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Shout Out / The Legend of Korra

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Shout-Out examples for The Legend of Korra.

In General

  • There is a bridge with the distinctive silhouette of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, with less obvious allusions to Golden Gate Park, and infamous high-security prison Alcatraz.
  • The Avatar Aang memorial statue on its Island is strongly reminiscent of the Statue of Liberty.
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  • The character Mako is a shout out to the deceased voice actor of Iroh in the original series, Mako Iwamatsu.
  • Asami Sato is not a visual Shout-Out to Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist. Their similarities were completely unintentional, but Bryan Konietzko embraced it in a Tumblr post after having it pointed out to him, since he thinks Lust has a beautiful character design. He did, however, give her Lusts' lipstick color. Asami's general design was inspired by 1940's film actresses, with her hair based on Rita Hayworth's.
  • Hiroshi Sato, inventor of the Satomobile, is an obvious reference to Henry Ford, inventor of the Model T.
  • Varrick, on the other hand, is a fairly obvious Expy of Howard Hughes and a myriad of eccentric fictional inventors/entrepreneurs based on his persona, most notably Tony Stark. The similarity is acknowledged further when he develops suits of Powered Armor for Kuvira and is being forced to work for her at gunpoint to create a superweapon.
    • Zhu Li is in a very similar situation to Pepper Potts, having trouble conveying her feelings for her brilliant but extremely ego-centered boss.

"Book 1"

  • When told they need money to compete in a tournament, Bolin asks Korra if she has a secret account filled with gold.
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  • "The Aftermath" also features a brief racing segment, set to music that's similar to the Speed Racer theme.
  • The Mecha tanks built by Hiroshi Sato bear a strong resemblance to the Big Daddies of BioShock.
  • Amon himself is an homage to several anime characters
    • He is conflicted villain who wears a Cool Mask, uses immoral means to achieve otherwise benevolent goals, and has a long-lost relative. Amon IS A CHAR clone
    • And then there are the similarities between Amon and Lelouch from Code Geass. They are both masterminds hiding behind masks to conceal their identity, which contradicts with the propaganda they feed their followers, and their uniformed mooks fight against the establishment by using non-conventional tactics and increasingly more powerful technology given to them by a genius scientist/inventor. Hell, Amon's first appearance with the line of Equalists behind him is practically the same shot as Lelouch first appearing as Zero with the black knights behind him.
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"Book 2"

  • Varrick's motion picture from "Rebel Spirit" is a Avatar-verse version of "Sallie Gardner at a Gallop".
    • The co-star for Varrick's "mover" is a red-headed actress named Ginger, now why does she sound familiar?
    • Varrick later creates a film serial titled "Nuktuk, the Hero of the South", with Bolin in the lead role. It's reminiscent of 30s sci-fi serials like Flash Gordon while doubling as pro-South propaganda. Further, its title references ''Nanook of the North, a classic "documentary" on the Inuit (of whom the Water Tribe are a partial Fantasy Counterpart Culture).
  • Tonraq saying he had been running from the past for so long in "Civil Wars part 2" is similar to what Simba from The Lion King said.
  • Wan is introduced like Aladdin: a thin young man, having just stolen a loaf of bread, is running through the city streets chased by well-armed fat men.
  • There are a number in the "Beginnings" episodes towards Hayao Miyazaki's films. Spirits have a procession towards a hot spring and the disguised human is found out by smell. Wan rides a deer-like creature while trying to stop humans and spirits from killing each other. Remind you of anything?
  • Wan, the first Avatar, stole fire from the spirits to help the humans survive, just like the Greek mythological figure Prometheus stole fire from the gods to help humanity. Both were punished for their actions.
  • Continues in "A New Spiritual Age", where Korra has her age changed and finds that her emotions, especially strong ones, can influence her surroundings in the Spirit World, similar to Sophie in Howl's Moving Castle. She also rides a dragon she rescued, like Chihiro in Spirited Away.
    • At the same time, a little girl wanders about a fantastic world of unusual geometries with talking plants and animals, including in a significant tea party full of Cloud Cuckoolanders? Are we talking about Korra or Alice?
    • A few of them also look like Pokémon and "mushi"; the green No-Face expy's flat face is similar to a character from Rice Boy.
  • While giving humans the power to control an element (in this case, fire) in "Beginning Part 1," the Lion-turtle tells them, "The power is yours to keep..."
  • The two portals are blue and orange.
  • Vaatu (and Raava's) design is similar to Aku's; seemingly flat regardless of angle, with lots sharp curves combined with flowing and swirling motions when moving.
  • A deep, bass noise plays whenever Vaatu fires off his energy blast, giving an allusion to the Reapers from the Mass Effect series, especially with Vaatu's pose at the time. May double as a reference to The War of the Worlds, which inspired the Reapers to use that note in the first place. Compare Vaatu's beam to the Reaper weapon.
  • When Bolin faces off against Northern terrorists (actually Varrick's hired gangsters), he is accompanied with a triumphant Eagleland-esque fanfare, as he tears off his sleeves - good thing Bolin eats his spinach!
  • Immediately following this scene we have Mako being released from prison, greeted by a crowd of admirers, and told by his boss that he has been promoted to detective, while Lu and Gang have been fired. The dialogue in this scene is very similar to the ending of Mulan.
  • In the episode "Harmonic Convergence", Bumi's destruction of the Northern Water tribe's base via a mechatank gone haywire is reminiscent of Major Frank Burns' out-of-control camp-trashing tank joyride in the M*A*S*H episode, "Hey Doc".
  • The kaiju-style battle between Korra's spirit and "UnaVaatu" is like a cross between Neon Genesis Evangelion, with UnaVaatu looking really angel/Eva-y vs. a giant blue woman and Paprika the heroine's dream-self becomes huge to battle her mentor-turned-evil before he can throw the world into chaos.
    • Korra turning into a giant glowing blue person after accessing the energy of the universe resembles Dr Manhattan in Watchmen, although thankfully without the detachment from humanity or the nudity.
  • During Wan's battle with Vaatu in Beginnings, Part 2, his flight technique through airbending looks an awful lot like the Flying Nimbus.
  • The shot of the giant, spirit Korra traveling through the spirit portal was inspired by the "Star Gate" scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

"Book 3"

"Book 4"

  • Season 4 Korra and TRON: Legacy's Quorra. In addition to the name and design similarities they're both powerful, big-hearted though somewhat sheltered Action Girls in a world on the verge of being conquered by a perfection-obsessed, badass in a long coat who's got issues with their "parent" and itching to expand their territory. Additionally they had an elder from a previous story heal their physical wounds and in the end our heroines pair up with the heir to a major tech company who loves motorcycles and has a very complicated relationship with their father, who sacrifices himself to save his child and the world. The two are last seen holding each other tightly while going into a warm, blazing light onto another adventure (or just a vacation).
  • Varrick's Mecha suits built for Kuvira's army in Book 4, have more of a resemblance to a generic Hulkbuster, with the domed helmet and the Earth Empire sigil replacing Stark's arc reactor light.
  • While undergoing physical therapy, Korra is asked by Katara to wiggle her big toe. Franklin D. Roosevelt used this same technique while battling polio.
  • Korra's battle with her mysterious spirit doppleganger and her her eventual meeting with Toph in the Foggy Swamp is very similar to Luke journey to Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back.
    • Another Star Wars reference occurs in the next episode when Kuvira, like Palpatine, brazenly declares the beginning of a new empire, with herself as empress, to the resounding approval of the people.
  • Prince Wu's dance in episode 3 is very similar to Beyoncé's dance from her video for Who Run the World.
  • The way the Colossus exterior is attacked is very similar to how the Titans were fought in Attack on Titan.
  • Yet more shout outs to Star Wars occur in the finale:
    • First when Su and Lin try and fail to metalbend the Colossus' feet (it being made of unbendable platinum), the twins follow up with a length of metal cable tied around its feet, before the airbenders and Korra attempt to push it over. Unfortunately, the Rebels were able to pay for better cable, because this cable snaps before the Colossus trips.
    • Second is the scene when Su destroys the loading mechanism for the spirit cannon. It looks suspiciously like a certain scene involving a certain Emperor.
    • Last is the reactor overload explosion, which minus vaporizing the whole ship, creates the same explosive ring when it finally detonates.
  • The explosion that creates the new spirit portal in the middle of Republic City looks very much like the one in Neo-Tokyo from AKIRA.
  • Bolin's outfit in Season 4 was based on the iconic Rocketeer outfit.
  • When pretending to transfer prisoners at the guard checkpoint, Bolin claims he's sending them to "Camp 14".
  • The Colossus's dome-like head and single eye give its head a vague resemblance to a Dalek
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