Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Avatar: The Legend of Korra: New Tech, same powers, and a very PC questionable post

With the success of The Last Airbender show, a sequel was bound to show up eventually. And with a sequel comes another chance to delve into the world of Avatar. But how has the world changed, as this is set 70 years after the fall of the Fire Lord. Time to investigate The Legend of Korra.
Sadly this intro only plays once

So from the outset, we have a very different plot structure. Instead of one overarching villain, we have four, each one building from the last one. Amon, who I think to be the one of the best by default, however I have issues with his motivation and ideal, which actually is very similar to his real world counterpart. I'll get into that later. Vaatu, who comes off as a underwhelming god, or rather spirit, of destruction, though that might be because I grew up with Unicron. Zaheer and the Red Lotus who come off as more general assholes with a grudge more so then a villain. And the, from what I can tell, universally praised villain of the bunch, Kuvira who is like the Fire Lord in terms of goal, but she's more relate-able in terms of a motivation, in comparison to the Fire Lord who was doing it because "I just can't wait to be king", or maybe that might be me looking for a joke.
I'm not afraid to say it, Baby Flying Byson are adorable

However, things have changed since The Last Airbender. Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko have turned the territory taken by the Fire Nation in the 100 year war, and formed the United Republic of Nations. Industry has boomed, as we're now in a Industrial revolution sort of time point, which does lead to some interesting ideas for stunts, new ways of telling tropes (kinda, you kinda have to take what you're given in terms of "save the planet" stories). The technological aspects are quite interesting to see, especially when they go into the more post industrial age technology, such as giant mech suits with Megatron esque weapons powered by Spirit energy, which kinda looks like a Platinum Arbormon with Megs' Fusion Cannon. I can't be the only one to see that.

Regardless, I will admit, like with Last Airbender, I love the animation design, movement and sound design. Nothing has changed in that regard, though I will admit that the darker tones at times makes some of the characters facial expressions stand out like a sore thumb in a bad way. Last Airbender did have a similar problem, however I could let it slide then because the characters were much younger, meaning that them behaving like that was more plausible. I can't say the same thing for these characters.
Aren't you meant to be dead, like, LONG dead at this point?

On the subject of characters. Let's start off with Amon. Amons game is that he wants Equality for the world by getting rid of the benders. I hate this concept for a character. I can tolerate it as a antagonist, but if this was a protagonist character then I'd hate it a lot more, for the same reason as what I see online. Now before I get people posting messages on this, let me clarify. I don't know if its just a gag, I don't know if people genuinely believe those things, nor do I honestly care. This might be because I tend to see the "joke" having demographics I'm a part of as the ones it "should happen to", but either way its a stupid concept. Contrary to the belief of some online, EQUALITY DOES NOT MEAN ERADICATION OF A RACE no matter the reason. Again, I'm at least glad the writers portray this idea in a negative light and I hope that people actually see this as a bad idea, there's a reason why many, including myself, believe that History will repeat itself to those who don't learn from it. I'm glad that this season doesn't look at that kind of view positively, I'm glad that it does everything it can, both visually and verbally to make sure you do not see this view as a good thing, something that you should believe in, because it's not. It is a toxic idea, a dangerous idea and an idea that I wish, I truly wish, in every way, shape and form, would die.
I agree, she's the best villain in the four seasons

I have stated time and time again that I really hate badly executed Deus Ex Machina moments. For me, the rule of three is a good way to handle it. Bring it up sometime around three times during the story/ continuity and I have no problems. However, there are rare cases when I like Deus Ex Machina moments, such as the Deus Ex Machina character. These characters are built around the concept. If you can say something then add "because it's *insert character here*" and it fits, then you have a Deus Ex Machina character. Using an example from this site, Pinkie Pie from the current generation of My Little Pony is a character like this. Other examples include The Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister), Slappy the Squirel, and the Loony Tunes store ACMI. The reason I bring this up is because of my favorite character in The Legend of Korra is also a Deus Ex Machina character, Varrick. He's just a joy to watch in action because of how ridiculous he can be. Imagine what would happen if you combined Bruce Wayne's desire to be prepare for anything, Tony Stark's charisma and ramped it up to eleven, and you'd have a character who may hold a candle to Varrick. And to give you an example of wh he's a Deus Ex Machina character: Personal boat that can outspeed insane waterbending ex girlfriends, Varrick owns one. Battleship, Varrick owns one. A custom, and luxurious, jail cell because his company built the prison and he thought he'd end up in it. I think my point has been made.
Why? Because he's Varick

Why am I talking more about the side characters then the main characters? Well, its because I don't find them very interesting. Now I should say, by the main characters, I'm reffering to the main members of Team Avatar, that being Asami, Mako, Bolin and Korra. And I don't find these four very interesting characters. Asami is kinda there, and her personality means that she rarely stands out. Mako and Bolin work well as brothers, but I don't believe they have the same chemistry as Sakka and Katara do. And Korra... well...
Again, I can't look at that without thinking of Megatron's Fusion cannon

Korra comes off as a "Punching bag character", a character who's there to be beaten up. While I'm fine with moments like it for characters, as it is character building, I like for characters to actually have something to build up before they get beaten up. The Season 2 finalie of Last Airbender was powerful because we had two seasons to build Aang and the rest of Team Avatar as characters. That kind of shock value is lost when the first season feels like a rushed version two of The Last Airbender, there just to get Korra up to the same physical strength as Aang, something that's not proven otherwise when we first see her Water, Earth and Firebending when she's somewhere between three and five years old. Even the beloved season three finale kinda looses its effect when you take into account the last two seasons having similar events.

So is The Legend of Korra worth watching? I can't really answer that. On it's own, its fine. Not the best show I've seen, but definitely up there. It's main problem is the fact that it's coming off of, and relates directly to The Last Airbender, which to me is the superior show between the two. Korra tackles harder topics, which I can respect and admire, however I feel that some of the charm was lost in the process. It is just as good of a teaching tool as The Last Airbender, most if not all the subjects are handled very well, however I don't think the cast overall matches that of The Last Airbender, on their own, yes, again, see Varrick. But not as a whole. I also can't recommend watching this before Last Airbender, as Korra expects you to have some knowledge of Last Airbender. And the winner of the poll for the next comic arc was Megatron's Origins and Autocracy, so come back next week for those. But while you wait, feel free to check out these playlists for Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of the Sky and for Earthbound.

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