Yu-Gi-Oh! Animator Junichi Hayama at Youmacon 2017

November 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Japanese, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Junichi Hayama at a live-drawing panel at Youmacon on November 4, 2017

Junichi Hayama, one of the most popular Yu-Gi-Oh! animators and animation directors among fans, was a special guest at Youmacon in Detroit, Michigan, this past weekend. Not only is Hayama a veteran of the Japanese anime industry with over 30 years of experience, he is also a gifted artist in his own right and has published some famous books cataloging his acclaimed brush illustrations.

Junichi Hayama served as the animation director for Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters episodes 94, 124, 161, 167, 173, and 179. He also worked as one of the key animators in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions. Outside of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Hayama is probably best known for the 13-episode JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure OVA from 1993, where he served as the series’ character designer and one of its animation directors.

At Youmacon, Hayama shared the stage with Mamoru Yokota, a younger animator who has worked on series like Death Note, Naruto, and Gatchaman Crowds. Together, the pair held one Q&A panel and two live-drawing panels where they offered a rare look at their creation process and fielded numerous questions about their careers and the anime industry.

This post compiles all of the Yu-Gi-Oh!-related questions that the audience asked Hayama during his panels and highlights some of his more interesting opinions and responses about his background.

Katsuya Jonouchi, by Junichi Hayama, dated October 4, 2013
By @hayama11 (October 4, 2013)

Meet Junichi Hayama

How did you get started in your career as an animator?

I used to draw a lot of manga and show them to many producers to try to see if I could get them sold. But reading my own manga, I felt like they weren’t interesting or funny enough. So, I felt that I couldn’t become a manga artist myself, that I wasn’t good enough for it. When I graduated high school, I wanted to do something similar so I went into the anime industry instead.

Did you go to school for animation?

No, I went directly to an animation company.

How much freelance work did you do before you entered the animation industry?

I’m still classified as a freelancer, even now. I’m not tethered to any one company.

What was your first job?

Gu-Gu Ganmo.

What has been your most cherished and favorite thing you’ve worked on thus far?

Fist of the North Star. It’s not the project that I like the most but rather is the one that has left the strongest impression on me. This was where I learned a lot of the basics and standard kinds of jobs. It was kind of my stepping stone in a sense.

Is there a person who has been a major inspiration for you?

Masami Suda, from Fist of the North Star, when I first started working in the industry. Suda was an animator who worked on the characters in that project. He was a great animator and had a very cool way of drawing that was very inspirational for me and that led me to where I am today. His work is the standard on which I base my own work today.

Are there any anime or manga that you enjoyed when you were young that inspires your work today?

On the anime side, something that I felt was kind of cool and awesome was Combattler V. The character designs by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko still inspire me today. A lot of my drawings are very much related to his. On the manga side, there’s Chojin Rokku. It’s one of the manga that I used to read. Yuki Hijiri, who worked on that, is someone who’s still inspirational today.

What has been the most challenging project that you’ve worked on so far?

Shonan Bakusozoku. I worked on one of the OVA episodes. This series features a lot of motorcycles and bikes, and there are a lot of fight scenes and gangs in the episodes. In particular, I didn’t know how the structure of motorcycles worked. I never rode one myself and I never really understood how they worked. I spent about two weeks all like, “I don’t know how to draw this. I don’t understand this.” I spent a very long time scratching my head over this. I decided one day I was going to buy a classic model motorcycle to understand the structure. So I bought two plastic models from my part-time job. One of them was a full-fairing version and another one was a very popular version at the time. So, from building these, I was able to finally understand the structure and felt like I was able to fulfill that job. But while I was struggling with that job, I felt like I was never going to finish it and felt a little bit hopeless at the time.

What’s the hardest thing for you to draw?

Things that look like Pretty Cure.

What’s your favorite thing to draw?

The design process of the characters. Drawing them from different angles. That’s the most fun to draw.

When you were a young animator, did you ever think about becoming an animation director?

Yes, I definitely wanted to try it.

How did you feel the first time you worked as an animation director?

I was really nervous. It’s a lot of responsibility because there isn’t anybody else who is checking things over or fixing them for you. You’re the final word, so I was nervous. I was looking forward to it and it was fun, but still nerve-wracking.

Yami Yugi, by Junichi Hayama, dated October 17, 2014
By @hayama11 (October 17, 2014)

Junichi Hayama Talks Yu-Gi-Oh!

Are you enjoying Youmacon so far?

Yes, it’s very interesting. [Hayama points at a couple cosplaying Kaiba and Mokuba sitting in the audience.] They’re one of the interesting parts.

How did you first get to work for Studio Gallop?

I kind of happened to be in between jobs. I got a hold of my friend’s company and kind of asked, “Do you have any jobs or anything that I can work on?” And he’s like, “Well, we have this Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series that we are working on. So why don’t you work as an animation director for it?” And that’s how I got involved with it.

What was your favorite character or scene to draw for Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions?

I actually haven’t seen the finished project. I really liked the first half of the movie when Kaiba and Yugi duel each other. Process-wise, I was kind of only involved in the first stage or so, so I wasn’t able to complete the project with them. It’s a little bit of a sensitive subject.

In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, did you get to draw Aigami?

Who’s Aigami?

[Hayama is taking requests during a live-drawing session.] Can you draw Marik?

[Hayama puts his face in his hands then pretends to cry. He won’t do it. It’s too difficult.]

[Hayama is still taking requests during a live-drawing session.] Can you draw Dark Magician Girl?

Ehh?! No, I can’t!

Who is your favorite Yu-Gi-Oh! character to draw?

Hmm, it’s tough to say.

Seto Kaiba, by Junichi Hayama, dated October 17, 2014
By @hayama11 (October 17, 2014)

Junichi Hayama Talks Art and the Anime Industry

What art supplies do you currently use?

Mechanical pencils. Pentel Art Brush pens. I think there are around 16 colors.

How do you decide which colors to use to accent your art?

I don’t use too many colors. Using just a few colors has more impact.

Do you ever do any digital work? Have you felt any differences with the shift to doing more digital work in the industry?

Yes, I’ve used it. About ten years ago, there was a remake of Gaiking and I had to use digital back then too. So I’ve been using it for quite a while now. [Hayama searches for video of the first Gaiking ending to show some of the digital art he did there.]

What do you think of artists who only know how to draw digitally?

They can do as they want. I don’t have a strong opinion about that.

Is it possible for Americans to work in the Japanese animation industry?

Yes, it’s possible, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it because the work-life balance isn’t great and you don’t really have any free time.

Some of the productions you have worked on are based on manga. How often do you interact with the creator?

It’s not impossible to get to meet with creators and manga artists. There are a few occasions. But the majority of the time, I’m usually working with the director. So working with the director and having meetings and such where we can talk together.

What tips would you give to artists who are just starting off?

Just draw what you like. When you’re doing it as a job, you can’t just draw whatever you want so it becomes a little bit more difficult. So when you’re a beginner, just enjoy it.

Are there any changes you would like to see in the anime industry?

The animation industry is known for its very, very long hours and its poor life balance without a lot of free time. I wish that everybody could have an easier time with a more balanced life and enjoy themselves more.

Katsuya Jonouchi, by Junichi Hayama, dated October 17, 2014
By @hayama11 (October 17, 2014)

Junichi Hayama’s Likes

How much do you know about Western animation?

My knowledge isn’t super extensive, but I do like some American animation, in particular The Simpsons.

Are there any current shows that you like?

The American shows Arrow and The Flash. [Hayama searches for illustrations of Green Arrow and the Flash on his phone that he previously made and shows the audience.]

What’s your favorite anime, in general?

Ashita no Joe 2.

What’s your favorite food and drink?

My favorite food is tofu. My favorite drink is Wild Turkey.

What’s your favorite sake?

Wild Turkey.

What kind of hobbies do you have?

Drinking.

What’s your favorite genre?

Action.

What’s your favorite color?

Vermilion.

What’s your favorite movie?

Back to the Future.

Mai Kujaku, by Junichi Hayama, dated October 17, 2014
By @hayama11 (October 17, 2014)

Junichi Hayama Draws Live

Junichi Hayama draws with brush pens. These pens have a reservoir that holds ink, like a fountain pen, but have a tip that emulates the look of traditional Japanese brushes. Hayama’s artwork is so well known that he has published some books focusing solely on his brush techniques and illustrations. At Youmacon, he showed off artwork from two such books: Brush Work and Animation and Design Techniques for Anime Characters.

There are said to be two different types of artists in Japan: method drawers and talent drawers. Method drawers are artists who can consistently draw the same thing over and over again for everyone. If they practice their method, they can draw very fast. Hayama is a talent drawer. He has an image in his mind, which he translates directly to pen and paper.

This talent of Hayama’s was on full display throughout the live-drawing panels. Not once did Hayama ever sketch out his drawings with a pencil first. Instead, he drew completely freehand. He began each piece by waving his pen over his paper, creating an invisible outline of the image he has visualized in his mind, then immediately started inking. This process makes his illustrations all the more incredible.

Hayama created seven illustrations during his two live-drawing panels. Only one was a Yu-Gi-Oh! piece, but it was a particularly outstanding one featuring Yami Yugi and Seto Kaiba:

Illustration of Yami Yugi and Seto Kaiba, drawn live by Junichi Hayama at Youmacon on November 3, 2017

Close-up of Seto Kaiba in an illustration drawn live by Junichi Hayama at Youmacon on November 3, 2017

Close-up of Yami Yugi in an illustration drawn live by Junichi Hayama at Youmacon on November 3, 2017

Fellow animator Mamoru Yokota, who has not worked on Yu-Gi-Oh! before, showed that he has the skills to be hired for the next Yu-Gi-Oh! project by offering his own take on Yami Yugi:

Illustration of Yami Yugi, drawn live by Mamoru Yokota at Youmacon on November 4, 2017

In Japan, animators normally only sell their works in books. But at Youmacon’s Artists’ Alley, Hayama offered attendees something that Japanese fans never get: the chance to commission a piece of art. Not only that, he was willing to draw anything, not just characters from series that he has worked on. Asking animators to draw for them is considered a faux pas in Japan. There aren’t really events like the ones he participated in at Youmacon, said Hayama.

Yami Yugi and Yugi Muto, by Junichi Hayama, dated May 31, 2015
By @hayama11 (May 31, 2015)

Follow Junichi Hayama on Twitter, @hayama11.

And follow Mamoru Yokota on Twitter, @yokotamamoru.

(Questions and answers have been edited for clarity and readability.)

Yu-Gi-Oh! Manga Editor Yoshihisa Heishi at NYCC 2017

October 12, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Japanese, Series 1, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

Yoshihisa Heishi at the Weekly Shonen Jump panel at NYCC 2017

In Japan, manga editors are more than just people who know the nuts and bolts of the publishing industry. Editors work intimately with manga creators, exchanging story ideas and guiding the creators to success, and even look after the creators’ health and well-being. When Kazuki Takahashi’s Yu-Gi-Oh! manga was first serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan, its founding editor was Yoshihisa Heishi. Heishi eventually rose through the ranks to become the magazine’s editor in chief, and today still works at Shueisha’s shonen manga department as its director.

This past weekend, Heishi attended New York Comic Con where he was a guest at VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump panel. He offered some tidbits about Yu-Gi-Oh! and Takahashi during a brief Q&A.

“How did Egypt become such an important theme in the story?” asked Urian Brown, an editor at VIZ and the panel’s moderator.

“Before the manga started, Takahashi-sensei was really interested in Egypt and Egyptian culture,” explained Heishi through his translator, English WSJ Editor in Chief Andy Nakatani. “The Millennium Puzzle was originally not supposed to be used. It was going to be a different item. But since he ended up using the Millennium Puzzle, Egypt became a more important part of the story.”

“What was it supposed to be originally?” asked Brown.

“I can’t say,” Heishi laughed.

“What was it like working with Takahashi-sensei?” Brown continued. “Can you give us any details about his creative process?”

“When Takahashi-sensei was making the manga, I didn’t really see him having trouble or questioning himself when he was creating the manga,” replied Heishi. “He would go through the struggle unseen, not out in the forefront. Every week, they’d be playing card games and video games and things. He would play every week with his assistants. […] The ideas came from that.”

“Did you try out any of the dangerous Shadow Games in the manga, like yo-yos on the roof or the nitroglycerin air hockey?” asked Brown.

“No! Kids, please don’t do this at home.”

* * *

Check out video of the full panel for discussions and insights about even more Shonen Jump titles, like Rurouni Kenshin and My Hero Academia.

Related posts:
‘Spotlight on Yu-Gi-Oh! & Creator Kazuki Takahashi’ Panel at SDCC 2015

Video Interview: Yu-Gi-Oh! Composers Álvarez, Sheinfeld on All Access

May 11, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Posted in English dubbed, Other Stuff, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Elik Álvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld in an interview on Film.Music.Media: All Access
Yu-Gi-Oh! composers Elik Álvarez (left) and Freddy Sheinfeld

Last week, Elik Álvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld, two members of the Yu-Gi-Oh! music composition team, appeared on All Access, a video series that features in-depth interviews with composers. The program is produced by Kaya Savas of Film.Music.Media, a website dedicated to the ins and outs of the film music industry.

Álvarez and Sheinfeld, both originally from Venezuela, talk about how they met in the United States and started their own company and how they dove into the world of composing for animations like Yu-Gi-Oh!, from the Pyramid of Light to The Dark Side of Dimensions and everything in between. Some of the topics they discuss include:

  • Their musical backgrounds and how they discovered film music.
  • How they define the sound of a show and their approaches to thematic writing.
  • What it’s like composing with each other and what happens when there’s a disagreement.
  • How their approach to composition differs when writing for narrative fictions and nature documentaries.
  • The aspects of a movie or show — whether the cinematography, script, characters, or story itself — that draw the first note out of them.
  • The negatives of the film composition industry, like the decay in appreciation of quality film music and the need for composers to follow popular trends.
  • The positives of the industry, like the influx of new directors, fresh content, opportunities to grow.

There are numerous funny and enlightening moments in this interview. Álvarez and Sheinfeld got a good laugh remembering when they first met in the U.S. at a conducting class. At the time, they didn’t realize that they were both from Venezuela. They only spoke to each other in English, each thinking that the other was Greek or German.

Álvarez explained how, when composing for Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, they enjoyed going “really dark” with the scores because it was such a change in style for them compared to the previous series. Unfortunately for them, they never got anywhere with this new sound. After writing close to an entire episode, the producers asked them to dial it down a notch. It was “too Nine Inch Nails meets Yu-Gi-Oh!” laughed Sheinfeld.

A show’s sounds sometimes develop organically and in unexpected ways. Sheinfeld reminisced about writing Yu-Gi-Oh! GX’s rock-oriented score and how the music he submitted was really similar to the ones that he used to play with his college rock band. As luck would have it, the producers really liked this style, so writing for that show became like a jam session for him and his style was integrated with the sounds of the show.

Give this interview a listen to hear more great moments like these!

(h/t Freddy Sheinfeld)

Related posts:
Composer Elik Álvarez Talks Yu-Gi-Oh! Music
Yu-Gi-Oh! Composers Álvarez, Sheinfeld Talk The Dark Side of Dimensions
Yu-Gi-Oh! Composers Álvarez, Sheinfeld Interviewed on Soundtrack Alley Podcast

Yu-Gi-Oh! Composers Álvarez, Sheinfeld Interviewed on Soundtrack Alley Podcast

April 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Posted in English dubbed, Other Stuff, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 1 Comment
Tags: ,

Photos of Yu-Gi-Oh! composers Elik Álvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld
Yu-Gi-Oh! composers Elik Álvarez (left) and Freddy Sheinfeld

On Friday, Elik Álvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld, two members of a team of talented composers for the many Yu-Gi-Oh! series and movies, appeared on the most recent episode of Soundtrack Alley, a podcast that celebrates the love of movie soundtracks. In a 40-minute interview, the duo speak with podcast host Randy Williams about their work in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions and other recent projects. This post includes a few highlights from the interview.

Adding a New Flavor to an Old Favorite

Elik Álvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld are both composers originally from Venezuela who are now working out of Los Angeles. Their involvement in Yu-Gi-Oh! began with the first Yu-Gi-Oh! movie, Pyramid of Light, which led them to work on season 3 of the classic Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters series and, eventually, every season and spin-off since then. For Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, the pair tried to move away from the style of music seen in the TV series in an effort to make the score a little more cinematic, explained Álvarez.

“How [do you] make it more cinematic?” asked Álvarez. “Well, you just do. That’s what you do as a composer. You are able to switch gears when they need to.”

One of the things that the two composers really pressed for in The Dark Side of Dimensions was the inclusion of more choirs.

“That doesn’t mean we haven’t used choirs in the rest of the series, but not as much probably as we do in this one. We really pushed hard for that one,” Álvarez added. But the most challenging aspect of scoring wasn’t actually the composition process.

Álvarez continued: “What is difficult is to have people who oversee the music — the music producer, the producers, the writers, whoever is listening to the score — this movie is a little bit different because even people in Japan were listening to this, people in Konami, I believe. So the difficult part is to convince them, ‘Listen, let’s try to do something different.’ They are so used to listening to a certain style of music. To propose something new takes time and persuasion and things like that. But to switch gears, in my opinion, is something that comes very natural to us.”

Sheinfeld noted that the their experience with Yu-Gi-Oh! has come full circle. The pair began with Duel Monsters, which had a certain style of music. They then moved on to other series, each with their own unique sound; GX was a little more rock-oriented and 5D’s had electronic industrial elements. Now, after more than ten years, they’ve returned to the original Yu-Gi-Oh! and needed to approach it with a fresh perspective.

“We kind of came back to some of the original ideas as far as the themes that we needed to use because those are characters that everybody knows,” said Sheinfeld. “But at the same time, we wanted to do, like Elik said, something fresh, something more cinematic. And somehow, the way it worked, to sound a little bit more cinematic was actually going a little bit old school.

“It’s funny because in the original Yu-Gi-Oh!, if you listen to the music, there’s a lot of electronics going on. A lot of electronic percussion, a lot of techno stuff combined with an orchestra. But [for The Dark Side of Dimensions], we were a little bit more pure. We tried to avoid that just a little bit just to sound a little bit more modern, which is weird but it kind of worked that way. A lot of those sounds [in the original Yu-Gi-Oh!] now sound a little bit dated if we use it, so to sound fresh, we avoided it as much as we could. We were for a more traditional sound. You know, still mixing some of the modern electronic sounds that we use these days to still have that modern feel. But overall, it was a little bit more traditional orchestration approach to this film.”

Getting the Style Just Right

Both Álvarez and Sheinfeld gave a lot of credit to Mike Brady, 4K Media’s music producer, who offers them lots of freedom to compose to picture. Brady doesn’t give the composers a temp track — a sample piece of filler music that editors and producers use to set the mood of a scene.

“We just get plain animation with dialog and rough sound effects and sometimes rough dialog, and we just write music to it,” explained Álvarez. “So that’s a very, very important point I want to make. We’re pretty lucky with this because temp tracks sometimes could be a big help, sometimes they don’t. So one thing for this is we don’t get any temp tracks. He just sends us picture with dialog, and that’s it. There is no music there. So we really create from scratch.”

“I think the producer, Mike, is very good at what he does,” Sheinfeld said. “Like Elik says, he doesn’t give a temp track, but he has a very specific idea of how the show works. It took a long time to understand it but now it’s a matter of trying to understand what is important, what you need to accomplish with the music, and on the other side, what you can add to it as far as being creative. So it’s always that balance. You want to make it work and you also want to make it as cool as possible. There’s a lot of work involved. As far as making things work, it’s funny because it’s even though it’s an animation, I think the level of thought that goes behind each detail is much more deeper than a lot of the dramatic films that I’ve done in the past.”

After working on Yu-Gi-Oh! for more than ten years, Álvarez and Sheinfeld have a good feel for what the producers are looking for and what style of music works well in the anime.

“We understand the language pretty well of these types of animations,” said Álvarez. “I gotta tell you, it’s very, very complex. It’s very complex. Sometimes, on TV, you don’t really listen that much to the music. There is a lot of dialog. They don’t mix the music that loud. But it’s very complex what we do over here, and it took us quite a few years just to nail down the style and not to be afraid.”

And getting the style just right really is the key, since the music dictates so much of how characters and scenes are perceived by the viewers.

“As Freddy said, each of the characters over there, they have their own personality and we need to make sure that people can understand that,” Álvarez said. He elaborated on this point using Kaiba as an example, explaining that when composing for this character, Brady emphasized not to treat Kaiba as a bad, evil guy but also not as a good, heroic guy.

“These characters are complex. And you know, people don’t realize that,” stated Álvarez. “And again, when you see it on TV, and there is a lot of dialog going on all the time. But we’re behind that trying to make sure that people don’t perceive Kaiba as an evil guy because he’s not. So how do you make that balance?”

Teamwork, Inspirations, Future Projects, and More

Elik Álvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld discussed several more topics with Randy Williams, including how they have honed their skills from working together, how they met fellow Yu-Gi-Oh! composer Joel Douek, what types of film music they enjoy, and what some of their future project include. It’s a smart and enlightening interview, so give it a listen! Be sure to listen all the way to the end because they share a few of their full-length pieces from Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions and other works.

Related posts:
Composer Elik Álvarez Talks Yu-Gi-Oh! Music
Yu-Gi-Oh! Composers Álvarez, Sheinfeld Talk The Dark Side of Dimensions

Yu-Gi-Oh! Composers Álvarez, Sheinfeld Talk The Dark Side of Dimensions

February 6, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Posted in English dubbed, Konami, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 1 Comment
Tags: , ,

Yu-Gi-Oh! music composers Freddy Sheinfeld, Joel Douek, and Elik Alvarez in a studio
Yu-Gi-Oh! composers (left to right) Freddy Sheinfeld, Joel Douek, and Elik Álvarez in a studio. Photo from Film.Music.Media.

Today, longtime Yu-Gi-Oh! composers Elik Álvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld offered some insights into their participation in writing the music for Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions. In a press release coming out of their home base of Los Angeles, California, the duo offered some tidbits about their songwriting process and what they and the directors wanted to impart on the audience.

“The main themes we carried from the TV series were the Yu-Gi-Oh! transformation, the Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and the friendship themes,” said Sheinfeld. “We haven’t used those themes for a while, so it was a lot of fun to use them again, but with a more modern and cinematic approach.”

“We wanted the audience connecting again to those themes and at the same time we needed to adapt them to the tone of the movie and the style of the score,” Álvarez added. “Many times we also found ourselves deconstructing those themes and including them in our cues. Sometimes they were very obvious, sometime[s] they were ‘hidden’ somewhere within the orchestration.”

Álvarez and Sheinfeld have been writing music for the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime since the 2004 film Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie. In scoring Yu-Gi-Oh! DSoD, the duo were joined by fellow L.A.-based composer Matt McGuire and N.Y.-based John Angier, both of whom are also longtime composers for Yu-Gi-Oh!.

On Twitter, Yu-Gi-Oh! music producer and editor Michael Brady expressed the possibility of publishing Yu-Gi-Oh! DSoD’s soundtrack.

For more insights about the music composition process in the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, check out my write-up of a June 2015 live interview that Álvarez participated in, as well as a 2011 Reddit Ask-Me-Anything with Brady.

This week is the final week that Yu-Gi-Oh! DSoD is playing in theaters in the U.S. and Canada. If you haven’t already done so, visit yugiohtickets.com to find your local theater and showtimes. And if you have already seen it, why not see it again?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Producers Guenego, Murakami Talk The Dark Side of Dimensions

January 27, 2017 at 1:00 am | Posted in English dubbed, Konami, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Shane Guenego and Arthur Sam Murakami in a behind-the-scenes look at Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions
Shane Guenego (left) and Arthur “Sam” Murakami

Ah, looks like there’s more behind-the-scenes content for Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions after all! Crunchyroll has posted an exclusive interview with Shane Guenego and Arthur “Sam” Murakami, longtime Yu-Gi-Oh! producers and writers at 4K Media, who describe their excitement in getting to work on a new story that comes straight from Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi. The anime’s original voice actors — Dan Green (Yugi), Eric Stuart (Kaiba), Wayne Grayson (Joey), Greg Abbey (Tristan), Amy Birnbaum (Téa), and Ted Lewis (Bakura) — all make a brief appearance in this video. Check it out.

The number of theaters listed on yugiohtickets.com is still growing. As of this writing there are 579 theaters in the U.S. and Canada screening the movie. Have you bought your ticket yet? Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions opens today, January 27. Don’t miss it!

Previously:
Dan Green (Yugi Muto) Talks Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions

Dan Green (Yugi Muto) Talks Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions

January 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Posted in English dubbed, Konami, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Dan Green in a behind-the-scenes look at Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions

For its final behind-the-scenes look at Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, 4K Media today posted an interview featuring Dan Green, the voice of Yugi Muto. Dan offers some insights into the evolution of his character, what it feels like to return to an old friend, and what the events of this movie mean to Yugi and his future.

Have you bought your ticket for the movie yet? There are now over 500 theaters throughout the U.S. and Canada listed on yugiohtickets.com. Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions opens this Friday, January 27.

Previously:
Daniel J. Edwards (Aigami) Talks Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions

Daniel J. Edwards (Aigami) Talks Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions

January 17, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Posted in English dubbed, Konami, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 1 Comment
Tags: ,

Daniel J. Edwards in a behind-the-scenes look at Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions

What kind of character is Aigami and what are his goals? Actor and singer Daniel J. Edwards tells it like it is in this second behind-the-scenes interview promoting Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions. Daniel also talks about what it’s like being a part of such an iconic anime series that he enjoyed years ago in middle school. And once again, there are many new clips from the movie!

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions premieres January 27 in the U.S. and Canada. Ticket sales and theater locations are available at yugiohtickets.com. The site now has over 430 theaters listed, and new locations will continue to be added up to opening day.

Previously:
Eric Stuart (Seto Kaiba) Talks Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions

Eric Stuart (Seto Kaiba) Talks Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions

January 10, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Posted in English dubbed, Konami, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Eric Stuart in a behind-the-scenes look at Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions

What does voice actor and musician Eric Stuart think about returning to play Seto Kaiba after all these years? Check out an interview with the man himself in this first behind-the-scenes look at Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions. Eric talks about his initial impressions of the film, his connection to Seto Kaiba, and how he is portraying the character in this movie. Plus, there are lots of new clips from the movie!

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions opens January 27 in the U.S. and Canada. For theater locations and ticket sales, visit yugiohtickets.com. There are 380 theaters listed as of this writing, with over 500 total theaters planning to screen the film. New locations will be added up to the release date.

If you don’t see your local theater listed, don’t be afraid to reach out to them to ask them to play the film. Theaters want to play movies that people want to see, so hit them up on Facebook, Twitter, or even with an old-fashioned phone call and show them that there’s interest!

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 8: ‘Sora’s Hospitality!’ + Kazuki Takahashi Interview

March 21, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Sora Shiunin and his Candy Park Action Field in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 8

Yuya and Yuzu have left the safe haven of Yuya’s hideout after learning the whereabouts of Genesis Omega Dragon. But it was all just a trick by Sora Shiunin, who is eager to squeeze some answers out of Yuya about his mysterious past and his cryptic hacking and dueling abilities. Now, with Yuya trapped in a locked room, Shiunin has him right where he wants him.

Shiunin snaps his fingers and a bright, prismatic Action Field materializes before their eyes, completely lighting up the dark and empty lab. It’s Candy Park, a world filled with giant succulent sweets of all kinds — massive colorful lollipops jutting out of the ground, chocolate truffles drenched in ganache, decadent flans, fluffy cotton candy…

But the playful field hides some unfriendly booby traps, as Yuya soon learns. Spotting an Action Card in the sky, Yuya hops onto a large balloon floating in front of him, only for it to burst, sending him plummeting to the ground. Shiunin snickers and wastes no time snatching the Action Card for himself then Fusion summoning his first monster, Frightfur Bear. A towering, grotesque stuffed animal emerges behind Shiunin. Its body is mutilated by a pair of scissors sticking out of its severed torso. Each of its severed arms are attached to its body by the blades of a pair of scissors jammed into its shoulder and arm sockets.

Yuya goes on the offensive, setting his Pendulum scale with Enter-Mate Ballad and Enter-Mate Barracuda, a pair of beautiful boy monsters. He then Pendulum summons Handsome Liger, an equally beautiful samurai who wears traditional samurai waist and thigh protectors, but a rockin’ modern overcoat. Frightfur Bear has more attack points than Handsome Liger, but Yuya’s Pendulum monsters use their abilities to weaken the menacing stuffed animal, allowing the samurai to cut it down with his sword.

Sora Shiunin winces as his monster falls, but he is ready to retaliate. He activates Frightfur Reborn, which brings Frightfur Bear back from the graveyard. Free of the ill effects of Enter-Mate Ballad and Barracuda’s attack-weakening abilities, Frightfur Bear now attacks Handsome Liger, launching one of its scissor-stuffed arms at the samurai. Yuya knows that he can bolster Handsome Liger’s attack points with a trap card, but just as he is about to activate it…

A small piece of paper flutters down from the sky. Shiunin gasps nervously as Yuya reaches for it. It’s a photograph of Shiunin and his little sister. She is smiling and sitting upright in a hospital bed. Yuya and Yuzu glance over at Shiunin, who is now trembling, his eyes welling up with tears.

“I… can’t lose this duel…no matter what!” he exclaims. “I have a sick little sister… But Reiji Akaba took her hostage… If I don’t defeat you, he’ll kill my sister!”

Yuya and Yuzu are petrified by Shiunin’s revelation. Tears begin streaming down Shiunin’s face as he begs Yuya to let him win. Yuya relents and doesn’t activate his trap. Frightfur Bear annihilates Handsome Liger and the destructive impact sends Yuya and Yuzu tumbling backward.

In a control room at LC headquarters, Reiji Akaba, Shingo Sawatari, and Shun Kurosaki watch the action unfold. Kurosaki is outraged by Akaba’s actions, vowing to “dispense justice.” He demands LC’s president reveal the truth about what happened to Shiunin’s sister. Akaba sits stoically in his chair with his fingers steepled. He doesn’t respond.

Yuya is on his knees, contemplating what to do next, when he hears a familiar voice mocking him for being weak. But before Yuya can respond, the voice makes his presence felt, literally.

Yuri in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 8

“This looks like a job for me!” the voice proclaims. Suddenly, after a twirl and flourish of Yuya’s cloak, a new figure is standing in front of Shiunin and Yuzu. It’s Yuri, the cape-wearing boy from Yuya’s mind! And this personality isn’t impressed at all with Shiunin or his sister.

Who cares about that?!” he asserts. “You can both die for all I care!”

Thoughts

Sora! A moral dilemma! What an unexpected turn of events. What is Yuya supposed to do? Let Sora win? But if that happens, Yuya’s loss basically gives Reiji an open invitation to capture him. If Yugi were dueling here, he would be skillful enough to end the game in a way that doesn’t hurt either duelist. Maybe he would reduce both players’ life points to zero at the same time so that there wouldn’t be a true winner or loser, and both of them could walk away and duel again another day. Is Yuya that clever? It might not matter at this point because Yuri has taken over, and it’s pretty clear what his intentions are. And although Yuri might be cutthroat, maybe this is because he recognizes something that Yuya doesn’t — like how Sora might actually be lying.

Playboy Yuya returns in this chapter. Thank you for carrying attractive monsters that appeal to both sexes, Yuya, hahaha.

There’s a charming visual gag that appears after Enter-Mate Ballad uses its effect. When Sora’s Frightfur Bear wilts while losing attack points, it goes walleyed, trembles, and releases a sweat drop. Then its scissors momentarily transform from razor-sharp killing machines into blunt-tipped child-safe utensils. Cute.

Hey, Shingo and Shun are so funny together! They should star in their own comedy spin-off series.

Shun seems to have revealed himself to be a good person in this chapter, not just a cold, calculating duelist who plays for keeps. Reiji appears to take special notice of Shun’s words — that Shun will “dispense justice” if Reiji really did take Sora’s sister hostage. Shingo breaks up this serious moment when he realizes that Shun had kidnapped someone as well, haha.

What happened when Yuya attempted to reach the second Action Card and stepped onto the exploding balloon? Did he use his Solid Vision manipulation abilities to teleport back next to Yuzu? Whatever happened, he looked genuinely confused for a moment. Is there something going on with his body or mind that hasn’t been revealed yet?

Interview with Kazuki Takahashi at Jump Festa 2016

Last December, VIZ’s Shonen Jump crew caught up with numerous manga creators at Jump Festa — Shueisha’s annual convention for all things Jump — and asked them each for their thoughts on what Shonen Jump and manga mean to them, the things that they are really excited about this year, and more. Today’s issue contains Team Jump’s interview with Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi. Which of his characters would Takahashi like to hang out with at a New Year’s party? Does he ever dream about his characters? What video game has he been trying to get into? Find out as Team Jump picks his brain in this issue!

* * *

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 8: “Sora’s Hospitality!” is available now in VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump No. 16 (March 21, 2016). Grab the issue from VIZ, Amazon, and comiXology.

Previous chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 7: “Genesis Omega Dragon!”

Next chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 9: “Fusion vs. Fusion”

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.