Sunday, November 20, 2016

Review: The Legend of Korra

I got amazon Prime a while back and found that The Legend of Korra was available so I began watching it. I've heard about Avatar, but never saw the series, only a bit of the movie.

Legend of Korra is the sequel to Avatar. You can watch it without knowing the older series. It's actually not a Japanese anime, but rather an American animated TV series. But it's very similar, both in art style and plot, so I labeled this review "anime".

The series has four seasons called "books": Air, Spirits, Change and Balance. That can be a bit confusing. Each episode is about 25 minutes long, so it's perfect for watching one or two episodes in the evening after work.

It's set in a world where some people can control elements - which is called "bending". There are water benders, fire benders and earth benders. Air benders are extremely rare, there are only five of them left, all in one family. Of course there are also lots of normal people. I also think the world has a bit of 1920s and  Steampunk feeling to it, which I quite enjoyed.

Though it's called "Legend of Korra" I don't like the main heroine too much. She's rash, impulsive and overestimates herself frequently. But I consider this very much an ensemble series. There's lots of diverse, rich characters. And when I'm about to watch another episode, I'm not loking forward to seeing more of Korra, but more of the whole gang.
Besides Korra, there's the brothers Mako and Bolin. Mako is rather serious while Bolin is a happy-go-lucky who is surprisingly good at a wide range of things. Level-headed Asami is both tech-savvy and combat-savvy. Tenzin is a strict airbender monk. One of my favourites is Lin Beifong; she's quite abrasive, but also a badass chief of police.

I didn't like the second season as much as the first. It was suspense-packed, but I got a little annoyed of Korra who was being a total brat. I understand to be fooled once by someone who tells you what you want to hear and leave your friends behind. Happens to the best of us. Twice... well, she's only a teenager. But three times? How stupid can she be? The ending of the season dragged itself like it was a Bleach fight. And in the end it didn't seem very logical.
The fourth season starts out quite dark. It reminded me a little of Buffy after she was brought back to life. Korra and Buffy do have a lot in common - the chosen one born into every generation, with her scoobie gang. But the last season has a strange pace. There's even one completely unnecessary filler recap episode in the middle of the season! And then the end gets very Superhero movie like; could have been the Avengers or something.

A lot of the "lessons learned" seem forced. The resolve to some mental problems that were build up for a while felt sudden and not believable.
And the romance between Korra and Asami that caused such a fuzz? Honestly, to me that just wasn't there. If I hadn't read about it, I'd never guessed. There just wasn't any chemistry between them, nothing in the episodes that would have made it obvious that they might be more than close friends. I guess, this being an American series, they did not dare to go that far. So if you planned to watch this, expecting this great LGBT series - don't get your hopes up.

This review sounds bad, but honestly I quite liked Korra.
As I said, I think the best about Korra is the range of characters. There's so many fleshed out characters. All have faults and strengths and their time to shine. You could to a dozen shorts, examining the life of one of them and I'd look forward to it. The bad guys aren't just bad, they do have a cause that actually seems justified (if it wasn't for the means they used).
The world building and character design is very well done, too.

And I really love the music during the ending. It's so soothing, I could listen to it on infinite loop to fall asleep. I wish it was available somewhere.

The Legend of Korra on Wikipedia

1 comment:

Devon & Cornwall Write said...

I got disappointed by the lack of romance! Which is dumb to say since it's a kids/tween show but...well, I like my romance. That's why I'm so addicted to Kdramas XD

I liked your review, though! I think we had similar thoughts. Nice to meet you!