The 2012 animated series of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise is the first to use 3D rendering. It was immediately a big hit and was admired by the fans. And to top it all off, the 2012 series is the first to show us a special mutant opponent of the turtles. Tiger Claw is the name of this character. He is among the most outstanding and potent antagonists in the entire series.
He becomes even more enigmatic and fascinating due to his absence from the 1987 and 2003 television shows. Tiger Claw is a persistent foe who keeps disintegrating but still manages to put the four turtles through hardship in combat. This film will cover every aspect of Tiger Claw, from his sinister origins to his supreme skills. So without further ado, let us get started with a brand-new origin video.
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Tiger Claw Origins
The producer and writer Brandon Auman created the character of Tiger Claw. In the franchise of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, we only see him in the 2012 animated series and not in the earlier versions. He was first introduced to us in the second season and Eric Bauza voices his character. Let us now take a look at his origin story, which is explored in season 4, episode 24. It is titled The Tale of Tiger Claw and was first aired in February 2017.
The story begins at the lair of Super Shredder, where we see Tiger Claw talking to Super Shredder through a hologram. He is soon interrupted by the arrival of Rocksteady and Bebop. Now, just as he is getting ready to leave with the two minions, Tiger Claw gets an absurd vision of something he has never felt before. This vision seems to be of a strange foxlike figure and Tiger Claw concludes that the one who took away his tail has finally come to attack him.
Now, at the Turtles’ lair in the sewer, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello are doing their usual training with Master Splinter, April O’Neil, and Casey Jones. Master Splinter is teaching them the art and power of honing their intuition in order to fight better. In the midst of this, April suddenly has a vision of sorts, where she sees two identical blades which appear as a warning for Casey.
The turtles then decide to go on patrol with April and Casey in order to find any leads about Super Shredder’s secret lair. They spread out in pairs when Leo and Mikey spot something rushing toward them. It is the exact figure that Tiger Claw had seen in his vision. The figure runs past Leo and Mikey and heads toward the local museum. Raphael and Casey follow the figure, who turns out to be a young mutant fox ninja.
They spot her stealing a pair of sickle-like blades from the museum and immediately confront her. She introduces herself as Alopex and refers to the twin blades as the blades of vengeance. The story of the blades dates back centuries ago. A pair of twin sisters once owned the two blades. They used them against an evil warlord who had wiped out their family. The sharp blades held a strong curse within them.
Even a single scratch from the steel of the blades would curse any man for suffering a fatal misfortune. However, Casey does not take Alopex seriously and as soon as she finishes telling the myth of the blades, he attacks her. It looks like this fox ninja is faster than you can comprehend. In the blink of an eye, she manages to steal Casey’s weapons and leaves him defenseless.
But Casey sneaks up on her and uses his taser on her. This angers Alopex and she starts attacking Casey and ends up striking him on the cheek with the twin blades. She then fights Raphael but soon runs away when she has a vision about the arrival of her actual enemy, who is Tiger Claw. Tiger Claw’s fears come true as he stands in front of Alopex, who is wearing his severed tail as a trophy belt on her waist.
Tiger Claw and Alopex engage in a fierce battle, but when Rocksteady and Bebop arrive and start attacking her, she soon runs away with a promise to return. Now, after meeting Casey, when the turtles talk about Alopex, an air conditioner is about to fall on Casey, but Raph saves him in time. They go back to the turtles’ lair and Leo starts researching the twin blades.
Master Splinter then tells them that the blades are known as the cursed blades of vengeance and their fatal curse has only been known to ninjas. They soon realize that what Alopex told them about the blade was true, because Casey is once again saved from another fatal injury. Apparently, the only way to reverse the curse is to use the blades on the one who inflicted it and wound them. This would pass the curse back to them.
As a result, the turtles decide to go hunt down Alopex. At the same time, Rocksteady and Bebop start asking all kinds of questions to Tiger Claw about Alopex. So, the moment we have all been waiting for finally arrives, as Tiger Claw tells his story. It turns out that Alopex is actually Tiger Claw’s sister. His real name is Takeshi and both he and his sister were born as normal human beings.
One day when the two were playing in the playground of their small village, a portal opened up that led to Dimension X. They thought it was a magic door and wanted to check it out, so they entered. However, they were captured by the Kraang, who started conducting several experiments on them. The Kraang mutated them and turned them into animal and human hybrid forms of a Tiger and a Fox. After several months of struggle, the two finally managed to escape from the clutches of the Kraang through a portal that brought them back to Earth.
However, they were now considered monsters, so they could not go back home and were forced to run away. Eventually, they discovered a circus side show and took refuge. There, the mutant skills of the siblings were appreciated and proved to be of value. But soon they turned to a path of crime and began working in the criminal underworld as top-level assassins. Everyone feared the notorious duo of Tiger Claw and Alopex.
But Alopex always held a grudge against Tiger Claw for destroying her life by turning her into an assassin and a mutant fox. So, during a battle, she tried to kill him but ended up cutting off his tail instead. He had gravely wounded her before she fled so he thought she would have died, but clearly, he was wrong. Tiger Claw continued being an assassin and bounty hunter and was eventually found and hired by Shredder during his visit to Japan.
Now, the turtles finally find Alopex and engage in a battle with her. Casey tries to convince her to help him lift the curse, but she reveals that she can’t, because the only way to do that is to either use the blades on her or destroy them entirely. And since she plans on using the blades on Tiger Claw, she will not give it to them. She then runs away to confront Tiger Claw. Upon facing her, Tiger Claw tries to talk to her but she attacks.
The two fight and Tiger Claw gains the upper hand. He is just about to finish Alopex when the turtles intervene and save her. In exchange, she hands over the cursed blades of vengeance to Casey. But soon, Tiger Claw snatches it from his hands and goes after Alopex. April arrives just in time and uses Tiger Claw’s blaster to freeze one of the blades which shatters after being thrown towards a wall.
Casey gets hold of the second blade and after April freezes it, he smashes it on the ground. However, Tiger Claw and Alopex continue to fight each other. Alopex is just about to sever his head… but she shows mercy and asks him to walk away. The episode comes to an end when Tiger Claw tries to shoot Alopex in the back but she dodges it and chops off his right arm instead.
Tiger Claw is an assassin from Japan, and his name fits perfectly with his nature. In Japanese, Tiger Claw translates to the term Tora No Tsume, which is also the name of a very famous type of katana sword. All the weapons that Tiger Claw used to fight his battles were actually given to him by many different warriors in mortal combat after he defeated them.
In the series, Tiger Claw was once transported to the universe of the turtles from the 1987 tv series at the end of the episode titled ‘The Manhattan Project.’ In the episode titled ‘The Wrath of Tiger Claw,’ he also engages in a battle with the 1987 ninja turtles. In the end, he fights his way through multiple dimensions to get back to his own, and that is when he loses his left eye and his right ear.
Brandon Auman, the creator of Tiger Claw, first came up with the idea of the character when he was playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness, which is a table top role playing game that Palladium Books published in 1985. Now, an exciting character correlation that Tiger Claw has is with Old Hob, a mutant domestic cat from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IDW series.
Just like Tiger Claw, Old Hob is also a feline, and both wear an eye patch. They are quite similar in several ways, as the enemies of both Tiger Claw and Old Hob are responsible for causing them to lose a body part. Master Splinter gouged out Old Hob’s right eye, and as we saw earlier, Alopex severed Tiger Claw’s tail as well as his right arm. Another character that Tiger Claw shares a similarity with is Katmandu, who is also a tiger with the exception of having four arms.
What Makes Him such a Formidable Opponent?
Tiger Claw has stated that he is the most feared assassin in all of Asia. After the Kraang mutated Takeshi and turned him into Tiger Claw, he gained all of the traits and abilities that belong to a tiger which also gives him an edge over his enemies. As a result of the mutation, he has a full set of retractable claws that he prefers to use during close combat. He also gained the senses of a tiger and has an enhanced sense of smell as well as the ability to see clearly in dark places.
He has immense endurance and the proof of his strength is in the fact that despite losing an eye and a hand, he is still able to fight the turtles just like the old days. He can go up against all four turtles at the same time and still manage to land a few heavy blows on them. In fact, his tiger strength is also capable of splitting Leonardo’s diato in half just with the use of his paw.
Now, after Alopex chopped off Tiger Claw’s right arm, he replaced it with a bionic one that has interchangeable weaponry and allows him to have multiple advantages. Tiger Claw’s bionic arm is full of gadgets and gives him a hinged fingered paw. It also has the ability to project rockets as well as razor sharp claws. Along with the interchangeable weapons, his new arm also has several built-in weapons. So far, the only built-in power we have seen him use is a rope that has a disc on either end. Tiger Claw is able to extend it out of his arm in order to immobilize his opponents.
Tiger Claw is also a fantastic swordsman and marksman, since he beautifully handles his twin pistols and sword in all his battles. The turtles almost always have a hard time fighting him since he is very fast and possesses years of experience from his assassin days. Tiger Claw is an excellent martial artist and we witnessed his skills during his battle against the 1987 ninja turtles.
He was easily able to defeat all of them while taking comparatively minor damage to himself. Nevertheless, his abilities are eventually weaker when it comes to those of a master ninja like Splinter. Master Splinter has effortlessly defeated Tiger Claw in the past. In fact, during one battle, April was also able to defeat him even though it took her a lot more effort to achieve that victory.
Tiger Claw’s weapons include a big machete that he uses for sword fighting, but his primary weapons are two modified pistols that can fire both red lasers and freeze bullets. These freeze bullets are the same ones that were used by April to destroy the cursed blades of vengeance. He also carries a jet pack that can be used both for evading and escaping from his enemies. Along with that, Tiger Claw also uses nets to trap his opponents.
One of Tiger Claw’s most potent abilities is his overwhelming will power and determination. His voyage from the 1987 ninja turtles dimension back to his own was a jarring and challenging journey. He had stated that it would have driven lesser men insane, whereas the only change he suffered was coming back to Earth more enraged than ever before. These are the many qualities in Tiger Claw that make him a more than formidable opponent for the teenage mutant ninja turtles.
The character of Tiger Claw runs after power and revenge at any given point. He is a ruthless, witty, and clever bounty hunter who relishes tricking and torturing all of his rivals. He also has no regard for dignity or honor since he is ready to kill his own sister. Tiger Claw considers Shredder to be his master and is loyal only to him as long as they share the same goal. He is one of the dark enemies of the turtles, and a more in-depth exploration of his character with a modern take would certainly be exciting to watch.