Reviews Comments: (first two episodes review) A very different direction than the first cartoon

(first two episodes review) A very different direction than the first cartoon
Avatar The Last Airbender was about a group of kids and teens who traveled the world, going from place to place and not stopping for long, in an attempt to end a war started by an obvious villain with a standard "take over the world" goal. It was set in a world of Asian mythology similar to society a few hundred years ago.

The sequel makes it clear early on that it is a very different cartoon providing a very different experience. Korra is not a kid who hangs out with kid friends; she is a teenager, and a very headstrong one. In fact, characterization is one thing I feel is very well done in this show, as Korra is believable with her mixture of flaws and virtues. She wants to do the right thing, but is reckless and impulsive and impatient. She feels like a real human being.

The world is very different from the previous show, to the point where I can say it's a different genre. Technology that is largely 20th century exists alongside the "bending" magic of the original show, so we can see how people who can manipulate earth, air, water and fire would live in a society similar to ours, where cars, radio and pro wrestling - I mean, pro bending - tournaments all exist. We are shown the things that everyday people do, the things they do for fun and the things they care about.

And speaking of things they care about, we are soon introduced to a very vocal anti-bending faction that feels discriminated against by the benders. Korra of course is quick to protest this despite not being familiar with the situation and being new to Republic City, but it isn't long before she witnesses a gang of benders extorting money from a non-bender, and we see what the anti-bending faction is upset about.

Which leads me to my next point. Even though only the first two episodes have been released thus far as a special promotion, it already looks like this show will deal with more complex nuances than "Big Bad wants to take over world, stop him!" Themes of discrimination, prejudice and distrust, and even good ideas gone horribly wrong already appear early on. With the show set in one location, there's room for far more character development, and we will likely see how Republic City itself changes over time.

So far, a great showing for a very different sequel.


Agreeable review, but there's one nitpick here:

an obvious villain with a clearly evil name: Fire Lord Ozai.

Uh, "Fire Lord" is the title for all rulers of the Fire Nation, including Zuko at the end of the show. Does that make him "clearly evil" now? Sure, he's doing some bad shit in "The Promise" graphic novel, but that doesn't make being Fire Lord inherently evil.
comment #13712 ManwiththePlan 7th Apr 12 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)
I know that Fire Lord doesn't mean that he is evil, but before you learn what a Fire Lord is, it fits the stereotype of what you'd expect from the name. Cartoon villains tend to have words like "lord" and other such intimidating sounding things in their name, and fire is a destructive element. Even if not all Fire Lords are evil, it sounds evil to someone who isn't yet familiar with the concept. That's why I said he had an "obviously evil" name.
comment #13713 BonsaiForest 7th Apr 12
It hints, it sounds like, yet it hardly makes it "obvious". If it was darkness lord or shadow emperor or something that it's inheritable evil 90% of the time it's used, then that's more of a case. And lord is too broadly used to be associated with evil, after all it has been used as the most common translation for the Japanese honorific sama.
comment #13714 marcellX 7th Apr 12
Okay. Changing review slightly.
comment #13715 BonsaiForest 7th Apr 12
sorry, was just a clarification, I wouldn't had bat an eye at it until you and Manwiththe Plan started talking about it. Moving on, I liked the premise of Korra already knowing 3 bending styles, it means it wont be repetitive, that and the fact that we'll have a more detailed struggle trying to learn an element. Air should be the most difficult element for someone of Korra's personality and it wont be overcome in the same episode like when Aang tried to learn earthbending. Although I'm a little afraid that the show may not be as long as it's predecessor because of it's more mature and complex themes, giving it a smaller audience and because of the channel that airs it.
comment #13716 marcellX 7th Apr 12
As I recall, I think 26 episodes were ordered - 13 for 2 seasons. So there's a planned ending and length. It definitely doesn't look like the sort of thing kids can like as much as the original cartoon, with its more serious characterizations and reduced amount of humor. It's aimed at a different audience, a not exactly "Nickelodeon" audience.
comment #13720 BonsaiForest 7th Apr 12
It more seems to be aimed at the fans of the old show who are now mostly teenagers themselves.
comment #13899 LongGunner15 19th Apr 12
Yeah, I figured that also. While that's good in a way, what keeps a franchise alive is bringing in fresh viewers. I'm thinking that The Legend Of Korra will be the sendoff for the series.
comment #13908 BonsaiForest 20th Apr 12

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