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Sunday, 28 of May of 2017

Tag » The Legend of Korra

The Legend of Korra – “Skeletons in the Closet” & “Endgame”

“Fate caused us to collide.”

KorraTitleCardThat was a big roller coaster now wasn’t it?

I’m going to keep my thoughts pretty focused on just these two episodes since I have a wrap-up post over at TV.com (and if you’ve been following along here, you generally know what I’ve been concerned about and also enjoying). Which is good since there’s a lot of stuff to talk about just within these two episodes that this post might’ve gotten a little unwieldy if I tried to incorporate season ending thoughts as well. Read more »


The Legend of Korra – “Turning the Tides”

“I made it very clear: I don’t know how to drive.”

KorraTitleCardAction-heavy episodes like this one are among the worst things to write about it. I can highlight the excellent direction by Joaquim Dos Santos (aka Dr. Fight) and Ki Hyun Ryu, but you already know they’re excellent. And you can’t not mention the storyboard artists who routinely deliver dynamic work that is then brought to life by Studio Mir and their animation director Han Gwang Il.

And it’s all great. Action sequences on Korra are never incoherent and show a knack for cleverness (how awesome was it when Mako re-directed the mecha’s electrical charge back to it? Answer: Very awesome) that I really don’t think any show matches it (if there is one, please let me know so I can watch).

It does mean, however, that there’s not too much to dig into, so if this is a little short, I apologize in advance. Read more »


The Legend of Korra – “Out of the Past”

“You’re safe now.”

KorraTitleCardWell, we were due for something of an even episode after the general air of intensity we’ve been experiencing since “And the Winner is…”. The episode isn’t bad, but it doesn’t have the same dynanism as even “The Aftermath” had. But perhaps this is because I’ve come not to like episodes that are focused on answering questions instead of telling a story (I blame some of Lost for this).

“Out of the Past” also has the unfortunate position of needing to resolve the Tarrlok story so the remaining three episodes of the season can focus fully on the last push against Amon. (Did you catch those previews for the 1-hour (meaning 2 episodes) finale? Cray-cray.) As a result, the episode feels more like a prerequisite than a strong unit of narrative in the grand scheme of things.

But at least the last five or eight minutes were pretty good. Read more »


The Legend of Korra – “When Extremes Meet”

“Please help us. You’re our Avatar, too.”

KorraTitleCardWell then.

I’ve been dinging the show (ever so lightly) for its not demonstrating any oppression of non-benders. Sure, the council is comprised entirely of benders, as is the police force, but since the show hasn’t completely explored those as issues for non-benders, and Amon’s speeches have never leaned too heavily on the idea that the lawmakers and law enforcers are benders (though it seems like a ripe avenue for speechifying).

But with “When Extremes Meet” we finally get to see some of that oppression, all in the name of safety (of a select few)!, begin to play out. And it’s genuinely exciting and horrifying with small moments that sell the notion of oppression that the series hasn’t made a convincing case of until now.   Read more »


The Legend of Korra – “The Aftermath”

“You can’t be afraid to mix it up sometimes.”

KorraTitleCardDamn you, Daniel Dae Kim! You turned out to be Gavin Park and not Jin Kwon!

Anyway, apart from my feelings of voice casting betrayal, “The Aftermath” offers a bit of place setting for the remainder of the season after Amon’s big showcase at the pro-bending final. But it kind of zips by, too. Perhaps it was just my mood, but I felt like the episode was a little disjointed between the “Sato-mobile racing!” and “Law & Order: Republic City.” The two halves didn’t quite fit for me, and I generally preferred the second half to the lighter first half (though Bolin and Pabu still manage to slay me).

Read more »


The Legend of Korra – “And the Winner Is…”

Anybody else want to scrap with the champs?”

KorraTitleCardGood grief, show. I mean, I was already liking you. But now I kind of love you. Like, I’m going to buy you something nice. What would you like? Tickets to Ember Island? No, no, you seem more adventurous, so perhaps a guided tour of Serpent’s Pass? (Don’t worry, we’re not going to the Great Divide (why would ANYONE want to go there?!).)

Gushy-gush aside, “And the Winner Is…” should be the episode that convinces any stragglers of the show’s quality to be quiet (provided there were any). It’s a well-executed episode that blends the previous series’s mix of humor, romance, and action to then add in the dashes of the political intrigue that Korra is excelling in thus far. It is, in short, perhaps the epitome of what this series is thus far. Read more »


The Legend of Korra – “The Spirit of Competition”

“Girls.”
“Seriously.”

KorraTitleCardI found myself rather charmed by “The Spirit of Competition”, even if I do feel it all ends a little too neatly, romance-wise. The episode isn’t particularly high stakes, with only a passing mention or two of Tarrlok and his task force and Amon’s ambush not even registering as an event (which seems odd, but the episode has other concerns). Instead, we push forward on the romantic and pro-bending front.

This isn’t to suggest that the episode is going to be one of those episodes I’ll re-watch on a rainy (or any) day (Hi, “The Blind Bandit” and “The Drill”!), largely because the romantic entanglements don’t particularly interest me and the pro-bending plot here is pretty by-the-numbers. But, really, the episode is just do so damn funny and elements of the romantic entanglements are refreshing enough that it kind of won me over. Read more »


The Legend of Korra – “The Voice in the Night”

Why do you smell like a lady?

KorraTitleCardThese kinds of episodes irk me just a tad. This isn’t to say the episode is bad, just that it feels very much like a first-parter to me, and first-parters are always kind of lacking in the sense of feeling like both contained episodes and episodes that add to the overall serialized narrative. Yes, it ends on a cliffhanger AND a crazy flashback montage, but it feels incomplete as an episode.

But there is plenty to like in “The Voice in the Night,” including seeing how politics and the press are playing into the life of the Avatar now. We’ve gotten little tastes of this before in A:TLA, but that was mostly through Fire Nation propaganda and Aang’s concern for what is his role was in the world. Now Korra is not only having to deal with figuring out her role but also what role the world (or at least Republic City) expects of her. Read more »


The Legend of Korra – “The Revelation”

“Ah! Stop! I want! To be! On! Your back!”

KorraTitleCardI was talking with sava earlier this week about the conclusion of Avatar: The Last Airbender, specifically Ozai’s fate. It wasn’t something I was particularly happy with it as I felt like it was something of a deus ex machina, while admitting that the show had very few options open to it in dealing with Ozai.

And now that deus ex machina is back, and I’m forced to determine what, exactly, its role is here. After the jump, there’s going to be a discussion of it, and what it means, so spoilers for TLA‘s last episode are going to figure heavily into that, just as warning.

The episode, as a whole, however, is fairly solid as we see more of the seedy underside of Republic City, and there are a couple of interesting question going forward about where bending fits into this society. Read more »


The Legend of Korra – “Welcome to Republic City” & “A Leaf in the Wind”

“This girl is crazy.”

KorraTitleCardI caught up on Avatar: The Last Airbender in a matter of weeks before the series finale. I had caught Toph’s first episode randomly a year or so before, was interested, but never pursued the show until I heard it was ending. I was working at a Blockbuster at the time and used my free rentals to watch the show in 4 episode chunks.

It was a  great experience, though sadly one I wasn’t able to share with people (no Twitter or TV blog at the time). So when folks I follow on Twitter asked for shows to catch up on, I pointed them to Avatar (depending on if they were willing to watch not only animation, but an animated show that was aimed at children). It’s a rich show with strong characters, gorgeous animation, and excellent writing that balances comedy and pathos in equal measure. It’s a show that anyone can watch and enjoy.

So, needless to say, a follow-up series to that show was pretty much the best news possible for me and a lot of other people. As news about the series started to leak out, particularly the first trailer, questions arose about what the show would be as it introduced things like cars, radios, electricity, and more blimps/airships. What role does this technology play in a world with bending? How does it affect the tone of a series that previously used technology sparingly (or in conjunction with bending)?

And those are just questions of setting. What about the characters? What’s Korra like? Who are the supporting characters? Who’s the villain (though, as we know, that’s can be a complicated question for this series)? Was it worth the wait?

The short answer, so far anyway, is an enthusiastic yes.

Read more »