Some TMNT stuff was always meant for grownups.
Umeko is a fox who was once a part of an ancient race of humanoid foxes living on a hidden island off the coast of Japan. Her real name is Umeko, but for reasons that were never fully revealed she goes by the name "Ninjara". Ninjara joined the Ninja Turtles and moved into their lair in the New York City sewers. In the Archie TMNT comics series, for a time, she was Raphael's live-in girlfriend.
Ninjara first appeared in issue #28. She ended up becoming a thief and assassin for the villainous dog-man Chien Khan, but then had a change of heart when she met the Turtles. She had helped Khan capture the Warrior Dragon and was working closely with Khan. Why she did this-since Ninjara does not seem to be inherently evil-has not yet been revealed. Perhaps Khan's dog-like nature gave him some control over Ninjara's feel spirit. Whatever the cause, Ninjara switched allegiances when she discovered that Khan intended to poison the Japanese countryside with radioactivity. She helped defeat Khan and his demons and has since been traveling with the Turtles. Ninjara soon moved in with the Turtles, and began an intimate romantic relationship with Raphael. She helped out on many missions, from the Mid-East to the darkest depths of space. Her family life was explored more in detail when her younger brother managed to track her down and convince her to come back home. The Turtles discovered the island was hidden by fog banks, but despite this, it had been discovered by an opportunistic, greedy hunter. She was a powerful member of the team from issue #29 until issue #70. The Moon Eyes Saga is when the relationship between her and Raphael came to end due to personal differences, as Ninjara realizes she was no longer in love with him, and would like to stay in Mokoshan's (leader of an Alaskan clan of humanoid wolves) village.
After TMNT Adventures
Since Ninjara was created by Stephen Murphy and Chris Allan rather than Kevin Eastman or Peter Laird, after the Archie series ended they were allowed to continue using her. She had a brief stint in her own comic, Ninjara: Seed of Destruction, published in Furrlough, a furry fandom stories magazine from Radio Comix. So far she has appeared in issues #47, #48, and #52. The tagline was "She's not hanging out with teenagers anymore."
Ninjara during this time was now a widow to Mokoshan, and they have a daughter named Moka. Mokoshan was assassinated by an unknown human sniper as his original mate was, and Ninjara took Moka and left the wolf clan, bound for Japan she traveled with her child, working as a mercenary, to find the person who killed her husband with only a token bearing a kanji symbol, dropped by the sniper, as her only clue.
Powers and abilities
Ninjara is purported to be the best thief in all Japan. She also has great skill in the martial arts and is a formidable swordswoman. She is equal (or nearly equal) to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in stealth and fighting abilities. She can climb the sheerer walls with ease. She also has the animal-keen sense of a fox.
- Issue #70 where Raphael and Ninjara parted ways is her last appearance in the Archie Comics Continuity, although it wasn't meant to be. The series was canceled by Archie before it could continue with its new storyline, leaving the characters' fate in limbo.
- When TMNT Adventures was originally being published, reciprocal romantic relationships involving any of the four turtles in any licensed TMNT continuity were rare. Storylines involving one-sided attraction were more common, but most potential relationships never proceeded further than friendship.
- The character Alopex in the IDW continuity was designed as a nod to Ninjara, including her being a fox who is initially an enemy but later becomes an ally with a special bond with Raphael. But compared to Ninjara, Alopex's relationship with Raph does not see much page time or character development for a long time until TMNT #105, when they appear to establish (or resume) a romantic relationship.