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Old 03-25-2012, 11:37 AM
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Default The Legend of Korra

Nick has posted the first two episodes of this online. I did enjoy the two episodes and here are my reviews of them. Note I saw episode two a week after I saw episode one and that they're pretty long reviews.

Though Legend Of Korra isn't technically just a spinoff of Avatar The Last Airbender, I would consider it as one. Or at the very least, the sequal story. And thinking about this is really the third "sequal story" series Nicktoon we've had. First was All Grown Up (and I guess Pre School Daze though I don't know if you'd call that a series) and then there was the recent failure of Planet Sheen. And now we have Korra succeed where those two shows for the most part failed. And I'm not just saying that because A:TLA was better then Rugrats and Jimmy Neutron so a spinoff of that is better then a spinoff of those other shows, but because there's always a feeling of weird disconnect yet at the same time familarity that dosen't make the series work. Probably because the spinoffs usually are written by different crews of writer and directors so they don't feel like the same tone of the original even if they do sometimes ride on it's coat tails (like another recent spinoff the Cleveland Show). So there's a feeling of offness that from the original series. However with this being written and created by the original team of Mike and Brian and their original staff the same feeling is kept. And unlike other spinoffs which just seem like an excuse to tell the same sort of adventures with different characters or different take on characters, Korra feels original in it's own right and in truth actually gets off on a better footing then the original Avatar series did.

Actually thinking about it though the first season of Avatar had it's moments, it's inital beginning episodes weren't the greatest. Trying to rush things (though not as much as the movie) in introducing the characters and set up and not really having time to connect the emotions and the fight scenes well... not really flowing as well as we'd see later on in the series. Not to mention there were a lot of prinicpal characters they were trying to set up in the first episode and try to get you to know their stories: Not just Aang but also Katara, Sokka, Zuko, Iroh and even some of the state of the world. Thankfully Korra's first epsiode focuses us on Korra and getting to know here and just setting up roles for the rest of the cast to expand on later on. And though there are a couple of problems with pacing and delievery (Tenzin coming just to say he wouldn't be able to train Korra and his speech at the end allowing her to stay in Republic City) and some overdone bits of exposition here and there, I couldn't spot any real problems with the series. In fact I probably would of liked this episode a lot more if I didn't see clips of it throughout the last few weeks showing Korra first becoming Avatar, entering Reuplic City and running from the police etc. But that's not the fault of the series: that's my fault for watching ahead of time when I know that ruins the expierence for me.

And like I said there's a lot to like from this outing. First off though Korra isn't as rough or outgoing as I thought I still liked her spirit in wanting to learn to train in airbending to learn the spirtual side of bending, and wanting to stay seeing some of the rotten parts of Reubplic City. And yeah nice to see an Avatar who is more open to some fighting then Aang was since really it's still an action series so you do sort of want a hero who is fine with action. Plus I like the little set ups we did get with the character: getting to see how stiff and annoyed Tenzin was at certain things, the dynamic with his kids, Katara encouraging Korra to go off (ala how her own Grandmother encouraged Korra to go off in the original series), the pettition of the equalists, Lin having issues with Korra (guess she takes after her grandparents in wanting order) and even the set up of Amon at the end. Yeah it was a line but hey if you get it spoken by Steven Blum that usually at least makes it cool. Plus besides the fight there were some funny bits: Jinora asking what happened to Zuko's mom and us getting denied the story (heh what are you saving that for down the line guys? Cause if you are let us know since we do want to see that), Korra failing to insult the Equalists pettitoner properly, Korra and Jin having a stand off, "Don't bring my mother into this!" and the little press meeting at the end. So yeah a lot of good things to start off this series and hope for even better things as it continues on. Since if like it's predecssor the weakest part of Korra is it's beginning then it may even surprass it's original series in being an excellent Nicktoon.

Obviously this is still the beginning of the show and we do have to go through with some exposition and set up. But not only was this one not nearly as much as the last episode, it wasn't spoiled as much as well. Thus though I knew a good deal that would happen (this would introduce Mako and Bolin and Korra would join their pro bending team) there were still some surprises (just like how she would play out in a pro bending team or that right out the gate we'd have some Mako/Korra shipping) that I enjoyed playing out. Plus though there was a lesson in this episode it was one of those interesting "having to learn more about your frustrating element" episode, which is good to see us have one with air.

I really enjoyed "The Waterbending Scroll" because it showed how frustrated Katara was at not being as great as Waterbending as she beleived and her annoyance at Aang and herself at not picking up her element quickly. And in "Bitter Work" seeing how Aang couldn't see how to do things like an earthbender due to it not being in his nature. And then "The Firebending Masters" with Aang's fear of firebending and Zuko's having to change due to him having to change. And here we are given a good reason why Korra can't really airbending: the spirtual side isn't really in her nature and moving as fluidily isn't how she operates. Even from what we've seen so far she seems more like someone who dives into something directly and impvosies through strength, not dexterity or agility which are keys to bending. And yeah it's also nice to see this is Tenzin's fault as well. Who tries to have things both ways too much: giving her far too many restrictions yet tryng to show that airbending is about freedom and soul and not showing much really of either. Also nice how that translates into the bending match at the end with Korra weaving through the opponents and giving Mako and Bolin a chance to get out of the hold they were in to fire back. And yeah speaking of the bending matches they do actually work. Since this is suppose to be a non deadly sport with rules it makes sense they have various zones and each team has various focuses on what to do and even seeing how some teams try different strategies as well. So it will be more interesting seeing how more of these matches play out in the future.

So what about the newly introduced characters? Well since we've only seen a bit of Mako and Bolin we get their basic character descriptions with only the hintings of more depth. So they play out like expected: Bolin's the more hyperactive, energetic and charmer of the group, channeling sort of a Sokka esque character but so far not just being portrayed as the joke of the group. As hey seems even Korra's failings can be shown for comedy as well (more on that later). And then there's Mako who seems like the more serious, and brooding Zuko esque character. Though at least it took him more then a season to show more of his compassionate and understanding side which is nice. Though since this was more on Korra and the pro bending side of their struggle not much else on them but we'll learn in time. I do like how in their focus we don't get any bits of Amon and his Equalists which would of felt out of place here. I'm glad they're not having them put in every episode just because they're the villians yet and can have a show without villians yet still have a good structure too it.

Plus like the last episode there were good bits of comedy in this one: Korra banging around through the doors not understanding how to weave and spin, Korra listening into the radio match and trying to technically point out to Tenzin she wasn't watching it, Bolin and Korra having to deny they're more then friends (kind of more subtle humor which I like), Mako calling Korra one of Bolin's raving fangirls, another pretty subtle joke of Korra seeming offended at Bolin assuming she's just a waterbender, Meelo acting like he hated Tenzin after Korra stormed off "promise me you won't be like that when you become teenagers" "I make no promises" and Korra pointing out she joined Mako and Bolin's team permantley very quickly.

Any real negatives of this one? Well parts were predictable and I guess a bit more time could of been given to showcase some more depths of Bolin and Mako. But those are really the only problems I have. Otherwise I liked this more then the first episode which I really enjoyed and hope that this show gets even better in the coming weeks.
Old 04-09-2012, 08:49 AM
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I haven't seen it yet. Hell, I wasn't even aware production was done. Thanks for supporting such a good franchise, Nick. Damn shame if this is really just gonna be online. Hopefully it's possible success can spawn more SEQUELS (no "A" in it) and spin-offs that actually air on TV. I know they'd much rather spend their time competing with Disney's kiddie-sitcoms, but they still have Nicktoons for action shows and such.

I really wish they would capitalize on it to match CN's DC Nation/Thundecat's.

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