obscuritan: (Avatar Iroh)
[personal profile] obscuritan
Okay so I finally got round to watching The Legend of Korra last week. Not because I'd been putting it off, you understand, I just didn't realize it had started until the Fandom!Secrets and Capslock!ATLA comms had gone from saying "Korra's gonna be so cool" to "Korra is so cool". Plus being psyched about it is what egged me into finally getting the artbook for The Last Airbender and somehow reading through it it didn't occur to me that "wasn't there some other big Avatar-related thing going on?" Bravo Rob, bravo.

So anyway, what did I think? Well...

Korra
I saw the 'first ten minutes' preview of ep1 and thought to myself "there's a good chance this is going to suuuuck". Maybe I'm just a bit too jaded but having Korra know three different types of bending (her native Waterbending and Firebending, and Earthbending IN A LAND WITH NO EARTH!) without any need to be taught rang my "mary sue" alarm bell good and hard. With the benefit of a few episodes they mentioned it's about which element her personality is opposed to (laidback Aang = Earth, active Korra = Air), but still. Thankfully she's turned out to be just as well-rounded a character as most of the Avatar universe and I know a lot of people say this but I really do like how non-typical a heroine she is in the same way you could tell Katara was. Maybe it's something about Waterbender gals? Plus... D'awww, she's such a dork! I just wanna give her a big bear-hug! I dunno about Kiyoshi but avatars Roku, Aang and Korra seem to have all had the same personality, perhaps that's a hereditary thing, too?

And while nothing trumps "last of your people" in the aangst stakes (see what I did there?) the crap Korra's dealt with in the last episode really made me feel for her. Yes she was afraid and cried, but since that's how Aang got into the whole "century in an iceberg" thing in the first place, it feels good to have that out of the way so that Korra can go all badass training montage (I also watched Rocky for the first time recently, can you tell?)

Naga
Is it wrong that the first squee I made was for Naga? I read in the artbook that they were going to put a Polar Bear Dog in A:TLA, but it got dropped in favour of Appa, so it was nice to see it make a return. Plus it's a nice touch that both he and Appa complimented their master's personality. I don't usually like dogs (blame it on living near farms) but making it part polar-bear somehow... makes it okay..?

Mako/Bolin
An Earthbender and a Firebender are siblings? Wow, things have gotten more integrated since the last series. But I'm prepared to wait and see on that one. I gotta agree with wasabi_girl1 though, they don't really seem that close yet. Even though Katara and Sokka met Aang for the first time when their series started they somehow clicked in a way that "You guys are cool, let's hang out!" doesn't really. But don't ask me, I suck at interacting with people anyway. Apart from that nothing really stands out about them this far in which, for 2 of the three main characters, is a bit worrying but it's too early to tell.

Asami
Oh man I can taste the delicious fan!wank from here! ...wait, that came out wrong. Lemme start over. I had no idea what to make of Asami when I first saw her. She has that same 'edgyness' to her that Azula did, which sadly in a female cartoon is usually a big "THIS IS A VILLAIN" sign. Seriously, compare Mai and Ty Lee with Azula and June (the bounty hunter with the giant wolf-aardvark steed) and see which ones become good guys by the end of the series and which ones don't. That aside I immediately warmed to her whole "knows what she wants" attitude. Plus I think they've done something kinda clever with how they introduced her. Something didn't sit right with me about how by the end of the series all the main characters got paired off with someone by the end (except Toph, who is too much of a BAMF for any man, and who I'm sure had her daughter through parthenogenesis), so with it happening so early I think you're supposed to be a little unsure about her intentions.

Overall, then?
I'm still a little bit skeptical that the series takes so much of the in-universe stuff about bending etc for granted. Have they even properly explained what the Avatar is for the new fans? I know it's a sequel and all but it's also a kids' show, on at kids-o'clock (I saw one outraged fan on F!S saying they would skip work that day and how annoying it is etc - lol). Relying on the first series' fanbase is a bold move - when you do that, you'd better be sure you can provide. But at least having Korra not learning bending all the time leaves more room for plot and boy howdy the plot so far is good :D There's some serious political intrigue at work, more than you get in some adult shows, which just goes to show that "for kids" =/= brainless. But then, I'm 23 and enjoy political shows, so I'm curious to see how many actual kids are tuning in for the first time.
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