If you’ve ever seen an episode of “Yu-Gi-Oh”, then you’ve probably been pretty confused. But when you get behind the whole set–as is done with “Yu-Gi-Oh The Complete Set”, a copy of which our friends out at Cinedigm sent out for review–the whole thing makes much more sense. Sometimes. And provides a fairly exciting experience in the process.
“Yu-Gi-Oh Classic Complete Series” offers up five full seasons of the “Yu-Gi-Oh” series, along with a copy of “Bonds Against Time,” a complete movie that unifies characters from three separate “Yu-Gi-Oh” franchises into one central premise. Meanwhile, the rest of the series will comprise several separate adventures of a young man with a parallel life and his closest friends. “Yu-Gi-Oh The Complete Set” will not only deal with the original games, but also the Battle City Championship, the Waking the Dragons series, the Capsule Monsters venture and beyond.
Given that this is the complete series, there’s going to be a lot going on here, and thankfully, the box set itself will help with a more thorough understanding of the series. There’s a complete episode guide thrown in here–at least, in list form, though there will be summaries of the various seasons’ plot lines provided as well–and that’s likely to be a huge help. Because sometimes, this series can get downright nuts. Sometimes, it will seem as though new rules, new modes of play, and new games entirely will just show up out of the clear blue, and the audience will be left to carry along as best it can. Thankfully, it’s not a bad series. It’s actually quite a bit of fun, with some very exciting action sequences and some occasionally interesting notes of strategy. Watching these games play out–which can sometimes take multiple episodes–has a way of rewarding those who stick around with unexpected twists and even some more comical moments.
It does, however, have a tendency to get a bit over dramatic sometimes, but then, considering we’re talking about a card game occasionally played with human souls for prizes and focusing on mystical objects and a conspiracy several thousand years old against a form of Egyptian government that hasn’t existed for almost that long, it can be forgiven for getting a little bit full of itself. Of course, some might also refer to this concept as “patently insane,” but for those who can get behind such an idea, this will be a fine example. Think of it like an animated version of “Lost” and you might well come out all right here.
Special features, meanwhile, include the aforementioned guidebook–though that’s separate from the discs themselves, it’s still going to be valuable for those not completely familiar with the series who want a quick update on where exactly they are in the proceedings–and beyond that, not much else. Still, if you ever wanted every episode of “Yu-Gi-Oh”‘s original run–though sadly, not including Tristan’s ridiculous early voice, at least not that I can find–all in one handy place, this will do the job nicely. Some of the episodes appear to have been modified from the originals–events hit that don’t seem to be accounted for in the narrative. The first episode alone shows one Blue Eyes White Dragon getting played, then a matter of moments later, three are on the field, though I didn’t notice just when they were being played.
“Yu-gi-oh The Complete Set” is a great package for those who enjoy Japanese animation, or for those who don’t mind games with eccentric and rapidly shifting rule sets. It’s not exactly perfect, but it will do a good job all the same.