The Devious and Demented Daimyo
Released in 1993
Lord Norinaga is after his son for shaming their family name. When he finds him, who knows what he’ll do. Now, that’s my sin on what this character was like in the third Turtles film. He wasn’t necessarily evil just a guy out to do a bad thing. Perhaps he was going to take his son’s life to regain his family honor, we’ll never know for sure. But the film card that accompanied this figure makes him sound like a man who has a lust for power and enjoys taking lives out on the battlefield. While he was certainly capable of wreaking havoc when the time called for it, in the film he just wasn’t portrayed that way.
Actor Sab Shimono deserves a lot of credit for acting his butt off, considering what he had to work with. Acting opposite four stuntmen in turtle suits while they hurl insults your way couldn’t have been easy and if we’re all being honest with ourselves, we’d probably crack a smile at least once. But Lord Norinaga is portrayed as a man who doesn’t want to deal with the likes of Walker and his fellow pirates. He doesn’t want the guns and arms that go against his culture and way of life. But what can he do? He recognizes that times are changing, and if he is to stay in power, he must adapt to them.
The figure based on Norinaga, “Warlord”, is an incredibly well-designed samurai action figure, that while lacking some of the color of other figures in the line, relying on mostly maroon and black, what you have is a pseudo-realistic looking samurai warrior that looks like he could teach the Shredder a thing or two about honor.
If anything, he could probably take out the Shredder if he had to. In the third film, Norinaga almost takes out Leonard in one-on-one combat, sans armor. And while the figures looks to be just as dangerous, thanks to an imposing horned helmet and a dynamic stance, he doesn’t really look like the actor that portrayed him in the film at all.
While I wouldn’t normally call out an action figure for not capturing the likeness of an actual person, the figure doesn’t even look like a Japanese man. If anything, he looks more Central American than anything else. But this small discrepancy aside, this figure proves why this guy is a warlord and why he’s been given the rank of Daimyo. He’s a land baron that will take any and all challengers whenever it is necessary.
Turtle Trivia: Between the 10th and 19th centuries, Daimyo were some of the most powerful land owners/rulers in all of Japan, answerable only to the Shogun, the military leader of Japan.