Raphael in the 2003 TV series is voiced by Greg Abbey. He is known as the strongest and the toughest of the four brothers.
Raphael wears the same knee/shoulder pads and belt as his brothers, but his traditional bandanna is red. He also has a darker skin tone, similar to an emerald green. In Fast Forward's and Back to the Sewer's different animation style, Raphael appears taller than his brothers.
Raphael's personality is similar to that of his original Mirage counterpart except he’s a bit more sarcastic and grumpier. Although he’s impulsive, he’s not as violent. When he was in a fight Michelangelo during the episode "Meet Casey Jones", he almost hit Michelangelo with a pipe, while Leonardo stopped him just in time and Raph calmed down. Another example was in the "City at War" when Raphael wasn’t happy with Leonardo choosing to get involved in the gang war he argued with Leonardo back and forth and tempers flared. He even walked out on the his brothers when he thought it was a bad idea to team up with Karai and the Foot. After a while he gave in and realized how impulsive he had been.
Raphael in this incarnation is a tough-talking, street smart, no-nonsense New Yorker with an attitude. He’s sarcastic and a bit grumpy. Raphael loves wrestling and boxing and is always ready to fight. When he does get angry at times he would stop himself and remain calm, sometimes he would put a fight or lose control. When someone calms him down, he would feel sorry. Like in "Meet Casey Jones", when Leonardo stopped Raphael from harming Michelangelo, Raph calmed down and felt guilty. Raphael's biggest fear is losing himself completely to his anger and letting his temper get the best of him to the extent that he loses all other emotions.
His aggressive behavior sometimes causes tension with his brothers, especially with motor mouth Michelangelo. However, he deeply loves them all, and displays more caring, concerned personality traits when one of them is harmed or in serious danger. Raphael is shown to be intensely loyal and is often the first to react when another of his brothers is in trouble. This happens on numerous occasions, like when he stops a blow from hitting Donatello using only his two sais or kicks The Shredder away from Leonardo when the former is about to attack.
However, in this incarnation, Raphael doesn’t chicken out over bugs, he’s willing to fight the rivals who are bugs, but he does admit that he hates them.
As ordinary baby turtles, Raphael and his brothers were bought by a young boy from a pet store. Shortly after, a blind man was walking across the street without noticing a nearby approaching truck. A teenager ran to save the blind man, while inadvertently pushing the boy, who dropped the turtles. As the truck swerved, a canister of mutagen fell out and went down the sewers along with the turtles. The container broke and spilled mutagen on them. Splinter then saw the turtles and decided to keep them, and take care of them. After waking up, Splinter sees the change and decides to train them in ninjutsu. Raphael and the other three turtles trained with Splinter.
Later in his childhood, Raph and his brothers attempted to teach Casey Jones how to fight effectively, though they were unsuccessful. He also was once attacked in the sewer by a large albino alligator, but was saved by Leo's intervention.
As an example, the first episode opens with an exercise where the objective was to get the candle Splinter was holding in his hand. Raphael came closest to getting the candle, before he was seen by Splinter and the candle was taken by Leonardo instead. Raph and Leo quickly traded insults at each other, while Michelangelo and Donatello watched. When their home was attacked by a group of robots, Raphael fought alongside his brothers and Splinter. After their home was destroyed, Raphael and his brothers separated from Splinter and went into New York. Raphael ended up being trapped in a van. Luckily, he was saved by Donatello and regrouped with Splinter.
Ninja Tribunal (Season 5)
Raphael became one of the Ninja Tribunal Acolytes along with his brothers. He is the second of the ninja to focus his spiritual energy through the Amulet of the Acolytes and his spiritual avatar is that of a dragon. Although Raph gets annoyed with his brothers (especially Mikey) at times, Juto-Shisho thinks that protesting out of frustration suits him when he boldly steps into the spirit forge and is granted Banrai.
Fast Forward (Season 6)
In TMNT: Fast Forward, Raphael was the only one who hated the future. Mainly his frustration was aimed at the technique used in 2105, which was highly developed.
The only time he liked the future is in Headlock Prime as he got to attend a wrestling match since he can now go out in the open. Raphael also fought the villain Triple Threat, who sought to steal the belt and they fought in streets of the city where Raphael was cheered on by the crowd. Raphael earned the nickname "Turtle Terror" for defeating the villain.
Back to the Sewers (Season 7)
In TMNT: Back to the Sewer, the Turtles return to their present time, and even still Raphael is the grumpy tough talking New Yorker he's always been. However, in this series there are explicit facts that show that Casey and Raph are true best friends because in certain episodes, Raphael and Casey talk about the future wedding of O'Neil/Jones (April O'Neil/Casey Jones), and Raphael always seems to be there for Casey and actually quotes "So, ya think I'm best man material, or what?" Thus, in the series finale episode, "Wedding Bells and Bytes", Raphael stars as the best man in the wedding; actually catching Casey just as he's about to faint from nervousness twice. Raphael also helps defeat the Cyber Shredder. Raphael is happy to leave the future and be back in his own time, but Raphael hates talking about it. Raphael also seems to be the tallest turtle brother in this series.
In Turtles Forever, he would comment that he sees the 1987 Turtles as "fools, not ninjas". He thinks of the 1987 Turtles as “a group of Mikeys”. In addition would pick one of them up like a menace and the 1987 Turtles would get annoyed. Later he would jump in and save 1987 Leonardo, 1987 Raphael and Michelangelo from being crushed by a giant Utrom Shredder. He did, however, immediately take a liking to the Original "hardcore" Turtles, yelling "I love these guys!" He even said he would consider retiring to their world.
Skills, Powers, and Abilities
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Pair of Sais
When Raph was a kid he wanted be the leader, and sometimes experiences envy over Leo's position over his brothers, although all he wanted to do is to please his family the best he could.
When Raphael got a little older, he grew out of his envy and accepts the fact that Leo is the leader and he respects that. He doesn’t argue with Leo very often, but they can butt heads on occasion.
However, the two are closer than they appear at first glance. After Leo was almost beaten to death by the Foot, Raphael was driven to tears over his fear that his brother would die. As Leo recovered, Raphael helped him forge new katanas and served as emotional support, which continued throughout their next conflict with Shredder. In "The Ultimate Ninja", Raph attempted to protect Leo from the Ultimate Ninja when he challenged him and lashed out in anger and fear when Leo was nearly hurt.
Don and Raph get along well the most. Raph sometimes can make some remarks but Don lets it slide. However Raph is usually the first to compliment him on one of his inventions. One of Raph’s favorite inventions that Don had invented is the Shell Cycle.
Raph's relationship with Mikey is most strained compared to his relationship with his other brothers. Mikey loves to tease Raph for his amusement. Mikey is also very cocky and would taunt Raph about his accomplishments. In addition to Mikey’s arrogant and taunting behavior, he would also pull pranks on Raph (and sometimes the other brothers). This would irritate Raph, prompting Raph to smack Mikey upside the head, tell him off, or (on rare occasions) beat him up.
However, it is shown that he does deeply care about Mikey, as evidenced by situations where it appears that his brother has been endangered. When it appeared that Leatherhead had hurt Mikey in "Hunted", Raph pleaded with his brother to say something to them. It's even stated in some books that Mikey can be the only thing to cool Raph's temper and despite their different personalities, they are best friends in the family.
Raphael is quite close to his father, but is often at odds with him over the decisions Splinter makes with regards to his sons' involvement in the outside world. Splinter laments Raphael's temper, at times attempting to help him, as seen in "Meet Casey Jones". At other times, Splinter scolds Raphael about his anger and impatience, as in the episode "A Better Mousetrap".
Casey and Raph are close, although they butt heads every now and then.
One of the Turtles' greatest allies, April is more like a big sister. Raph often gripes about assisting her around her shop, 2nd Time Around, such as in the episode "Nano" or the episode "Touch and Go". He is, however, quite close to her, often worrying about her while also admiring her character.
Where Raphael views April as a 'big sister', he sees Angel as a little sister. Raph will immediately come to her aid when she asks for help, comforting her when she is upset, such as in the episode "The Darkness Within" when he hugs her.
Why He's So Going To Enjoy This
- He’s the most serious, strongest and confident of the Turtles as he takes ninjutsu and fighting very seriously when it comes to protecting New York City from evil-doers as although Leonardo is better when it comes to being skilled, Raphael has shown to be the stronger Turtle thanks to the fact that he always wants to fight any bad guys who make him pissed.
- He has a brave, bold, loyal and determined personality and though very strict and serious, he’s shown also to have a caring side as he hates to see his family in danger and would sacrifice himself. Even if it results in him being killed.
- His anger attitude is always entertaining especially towards Michelangelo. Although he can be angry too much, he at least has a reason to be pissed mainly because of the fact that Michelangelo may irritate him or if another person harmed anyone that is close to him. Most notably, when Leonardo was badly bruised and beaten, his anger is right.
- His voice actor, Greg Abbey, does a great job voicing him with an excellent Brooklyn type accent. Likewise, whenever he sounds Angry makes things just as great if not even better.
- His animated design looks awesome as it represents an awesome comic book design that the Mirage Version had. His design in seasons 6-7 isn't two bad either and resembles him just fine despite a few changes.
- He was at his best in both "Enter the Dragons" and in Turtles Forever as his heroic behavior is excellent as he helps to save the world twice.
- He saw a lot of character development as the series progressed, especially around Season 3-4 where we see how his anger begins to tone down and he seems to behave more and more. Although he can still have anger issues, they can come as reasonable for the most part.
- Like Leonardo, his fights are very entertaining to watch as his fights with the Purple Dragons, Agent Bishop and obviously, The Shredder can come off as awesome to watch.
- Much like Leo, Don, Splinter, Mikey, April and Casey, he is still likable in seasons 6-7 and is not flanderized.
- Like most of his incarnations, the 2003 version of Raphael (like Casey) speaks with a Brooklyn accent and it’s accompanying slang.
- Like his brothers, Raphael is a practitioner of Chi Gong, as shown in "Turtles in Space, Part 3: The Big House".
- "Banzai" is this incarnation of Raphael's favorite catchphrase.
- Raphael's spirit totem is the dragon, the same as his brothers.
- Raphael is the first turtle to cry in the series when Leonardo was badly injured after they found out that the Shredder returned.
- He has a soft spot for children as is shown in Lone Raph and Cub.
- Raphael likes his Shell Cycle so much that when Hun stole and wrecked it he stopped at nothing to get even with him.
- There are similarities in "Same As It Never Was" and "Exodus, Part 2". Both times, Raphael charges and attacks Karai after she stabs his brother, Leonardo. However Raphael only won once (in "Exodus: Part 2").
- Raphael slaps Mikey on the back of the head when he says or does something stupid or annoying.
- In "Tales of Leo", Raphael mentioned on how he was going to be the leader, and implies that he wants to really impress his family.
- Has experience in blacksmithing, as he assisted Leonardo in forging new katana blades.
- He has a pair of inline skates, which he is highly proficient at using.
- When Raphael gets angry and someone stops him, he usually listens and stops himself unlike his 2012 incarnation.
- His favorite book is Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.
- He calls someone younger than he is “kid“
- His favorite music is: Rap, Metal, Hardcore, Punk.
- His favorite food is cereal.