Finally getting the chance to read (and translate) Hiroshi Kanno’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles manga, Mutant Turtles Gaiden, was something of a dream come true for me. Though the feature is now defunct, back when ninjaturtles.com was still owned and operated by Mirage, it had a page dedicated strictly to the various TMNT manga that graced Japan’s shelves… albeit the page was full of incomplete information, vague credits and only a handful of low quality scans.
On to Chapter 2!
Beat the Phony Turtles!
As this chapter begins, the Ninja Turtles have apparently gone rogue; looting jewelry stores and assaulting police officers. April O’Neil even reports the strange thefts on the Channel 6 news program, though what she should really be investigating are the strange bubbles that never cease hovering around her head for no discernible reason. The Turtles, now no longer wearing speedos, naturally feel betrayed, but April informs them that the news is the news. If they want to prove their innocence… then they gotta prove it!
If you haven’t guessed yet, “Beat the Phony Turtles!” is Kanno’s loose adaptation of the cartoon episode “Return of the Shredder”. That story had Shredder forming a group of imposters called the Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang to frame the TMNT for various crimes.
While the cartoon portrayed the Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang as a group of juveniles wearing paper bags over their heads:
At least they sort of get Bebop’s “accent” right.
And when the odds are against them and all hope seems lost, there’s only one force the Japanese know of that can turn the tide:
Well, that’s just Japan’s answer for *everything*, now isn’t it?
So by utilizing the justice inside them, the Turtles trash the robots and win the day. Except they don’t win the day. The False Turtles were all a diversion orchestrated by the Shredder to keep them busy whilst he stole the Jewel of the Nile.
While I can’t deny that juvenile delinquents with grocery bags on their faces are pretty hilarious, the False Turtles may have an edge over the Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang just by virtue of being some pretty awesome robots. Sadly, they have one fatal design flaw: A vulnerability to complete bullshit.