I have not watched Avatar The Last Airbender
. I did not really feel much desire to watch the show, nor its sequel; I only caught an episode of it by accident. However, that one episode piqued my interest, and I tried out the rest. The conclusion is good: Legend of Korra is astounding so far.
The animation is gorgeous. While I'm not an anime fan, the style works for the heavy action sequences because it allows the characters' bodies to move fluidly. The action scenes are all incredible and smooth, and the angles are well-chosen to emphasize the movement of the "bending" abilities. The color palette is rich; instead of using only bright colors, it goes for a variety of more muted hues that fit the urban setting. Speaking of which, I love the city; the design is a blend of Imperial Japan, roaring 20's USA, and traditional Asian style that feels alive. Scenes like the ineffectual park guard yelling at Korra for assaulting an equalist make the world feel larger than the conflicts between the main characters, which I feel is a good thing.
The characters are likeable. Korra at first can seem like your typical Idiot Hero
, since she is emotional and stubborn to a silly extent, but her free-spirited attitude is treated both positively and negatively, and it's certainly not the only part of the character. Some of her conflicts, especially that in the fourth episode, are surprisingly relatable. She feels natural, instead of just being pieced together to please one demographic. Definitely one of my favorite protagonists I've seen in a cartoon. Mako and Bolin are decent. Bolin's best moments so far are in episode 3, where he expresses optimism and pessimism in his own way; however, his humor might get a bit grating. Mako seems like the stereotypical "bad boy", especially in his debut, but I grew to like him and his more normal persona. Tenzin is a great mentor character because he's not just a one-dimensional mentor who is always right or always proven wrong; because he makes mistakes but still means well, the audience sympathizes with him.
One of the issues I had with Young Justice was that it felt very deliberate, as if the advertisers just yelled out "This is a serious show
" to everyone watching. Transformers Prime, while very good in other ways, features the same problem. Legend of Korra is thankfully better. Can't wait for episode 5!