Karai is a recurring character of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 cartoon series. Initially the Shredder's disciple and adopted daughter, and a high-ranking member of the Foot Clan, her respect for the Turtles eventually leads to her being an on & off ally of them. She originally serves as an anti-villain of seasons 2-3 and the main antagonist of season 4, before becoming a supporting protagonist in season 5 and the subsequent seasons.
She was voiced by Karen Neill.
Karai is serious, quick-witted and somewhat cold due to being raised by the Utrom Shredder. However, she does have a sense of honor and is torn between it and family, expressing guilt over taking advantage of the Turtles' trust. She also develops a love-hate relationship with Leonardo. Her character arc is to choose to follow either her sense of honor or her adoptive father.
After Ch'rell's exile at the end of Season 3, Karai spends all of Season 4 and Season 5 hating the Turtles and possibly after season 5 making a truce the with Turtles. After the battle with the Tengu Shredder however, she becomes their friend for real and even attends Casey and April's wedding alongside Dr. Chaplin. In Turtles Forever, she returns to serve Ch'rell, but upon seeing how insane he truly is, she finally abandons him and becomes the Turtles' friend for good.
Karai's philosophy is staying in battle until seeing things through, and she doesn't fear death. She also cares about humanity and is against their destruction.
Karai was adopted by the Shredder as a child, and trained into becoming his second-in-command, becoming the leader of the Foot's Tokyo branch. Because of this, she pledged her loyalty to him despite knowing that his ways were far from honorable. She is also among the few to know of his true identity as the Utrom criminal Ch'rell.
When the New York criminal underworld fight for power after the Shredder's supposed demise, Karai goes there and temporally teams up with the Turtles to take command of the Foot's New York branch. They succeed, and Karai decides to form a truce between the Foot and the Turtles. However, after this, she is revealed to have aided the still-living Shredder all along.
Throughout the second half of season 2 until the end of season 3, Karai aids the Shredder in his schemes, but is torn between her loyalty to her adoptive father and her friendship with the Turtles. After the Shredder is exiled to Mor Gal Tal, Karai and Dr. Chaplin are sent to prison. However, she escapes and take the Shredder mantle for herself. When Leonardo is away to train with the Ancient One, she seemingly kills his family, but they all thankfully survive and find a new lair. Leonardo then have a fight with Karai, before telling her that he gives her one last chance to leave his family alone.
Unfortunately for Karai, the Foot Mystics turn out to be servants of the Tengu Shredder, of whom her adoptive father, the Utrom Shredder, stole identity from. When the Tengu Shredder is resurrected, Karai and the Foot prepare to fight him. However, despite their best efforts, the Tengu Shredder manages to fatally injure Karai, and she is nursed back to health by April. Recognizing the threat the Tengu Shredder poses, she agrees to form another temporary alliance with the Turtles. It's later revealed that anyone who dons the Shredder mantle will share a psychic link with the Tengu Shredder, allowing her to absorb the majority of his power into herself, giving the Turtles an advantage in the final battle with him. After the battle, Karai become a real friend with the Turtles and depart alongside Chaplin. She and Chaplin also attend Casey and April's wedding and fight alongside the other attendants against the Cyber Shredder.
In Turtles Forever, when 1987 Shredder and Krang bring back Ch'rell, Karai frees him and becomes his right-hand once more, assisting him in his scheme to conquer the multiverse. However, after seeing how insane he is that he attempts to destroy the multiverse just to get rid of all versions of the Turtles, she aids the Turtles alongside their 1987 and Mirage counterparts to fight against him. After his defeat, she once again becomes a friend of the Turtles, this time permanently.
Skills and Abilities
Karai was trained during her adolescence in ninjutsu and high-level forms of hand-to-hand combat under the tutelage of her adopted father, "Oroku Saki." Her weapons include a katana, a tanto knife, several shuriken, and a long chain-like weapon. At one point, in her youth, she had demonstrated proficient use of the shortbow and arrow.
Having raised by the ruthless and vicious Utrom Shredder, Karai has natural leadership skills and was capable of taking full charge of the Foot clan after the exile of her adopted father and master once she donned his mantle to carry on his destructive and murderous legacy, which seemed to have further multiplied her natural fighting skills. In the Back to the Sewer season, it is implied that she may have trained even higher levels of ninjitsu from Khan, as her redesigned appearance dons a uniform similar to those of his mind-controlled students, as seen in "Karate Schooled".