You know, I figured people would do this (there were already posts about it before we even knew if Atem was coming back for real or not) but it still annoys me so much.
I mean I get some people didnt want him to come back for whatever reason, that’s fine but saying that it robbed Yugi of his rightful place is just… so wrong??? in my opinion. Like yes, that could have happened. Like I even made a post about it last year I think, about how it’s possible to handle Atem’s return in a way that overshadows Yugi but it’s also possible to not do that and we should give the movie a chance to see which road they decide to take. And honestly, I dont see how what happened could be considered as the first option at all.
For one thing, looking at the most practical physical aspect - Yugi fought three duels in a row, the last of which was a shadow game sapping him of his life force/energy. And he got knocked around so much in the first duel alone, let alone facing Kaiba afterwards who is not an easy opponent to deal with on a good day (and that was definitely not one of his good days). The kid isnt made of stone. I imagine even Atem would have been having diffuclties by that point. Hell, he did have difficulties - when he was in his own body in the Memory World and was fighting Bakura constantly, he too needed Yugi and co and all his priests dying/giving him their ba/ka to help him restore his energy (which actually now that I’m thinking about it, is an amazing parallel and I need to make a seperate post to properly express how it makes me feel, goddamn this ship will be the death of me). So Yugi passing out after all that? Seems a pretty logical thing to do. Especially since he wasnt even using any additional magical powers or anyone else’s energy to keep going.
Secondly, from a character development perspective - Yugi was the boss. This is the kid who couldnt stand in front of crowds without doing an awkward robot walk, stammering and blushing like crazy - and this same kid now not only has no problem dueling in a high-stakes duel in front of the whole city but also has no problem telling the guy who bascially owns said city to back the fuck off. Honestly, how many characters do you think would have the balls to look Seto Kaiba in the eye and say what Yugi said with the full intention of following through on those words? And to have Kaiba actually listen to them?
Not to mention that he’s also doing the speech at their graduation and he looks perfectly at ease with it.
Yugi has grown so much as a character and the movie showed that so well. He’s living his life, he has plans for the future, he’s confident and still sweet, he can now freely and easily stand up for the things and people he cares about, he believes in himself, he’s willing to fight to the end and not give up even when things look doomed… like how does Atem coming at the literal last second to help out ruin any of that? Or take away from Yugi’s spotlight? Because Yugi was supposed to save the world alone? Does that even make sense when the entire core theme of the show is that you should rely on your friends and let them give you strength and that the power of unity and togetherness and friendship is what saves the world in the end and makes the impossible possible? Did Atem save the world on his own or did all his friends and family support him with all their power?
So for me that was the perfect way to handle both Atem’s return and showcasing Yugi’s growth and strength as his own person/duelist.