So Far: Nick's TMNT

And once again I'm going to talk about this show. Because it's the only one that motivates me to write reviews apparently.

A lot of things interest me about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series. I would give a short summary of my thoughts on it so far but I thought instead I'd tell it by dividing them into different points. So in no particular order...

TEAMWORK
One of the first things that our new turtles learn (aside from the joy of eating pizza) is how to work together. We're shown in the pilot that while the team are highly trained fighters, they're not very good at backing each other up. After they realize this, they assign a leader (Leonardo) and they become better fighters by becoming a team. I say this because it seems like the writers should also be learning this too. It seems like all the episodes that I've been disappointed with have mostly been ones that focus on a single turtle. It's usually harder to write an episode of a show about a team without focusing on one member but here they actually do better when they do. It's not that I don't want episodes about any single character. It would be great if they could develop any one of them further. But they usually result in moments like in "Turtle Temper" and "Metalhead" in which both episodes end with one turtle saving the day after the others got their asses kicked, making them look useless. Comparing them with the episode "New Friend, Old Enemy" which although still mostly focused on Michelangelo, ends with one of the most glorious moments of teamwork from the turtles, and I think it's clear that teamwork is the most important part of the TMNT.

HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE SPLINTER
Splinter's design was on of the very few things I was skeptical about. I've always liked his Yoda like size and how it contrasted with his expert ninja skills. It took some time to get used to the fact that he's now the size you'd expect a master to be compared to his students. It's why I'm thankful that show not only made up for it in character, but that he's also the second best Splinter I've seen(best is still 2003 Splinter). Usually, you'd see Splinter give sage advice in mostly cliches(stuff about patience, strength from within, blah blah blah) but here the speeches are both original and really good advice. Take this speech from the episode I just mentioned, "New Friend, Old Enemy"


Yep, that was Splinter teaching one of his sons that winning is more important in a fight than being fair. In a kids show no less. So that combined with a great voice acting job by Hoon Lee means I have no more reason to complain about new 2012 Splinter.

FANSERVICE!
Even though I know it's usually used as a cheap way to make fans happy, I like it when franchises make references to itself(or as TVtrpoes calls it, Mythology Gags). So much that my last two post about TMNT were about just that. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have had a big history much like other comic book characters. Though the problem has always been how different the many versions are. It's obvious the show is trying to appeal more to the fans of the 1987 cartoon. It makes the most sense because it's the one that most people are familiar with and nostalgic for. But thanks to showrunner Ciro Nieli, who's a fan from the days of the original comics, there are a lot more references to that as well. So while you still get a lot of moments like this( http://tinyurl.com/c79lllx ), you also get moments like this( http://i4.minus.com/ibmkUAdsM5vA0.jpg ). Hopefully, I'll get to see more moments like the latter.
NEW FRIENDS, NEW ENEMIES
So here is where I finally talk about the plot and characters. There have been some great new characters joining the cast. Dogpound and Fishface, who I'd thought I'd never like since they're clearly trying to be yet another way of spiritually bringing back Bebop and Rocksteady, have surprisingly become my new favorite villains. I'm glad they went with original tortured ally version of Leatherhead instead of the dumb Cajun hat-wearing version from the '87 series. We've also got our first look at Rat King.
One thing disappointed me about him, tough. See we got this really cool villain a while ago played by Jeffrey Combs who was a scientist who found a way to get psychic powers by experimenting with the Kraang ooze. It was surprising because before that point it seemed like the series was going for a "Mutant of the Week" format, with every bad guy who wasn't the Kraang or the foot clan being some guy mutated by ooze(Nick already has a Power Rangers. We don't need another one). Then that guy turned out to be...Rat King. Well, I can't be too disappointed. It was cool way to introduce him and he is still a villain who's not a Kraang, foot ninja, or mutant(well, I guess technically he's a mutant), but I also liked that he was an original villain. One of the great things about TMNT is that each version has they're own original bad guys. The closest thing this series has to that are the mutants that aren't really that interesting to me.
I have second problem that came up recently. Karai has finally shown up. Many know Karai as the leader of the Japanese branch of the foot clan who takes over the american branch as well when the Shredder dies. Though, thanks to the 2003 series, a new angle was added in that she is now the Shredder's adopted daughter too. This part of her character is what every other adaptation has decided to focus on(for reasons I don't really understand). And now it seems a new angle has been added. Get this: Leonardo...has a crush on Karai. Now as itself, it's not a bad idea. Leonardo is always the closest to get to Karai in every other incarnation and this does add to her tendency to play both sides(another part of her character I wish they didn't ignore). But here's the problem: so far, the only to female characters in this show are love interests. That's a really sad fact since it doesn't say good things about the writers. I still think both Karai and April O'neill are still good characters in this series, but it's starting to look like they won't be passing the Bechdel Test anytime soon.

IN CONCLUSION...
So, I'm still enjoying the show and I can't wait to see what gets resolved this season. Shredder's finally had his first fight with the turtles. His 2 henchmen are both mutated and ready to fight. We know who the Kraang are and what they're motivation is. Baxter Stockman, Rat King, and Karai have all made their appearances. We still won't get Casey Jones until the next season, so there's that to look forward to. I heard that a third season has been confirmed and that's also great. So go watch the show if you haven't yet and thanks for reading!

So far I've enjoyed the show.

I don't expect anything deep because, well, Nick, but at least it's well animated and fun.

Tanis:
So far I've enjoyed the show.

I don't expect anything deep because, well, Nick, but at least it's well animated and fun.

Ooh, a comment! Finally. I was hoping you'd say something about my points, but that's fine too.

I really wasn't thinking much about it until one day when a YouTube add for the show popped up and caught my interest.

One of the turtles (I think it was Mikey) asked if "I" wanted to see something really awesome and warned "me" that whatever I do, I should not push the "Skip Ad" button. So, I was like "Ok, I'll bite. That was pretty amusing. What do you have to offer in this show?"

The resulting trailer that followed had me very amused. Especially the fact that one of the turtles actually has a pet turtle. Also the animation style. I love how it combines 3D animation with 2D animé-style effects. It works great!

uneek:
HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE SPLINTER
Splinter's design was on of the very few things I was skeptical about. I've always liked his Yoda like size and how it contrasted with his expert ninja skills. It took some time to get used to the fact that he's now the size you'd expect a master to be compared to his students. It's why I'm thankful that show not only made up for it in character, but that he's also the second best Splinter I've seen(best is still 2003 Splinter). Usually, you'd see Splinter give sage advice in mostly cliches(stuff about patience, strength from within, blah blah blah) but here the speeches are both original and really good advice. Take this speech from the episode I just mentioned, "New Friend, Old Enemy"


Yep, that was Splinter teaching one of his sons that winning is more important in a fight than being fair. In a kids show no less. So that combined with a great voice acting job by Hoon Lee means I have no more reason to complain about n

Ahh, yes. Master Splinter. His completely-redesigned appearance was startling, but I grew to like it. He comes off as a bit less soft, but more noble and wise. Also, less plain-looking. And looking at the lines of dialogue you just provided, you really gotta give the writers props for having the guts and talent to have characters actually saying this kind of stuff.

It's it amazing? A new reboot of a very popular and profitable series came out recently... on Nickelodeon no less... and it's actually good.

I was pleasantly surprised with the show. The art style is good, feels like the old mirage comics. Not keen on them making Hamato Yoshi/Splinter into one person, but I can live with it. The writing and dialogue is well done.

Overall seems to be a interesting mix of the source material, the 87' cartoon, and the 2003 series.

x-Tomfoolery-x:
Not keen on them making Hamato Yoshi/Splinter into one person, but I can live with it.

What I always felt about that change is that, while it is creative and makes the origin slightly more realistic and simple, it's still very unnecessary and not in anyway more interesting than the rat just learning the moves. So while I don't mind it, I much prefer the original version.

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked