To be honest, when I first saw the character designs released I was WARY because I've always loved TMNT (2003 series was my JAM growing up) & saw a lot of deviation from what I was used to, like that the boys are all different species of turtle, raph is the designated leader, and they have different weapons (mystic yoyo, tonfa, & a single sword replacing the classic chucks, sai, & double katana). And so reluctantly I clicked on the first episode expecting to dislike it completely but ended up absolutely loving it.
First off, the character designs and animation are so full of energy and story from the get-go. I'm especially fond of the combat scenes. The turtles are different from one another in a way that audiences can read quickly, not just because the masks or tones of green are different, & it feels like each turtle has more individuality and visual interest. It's also NOT a TMNT version of Teen Titans Go. The designs and story are totally unique to this TMNT series, and their personalities aren't taken to heavy extremes. It shouldn't be seen/judged as an extension of a previous series like people see Go as being for Teen Titans.
Something that I LOVE from this series is the family dynamic & that the creators let the boys act like teenagers. They call Splinter "dad" pretty openly. They care for/get along with each other, and Leo and Raph aren't at each others' throats for once, which is REALLY refreshing to see. Leo especially is able to act like a teen, rather than being angsty about leading the team so much & it's great to see that explored in this series. The brothers tease one another in good humor,& they're still a bit inexperienced/ slip up in combat sometimes (they may be ninjas but they ARE only teenagers). Also April is treated like an extension of their family/as an equal or sister & her relationship with the turtles feels unforced/ natural.
I can understand why some (mostly older/ 30+ years old) people don't like the series. It's probably because this wasn't even created for their age demographic, and that's what they seem to be expecting of it. Older audiences grew up with different versions of the TMNT series and seem like they expected to see that almost exact same thing they grew up with in this series, just in a different animation style. They want the same personalities or villains or they want the series to fit their specific taste of entertainment. But this series explores different character personalities that fit modern times, and different routes the turtles' story could take in a refreshing way. It's not for everyone, sure, but I think the creators did an amazing job with this series. Don't let your attachment to a previous version of TMNT make you blind to all the good qualities this series has.
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