Real life has really gotten in the way of watching and reviewing anime for me but I just had to take the time to wrap up The Legend of Korra now that the first season is officially over. And in the end, it was okay. Only okay.
The show doesn’t really do anything wrong (except for the romance, but let’s face it, The Last Airbender didn’t do that well either) but it failed to do anything great (story wise, that is; the action and animation were exceptional), which is a real let down because The Last Airbender was all sorts of awesome, and paved an easy road for Korra to launch off of.
I know with The Last Airbender being such a good, popular, and long series, Korra had some big shoes to fill, which is always tough but Korra didn’t disappoint in comparison to The Last Airbender just from a comparison perspective; I found it disappointing from a standalone perspective as well. I mean Korra started off so well: it had a good background and rich history, but took on a setting and culture exclusive to itself. The plot had potential and the unfolding story was pretty well paced. Even the characters are enjoyable and amusing. But all these things never reached the height of their full potential. None of the characters were well developed – not even Korra, who probably received the most development, and whose development was most important to the story.
The beginning of Korra’s journey was that she didn’t know how to air bend, and yes, she does finally gain that ability in the end, but it wasn’t particularly well done. I suppose the moment was very fitting for her character and personality: seeing the man she loved in danger, she put forth all her Spiritual energy to bend air. I think what irks me is that Korra has spent a lot of time running around and we see very little of her training – assuming that she’s even been training, that is. When Aang was a developing Avatar, he was running around too, but the show took time to develop his character as the Avatar. Aside from Korra busting in and declaring that she is the Avatar, we haven’t seen Korra push her actually being Avatar – especially in respects to Airbending.
And didn’t I predict that Korra would be able to restore the ability to bend?
Amon (or Noatak)’s ability to take away peoples’ bending was never fully explained, other than it had something to do with Bloodbending, which is a ridiculous thing to gloss over. I don’t think he’s removing peoples’ ability to bend elementally in the same way the Avatar can; I presume he’s performing something like high level chi blocking whereby he closes a chi-channel in the brain or something whereby the victim is rendered unable to bend. But his entire back story is pretty weak. The difference in his character as Amon-Masked: fearless leader of the Equalists, and Amon-Unmasked: liar and Decepticon of Republic City is drastic! And while there wasn’t a whole lot revealed about Noatak as a growing boy and Bloodbender, his stoic personality as a young man seemed more in line with Amon-Masked than Amon-Unmasked. …Except this nagging disconnect as to why Noatak decided to become Amon. Why did he decide to push for Equality through non-bending?
I don’t know what the next season of The Legend of Korra will be like; I don’t know if they’re going to develop the characters more or dive right into another storyline, but I hope it’s the former, because that’s what made The Last Airbender as exceptional as it was. Yes it was a very long series, but it’s because the series was so long and the main storyline was carried through all three seasons that the original series itself was so strong. Every character had its time to be developed, even the side salad characters like Mai and Ty Lee.
Now just to clarify, I did like The Legend of Korra; I just didn’t love it. Will I be watching the next season? Yes. Will I ever re-watch the first season like how I re-watch the original series? Probably not. I have all my favourite Pabu screen shots saved and as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing else to go back for.