NAME: Shredder. His real name is Oroku Saki.
Age: Not known exactly He is seen as being middle aged (40s) in all incarnations, but it wouldn't hurt to say he could be mid-30s in the 1987 cartoon, after seeing him without the mask and helmet.
Weapon: His armour which is steel plates over parts of his legs, arms and shoulders, with spikes sticking out. In the 2003 cartoon he is seen with the Sword of Tengu, and sometimes in the original cartoon, he can be spotted with a Katana or Samurai sword.
Good or Bad Guy?: Bad guy.
No. of appearances?: Shredder is the most frequent villain of the TMNT universe.
Words that Describe Shredder: Cruel, ruthless, cold, calculating, domineering, greedy, humorous(in 80s cartoon only), impatient, ambitious, evil, Ninjitsu-skilled, warrior, fighter, cunning, spiteful, vengeful, bitter and egomaniacal.
Favourite Quote?: "Tonight i dine on turtle soup!" (from 80s cartoon)
Status: Main Villain. The leader of the Foot Clan, a master in the art of Ninjitsu.
Voiced By: James Avery(played Uncle Phil in "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air") in the original cartoon 1987-1993, and William Martin until the end in 1996. In the TMNT 1 movie, James Saito acts as Shredder and in TMNT 2, it's Francois Chau. David McCharen voices Shredder in both films. Former WWF/WCW wrestler Kevin Nash (aka Diesel/Oz/Vinnie Vegas) plays the part of Super Shredder in TMNT 2. In the 2003 cartoon, he is voiced by Scottie Ray.
TMNT Review HQ Analysis: The "Darth Vader" of the TMNT series, and definetely the most popular of the villains. He too, like the TMNT and Splinter, knows the art of Ninjitsu, and grades as a master in this form of fighting. His real name is Oroku Saki, but Shredder is his nickname, the reasons why he got this name is not exactly clear, but the word is pretty self-explainatory( he can shred you pieces with his hands and metallic claws, part of his costume). He retains the same type of look in all mediums, of a physically intact fit man wearing heavy armour all over his body with a few spikes on his shins, wrists and shoulders to cause the squeamish to shiver at his mere prescence. He also wear a samurai warrior-like helmet, with only his eyes showing.
Shredder's first incarnation was the TMNT comics. The story begins with Shredder's older brother Nagi Saki in a bitter feud with Hamato Yoshi (Splinter is his pet rat) over the love of a woman called Tang Shen. However, she leaned more to preference for Yoshi, and loved him. Nagi showed his anger at this, and Yoshi killed him. Yoshi fled Japan with Tang Shen to New York.
Oroku Saki was only a young child when he joined a the Foot Clan to become a very talented ninja. His rise in the Foot Clan rankings were so good that he was made the leader of the Foot Clan's American HQ. This ended with Shredder and New York, and gave him a chance of revenge on Yoshi and Tang Shen. He succeeded and killed the both of them while Splinter escaped, got caught up in the ooze, and the rest..is history!
Yes it's true, Shredder actually dies early on in the original mirage comics, after an after-dark fight with the ninja turtles and Splinter on a New York rooftop. Shredder dies from the force of a bomb and falls off the building. Of course, this wasn't the end for Shredder, as he was later on cloned and reborn yet again in the mirage series. This time he was killed again for good by Leonardo, by severing his head off with his blades. After this the Foot Clan were weakenend and the leader of the Foot in Japan, Karai, came over and made a pact, or truce, as the Foot had had enough of casualties caused by the TMNT.
Things get weirder by the time of the Image comics, in which Raphael tries to impersonate Shredder, and tries to swarm his way into making a peace pact with the Foot Clan, but it fails. We find out Shredder has a daughter named Pimiko, and the mysterious "Lady Shredder" who attacks Raphael is Karai which is the real name of the daughter(it sounds confusing, but Pimiko is her ninja name that she uses in battle...suppoesedly). The most well-known Shredder incarnation is the original cartoon starting back in 1987. People remember for his almost angry, shouting voice(well thats what James Avery did) cursing the turtles when they get away, and lambasting his "cretins/moronic mutants" Bebop and Rocksteady. There's quite a big difference in Shredder's origin story from the comics, there is no love triangle, and Oroku Saki deals with Hamato Yoshi(who is Splinter in human form) on his own, this time framing him in a crime to slay his Foot Clan sensei in Japan. Then Yoshi flees to New York and so on...
Shredder is the leader of the whole of the Foot Clan, not just the American stable, so he secretly goes to New York(they do not show how he gets there). The most unique change in the origin is Shredder allies with this alien called Krang from Dimension X, who has technology far superior than Earth's. It is not known how Shredder met Krang, but you can use your imagination! Krang develops robots for his Foot Clan called Foot soldiers, the human ninjas were gone after this. Shredder dumps mutagen into the sewers, hoping that Yoshi who was in residentially there would come in contact, and die from it. However, he mutates into a rat and the turtles become the TMNT.
This is perhaps the only Shredder incarnation to have a sense of humour, and it worked well, as his relationship with Krang down those 100 or so episodes could bring out the most funniest moments from the cartoon. More comicalness came from Bebop and Rocksteady, who were so dumb and gullible, and would fail their missions almost all the time. Even though they did make a fool out of Shredder alot, he had great fighting skills, and when he did fight the turtles, he would usually come out on top. When it came to Splinter, it was a different story. Their showdowns didn't happen very much, but they were built up with their dialogue and the history between them. Splinter comes out as the better Ninjitsu master against Shredder.
Shredder is also shown as being smart and cunning, making up his own devices, and building Krang's new body in the first season. Shredder appeared in most of the episodes from seasons 1987-1993. Even though, he and Krang were like a vital part of the cartoon being a success with viewers, a change of direction by the animators started trying out new villains for the new look 1994 "red sky"(the sky is always coloured in red from now on) season, such as Titanus and his H.A.V.O.C. gang, he got completely erased from the picture when Season '95 came around, not appearing in any of the 8 episodes. He was replaced by a new main villain called Dregg, who was an alien and a different personality from Shredder. This carried on into the final 1996 season. However, Shredder and Krang made their final appearances in the 4th, 5th and 6th episodes of the last 8 episode season. Shredder makes his last appearance in "Turtles to the Second Power". Shredder is sent back to Dimension X in the end, he doesn't die.
It's a shame Shredder doesn't appear in the final episode of the original cartoon "Divide and Conquer", it just doesn't make sense.
Shredder appears in 2 of the 3 TMNT movies. The origin story is very similar to the comic one, except only Oroku Saki is involved, and not his brother Nagi. One important detail is Splinter, as a normal rat, claws at Shredder's face before he escapes, and Saki is scarred for life. This is reminded by the mutant Splinter himself, to Shredder in their "final" battle at the end of TMNT 1. Shredder is addressed as "The Shredder" or "Master Shredder" in the movies.
Also in TMNT 1, Shredder recruits awkard badly behaved juvenile youths, and some look even younger in the movie. He prepares them to join the "family" of the Foot Clan. He does not have Krang, Bebop or Rocksteady at his side but a Japanese martial artist named Tatsu, who turns grunting into an art form (thats another story though). In one scene, the movie writers must've been thinking "Star Wars" when they were doing it, as Shredder quotes "I am your father!" to his followers surrounding him in this dungy but menacing, dark hideout.
Surprise! Surprise! Shredder plans to catch April 'O Neill as her constant snooping around and reporting on his ninja thieves robbing stores is getting too much for him. This is were the turtles and Shredder cross paths. Shredder comes to his "end" when he falls off a building, and into a large crusher device, which Casey Jones switches on, and we think he has died instantly.
OH NO! IT CAN'T BE!! Shredder comes back from the dead yet again, in the second movie "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze". Shredder brings together Tatsu and the Foot to terrorize the turtles yet again. This time he kidnaps Professor Perry, who will help him drill mutagen into a ferocious wolf and snapping turtle, who become these very strong but infantile mutants called Tokka & Rahzar. The turtles escape from every possible situation and defeat the Foot, Tatsu, Tokka & Rahzar with ease. This infuriates Shredder in the nightclub scene(and he's not there to boogie on down you know!) and he drinks the mutagen, and becomes Super Shredder. The turtles and Super Shredder become enthralled in a battle that takes them to under a pier. Super Shredder goes mad and the pier collapses on him, and kills him(?), and the turtles survive. As mentioned in my TMNT 2 review, it's a silly way to end the Shredder like this, with no great action to recall of.
Shredder's least likeable reincarnation come from the live action series "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation". He didn't comes across as intimidating or scary as in other mediums. Venus, the infamous female turtle, used her mind powers to make Shredder act more like Oroku Saki, maybe the better side of the person, and the Foot Clan dispearses from the gang scene in New York. Shredder's status as an evil villain is laughable by this stage, and he gets attacked by the Dragon Lords and they pinch a medallion off him. Shredder seems helpless and doing the inconceivable of becoming a good guy, as Splinter saves him and looks after him. The show got the axe before this story could make any kind of sense.
The 2003 cartoon gave Shredder a personality close to the mirage comics version, and looks menacing like in the movies. However, we find out Shredder is actually a Utrom! These Utroms are an alien race that look very similar to Krang, but Krang doesn't exist in this version though(there was never any mention of the Utroms in the 80s cartoon).
He is a Utrom named Ch'rell who is a dangerous criminal, who escapes custody, from his species and crash landed on planet Earth. He builds an exterior skeleton like a humans and goes under the guise of Shredder. He constructs his own sword, the Sword of Tengu, kills the creators ruthlessly. He uses it to bring the Tokugawa Shoguns to power. He forms the Foot Clan and leads it for over 700 years, and they become a very powerful set-up indeed. Shredder is still known as Oroku Saki. Early on in the series, he comes across a helpless girl named Karai, and brings her up like a daughter, to become his apprentice.
Hamato Yoshi is also the guardian of the Utroms, and Shredder wants all groups dead, including the turtles who get in his way.Shredder is also helped out by a new character named Hun, a massive, intimidating guy in much the same role as Tatsu in the movies. He also has Baxter Stockman to help him, who is black and not wimpy, who later ends up with only his brain functioning.
The turtles decapitate Shredder's head and think he is dead. This has been courted as being too graphic for a kids cartoon by some fans, but there is no blood seen. Shredder faces off against them again, and the turtles then find out he is a Utrom. In the end Ch'rell is sent into exile to Mor Tal, an icy asteroid belt in the middle of nowhere by his own race of the Utroms. Karai now takes over as the leader of the Foot Clan. The end...for now? In the video games, Shredder is usually the last boss of the entire game, and in some he becomes Super Shredder.
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