The Tekken universe is an enormous array of characters and stories with several highly successful game titles spawning various works like animated and live-action movies and an immensely engrossing storylines surrounding the Mishima family and their contact with a mysterious otherworldly malignant genetic trait known as the Devil Gene. The game’s heavy emphasis on stories leaves much to be desired in terms of a canon story; however, it is this emphasis on each character’s stories that allows the franchise to play around with a lot of non-canon events. What’s great about this is the fact that this allows for authors to play around with humour, which in Tekken’s case, has led to some moderate humour at times. So, without further ado, we bring you the Top 10 Joke Characters of the Tekken Motion Picture. This is our Iron Fist, our Tekken.
10. Mishima Kazumi
Tekken, as mentioned before, is a character-driven universe with stories aplenty that may or may not directly affect the main storyline concerning the Mishimas and the Devil Gene. But, with so many characters in the fray, some characters get little to no attention. One such character is the wife of Mishima Heihachi, head of the extremely powerful Mishima conglomerate. Her existence in the Tekken universe before the announcement of the highly-anticipated continuation of the franchise, Tekken 7, was completely obscure.
However, with the announcement that Mishima Kazumi will serve as the antagonist of the new game, Kazumi’s relevance in the Tekken universe shot beyond that of Mishima Jinpachi, arguably the most frustrating Tekken last boss so far. It’s a meteoric rise to fame at which we just can’t help but chuckle, because a character who bore no relevance in the last canon game is about to be the piece in the jigsaw fans have speculated about for years.
Tekken 2 saw a mass entrance of many different characters, some of which weren’t even human. Introducing Roger, the genetically modified fighting kangaroo in the care of Dr Boskonovitch. Roger owes his existence to the top secret genetic modification experiments running courtesy of the Mishima Zaibatsu, experiments which seek to increase animals’ mental and physical capabilities in order to create formidable pawns. Don’t let his brief appearance in the Tekken OVA fool you – there’s more to Roger than a pair of boxing gloves. He later becomes a father, spawning Roger Jr, a son who carries the same improved genetics as his father.
Roger then goes AWOL on his family, hiding in the care of his old friend, Dr Boskonovitch. Unfortunately for him though, his wife and son, Roger Jr, come bursting onto the scene, having spent years searching for him. While this is an event that occurred solely in the latter iterations of the Tekken franchise, we couldn’t help but think of a funnier thought than the fact that our favourite little boxing kangaroo grew up and had a family. Feel old yet?
8. Dr Boskonovitch
As far as obscure side-characters go, Dr Gepetto Boskonovitch is as obscure as they come. Hailing from Russia, the old man was kidnapped by Kazuya and forced to work under him. Since he was in the scope of the scientific community from age twelve, the doctor has had a hand in birthing some powerful tools of destruction in the Tekken universe, most notably the series of JACKs and the genetically modified fighting animals Roger and Alex.
While his genius is unparalleled, the Dr’s presence in a fighting game franchise is an odd one, especially given his frailty, a characteristic of the elderly. While this seems like a given for someone of his age, just about every other senior citizen in the Tekken franchise has been anything but frail, making Dr Boskonovitch look like the weird one.
The JACKs are a series of extremely powerful war machines capable of incredible feats of destruction, built by none other than Dr Boskonovitch. With the purpose of making the JACKs more than just fighting machines, the Dr programmed them to gain free will in trying emotional situations. In the Tekken Motion Picture, a JACK-2 unit is accompanied by a sickly little girl and while the sight of a ridiculously tall-looking Terminator befriending a girl is heart-warming and sweet, we’ve realised that JACK’s funniest moment in the Tekken OVA is when he’s not so nice.
JACK nonchalantly dispatched Bruce Irvin, a supposed former kickboxing world champion, before unceremoniously boarding the ship headed to the tournament, giving the words “Iron Fist” a whole new meaning. We’d also like to note that he’s a better-looking Android 16. Didn’t see that, did you?
6. Mishima Heihachi
Head of the Mishima Zaibatsu and the main antagonist of pretty much every character in the Tekken franchise, Heihachi is a burly old man with a tough love approach to… well, everything, sans the love. Wishing for his son Kazuya to grow up to become a strong individual, Heihachi threw him off a cliff, saying that mountain lions push their cubs off the edge of a cliff and raise only the ones that climb back up, the ones with the will and guts to survive.
What is very interesting to note about every Tekken character’s favourite grandpa is his emphasis on every participant of the King of Iron Fist Tournament to display their very own “Iron Fist”, a philosophical concept employed only by the Heihachi of the OVA. As for the Heihachi of the games, terrorising his family seems to be the only “Iron Fist” he believes in.
5. Michelle Chang
Michelle has had a strange role in the Tekken franchise, starting from the very beginning to becoming an entity akin to folklore within the Tekken universe after Tekken 2. She adopts a young girl who grows up to be the playable character Julia Chang, who essentially replaces her mother in all iterations of the Tekken franchise after Tekken 2 and subsequently, after the Tekken Motion Picture. With this fact in mind, it is difficult to think of Michelle as a character of significance in the Tekken franchise, let alone in the Tekken OVA, where she was barely introduced.
Unless you are a seasoned button masher of the Tekken community who has been with the series from start to finish, or at least played one of the two non-canon “Tag Tournament” iterations of the Tekken series, it would be near impossible to identify the angry lady who suffered a heavy beating at the hands of Kazuya in the Tekken Motion Picture. It almost feels like Michelle Chang’s significance is in being a surrogate mother who eventually “birthed” the only Chang of relevance, Julia. Julia Chang, just like Michelle, but better.
Any wrestling fan who has played any Tekken game will appreciate the extensive move list of the highly enigmatic Mexican wrestler, King. King’s appearance is a complete mystery given the fact that he is always seen donning a jaguar mask. He also speaks in grunts and growls, much like an actual jaguar would… y’know, if jaguars “spoke”. Fun fact: the King seen briefly with Armour King in tow in the Tekken Motion Picture is not the same King we’ve seen in the iterations of Tekken after Tekken 2 (the events of which we catch in the OVA); he is in fact dead, having fallen victim to a burly man named Craig Marduk.
This then means that throughout the Tekken franchise, excluding the Armour King, there have been two different characters who have donned the mask and persona of the one we call King. Also very interesting to note how the King we see in Tekken and Tekken 2 (as well as Tekken the Motion Picture) is the one responsible for training the current King. Confusing, like a shirtless man who refuses to remove his jaguar mask, isn’t it?
3. Bruce Irvin
Former Kickboxing World Champion, now hired as one of Lee Chaolan’s personal body guards, Bruce Irvin is one character many would say had a dismal experience in the Tekken Motion Picture. He had what seemed like a mere 30 second cameo in which he was able to capitalise and completely embarrass himself in front of his boss against JACK.
King’s confidence did nothing to hide the fact that he was severely outclassed by a JACK who wasn’t even trying. Bruce spoke a very big game, but the fight itself ended with JACK on the ship headed towards the tournament venue and Bruce swimming with the fishes. The moral of the story is fairly simple: never provoke a gentle giant.
2. Anna Williams
Hired by Lee Chaolan, Irish sisters Nina and Anna Williams are a pair of assassins with one of the most iconic family feuds in the Tekken universe. With fairly similar fighting styles, the main distinction between Anna and her older sister Nina lies in their personalities: Anna is a seductive woman who attempts to use her feminine charm to her advantage. Despite stealth being an unwritten rule for assassins everywhere, Anna uses flashy methods to dispose of her targets, the most notable occasion being when she tried to kill Kazuya and Jun with a rocket launcher.
Unluckily for her; however, Anna failed at two missions in the Tekken Motion Picture, one being her assignment to kill Mishima Kazuya, the other being her personal goal to replace Nina as Lee’s go-to killer for hire. Towards the end of the film, Anna is rendered incapable of carrying out her missions because she is given a once in a lifetime opportunity to take a trip around the digestive system of a genetically modified prehistoric reptile. Fun!
1. Lee Chaolan
As the adopted son of Mishima Heihachi, the Korean Lee Chaolan is supposed to be next in line to take over the Mishima Zaibatsu, but with the return of Heihachi’s biological son Kazuya, Lee’s spot at the apex of the Mishima conglomerate is in contention. Lee hires assassins Nina Williams to dispatch Kazuya before the King of Iron Fist Tournament commences, but her attempts to take his life fail. As a result, Lee pulls out the big guns and hires Nina’s younger sister Anna, who also fails (and gets mauled by a T-Rex).
Lee’s sanity towards the end of the Tekken motion picture is questionable as he decides to blow up the entire island, muttering “The Mishima Zaibatsu is mine” to himself several times. After all that hard work he put into getting rid of Kazuya, Lee’s last resort was not only to murder all the tournament’s game makers, but to take everyone down with him. What we find incredibly comical about the flashy white-haired schemer is how he always seems destined to fail, as his plan to take everyone out only managed to claim the life of only one relevant character: himself. At least he went out with a bang.
From the perspective of a die-hard Tekken fan, the Tekken Motion Picture is no laughing matter; however, one of the greatest delights in life comes in being able to see the humour in irony and anti-climax. So, with that in mind, we put in our favourite characters who through their iron fists, managed to at the very least, put a smile on our faces. With that being said, we must mention that in terms of the canonical Tekken story, the Tekken Motion Picture does not actually fit in anywhere. That’s right – none of this ever happened! Funny, huh? But if it did… who would you say was the biggest joke of your Tekken OVA experience? Drop a comment below and tell us all about it and don’t forget to convey your very own iron fist!