Mystery Anime Theater

A long time ago, a group of friends and I decided to do a Mystery Anime Theater for a local anime convention in Colorado. Well, we ended up doing this for ten years, one new anime feature every year. This was some time ago, but I thought I would share the features we riffed. All of these were done using the English dub. For obvious reasons, I can’t share the riffed versions we did due to copyright.

MYSTERY ANIME THEATER 001: Magical Princess Gigi
The full title of this film is “The Magical Princess Gigi and the Fountain of Youth”. A girl can transform into an adult version of herself rescuing adults that have been turned into kids by someone who has watched Peter Pan way too many times. The full movie is on available on YouTube.

MYSTERY ANIME THEATER 002: Robotech the Movie
Taking place between the first and second story arcs of the original Robotech TV series, this takes recycled footage from an episode of Robotech and the original animated video feature Megazone 23, along with some original animation mish-mashed into something lesser than the sum of the parts. You can find the full movie on YouTube.

Based very loosely on the novel by E. E. “Doc” Smith, Kimball “Kim” Kinnison gets a Lens that summons Worsel, a creature that helps Kim defeat the Boskone Empire, a evil threat who base their alien ship design off raisins. You can also find the full movie on YouTube.

Our protagonist Chris is sent to the parallel world Byston Well and gets “Garzey’s wing”, which is basically wings on your ankles. There are three episodes of this, each one 30 minutes long. We did all three episodes as a feature. If you thought Gamera films had bad dubbing, track this awful series down. Warning: animated buffalo shots.

In the far off future of the year 2001, we have a futuristic police force that uses sentient robots to help track down a stolen tank. The dialog is incredibly stilted, and the whole premise is goofy. You can find it on YouTube by doing a search for “Techno Police 21C”.

MYSTERY ANIME THEATER 006: Fantastic Adventures of Yoko Leda
Schoolgirl Yoko ends up in the magical land of Ashanti to track down her stolen melody so she can share it with a boy she likes. She is also a bobbysoxer (whatever that means). This title is more obscure, so it maybe more difficult to track this one down if you want to see it.

MYSTERY ANIME THEATER 007: Fatal Fury the Motion Picture
Based off the Fatal Fury video game, it takes characters from the popular fighting game series and pits them against Laocorn and his three henchmen and trying to stop them gathering the six pieces of the Armor of Mars, relics that greatly augments someone’s powers and abilities. You can find this movie over on YouTube if your curious about it. Warning: There is a brief scene where one of the female characters isn’t wearing a top.

MYSTERY ANIME THEATER 008: Voltron: Fleet of Doom
A original animated movie that takes the Lion Voltron force and the Vehicle Voltron Force and merges them into the crossover event that you never asked for. The animation is… there. The full thing is over on YouTube.

MYSTERY ANIME THEATER 009: Tekken: The Motion Picture
Another movie based off a video game series. The film’s story is loosely based on the first Tekken game where Kazuya Mishima is the Head of the Mishima Zaibatsu (a large Japanese business conglomerate) and law enforcement is looking into their illegal activities. This is also available on YouTube (note, there is some minor scenes in this where some characters are not wearing clothes - we did the riff with the unedited version, as anime convention standards are a little looser than normal TV broadcast standards).

MYSTERY ANIME THEATER 010: Final Fantasy: Advent Children
Another movie based off a videogame. Fully CG nonsense from Square Enix. Two years after the events of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud and his friends work to stop the trio of Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo from resurrecting Sephiroth, the main antagonist from the video game. If you aren’t a fan of the game, watching this movie is somewhat of a slog.

We had planned to do more after this, and we may revisit this someday. It’s been over five years since we last did one.


Sounds fun. I may have to look into these for my movie riffing night.

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Oh, man. Garzey’s Wing. That’s the perfect Anime to riff. So many baffling moments. You are correct that the dub takes it to an entirely different level of absurdity.

Another fun one to riff would be Angel Cop or, if you’re with a truly adult audience, Mad Bull 34. It’s hard to believe that the man who gave us the genius of Lone Wolf and Cub, also gave us a manga about an out-of-control NYC cop who keeps hand grenades tied to his junk, just in case.

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I’m reminded of a project idea I had that was riffing under the pretense of being a cheap dubbing studio with literally zero standards.

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There seems to be a few anime convention live-riffing groups called Mystery Anime Theater (with or without the 3000). It’s hard to keep track. The one I ran across in the early days of my website performed at Otakon. Which convention did you perform at which?

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Yeah, the Otakon MAT3K guys were retired for a good few years but have done a couple shows more recently. They did one this past con.


This sounds awesome!

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We did these at Nan Desu Kan in Colorado.


I knew that list seemed familiar. Who can forget a title like Garzey’s Wing? It’s Vaguely Specific. :wink:


Oh, word? I remember I caught the Crusher Joe one they did in 2003 and I loved it… and then went back the next year only to learn that they’d stopped doing it.

I haven’t really been to Otakon since it left Baltimore, aside from its first year in DC, which was a pretty miserable experience for me, sadly. It sucks not having a big con in my backyard anymore. But it’s cool to hear that they’re doing it again.

FATAL FURY THE MOTION PICTURE, especially the dub, is prime MSTing fodder.

Really ALL of the fighting game anime from that time are fun to riff on.

I remember seeing something on YT many years ago, folks were riffing One Piece, called it Dub Piece and it was hysterical!! Got taken down because copyright and all. Would love to see yours @systemreactor !