Legend of Korra

Catching Up With Korra

I can't believe it's over already.

I can’t believe it’s over already.

I don’t know what happened, but apparently a whole mess of episodes aired and I missed them.  So I hit up Nick.com to binge the last four episodes.

Night of a Thousand Stars

I kinda forgot that Korra went to Republic City in the first place to try to get the President to side with the Southern Water Tribe.  Seems like the show forgot, too, so this episode is dedicated to closing up that thread and the whole Varrick thing and much of what I felt dragged this season to a halt in the beginning.

It’s kind of cute that Bolin is the one who saves the President, but it really makes Lin Beifong seem like an incompetent police chief.  Still, it’s pretty cool seeing Bolin use his pro bending for awesome.

Team Avatar reunites and Mako’s back in action.  And now we have a stupid love triangle thing with Korra, Mako, and Asami.  Apparently, when Korra lost her memory briefly, she also forgot that Mako broke up with her. Guuuuuuuh.  Kinda want Bolin and Asami to happen.

Tonraq’s fight to retake the Southern Water tribe goes about as well as could be expected. With no reinforcements fro Republic City and Team Avatar headed to the portals, Korra’s father is left on his own to take on Unalaq and the dark spirits.  Tonraq’s uprising is put down swiftly.

Harmonic Convergence

For the love the spirits, please END THE KORRA/MAKO thing!  Why must we be reminded of the worst parts of this season.  And last season.  Bleh.  Not that I like Asami/Mako any better.

Thankfully, we have a Harmonic Convergence to stop.  Man, I have to hand it to the animators, the battle scenes in this show are absolutely fantastic.

Sadly, Team Korra gets captured.  Unalaq’s forces plus the Dark Spirits are too much for them.  Unalaq reveals his plan.  He wants to fuze with Vaatu to become a Dark Avatar.  I think it would be kind of cool to see a Dark Avatar Unalaq vs Avatar Korra.

Bumi saves the day in one of the most unlikely rescues ever animated!  It’s great and I kind of think this season could have done with some more of him.

Team Avatar makes it to the portal, but are too late to stop Harmonic Convergence.  Vaatu escapes.

Darkness Falls

Man, Vaatu’s design is kind of awesome.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him show up as a tattoo on a few arms and backs.

Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi search for Jinora while Korra fights Vaatu.  Again, the fight scenes are amazing.  Korra vs. Vaatu is exceptional. Especially when Korra goes all Avatar state on him.  Though Korra kicks quite a lot of ass, Unalaq stops Korra from imprisoning Vaatu once again.  Vaatu fuzes with Unalaq and the Dark Avatar is born.

Meanwhile, Uncle Iroh returns to give Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi some guidance. It’s heart breaking to see him again.  They let themselves get taken to the Fog of Lost Souls to find Jinora.  The Fog is actually a spirit that slowly infects your mind, eventually driving you insane.  Zhao the Conqueror from Avatar: The Last Airbender makes a cameo in the Fog.  He mistakes Tenzin for Aang.  It’s kind of a disturbing cameo.  Kya and Bumi succumb to the madness leaving Tenzin to search for Jinora on his own.

Tenzin is able to overcome the Fog when he realizes that he needs to stop trying to be like Aang and just be Tenzin.  We’ve gotten some really good character development from Tenzin this season.  It’s been fun to watch him grow through his interactions with his siblings.

Unalaq and Korra continue to battle.  They are evenly matched for a while, but the Dark Avatar proves too much.  Vaatu draws Raava out of Korra and destroys the Spirit of Light.  Unalaq goes all Super Sayan 5000 and turns into a giant of Darkness.

Light in the Darkness

The Dark Giant descends upon Republic City, and though General Iroh voiced by RUFIOOOOOO is there with his armada, the city falls.  The giant is really impressive.  I love the sound design when he unleashes his chest laser.

Tenzin gives Korra some truly excellent spiritual advice.  It a great emotional moment and looking back on this season, it feels like this is what the show has been building up to, Korra’s true spiritual awakening.  In some ways, since she’s been such an annoying brat for a good portion of it, the scene is probably a lot more impactful than I expected.

Korra becomes a giant of Light and returns to Republic City as a spirit to fight the Dark Giant.  More epic fight animation!  Seriously, this is impressive stuff.  The Dark Giant proves too much.  And then, JINORA!!!!!!!!

JINORA FTW!!!

Seriously, I got all choked up when she descended.  I love that she was the one to truly save the day.

“Don’t worry, they’re alright. Korra saved the world.”

Um… no. You did, Jinora.

Korra and Raava reunite, but her link with her past lives is gone.  I actually think that’s a good thing.  A break with the past forces Korra to be her own person rather than live up to the expectations of her previous lives.  She also decides to keep the portals open so that humans and spirits can co-exist.

Last Impressions

While I feel this ending is far superior to season 1, overall I felt season 2 of Legend of Korra was terribly uneven.  Though we got a lot of good development with Tenzin, the show literally reset its title character halfway through.  After Korra’s brief amnesia and a look back at Wan, she was a completely different character.  Granted, she became way more tolerable in the second half of the season, but will it stick?  Will she revert back to her asshole ways in season 3 only to turn it around halfway through?

The biggest surprise was how essential Jinora was to the ending.  Tenzin’s children have been comic relief for the most part.  It was great to see Jinora take a more important role.

Bolin kind of got lost in the mix until the end.  The Republic City/Varrick/Nuktuk storyline was a bit too obvious for my tastes and didn’t really add much.  I guess we needed something for Mako, Bolin, and Asami to do, but it somehow didn’t feel essential to the overall plot.  Yeah, Varrick was trying to cash in on the war. And?

Unalaq was my least favorite type of villain, the sort of obvious mustache twirling evil mastermind that you can recognize the second they step foot onto camera.  No nuance.  No subtlety.  Just a big red sign over his head that read, HEY LOOK EVERYONE, I’M A BAAAAAAAD GUY.

Still, they have done some pretty great things with Korra.  I’m a huge fan of the world that they’ve built.  And the animation continues to be some of the best I’ve seen.  And I really do love the concept of the show.  In the end, I’ll still probably keep up with it.  I’m not super excited for season 3, but I’m not ready to ditch it just yet.  This season finished strong and I hope it carries over to the next.

The Legend of Toddler Korra

Legend of Korra: “A New Spiritual Age” S1

So clearly I’m on board with Legend of Korra now.  Granted, it’s only been two episodes since the Legend of Wan, but still, I’m excited about the direction they’re taking the show.  For the most part.

If you were curious as to what Korra learned from Wan aside from how bending came to be, the answer is… not a whole lot.  She’s still hot tempered, lashing out at anyone or anything that doesn’t agree with her.  She’s like a super powered toddler which the Spirit World happily reveals to us when she gets separated from Jinora.

I think that’s how the writers have viewed Korra and looking back on the first part of Season 2, I can totally see it.  She may be physically older than Aang, but she has yet to gain any of his maturity.

Uncle Iroh makes a cameo in this episode. Thematically, it makes sense.  I can totally picture Iroh chilling with the spirits drinking tea.  Though Tenzin has done his best to guide Korra, I think she really needs someone like Iroh in her life.  It made me sad, though, to hear him not voiced by Mako.  I always imagined that I’d be at a convention that he was booked and that I’d get to meet him somehow to tell him how much his work has meant to me.  Ah well.

Who are you?

Who are you?

Wan Shi Tong also makes a cameo as well as Professor Zei.  It was cool to see the grumpy owl back in action.  Although, it’s dismaying to see how easily he’s duped by Unalaq.

No Mako or Asami or Bolin in this episode which I’m not too sorry about.  The whole Varrick is a little too obvious.  And though I understand how he got there, I really don’t like Bolin as Nuktuk.

Looking forward to this week’s episode!

On Dragonfly Bunny Spirits

Legend of Korra: “The Guide” S2

 

It seems like the “Legend of Wan” was just what this show needed to get back on track.  I’m still puzzled as to why it’s taken so long, but whatever.  Last Friday’s episode, “The Guide,” was actually quite good.  Korra’s time within herself proved humbling.  Not sure why the first season didn’t stick with her, but it seems that her meeting with Wan, the first Avatar, has made a lasting impression.  She FINALLY apologizes to Tenzin for being such a jerkface and asks for his help.

BUNNIES!

BUNNIES!

We also see some growth from Tenzin who has been pretty stubborn during his family vacation.  I love that its his daughter, Jinora, who is tuned in to the Spirit World.  There’s something very zen about it.  Tenzin has been studying and trying so hard for so long that he’s somehow missed the point.  These are the kinds of subtleties that I loved so much about the original series.

I still roll my eyes whenever Mako is on screen.  And I’m pretty dismayed that Lin Bei Fong is so easily duped.  Maybe Lin is playing along to entrap Varrick.  But I have a good feeling about the second half of this season.  It kinda feels like a whole new show.

The Legend of Wan Was Amazing!

I'm a Lion Turtle. You're argument is invalid.

I’m a Lion Turtle. You’re argument is invalid.

So here’s the really frustrating thing about The Legend of Korra.  Last week, we learned about the origin of bending and Wan, the first Avatar, in a two episode arc.  It was pretty damn amazing.  The art direction was phenomenal.  I love the watercolor textures and style of the backgrounds.  The Lion Turtles were fucking amazing.  We learned a lot more about the Spirits and what they have to do with the world.  And we got to see a lot of growth from Wan.

It was absolutely amazing.  Best episodes yet.  And that’s the frustrating part!  They clearly know how to develop characters, to make them interesting and flawed, to set up conflicts that are complex and nuanced.  They can do all that in just two episodes.  So what the hell is going on with the main show?

After seeing Wan’s arc, I could buy the argument that since they have more episodes to play with, they’re taking their time with Korra.  I don’t know.  I nearly gave up on the show when they gave Korra amnesia.  I always look at that as a crutch.  Oh, our hero needs to rediscover themselves so we the audience can be reminded why they’re the hero? Then you failed at your job because we shouldn’t need a reminder!  But meeting Wan was really awesome and it sort of gives Korra a fresh start.  Which is annoying because she shouldn’t have needed a fresh start.

Sooooo I’m still going to be watching Korra like I was anyway.  But now I’m kind of excited to see where the show takes her.  I’m willing to spend more time with her even if she annoys the shit out of me.  Wan figured his shit out in two episodes.  Maybe it’ll just take Korra a little longer.  BUT THEN WHAT THE FUCK WAS SEASON 1 FOR—no nope, I’m not gonna rage quit.  Let’s just give the show a chance.

Legend of Korra Season 2 so Far Has Been… eh

KorraTwins

Boyfriend, your show is meh.

This will be a bit spoilery for Season 1 of Korra so click away if you haven’t watched it yet.

On paper, The Legend of Korra has everything I want in a show.  It’s got a diverse cast with various flaws and strengths.  The costume design is superb.  The setting is an Asian inspired take on steam punk which is totally refreshing.  The animation is absolutely gorgeous.  Best of all, we get return to the world of bending which I absolutely fell in love with in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

So why am I struggling so much to keep up with Season 2?

Though I felt it was a little uneven, overall, I had a blast with Season 1.  I was so excited to see how the world had evolved since we last left Aang and the crew.  Pro Bending was an awesome addition.  Teenage angst and romance was pitch perfect for Korra’s age group.  The fight choreography was excellent and the animation completely blew me away.

Still, I had some major problems with how the season ended.  I felt that last episode tied everything together way too conveniently.  How amazing would it have been if Season 2 was all about Korra trying to live without her bending?  Is the Avatar more than just the embodiment of bending?  Is there something deeper that made Aang, Roku, Kyoshi, and the entire line special?  Season 1 could have laid the ground work for a much deeper exploration of Korra and her role as the Avatar.  Instead, she got her bending back in a weird little Deus Aang Machina that completely jumped me out of the show.  I also didn’t like that she got her airbending by punching with great anger.

I understand that the show runners didn’t know if they were going to get a second season so they wanted to wrap things up.  But it just felt rushed.  And I’m one of those sick fucks who wouldn’t have minded a cliff hanger ending.

So we’re four episodes into Season 2 and it’s a little unfair to judge it as a whole just yet.  But it really feels like the show just rebooted itself.  Korra is a cocky jerkface who used the Avatar state to win a race in the first episode.  I almost rage quit right there.  It’s like Season 1 never happened!

I never liked Mako.  Broody Mc Eyebrows always had a chip on his shoulder and was kind of asshole to his brother.  Not cool.  Now that he’s a cop, he’s fucking insufferable which makes it really annoying when he and Cocky Mc Avatar Pants are the leads of our show.  Their both kind of jerks so it’s little surprise when they break up.  Buuuut, they’re still jerks.

Thus far, the best parts of Season 2 for me have been with Tenzin and his interactions with Boomi and Kya.  I kind of wish the show was about him and his time at the Air Temple with his siblings and his family.

I’m also not a big fan of Uncle Mc Evil Pants.  Zuko was an excellent adversary for Aang.  He was the big bad for a while, but we could sympathize with his whole HONOR thing.  Not so with Korra.  Amon posed an interesting question about benders and normals, which almost made him sympathetic.  But the way he went about his quest was so apologetically evil that there was no way we could sympathize with him.  Similarly, Korra’s Uncle Mc Lying Face is so utterly evil that we just can’t wait for him to get punched in the junk.  We lose a lot of the nuance that we got with Aang’s arc.

With all that said, I will stick with the show.  Nickelodeon is making it easy by streaming full episodes online after they air.  And despite the negative things I have to say, I genuinely like Korra.  I recognize that she’s acting very much like a hot blooded teenager.  So in that respect, the show is doing a great job of portraying that aspect of her life.  And who knows, maybe it will all come together in the end.  But much like S.H.I.E.L.D., I’m not sure that I can recommend this to anyone who isn’t already a fan.

Korra, Booty Bending

More fan animations from official animators! Kwang Il Han of Studio Mir threw together this pencil test of Korra dancing to Sistar’s “Ma Boy” which you can find here. Seems like it’s only a matter of time before one of these K-Pop stars asks Studio Mir to animate a music video for them.

Oppa MEELO STYLE

Did you have any doubt that airbenders go Gangnam style?

It appears that the animators of The Legend of Korra are big fans of Psy! This little animation was done by Ryu Ki-Hyun who is a supervising producer for Nickelodeon!

I LOVE EVERYTHING!!!!

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