The Thunder-Cutter is the twenty seventh episode of ThunderCats (original series).
Mumm-Ra summons a powerful samurai warrior and tricks him into believing that the ThunderCats are evil and so he sets out to destroy them.
Inside the Black Pyramid, Mumm-Ra is tired of the Mutants' consistent failures to destroy the ThunderCats. Slithe claims that the Sword of Omens is to blame as it keeps on growing stronger each time. Mumm-Ra then summons Hachiman, an ancient samurai warrior and possessor of the mighty sword, the Thunder-Cutter, and convinces him that the ThunderCats are evil. Sworn to the code of Bushido, Hachiman sets out to seek and destroy the leader of the ThunderCats, Lion-O.
At Cats Lair, the ThunderCats are explaining to Nayda how their new "Mutant Attack Warning System" works. Panthro says that once Lion-O has installed it, the system would help to protect the Warrior Maidens' Treetop Kingdom from intruders. Lion-O and Nayda set off for her home but since the normal route would take them three days to reach, Nayda suggests a shortcut across the "Four Day Drop".
The two soon reach the Four Day Drop and Lion-O begins to cross the long log spanning the abyss. As he reaches mid-way across it, Hachiman starts to cross it from the other end and both meet in the middle. With neither of them willing to back down, they start cutting the log using their swords until one of them concedes defeat. The old log breaks and they both fall down the chasm but Nayda rescues them by firing an arrow with a rope attached to it which they grab and climb up.
Hachiman, still not aware of the identity of Lion-O, says that he is searching for lord Lion-O. The young lord of the ThunderCats reveals that he indeed is the Lion-O that Hachiman is searching for and the two get ready to engage in a duel. However, neither the Thunder-Cutter nor the Sword of Omens agree to draw and both Lion-O and Hachiman realize that the duel is wrong. Hachiman then figures out that he had been tricked by Mumm-Ra and befriends Lion-O. The samurai then cuts down another tree with his sword and it falls across the chasm to replace the one that they broke.
Meanwhile, Slithe and Monkian who had been observing all this from their SkyCutter above, decide to attack the trio. Lion-O, Hachiman and Nayda use the branch of the fallen tree as a catapult and knock the SkyCutter out of the sky. The Mutant craft crashes and Monkian flees, leaving Slithe trapped in the wreck of the SkyCutter. Lion-O decides to take Slithe with them as a hostage.
Monkian reports the events that had transpired to Mumm-Ra who then summons a Ninja to finish the job which Hachiman didn't. The Ninja, in the disguise of Gumla the Tabbut, goes to the Treetop Kingdom to negotiate the release of Slithe on behalf of Mumm-Ra and the Mutants. That night, while secretly carrying out his plan, the Ninja is caught by Hachiman. The Ninja uses Nayda as a hostage, threatening to drop her from her treetop post. At that moment, the Mutants who had been waiting in the nearby bushes, attack the Warrior Maidens. As Lion-O summons the other ThunderCats, the Ninja drops Nayda but Lion-O throws the sword into a nearby tree and she grabs the sword and swings to safety. As Hachiman goes to attack the Ninja, he disappears into thin air. Suddenly the rest of the ThunderCats arrive in the [ThunderTank] and the Mutants run for their lives.
Lion-O: "The truth is, in a duel, nobody wins".
- Gumla (1st appearance)
- Hachiman (1st appearance)
- Ninja (1st appearance)
- The montage of images that Mumm-Ra shows Hachiman in his cauldron are those of the show's opening sequence.
- In this episode, Mumm-Ra pits the Thunder-Cutter against the Sword of Omens. A similar scenario is utilized in the episode, Excalibur in which Mumm-Ra uses Excalibur, another equally powerful sword, against the Sword of Omens. Also, neither the Thunder-Cutter nor Excalibur can be used for evil purposes, just like the Sword of Omens.
- Even though the Tabbut first appeared in The Spaceship Beneath the Sands, it is in this episode that his name is revealed to be Gumla.
- The entire scene of the ThunderCats responding to Lion-O's summons is actually reused animation from the earlier episode, Mandora - The Evil Chaser.
Animation Mistakes and/or Technical Glitches
- When Lion-O summons the other ThunderCats it is night time but when the ThunderCats see the Cat Signal, the background is that of day time.
Inconsistencies/Continuity Errors and/or Goofs/Oddities
- Panthro mentions that it can take up to three days to cover the distance between the Cats Lair and the Treetop Kingdom, yet in other episodes this distance has been shown to be much shorter.
Mumm-Ra: I, Mumm-Ra, Ever-Living Shogun of Third Earth, brought you here to my service! Your reward will be an empire of your own!
Lion-O: My sword refuses to fight you, Samurai. It cannot be used for an evil cause, and this duel is evil.
Lion-O: Why are you looking for this Lord Lion-O?
Hachiman: My master, the shogun Mumm-Ra, has commanded me to destroy him and his sword.
Lion-O: Then go no further. I am Lion-O.
Lion-O: Pardon me, sir, but as I started across first, I ask you please to back off.
Hachiman: A Samurai never backs off.
Lion-O: Does that mean a Samurai has no manners?
Hachiman: Manners? It is good manners if a boy gets out of the way for a man.
Nayda: Let me ask you, Lion-O. If it had come down to it, who do you think would have won that sword-duel?
Lion-O: Why, Hachiman. He had the experience and strength.
Nayda: Funny. When I asked him that, he said you, because you were young and flexible.
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