SPOILER ALERT: This whole post is filled with spoilers on The Legend of Korra, so if you don’t want anything ruined you best go on and get.
This past weekend the people at Korra Nation gave us the first two episodes of The Legend of Korra television series (which are sadly now gone since they were only up for the weekend only). This is the follow-up series to Avatar: The Last Airbender, a brilliant show on Nickelodeon for both kids and adults. Well I watched Korra and well…
Oh my god, this was such a good way to bring us in. The show had us get Korra’s personality the moment we saw her burst through a wall bending Earth, Water, and Fire saying “I’m the Avatar! You gotta deal with it!” You know this is a young woman who does not take crap from anybody.
Korra is a strong, stubborn, powerful person and she knows it. She is a 17-year-old who wants to experience the world but has so many responsibilities she feels tied down. She knows she has power but also is terrible at the spiritual aspects of her role in the world. She fights with her teacher but will go out and protect shopkeepers. Korra questions and defies authority but does try to follow the rules as best she can so she’s a great role model as much as she is fun to watch.
Every introduction of a character gives us plentiful information about them. Seeing Tenzin and family fly in (on a Sky Bison!) and we already receive a plethora of information.
Tenzin is a somewhat patient if tired man who has a handful for a family. His wife Pema is exhausted trying to raise three airbenders, with another child (possibly a bender as well) on the way. Jinora is the quiet eldest daughter who is smart enough to know when her father pleas for her to not be as difficult a teen as Korra, that she makes no promises. Ikki is the middle child and chatty as can be with an inquisitive nature to match. Finally there’s Meelo and… that boy aint right, and I love him for it, the kid is nuts. This is all stuff we get in the first few minutes of meeting them. That is some swift storytelling there, folks. Kitara shows up to tease long-time fans about Zuko’s mother, that is such a sick burn to the audience.
We get a new animal best friend to love in the Polar-Bear-Dog, Nana, this is a toy that will sell like mad since who wouldn’t want a bear-dog hybrid that you could ride around on? The music for this show is amazing as it was described as “if China had developed jazz music”. The animation is top notch with crazy amounts of detail given to the setting of Republic City and the fights, both bending and mundane.
Oh my sweet mercy, the fighting in this show. In the original show we had 4 martial arts represent the 4 kinds of bending, now that pro-bending (a competitive sport version of bending) is being introduced we are being shown a Mixed-Martial-Arts evolution to bending styles that give the world more depth and logic. It’s also a fictional sport I found myself actually interested in.
We also get two characters from this end with the brothers Mako, the moody loner firebender and Bo Lin, the wise cracking ladies man earthbender. There is trouble a brewing in Republic City with the Equalists forming with an Anti-Bender movement on the rise and with bending organized crime, it’s not too hard to see their points.
Okay, so now I’ve talked about what the show is but let me get to why this show is awesome. This was a long shot, pretty much everyone was expecting this to not live up to the monumentally high expectations. Yet it did, these characters we meet feel like real people. You have probably met Tenzin and his family (I’m pretty sure I was Meelo at that age), Korra is someone you’ve probably argued with and still wished to be friends with, Bo Lin has probably hit on you or a friend of yours. These characters are new yet instantly recognizable and lovable. You want to watch these people develop and carry on in this world, you want to watch them succeed and feel bad when they fail.
The world we once knew is altogether different in Republic City but it still feels familiar to us, we really have just moved forward in time. You want to explore the city, try the food, dance to the music, and buy stuff from the shops. YOU WANT TO WATCH AND PLAY PRO-BENDING AND THEN GET SAD THAT THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE. The game looks so cool and I can’t believe they made a fictional sport enjoyable and still make sense.
The show has a great lead who happens to be female, a cast of characters that are a variety of ethnic (fictional with factual basis) backgrounds, and a strong sense of characters and story.
The Legend of Korra was wonderful and I cannot wait for more episodes to come our way. The show premieres April 14th on Nickelodeon.