Shredder (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

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Shredder in the first TMNT comic.
Publication information
PublisherMirage Studios,[1] Image Comics, and IDW Publishing.
First appearanceEastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
(May 1984)
Created byKevin Eastman
Peter Laird
In-story information
Alter egoOroku Saki
Ch'rell (2003 series)
Oroku Karai
(Season 4 of 2003 TV series)
Team affiliationsFoot Clan
AbilitiesHighly skilled master of ninjutsu
Peak physical condition
Master of stealth
Genius-level intellect
Master strategist
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Shredder in the first TMNT comic.
Publication information
PublisherMirage Studios,[1] Image Comics, and IDW Publishing.
First appearanceEastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
(May 1984)
Created byKevin Eastman
Peter Laird
In-story information
Alter egoOroku Saki
Ch'rell (2003 series)
Oroku Karai
(Season 4 of 2003 TV series)
Team affiliationsFoot Clan
AbilitiesHighly skilled master of ninjutsu
Peak physical condition
Master of stealth
Genius-level intellect
Master strategist

The Shredder (Oroku Saki) is a fictional character and primary antagonist of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and all related media.[1] At one point or another in every incarnation of the TMNT stories, he has been the archenemy of Splinter and the Turtles. He is also known as the leader of the New York City branch of the Foot Clan.


Shredder's physical appearance remains fairly consistent in most incarnations of the character. Saki is a muscular Japanese man, most frequently seen in the "Shredder" persona, wearing a suit of armor vaguely based on that of a samurai, sometimes with a cape. The armor consists of blade-covered metal plaques on his shoulders, forearms, hands (sometimes just his left hand, because he is left-handed), and shins; he wears a purple, gray, blue, or red robe that variously appears to be simple fabric or a form of chain mail. He also tends to wear a metal helmet with a trident-shaped ornament on top, and a metal mask that covers his face, leaving only his eyes visible. In later incarnations he sometimes wears a metal silver (Utrom Shredder), black (Cyber Shredder/Demon Shredder), red (Tengu) or blue (/2003/2007 action figure/Tengu) suit of armor.

Kevin Eastman got the idea for Shredder's armor from large trapezoidal cheese graters which he envisioned on a villainous character's (originally named "The Grater" or "Grate Man") arms. He then said, "Could you imagine a character with weapons on his arms like this?" While Peter Laird suggested the name The Shredder.[2] Although Shredder is often depicted as the main antagonist in the Ninja Turtles franchise, it was never the creators' intention to be the case in his original inception in the Mirage Comics:

In truth, though many TMNT fans who became fans via the first animated series see Shredder as a REALLY important part of an ongoing, long-running battle with the Turtles, I don't think Kevin or I ever did. Yes, he was an important part of their history, and they probably would not have come into existence without his involvement in their world (or more accurately Splinter's world)... but that's about it. Other than bringing Shredder back for "Return to New York" (and the few issues preceding that set that arc up), I never missed him in any of the other TMNT books I worked on.

- Peter Laird[3]


Mirage and Image[edit]

Oroku Saki[edit]

In the original comic books by Mirage Comics, Oroku Saki is the younger brother of Oroku Nagi who had been killed by a fellow ninja Hamato Yoshi (the owner of Splinter, the Turtles' mentor) in a feud over a woman named Tang Shen resulting in Yoshi fleeing with Shen to America.

Angry at the death of his older brother, Saki joined the Foot Clan and trained to be a ninja. He quickly became one of their deadliest warriors and rose up the ranks and was chosen to lead the Foot's American branch. Operating in New York under the name of "The Shredder", Saki used the opportunity to avenge his brother by killing Yoshi and Shen. Under Saki's leadership, The Foot participated in variety of criminal activities, including drug smuggling, arms running, and assassination.

Fifteen years later Saki was challenged by non-human creatures identified as Ninja Turtles, which were the result of an accident exposing four ordinary turtles to radioactive waste. They were trained by Yoshi's pet rat, Splinter, who had also been mutated by the same substance, to avenge his former master. After a lengthy rooftop battle where Saki seemed to be winning, Leonardo managed to plunge his sword through Saki's torso. Defeated, he was offered the opportunity to commit seppuku (ritual suicide), but Shredder refused and detonated a thermite grenade, in an attempt to take them with him to his death. However, in the last second Donatello used his bo to knock Shredder off the building to his death.

The Shredder returned on Christmas Eve seemingly resurrected with an army of Foot Ninjas severely beating Leonardo and burning down the apartment of the turtles' ally April O'Neil forcing them to go into hiding outside the city. A year on in the story "Return To New York" the turtles returned to settle the score with their enemies. Leonardo faced off against the Shredder alone, in which Saki revealed he was brought back to life by a technique using worms feeding on his body and recreating his cells to reform his body. In the battle, Leonardo decapitates Saki, finally killing him, and the four turtles burn his body at the Hudson River.

The female ninja Pimiko from the comic book series' Volume 3[4] claims to be Shredder's daughter.[5]

Tales of the TMNT[edit]

In the second volume of the anthology series Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story "Worms of Madness" it is shown that a few weeks after the events of their final battle the Shredder had yet another resurrection of sorts when a Foot mystic reactivated the worms; however, the mystic did not resurrect Saki himself but the worm colony which had gained sentience and retained Saki's memories and believing itself to be Saki. The worms then went out to find a new body and chose that of a shark. After the Foot Kidnapped Splinter, the turtles managed to engage the "Shredder-Shark" in battle and defeating it by severing its connection to the mystic and the creature realizing that it was not the real Saki. The "Shredder-Shark" returned once more kidnapping Casey's adopted daughter Shadow to lure the Turtles into a trap. With the Turtles away, it was up to Casey and Splinter to defeat it and rescue Shadow, finally killing the creature.

Other Shredders[edit]

Throughout a considerable part of the Image comic series, Raphael tries to impersonate Shredder by wearing his armor. Following this, he is accepted as the leader of the Foot Clan. In later issues of the series, a mysterious Lady Shredder appears to challenge Raphael. Although the book was canceled before her identity could be revealed, writer Gary Carlson confirmed after the fact that she was meant to be Karai.[citation needed]

In Volume Four series, Leonardo encounters Oroku Yoshi, a Battle Nexus contestant wearing armor almost identical to that of the second animated series' Shredder. His connection to Oroku Saki and the Foot is not known, since the bi-monthly comic was ultimately cancelled in 2010.

Archie Comics[edit]

The Archie Comics' series use the same background as the 1987 cartoon, as the first issues are identical. Later in the Archie comics, Shredder travels to the future and works with Armaggon and Verminator X to offset the skill and experience of the future versions of the Turtles.

This version of the character was more in line with the early episodes' depiction of the character as a cunning adversary and in many issues nearly proves to be a lethal enemy, coming close to defeating the turtles on a number of occasions, and even aids Armaggon and Verminator X in the defeat and capture of two of the turtles in the future. His final fate within the Archie comics series remains unknown, though a three-part mini-series put out by Archie comics after the end of their regular comic series seems to indicate he remains a consistent foe to the turtles for many years, briefly restoring Splinter to the form of Hamato Yoshi and also undoing Michaelangelo's mutation, though both later revert to mutant status by the end of the story, while Shredder was left in a vegetative state in the aftermath of his final battle with the Turtles.

IDW Publishing[edit]


1987 animated series[edit]

Shredder in the 1987 cartoon

In the 1987 animated series, Oroku Saki and Hamato Yoshi were both members of the Foot Clan in Japan. After Saki framed him for the attempted murder of one of the Clan’s sensei, Yoshi was forced to exile himself to New York City, where he lived in the sewers with four pet turtles that were accidentally dropped down a storm drain.

In the following years, Saki took leadership of the Foot Clan, and took on his Shredder persona. He also met a trans-dimensional alien called Krang, and used the advanced technology at his disposal to replace the Foot Ninja with robots called the Foot Soldiers. He secretly moved to New York, where he found Yoshi still alive. In an attempt to kill his old foe, Shredder dumped mutagen in the sewers. This mutates Yoshi into Splinter, and he starts training the also mutated Turtles in ninjutsu.

Shredder was voiced by The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star James Avery for seasons one to seven and William E. Martin for seasons eight and ten, with the alternates being Dorian Harewood in 1989, Jim Cummings in 1991–1993 and Townsend Coleman in 1993. In the 2009 crossover movie Turtles Forever, this incarnation of the Shredder was voiced by Load Williams.


In his early appearances, Shredder was presented as extremely cunning and was described by Splinter himself as the most dangerous adversary he ever faced. Shredder's intelligence persevered throughout his various portrayals, and in several instances it is claimed that Shredder has an IQ of 300. As the 1987 cartoon series was more light-hearted than the comics, Shredder was later depicted as an evil but incompetent villain rather than the dire and lethal ninja he was originally shown to be. He and Krang are constantly bickering about tactics and often take pleasure in the other's failings (and sometimes intentionally sabotage each other). His two henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady are especially incompetent and fail miserably at everything they do. They were mostly used for comic relief in the show; however, the Turtles certainly consider them to be formidable (despite their inane stupidity) in combat due to their great strength and endurance, and as such, often use their intelligence to outwit them.

Despite Shredder's failings, he is still shown to have considerable skills. In martial arts, he is often shown to surpass the Turtles and to be equaled only by Splinter. Nevertheless, he usually runs away from a fight when outnumbered, incapacitating the Turtles to defeat them in combat; as the series progressed, however, the Turtles were able to battle him on more equal grounds and even defeat him in combat on several occasions. He trained the Punk Frogs in a very short period of time to be a match for the Turtles, but the Punk Frogs soon switch sides. His technical skills are also quite impressive: he designed and built a robotic body for Krang, prepared the mutagen mixture, knew how Krang's teleportation engine worked, and built numerous other advanced devices. Ironically in one episode "Shredderville" the Turtles dream they find themselves in a mirror universe where the TMNT never existed and Shredder rules New York City, yet finds the task of ruling so burdensome that he has a nervous breakdown.

From season eight onwards, Shredder was depicted as a more serious threat, full of anger and bloodlust, though he was still easily defeated by the Turtles. His friendship with Krang also appeared to have grown. There were many times that Shredder could have just left Krang at the mercy of the Turtles or Lord Dregg, but he always rescued him, and went as far as to donate his life energy to save him.


Shredder's family is presented in three episodes. In the episode "Shredder's Mom",[6] Shredder's mother Miyoko helps Shredder and Krang in an attempt to destroy the world's climate. In this episode, Miyoko first learns of her son's criminal activities, and proves herself to be as villainous. However, she constantly treats Shredder like a baby, until he gets fed up with it and transports her back to her retirement home. In the episode "My Brother, the Bad Guy",[7] it is revealed that Oroku Saki has a younger brother, Kazuo who works as a police lieutenant in Tokyo. Kazuo and the Turtles try to join forces to stop one of Shredder's plans, but his fervent respect of the law clashes with the Turtles' "whatever it takes" attitude. Finally, the episode "The Legend of Koji"[8] features Saki's distant ancestor Oroku Sancho, who lived in Japan in 1583. He is the leader of a small clan, and every bit as wicked as his descendant. When Shredder offers to help him find magical relics that would provide him with power and wealth, Sancho takes Shredder's information, then betrays him and orders his men to kill him. However, Sancho is also a coward, and when he breaks down in the face of danger, his men abandon him.

This family tree leads to a bit of confusion regarding whether Shredder's given name is Oroku and his last name Saki (as indicated by the fact his brother shares the name Saki), or the other way around (as indicated by the fact his ancestor's name is Oroku). This question is never resolved on the show, although Mirage comics adds more evidence for Oroku being the family name; Saki's brother is "Oroku Nagi". This follows Japanese naming conventions, which place the family name before an individual's given name.


Counting from the first meeting with the Turtles, Shredder spent eight seasons plotting ways to defeat them. In the season 8 episode "Turtle Trek",[9] the Turtles destroy the engines of the Technodrome, trapping it and its inhabitants in Dimension X for good and putting an end to Shredder's plans. He spent the next two seasons in Dimension X, until he was contacted by Dregg ("The Power of Three").[10] Dregg arranged for him and Krang to come back to Earth, to help him fight the Turtles. Together, they capture the Turtles, but Dregg then betrays them and tries to drain the life energy of the Turtles, Krang, and Shredder all at once, making them weaker while Dregg becomes stronger. Shredder alone escapes the trap and restores Krang ("A Turtle in Time"),[11] but Dregg captures them again. Finally, the Turtles spoil Dregg's plan and transport Shredder and Krang back to Dimension X ("Turtles to the Second Power").[12] In the series finale "Divide and Conquer",[13] the Turtles return to the Technodrome in Dimension X to take Krang's android body, which they need to fight Dregg. Shredder is nowhere to be seen, but it is assumed that he is still somewhere in Dimension X.

He and Krang also appear in Turtles Forever, with the Technodrome still under New York City before being sent into the 2003 universe. However, Shredder and Krang's incompetence (as well as their relative sanity) is fully shown when the Utrom Shredder of the 2003 universe seizes command of the Technodrome and adds Utrom technology to the powerful war machine, and turns it against the world. In the climax, Shredder temporarily overcomes his hatred for the Turtles as both he and Krang decide to help the Turtles defeat the Utrom Shredder who they realise is totally insane, will kill everyone and has effectively stolen the Technodrome from them. Shredder also takes extreme offense at being considered inferior by his other dimensional counterpart, doesn't see the point of destroying the entire universe and doesn't understand why the Utrom Shredder won't just kill the Turtles when he had the chance. So, with Krang, he chooses to fight alongside the Turtles against their common foe.

2003 animated series[edit]

In the 2003 animated series, the "Shredder" title is used for four separate villains:

Utrom Shredder[edit]

Ch'rell as the Utrom Shredder
Ch'rell as "Oroku Saki"

The Utrom Shredder is the central antagonist of the series and the most recurring villain. He was the main Shredder; he has the most history with the Turtles and Splinter. He is called the Utrom Shredder as he is not truly human, but an Utrom named Ch'rell who uses an Utrom exo-suit (a humanoid vessel). He is voiced by Scottie Ray.

Ch'rell is a dangerous enemy of the Utroms; as it would happen, he was being transported as their prisoner but escaped and sabotaged their spacecraft. The Utrom crash-landed on Earth during the Sengoku period of feudal Japanese history, forced into hiding using their exo-suits. Ch'rell confiscated one such suit and used the legend of the demon Shredder to craft a dual identity, becoming Oroku Saki and the new Shredder. He also founded the Foot Clan, which grew into a massive underground criminal empire by the 20th century. In the late 20th century, he discovers an abandoned girl named Karai, whom he adopted and trained. Outside of the Utroms, she is the only one initially to know the truth about him. Despite not being the demonic version of the Shredder, Ch'rell is shown to have control of some of his minions, due to the fact he holds the Heart of Tengu. Throughout it all, Shredder hunts for the Utroms to exact his revenge and prevent them from re-capturing him.

While in New York City to establish a branch of the clan there, Shredder locates Hamato Yoshi, one of the Utroms' foremost guardians, and kills him after failing to force their location from him. During the struggle, Yoshi's pet rat, Splinter, escapes and winds up in the city's sewers where he and four baby turtles are accidentally exposed to mutagenic ooze created by the Utroms and consequently mutate into sentient humanoid forms.

Fifteen years later, the Turtles begin encountering the Foot Clan and unknowingly foil several of Shredder's plans. Shredder reveals himself to the Turtles and (after failing to make them ally with him) becomes their bitter enemy. He loses his first major battle against them and Splinter, but he later deals them a crushing defeat, in which Leonardo is severely beaten, April O'Neil's antique shop is burned to the ground and everyone is presumed dead. After recovering out of town, Leonardo leads his brothers and Splinter in an attack on Foot headquarters, slowly making their way through the building floor by floor encountering the many minions of the Shredder eventually reaching the top and resulting in an epic showdown leaving Splinter wounded, after the aid of the Utrom Guardians taking down the Foot ninja Leonardo faces the Shredder one-on-one culminating in Shredder's beheading. Not knowing his Utrom nature, the Turtles think him dead.

His next encounter with the Turtles shortly after his so-called "death" occurred inside the Utrom base, the TCRI building after the Turtles were sent into space by the Utrom transmat with which they intended to go home after the Turtles returned after 3 weeks (8 hours earth time) they are shown how the Utrom's first came to Earth through a holographic projection, unbeknownst to them Baxter Stockman having survived his last encounter with the Turtles sabotages the machine leaving the Turtles trapped, they eventually escape but not before the Shredder and his minions infiltrate the building intent on revenge upon the Utroms, Shredder plants an implosion device intent on destroying all of his enemies at once, the Turtles help the Utrom escape using the transmat, enraged Shredder attacks the turtles in the ensuing battle his armour is damaged by the Turtles and Splinter and electrocuted by Donatello revealing his Utrom self to them and attacks Raphael by attaching himself to Raphael's head but is forced off by Splinter, Donnie manages to power up the transmat through which the Turtles escape, Chr'ell tries to make it onto the transmat but is too late and the building implodes.

However, Ch'rell survived, but was gravely injured. As his body was healed, Karai assumed leadership of the Foot Clan, ending an ensuing war for control of New York City and supposedly making peace with the Turtles. But when Ch'rell returned, he vowed to destroy the Turtles by any means necessary. After the Turtles help repel a Triceraton invasion, New York City is heavily damaged. Oroku Saki steps forward to help rebuild, spending millions as a cover to retrieve Triceraton technology that was left behind. He has a spacecraft constructed, so that he may leave before the Utroms return for him. It is completed, but his plan suffers complications courtesy of the Turtles, their allies and Agent Bishop. The ship is launched, but the Turtles and Splinter sneak aboard. In a more powerful exo-suit, he easily defeats them. The Turtles and Splinter self-destruct the ship to stop the Shredder, but the timely arrival of the Utroms saves all their lives. On the Utrom homeworld, Ch'rell is placed on trial, found guilty and sentenced to eternal exile on an icy asteroid.


Karai follows in her adoptive father's footsteps as the Shredder
Main article: Karai (character)

In the 2003 animated series, Karai (voiced by Karen Neil) is the adopted daughter of Oroku Saki (Ch'rell) who takes the mantle after her father's defeat. After Ch'rell is exiled, Karai vows revenge against the Turtles. She eventually becomes a female Shredder. However, she doffs the mantle after the Tengu Shredder returns, beginning a non-hostile relationship with the Turtles.

Tengu Shredder[edit]

The Tengu Shredder was the original Shredder and a demon from ancient Japan. He possessed a human named Oroku Saki, and was eventually defeated and sealed away in a casket. He escapes in the modern day and is defeated by the Turtles and their allies. The Tengu Shredder is also voiced by Scottie Ray.

In Japan circa 300 AD, a powerful demon threatens the people. In an attempt to stop him, the Emperor of Japan recruits powerful warriors: the Five Dragons, who clad themselves in armor enchanted by dragon spirits. The demon appeared to be defeated by one of the dragons, Oroku Saki. However, before the final blow was delivered, the demon contacted Saki on a mental plane and offered him great power. Saki agreed, allowing the demon's soul to inhabit his body. Reborn as the Tengu Shredder, Saki seized control of the land. The four remaining Dragons (the Ninja Tribunal) trained and acquired more power to defeat their former friend, which they were eventually able to do. They sealed away his body in a casket and hid it away, as well as his separated helmet and gauntlet. The Ninja Tribunal began a seemingly eternal watch to make sure the three artifacts would never be reunited, as doing so would revive the Tengu Shredder. The Tengu Shredder was not forgotten by followers, the Heralds, who had long since sought to restore their master, but were impeded by being under the control of the Utrom Shredder and then Karai. However, they successfully managed to manipulate the Turtles and Agent Bishop into setting them free, allowing them to proceed with resurrecting their master. The Ninja Tribunal recruited the Turtles and four human fighters as their Acolytes to retrieve the artifacts first. Unfortunately, the Heralds were ultimately successful and the Tengu Shredder returned.

After battling the Turtles and severely injuring Karai, the Tengu Shredder remakes New York City into a demon wasteland. The Turtles recruit Karai, the Justice Force, Bishop and the Purple Dragons to fight back. Karai is able to drain the demon's power via a mystic link (which connects all Shredders), while the Turtles (using their dragon avatars) battle him. They destroy his helmet and gauntlet before summoning the spirit of Hamato Yoshi to deliver the final blow to the Tengu Shredder transformed into poison. The first episode of "Back to the Sewer", the final season of the 2003 series, indicated that the Tengu Shredder would have eventually returned, and the events of his return would have likely been detailed in the following season of Back to the Sewer had it not been cancelled.

Cyber Shredder[edit]

Appearing in Back to the Sewer, Cyber Shredder was originally confined to cyberspace until he became a physical being. He was essentially a backup of the mind of Utrom Shredder, but with a radically redesigned version of Shredder's humanoid exoskeleton suit and armor. The Cyber Shredder is also voiced by Scottie Ray.

As the Turtles and Splinter attempt to return from the future, an evil virus named Viral takes over android Serling to exact revenge, having been previously defeated by the Turtles. After accidentally traveling to various eras, they arrive to the future, where the Turtles encounter the Cyber Shredder, who is at war with his counterparts. The heroes soon return to the present (though Splinter is dispersed), but a weakened Viral unknowingly escaped into the Internet and plotted to continue her revenge. While trapped in cyberspace, she finds a Foot data vault. She tries to hack it, but is absorbed instead, giving rise to the Cyber Shredder. It is revealed that the Cyber Shredder is an engram of Ch'rell, who created and stored it in a vault should anything happen to his physical form. After several confrontations with the Turtles (who were looking for Splinter's data across the Internet), the Cyber Shredder sought to escape cyberspace and enter the real world by any means necessary. He ultimately succeeded and sought to take over New York, but was stopped by the Turtles and Casey. Seemingly destroyed, the Cyber Shredder later returned and attacked the wedding of Casey and April. Along with their many allies, the Turtles and a restored Splinter fought back and defeated the Cyber Shredder permanently, erasing him with a decompiler previously used against Viral.

2012 animated series[edit]

Shredder appears in the 2012 animated series voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, who previously voiced General Aguila in the 2007 film, TMNT. His origin as Oroku Saki is mostly intact, with the Saki and Hamato clan being later revealed as having a long-term rivalry before Yoshi's parents killed the Oroku family and took in the orphaned child as their own. Despite being raised as brothers, the two eventually became rivals due to the love of Tang Shen, which drove Oroku Saki to discover his true heritage and turn on his former brother, eventually destroying everything Hamato held dear.

He is shown to be the leader of the Foot Clan, with his two top lieutenants the martial artist Chris Bradford and the street thug Xever. He travels to New York when he learns that Hamato Yoshi is training his own ninjas after seeing a shuriken with his clan symbol on the news- left behind by the Turtles during a recent fight- determined to finally end his age-old rival's life. His first confrontation with the turtles was shown in episode 9 of the first season, "The Gauntlet," and victory was seemingly in his grasp before he was distracted by Bradford and Xever mutating into Dogpound and Fishface. Although Shredder planned to kill Baxter Stockman for interfering with his plans to kill the Ninja Turtles, he changes his mind by commenting on how Baxter Stockman's scientific knowledge could be useful to him. He has a pet akita named Hachiko (named after the akita of the same name) who played a part in Chris Bradford's mutation into Dogpound after Hachiko bit him. Shredder is also Karai's father, as seen in "New Girl in Town." However, in the first season finale, "Showdown", during Shredder's battle with Splinter, he reveals that in the aftermath of the fight that caused Tang Shen's death, he took Splinter's daughter, Miwa, and raised her as Karai. He has told her that he is her biological father and it was Splinter who killed her mother, as she has sworn revenge ever since.

Shredder initially dismissed the Kraang's presence in New York, but after capturing one, decides to ally with them to destroy the Turtles. The partnership seems stable, though it would seem the Shredder still does not fully trust his new allies. Early in the second season, he leaves for Japan, leaving Karai as the interim leader of his Foot Clan. He orders her not to attack the Turtles nor make any dealings with the Kraang behind his back, and is livid when his daughter disobeys him. He returns in the mid-season finale of the second season, "The Manhattan Project", with Tigerclaw, a deadly assassin who becomes his new first lieutenant. Tigerclaw is able to bring Splinter before him, but complications from a Kraang operation in the city and the Turtles' own efforts rob Shredder of his chance to kill his old foe once again. He attempts to use Karai to set a trap for the turtles, but when she sees a photograph of Hamato Yoshi, Tang Shen, and herself as an infant, she realizes that the Turtles were telling the truth and sides with them, resulting in her being captured while buying them time to escape Tiger Claw. Shredder attempts to use her as bait for a trap that would mutate the turtles into snakes that would kill Splinter, but the plan backfires when Karai is exposed to the mutagen, turning into a snake and attacking Splinter before she flees after regaining control of herself.


Shredder was played by James Saito in the first movie and by François Chau in the second, while his immense Super Shredder form was played by professional wrestler Kevin Nash.[14] In all cases, the character was voice-acted by David McCharen. Shredder's costume was, in the first movie, originally the same as in the original comic, with a red color. However this was changed in the sequel to a violet color reflecting the more cartoonish nature of the second film. In both movies he also had a sliver and black cape. In the Japanese versions, Shredder is voiced by Norio Wakamoto (1st movie in VHS version), Hidekatsu Shibata (first movie in TV version), and Takeshi Watabe (second movie).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles[edit]

Shredder in the first movie

In the first movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Oroku Saki and Hamato Yoshi (Oroku Nagi is not mentioned) lived in Japan and both loved a woman named Tang Shen, but Tang Shen only loved Yoshi. Rather than fight Saki honorably, Yoshi followed Shen's plan to leave for the United States. Saki followed them to New York City, where he first murdered Tang Shen alone in her home, then ambushed Yoshi when he returned, tired from construction work. Yoshi’s pet rat Splinter escaped during the fight, clawing Saki's face before doing so. In return, Saki took a swipe at Splinter's ear with his katana, slicing a small part of it off. After this incident, it's said that Saki is never heard from again. The comic book adaptation of the film retains the original story behind the creation of Shredder, with Nagi being slain and Saki coming to America to seek vengeance.

Saki essentially becomes a Fagin-esque crime figure. A brutal and Machiavellian leader of a ring of child thieves, he manipulates and recruits troubled teens and teaches them ninjutsu to turn them into a group of skilled thieves and assassins called the Foot Clan. As their leader, Saki took on the persona of "The Shredder", and became a fearless "benevolent" cult leader, with the aid of his second-in-command, Tatsu. He rewards the teens with a hideout that includes a skateboard park, cigarettes, junk food, music, pizzas, soft drinks, guitars, comics, TV sets and arcade games. However, he has no real regard for children that do his bidding. Shredder orders the Foot to "silence" April O'Neil, who was getting too much information of the Foot public. Due to the Turtles' interference with this, Shredder kidnapped Splinter and imprisoned him in his warehouse hideout. Shredder tortures him regularly to get information about the Turtles and their techniques.

Eventually, a furious Shredder decided to stop the Turtles himself, which led to a rooftop battle. During the battle, Shredder defeated all of the Turtles with his superior abilities and readies to kill Leonardo with his spear. Splinter, freed by Turtles' allies, Danny Pennington and Casey Jones, intervenes and reveals that he knew exactly who Shredder was, and that his master was Hamato Yoshi. The villain unmasks himself to reveal the scarring, which confirms his real name was Oroku Saki. Shredder then charges towards Splinter, but the ninja master vaults him over the edge of the building with Michelangelo's nunchaku causing him to fall and landing in a parked garbage truck far below. Casey Jones then activates the crushing mechanism; the viewers are then shown a closeup of the Shredder's helmet being crushed.

TMNT II: The Secret of the Ooze[edit]

In the second movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, the Turtles believe that since Casey had crushed him in the garbage truck, the Shredder was dead. It is soon revealed that Shredder had survived the crushing and revitalized his Foot Clan to get vengeance on the Turtles. After finding the Foot "fallback" headquarters (a junkyard), he sent a member of the Foot to follow April, hoping to find the Turtles through her. When April's team was doing a report on T.G.R.I. in New Jersey, Fred (a member of April's team, and Foot agent) found some mutated dandelions and sent one to the Shredder. He than orders Tatsu to obtain a sample of the T.G.R.I. mutagen that mutated the Turtles, as well as kidnap researcher Jordan Perry. Using the last mutagen and Perry's research, Shredder creates his own mutants, Tokka and Rahzar, from a stolen snapping turtle and a brown wolf respectively. Though initially enraged at their infant-like intelligence, he soon plays it to his advantage by manipulating the mutants as they imprinted him as their surrogate mother.

After a failed attempt to kill the Turtles in the junkyard using a captured Raphael, Shredder unleashed Tokka and Rahzar onto a city street to "have fun" and destroy it. The Foot spy then gave April a message for the Turtles: that Shredder would turn the mutants loose on Central Park if they did not accede to a rematch at the construction site. After the Turtles de-mutate the two mutants (with help from Perry) and defeat Tatsu in a nightclub, Shredder appears and threatens to mutate an innocent woman with a small reserve mutagen vial (the canister was knocked away by the Turtles' new human ally, Keno). Before he can mutate her, he is stopped when the Turtles play a keytar at full volume, sending the Shredder flying through a window from the force of a blown speaker. When the Turtles follow him outside on a pier, they discover that Shredder has exposed himself to the mutagen vial. Shredder is transformed into a massive "Super Shredder", an almost mindless giant-mutant being with immense superhuman strength. During his fight with the Turtles, Super Shredder knocks down the pier's pilings in a mindless rage, which then collapses onto him with the Turtles falling into the water below. Though the Turtles survive, Shredder meets his demise from getting crushed by the destroyed pieces of the pier.

Other films[edit]

Shredder does not return in later films. He does make an appearance in Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. This Shredder wore a general attire similar to the one he wore in the second film, but with a heavily altered helmet/mask due to the lesser budget for the TV series as compared to the movies, which had allowed for more detailed props and costume pieces. Shredder appeared only a few times in the show, due to the primary villain of the series being a draconic being from another dimension and thus supplanted Shredder as the Turtles' nemesis.

Shredder did not appear in the third film but is shown briefly at the beginning of the fourth film to help give the backstory of the Turtles, and his helmet is visible at the end of the movie. The possibility of his return is also strongly hinted at in the end of the film by Karai. However, the established storyline has been abandoned in favor of a reboot.

2014 film[edit]

Japanese Canadian actor Tohoru Masamune portrayed Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.[15] It was first reported that William Fichtner would be portraying Shredder and would go by the name Erik Sacks instead of Oroku Saki.[16][17] This could have marked the first time Shredder will be Caucasian instead of Japanese. It was revealed in the trailer that Shredder and April's father are the ones who created the Turtles.

In a leaked version of an earlier script, a Colonel Schrader appeared. He was a military leader of "The Foot", a black-ops unit and was revealed later on to be a yellow-skinned, red-eyed alien with the ability to sprout spikes.[18] This idea may have been dropped after Evan Daugherty was hired to rewrite the script in early 2013.[19] It is however unknown how much, if any, of the "Colonel Schrader" concept made it into the shooting script.

It is also believed that Daugherty rewrote Sacks's character to not being the Shredder, and Shredder is in fact Oroku Saki again, after Sacks is seen talking to a mysterious man in the shadows, being believed to be Saki, saying that "they're taking his armor to the next level."[20] It should be noted that the Nintendo DS game features Eric Sacks as Shredder. Fichtner can also be heard voicing Shredder in the French trailer for the film.[21] Suggesting that this was a last minute change. Shredder is never referred to as Oroku Saki in the film and has no connection to Hamato Yoshi. He is also shown to have scars over his face. However it is not revealed how he got them.

Other appearances[edit]

Manga and anime[edit]

In the anime adaptation Mutant Turtles: Choujin Densetsu-hen, the backstory from the original cartoon was preserved. Unlike the rest of the main cast, Shredder's appearance was changed to match the Supermutants Shredder toy that was being sold at that time. The manga explained this by saying his original outfit was destroyed in a battle with the Turtles and Krang created the new armor for him. Shredder also gains the ability to transform into the dragon Devil Shredder using the Mutanite crystals he stole from the Neutrinos. With the energy from the evil sprite Dark Mu, he was later able to transform into the gigantic Dark Devil Shredder. In the second volume of the anime he gets his Tiger Spirit Metal Mutant armor. He was voiced by Kiyoyuki Yanada.

The Next Mutation[edit]

In The Next Mutation, Shredder is still the Turtles' sworn enemy. This time however, Venus uses her powers to make the Oroku Saki from within take control of Shredder's mind. After the Foot Clan disbands, he ends up living on the streets. Later, the Dragon Lord's rank warriors attack him to get a medallion that was in his possession. Splinter saves him and takes him to the Turtles' lair to protect him. It was hinted that Shredder might possibly go back to his old ways, but the show was canceled soon after that episode.

Video games[edit]

As the original TMNT video games are mostly based on the 1987 cartoon, Shredder is often based on his first cartoon incarnation. He always executes some plan to provoke the Turtles into retaliating and defeat them; these include kidnapping April O’Neil and stealing the Statue of Liberty. Shredder is usually the last boss in the games.

Shredder in the SNES version of Tournament Fighters

After a 10-year hiatus, a new series of TMNT games was initiated. These new games are based on the 2003 cartoon series, and likewise, Shredder in the games is the same as in the cartoon.


  1. ^ a b Greenberg, Harvey R. (15 April 1990). "Just How Powerful Are Those Turtles?". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 August 2010. 
  2. ^ The Making of 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles': Behind the Shells. 1991.
  3. ^ Laird], [Kevin Eastman, Peter (2012). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection Volume 2. San Diego, Calif.: IDW. p. 227. ISBN 161377088X. 
  4. ^ "Pimiko (comic book character)". Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  5. ^ "Image Comics' TMNT "Volume 3" #5". Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  6. ^ "TMNT Cartoon Episode 70!". Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  7. ^ "TMNT Cartoon Episode 108!". Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  8. ^ "TMNT Cartoon Episode 159!". Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  9. ^ "TMNT Cartoon Episode 178!". Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  10. ^ "TMNT Cartoon Episode 189!". Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  11. ^ "TMNT Cartoon Episode 190!". Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  12. ^ "TMNT Cartoon Episode 191!". Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  13. ^ "TMNT Cartoon Episode 194!". Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  14. ^ Kevin Nash (I)
  15. ^ "Film Review: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’". Retrieved August 4, 2014. "Several years later, a crime wave is in full force in the city, led by a walking Cutco display called the Shredder (Tohoru Masamune) and his massive Foot Clan, though they’ve started to get their asses whupped by a stealthy troupe of martial-arts-savvy vigilantes." 
  16. ^ "'Crossing Lines': William Fichtner Reveals 'Sons Of Anarchy' Star Joining Show". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved June 22, 2013. "What are you doing in "Ninja Turtles"? I play Shredder. It is cool. It's one of those things that came along where I thought, "Really? Let me think about this for a minute." [Laughs] Then I was like, "Yeah, OK, this sounds like a journey." I'm very glad that it worked out, I'm really glad that I'm doing it." 
  17. ^ "'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles': William Fichtner's Shredder is an entirely new character". Zap2it. Retrieved July 2, 2013. "Actually, I play a guy named Erik Sacks in the film," Fichtner tells Zap2it. "And Erik Sacks goes though ... a few changes ... let's just put it that way." 
  18. ^ Jamie Frevele at 11:18 am Wed, Aug 29, 2012 (2012-08-29). "The internet uncovers the horrible Ninja Turtles bullet we all dodged". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  19. ^ ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Release Pushed To June 6, 2014 Retrieved July 2, 2013
  20. ^ "William Fichtner is NOT Shredder". Superhero Movie News. Retrieved July 19, 2014. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "IGN: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up Screenshots (Wii) 2966717". Retrieved 2014-05-08. 

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