The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have always been something of a dilemma for me… because I think they’re awesome. I mean, if you look at them objectively they should be totally bogus, dude. But they’re not.
Who sits at a meeting and decides that a group of mutated 15-year-old turtles with Ninja training living in the sewers of New York under the tutelage of an equally mutated senile rat sounds like a good idea? Those people had to be smoking something bodaciously green. Totally gnarly.
But still, I love the Ninja Turtles. I first fell in love with them when I played the original NES game many years ago, difficult as it might have been. Not only was the game absolutely amazing, but they gave you 4 turtles to play with, each one with different weapons! So naturally, everybody picked their favorite. The friend I normally played NEW with always chose Donatello, because he liked the range and power of the Bo. Another one liked Raphael, because even in spite of its limited range the Sai always hit hard. Me? I liked Leonardo, because I though Katanas were cool (and blue was my favorite color back then… now it’s gray).
But nobody liked Michelangelo. His nun chucks lacked the range of Don’s Bo, the power of Raph’s Sai or the coolness of Leo’s Katanas. I realize Sai don’t look like much, but anybody that has trained martial arts knows that if you can handle them they’re really not something you want to mess with. The Bo or long pole is considered the most basic and yet one of the most effective weapons a martial artist can use. And katanas are simply cool. But the nun chucks, they just sucked. Plus, his color was ORANGE! What little (male) kid on the planet has orange as his favorite color? None (Ok, maybe some kid, but he’s a weirdo).
Afterwards, when we got the animations and we all started getting familiar with the Turtle’s personalities, people started liking Mikey. And why? Because he was funny.
Funny is not a valuable Ninja asset. Ninja are deadly, silent and flipant. Being funny is not something Ninja need to be! Each Turtle had his distinctive talent, so while Leo and Raph were always disputing the title of best fighter the turtles could still always count on Leo to be a leader and on Raph to be temperamental and rash. Don was the genius inventor and sort of neutral and wise. And Mikey? The orange guy’s talent wasn’t just comedy. He was clearly the worst fighter, and clumsy to top it all off (not something Ninja appreciate).
Throughout the series, games, movies and all that, Michelangelo has always been the Ninja Turtle’s comic relief. He’s the one that makes Raph mad when he’s not busy arguing with Leo. He’s the one Don has to defend half of the time. And I’m willing to bet master Splinter always wished that idiot would just die in some Ninja accident some night out in the city so he could get rid of him. I mean, he was not the pupil a martial arts master rodent would be proud of.
Plus, I never really liked nun chucks, either.
NOTE: Of course, you each probably love a different Ninja Turtle. Please tell us why.
NOTE 2: If anybody says their favorite is Casey Jones I will pay James Earl Jones to hunt you down and rape you (he trained the martial artists in “Best of the Best”… so he probably kicks ass).