You know those times when you think you’re totally a huge fan of something and have seen all there is to see, then someone slaps you in the face with something really obscure? That just happened to me. I just became aware of Mutant Turtles: Choujin Densetsu-hen and now I’m going to slap you with it.
Mutant Turtles was produced by TV Tokyo as promotional content for the Japanese version of the TMNT toy line. There were only two episodes straight to video, each promoting a particular toy. The first episode was released to video in 1996 and was based on the Supermutant TMNT toys. The second episode (which we’ll get to next week) was released in 1997 and is based on the Metal Mutation TMNT toys. You can see a commercial a-right now.
There is so much to talk about here that I have to focus on them one at a time. This weeks special brought to you by TV Tokyo, Ashi Productions, and too much saki.
The Great Crisis of the Super Turtles! The Saint Appears!
A title long enough to be a Fallout Boy song.
We wouldn’t want to waste anytime getting to the fantastically bogus bits so they begin right at the start, in the theme song, which I’ve transcribed for you below. I planned on outlining just the lines that were particularly good, but it’s all good… or horrible… I can’t really tell.
A mighty enigma is swirling about in the midst of the darkness.
Volumes surround us and we don't let it bother us
we know the bounds of courage and the worn out legends of old fights have overflowed our shells
Go! Go! Turtles!
Power up transformation!
Go! Go! Turtles!
Blow away the evil legions.
We're turtles. Fighting turtles. We're not normal slowpoke turtles.
Punch one and two. Kicks go boom boom!
Mutants who were born to defend the earth's peace.
Go! Go! Turtles!
With an overwhelming, surprising, transformation!
Go! Go! Turtles!
We turn around bad situations.
We are turtles. Shining turtles. Our hearts combine and the miracle fusion body is awakened.
Next there’s a short prologue, I think, that sets the stage for the episode.
We learn that the Turtles were summoned to the underground shrine of the neutrino kingdom by the spirit of light, Crys Mu. There they were given Mutastones. The Mutastones allow the Turtles to mutate into a stronger form making them effectively, slightly less worthless than in their normal state.
I adore the Ninja Turtles but I’m pretty sure that I could give these guys a run for their money and the only martial arts I know takes the form of a chop I learned from my Dad and I’m pretty sure he’s not a real sensei. The good news is that Shredder and his gang are slightly more ridiculous than them so -SPOILER- it all works out in the end.
The Mutastone allows them to mutate for a total of three minutes. Remember that.
This ends the prologue and begins the actual episode. Krang has obtained the dark Mutastone and is attemping to wake up the Dark Mu trapped inside. Elsewhere the space shuttle Endeavor contacts NASA to announce that stars are disappearing. Could these two events be related…? Yes.
Meanwhile the Turtles are in the sewer lair watching April present the news of the missing stars on TV. Once the report is over April appears followed seconds later by a tiny fairy, Crys Mu. Crys Mu tells the Turtles about Dark Mu and her power, the earth begins to shake and the Turtles leave to investigate.
As the Turtles rise from the sewers through a manhole, wouldn’t you know it- Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady happen to be standing there in the street. Cue dramatic music, it’s about to get real.
I don’t know who provided the subtitles for these episodes, they may not be official, but as with most awesomely bad subtitled entertainment, these subtitles are awesome… and bad.
That being said, at this point Shredder drops one of many great one liners. “Turtles, at last we will make you stop breathing today.” He then sends a message to Krang signaling him to radiate them with energy from the dark Mutastone transforming Bebop into a buff punk rocker with a blue Mohawk, Rocksteady into a larger green version of himself, and Shredder into a big silver man dragon. Man Dragon? Dragon Man? Trog Dor?
When Shredder calls for backup, Krang tells him the foot soldiers are on vacation. We later see them on the beaches of Miami barbecuing in their ninja uniforms with floral shirts.
Krang calls Shredder a retard…
The Turtles use their Mutastones to mutate into their stronger form. Suddenly four green Wolverines appear.
Feeling threatened, Shredder uses a “Super Atrocious Dragon Claw Attack” and the green Wolverine’s are down for the count. This instigates the first instance of gratuitous swears in this series. The Turtles respond to being punched in their green necks.
“Shit.. Now that Maku’s (Shredder) more powerful, it’s harder to beat him.
Every moment is it’s own little piece of ridiculousness, I’m not hitting everything. It’s 25 minutes of solid bronze.
Splinter and Crys Mu go to the Technodrome to find the dark Mutastone and stop Krang. As they arrive Dark Mu begins to awaken.
At the moment she begins to open her eyes disastrous events begin happening around the globe. In Japan and France towers crumble. In china a picture falls off a wall…
Tornadoes rage through Florida while three frogs share a martini. Not kidding.
The turtles leap over a tidal wave onto the top of a skyscraper while the wave washes Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady away. Along with the Technodrome. I want to make sure you caught that. They jump over a tidal wave to the top of a sky scraper... moving on.
Has this felt like way more than three minutes to everyone else??
Krang crashes the Technodrome into the statue of liberty to collect Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady from it’s perch where the tidal wave deposited them. Dark Mu finishes emerging from the stone and hits Shredder with some dark energy-black hole kind of stuff. He becomes the Dark Devil Shredder a Godzilla like creature.
The Turtles hitch a ride on April’s news copter and fly away while Shredder pursues. Donny tricks Shredder into knocking down a building which subsequently hits him and knocks him out because as I told you earlier, everyone in this show is a damn idiot.
Dark Mu, disappointed with the outcome of the fight, threatens to destroy the entire galaxy and flies away.
Splinter tells the turtles they must unite their powers and complete the saint mutation, becoming Turtle Saint. They will have 100 seconds to defeat dark Mu after that. They complete the mutation and fly off after her.
An epic space battle ensues. Actually, the turtles are almost worthless (as per youshe) as they can’t unite their minds to control the saint.
Dark Mu throws black holes at them and they narrowly escape.
Enter Crys Mu, who attacks Dark Mu but doesn’t have the power to take her down. She asks the Turtles to use their Mega Final Saint Break. In order to do this they must unite their hearts. Which remember, they’ve been unable to do up until this point.
Hopefully this works because there isn’t really anywhere else to go after Mega Final Saint Break…
With seconds to spare they complete the action and lock both Crys Mu and Dark Mu inside their Mutastones. They then somehow magically end up on the space shuttle having lost the ability to mutate and return to earth.
Well that’s it for episode one, except for the seven minutes of credits. We’ll go through episode two next week. I’ve already seen it, it’s a doozy. More awesome, more terrible, more Turtles.
You can watch episode one below, I suggest you do, and remember kids, success in life is all about working as a team… or selling toys. I’m not sure.