The “Ninja Turtles” Anime You’ve Never Heard Of

ninja turtles

Back before streaming, when you could count on 2/3 of the content that came out of Japan to get subtitled & released, what made it out of the country was pretty much based upon sales. So a lot of shows got missed. Sometimes that’s arguably for the better.

For example, what if I told you that there was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles OVA directed by one of the guys behind Golgo 13 and sharing a character designer with a long list of Lupin III specials? Sound exciting? Calm down.

Mutant Turtles: Superman Legend was a two-episode series created to help market TMNT toys overseas. This happened in 1996 — Sunrise had done pretty decently repainting Transformers and making the Brave Series around them, which culminated in GaoGaiGar one year later. So there was something to be said for Japanese adaptations of American toy lines at the time. And the new anime shared pretty much the same cast as the dub of the American cartoon. So, pretty good, right?

Well, here’s the idea of the anime. It’s based on a 3-part manga released in Japan alongside a new toy line. The turtles rescue a being named Crys-Mu who, as a show of gratitude, gives them the power to perform a Super Mutation. For the next 3 minutes, they’re Super Turtles. What’s a Super Mutation? Well, remember the Supermutant toy line? In the anime, it looks kind of like this – – – >

To their credit, they’re still slightly less uncanny than the recent film. But it doesn’t stop there. If all 4 of them combine — yes, I said “combine” — they become Turtle Saint:

Naturally, the Foot Clan gets their own power-up via the Dark Muta Stone so things stay interesting.

The 2nd episode of the OVA focuses on the Metal Mutant toys, which look slightly closer to the source material. Said episode also sees the Turtles traveling to Japan to rid the Hattori household of a ghost.

So who did they get to sing the theme song for this small work of art? That’s the BEST PART: Hironobu “Dragon Ball” Kageyama. You can hear the opening for yourself here.

For better or for worse, there’s really no legal way to see this if your interest has been piqued. Fansubs of varying quality exist, however.

Have you seen it? Or did we just wet your thirst to watch it? Let us know in the comments below.


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