Released in 1996 during the first CollectibleCardGame boom, ''Ani-Mayhem'' was noteworthy for being one of the two first {{Anime}}-themed [=CCGs=][[note]]The other being the obscure ''Anime Madness''[[/note]] and was the first multi-license CCG. Since the game was produced by [[Creator/{{Geneon}} Pioneer]], in many ways it existed to [[MerchandiseDriven advertise their own properties]], which serves to explain the inclusion of some lesser-known series like ''Anime/ArmitageIII'' and ''Anime/PhantomQuestCorp''.

The plot ([[ExcusePlot as such]]) is that some kind of cataclysm threatens the anime {{Multiverse}}, and heroes from several universes must recover important artifacts in order to prevent TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. Unusually, ''Ani-Mayhem'' was designed with solitaire play in mind, though it can support multiplayer.

[[folder:Types of Cards]]
* '''Characters (Purple)''': The most basic and important cards in the game, Characters are the "playable" heroes whom the player sends out to collect Items. Characters have a resemblance to those from RolePlayingGames, with five stats [[note]]Attack, Defense, Movement, Charm and Energy, plus the hidden "Health" stat[[/note]], a number of skills, and unique character traits.
* '''Locations (Green)''': Representing the places the Characters must raid to find the Items, Locations can only be accessed if your Characters meet the listed Skill requirements. A few Locations (particularly those like military installations) have their own Attack and Defense, meaning the player can bypass Skills and simply brute-force their way in.
** '''Havens (Green)''': Havens are special Locations that function as the player's "home base". Only the player can access his own Haven, meaning it's a safe place to drop Items and Equipment. It's also where Bonked Characters go after they recover.
* '''Items (Brown)''': The key to the game, Items are important artifacts from the various anime universes. In order to win the game, the player must collect a majority of the available Items.
* '''Combat (Red)''': The game's LuckManipulationMechanic, Combat Cards are split in half; one side affects standard combat while the other affects Charm attempts.
* '''Disasters (Orange)''': The main source of conflict in the game, Disasters represent anything that gets in your way, including opponents, random events, etc. Disasters are divided two ways, into '''Combat and Non-Combat Disasters''' and '''Minor and Major Disasters'''.
* '''Power (Blue)''': A catch-all term for the cards that can be used to help you win the game. The Power Cards include '''Equipment''' (items that power up the characters), '''Enhancements''' (non-removable power-ups), '''Flash''' (similar to ''Magic''[='s=] Instants), and '''Global''' (affect the entire playing field). As an aside, Equipment Cards had a unique brown-and-yellow border in the first two sets, but Set 2 made them blue to match up with the other Power Cards.

The series represented in ''Ani-Mayhem'':
* Set 0: ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'', ''Anime/ElHazardTheMagnificentWorld'' (original OVA), ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' (original OVA and ''Universe'')
* Set 1: ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' (promotional cards only), ''Anime/ArmitageIII'', ''Anime/DominionTankPolice'', ''Anime/PhantomQuestCorp'', ''Anime/ProjectAKo'' (first two movies)
* Set 2: ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' (covers through the Creator/{{Funimation}} dub, with some later characters including Super Saiyans as extras)

The game had problems from the start, not the least of which was needlessly complex and occasionally opaque rules[[note]]Rather infamously, the first edition rulebook's only note on exploring a location was "Flip over the first Disaster. Deal with it"[[/note]]. Fans almost unanimously blame Set 2 for killing off the game, as the inclusion of ''Manga/DragonBall'' characters destroyed any semblance of balance; why bother with characters like Tenchi and Leona, who need two or three Power cards to be effective, when you could just use Goku instead?

In the end, ''Ani-Mayhem'' is generally viewed as little more than a footnote in the long history of CollectibleCardGames, one of the many games that [[FollowTheLeader rushed to after the surprise success of]] ''MagicTheGathering'' and dying a quiet death. Its main legacy is being ahead of its time with the concept of the multi-license game, a concept which would be pulled off with more success by the likes of the VS System and Universal Fighting System.

!!''Ani-Mayhem'' is the TropeNamer for
* FrothyMugsOfWater

!! This game contains examples of
* AwesomeButImpractical: Tenchi can be brought up to the level of a ''DBZ'' character, but it requires '''six''' separate cards, four of which are Items and all of which are rare. And this ''still'' leaves him deficient in some areas (his Health doesn't change and all his Energy goes into buffing his stats).
* CompetitiveBalance: As mentioned above, any balance went out the window with the introduction of ''Anime/DragonBallZ''. Before that things were more even; though tech-based characters need Equipment to fight on equal footing with dedicated warriors, they make up for it by having better skill sets and nice unique effects.
* DistractedByTheSexy: If the player wins Charm Combat, they can make the Disaster hand over an Item, move, or attack either another Character or Combat Disaster at the same location. If the player loses, that Character can't participate in combat until the Disaster attacks them; if all your Characters get Charmed, the Disaster takes one of your Items and runs.
* DuelOfSeduction: Every combat begins with one round of Charm Combat before the fists start flying (provided, of course, that the Disaster ''has'' Charm).
* GuideDangIt: The corrected rule books, and a few other instances. Some cards (such as the [[ Jurian Battlesuit]]) were misprinted so that the Energy Cost had a plus in front of it, making it look like an Energy ''Bonus'' instead.
* HeelFaceTurn: The Flash Effect "[[EasyAmnesia Bonk on the Head]]" can be used to turn a Combat Disaster into a character.
* InstantWinCondition: Collecting seven Dragonballs; not as difficult as it sounds, since there were Items like "3 Dragonballs".
* JokeCharacter: [[ Farmer with Shotgun]], whose only redeeming trait is that he gives everyone in his party a Movement of 4.
* KilledOffForReal: What happens when a Character's Health is reduced to negative its base value (I.E., if the Character has 4 Health, being knocked to -4 is fatal).
* LethalChef: Since the game includes both [[Manga/RanmaOneHalf Akane Tendo]] and [[Anime/ProjectAKo C-Ko Kotobuki]], it was inevitable. There's a Disaster representing each of their..."meals", and C-Ko's will automatically join with Akane's to effectively turn the Location radioactive, destroying everything except the Location itself unless you have three Cooking skills present (or, alternately, you can remove Kasumi from the game to deal with it).
* LuckManipulationMechanic: Combat Cards, which affect both standard and Charm-based combat.
* MythologyGag: The Movement icon is normally six arrows going in random directions, but for Ryoga Hibiki it was an arrow that looped back on itself, in a nod to his [[NoSenseOfDirection nonexistent sense of direction]]. Unfortunately, this lead to some confused players asking Upper Deck if it meant Ryoga could only move in a circle...
* NeverTheSelvesShallMeet: Averted; unlike other [=CCGs=] there are no specific rules against multiple versions of the same character. On top of that, there are multiple versions of Gohan in the game, meaning you can quite literally have a team of nothing but Gohans.
* NonLethalKO: If a Character is reduced to 0 Health, they're "Bonked" and leave play for a turn before being revived in their respective Haven.
* SoloTabletopGame: Designed to be played solo - Disaster cards either activate right away or before the players can do anything.
* PurelyAestheticGender: Averted, certain cards and effects would target one gender or the other.
* TakingTheBullet: Protecting, which adds half the protector's Defense to the protectee's for one attack. If any damage gets through the combined Defense, the protector takes half damage while the protectee takes full damage.