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Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Legend of Korra

After reading a couple of my recent blog posts, you might think that all I do is watch TV and play video games. That's not true! I also read, write, and draw! No, with me, I'm usually just doing several things at once so I consume a decent amount of media in a short amount of time.

I started watching Nickelodeon's Avatar: The Last Airbender (referred to hereafter as Avatar) quite a while after the show started, but I caught up quickly and enjoyed every minute of it! When I heard that a new story, The Legend of Korra was coming out, I awaited quite anxiously.

The premise of Avatar is simple: the world is comprised of separate tribes and filled with magic and spirits. The magic of the realm is that some people are born with the ability to bend, to control one of the four elements: earth, air, fire, or water. All except the Avatar, who is the bridge between the mortal realm and that of the spirits, who is able to control all four elements, once he or she has mastered them. Mastery of the elements comes from a combination of spiritual/philosophical training as well as martial training. In Avatar, the eponymous character was thought to be dead, but was found as a boy, reincarnated from the previous master. The Fire Nation, bent on conquering the rest of the world wars against the Avatar.

In this new series, Korra is a spirited young avatar who already has mastery over the water, fire, and earth elements, but air eludes her. The story takes place just one generation after the previous, and the nations are no longer at war. However, the non-benders of the world start to feel oppressed by those who can wield such great power. A character named Amon, who has the ability to remove a bender's powers, leads the revolution.

For those who have watched Avatar, you'll obviously enjoy the show as the same basic elements (pun intended) are there: comedic writing combined with impressive emotional depth, as well as a compelling main character and storyline. For those new to the series, you really won't need much more than what I wrote above to follow along, other than names perhaps.

The story, a mere one generation later than the previous show, has a different vibe than the original. Instead of being a world of separate tribes, the people have come together and improved upon community and technology. The Legend of Korra acts as if set in the 1930s, with cars (or Sato-mobiles, haha) everywhere, and that all-too-familiarly cheesy radio host voice who narrates the opening of most episodes. The atmosphere is busy, exciting, a world of promise. Bending competitions are a thing enjoyed by benders and non-benders alike, in which two teams of benders attempt to play element dodgeball, essentially.

The struggle of the non-benders accelerates quickly, as Amon works his way into the hearts and minds of the common people. Convincing them that benders are oppressive and that everyone should be equal, he quickly garners a considerable amount of support. Terrorism, totalitarianism, and teenage-angst collide in this show in a way which makes me appreciate how a cartoon, a show seemingly for children, can present so much interesting and investing entertainment.

The show is continuing its tradition of blurring the line between good and evil, showing how ambition and good intentions can be misled. The aim for equality can be a noble one, but at what cost? What gives the benders, those just born with these abilities, the right to wield them? Why hasn't someone invented guns to just shoot the benders? (as one friend of mine is nigh-constantly asking) Most of these questions, and more, The Legend of Korra presents, challenges, and explores as the show progresses. I won't go much further than that, but if you're at all interested, I say give it a shot, you should find something compelling enough to keep your interest.

The first season just finished, with 12 episodes and the promise of more, and I look forward to following Korra on her adventures.


I'm really wondering where things are going to go with this new season. I mean, it would have made sense for Korra to lose her other abilities and have to regain them over the course of the series, as she struggles to learn more about Amon, and even the strife of the people. But, I guess the original show followed this formula and they didn't want to repeat that. Korra having all of her powers is kind of crazy, or at least it means her later adventures must be. It's Superman all over again, where the hero is so over-powered, why should you care? What do you pit against them? But, I'm sure the show will pull through, it's just that I have no idea where they're going and that's both interesting and maddening. One last thing, Korra and Mako's relationship has me kind of tilting my head to the side. I mean, I guess it makes sense, but Mako's proclamation of love was a little quick in my opinion. Sure, he cares for her, sure they've been through a lot, but I'm wondering where it's going to go, exactly. Oh well, just because I'm hesitant with love doesn't mean fictional animated characters should be, should it?

Those were my quick thoughts, I hope you've been enjoying the show and my blog!


  1. Amon isn't dead? Are you sure you watched that last episode?

  2. You're totally right, I spaced on that, it's fixed.