April 3, 2006
The New TMNT Series & DVDouble Shots!

FINALLY, Scary-Crayon is back to normal -- or at least as normal as it ever gets around these parts. Here's hoping y'all enjoyed this weekend's April Foolery! 🙂 As promised, I've linked the layout in the content pages so you can always revisit the horrific Disney-Crayon if you feel the need. And speaking of April Fool's Day layouts, here's the one we did in '05. It's absolutely terrifying.

That said, today we take an in-depth look at the 2003- TMNT series. I admit that I wasn't initially all that keen on the series -- things started off kind of boring and there have always been far too many filler episodes for my tastes -- but things have picked up in recent weeks to the point where I really can't wait to see what happens next. I could do without the gimmicky 4Kids theme days and the cool contests that I'm sadly too old to enter (no fair; I want to win G.I. Joe figures and Winx Club dolls too!), but still. TURTLE POWAAA!!!! 😀

Until next time, minna-san. Ja!

-posted by Wes | 3:25 pm | Comments (8)
  • Andi says:

    Sweet. Now, this is interesting...

    So it's worth checking into? I'll see what I can acomplish. Getting up in the morning is not fun.

    Your reviews on good shows/bad shows are really something. Keep doing more. 😀 Brings back memories of my childhood.


  • Actually, I'd have to say that I prefer season one to this current season because of the closer parallels to the original comics and first movie. ("The Shredder Strikes" is definately my favourite storyline, though). I even like some of the fillers, mainly "Nano" (which was wonderfully surreal and creepy), and "Fallen Angel" (because I like seeing little girls kick ass). "Turtle Titan" was kinda lame though.

    Anyway, I do like the current season too (though I wish cartoon Karai was more like comic-book Karai), and I still say that IMHO the new TMNT is the 3rd best show on TV right now!

  • Josh says:

    I enjoyed reading this review a lot. For viewers that arn't kids, the show requires us to take the Ninja Turtles more serious than most people. I'm talking about people who might've seen a few episodes of the old cartoon and can't tell you anything about Splinter's origin, but if they see anything TMNT related they will say "The Ninja Turtles rule!!!" that and Power Rangers.

    The old cartoon was toony and the new one is like an animated comic I suppose. Maybe what I'm trying to say is that the new series can only be enjoyed by the more sophisticated turtle fan.

    The thing that still bothers me at times is the artwork. I disliked the new look from the start. The turtles are too fat compared to the old series and their video game counterparts.

    Compare the "old school" and "new school" pictures you put side by side. Which one looks better? I'm not talking about just the turtles. Look at the clouds and buildings. I find "old school" much more appealing.

  • Wes says:

    Andi: That's what we're here for! Sometimes, anyway. 😉

    Tetsu: Hm, I can see that. While I certainly would've rated the first season higher if it had consistently been on the level of "The Shredder Strikes" or the "Return to New York" episodes, there was also stuff like "Garbageman" (ugh) and "Notes from the Underground", which a lot of people have liked but which I pretty much found uninteresting from the start and have hence been seriously irked by the fact that they keep coming back to that largely unrelated portion of the Turtles' adventures for no apparent purpose. It's the pointless filler that keeps on filling. And I felt that the payoff to the mystery surrounding the Shredder and the Guardians kinda cheapened that whole aspect when it was finally revealed. KRANG IS SHREDDER! I don't like Kredder.

    What I like about the current season is that a bunch of the stuff that I hated about the other seasons and/or previous episodes has been rectified and/or redeemed. Kredder was stupid, but now we have a badass human Shredder in Karai (whom I much prefer to her comic incarnation, though I wish she wore the pink outfit of her video game counterpart ;)). Bishop is finally getting interesting. Leatherhead has something to do again. (Think about it -- the dude practically lives next door to the Turtles! He should've been in almost every episode.) And Don is a monstaaar and that is awesome. 🙂

    If TMNT is the third best show on TV right now, what are the other two?

    Josh: I dunno, I kinda like the badass new art style -- but admittedly it's not as fun and friendly as the old school animation. Have you seen the concept artwork for the WB TMNT show that never got off the ground? (Check 'em out on The Official TMNT Web Site.) I think I like that look best of all. 🙂

  • I'm glad you asked!

    in my opinion the 2 best shows currently on TV are...

    #2. Samurai Champloo - I love anachronism, and I love Samurai stories. So, how could I not love a hip-hop Samurai show? (actually there's more Neo-jazz music than hip-hop on the show, which is fine cause I like it much better than hip-hop, and much, much better than the standard "Old Movie Music" that's always in all the old Samurai movies I watch). And, the fight scenes are the best I've ever seen!

    #1. Code Lyoko - I know it doesn't look good at first glance. But, this is truly a quality show!

    The best ascpect of it is the character depth. The characters have truly developed personalities instead of being forced into their stereotypes. Sissi the snotty girl occasionally reveals a sensitive side. "Mild-mannered" Jeremie can reveal a nasty streak when he's stressed out. Tough-guy Ulrich has insecurites about his father. All this and more, makes the characters ALOT more 3-dimensional than many characters on other shows (both animated and live-action).

    My favourite part is the romantic content, particularly the relationship between Jeremie and Aelita. I've always been annoyed by the lack of romance in cartoons and CL finally delivers! Sometimes an episode will even put the action part on the back-burner so it can focus on the characters personal situations (which often include romantic situations, but not always).

    Not that the action-ascpect is anything to sneeze at. The fight scenes are very well done (not as good as Samurai Champloo's though), and Ulrich's virtual form is a Samurai meaning this show has a taste of Samurai-action too. Also, the fact that the main villian Xana (a litterally demonic A.I.) is completely intangible is really unique. Instead of sitting on a throne plotting his evil plans out loud like most cartoon villians, he's simply an evil omnipresent intelligence that posseses their friends and controlls all the monsters.

    For the record, when CN reruns FLCL, all these other shows go down a notch with FLCL at #1 (I consider it the greatest work of mankind!). But with FLCL currently off the air Code Lyoko is by FAR my favourite. Sorry if I got carried away with the size of this post.

  • GM says:

    I swear I'm the only person on Earth who doesn't mind Shredder being an Utrom.

  • Yayoi says:

    I don't mind Shredder being an Utrom either, actually.^^ Well, at first, it bugged me because I really liked the jealousy subplot, which caused Shredder to become evil in the first place (plus it's cooler if he's just a human and still so freakin' powerful). But it was kinda the only way they could keep Shredder as a main villain and still put in Leo's famous beheading scene (which was done very similarly to how it was in the comics). Plus, he's not Krang, he's an Utrom. Krang wasn't an Utrom, he was just based on one, etc. etc. Ok, this has probably all been said before.

    My favorite season is actually season 3. Season 4 (sorry!) I call the "season Leo singlehandedly ruined." All these insipid fangirls are so freakin' happy about him becoming "darker," and I can't help but think he's just being a pathetic ass. All the cool story elements you're mentioning were totally undermined by Leo being a tard.

    I think season 1 is occasionally somewhat weak because they were just getting into the swing of things. The pacing, jokes, and storylines get better as the series continued. It is, however, a little unfair to compare the old TMNT with the new TMNT--I feel like they're two entirely different shows (and yeah, I'm one of the "old" fans--sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who isn't going "the new cartoon SUX" though^^; ). I will say this about the old cartoon though (which, btw, I do honestly like since I grew up with it): you can't beat that theme song.

    And while Garbageman was not a particularly memorable season 1 episode, "Junklantis" (when Garbageman returns) is one of my favorites from season 2. I'm sorry, but I have to be annoying and defend the fillers. I really enjoy them for the character interaction ("Monster Hunter" is my favorite episode from season 1), which I are done better than the old TMNT. I mean, there really wasn't that much real "character interaction" in the old turtles--they kind of did the same things every episode. (People are going to kill me for this, but even at 7 I thought the show was sometimes too silly--and I really didn't like Krang. I was a very serious 7 year old and I liked the first movie better than any episode of the old cartoon.) And...ok, I liked episodes such as Turtle Titan because you can SEE the writers totally making fun of censorship rules (Mikey's weapon of choice is what the animators gave him when they decided nunchakus were too violent). Finally, I actually think it's a little tedious to constantly be on the same storyline, and frankly I want to see what other types of adventures they'd have besides dealing with Shredder all the time. Fillers do this for me.

    In final defense of the new TMNT, I do have to say that Peter Laird had a lot of input (but actually, you probably know that), and I think a lot of the fillers are just the writers' attempts to put in many nods to the original comics. (For instance, "The King" is Donatello's micro-series, and "Christmas Aliens" is Michelangelo's.) I'm sure everyone already knows that the comics had TONS of fillers, and it's kind of cool that the cartoon tries to mirror that feeling. The fact is, TMNT was originally supposed to be serious (those Purple Dragons were killed, not knocked out, in issue 1 of the original comics), and I appreciate the new cartoon like I appreciate the first movie: for not being a cesspool of angst, but not being completely silly either. I like my turtles badass.^^;

    Damn, I went on for forever again. Sorry, Wes. I hope you take this as an indication of how much I really enjoy your articles. I'd totally comment on the funny ones, but I can't think of anything to say on those besides "ROTFL YOU ROCK" and things to that effect.

  • R.STEER says:

    DONT CALL 'EM CARTOONS! I have always been a huge fan of the Turtles and they hold a distinct place in comicdom. The original cartoon series was, in my esteemed opinion, a stain on the history of the Mighty TMNT! Although they were exploited in a grand marketing scheme to kiddies, the shell boys wern't always the puch-drunk, catch-phrase slinging goofballs they were often portrayed as. The original B&W comic book series by creators Eastman & Laird was a much darker forum and held deep roots in ancient japanese culture. The first live-action feature was able to capture this in some ways, but sadly the remaining sequels fell short, making the TMNT just as campy as the old Batman TV series. At 27 years of age I still love comic books, action figures, and animation, but I see them as another form of media that can be enjoyed by adults as well as children. In fact, these froms of media need not even marketed exclusively to children, as guys my age and older are the ones with money to spend on nostalgia! Familiar animated heroes offered up with modern animation techniques and more adult-oriented themes? Sigh me up! The newest series of TMNT holds promise and perhaps is the first in a new breed of ANIMATED TELEVISION!

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