Well, when I first heard they were cancelling the 2012 show, I was sad, but when they followed with ‘but there’ll be a 2D animated show aimed at a younger audience!’ I was happier. After all, having a TMNT show is better than not having a TMNT show ( erm, as long as we ignore the existence of The Next Mutation). And in my head, I jumped to an assumption. I assumed that they meant The Halfshell Heroes.
So, wow, wasn’t I taken aback when the first image came out and I saw the art style. I didn’t like it. I expected to like it. I liked the 2003 look without hesitation. I liked the 2012 look without hesitation. But not this one.
Of course I know why I didn’t like it, the turtles are wearing stuff. (Same reason I hated the look of the Fast Forward turtles.) I didn’t like the gloves and the socks, the weird pants Raph has on and the strange looking style and whatever Donatello seemed to be. And Splinter? WTF? But I figured I’d give it a chance, regardless of the style the show could still be great. I’ve read great TMNT comics with art styles I disliked after all. And even though I was an 80′s TMNT kid and those boys started me down the long path of TMNT obsession, so I natually have nostalgia for them and their ridiculousness, I’m actually not keen on the 80′s big cheeked style anymore either. SHOCK HORROR BLASPHEMY.
Then I saw the little snippets of the 2018 turtles videos, those personality bio things, getting to see them in motion. I didn’t see them come out in order, the first one I saw was actually Leo’s and I didn’t know how to feel. Leo was the turtle with the snappy one liners? Why? Shouldn’t that be Mikey’s thing? What’s going on? I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FEEL.
With apprehension I clicked on the others… and PHEW I liked Mike immediately. And warmed to his look, I love the stickers and the roundness and damn he’s such a cutie. I was cool with Raphael’s look too. I like that he’s big and spiky, I personally adore his snaggle tooth. The art style began to grow on me then, though I still dislike Donatello’s design with his big square head and stupid stuff on his legs.
The things that seem to be bothering a lot of people: Raph being leader, the change in weapons, Splinter… don’t actually bother me. Watching the five cartoons so far it seems pretty obvious that Leo is the leader material and that the creators will most likely develop that as time goes on. That part of Leo hasn’t changed, he just seems younger and cockier. Still obviously intelligent, keeping his brothers focused on what they should be doing but in a more light hearted, less serious manner. And though the experience of him cracking one liners was jarring, I’ve warmed to it. He’s funny as hell and makes me think of Leo early in the 2012 show when he was adorable, falling into the greenhouse and hilariously obsessed with Space Heroes before he started down the the inevitable path of seriousness and angst.
It’s already apparent in the cartoon that Raph isn’t the greatest at being leader, but he and his bros are just rolling with it. And I actually like that Raph isn’t bullying his brothers for once (and yes, i know they’re different types of turtles and some fans don’t seem to think of them as brothers because of that but as far as I’m concerned they’ve been raised together and are as good as brothers, why wouldn’t they be? One of my brothers is a half brother. He’s just as much my brother as my er… ‘full’ brother…) It’s a nice change to see Raph still being rough and tough, but actually not being a dick. Whether it’s a short lived thing, after all I’ve only seen five episodes, or whether it’s a deliberate thing for the younger viewers, only time will tell. But I like it.
The change in weapons doesn’t bother me, when I saw Raph had tonfa and the full mask thing my mind immediately went to Mirage comics issue 9, which is what Raph was wearing and he was using tonfa, and Leo had a single katana, so instead of getting all upset at the creators I was actually reassured, despite not liking the art style at the time, because I felt like the creators at least read the comics, or have at least done their research, wanting to shake up the franchise but still getting plenty of inspiration from the source material. Mike’s weapon is still a ninja thing, and I don’t care what anyone says that giggling demon fire thing, whatever it is, looks awesome. Don’s tech bo I struggled with at first, but as soon as I saw it in action in the cartoon I loved it. His mystic weapon is cool too, prob my favourite of the four (giggling fire demon aside), so hopefully the plot will force him into using it soon, whether he likes it or not.
And yeah, Splinter, unpopular opinion but I actually think he’s kind of hilarious. I think he’ll step up soon and be a better teacher once he’s made aware of some threat or other, and probably wow us with how amazing he is. Maybe. I don’t actually care because he entertains me so much.
So I love this show. There are a handful of things I don’t like, Donnie’s design with his big square head, Splinter’s design, the opening theme tune, but they’re minor and superficial. The show is fun, hilarious, action packed and the animation during action scenes is amazing, the voice acting is really good, the dialogue is well written. I love the changes they’ve made to the four turtles, they’re all still recognisable as themselves and still loveable, though my one tiny gripe is… Mike’s role seems more subdued, he’s not really cracking jokes, though he’s still cute as a button and random and a little weird. I like that he’s not stupid. As much as I love 2012 Mikey it always bothered me a little that they made him a something of an idiot. It’s pretty obvious that cute and naive though he is, 2018 Mike is no idiot. But he’s in the background more. But again, only 5 episodes. Hopefully he’ll come out of his shell a little as the season goes on. (TWO seasons! Whooooo!)
And even though I don’t like his design, Donnie is still my favourite turtle. He’s so funny in this. I like his dry sarcastic one liners. They suit him. I like him way better than 2003 Donnie. (The only version where Donnie isn’t actually my favourite turtle.)
Oh yeah, and I love April, she cracks me up. That “HOLY GOD, SHE JUST RAN IN!” bit in Mystic Mayhem gets funnier the more I watch it. April always kind of bored me. In all incarnations. Except maybe the 1990 movie. But I love this new April.
Bad dudes, well, another unpopular opinion, but I’m a sucker for monster of the week episodes, so bring it. I love seeing the crazy new mutants and different monsters. I don’t miss the Shredder, not yet. I’m excited for new villains. Though I am loving the paper foot soldiers, that’s a neat concept. Something about Baron Draxum has me fascinated, so I want to see more of him.So anyway, this is way too long. Love the new show, and based off just the five episodes so far, it’s my second favourite tmnt show after 2012. Even with Donnie’s big stupid square head. I can live with that.