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THE RAW AWESOMENESS OF THIS TRIUMPHANT MASTERWORK OF ART
THE PURE CATHARSIS OF UNUTTERABLE JOY
THE KORRA BOOK THREE FINALE
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Yes hello Chief Beifong I’d like to report Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino for ruining my fucking life
sifufirebender said: Really quick, would you recommend watching LOK? I'm nervous to start it because i love ATLA and i've heard some not so great stuff about LOK. I've watched the first few episodes of book 1, and was not really impressed. Does it get better or am I just being snooty?
While I’m on an ask-answering stint…
I adore questions like this! Thanks so much sifufirebender!
Well let’s get right down to it! I’m going to provide a brief list of why every Avatar fan should watch The Legend of Korra! Then I suppose I’ll give a brief (mostly) spoiler-free review of the three seasons as they stand.
Why you should watch The Legend of Korra:
- The legacy - The Legend of Korra upholds the legacy of that inimitable series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. The animation, the music, the choreography…these are all comparable to the original series if not better. Korra is more mature in many of these respects. The storytelling, while it may occasionally disappoint, flows in the same way as A:TLA. The same talented hands of bryankonietzko and michaeldantedimartino penned these tales and it shows.
- The objective - Korra attempts to accomplish something quite similar to Avatar: The Last Airbender yet a cry more advanced. The show continues to be about finding inner strength despite weaknesses and conflicts! It sets women and men on equal grounds and really challenges viewers to put aside their cultural preconceptions. Note: this is the only action/adventure show out there with a female, let alone Woman of Color protagonist are you kidding me!?! TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE! In my opinion, Korra dominates as a positive role model. She is easily the most focused upon and most developed character over the course of the series. Do you have to invest time and energy watching the show to finally see her shine? Yes! Is it worth it? Oh hell yes!
- The entertainment - Irrespective of its predecessor and its sequel status, I find The Legend of Korra to be really entertaining. For the most part, the characters are still better written than half the shows out there. It gets really real, and really dark, and really dangerous. We have the hijinks of Avatar with a new twist of intensity from Korra. Sure, most fans complain of this deviation from the original series, but I find the psycho-thriller elements quite captivating.
- The dynamism - The Legend of Korra carries viewers through a broad range of storytelling elements. While I’d say some of the dynamics of the show leave viewers with a fair share of chagrin or frustration, I will say that this is an undeniable asset to the show!
- The story - A while back it occurred to me why the creators chose to write of the Avatar to follow Aang and not some past Avatar (though we’re treated to the impeccably executed Avatar origin story in Korra as well). This is the time of greatest change in the World of Avatar. As standalone as Aang was, Korra follows up to brave the new world forged by Avatar Aang and co. The parallels between the series, often in conflict with the outright, bold departures from the original series, make for quite the interesting tale. What more, this series conveys a real legend of modern miracles and unignorable drama.
Now, for a quick review of each Book in this series:
- Book One: Air - Clearly well-conceived and carefully-plotted, this season establishes the new World of Avatar in Republic City, the symbolic and proxy Fourth Nation. We see Korra crash into obstacles as she enters the World as an active agent for the first time in her life! This season grounds the series as a tale counterpoised to Aang’s. While Aang’s tale told of a gifted Spiritual being, the Avatar, seeking insignificance as a regular old human who learns to properly assume his role as the Avatar, Korra’s tale regards an Avatar with Spiritual failings who seeks nothing else but success in her unique role. As Aang learns to assume responsibility as the Avatar, Korra learns to assume responsibility as a being entangled in complex interpersonal relationships, and as a being in the World. The finale of this season leaves you lacking, with a quite contrived explanation for the season’s main conflict and with a quick tie-up at the end, but I love it nonetheless. It’s beautifully animated, perfectly scored, and intoxicatingly dramatic.
- Book Two: Spirits - This season has some of my favorite moments from The Legend of Korra, yet they are buried in the fold of confusing and disconcerted efforts in the writing. The Korra creative team expanded for this season, yet it seemed to have an adverse effect. Some episodes are poorly written - at many points, the dialogue grates on viewers’ ears as harsh, unlikely, unnatural. The plot meanders dangerously, like a drunken wander in the woods, stumbling headlong into pitfalls and, finally, rushing towards the forest edge. It feels so rushed, or maybe stunted. Some new characters delight, others disappoint as two-dimensional and unexplored. (They wouldn’t let the teen romance die till the end but thank Yangchen they finally did.) Nonetheless, the latter half of this season reassures viewers of a conclusive season arc. This is delivered. I adored the end of this season; it launches Korra to new, previously unimaginable heights.
- Book Three: Change - Did any one of us fans think Korra would ever get this good? Book Three: Change has sailed through from the chaos of Book Two and emerged victorious. World building the likes of which we haven’t seen since A:TLA, breathtaking animation, and proper character writing emerge! New villains challenge an old order within the fictional world just as they challenge an established precedent within the show’s writing for not delivering on compelling backstory and explanation for these kinds of characters. The show has hit its stride. The writers seem to have taken to heart prior criticism, cured the malaise of their shoddy dialogue from Book Two, and really expanded their potential.
In essence, watch The Legend of Korra if only to reach the Avatar origin story, “Beginnings,” the conclusion of Book Two: Spirits (which was wondrous), and the entirety of Book Three: Change, which delivers on so many things fans always wanted to see!
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why is everyone obsessed with Suyin being a villain!?!
Reasons she isn’t:
- That Zaheer look-alike from the circus…
Had way too thick eyebrows to be Zaheer! Just look!
They don’t have the same shape of face either! Or the same nose! Plus, the circus guy is much bigger and taller than Zaheer, who strikes me as all that tall. I don’t think they’re the same person!
- She may have progressive political views regarding the Earth Queen, but that doesn’t make her an anarchist! She runs her own city! Sure this makes her a leader and a matriarch and in a way a governor of the people, but I like to see Zaofu as a safe haven, an extended house that she owns — she literally bought the land and built the city — something similar to Elrond’s Rivendell!
- Suyin had nothing to do with the Red Lotus attack on her city, actively opposed the Red Lotus, and has grieved quite genuinely over the loss of her advisor.
- Ai Wei assured Zaheer that no one in Zaofu knew anything of his affiliations or machinations! There you have it, I have exculpated Suyin.
Believe what you want, but I think, though Su might have a complicated past and a bit of a darker, angrier side, she is Team Avatar through and through.
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I have been thinking a lot since the unofficial introduction of Suyin (in the Spanish leaks…so happy to say I prefer her lines in English pheww)…
I see Suyin and Lin Beifong as obvious foils to each other, sure, but what more the two of them, from their personalities right down to their bending styles, mirror the two sides of Metal and, in a way, reflect the two sides of their mother, Toph.
Lin is stubborn, indignant, ruthless, intractable, cold, unyielding. She is Metal as it is refined for reinforcement and support, yet as she assumes these traits she too shoulders a massive mantle of weight.
Suyin is fluid, effusive, genial, affable, bright, understanding. She is Metal as it is refined for conduction and flexibility, and as she assumes these traits she gains the capacity for change.
These two parallel Toph’s two defining characteristics: independence and stubbornness. Suyin, quite lovably, recalls both Toph Beifong’s youthful rebellion as well as her current pursuit of enlightenment, Toph’s acceptance of the past. Suyin has flourished as a free, unfettered, buoyant, unbound. Nothing could stop her, Suyin, and she literally changed the world, just as Toph did.
Lin’s character has calcified in the middle-stage of Toph’s life, it would seem. She is martinet and rigid, upholder of law and righteousness. As ill-mannered as Toph was and as reinforced this was by her stubbornness, Lin is the same when it comes to her rectitude. Her capacity for emotional growth has completely stunted as a result.
They parallel each other, ok!