Monday, February 5, 2018

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 10 - Shredder

We've reached the double digits!  Today, we're looking at the evil leader of the Foot Clan, Oroku Saki himself, the Shredder.  While Saki had a lot of history in the various Ninja Turtles stories, in the cartoon, he and Homato Yoshi were part of the Foot Clan in Japan.  Trying to take control of the Foot from Yoshi, Saki used a knife to make it look like Yoshi was attempting to kill their Sensai, who was then banished.  Once Saki became leader of the foot, he turned it into a vast criminal empire. We all know Yoshi turned into Splinter and trained the turtles in the sewers of New York, but what happened to Saki?

How he found Krang, ended up in New York, and turned the Foot into a robot army isn't spelled out in the cartoon (as far as I remember at least), but he took on the name of the Shredder and covered his armor with a multitude of blades.  Before we get to his powers, let's take a look at the Foot since they're with him so much.

The Foot Clan is made up entirely of robotic ninjas.  They're weird looking with somewhat gorilla proportions, always with their shoulders hunched and arms sticking out.  Normally they're armed with laser rifles since they don't really display any ninja fighting skills at all, but sometimes they'll show a shred of their origin, like in the first few episodes where they had throwing stars that glowed red hot and fins that show energy ripples.  Like most cartoon robot army fodder, they are defeated easily and fall apart after a hit or two.  Still, in large numbers, they could be dangerous - the Mousers from episode 3 certainly were.

Now on to Shredder.  Having trained in the same dojo as Yoshi, who trained the turtles, Saki is an incredible ninja.  Though his skills dulled over time (name a villain who this didn't happen to), he was more than a match for the turtles on their first few outings.  In Case of the Killer Pizzas, when Donatello throws a ball of dough at him, he catches it in his hands, spins it around and fastens a "doughnet" from it!

Another benefit of his training seems to be some real super strength.  In episode 7, The Incredible Shrinking Turtles, he defeats each of them one by one, but the real feet is breaking a massive wooden beam in half with one chop if his hand.
In other episodes, he's shown to chop through a branch he was standing on with one chop, bend iron bars of a cell, kick down a metal door, and twice slice a punching bag in half after throwing it into the air.  I'm not sure what part of ninja school teaches you that, but it's damned impressive.

Shredder does have his drawbacks, though.  His anger frequently gets the better of him, letting the calmer Splinter defeat him, like in the episode Shredder and Splintered.  He loses his patience and gets real sloppy.  He's also terrible with guns.  The few times he's picked up a rifle or pistol, he can't hit anything.  Granted, no one else in the cartoon has good aim either, but it's something to consider if Shredder loses the upper hand.

Be sure to come back next week to see his opponent, Sky Commander's General Plague.  Click here to see how Bad Guy Beatdown is going so far.

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