Hi everyone, how are you all doing?
Well, for this journal entry I decided to do something different from what I normally do. As a kid I was a big fan of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" especially the 80's cartoon. It was the first time I got introduced to them and pretty much grew up with the series.
Later I found out there were live-action movies.....and the original comics.....and the 2003 series......and more movies....and other stuff...yeah, it's a pretty big franchise. Plus there's the upcoming movie but let's not talk about that yet.
I have seen the 80's cartoon, the movies and several episodes of the 2003 series (but have not read the original comics) and all of them were cool and likeable in their own way.
Then the CGI 2012 series came along, and it mixed some aspects of the previous incarnations while adding some new original stuff: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS2AWP…
I found out about this series on Youtube, saw some clips, liked what I saw and decided to follow it. Now, I would like to do a review of this series as it is so far (since it's still on-going). I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum.
Let's start off with the characters:
„Gentlemen, I have a bold and daring plan. There is no time for hesitation. My orders must be carried out without question......guys? GUYS WAIT UP!“
The stoic, serious, level-headed leader of the group. This incarnation of Leo is nothing like that. One of the aspects of the TMNT is that they are around 15 years old, hence they're teenagers. This series puts a strong emphasis on that, making all the turtles act like teenagers would act. Leonardo is no exception. He is much less serious and more childish than previous incarnations, he likes to watch a cartoon series that's an obvious parody of "Star Trek" done in Hannah-Barbera style and thinks of the ship captain in the show as his hero and rolemodel (even though the ship captain is actually a huge jerkass XD). He is still learning to be leader, and as such he goes to great lengths trying to make himself look cool and heroic, but more often than not just ends up looking like a dork. Also, one important thing - he doesn't start off as the established leader of the team but has to learn and work hard. The series does NOT try to sugarcoat what a huge burden it would be for a teenager to lead a battle team. Leo is under constant pressure and constant fear of failing his team. His main character traits (the swords, the color blue, being the strategist and arguably the best fighter - rivaled only by Raphael) are all there. The only significant difference from previous incarnations is that he is less serious and acts more his age. Needless to say, this is actually my favorite incarnation of the character. Also, I should point out that, unlike in previous versions, where the turtles are hard to tell apart except for their colors, here the turtles are all different physically. Leo is the second tallest and the most "balanced out" built.
Here is a hilarious compilation of most of his failed attempts to be cool. Spoilers are (again) kept to a minimum so you're free to watch: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zo96g…
„You guys watch so much TV your brains are gonna rot.“
Raphael has always been my favorite turtle. I know him as the sarcastic and hilarious team member of the 80's cartoon. However, it wasn't until later that I found he was actually the short-tempered muscle of the group. This just made me like him even more. In this series he is the second shortest turtle but the most muscular built with a small lightning-shaped crack on his shell on the chest. As per tradition, he is Leo's rival in battle skills and is a horribly hotheaded warrior with an incredibly bad temper. He has a habit of smacking and insulting the rest of his brothers in humorous ways, but he does lighten up a bit as the series continues. He tends to make fun of Donatello and his geekiness as well as beat the crap out of Donnie during training sessions. Even so, there was a point in the series where Donnie would save Raph during battle once per episode.....which I found kind of weird. Despite his habit of being annoyed by Michelangelo and repeatedly hurting him when that happens, he is VERY protective of Mikey making it clear it's not a good idea to mess with his little brother when he's around. He constantly argues with Leonardo but the two really love and respect one another. He also genuinely seems to love animals, having a pet tortoise named Spike (yes, a mutated turtle has a pet tortoise XD) and can command pigeons to help out during stealth missions. He has also shown on numerous occasions that he does love all of his brothers and will leap into danger if any of them is threatened, but it's just that his anger tends to get the better of him a lot of the time. Overall, love this incarnation of the character. He was annoying with his frequent jerkass moments at the beginning of the series but he got better afterwards.
Oh, and he has a fear of cockroaches: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGmtZ9…
„HE HAD ME BY THE FACE, MIKEY!!!“
The star of this series. I've seen people complain how every turtle except Donnie gets to be a star in one of the parts of the TMNT media. The 80's series due to it's comedy is usually described as being Mikey's series. The 2003 is, from what I’ve heard, described as Leo's series. The CGI movie (and the first live-action movie in a way) is very clearly a Raph-focused movie. But Donnie never got anything like that......except that he is the one who defeated the Shredder in the original comics......and saved the day numerous times in the 80's series thanks to his technical knowledge......and saved the ENTIRE TMNT MULTIVERSE in the "Turtles Forever" movie. I honestly never understood what more the fans wanted with him. But apparently it was simply the face that they wanted more focus on him as an actual character. And that’s what they got in this series. The 2012 series IS a Donnie focused series actually. While every turtle gets a lot of focus he is the one who gets the most and has the most stuff going on to him, most notably his romance with April O'Neil. No, you're not reading that wrong - in this series Donatello is in love with April. While she isn't in love with him she is closer to him than any other turtles and is warming up to him quite a bit. I will address this more when I reach April in this review. Overall, just like with Leo, I could say this just might be my favorite incarnation of Donnie too. He is more than just the brains of the group -he is a typical teenage geek, minus the glasses. He is the tallest of the turtles but also the skinniest and has a dorky gap in his teeth. As per tradition, he builds weapons and equipment for the turtles to use. Also, what I like about this series is that they added some common sense with his weapon. His wooden staff tends to break often in battle, but it's more than just a staff in this series - it actually has a hidden blade in it which he can use for slashing and stabbing. He rarely uses it though, which is a shame. Also, for people here familiar with Death Battle on Youtube, I don’t know if the writers of this series saw their TMNT Battle royale and just went „Aw HELL NAW!“ at the Raphael vs Donatello match, but in the very first scene of the very first episode of the very first season, the turtles have a sparring match. Raphael while unarmed effortlessly beats an armed Donatello by grabbing his bo staff and using his superior strength to pull it out of Donnie’s hands. You know, common sense. He then breaks it and starts beating on Donnie with it.
Even so, Raph does love Donnie and understands how much April means to him: www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_0WE8…
*yawn* „We’ve been looking for mutagen for days now dudes. This is so boring I’m gonna scream....AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!“
The shortest of the turtles. His face also makes him look the youngest. Mikey is.....a complicated issue in this series. He is his traditional immature self but can sometimes go overboard. That's the problem I have with him in this series. He likes to joke around and act silly, but he can sometimes do it in a very serious situation which makes him look more like an annoying idiot than a likeable goofball. Even so, just like Raph's jerkass moments, this was toned down as the series progressed. He is also the turtle that needs to be saved the most in battle which makes sense considering he's supposed to be the youngest and weakest, but then there was one scene where he gets distracted during a fight and ends up needing April to save him from what was pretty much a useless villain. I kind of frowned on that scene, but I guess the writers needed to give April a badass moment so they went for it. His weapons are also modified in this series, just like Donnie’s. His nunchuks have blades hidden inside them and can turn into a kusarigama (I think that's what it's called XD). He also has a habit of naming the villains of the episode, and he takes this VERY seriously, acting very irritated when someone else names the villain instead of him. While still needing help during combat he has come along way and has saved the day on a few occasions later in the series clearly implying that he improved as a fighter and a thinker.
He also likes to pull pranks: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_qAnw…
„You got caught on video. You are ninjas, you work in the shadows, in secret. This becomes difficult if there is proof of your existence – in high definition!“
And here we are. We’ve finally reached that point. What I consider the best thing about the 2012 series. Master Splinter is one of my favorite things about this series. He is very notably different from the previous incarnations. For one thing he is much, much taller, towering over the turtles rather than being shorter than they are. He's pretty much as tall as the Shredder. The second thing you will notice about him is that he is more laid back and less serious. While still a wise father figure and stern sensei to the turtles he definitely leans more towards the „father“ part. He is witty, sarcastic and a troll. Yes, he is a troll – he REALLY seems to enjoy teaching his sons lessons the hard way. The third thing about this version of Splinter is that his backstory is similar to the 80’s Splinter. Instead of being Hamato Yoshi’s pet rat, he is in fact Hamato Yoshi himself mutated into a rat. And last but definitely not least – his power. This version of Splinter is a freaking MONSTER! He rarely fights but when he does it’s almost always against opponents who, at one point, were shown to be too much for the turtles to handle even as a team – and Splinter pretty much always humiliates these opponents. He is basically a walking Deus Ex Machina, hence why his screen time is extremely limited and he prefers to stay in the lair since, let’s be honest, if he went on missions, the episodes would be 5 minutes long at best. Despite this he does have his weaknesses. While he is incredibly powerful in physical combat he can be overpowered with mental attacks (the Rat King), by playing on his emotions (Shredder) or clever planning and sneak attacks (Tiger Claw). Also, in the last two episodes, the writers apparently wanted to make him slightly more balanced so they had him actually needing help. Personally, I think they didn’t do a very good job writing that scenario (for those who don’t mind spoilers I’d be happy to explain). Overall, this Splinter is freaking awesome, and (again) my favorite incarnation of the character.
Also, there is one Splinter-related thing that I feel I should tackle. A thing that’s pretty much on it’s way to possibly becoming a meme within the TMNT 2012 fanbase. When Splinter meets Tiger Claw (a mutant Tiger assassin – more about him later in the journal) for the first time they have a short conversation is Japanese. According to the english subititles this is what they say:
Tiger Claw: An old proverb says – even a cornered rat will bite a cat. Is that so?
Splinter: Come find out.
Now, obviously there is nothing strange about this conversation at first glance.....until you actually listen to the way they speak Japanese. If you listen closely you’ll notice that Splinter’s response in Japanese sounds a bit like he said „Shitty Tiger“. Since I don’t speak Japanese I used Youtube comments to see what was the deal, and someone said that Splinter actually said something like „shiritai ka“ which is probably what happened, but the way he said it does sound a little like „Shitty Tiger“. While it may easily be a coincidence, considering the writing so far, Splinter’s personality and the circumstances (he’s fighting a mutant tiger) I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t a coincidence, but was actually one of the best examples of getting past the censors ever. (the scene is posted down at the „Tiger Claw“ analysis)
Some of his funny moments: www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1DUfM…
„Guys, guys! You’ll never believe what happened to me. I am being hunted...... by a giant pigeon!“
As per tradition he have the lovely April O’Neil joining the mutant cast......and she just may be the most altered character of all. For one thing, she is aged down. Instead of being a woman in her 20s she is the same age as the turtles, a high school teenager. Her father is a scientist who the villains are after, and she herself gets captured as well. Ignoring the aging aspect of the character (and it’s pretty damn hard to ignore it imo) this April seems to be a mix between the two Aprils of previous shows – she starts of as a damsel in distress like the 80’s version was, getting frequently captured and restrained by the villains needing to be saved by the turtles. However, eventually Splinter decides to take her in as a student and teach her some martial arts, so she is slowly becoming a fighter like the 2003 version. Key word being „slowly“. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing but, just Leonardo’s leader role, April’s training and progress in becoming a ninja is treated very realistically. She has been training with Splinter...... for several weeks.......and she’s up against enemies who have been training for years and some of them are mutant/alien monsters. It’s perfectly realistic that she is still incapable of beating them. However, she still has a little too many damsel in distress moments even after being trained, usually getting saved by Donatello. However, she is becoming better as of season 2, and one episode actually tackles this issue, with April showing absolute anger and disappointment at the fact that she constantly needs to be saved. Even so, she can still somewhat handle herself in combat and has actually had some awesome moments as well as been the one to do the saving, so she is growing as a character.
Now, her romance with Donatello......I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. Why was this needed to be done? I’ve seen that there are a lot of people who are supporting it (especially on Devianatart and Youtube) but I just found it too random. Not just random, but also distracting. Sometimes when watching an episode the Donnie/April moments just tend to distract me from the main plot. Plus, while I don’t have proof of this, it’s possible that the writers wouldn’t have had April needing to be rescued so often if it hadn’t been for Donnie’s crush on her. Even so, the „love“ itself is actually handled pretty well, as far as teenage crushes can go. Donnie is head over heels for her the second he sees her but she just views him as a friend. They spend a lot of time together and become close, but again, nothing crosses the line to actually mutual romance. When Casey Jones inevitably got introduced in the series, Donnie was beyond jealous. His crush on April combined with his jealousy of Casey ended up manifesting into an obsession. Fortunately, Splinter literally smacked some sense into him. So, yeah, the writers definitely have been busy with this pairing exploring a lot of different aspects of it. While I personally don’t care much for it, I can understand why so many people do. It does have some sweet and funny moments from time to time.
So my final thoughts on April? Judging from a subjective point of view, I have a hard time getting used to her. I feel that she was simply changed too much from the previous incarnations. Judging from an objective point of view within the 2012 series, she is a well written character. Her battle progress is slow but clearly there, and her relationship with Donnie is realistically written from her point of view, in the way that she clearly doesn’t fall heed over heels for the giant mutated turtle but instead considers him a friend whom she becomes close with as time goes by.
„That’s it, lizard. I’m done with you! GOONGALAAAAA!!!!“
The masked hockey stick wielding vigilante and April’s love interest. Yup, that’s what this incarnation is too, though he and April hadn’t reached the mutual „love interest“ part yet as they are still part of the love triangle with Donnie. Okay, enough about relationships already, let’s talk about the actual character. Just like April, Casey has been de-agefied and is a highschool teenage delinquent. Violent and a jerkass, he quickly gets serious once he meets the mutated villains that roam this series and gains some positive character development. In this incarnation, he uses a mask with painted on skull. It looks pretty good on him. He also uses an electric tazer to stun opponents and has automatic roller blades built into his shoes. Overall, the other versions of Casey would probably be proud of his badassness. He also has a gap in his teeth from playing hockey. This becomes additionally funny when you realize that Donnie also has a gap in his teeth, and both of them have a crush on April. So, to be honest, I don’t really have any complaints to this version of Casey. I’ve always liked Casey and this version is fine to me. There is one major complaint I have – his unbelievably inconsistent power level. When introduced, Casey was a balanced fighter. He could fight really well but could still be overwhelmed and needed help in battle. In his second appearance he accomplishes something that he really, REALLY shouldn’t have been able to accomplish making him look more powerful than the entire turtle team, which makes no sense. In his third appearance, he goes back to being balanced again. Later, he again does something that makes him look more powerful than any of the turtles. And LATER he is back to being balanced. I just wish the writers would make up their minds and go with the balanced version since it makes absolutely no sense for a teenage hockey player to be more powerful than a team of mutants trained in the art of battle for pretty much their entire lives by one of the greatest martial arts masters in the world. Although, to be fair, his power does come from his speed, agility and in the „dishing it out“ department. Casey is NOT very good at taking damage, so he’s better off outmaneuvering his opponents rather than risking a direct melee fight.
Also, this version of Casey has a fear of rats. No points for guessing what happens when he meets Splinter: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRnO6j…
"Sure. Ditch me again."
Yup, Irma is here too. Wearing dorky glasses, she is the smart and VERY talkative highschool friend of April. She only appeared for a couple of episodes so far, so I can’t comment much about her. She dresses like a goth girl and Casey finds her annoying. She hasn’t met the turtles yet. That’s.......pretty much it.
So much for the protagonists, let’s move on to our antagonists.
Shredder (Oroku Saki)
„There is undoubtedly a fascinating story at how my old nemesis came to teach ninjutsu to 4 mutant turtles. Perhaps I will let one of you live long enough to tell it.“
As per tradition, the archenemy of the turtles and Splinter in particular. This version of Shredder is human, unlike the 2003 version. Oroku Saki and Hamato Yoshi were very close friends once, pretty much like brothers. Until they both fell in love with the same woman. She chose Yoshi, and Saki was very jealous. Their friendship soon turned into hatred which culminated into a massive fight at Splinter’s house which caused a fire that consumed Splinter’s home and cause him to lose his family as well as cause the Shredder to have half of his face burned including his right eye.
This version of Shredder is serious, cruel, sadistic and, along with Splinter, the most powerful fighter in the series so far. He has his typical mask and bladed armor – two retractable long blades that he uses for combat and one hidden blade used to deliver the finishing attack. He is very rich and influential, having a base in both Japan and the USA and, obviously, commands the Foot clan. At first he and his army were humanbased enemies, but with all the mutagen running around in the series, he quickly got acquainted with all the alien mutated stuff going on, and he utilized it in his arsenal and army. Revenge is everything to him! Nothing else is important. He wants to kill Splinter. That is all he cares about. NOTHING ELSE! The guy still hasn’t gotten over losing the woman he loved to Splinter. Some people have argued that this makes him a very flat and uninteresting character. Sadly, I have to agree to a certain extend. He is kind of boring as a character in that regard. Come on, he and Splinter used to be like brothers. It would be nice to still see traces of that friendship. I’m not saying Shredder should become a good guy but at least show us a little bit of depth to him instead of just having him be a revenge-obsessed one-dimensional character.
The one truly interesting thing about him are his fight scenes. His sheer badassness makes up for his lack of character depth in a way. Every single one of his battles is awesome. Also, I like the fact that he is a reasonable leader. His troops fail him and he threatens and hurts them for it, but he knows how valuable they are and gives them more chances. While ultimately this doesn’t grant him any significant victories against the turtles, it does make his army grow and become more and more powerful. He started off with an army of human ninjas. Now he has an army of more powerful robot ninjas, mutated henchmen, has access to highly advanced technology and has gained powerful allies to help him in his plans. Despite defeats and setbacks, his army is constantly getting stronger. The man may let his thirst for revenge cloud his judgement sometimes, but he clearly knows how to run an organization.
Chris Bradford and Xever (Dogpound and Fishface)
Shredder’s top henchmen. The main reason why Shredder doesn’t have much of a character may be because he has very limited screen time. He spends a lot of time commanding his troops, so it’s his henchman who get most of the screen time and entertaining moments, and boy are they fun to watch.
Now, Shredder’s henchmen start off as humans but get mutated less than half way into the first season, so I don’t think it’s spoiler to reveal that here. Not to mention the opening for the first season clearly shows their mutated forms alongside Shredder, but when the Shredder gets introduced you can clearly see that he has two human henchmen. So basically, anyone with at least an average IQ could figure out the two human henchmen will probably get mutated into the guys from the opening.
Fishface in particular was out of commission for a couple of epsiodes after getting mutated: www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaolSJ…
Chris Bradford a.k.a. Dogpound
„Rather perish with honor, than live in shame!“
Chris Bradford is one of Shredder’s best students. He looks like a muscular younger Chuck Norris! XD He is highly trained in combat, follows a warrior’s code of honor and is a celebrity. He has his own martial arts school and is very popular due to his skills. That’s his public image obviously. His private image is that he worship the Shredder and every failure to achieve what the Shredder tells him to is considered great shame to him. Keep in mind that his „code of honor“ is not what you would expect. He doesn’t really show much honor when dealing with the turtles, and is more than willing to play dirty to get to them. His honor refers to loyalty to his Master. He fights with all sorts of ninja related equipment but mostly prefers a sword. He later gets mutated into Dogpound. A large muscular dog mutant with one extra giant arm. Depending on the situation, he usually requires multiple turtles to be taken out, and has on more than one occasion beaten the entire turtle team by himself. Even so, he has a rivalry with Michelangelo in particular simply because Mikey used to see him as a sort of idol.
Xever a.k.a. Fishface
„Eh, mostly I like having a job where I get to crack skulls every day.“
Xever used to be a highly skillful thief.....until he tried to steal from the Shredder. Whoops. Fortunately, Shredder found his talents useful and recruited him for the Foot clan’s dirtier jobs. He and Bradford HATE each other and don’t like working together, but Shredder forces them to. Xever is black, skinny, with very long legs and an afro haircut. He uses knives in battle but they seem to be there just to finish off an opponent since he usually uses his long legs to kick the crap out of his enemies. He is much less honorable than Bradford and much more cruel and psychotic. He gets mutated into Fishface – a red fish with arms and a poisonous bite. He loses his legs, but later gets mechanical ones as well as artificial lungs to help him breathe when out of the water. He has a rivalry with Raphael and the two acknowledge how similar they are in their lust for violence, except Xever is willing to cross lines Raphael would never cross.
„Yeah, ’cause if Shredder finds out you have an ice cream lamp, it is over.“
Shredder’s daughter. Like Leonardo and Splinter, this version of Karai is much less serious and is much more laid back and sarcastic than her previous incarnations. Again, like April, Casey and Irma, she is de-agefied and is about the same age as the turtles. Leonardo develops a crush on her when he meets her. The two actually have a sort of flirty battle and she initially zig-zags between helping the turtles and trying to kill them. She normally uses a sword to fight and is roughly on Leonardo’s level in terms of battle power. She also develops a rivalry with April, but is obviously too powerful for April to defeat. She is the one who first tries to get the Shredder to consider paying more attention to the mutagen and other weird stuff happening in the city, and is usually the voice of reason for him when he lets his lust for revenge get the better of him. She loves her father very much and is always willing to do everything she can to help him. I could give more information about Karai. However, the problem with her is that she got introduced a little later in the series and thus, is connected with a lot of spoiler-related stuff.
One of her flirty scenes with Leo: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OjRfP…
„And I built a science fair volcano but with actual molten lava. Burned down the whole gimnasium hahahahahaha.....I was expelled. And I vowed revenge on those who wronged me!“
Ohhhhhh where do I begin with this poor loser? Poor POOR Baxter Stockman. He tries so hard to look and sound like a badass but he just can’t pull it off. Arguably the character that gets the least amount of respect from both the turtles and the other villains. This version of Baxter is black with an afro-like haircut. He has been insulted and made fun of his entire life, so he decided „Screw it, I’m going to become a villain!“ and so he did....with little results. That is until he acquired some alien technology, explored it and managed to utilize it to create some truly impressive and powerful machines. He started off as an independent villain until he accidentally crossed paths with Dogpound and got „recruited“ for the Shredder. He built Xever new legs and artificial lungs. Despite this, nobody at the Foot clan respects him and everyone there either insults or threatens him. As per tradition, he built the mousers. In this version their names are an acronym for „Mobile Offensive Underground Search Excavation and Retrieval Sentries“. Leonardo comments how forced it sounds. He used them to steal valuables and high tech equipment before their primary function became combat and defense. Overall, this version of Baxter can be dangerous when he puts his mind to it, but he is just so over-the-top and hilarious that it’s hard to take him seriously.
Also, characters have a habit of mispronouncing his name: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NMCy2…
„It was a rival who sliced off my tail. One day I will find it and he WILL pay the price!“*starts licking milk from a glass like a house kitty*
The newest member of the Foot Clan – introduced in the latest episode special as Shredder’s new second-in-command implying he’s more powerful than Karai and any of the Shredder’s henchmen. Mutated as a child decades before the actual story, he is obviously a tiger mutant. Tall, muscular and cunning, he is the most feared assassin in all of Asia. He uses high-tech guns to fight as well as a sword and some additional trapping equipment as well as a jetpack. He is a walking Boba Fett reference. His tail has been cut off by an unknown rival and he vows revenge for that. I must admit, when I first heard of Tiger Claw (he was announced to appear in the second season) I was worried they would turn him into a Gary Stu type of character. As in, he would be so powerful and so badass he would be able to mop the floor with Splinter and the turtles. I was pleasantly surprised to see that he is actually pretty balanced out as far as combat skills go. He refers to the turtles as „cubs“ and is clearly powerful enough to defeat them due to his superior experience and age. However, it’s soon made painfully clear he is nowhere near Splinter’s and Shredder’s level, and, thus, needs to rely on tactics to achieve his goals rather than brute force.
The member of the Foot Clan with the shortest screen time but I found him very interesting, badass and overall well-written.
Plus there’s the „Shitty Tiger“ joke: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNyAxT…
Now, for the non-Foot clan enemies
„This place is a place where you are not allowed to be in this place.“
The ones who are known as „The Kraang“ in the series known as the „2012 TMNT“ series are different from the one called „Krang“ from the series known as the „80s TMNT“ series in a sense that in the new series, those who are known as „The Kraang“ are an entire race of creatures that the ones known as „Earthlings“ refer to as an „Alien race“ rather than being just one character.
Okay, that was hard. I tried mimicking the way the Kraang speak in this series. Anyway, in the 2012 series the Kraang are an alien race rather than just one character like in the 80’s series. They look almost the same as the old Krang, but can’t speak without their exosuits. And when they do speak it’s like Mojo Jojo from the Powerpuff Girls taught them English. Before the Shredder shows up in the series the Kraang were the primary villains, and to be fair, even after the Shredder shows up, the Kraang could still be considered the bigger threat, since the Shredder wants revenge, while the Kraang want to conquer the world. They are responsible for the creation of the mutagen that created the turtles and Splinter as well as every other mutant in the series so far. They use different models of exosuits to battle their enemies, as well as different high-tech weapons, machines and flying ships. They also have the Technodrome. They are the alien race whose technology enabled Baxter Stockman to become a threat, and their technology was used to give Fishface legs and lungs, they mutated Tiger Claw etc. Basically, they affect pretty much EVERYTHING in the series. The reason they produce the mutagen and create mutants is to make the Earth a more appropriate place for them to live. The problem is that the mutagen doesn’t work the way they want it. It’s highly unpredictable, so they’re trying to perfect it. They also have a leader.
Pic of a Kraang: img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20…
„There’s nowhere for you to run, mutants. All of you will die here!“
The leader and supreme commander of the Kraang. He is much, much, much larger than any other Kraang, being gigantic in size and having a massive exosuit to go with it. He is the only Kraang that can speak without the need to channel his thoughts through an exosuit though and, while he still speaks somewhat redundantly, it’s much less redundant than the other members of his race. I could say more about him, but sadly, I would risk giving spoilers so that’s basically it as far Kraang Prime is concerned.
The Rat King
„They are the true plague! Together we shall rid this city of humanity and reclaim it for ourselves!“
This series has the creepiest version of the Rat King I’ve ever seen. Long dark robe, large black hat (I read online that his clothes may be a reference to the clothing worn by plague doctors in the middle ages), burned body which looks like a corpse and bandages around his eyes because he’s blind. His main goal is to eliminate the human race and have rats be the new masters with him as their supreme ruler. He obviously decides to try and control Splinter and get him on his side. Since Splinter in this series is so powerful, this makes the Rat King VERY dangerous to the turtles, especially when you consider that he can telepathically find and mind rape Splinter even from great distances. However, the Rat King does have his weaknesses – physical combat. He is physically very weak and fragile. His blindness also doesn’t help. Due to his telepathic link with rats he is capable of seeing through their eyes, which is why he must have rats with him at all times otherwise he is completely blind and helpless. But when he does have enough rats, look out. He is a freaking ratbender! He can make rats attack by running like a river, form walls, carry him away and even form bridges and stairs for him to run on. Even so, his main threat level is, of course, his control over Splinter. A very creepy but cool character.
No clip of him, but here’s a picture. Enjoy: images.wikia.com/tmnt/images/9…
„You won’t be telling anyone anything! ROAAAAAAARRRR!!!!“
One of the most tragic characters in this series. He is not a villain, but is a very intense anti-hero. When he was a little alligator a boy took him as a pet. Then the boy’s parents found out about him and flushed him down the toilet. He was discovered by the Kraang who mutated him and conducted horrible experiments on him for pretty much his entire life. The experience was so traumatic it drove him crazy. He eventually managed to escape and decided to keep to himself. Alone, paranoid and on the brink of insanity, just mentioning the word „Kraang“ causes him to go berserk and attack both friend and foe alike. This is the main problem the turtles faced when they tried getting close to him. Fortunatelly they can calm him down by talking to him (Splinter can also calm him down by smacking him out of it XD). He has a strong bond with Michelangello, the only turtle who trusted him from the start, and he really, REALLY seems to hate Donnie’s face. Whenever Leatherhead goes berserk it’s a running gag for him to grab Donnie by the face and shake him around. As far as power goes, this version of Leatherhead is a powerhouse, mowing down groups of Kraang robots and exosuits and being more powerful than the turtle team.
Here is some of the Donnie face grabbing moments:
There are other known characters such as Mutagen Man and Slash, but I won’t be talking about them simply because it would be hard to do that without giving a lot of spoilers.
So much for the characters. Let’s talk a little bit about the style. Basically, as you may have noticed from some of the clips, this series uses CGI combined with an anime-ish style. It takes a bit of getting used to (well, it did for me at least) but once you get used to it can be pretty cool and hilarious. Flashbacks are usually done in comic book style as is the end of every episode. Also, when the series wants to reference something it has no problems switching to that style to sell the joke. One time they did a Super Mario joke and the animation switched to video game style for a couple of seconds. Also, one of the things that’s interesting is that they tend to switch between the style of the 80’s series and 2003 series as far as the turtles’ eyes go. The turtles have pupils in their eyes just like in the 80’s series. But when the turtles are angry, if the episode becomes more serious or if there’s a big battle about to happen or is happening the turtle’s lose their pupils and look more serious and dangerous similar to their 2003 counterparts. Speaking of the earlier series, the 80’s turtles make an appearance in the latest episode („Wormquake – The Manhattan Project“) but they don’t actually meet the 2012 turtles. The 2012 turtles simply see them through a portal into another dimension and comment how dorky the 80’s versions look, with Donnie understandably falling for the 80’s version of April. However, I should point out that, despite the „dorks“ joke, the 80’s turtles are treated with MUCH more respect here than in the „Turtles Forever“ movie. Instead of the goofy, almost moronic versions we got in „Turtles Forever“, here the 80’s turtles are in character and have their original voice actors (though the animation could have been better): www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYbeYT…
As for the story itself. It’s pretty complicated actually. You have the Shredder wanting revenge, you have the Kraang wanting to invade and you have other subplots that I can’t mention because it would give spoilers. Overall, when all these things get together you have a very interesting but complicated story with a lot of stuff going on. Fortunately, some of the subplots are starting to get cleared up, so it will hopefully become less complicated. Though the series does try to take itself as simple as possible, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. For example, a big revelation was given to Leonardo at the end of one episode. The episode ends without us seeing Leo’s reaction. Several episodes later, despite such a big revelation, nobody speaks of it, not even Leo, and then later Leo decides to mention it. This is good in keeping the episodes simpler and focused on the actual main plot of said episode without bringing in the complexity of the revelation from the previous episode....but at the same time it makes the characters look weird, forgetful or flat-out casual about these big revelations. Not to mention it’s annoying when there’s a big revelation and you want to see the characters’ reaction and you never do because the reaction and the character getting used to the revelation is all done offscreen inbetween episodes. Still, hopefully this will be somehow fixed later since the series IS getting better with new epsiodes. The first season started off average. In fact some of the early episodes I considered to be downright bad and predictable. As the half of the season drew closer, the episodes started to get better only for the season to have an awesome finale. Season 2 begins intensely and it’s early episodes are much, much, much better written than the early episodes of season 1. The writers are learning not to be too predictable with their plot twists and even when they are, they make the episode dramatic or awesome enough to make up for it.
So.....yeah, that’s about it. If you are a TMNT fan I recommend you watch this series. It's true that it starts off a little weak, but it gets much better. The action is good, the humor is good, the characters are likeable and entertaining, and the writing is constantly improving. Check it out if you can.