. Although much of the movie’s cast and crew were present, there wouldn’t be any opportunities for interviews and no one had been briefed for press. Instead, this was to be a celebration of Yu-Gi-Oh! and everyone was just there to have fun. Photography was also not allowed, except at the step and repeat.

To kick off the party, a handful of Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! producers introduced themselves and each took turns thanking everyone for their hard work and for the great show.

And then, a surprise — Kazuki Takahashi, the creator of Yu-Gi-Oh!.

I had seen him standing in the corner and almost didn’t recognize him at first. Kazuki Takahashi looked a little different than when I saw him at his panel at San Diego Comic Con 2015. He was clean shaven and his wavy hair was cut a little shorter. He was dressed casually in a sweater. He smiled as he greeted and thanked the crowd.

Murakami later told me that it was Takahashi himself who decided to come to the U.S. premiere. He had seen the movie in Japanese theaters with fans and he wanted to experience the excitement of the show with an American audience too.

After that, the rest of the evening was filled with a whole lot of mingling. Everywhere I turned, there were big-name Yu-Gi-Oh! voice actors and producers chatting it up with one another.

Here’s some Yu-Gi-Oh! merchandise that was on display at the party.

Yu-Gi-Oh! figures, mugs, and other goods on display at the after-party for the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere

Yu-Gi-Oh! silver coins, HeroClix, and other products on display at the after-party for the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere

Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium Puzzle bank, wallet, belt, and other merchandise on display at the after-party for the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere

Here’s USAopoly’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Monopoly on display.

USAopoly's Yu-Gi-Oh! Monopoly on display at the after-party for the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere

A large banner of Yami Yugi greeted the VIPs and a Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links setup kept sober guests preoccupied.

A Yami Yugi banner and Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links banner and tablet setup

Here are a few photos from the step and repeat.

Dan Green and Yami Yugi at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere after-party

@KitsuneSqueak posted a much better photo of the shot above.

Dan Green and Apple Magician Girl at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere after-party

Voice actors and guests at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere after-party

Yumi Hoashi and voice actors at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere after-party

Check out these rows and rows of Yu-Gi-Oh! lunch boxes, which are one of the many Yu-Gi-Oh! products made by Aquarius.

Loads of Yu-Gi-Oh! lunch box party favors at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere after-party

Yu-Gi-Oh! lunch box by Aquarius Entertainment Merchandising

They were handed out as party favors. What’s inside?

Side view of Aquarius' Yu-Gi-Oh! lunch box, Dark Magician and Dark Magician Girl Kawaii Cubes, a Kuriboh pin by Grin Studios, and Yu-Gi-Oh! playing cards by Aquarius

That’s a Kuriboh pin by Grin Studios, the perfect decoration for any bag or cap.

A deck of Aquarius’ Yu-Gi-Oh! playing cards is perfect for learning new card games.

And those cute, cuddly, cuboidal Dark Magician and Dark Magician Girl plushies are Kawaii Cubes by The Wish Factory.

The backs of the Dark Magician and Dark Magician Girl Kawaii Cubes and their product tags

There are eight small Yu-Gi-Oh! Kawaii Cubes to collect.

Designs of all eight small Yu-Gi-Oh! Kawaii Cubes as seen on a product tag

And last but not least is a handsome and ferocious Blue-Eyes White Dragon T-shirt.

Blue-Eyes White Dragon white T-shirt

My utmost gratitude and compliments to 4K Media for hosting a spectacular screening and a memorable evening!

My Spoiler-Free Thoughts of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions

Going into Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, it’s one thing to know that you’ll be seeing Yugi and his friends once again and that all of the original voice actors have returned to reprise their roles. But it’s a completely different feeling to go in and experience it on the big screen. The movie was far better than I expected. It exceeded my expectations.

If you were someone who had just finished watching the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series yesterday and then headed to the movie the next day, you would never guess that over 10 years have passed since these actors last came together. All of the fun interactions between the characters, all of the music that got stuck in your head, all of the jokes that you laughed at, and all of the emotions that you experienced when you watched Yugi and his journey unfold in the series — you will find them all here one more time in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions. The writers and the actors didn’t skip a beat. There were moments in this movie where my eyes welled up with tears, but I swear I heard people outright sobbing. The nostalgia is there and it is real.

And what about the new villain character, Aigami, who is thrown into a long-running story filled with our beloved characters? Anime movie villains are often throwaway characters who are never given any genuine consideration by writers or viewers, but he is not such a person. Aigami is written and played superbly. His story runs deep in the Yu-Gi-Oh! lore and his importance in bringing Yugi and Kaiba together again can’t be understated. He will not disappoint you.

If, somehow, you are still on the fence about whether or not you want to see this in theaters, go see it. This is likely the last time Yugi and his friends will ever be together on the big screen, or in any anime production.

Congratulations to Kazuki Takahashi for writing and executive producing a stellar film. And congratulations to 4K Media and all of the cast and crew for a job well done. Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions is the phenomenal, canonical conclusion that the Yu-Gi-Oh! series deserves.

4 Comments »

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  1. Thanks for the coverage. Very cool that Kazuki Takahashi attended. And I appreciate the spoiler-free review. I was a bit hesitant about the movie since the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga/anime already had a decisive and worthy conclusion (only complaint is the subpar animation towards the end of the series in the anime). But you definitively have me excited to see the movie this weekend now.

  2. Hooray! You won’t be disappointed. Takahashi got it totally right with this movie.

  3. Duel-lusional… good one, Dan!

    Thanks for the super thorough coverage! That VIP badge looks so awesome. I kind of wish some of the merch on the ShopYugioh site had that as the Team Yugi art, but I’m glad for any new merch haha.

    I’m amazed that Takahashi was there, but I’m really glad he wanted and was able to come out to an American premiere. So excited to see the movie this weekend!

  4. That design would look really cool on a shirt. Have fun at the movie! You’ll love it.


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