Listen, I realize that everyone thinks they are the Josephine March of their own story, but I think it’s inherently obvious that if my turtle brothers and I suddenly found ourselves as characters in the collected works of Louisa May Alcott, Raphael would be Amy.
I, Donatello, embody all the positive qualities of Jo. I’m fiercely intelligent, loyal, and clearly the smartest of my family. Like Jo, I too often long to be a boy so I can shed the shackles of society’s expectations: with her, it was the stigma of domesticity that comes with being a perfect little woman, and with me, it is the baggage I carry trying to be an ideal juvenile crime-fighting anthropomorphic reptile. It’s like we’re sharing the same soul. As an inventor and writer, I just get Jo on a whole different level than my turtle siblings, who have never created anything before and couldn’t possibly understand. You may also notice my close-yet-platonic relationship with April O’Neal, the Laurie to my Jo. You may even “ship” us. Well, don’t. I have my own pursuits and hopes and dreams and aspirations, and I cannot be contained by some immature yet beautiful parentless gadabout. Maybe I’ll just go and marry Casey Jones even though he seems outwardly dull and painfully moralistic and, like, an awful fit for me. You can’t tell me what to do! I’m the Jo March of this story, and I’ll write my own destiny.
You’re probably wondering who is the Meg and who is the Beth of us turtles. You know, it’s not as clear-cut to me, but I have to go with Michelangelo being Beth. He’s got that free-spirited relaxedness about him. I get that he lacks much of Beth’s shyness, but he shows that characteristic Beth-like joy when surrounded by favorite things (kittens, knitting, chamber music, pizza, etc.). I may be a post-pubescent, albeit not fully adult male, but I’ll admit I’ve shed a tear thinking about a day when Michelangelo says his nunchaku has grown too heavy, and he finally succumbs to complications from some sewer-based disease. Plus, Leonardo is a closer personification (turtlification?) of Meg’s qualities: leadership, calmness, maturity. If one of them is going to be Meg, it’s Leo. Also Splinter = Marmee, duh.
And here’s where I realize things may get controversial, but Raphael is just sooooo Amy, am I right? Come on! I love my brothers (they are family after all!), but Raphael can be the fucking worst. Grow up, dude. You aren’t cool but crude; you are just awful. You are always flying off into petty rages and ruining all my amazing plans and, God, just everything else terrible imaginable. You are such a stupid Amy. Why not just burn my bō staff when I’m not looking? Why not steal my job, my trip to Europe, and my girlfriend. And yes, I know I rejected April, but there are conventions here (not that I’d expect you to even try to learn them). Also, don’t you dare name your firstborn after Michelangelo when he tragically dies! He likes me better than you, and if Professor Casey Jones and I ever want children, I should be the one that gets to do that.
I mean, I get that there are other ways one could read our relationships and interactions. If somebody insisted I was a Meg, I could see where they were coming from. I am, after all, quite dutiful, and I too have the personality flaw where I envy others for their fabulous wealth. Yet, while I may share these few superficial similarities with Meg, I really epitomize all the plucky good-natured iconoclasm of Jo and Raphael is absolutely a lousy rotten Amy. But, as I said, I’m willing to entertain other theories, especially theories where I am Jo March. Like, if you were going to write Ninja Turtle fan fiction, I think a good plot would be where we are all sliding along the frozen streets, but then the ice breaks and Raphael falls through an open manhole, and then I save him because I’m the hero, and I only entertain one or two thoughts of letting that asshole drown even though I really ought to just leave him to his own devices, and we’d all be better off without him. Then, we all fight crime or whatever.
Really, there are so many possibilities, and I want everyone to know that I am open to other points of view on the matter. But I think we can all just agree that, in an alternate universe where instead of being trained in the ways of martial arts by a giant rat before reaching legal voting age we were instead transported to a frozen wilderness thanks to a conveniently placed piece of Belle Époque furniture, I would definitely be Peter Pevensie and Michelangelo would most likely be Lucy. Splinter could either be Aslan or Mr. Tumnus. (I can see arguments for both so I have to give it some more thought.) However, Raphael is totally Edmund, and everybody hates him.