The 2012 TV series is at least my 2nd favorite TMNT TV series. The 2012 TV series is at least at the same time funny, the animation is great quality, there are creative plots, anime inspired, there are more science fiction horror and apocalyptic, the appearance in the 2012 TV series is realistic, the characters' styles and designs are creative, inspiring and both realistic and unrealistic, various characters and especially April O'Neil seems like a Mary Sue and especially like the 2012 Turtles' anime style designs, reminds me of some other previous generation and my childhood CGI movies and TV series' styles, there are more interspecies romances, I love Michelangelo and Leatherhead's loving band, I love the moment when Tokka understand Raphael's good excuse why he took her baby Chompy Picasso and even let Raphael keep her baby unlike other monsters who become mad for their stolen babies, the last tree parts episode seems like a remake of the movie Turtles Forever, The Turtles reminds of Sonic the Hedgehog and his's friends and April reminds of Christopher Thorndyke from Sonic X, the plot in the half of season 4 similar to and copied of the plot of Sonic X season 3 and especially my favorite characters are at least 2012 Leonardo who some ways reminds me of Sonic the Hedgehog and still especially 2012 Raphael, but I at same time really dislike and complain about the 2012 TV series more than the other TMNT TV series.
1. I do not like the Turtles act more like and others as teenagers for the first time in the 2012 TV series even though the Turtles just actually and traditionally are teenagers and I still like and do not fully see the 2012 Turtles really acting like teenagers between 2012 and other incarnations or I do not have full teenage experience, except at least Miwa/Karai and Renet still seems like adults and Michelangelo and Donatello seems younger. The 2012 Turtles are at least still seriously for and can even handle serious and tough danger and adventure as saving Earth, travel in time and travel to outer space as the other incarnations, in other incarnations like the 2003 and 2014 Turtles at least seems more like adults and even adults can be still immature, joking, uncertain and can't control their temper.
2. For me the 2012 TV series seems even the most darkest and edgiest of all the TMNT TV series and one of the most darkest and edgiest cartoons I have seen today, even though at the same time it looks lighter and softer. It reminds the TMNT 2007 CGI movie, Splinter seems more strict, there are more science fiction horror and apocalyptic, it is the first and only incarnation Splinter dies, Timothy even never become normal again and just become frozen, April only find a clone of her mother as she actually finally found and never even know what really happened to her real mother, the Earth was sucked into black hole and the Turtles traveled back in time and had only one chance to save the Earth again and are at the same time a bit too dark and edgy for the 2012 Turtles if they really act more like teenagers and April and Casey as teenagers than the other Turtles' incarnations and April and Casey as adults.
3. The "Pizza Face" episode was the weirdest and one of the most plot-holed episodes. It was weird the antagonist Antonio/Pizza Face was a blob-like pizza monster mutant who wanted to eat humans and didn't make any sense when Michelangelo woke up in his room when a pizza slice of Antonio/Pizza Face was in a pizza in his room as it wasn't over with Antonio/Pizza Face and a good ending and even appeared in a later episode, I hoped it was just a dream. The episode reminds me and at least seems copied of a Jimmy Neutron episode "Sleepless in Retroville" that just also focusing on living pizza monsters who wanted also eat humans which was in a way a dream which didn't make any sense eather.
4. Didn't like how the 2012 TV series already ended as it wouldn't end yet. Even in the final episodes it seems like there would still be no changing for Turtles and still have to hide from the society as always even though they have saved the world many times and Splinter isn't around anymore, the 1987 Shredder was the antagonist of the final episodes, April only found clone of her mother as she actually finally found and never even know what really happened to her real mother that didn't make any sense and there are no Christmas special.
5. I especially do not like 2012 April O'Neil who has ruined the whole new TMNT 2012 TV series for me, unless I watching non-2012 April O'Neil focusing episodes. I don't like April as an action girl, especially when she's still just a and seems more innocent as a teenage girl to become an action hero as the Turtles, who don't like to be damsel in distress and even rudely ungrateful when April gets rescued as she tries to prove she can take care as the Turtles even though she's a girl, still just a teenager and not even a mutant turtle too after she started training to become an action hero too and April can already even beat other who are bigger and muscular than her better than her other adult incarnations to be still just a teenager and even before she could use her telepathy and telekinesis superpowers to at least become an action hero as the Turtles who are at least action heroes because of both their ninjutsu skills and mutated strength. As when April hit on Donatello's head instead of let him catch her, rudely said "protect yourself" and "nice catch Donnie" to Donatello, rudely and sarcastically said "Oh, great. Saved by Raph" when Raphael tried once to save her and already could even fight the Foot Bots of the Foot Clan and Mutagen Man and Sid who are bigger and muscular than her and even beat Raphael who is just the physical strongest of the Turtles.
I liked April first in season 1 before after she started training to become a action girl, then she seemed less stubborn, rude and didn't mind to be damsel in distress as it was same for her to be an action girl or not, even though I in a way become used to it when she become fully educated kunoichi since she at least become less stubborn and rude as she was first in season 1 and as she always been an action girl. I usually do not like normal human female and children characters as action heroes who are just usually more innocent than men, although April at least is kind a superhuman with telepathy and telekinesis superpowers which she didn't even knew before after she anyway started training to become an action girl and at least rarely an action girl in the 2003 incarnation. I especially had liked April better as and didn't mind if she was an action girl if she at least become a mutant turtle too as I hoped she would in the 2012 TV series, then at least Apriltello would happened and hope she will be a mutant turtle too in the future TV series.
Still gradually reading. But I can note something else. While the 2012 series was indeed rather dark for a TV-Y7 series, it was actually very bubble gum and rather bowdlerized compared to many of the various comics.
Remember that moment when Splinter was stuck with the Rat King and was tempted to eat a rat? In the original story that inspired that plot...
He did eat the rat, and many more, so he could survive and not starve to death. But the experience did leave him traumatized (it was cannibalism, after all), and he refused to talk about it afterwards.
Truth be told, TMNT was never originally conceived as a story for children. It was written for adults, and the comics are still primarily for adults though mostly accessible to teenage readers. I think the 2012 series was trying too hard to be too many mutually incompatible things to too many irreconcilably different kinds of TMNT fans. The Mirage comics didn't try to strike this kind of balance (as it was the original and it was never required to). The Archie comics started out targeting fans of the 1987 series, but it gradually matured with its audience over time (compare Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra, or both incarnations of the Samurai Jack series). Really, I think the IDW comic perhaps does the best job trying to strike a balance between different TMNT fans, but it's also freed up by the fact that it doesn't have to constantly help market toys to 7 year olds, a responsibility that often came to the detriment of the quality of the various TMNT shows for children.
There's been a long history of action-ready versions of April. Both the Mirage and Archie comics versions were gradually trained as ninja.
The IDW comics version knows some basic self-defense, but is much better at using cunning to manipulate her opponents; in particular, most of her interactions with Baxter Stockman are like an ongoing game of chess.
And while I don't entirely like the way April was handled in the 2012 series, I actually rather liked her rivalry with Raph earlier in the series. Raph was a lot more queer-coded in the first two seasons and in early season 3 (at times noticeably feminine and ambiguously gay), and his personality was more like that of a tomboy big sister.
I think April and Raph actually understood and related to each other in this respect better than April did with any of the other turtles. I mean, Raph didn't have the level of education April or Donnie had, but he kept intuitively picking up on her feelings as a woman in a way Donnie repeatedly failed to do. So, when April and Raph would insult each other and compete fiercely with each other, it seemed less like cruelty and more like little catfights in an ongoing friendly rivalry.
And the topic of teenage turtles acting like teenagers. I don't actually mind them behaving like realistic teenagers. And even in some other incarnations, they do have teenage-like maturity moments. Example:
But there are a few things that need to be understood about previous portrayals of turtle ninja mutant teenagers.
For one thing, the first incarnation of turtles were Generation X teenagers, whose mutation happened in 1970. There are some timeless things about teenagers across the ages, but different generations still have their cultural differences. Compared to teenager today, on average, Gen X teenagers drank more, smoked more, had more sex, and spent more time without adult supervision; they were the "latchkey kids," who regularly went all sorts of places without their parents knowing where they were. The turtles even then weren't typical Gen X teenagers (though heavily influenced by Gen X pop culture), because these turtles were also basically raised as child soldiers for their father's revenge against Oroku Saki. Even as preteens they had taken human lives—they killed combatants in a conflict, and even though they weren't in the habit of killing innocent people, it didn't change the fact that they were still killers at a time when most kids are playing video games or learning long division.
So right off the bat, you know they're not as innocent as typical teenagers of practically any generation.
Then comes another consideration. Being both mutants and ninja, they also lived in social isolation for most of their lives, where in everyday life they only knew each other, their father, and later on also April and Casey. Which means that, apart from activities as brothers and family, they did not have typical teenage social lives, or practically any social lives outside the people they lived with.
And while it seemed they were more mature and acted like adults during their teenage years, that's not necessarily the case, either. After 2002 in the Mirage continuity, the Utroms made public contact with the Earth and within months there were aliens walking down the sidewalks of major world cities, especially New York. The turtles no longer stood out in a crowd, and they could finally live public lives at the not-so-tender age of 32.
Michelangelo was hired by the Utrom tourism agency as an Earth tour guide for alien tourists. But the moment he was assigned an attractive alien woman (Seri), he started doing what he hadn't been able to do as a teenager: Have a teenage social experience with someone he was attracted to. So, while he did try to do his job at first, he also found himself maing impulsive and ill-advised decisions: He ditched Seri's entourage, "borrowed" Casey's motorcycle, took a joyride with Seri up the New England coast, and finally had a one-night stand with her. And it led to this:
Not Mikey's most responsible moment. Teenagers often make naive and impulsive mistakes at a time when an adult guardian still has to answer for them. In today's society, they are also often taught important life skills—such as sex education in a high school health class—so that the mistakes they often do make anyway aren't quite as bad as they could have been. All this so that teens can mature into adulthood having a better idea how to function as responsible adults. But when people are effectively denied a social life during their own childhoods, they often have their teenage social maturity phase not in their actually teens, but in their adult years as soon as they are free to start having social lives.
The 2012 series was relatively novel in emphasizing the turtles' teenage personalities from the very start. I think it was possible for them to still be relatively innocent teenagers, in part, by the fact that those turtles had never been on a battlefield until they were 15, and Splinter was still determined not to get them embroiled in unnecessary conflicts. Instead of training his sons to enact his revenge and kill his nemesis, he wanted a peaceful family life where ninjutsu was practiced as a traditional art and means of survival and self-defense rather than as a tool of war. The show actually was doing something right about this in season 1 (and to a lesser extent season 2), giving them a relatively believable teenage banter with each other and with the father who was responsible for raising them. But as the seasons went on, bad writing habits started to creep in, with more wooden dialogue, less believable behavior, more rubbery teenage personalities, and the damn waifu fanservice. It was even worse with Mikey, who went from being a relatively child-like but still believable teenager to becoming Patrick Star with the maturity and impulse control of a 5 year old.
April was almost never featured in action situations in Mirage, and even her ninja training came off as a rather informed ability later on. But in TMNT V4 #31, while on a solo cross-country motorcycle trip, she finds a group of poorly-behaved men outside a bar trying to vandalize her bike where she parked it, so she single-handedly beats up a few of them, and says, "Anyone else need a ninja lesson in manners?" Since this was not previously referenced on the wiki, maybe I'll upload pictures later.