Monday, April 23, 2012

The Legend of Korra is Pretty Great

I don't do cartoon posts very often - in fact this will be number two, where the first one was for the Regular Show (which is still pretty great, btw), and it's pretty indicative of how much I think of that show and now this one to devote some paragraphs to it.  Though, I should forewarn you, if you've not seen Avatar:  The Last Airbender (the series, not the mostly-terrible movie), then you may want to skip this post since A) it won't make sense and B) it'll spoil TLA which is by and large, pretty great as well.  Aside from the obligatory "kids will be kids" episode in the last book.  Really....really nonsensical.  Anyways, yes, as The Legend of Korra takes place after The Last Airbender, you'll sort of lose a few things in the process if you just jump into this.  So, yes, you have been warned.

Now, I really liked The Last Airbender, as it was pretty cool and did a real good job of balancing the wackiness of a cartoon series with the seriousness that the material deserved.  I won't recap the show, mainly because at this point I've concluded you either know it already, or have resigned yourself to confusion, so it's a little unnecessary anyway.  The last few episodes of The Last Airbender, which were actually sort of spliced together in movie-format were pretty friggin' amazing - it's hard thinking that anything in that same universe could really top it.  So when I heard about The Legend of Korra months and months ago, I could not share the excitement that my friends held.  'There's really nowhere to go but down', I thought.  'You don't need to sequelize something to make it better', I said.  So I didn't pay attention to it as the hype started to build closer and closer to it coming out.  And even when it came out, I gave it no real mind.  That was a couple weeks ago. 

I may have really underestimated everything about the show.  Not only the show itself, but the talents of the writers behind it, and the general voice and support talent involved.  With just three episodes down, I am excited for the Legend of Korra in a way that I haven't been throughout its entirety to the point up until the other day, and my mind has been completely changed on the prospect of it.  There is....something special to the show that I just can't quite put my finger on, but it's that same quality that attracted me to The Last Airbender in the first place, and I'm quite glad to see that it has persisted.  It's hard to tell just what it is, especially with only three episodes of it, but it really just exudes that certain thing that you really want.  It just makes me really look forward to seeing it unfold.

I will say that it is a little odd seeing the world of Avatar advanced 70 years as it has been in Korra, but for as odd as it is, it's also fairly cool.  It's quite steam-punk-ish in a sense, though at the same time, the technology seems to be on the cusp of transcending that, being that there's pretty much fully functional kick-ass motorcycles and sporting event fields with lights and buzzers and all sorts of neat things.  Still, working in a factory, charging a machine with Fire-bending (or the advanced form of using Lightning) is a viable option for work, and it still has a fairly 'classic' look to the way buildings have been designed and set up.  It sort of -is- kind of a weird schism in that aspect, especially with the real nature focus that's inherent in the Avatar world, but that combination really ends up working well, though how that's possible, I have no real idea.

I guess the only real weak point so far is the plot, without spoiling too much.  I mean, -again- three episodes in, but there's been a dramatic reveal of a potential big bad as well as an 'endgame option' sort of idea, so I don't think it's entirely too early to start thinking things up.  My problem with it, I guess, is that if you replace "bending" with "magic", then you have the plot for countless amounts of fantasy fiction, and that's just....what it is, I guess.  I always advocate that it's not the destination, however, but the journey and the road that takes you there that matters, and I'll stick by with that, but I'm not holding my breath for a plot-twist that -really- drives the story up.  I'd welcome such a thing openly, of course, and I almost have to think that it -will- happen, consider the show might be set up as the first, which means there's a lot left to it.  With any luck, it will, and I'll be able to write up something here gushing about it!

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