Wow, I didn't expect that. While not as good as the 2003 series, which is one of my favorite animated shows of all-time, this is a pretty cowabunga effort from Nick. Yes, Donatello has a gap in his teeth, and Splinter looks odd, but this show retains the same zany humor and butt-kicking action from both previous series'.
The animation is a mixture of comic-book style art for the background, and CGI for the characters and environments. While I do miss the traditional animation of the 1987 series and especially the 2003 series, this foreign art style is pretty nice. The music is okay, but the voice-acting is great, some of the best of the franchise. Donatello's really stands out, although the others are none too shabby. The only voice I don't care for is April's, and I still don't like how she isn't a news reporter (felt the same way about 2003).
Splinter's backstory is kind of a mixture of the his post-humanism of the 1987 series, and the 2003 dark and violent death of his family. I've been waiting for Krang to return to the franchise; he's been absent since the 1987 series, and this show was the perfect way to bring him back.... well sort of. It's not just one Krang; it's a WHOLE RACE named Krang! The reason they couldn't have called the Krangs Utrom and have their leader be Krang, I will never know, but it would have been perfect. Oh well, I guess they are kinda cool, since they are easily some of the strongest enemies the Turtles have ever fought, far less disposable than the Foot Clan, which only raises the stakes; so I like that. Other changes include Michaelangelo's new catchphrase being Booyakasha instead of Cowabunga, as well as having a blade on the bottom of his nunchucks, and Raphael having a non-mutated turtle as a pet, as well as Donatello being in love with April 'O Neil, and Leonardo being far more badass than ever before (though they still love pizza as always).
The plot stretches over 2 episodes, as the Turtles turn 15, and are finally allowed to go up to the surface. This of course, can't go without complications, as they are heavily untrained in teamwork, and it shows when a group of weird buisnessmen try to kidnap April and her father; as Donny falls in love with her at first sight, and urges his brothers to save her. They botch it, and the guys get away with April; after which Mikey runs into one in an alley, and cuts at his face, in which he finds out that there are aliens known as Krangs (stupid, right?) inhabiting the shells; but as you could expect, nobody believes him. They return to the sewers, where they realise they MUST save April, and Leo is crowned the leader (simply for asking). So, they come up with a plan to sit outside the Krang's hideout, and wait for the driver of the van that kidnapped April to leave, so they could kick his ass and get some information. He, Snake, comes out to the ambush, and starts firing purple energy bullets (because all guns are laser guns, right?) at the Turtles, and drives away shooting, until they throw a shuriken at the tire and send the car haywire. Sanke is out cold, as the Turtles find a bottle of the same mutigen that was used to mutate them, flying out of the van (Mikey calls it "Mommy"); This is where Part 1 ends. Part 2 begins with them interrogating Snake, threatening to use the mutigen on him. He tells them where the Krang are, and accompanies them to the base, where he escapes from their guard, and they go chasing after him. Raph and Leo find out where he is, but lead him to believe they're none the wiser; and trick him into believing that they're gonna attack the front of the base. They sned an unaccompanied van at the front, while climbing the side. The van crashes, and sends the mutigen flying at Snake, turning him into a giant weed monster. They get in, undetected, where the others find out that they are in fact robot aliens (Mikey: Told ya so). They attack them, while Raph berates Donny for noticing power conductors leading to the room that April is being held in. They get there, and Donny tries to pick the lock (April becoming relaxed at the fact that they're turtles), while the others fend off the Krang. The Krang come around from the other side of the room and grab them, so the Turtles are forced outside. They come across Snakeweed; so three of the Turtles fight him, while Donny jumps on the helicopter that houses April. Leo notices some power conductors, leading to an electricity conductor, and gets the Turtles to lure Snakeweed into attacking it. Meanwhile, Don is being shot at while hanging onto the heli, kills the Krang onboard, and April falls out, triggering Don to jump off and save her, leaving her father's fate ambiguous. Leo's plan with the power conductors worked, (supposedly) killing Snakeweed, after which they run off to April's Aunt's house; cut to a shot of Snakeweed's stillbeating heart. April says she can stay at her Aunt's, and the Turtles promise to save her dad. Back at the sewers, they're watching TV, where they see a news program about ninja in New York, and a found shuriken; Splinter warns them to be more careful; cut to a shot of the Splinter watching the same news program IN JAPAN! and telling his minions to get ready, for he's eating turtle soup tonight (he didn't say that). That's where the episode concludes. (I forgot to mention that throughout the episode, Leo constantly references a TV show expy of Star Trek, which he loves).
Overall, a great start to a promising new Turtles show. My favorite is still 2003, but this is pretty awesome. Rise of the Turtles gets a 9/10.