The Legend of Korra: Episode Three

For some reason, so far, when I watch The Legend of Korra, I don’t get very excited. I get excited before I watch it, in anticipation of it, but during the episodes… Meh.

Okay maybe “meh” is an unfair reaction – it’s not that bad, but when I re-watch some of the episodes from The Last Airbender, I get pretty happy. Admittedly, a lot of that comes from watching Toph Earthbend. So far I haven’t seen any bending action that compares to what Toph does in The Last Airbender, but I know there’s still lots of room for things to get better. And that’s one of the things The Legend of Korra’s got going for it: potential.

Let’s start with what makes me the least happy: The romance. I have never – ever – been a fan of the romances in Avatar. Never. Not Aang and Katara, not Mai and Zuko, not Suki and Sokka – or Yue and Sokka… They weren’t bad pairings, but they never really fit into the story well, so when it came time to focus on them, they felt unnatural. (Plus there were so many random pairings of Katara with someone else.) Korra and Mako isn’t a bad pairing either but I don’t like the direction they’re taking with it already: the denial, the angst, the snarkiness. I’d much prefer their relationship to be established early, and then moved aside to a supporting role through Korra’s development as Avatar.

The Legend of Korra has good roots, but it still needs to work hard to establish itself apart from The Last Airbender. And I think it can accomplish that with its intriguing story involving the Equalists. There was never any hint of dissension between benders and non-benders in The Last Airbender, so the concept of not just disagreement, but an uprising in the thousands, is something completely new, and completely Korra. There are so many questions to ask, so many speculations to make, and so many theories to consider. Who is Amon, and what is his story? How did he learn how to take away someone’s ability to bend? Will Korra have to learn to work with him, or will they be forever at odds? These are the things that drive people to return to the show week after week, craving more, and if The Legend of Korra paces itself right (only 12 episodes allotted to the first season) it will plow a path that aligns itself to a very successful franchise.

I’m noticing how bending itself might have changed over the past 70 or so years as well; back in Avatar Aang’s days, there weren’t very many Lightningbenders, and the ones we knew of were exclusive to Fire Kingdom royalty. Mako is shown to be a Lightningbender in Episode Three, and has joined a number of other Lightningbenders working at a power plant in Republic City. It makes me wonder if Lightningbending, like Metalbending, can be taught. Up to this point, I was under the impression that Lightningbending was something you were born with, and the only thing that could be taught in regards to Lightningbending was how to transfer lightning through your body. Somehow I don’t think this will be explained though. The other noticeable change is that siblings can be born bending different elements – that is, if Mako and Bolin are actually biological brothers. However, this just might be a result in inter-bending relationships, like Aang and Katara. Of course it’s been established that the ability to bend is granted by the universe, so it makes sense that the universe chooses what you bend as well. And in that case, it isn’t so much a question of genetics when you’re born a bender. If that’s the case, I wonder if two benders of the same element could have a child that bends something completely different. Again I don’t think that’s going to be explained, and I think I should stop thinking out loud now.

One area which needs no improvement is the animal familiars. Naga and Pabu are awesome! And Appa and Momo were a tough act to follow, too. I’m not sure what kind of animal mix Pabu is, maybe a red panda and a ferret (hence the name Fire Ferrets), but he’s adorable. Momo was fun, but he was never the kind of animal I wanted to own. Pabu I would take home in a heartbeat. Or Naga for that matter.

6 Responses to “The Legend of Korra: Episode Three”

  1. 26 April 2012 at 11:13 am

    I never actually saw all of avatar, only episodes here and there. I have been watching Korra and I love it…i wonder if my opinion would change if I had seen the full original.

    • 2 blindability
      27 April 2012 at 7:01 am

      you could watch The Last Airbender after you finish watching Korra; it had a long run and there are a lot of episodes to cover, and they’re not all good. I’m a little envious of you because I can’t even imagine watching Korra without having the Last Airbender as a background. I’m curious to know how your opinion having never seen the Last Airbender differs from mine.

      • 28 April 2012 at 5:31 am

        i do have some background, my girlfriend and my roommate love the franchise and they have told me a lot about it. I always have to ask questions about certain things I don’t understand, when I am watching it. If you keep blogging the franchise I will make sure I comment so we can see how our opinions differ.

  2. 4 Karry
    26 April 2012 at 4:32 pm


    Oh god…

  3. 6 Lykos
    29 April 2012 at 8:51 am

    I agree with allot of what your saying, and to tell you the truth I haven’t really thought too much about the romance aspect of it, and what that means for Korra’s character development. Though I do agree that I hope it is not another Aang/Katara type situation with the romance festering through out the whole series, but really only coming to a head in the last couple of episodes. Though I must admit, I am very happy with the show, I’m exited before, and during the episode, and left with a deep longing for more when its over. And DAMN Naga and Pabu are adorable, can’t help but love the creatures in this franchise! I’m actually blogging this show for xanaanimereview.

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