U.S. Premiere of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions in New York CityJanuary 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Posted in English dubbed, Konami, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 4 Comments
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.
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.
VIP badge and lanyard.
And of course, the gold secret rare promo card Obelisk the Tormentor.
Don’t be surprised if you see photos from the premiere in some marketing materials for the movie.
In the hallway outside the screens, guests mingled and took photos. 4K Media hired some cosplayers to help light up the evening.
Here’s @LiberationMaidN as Téa Gardner posing with Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon.
All together, and joined by Yu-Gi-Oh! fan Knightstickexcelladon as Seto Kaiba.
The concession stand. Yes, those are Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links advertisements behind them.
This event was sponsored in part by Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links so there were ads for the mobile game throughout the theater.
There was even a setup in the hallway where you could play the game while waiting.
Naturally, trailers and movie posters for Yu-Gi-Oh! DSoD were also everywhere.
A view of the hallway where the guests waited. Busy, busy!
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.
At 6:30 pm, it was time to head inside and get ready for the movie.
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!
“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.
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.
Here’s USAopoly’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Monopoly on display.
A large banner of Yami Yugi greeted the VIPs and a Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links setup kept sober guests preoccupied.
Here are a few photos from the step and repeat.
@KitsuneSqueak posted a much better photo of the shot above.
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.
They were handed out as party favors. What’s inside?
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.
There are eight small Yu-Gi-Oh! Kawaii Cubes to collect.
And last but not least is a handsome and ferocious Blue-Eyes White Dragon 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.