Avatar: The Legend of Korra

Wait: How did I not hear about this!?

I know Avatar: the Last Airbender isn’t technically anime because it’s not Japanese, and I remember getting really confused when I first watched the original series because I wondered how this particular “anime” had such good English dubbing, only to learn later that it was an American produced series (by Nickelodeon). The Legend of Korra follows the original series, beginning approximately 70 years after the end of The Last Airbender, and focuses on Korra, the new Avatar.

There are a few differences to note off the bat between the two Avatars: In The Last Airbender, Aang had only mastered Air Bending, while in The Legend of Korra, Korra is adept at Water, Fire, and Earth Bending at a young age. Aang’s age during the run of the series was 12-years old; Korra is 17 to start. Aang is male; Korra is female. One of the main challenges for Aang was to bring peace and restore balance in a world that had been dominated by the Fire Nation; 70 years later, Korra faces a whole set of different issues in a completely changed world, including growing segregation between benders and non-benders (think humans versus mutants in X-Men), civil unrest, and tyrannical triads.

I really, really liked the original Avatar: the Last Airbender, and though I felt the ending was rushed – not that it wasn’t well-concluded, just that some questions remained unanswered – and I’d heard the live action movie was terrible, it’s still probably one of my most favourite series of all time. The whole world of Avatar – the geography, the nationalism, the division of benders, and the concept of elemental bending itself – is so well explained through the series and its characters. It had a good mix of action and comedy (and there was romance too – and I don’t doubt there will be a romantic story in Legend of Korra) with awesome fight scenes and solid characters. Now… as to whether or not it’s necessary to have seen the original series (and we’re talking 61 episodes here) before watching Legend of Korra… I’m not sure I can say, having seen all 61 episodes before starting the Legend of Korra, but I’m going to say it’s not essential. The series opens in the same fashion as before: with a narrative and with visualizations of what elemental bending is. It also mentions in passing the basic plot of what the first “season” covered – that is Aang’s journey in not only becoming Avatar, but of how he and his friends brought an end to the 100 Year War.

The characters in this series are completely new, with Katara being the only pre-existing character who’s carried over from the original. But the original characters are far from lost and forgotten as we learn their children are the ones in charge now. Most notable are Tenzin, Katara and Aang’s youngest son, and Lin Beifong, Toph’s daughter. No doubt the offsprings of Sokka (x Suki) and Zuko (x Mai) will pop up sooner or later in the 26 episodes of Legend of Korra.

The first two settings introduced in this new world is the White Lotus headquarter located in the South Pole, and the established metropolis known as Republic City.  After escaping from her South Pole safe house, Korra begins a new life in Republic City, learning Air Bending under the tutelage of Tenzin, making new friends, and discovering she’s just a small town girl entering a much bigger world. The animation and character designs are still distinguishably Last Airbender-esque, with vivid colours, amusing expressions, and well choreographed and exciting fights.

Due to a show in popularity for the series, the first two episodes of The Legend of Korra were released early as a one-hour special, but the official release date is April 14th. The first season is said to contain 12 episodes, saving the remaining 14 for a second season.

So this isn’t technically Japanese anime, and it wasn’t mentioned in our Spring Preview (actually, this is where I found out about it – thanks Xana and Lykos!), but I am SO. EXCITED. And if you’re excited then let me know because then I won’t feel so bad when I bring it up now and then as the series runs through its first season. (I’m just kidding. I wouldn’t actually feel bad.)

17 Responses to “Avatar: The Legend of Korra”

  1. 1 flareknight
    3 April 2012 at 9:49 am

    I’m equally excited about the Korra series. Actually picked up some of the boxsets from the original Avatar and rewatched it a few months back. It really was a good series and I liked how they built up the world that the characters were living in. We’ll have to see how the characters in this one turn out since it is a fresh batch.

    They definitely worked to make Korra a completely different entity from Aang. Obviously both Avatars, but very different people. No surprise since their lives went in very different directions.

    Personally hope we won’t see too many of the kids from the original series. May force me to bring up my complaints about Zuko and Mai…

    This should be really fun. Sure it’s not Japanese anime, but it’s something I’ll be checking out. I’m pretty excited so I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts on it from time to time.

    • 2 blindability
      4 April 2012 at 11:12 am

      You had complaints about ZukoXMai? Why? Too forced? They weren’t my favourite couple, but then again, I was never a fan of the romance found in Avatar; it wasn’t poorly done, it’s just that there were more interesting things to focus on in the series, haha.

      If you’re really interested in the new characters, you can be a nerd and look them up on the different sites I linked; and if you go to korranation.com, they post official character sketches and stuff. You can also become a member of Korra Nation… not that I have or anything…

      • 3 flareknight
        4 April 2012 at 12:17 pm

        In the end it was about personal preference. I just thought Zuko should have ended up with someone more….interesting? Suppose I just didn’t like Mai that much. They could have had some more fun there especially from the political aspect. Fire Nation daughter from noble family and son of the Fire Lord seemed too obvious. It was just something to nitpick at when the series had finally wrapped up.

        Oh I’m sure that I’ll be part of Korra Nation. They did a good enough job with the original Avatar that I have faith.

        On a side note I find it funny how Avatar got it’s name stolen by the movie Avatar. The movie they made did suck, but just funny they couldn’t call it Avatar even though the animated series came first.

  2. 4 Cely_belly
    3 April 2012 at 9:59 am

    I love the Avatar series. I just recently found out about it as well. Judging from the first episode, it looks pretty promising.

  3. 3 April 2012 at 10:17 am


    • 3 April 2012 at 10:20 am

      I am going to poop right in my pants if I can find the first episode in good quality.

      • 7 blindability
        4 April 2012 at 11:15 am

        haha. I found it on kickasstorrents – if you do torrents. Just search “The Legend of Korra” and it’ll come up. Actually, the one I have is episodes one and two together (since it was a one hour special). So that’s two poops for you.

        I guess that means you should grab a new pair of pants then?

  4. 3 April 2012 at 11:13 am

    haha i’m glad you found out about it from our site! lykos will be blogging every episode.

  5. 10 Karry
    3 April 2012 at 1:30 pm

    “the concept of elemental bending itself – is so well explained”

    Not REALLY well. For example, how is bending element inherited ? Geographically ? What if two waterbenders settle in Fire nation, what will their children bend ? What if two different benders mate – what element is inherited in children ? How the hell does earth and water benders can just float stuff in the air, without using, well, AIR ? How is it possible to not get burned in any way by your own flames when firebending ?

    • 11 blindability
      4 April 2012 at 11:34 am

      hmm; I hope you’re ready for a really long answer. I have to admit that I probably fill in a lot of the gaps myself and “make it so” even though it’s really just wild speculation, but here’s what I think in regards to the questions you’ve asked:

      Elemental bending is passed down from generation to generation, but I don’t know if I would call it a genetic inheritance. The Last Airbender placed a lot of emphasis on balance, and where the Avatar is chosen through “universal guidance”, I believe a particular affinity for a particular element is granted the same way. So for your other question about two different benders “mating” (haha), take Aang and Katara for example: they had three children – we’re unsure of what the two older children had an affinity for – or if they were benders at all – but only their youngest child was an airbender. This was necessary from a universal perspective since Aang was the last surviving airbender. Also, as a continuation of this, Tenzin (Aang and Katara’s youngest child) has three children with a fourth on the way; all are airbenders.

      If two waterbenders settled in the Fire Nation and had baby benders, they would likely be waterbenders. The nations were established when people who bended the same or similar elements gathered together, and reproduced.

      I don’t recall seeing any waterbenders or earthbenders floating around; it might just be “movie magic” and they’re not floating so much as momentarily suspended from their super kick-off force.

      And last but not least, I think the reason why firebenders don’t get burned by their own fire is because – especially for fire and air benders – the element they can produce from within their bodies is at first, energy or chi. When the chi is moved outside their body, it becomes elemental. So when firebenders are emitting or absorbing fire, they turn it from energy into fire, and from fire into energy, and therefore, are only ever in contact with the energy aspect. I’m sure they get burned if they’re not skilled – like when Zuko got burned by his father; he probably didn’t have the skill and quickness to convert that fire back into energy, thus sustaining damage.

      Sorry for the lengthy reply. I know that doesn’t actually answer any of your questions, but this is what I tell myself when these kinds of questions pop into my head. And who knows: maybe we’ll learn more about this from The Legend of Korra.

  6. 6 April 2012 at 3:22 am

    I like how they approach the new series as minority vs majority story and avoid repeating the same concept of the The Last Airbender (which was about the tyranny vs the oppressed).

    I wonder if I will be seeing any more flying bison? It hurts to think that they extinct and Appa was the last. Maybe Appa had a son hidden somewhere…

  7. 15 jGLZA
    11 April 2012 at 7:39 am

    I may not officially be an anime but deep down in all our hearts it certainly is.

  8. 20 April 2012 at 11:13 am

    so… I guess you like the first 2 episodes?

    • 17 blindability
      20 April 2012 at 11:20 am

      Did you not?

      I like the Nickelodeon Avatar franchise in general; I liked Avatar: The Last Airbender. I’m also really excited to see the return of the series with a vastly different continuation, but so far I’m not hugely impressed with The Legend of Korra – but it’s still early. My main concern is that with Korra being older than Aang was in The Last Airbender, and being a girl, there will be more of a focus on her romance with Mako.

      But Imma definitely watch it!

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