Moving past the very important first episode of Rise of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, we now settle into the A and B format of the regular series. Much like many other cartoons, this new series will pair two 11-minute episodes. For episode two of Rise of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles we have our five thoughts on “Origami Tsunami/Donnie’s Gifts.” Can episode two keep up the energy and wackiness of the series debut?
1.We Can Be Heroes
This first story, “Origami Tsunami,” focuses on the Turtles looking to become heroes. It really hits home, especially after the first episode, that this series is the story of the Turtles as they start out. In the past, series have focused on the Turtles coming up to NYC to become heroes but it also felt like they were ready. These boys do not seem ready at all and it makes for a lot of fun. In searching for crimes to solve, they bypass very serious crimes for something easy: paper theft. They want to ease into being heroes and why not start easy.
2.Leo The Le…..Motivator
I talked about it last week but this time around Raph is the oldest brother and the leader of the team. However, so far Leo has been a pretty strong personality. In “Origami Tsunami,” it is his sarcastic motivational speeches that push the boys through their adventure. Leo was never been my favorite of the group because he was almost always too serious. This Leo is driven but in a slightly different way. Ben Schwartz’s voice gives it the sarcastic tone that lends just a bit of humor to his speeches. When the thieves hit up all the paper stores in town, it is Leo’s idea to create their own paper store as bait. It is goofy and it goes bad right away.
One of the main reasons I got away with watching Turtles at the age of four was that there was no real violence or killing in the show. The foot soldiers were robots and if they got sliced in half, who cares? This is a trope that has continued with the other series. It is a way of having great action with splashes of violence without any blood or death. Rise has their own twist on foot soldiers this time around. When the boys catch up to the paper thieves they discover two new villains, the Foot Brute and Foot Lieutenant. They have the foot symbol on their heads with flames coming off and it is pretty awesome. Turns out they use the paper to make origami foot soldiers. So the Turtles can slice and dice their way through these bad guys without mom or dad feeling too bad. Paper does not have feelings. A clever solution to the foot problem.
4.Donnie Really Does Machines
This version of Donnie really knows how to do machines. In “Donnie’s Gifts,” he creates special gifts for the other brothers. A suit that inflates and bounces around for Mikey, a helmet that gives advice to Raph, and essential a shock collar for Leo that gives him a zap every time he makes a quip. Not to mention he has his hover board attached to his shell and his teched-out staff that can spin and fly and a wrist tablet. Oh and he has a drill that just rises out of the ground very much like Shredder’s ride in the original series. I love that Leo calls him out on this and no one even bothers to notice. Rise embraces the cartoony aspects of this world and is okay with Donnie being a technological genius. It plays even better in the show that so far none of the inventions as impressive as they are actually have worked in the way he intended them to.
5. Unleash the Flavor
“Donnie’s Gift” introduced Meat Sweats, voiced by Johnny Rotten, as a new mutant/villain for the Turtles. Again, it is an insanely cool design for this new bad guy. It fits very much in with the absurd gross mutant designs we are use to with Turtles. He is a former celebrity chef turned into a mutant pig butcher who eats energy with tentacles. What more could you want? I really appreciate that each story so far has featured a new villain. It would be easy to go down the list of previous villains but The Baron, the Foot Brute and Lietenant, and Meat Sweats fit right in with the Turtles. The designs are different but could of easily been version one turtle baddies. Two episodes in and the unique quality of this show continues to shine. Sometimes its big shifts from the lore other times it is just small tweaks on previous canon but all of it has worked to deliver entertaining Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoons.