Raphael is the deuteragonist of the 2003 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He is the younger brother of Leonardo, and the older brother of Donatello and Michelangelo, and the second oldest adoptive son of Splinter.
Raph wears a red mask and wields a pair of sais. He has a dark, bright green skin color, much more vivid than those of his brothers.
This version of Raphael has a personality which is more akin to his original incarnation - he is angrier and more sardonic, but not quite as violent unless extremely angry - as proven in one incident where he almost smashed Michelangelo's head in with a pipe after Mikey beat him in a sparring match. The theme song for season 1-3 did not have a part that actually described each turtle individually, but from season 4 onwards it was changed, and stated that "count on Raphael to throw the first punch".
He often argues with Leonardo and Michelangelo, although he is depicted as being very close with both at times. He is the first of the turtles to cry (or at least, shed tears) when Leonardo is gravely injured and might not survive. Raphael is generally very protective of his brothers, getting angriest when an enemy harms them or captures them. His relationship with Donatello consists of poking fun at his intellect or annoyance at his long-winded explanations. Raphael considers Donatello as something of a dork, yet still his brother, and he still cares for Donatello just as much as he does Leonardo and Michelangelo. His best friend is generally regarded as Casey Jones - and is the best man as Casey and April's wedding in the final episode of this series. In all incarnations of the turtles except for the 1987 cartoon, Raphael appears to live in the shadow of Leonardo and resents his brother's social position in the group. However, his rivalry with his brother is heavily toned down in comparison to the comic books and rarely shows a deep hatred towards him as the series progresses. He is shown to be a skilled motorcyclist. It has often been hinted that Raphael has entomophobia, the fear of insects. He has shown on many occasions an unrivaled hatred of bugs, however unlike the 2012 incarnations he shows more violence than fear when near a bug.
Raphael's relationship with Michelangelo is unique in this series. Michelangelo has a tendency to severely annoy his brother, from playing pranks, to taunting, gloating, and overall rubbing his accomplishments in Raphael's face. Despite his rivalry, Raphael also expressed his pain and fear of losing his youngest brother and his older brother, when Leonardo was nearly killed by the Foot, to the point where he even started crying.
As Leonardo recovered, Raphael was also the one who supported Leonardo the most, even helping him to forge Leonardo's two new katana, and paying the greatest attention to the care of his brother. In the episode "Ultimate Ninja" Raph attempted to protect Leo from the Ultimate Ninja when he challenged him and lashed out in anger and fear when Leo was nearly hurt. Raphael continues to challenge Leonardo's decisions in this incarnation as well, as Raphael and Leonardo often argue over what to do in certain situations, Raph usually favoring a direct and confrontational approach. Despite differences, Leo and Raph arguably have the closest relationship of the Turtles emphasized in the series, as their conflicting views and care for one another is a key point in many episodes throughout the entire series. Raphael will often put himself in danger, going as far as disobeying Splinter and Leonardo to protect his family and friends, but he will react immediately (and harshly) if they are in danger. He has an extremely loyal side and is always the first to react when another of his brothers is in trouble. This happens on numerous occasions, like when he stops a blow from hitting Leonardo using only his sai, or kicks the Shredder away from Donatello when the former is about to attack.
When Raph was a kid he wanted be the leader, and sometimes experiences envy over Leo's position over his brothers, although all he wanted to do is to please his family the best he could.
When Raphael got a little older, he eventually gave in to the fact that Leo is leader and that’s how it is, although he’s not pleased about it.
He doesn’t argue with Leo very often, but they can get competitive and butt heads on occasion.
However, the two are closer than they appear at first glance. After Leo was almost beaten to death by the Foot, Raphael was driven to tears over his fear that his brother would die. As Leo recovered, Raphael helped him forge new katanas and served as emotional support, which continued throughout their next conflict with Shredder. In ``The Ultimate Ninja``, Raph attempted to protect Leo from the Ultimate Ninja when he challenged him and lashed out in anger and fear when Leo was nearly hurt.
His relationship with Donatello consists of poking fun at his intellect or annoyance at his long-winded explanations. Raphael considers Donatello as something of a dork, yet still his brother, and he still cares for Donatello just as much as he does Leonardo and Michelangelo.
Raphael and Michelangelo mostly have a love-hate relationship in which Michelangelo frequently antagonizes Raphael (it especially hurts Raphael's pride that Michelangelo has bested him more than once, both times because Raphael's anger got in the way), but Raphael shows that he cares about him whenever he's in danger.
- His strength is 7.5.
- He speaks with a Brooklyn accent.
- He is the second-oldest, making Leonardo his older brother, Donatello his younger brother and Mikey his youngest brother.