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Old 08-28-2021, 04:58 PM   #1
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Why exactly was April a Human-Utrom hybrid with psychic powers?

From a purely creative standpoint, what is the purpose of this idea? I remember Ciro Nieli talking about the writing difficulty in writing girls with super powers, in that his experience is that they tend to get OP, citing Teen Titans as an example. Of course, unlike the Teen Titans girls who are expected to have superpowers, April was never depicted as having any superhuman powers before this show. Nobody expected her to have any special powers, so why even give her any if it's hard to write?

The immediate thought is that it gives them reasons to keep her relevant, either by having the Kraang come after her or make stories about her powers playing a major role, which to some extent is what happens. As it turns out however, the Kraang seem to gradually lose interest in her and seem more into doing various questionable schemes that seem to have little or nothing to do with her, while stories focusing on her powers didn't really start to be a thing until season 4 and not that much comes out of it to be honest. You'd figure her powers would be relevant for the series finale or drastically change the status quo, but they mostly just seem to be a bonus for the writers to make side stories about. In fact, the intended finale implies she just died anti-climactically along with almost everyone else, basically irrelevant to that story.

And again, why even do this in the first place if it's not that important outside season 1 and 4, arguably not ever really that important? It's not like previous two cartoons or the subsequent cartoon had any issue with just depicting her as normal person, it was a creative decision made by the crew of this show. They could have easily come up with any given reason for her to hang out with the turtles and yet they settled on this, despite the stated difficulties and general irrelevance it ended up being. It is not like what they came up with makes the most sense either, at one point she is prompted to start living in the sewer with them instead of her unseen aunt, at which point one have to assume her school and aunt don't mind that she started to live under the radar.

This, coupled with Karai's mutation, kind of leads me to a very awkward conclusion. The writing staff didn't think girls would be interesting if there wasn't something "special" about them. I'm not saying that has to be the thought process that went into this. Indeed, the show is full of characters who could have been normal but were turned into mutants just because, one could easily come to the conclusion that they just didn't like the idea of human characters in general. But of course, there are indeed a few male humans who stick around human being (Casey, Hun, The Purple Dragons, those Gangsters, etc). And characters like Bradford and Xever seems to have been created for the sole purpose of being turned into mutants in the first place. Given the history of April and Karai, I don't think there was any push by Playmates or Nick to make either of them superhuman, meaning this is just something they went with.

So yeah. As weird as it might sound, it really seems (to me at least) like the writing team just didn't know how to write a girl unless she had superpowers, as if that was the only thing they could do to make her interesting... Got any alternative explainations?
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Old 08-28-2021, 05:34 PM   #2
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True, it wasn't necessary at all to give her powers. It's already "new" enough that they made the first teen April for a show. The alien hybrid is an odd choice, but she was partly an experiment, so it's more or less reasonably explained. They could have just left it at that though. Not having powers could have pushed the characters into more interesting solutions rather than...April can just levitate someone/something, etc.

Though I'm wondering what they think makes girls with powers OP vs boys with powers... One on a Mary Sue level, sure, though there is also a male equivalent they aren't complaining about?
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Old 08-28-2021, 06:20 PM   #3
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True, it wasn't necessary at all to give her powers. It's already "new" enough that they made the first teen April for a show. The alien hybrid is an odd choice, but she was partly an experiment, so it's more or less reasonably explained. They could have just left it at that though. Not having powers could have pushed the characters into more interesting solutions rather than...April can just levitate someone/something, etc.

Though I'm wondering what they think makes girls with powers OP vs boys with powers... One on a Mary Sue level, sure, though there is also a male equivalent they aren't complaining about?
The cited example is Teen Titans. The two girls in that show are Raven and Starfire, the former is a demonic witch who will bring about the apocalypse, the latter is an alien princess with powers similar to Superman. The three boys are Robin who has no powers at all, Beast Boy whose powers are very clearly limited and Cyborg who is vulnerable machine errors. Obviously the girls were more powerful but only because their powers didn't have limits or flaws in the same as with the boys', it's not a very good example for citing this problem.

A better example might be Hermione Granger. She doesn't really have more experience with magic than Harry Potter, her background is fairly similar to his (abuse aside) yet she tends to outshine him and most other characters in terms of knowhow, maybe she has less raw potential than him but clearly she is meant to do better in an academic sense since she is better than kids who have grown up around magic. So that might demonstrate the "Mary Sue" tendency a bit better but I'm not sure.

With the Teen Titans example it's just an unfortunate team roster. If you were to make a superhero team that consists of Black Widow, Mockingbird, Elektra, Doctor Strange and Sentry then you could easily make the reverse argument.
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Old 08-28-2021, 06:43 PM   #4
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lazy writing, they didn't know how to make April relevant so they just tried to make her important to the plot at the expense of the character. They had a teenage April that could've had fun teen drama like X-Men evolution had and instead they didn't use the teen aspect and made her into a psychic mutant who wasn't interesting instead. I think black ninja Rise April is starting to grow on me more than 2012 April.
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Old 08-29-2021, 01:53 AM   #5
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I've no idea what was behind it, might have just wanted to explore something different or figured she needed something more to be useful to the turtles? I dunno, maybe to fit her in with the Kraang story a bit too. Just gave me a 'now she's special' vibe.

I didn't care for Karai's mutation either, I get the tragedy of it happening in the first place for the story but would have preferred her to return to herself afterward. Karai was trained her whole life so didn't really need a mutation element to make her something more. (though it could have been more to do her story in relation to damage received as part of Shredders feud). At least she used it very little by the end and even when she did use it her usual form was human.

Not many here were or remained fully human though.

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Old 08-29-2021, 04:42 AM   #6
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Maybe the writers were inspired by Mirage Comics in the case of giving April O'Neil a weird background?
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Old 08-29-2021, 05:26 AM   #7
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Maybe the writers were inspired by Mirage Comics in the case of giving April O'Neil a weird background?
First off, if they wanted to do something like that, they could just have done that exact thing. Secondly, that thing did not give her super powers, those were an idea introduced by this show.
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Old 08-29-2021, 11:45 AM   #8
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I guess they just really needed to keep her around. I don't think there were many, if any episodes that didn't have April in them. I think even the 2K3 turtles were allowed to have mini-arcs that didn't drag April along in any way.

It's weird cause while as a kid I had the hots for April, I also didn't feel she needed to be in every episode. News Reporter April was helpful to gather info or discover the evil plan so she could tell the Turtles, but she was pretty much a liability during actual fights. I liked that while 2K3 April was useful for hacking and whatever else, the show had enough common sense to leave her behind in stories where ninja skills and a lot of fighting were the only way out. She wasn't forced to appear in every episode.

I feel forcing April in almost every episode was just a lil bit of the 'girl power' thing, maybe they were hoping there was a female audience watching and they didn't want to disappoint if there were too many episodes without her in some way, shape or form.
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Old 08-29-2021, 12:21 PM   #9
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That got forgotten fast. Much like every plot in this cartoon.
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Old 08-29-2021, 12:59 PM   #10
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If it wasn't for the fact that the Triceratons toasted Earth, neither April O'Neil nor Casey Jones would have been unnecessary in the Nickelodeon early Season 5 space arc.
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Old 08-29-2021, 02:25 PM   #11
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If it wasn't for the fact that the Triceratons toasted Earth, neither April O'Neil nor Casey Jones would have been unnecessary in the Nickelodeon early Season 5 space arc.
eh, have their deaths motivate the Turtles.
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Old 08-29-2021, 07:50 PM   #12
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Short answer: "because it hadn't been done before."
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Old 08-30-2021, 06:32 AM   #13
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That got forgotten fast. Much like every plot in this cartoon.
April's powers went on the whole show, and most plots weren't forgotten in the show at all besides a small handful of minor stuff. So I don't know where this is coming from.
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Old 08-30-2021, 07:10 AM   #14
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April's powers went on the whole show, and most plots weren't forgotten in the show at all besides a small handful of minor stuff. So I don't know where this is coming from.
Unless they weakened with time. They weren't there in the 2017 Bebop & Rocksteady crossovers.
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Old 08-30-2021, 07:42 AM   #15
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Unless they weakened with time. They weren't there in the 2017 Bebop & Rocksteady crossovers.
If anything they developed. They were supercharged at one point by the alien crystal she had but after that was gone her own did deem to develop.

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Old 08-30-2021, 07:51 AM   #16
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April's powers went on the whole show, and most plots weren't forgotten in the show at all besides a small handful of minor stuff. So I don't know where this is coming from.
From watching the show. I went thru the list 2-3 times on this board.
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Old 08-30-2021, 07:54 AM   #17
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From watching the show. I went thru the list 2-3 times on this board.
Which was what? All the big key plots with Shredder and the Kraang were resolved by the end of the show. So were many of the other villains like Rat King, the Newtralizer, the Triceratons, etc. We also got entire backstory with Bishop and the Utroms, resolution with the Mutanimals, and so forth.

Only stuff they let go was Mutagen Man being de-mutated (and we see his canister in the future eps), and that's pretty much it? We know April's mother died, and unless you count random mutants like Spiderbitez being around the city, there's really nothing else.
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Old 08-30-2021, 10:37 AM   #18
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Which was what? All the big key plots with Shredder and the Kraang were resolved by the end of the show. So were many of the other villains like Rat King, the Newtralizer, the Triceratons, etc. We also got entire backstory with Bishop and the Utroms, resolution with the Mutanimals, and so forth.

Only stuff they let go was Mutagen Man being de-mutated (and we see his canister in the future eps), and that's pretty much it? We know April's mother died, and unless you count random mutants like Spiderbitez being around the city, there's really nothing else.
The "random" mutants do count because most episodes featuring them imply their reign of terror isn't over, what would be the point of those cliffhangers if there was no intention of bringing them back?

In addition to this, there is a cliffhanger which implies the Fugitoid would come back but he never did. There are also the really weird things, like showing that Dregg is actually a robot but just ignoring it.

And a lot the "conclusions" are only really "conclusions" in a technical sense. Yes, "technically" the Triceraton story is "concluded" when the BGH is destroyed because they can't obliterate Earth and that was the mission. But the reason they wanted to destroy earth in the first place, the fact that the Kraang wanted to take it over, is that not an issue still? We know from the Mad Max arc that they do come back and actually accomplish their goal. And what about Zeno? Is he just irrelevant because we don't see him? Isn't it possible that they could regroup and still be a threat?
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Old 08-30-2021, 10:47 AM   #19
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The "random" mutants do count because most episodes featuring them imply their reign of terror isn't over, what would be the point of those cliffhangers if there was no intention of bringing them back?

In addition to this, there is a cliffhanger which implies the Fugitoid would come back but he never did. There are also the really weird things, like showing that Dregg is actually a robot but just ignoring it.

And a lot the "conclusions" are only really "conclusions" in a technical sense. Yes, "technically" the Triceraton story is "concluded" when the BGH is destroyed because they can't obliterate Earth and that was the mission. But the reason they wanted to destroy earth in the first place, the fact that the Kraang wanted to take it over, is that not an issue still? We know from the Mad Max arc that they do come back and actually accomplish their goal. And what about Zeno? Is he just irrelevant because we don't see him? Isn't it possible that they could regroup and still be a threat?
Who was Zeno again? Damn it's been a long time but I forgot.
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Old 08-30-2021, 11:03 AM   #20
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I remember somebody once pointed out that they probably gave April that back-story so her relationship with Donatello wouldn't seem so creepy.

CIRO: "I want to do this thing where Donatello has a crush on April and over the course of the series..."
NICKELODEON: "We can't have the Turtles macking on humans, but it's totally okay for them to mack on aliens/mutant who just happen to look human."
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