Friday, June 29, 2012

The Legend of Korra

I admit that I joined the Avatar: The Last Airbender fandom a bit late.  In fact I think the final season of the show had already concluded by the time I discovered it.  Personally I think this was a blessing to me since I was able to watch the entire series at my own pace instead of being forced to watch only one episodes a week for the current season, and then sitting through the entire season break agonizing over what happens next.

The show was that amazing.  I probably would have been really aggravated waiting to see how things turned out, especially late in the show when the big conflicts really came to a head.

Unfortunately I do not have that luxury with the sequel series The Legend of Korra.  The same creative team behind Avatar also created Korra, and it shows in the consistency of the world and (more importantly) in the quality of the writing.

Now that the first season is over, I find myself in that unfortunate position of wondering what is going to happen in the second season.  There are two things that I hope get a significant amount of screen time:

1. The realization that Mako is kind of a jerk.  The way he handled things with Asami (or in his case, actively didn't handle them) was just a jerk move.  Not cool.  I was actually starting to hope that Korra would come around to Bolin for a while, just because I didn't want her to end up with Mako.

2. While the main villain of the season, Amon, has been defeated there are still a lot of issues that need to be dealt with.  There's obviously a fairly large portion of the population that feels neglected (at best) or actively oppressed (at worst) due to being non-Benders.  Since part of the opening sequence for the show contains the line "Only the Avatar can bring balance to the world," I hope that Korra tackles this problem in season 2.  If that many people feel that much discontent, then any sense of balance has certainly been lost.  Honestly I'm hoping that Korra opens up a way for more people to become Benders if they want.

The season was full of great moments by itself, though. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Tenzin watching Korra in her very first pro-bending match.  He's been trying to hard to teach her Air Bending, and it's just not clicking for either of them.  But finally, in the midst of what essentially amounts to a fight, the lessons he has been teaching her finally click and it just works.   I know I've felt those moments in my life, so that resonated with me.

2. Asami in general.  She deserves so much more than the way Mako treater her at the end of the season.  How many times have we seen a character oppose the plans of his/her parent, only to show them mercy again and again...just so that the villain can attack them over and over.  It's a very old and very bad trope.  So glad to see that throughout the season, Asami never seemed to waver very much in her conviction that her father was indeed in the wrong.  Especially at the end where it would have been so easy to just let him get away.  But she didn't.  Because Asami is awesome.

3. Tenzin's kids.  The little air benders had great personality and were pretty amusing.  They weren't perfect by any stretch.  Meelo's "Fartbending" was a bit overplayed in the last few episodes.  And the way the kids saved the day during the attack on Air Temple Island was just sad.  I mean...anyone could have saved the day since all the bad guys just stopped moving as soon as kids were involved.  The animation really fell down in that scene.  With that said, the characters were great.  I especially loved Meelo's reaction to Lin's actions to help them get away from the pursuing Equalist zeppelins towards the end of the series.

4. Speaking of Lin Beifong, she's amazing.  I seems rare to have a character with that much fiery determination, but I love it.  And the creative ways in which she makes use of her abilities and equipment to protect her friends and the people of her city are so much fun to watch.  I hope we see plenty more of her in season 2.

Finally, I know the writers teased us with this in the very first episode, but...I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO ZUKO'S MOTHER!!!

Sorry about that.  I'm better now.  But you have to admit that was kind of cruel.

So, what did you think of The Legend of Korra?

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