Which Ninja Turtle Is Which? A Close Look At The Characters

In the past 40 years, the Ninja Turtles have been an extremely popular comic, turned cartoon series, turned movie franchise. It all started with a comic that was originally published in the late ’80s that featured four turtles that had managed to mutate into somewhat human form. Under their guardian/trainer Hamato Yoshi (aka Splinter), they are trained in ninjutsu and with their super-human strength and abilities, they eventually find a passion for fighting evil and saving the humans they live among. 

Ninja Turtles

In the original comic the turtles’ trainer Splinter is initially a pet rat of the warrior Hamato Yoshi. In the more recent version, Splinter himself is Hamato Yoshi but mutates into a rat because he too is exposed to the same mutagen that the turtles are exposed to. Also, in the traditional version of the story, the ninja turtles grow up naturally and spend an entire childhood under the supervision of Splinter, learning the martial arts and perfecting their skills with different weapons. In the modern versions of the story, they are tiny little baby turtles at one stage, and then they suddenly transform into human-sized turtles after exposure to the mutagen. Also, in the original comic and the cartoon, all the turtles wore red bandanas and in later depictions, this was changed to different characters wearing different coloured bandanas. However, even with this change, it is a little challenging for viewers to figure out which one is which. Here is a summary of the different Ninja Turtles characters and their traits.  

1.  Leonardo

Leonardo is the eldest of the four brothers and can be found wearing a blue bandana. His favourite weapons include a pair of Katana swords or a pair of ninjakens. Leonardo is depicted as the wisest of the brothers with a tremendous amount of patience and a level of maturity that resembles that of adults. He is not spontaneous or emotional, instead, everything he says and does is very well thought out. In the Ninja Turtle gang, he is a true team leader who practices what he preaches. Though his leadership is not just because of his age, he is also an extremely skilled fighter. When it comes to ninjutsu he is the most passionate of the four brothers and his training reflects this.

2.  Raphael

The second eldest is Raphael and he is the one wearing the red mask. In a way, he can be seen as the opposite of Leonardo, very hot-headed, very rash, and very powerful. Even though he isn’t the most technical of fighters his incredible strength makes him the muscle of the group. As you might have noticed, the names of the Ninja Turtles are inspired by Italian Renaissance artists. This is because these are the favourite artists of their trainer/father Splinter. Even though Raphael is very tough on the outside he is a very gentle and loving beast. The one thing that gets him very angry is anyone trying to harm his brothers. Also, he isn’t the sharpest pencil in the box, but he’s a great person to have in the group.

3.  Donatello

Donatello is the third eldest brother and is the brains of the group. He is seen wearing a purple bandana and is the one who helps the team come up with solutions for major problems. He is also the scientist, coder, mathematician, and the most knowledgeable one in the group. His favourite weapon is the Bo staff and he is a prolific fighter. When it comes to battles he isn’t the first to initiate anything but he won’t ever back out. 

4.  Michelangelo

Ninja Turtle

The youngest brother of the gang, Michelangelo, wears an orange mask. He is smaller than his brothers in physical appearance but when it comes to athletic abilities, he is far superior to all of them. He has an extremely happy-go-lucky approach to life. Always cracking jokes and messing around with his brothers. He is also known to have a very unusual taste for food and eats the strangest of concoctions that he invents himself.

While the overall theme of the ninja turtles remains the same there are some differences in the story depending upon the publisher. Also, since the comic was made into a movie, many parts of the story have been shortened to make it fit in a 90-minute movie. The turtles along with their trainer live in the sewers of New York City and whenever there is a threat to the city, they are the first to react. In nearly all situations, the Turtles fight with no assistance and are successful every time.

Which Ninja Turtle Is Which? A Close Look At The Characters 1

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