So. How does one introduce "Mutant Turtles: Chôjin densetsu hen"? It's a pretty daunting task, and I'm not sure I'm up to it, but I'll try. You know the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You probably grew up with 'em. You had the toys, you kept them in your bed at night, and you woke up with indentations on your ass from where you rolled on top of Slash and Tokka in your sleep. You still don't know what happened to those little ninja stars. And you may not have grown up with anime -- it's only become the rage in recent years -- but I'm sure you're at least somewhat familiar with the animated wackiness that Japan has to offer. So really, you should have known what to expect from a Ninja Turtles anime. But you didn't. You read the Scary-Crayon review of episode one and couldn't believe your eyes -- despite having seen the respective Super Turtles figures in the stores so many years ago. And you saw the Metal Mutants figures in the stores too. You should know what to expect from episode two. But you don't -- not by a longshot. But soon, you will...
In traditional anime fashion, this episode begins with a recap of the previous episode, even though what happened last time has almost no relevancy whatsoever to the second part of the OVA. This one has "mutastones" too, but that's about it -- despite recently having left Kris Mu to drift eternally in the vacuum of space, nobody so much as mentions her name this time around. So you already know what went down last time (if not, click here to open the SC review in a new window), so we'll just skip over this part -- suffice it to say that there's "no rest for the turtles of justice."
After the intro song (which is the same as last episode's), the episode begins with an airplane touching down in Japan. Then the title flashes across the screen: The Advent of Guardian Beasts: The Metal Turtles' Debut! Well, yes. This is indeed the advent of guardian beasts, and it is the debut of the Metal Turtles. How can you not admire that title? -- it's simple, no-nonsense, and to the point. Alas, the episode itself is none of these things, but hey, Ninja Turtles anime. You'd be pissed if it involved anything less than psychotic Turtles with intent to kill, and you'll not be disappointed.
We cut to the outside of the airport, whereupon Michelangelo runs outside and, in order to adequately express his excitement about being in Japan, busts loose with a bunch of goofy poses, including the "geisha" pose. And I'd like to take this moment to point out that there are people in the background, yet Mikey hasn't made even the slightest effort to disguise himself. No trenchcoat and fedora, no creepy pasty bald guy mask, nothin'. But then, this is Japan, where little Japanese men don full-body stockings and freakishly cute masks with real human hair and run around pretending to be hot teenage girls from tentacle rape animes and nobody thinks twice about it. No wonder Mike's so happy.
But don't get too excited, Mike -- April speaks up to remind the guys that they didn't come here to have fun. And in keeping with the excellent example set by the incredibly badass Master Splinter last time, instead of saying, "Kids," with a pleasant shake of his head, this Splinter just keeps his eyes closed and looks too annoyed to even speak. Everyone looks kinda ticked off, actually -- I'm guessing Mikey farted as they left the plane, 'cause nobody seems really interested in standing next to him at all. Except maybe Raphael, who looks like he might be enjoying it. Anyway, they all head into a taxi and leave Michelangelo behind -- more support for my fart theory -- prompting him to dive into the cab's window as it drives off down the street.
Meanwhile, in Dimension X, Krang is screaming his fucking head off for no reason whatsoever. Seriously, he's not even saying anything -- he's just going, "Oji-waah-oji-ah-ah-ah-owowowo-ah-aja-ahh-waaaaah!!!!" non-stop. It makes no sense and it's irritating as all hell. Bloody hell! I can't stand the noise.
And neither can the Shredder. By the way, check out Shredder's new digs for episode two. I don't really see why the Shredder should have a costume that doesn't have a single blade on it and that looks kinda like a Gundam robot, but I can't fault the guy because it does look pretty cool. And it's not like he used those blades on the old show for much more than cutting pizza dough anyway. Bebop and Rocksteady retain their US look, but they've apparently gained a few I.Q. points and have mastered the art of metaphoric speaking. Makes sense; we know how the Japanese value education. So finally, Krang stops laughing -- so that's what he was doing -- but in pointing out the source of his delight he makes a grave error by referring to Shredder as "Sawaki-chan"...
As we learned last time, he reeeeeaaally doesn't like that. So of course Krang's found a new mutastone, but oddly enough, Shredder wants no part of it -- he complains that the mutastone blew him up to Stay Puft proportions last time and it still didn't help them to defeat the Turtes, so he's content to leave that mutastone right there. But alas, in Dimension X, the Shredder is Krang's bitch, and Krang basically orders him to get the new mutastone. They argue about it for a moment; Shredder stands his ground and refuses. But then...
So off they go, and Krang's pleased as piss about it.
Back in Japan, we rejoin our heroes in transit, looking out the window at Mt. Fuji. In the background, Splinter sits alone and appears to be wishing a horrible death upon any and everyone who has ever lived. I guess being back in Japan gets to him, since the last time he was there he was banished from his clan in disgrace. Now he's a giant rat who travels alongside a news reporter in a hot yellow jumpsuit and four mutant turtles, one of whom has a serious problem with flatulence. (Look out below, Donatello.) And again, note that none of the mutants make even the slightest effort to disguise themselves, despite the fact that there are other people riding in this car. I can see maybe the Turtles not doing anything, since folks could probably assume those are kappa demon costumes, but Splinter? He's been getting strange and dirty looks all day, and he's ready to rip out some throats in response. The US cartoon always made Splinter out to be a calm and benevolent father-figure type, but I think the Japanese understand how a guy who's been dishonored, forced to live in sewers, and transformed into a rat would really feel -- like snapping necks until everyone's dead.
And just when it seems like the gang is having fun looking out of the window -- even April, who tried to shit on Mikey's party earlier -- Splinter interrupts and tells them that this trip is pretty much going to suck and won't be fun at all. "It's a great deal that Kinzo Hattori from Shinobi village would ask [them] for help," after all. Splinter then proceeds to unfurl the scroll that he received from Kinzo:
Obviously, things are not well in Shinobi village. By the way, I put two screencaps together to make the above image -- does anyone else think it's weird that the colors don't match? I do. :/
Suddenly, a portal opens and dumps Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady onto the railroad tracks...and right in front of the oncoming train. Yep. So as they get hit and fly past the windows of the bullet train, April and the Turtles catch sight of some of Japan's rather strange birds. Of course, being the Turtles of justice, they've got to go and investigate.
Now hanging from the top of one of the cars, the Shredder again refers to Krang as a "stupid octopus". I can't fault the guy for it, since Krang just dumped him and his boys right in front of a train. Then the Turtles pop up and make with the threats, but soon loose their footing and make asses of themselves because they tried to stand up on the roof of a moving bullet train. Really smart there, guys -- you'd think at least Donatello would've known better. And then, like the
On his ass atop the train, Leonardo still talks tough, asking the Shredder why he followed them all the way there. But of course Shredder had no idea they'd be there -- in fact, he doesn't even know where they are. Michelangelo tells him...
And suddenly we see a side of the Shredder that we've never seen before -- his eyes get all misty as he's hit with a wave of nostalgia, and he stands and nearly weeps for love of the country of his birth. See?
And then he gets swept off his feet because he stood up on top of a moving bullet train. Dumbass.
Bebop and Rocksteady exclaim, "Damn you, turtles!" -- woo, cursing -- and get trigger-happy as hell, prompting the Turtles to move their green asses like somebody switched on the techno.
And then a group of ninjas crashes the party and lets loose with a deadly shuriken rain not unlike the hail of face-breaking frogs at the end of Magnolia. Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady are forced from the train in order to avoid death by throwing star, and -- for now -- the Turtles are safe, and the villains are out of the picture.
Moments later, inside the train, the ninja clan kneels before Splinter as Kinzo Hattori welcomes them to Japan. April,
Night falls in Shinobi village (where the ninja roam free, as they do at I-Mockery). And inside a small hut, Kinzo shows Splinter, April, and the Turtles the village guardian: a
Donatello steps forward to observe the mirror more closely. On the back of the mirror are seven Magatamas, polished stones inlaid in the mirror's frame many years ago. Stones, you say? OMG! So Don asks the name of the stones in Japanese -- which is "Mi-Yu-Tai-Shi" -- and from this alone, he discerns that these are "without a doubt mutastones"!!! Yeah, whatever, but the next time I go to a French restaurant I'm looking Donatello up -- if he can tell what stuff is simply by knowing what it's called in another language, maybe he'll keep me from ordering cow brains. Anyway.
Next, the ninja clan presents the Turtles with special "ninja armor," which looks like absolute shit. Seriously, what the fuck is it supposed to protect them from? Their faces are exposed, their bellies are wide open to attack, the pants look like cloth, they don't even have any kinds of cool gauntlets or toe claws...this is weak. But for whatever reason, this is one of the only times throughout the entire episode where you'll see anything but a dark poem of intense hatred and disgust written across Splinter's face. Whether he can't believe how shitty this armor is or whether he's genuinely awed, we'll never know. But if the latter, he's not the only one:
Meanwhile, Shredder and crew march through the forest of Shinobi village as Krang gives them directions to the mutastones via comlink. The exchange doesn't leave Shredder too pleased, as evidenced by his words here. Now, I don't mean to knock Shredder's dietary habits, but that's fucking disgusting -- our pal Krang may be a lot of things, but appetizing ain't one of 'em. I mean c'mon, look at the guy.
If you want to eat that, you have a problem. Seek help, Hannibal.
Now it's morning, and apparently the good guys slept in their clothes and in that stupid armor. But see, wakeup calls when you're vacationing in Japan work a little differently. Here, you might have a hotel attendant phone your room, or maybe even a maid will knock on your door to make sure you get up to answer it. In Japan, a batshit insane ghost will appear and laugh like a lunatic until you open your eyes and rouse yourself enough to wonder what the fuck is going on.
Okay, Splinter's up.
The ghost apparently goes by the name of Yukimura, whom Kinzo describes as "the vengeful ghost of fear who's been known as the worst of the worst." What an asshole. Kinzo, I mean. Here the ghost laughs maniacally to wake you guys up -- thus doing you a favor -- and then you go and call it "the worst of the worst." And apparently Kinzo's forefather, Hanzo Hattori, imprisoned him in this land (smart move there, imprisoning a vengeful ghost in your village so it can't ever leave), so you'd expect the ghost to hate Kinzo and all of his ninja buddies, but noooo, he still helps them out. Yukimura is truly a forgiving soul. Well! Maybe next time he'll just let you sleep in on your lazy asses, which would be a totally unacceptable thing for a skilled ninja warrior to do. Next time he'll let you bring dishonor upon yourselves and your families, and next time he'll stand by while you commit seppuku in order to rectify the damage done to your family names. And then, only then, will he appear to laugh at your bleeding, disemboweled corpses. Ungrateful bastards.
As the Turtles and company stand around insulting poor Yukimura and acting like scared little bitches, Team Shredder bursts in and says, "Bring it on." But given that there's an insane ghost laughing its transparent ass off in their midst, the Turtles don't pay any attention to him whatsoever.
Yeah, Shredder's got their number -- the Turtles and company are being rude to everyone today. Guess they woke up on the wrong side of the shell, ha ha. Shredder demands that the Turtles hand over the stones, but since he doesn't see them, so he asks where they are -- whereupon Yukimura points to the mirror. Man, this ghost is being all kinds of helpful today. Travel tip: If you ever visit Japan and want people to like you, make sure to kick people hard in the shins and spit in their hair, since apparently being good-natured and kind gets you labeled "the worst of the worst."
So the Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady make a break for the mutastones and get into a shoving match with the Turtles, who try to bar their path. Eventually Shredder breaks through, but as he dives through the fray, Kinzo rushes around and pulls a chain in the shrine that houses the mirror...and then the house fucking explodes, killing everyone.
Juuuuuuust kidding. The Turtles then fall from the sky and land on their faces and asses, after which Kinzo, Splinter, and April follow. And see how much respect Splinter has for the Turtles in the anime. Not only does he land atop Leonardo -- their leader -- but he also jabs his walking stick into Leonardo's skull as he does so. Closeby, the Shredder and company also make a painful love connection with the ground below.
As Splinter asks what Kinzo has done (note that unmistakable look of disgust on his face), "the hidden fortress of Shinobi village" rises from the hole in the ground created by the explosion.
But there's that helpful Yukimura again, pointing up -- ah, yes, the stones and mirror are at the top! So, like the complete badasses that they are, Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady take a page from Sonic the Hedgehog's playbook and run up the freaking wall. Yeah, even the Turtles are impressed with that one.
Naturally, Kinzo and the ninjas give chase, and at Splinter's command, the Turtles bring up the rear. But turtles are not known for their speed, so eventually our heroes get tired and just walk up the wall. Then they get tired of even that and start slowly crawling up the wall on their hands and knees -- without the aid of any suction cups or ninja claws. Yep. Somewhere, the laws of physics are crying out and bitching about their new pretzel-like form.
Yukimura keeps a-laughin' and going up, which just goes to show that death doesn't always have to be a sad affair. Like the Turtles, the Shredder and company have begun to tire and are therefore moving at a considerably slower pace, but spurred onward by the incredibly uninfectious mirth of Yukimura, they continue the long climb to the top of the tower.
As do Kinzo, his merry band of ninjas, and the Turtles. As they climb, Kinzo explains that the Miyutaishi are "double-edged swords" -- if their possessor has an evil heart, they will demonstrate evil power -- thus getting to them before Team Shredder is of the utmost importance. Michelangelo and Raphael reflect on this, and then Leonardo interrupts with a question of his own: surmising that this is a castle, Leonardo asks if there are stairs inside.
Well, apparently Kinzo forgot about that detail, but he salvages his ninja dignity by continuing on in his error and climbing up the wall. The Turtles, however, haul their lazy asses in through a window and begin running up the stairs to reach the top first. And apparently Raph isn't the only one into the sweet scent of sewer gas, as evidenced by the proximity of Leo's beak to Mikey's tailpipe. Yes, evil forces might be about to seize control of powerful magic stones, but even the honorable and serious Leonardo knows that there's never an inappropriate time to sniff somebody's ass.
Will the Turtles make it to the top in time to stop the Shredder?
Just click the image above! Simple, no? ;)