|Teenage Mutants Ninja Turtles (2012) episode|
|Original airdate||August 6, 2017 (United States)|
July 7, 2019 (Japan)
|Written by||Henry Gilroy|
|Supervising Producer||Patrick Krebs & Ant Ward|
|Directed by||Alan Wan|
|Voice Direction||Andrea Romano|
|Supervising Director||Ben Jones & Ciro Nieli|
Production-wise, it is the fifteenth episode of Season 5, as well as the one hundred and twenty-first episode overall. It first aired on August 6th, 2017.
As they reach their destination, Usagi and the Turtles must overcome dark forces and help Kintaro fulfill his destiny.
- Donatello (Rob Paulsen)
- Jei (Keone Young) (death)
- Kintaro (Evan Kishiyama)
- Leonardo (Seth Green)
- Michelangelo (Greg Cipes)
- Miyamoto Usagi (Yuki Matsuzaki)
- Raphael (Sean Astin)
The Turtles continue their journey with Usagi and Kintaro to deliver Kintaro to the Temple of the Sky Buddha. The group treks through the mountains during snowfall. Kintaro continues to act demanding much to the others’ ire. Then Raph, Donnie, and Mikey decide to tease Kintaro for his rude, obnoxious behavior. Kintaro mouths off against them and tries to push the boulder out of the way himself, but isn't strong enough. Usagi sees that the boulder is supported by a tree. He professionally and effortlessly slices the tree with his sword, clearing the path. Leo stops Raph and Donnie for teasing. Leo then gives Kintaro credit for trying. They ultimately get past the boulder after Usagi has sliced the tree that was holding it in place, teaching Kintaro that strength doesn’t always solve everything.
At one point, Mikey thinks he saw Jei standing on a distant mountaintop, but the others think he was seeing things. Soon, Raph starts to think he is hallucinating as well, as he sees Jei in the clouds. However, Mikey tells him that he saw the image as well. Leo assures them that Jei might be playing tricks on them, but doesn't control them anymore. Usagi tells the group that Jei is known to be immortal. When Kintaro states he is not afraid, they hear a voice and are attacked by several cat ninjas who are able to blend into the snow and blizzard thanks to their uniforms. They nearly managed to capture Kintaro for Jei, but Usagi manages to rescue him.
Reaching a point where the temple can be seen in the distance, Usagi tells them to hurry if they are to make it by nightfall. Noticing Kintaro still complaining as Donnie bandages his leg due to injuring it, Leo decides to stay with Kintaro, with Usagi’s permission of course. Leo uses the chance to teach Kintaro some humility. Instead of criticizing him as the others do, he tells Kintaro how courageous he was back on the cliff with the cat ninjas. This surprises Kintaro a bit, so he befriends Leo, but he still tries to boast of himself as they continue on their way.
When they reach the temple, Usagi notices that there should have been guard monks to welcome them and becomes concerned. The Turtles, sensing trouble, also draw their weapons. Soon, they find Jei waiting for them, alongside the brainwashed leader of the temple monks who they had encountered previously, Sumo Kuma. The Turtles attack Jei, who takes them down with ease. Jei compliments their 'worthiness', much to Leo's confusion. The wolf-demon soon reveals that he still had the Turtles under his control all as he had seen everything through their eyes. Wielding the four miniature wooden turtle totem toys, Jei once again puts them back under his spell while Usagi fights Sumo Kuma. Outnumbered by the brainwashed Turtles (and exhausted from fighting Sumo Kuma), Usagi is soon bested, but as Leo goes to strike the killing blow, Kintaro intercepts it at the last second, to Jei's shock, before Kintaro rises into the air and begins to glow as he assumes a meditative state in Lotus position.
Kintaro has unlocked his hidden power, and orders Jei to release the Turtles. When he refuses, Kintaro easily overpowers all four of them, even Sumo Kuma. Kintaro enjoys a brief moment of relief and victory with Usagi, but Jei abruptly captures the pug with a magical, unbreakable chain to perform the ritual to possess Kintaro and become unstoppable. Jei also reveals that he had the edge all this time, and takes advantage of this opportunity for himself. Usagi helplessly watches in terror and fear as Jei summons the lords and begins the ritual. However, the Turtles have been snapped back to their senses thanks to Kintaro breaking Jei's spell over them when he overpowered them. Putting on their white eyes at will, they pretend to still be in Jei's servitude, restraining Usagi and making it look as if Leo is to finish him off before Kintaro intervened. Jei ejects his soul from his chest and prepares to possess Kintaro. At one point, Leo winks to Usagi to let him know they're free. At the last second, Leo turns around and flings his katana at Jei, stabbing him in the chest, forcing his soul back into his body, and interrupting the ritual, much to Jei's chagrin. The four Turtles charge at Jei, but are once again bested by the wolf-demon, who effortlessly takes them down with ease. Jei also uses Kintaro as a living weapon against two of the Turtles,
Infuriated, Usagi furiously charges at Jei, fighting harshly against his foe with all his might, but Jei (despite being stabbed in the chest and holding Kintaro with one hand) still has the edge, dodging and deflecting all the blows. The duel to the death leads to the cliffside deck. Usagi delivers another powerful, fatal slash, but Jei dodges and deflects this with his spear, disarms Usagi, and shoves the rabbit to the ground before dangling Kintaro over the edge. As Jei gloats over his victory, Kintaro takes advantage of this and chomps down hard on his wrist. The wolf-demon shrieks in pain, momentarily thrown off guard by this surprise attack, allowing Usagi to quickly get back on his feet, grab Leo’s still embedded sword, and fling the screaming Jei off the cliff. As Usagi pulls Leo's katana out of Jei, the rabbit also separates Jei's soul from his body, trapping his soul in the blade, and finally killing the sorcerer as Jei's body plummets to his death, ending his threat permanently.
With Jei dead for good, Sumo Kuma returns to his senses and apologizes for his actions under Jei's influence, thanking Usagi and the Turtles before offering to take Kintaro under his tutelage in the temple to gain better control of his powers, even telling Kintaro he has the power to provide a means to help the Turtles get home. Using his axe, Kintaro opens a portal to allow the Turtles to return to NYC. Each one of the Turtles bids farewell to Usagi and Kintaro before heading home. Leo lingers around to deliver a heartfelt, goodbye to his fellow swordsman, thanking Usagi for everything before joining his brothers and returning home.
As for Usagi, with his mission in escorting Kintaro to Sumo Kuma's temple complete, he collects the four miniature wooden turtle totems, knowing that he can always recruit the Turtles back to his realm whenever he needs help in the future. Afterwards, Usagi packs up his belongings and takes his leave to find others in need of his services. Kintaro is initially sad, but Usagi promises to return during Kintaro's time of need.
Kintaro waves goodbye and thanks him for everything, as the Ronin departs to ensure his code of honor to the samurai code of Bushido continues to aid those in need of his service.
- In Japan, it was paired with The Wasteland Warrior episode.
- The title of this episode is Japanese for "Shine! Kintaro".
- The title of this episode is a parody of a mid '90s Japanese television show, Kagayake! Rintaro.
- A few still images of this episode were drawn in the style of Usagi Yojimbo creator, Stan Sakai.
- In an ironic out-of-universe circumstance, this episode shares a parallel theme with the Teen Titans movie and series finale, Trouble in Tokyo.
- In both shows, Keone Young voices the big bad and manipulator (Jei and Uehara Daizo), and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa voices the big bad's powerful but unwilling pawn that is manipulated into being used against the heroes, despite having good intentions (Sumo Kuma and Brushogun). Jei used mind control to force Sumo Kuma, the benevolent leader of the Temple of the Sky Buddha, to attack the samurai hero, Miyamoto Usagi. Brushogun, a man who just wanted the woman he drew to come to life to love him (but ended up accidentally cursing himself with paint-like powers), was shackled to an automatic printing press and forced by Uehara Daizo to produce life-sized killing machines to use against the Teen Titans.
- Unlike every episode in the series, this particular episode did not end with the final shot cross fading into a hand drawn, comic book style frame of the final shot of the episode.
- Wikipedia (Japanese) - ティーンエイジ・ミュータント・ニンジャ・タートルズ (2012年のアニメ)