- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Legend of the Supermutants (1996: Ashi Productions) 2/2 eps.
Staff and Background
Yep, this is what you think it is: an official Japanese sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The OAV series was directed by Shunji Ooga who I wouldn’t describe as a good director seeing as some of his other efforts have included Bounty Hunter: The Hard, Handsome Girl, and Beast Wars.
Story and Characters
Ok, so this is gonna get really weird really fucking fast so keep up. The first episode starts off by essentially recapping an episode that doesn’t exist. In this non-existent episode the Turtles had met a fairy who gave them magical stones that let them mutate, as if they weren’t mutants already, into what can only be described as Wolverine (as in the X-Men) versions of themselves. Of course, because this is Japan, they also have another form they can turn into. Unlike Japanese Spider-Man they don’t get a giant robot but they can combine into one to make the Turtle Saint. The Foot Clan also got a hold of these stones too which allows Bebop and Rocksteady to turn into buff versions of themselves whilst Shredder becomes a robot dragon. I think that is the recap done so we can get onto the story of the first episode!
Krang is blowing up stars in the hopes that it will wake an evil fairy up who will then destroy the world. Let that just sink in a minute guys and think about how silly that plan is. We good? Ok then let’s continue. So the turtles obviously go off to stop Krang and the gang but luckily they only have to face Bebop, Rocksteady, and Shredder because the rest of the Foot Clan have been given the day off by Krang and are having a barbeque on the beach in Miami… From there things pretty much progress as you’d expect with some more powerful forms that I won’t reveal but are kind of hilarious. I also want to shout out a great running gag in this episode: it is the captain of the space shuttle who first notices the stars are disappearing but the guy who he is in contact with at NASA is just a dick to him the entire episode and just keeps asking him if he forgot his glasses. But yes, this episode was batshit insane but don’t think that episode 2 is going to take its foot off the pedal.
Episode 2 is essentially unconnected to the first episode outside of the fact that they have lost their ability to turn into Wolverine. The episode begins with the Turtles flying to Japan via commercial flights…with their masks on…and with all their weapons. They are going to a ninja village with Splinter and April O’Neil after they received a letter which just says help, in English because obviously. It turns out the village has more mutation stones so Krang send Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady to the village too and they happen to stumble upon the turtles on the way there. Fortunately the ninja clan turns up to help the turtles which seems to somewhat rattle our lovable bad guys. And so the rest of the episode is a race for the stones where new transformations are revealed, there is a ghost who does literally nothing, castles appear from nowhere, ninjas forget stairs exist, and more madness occurs!
Look, this show makes no God damn sense but my God is it fun as hell. This may only be a commercial for a Japan only line of toys but boy did they seem to have fun. There are some legitimately great jokes, some unintentionally hilarious stuff, some nice character work (such as Shredder essentially being totally over Krang and his plans), and some fun action. It isn’t good but it is enjoyable.
Audio and Visuals
Do these really matter at this point? Look, the animation is poor and the music is awful, outside of the dope OP, but it doesn’t matter. If anything, if the audio-visuals were actually good it might hurt the so bad it’s good aspect of the show. The only real complaint I have are the voice acting for Mike and Krang, who are super annoying.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Legend of the Supermutants is a glorious mess and is a must see in my book. It is also a good reminder that Japan is just as bad at adapting western stuff as the west is adapting Japanese stuff. Just go watch this, did I mention that Shredder turns into Godzilla at one point?
Final score: 2A