Posted by psgels on 24 June 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews

Back when I was a teenager and not an anime fan yet, I used to watch way too much American cartoons. I pretty much suffered an overdose from it and all of the incredibly bad stuff I actually sat through back then. I wasn’t going to touch any of those shows anymore unless it had something really good to offer. Enter the Legend of Korra.

The premise of this series just sold me. Instead of going with the usual premises, it instead took things a step further: this series takes a look on what would happen after the world has been saved by an “Avatar”. What would the world look like after someone came along and united everyone? What would the new version of him look like and what would her part be? The result is that the creators stuffed a martial arts expert inexperienced into a big political battle with roots deep in racism and oppression by those who are stronger. It blurred the lines between good and bad by making both sides flawed, and Korra often ends up as a hypocrite due to her inexperience. Add in some terrific action scenes in which in particular the fight choreography stands out (which really was better than any of the other anime that aired this season) and you really have a series that could have become amazing.

There are two things that ended up holding this series back though. At first this series struggles with its romance. It’s inconsequential and annoying with a pointless love triangle that only serves to stall for time, rather than just spending time to flesh out the characters. The second flaw is that it’s got a really bad ending. I know that this is only the half-way point of the series, but the ending did try to wrap up everything that this season had brought forth, and failed miserably with a bunch of very blatant Deus ex Machina that render some of the build-up and most defining moments earlier on in the series rather meaningless.

Now, the Legend of Korra does have some very good individual moments and great concepts, they just don’t come together at the end and due to that ending I’m not sure whether I can really recommend it (endings for me are very important on fiction and often ended up changing my view on a work significantly) and my rating for this series would have been much higher without it. For those who don’t want to watch any of the other installments of the Avatar Franchise: don’t worry. This series is actually pretty standalone and an be watched on its own.

Storytelling: 7/10 – A bit of a wonky pacing with a bad ending mostly reduces the potential of this show.
Characters: 8/10 – It uses its characters very nicely and the age gap between the different characters along with their backgrounds combines very well. The romance doesn’t really work, though.
Production-Values: 9/10 – This season there really were a lot of series that stood out with visuals, all in their own ways. For Korra, this was the fight choreography that was un-matched.
Setting: 8.5/10 – Great ideas for politics.

Suggestions:
Last Exile
Mahou Shoujotai
Secret of the Cerulean Sand

58 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    Believe me, the ending makes a lot more sense if you’d seen the original series.

    • S-R says:

      Agreed.

      Doesn’t entirely save it, the rushed pace made it feel unearned – had any time at all actually been spent on exploring the spirit world in Korra’s time and the avatar state and its link to past Avatar lives, it would have gone a long way – but it does help a great deal in contextualising it.

      Hopefully S2 can correct the problems present.

      • Joe says:

        Yeah, I don’t think that it was nearly as bad as psgels thought, but I still wasn’t completely satisfied with it, or even 90% satisfied with it like I was with the first series’ ending. I wish they’d had 20 episodes for the season from the very beginning. Oh well, hopefully the next season will be better.

        • tktym says:

          I actualyl agree with psgels. The ending was a copout. BUT I understand why. the creators/writters of the show didn’t get the ok for a second season until they were already finished with the first season, because of the 12 episodes they were given, they basically didn’t have the time to build the show like they did in the previous Avatar. Only having 12 episodes because Nickolodeon were being douchbags, and didnt want to give them enough time to make a decent show, brings the result seen here. the creators are VERY good writters, and were pretty much using the setting as some kind of boxer rebellion thing which is why the overall plot is so good. But yes that ending is pretty terrible. I assumed that they were going to have Korra travel through the world like aang did to get her bending back. Which would have been really really amazing. I personally think they were planning on doing that, untill they got word that they only had one season.

          The romance… was just bad.

          • Chiarissimo says:

            The second “season”, which is the “second part” of the “first season” btw, was greenlighted from the very beginning.

            And the romance was just great.
            Go back watching japanese shit or something.

  2. Jeff says:

    I agree with Joe. The ending does not feel deus ex machina at all if you understand the lore and the ways of the avatar. In fact the ending all together was very emotional (for me, I cired mentears!) when the “you know what” was made it felt like the proper lore thing to do, even if it was ultimately predictable.

    And she finally bended that hard element! She was kicking ass with it, greatly fitting with her general fighting/bending style.

    Storypacing was akward at times, but they shouldn’t have cramped a season within 12 episodes to begin at ;B

    • Nayrael says:

      They had no choice: S2 was greenlighted when S1 was almost finished.

      • Chiarissimo says:

        Stop repeating this shit : they had 26 episodes to work with from the very beginning, this has not, I repeat, NOT, been written from episode 1 as a 12-episode series. The 26 episodes were just split in two, just like with Gundam 00, to pick an exemple which you japanfags would understand.

        • ameryln says:

          Hmm, not exactly. I remember announcements for this series coming up last fall, and production for the first series was pretty far then. They only released a 26 episode statement after they had finished the first series and began actual promotion. I don’t think they were contracted all 26 episodes at once.

          Though they still could have done more with the ending than what they did.

          If you really want to know I’m sure Bryan Konietzko can answer general questions on production scheduling if you ask him on his tumblr page – http://bryankonietzko.tumblr.com/

        • Hunter-Wolf says:

          First, before calling anime fans here japanfags you need to provide proof for your claim that they had all 26 episodes green-lit from the very start (which is bullshit until you provide proof) .. second .. what the *%^& are you doing commenting on an anime blog if you think anime fans are japanfags .. sorry but the only fag i see here is you.

  3. Kim says:

    I saw and loved the original series but didn’t like the ending of Korra muhc either.

    But once again Psgels watch the original series. It’s an excellent adventure series with great character development. It’s not perfect but it takes its time to tell a wonderful epic tale, something Korra was unfortunately too rushed to do. It’s definitely the best American television animation has to offer and stands up to the very best anime series.

    I mean you can argue there are some convenient plot devices in the original Avatar too, but the way the characters grow and change make up for that. It’s the lack of real growth that disappointed me the most about Korra.

  4. CJay says:

    I have to disagree saying that watching the first series explains the use of “avatar mode” to heal other people. I feel like it actually makes less sense. Remember how much trouble Aang had controlling the avatar mode and how one of the most interesting sub-plots was how Aang was scared of Avatar mode because he essentially went out of control. Yeah why can Korra magically control it perfectly now? She hasn’t maintained very much spiritual connection with the avatars at all save one moment. This makes it even more of an ass pull if you think about it.

    • Joe says:

      Some fans had a theory that throughout the series Korra was unlocking her chakras. One of the last ones was the air chakra, for love and blocked by guilt, which she overcame during the final battle with Amon when Mako was about to have his bending taken away. The last one, presumably, was the one blocked by attachment, which she overcame when she was considering committing suicide on the cliff so that a new Avatar who could bend all four elements could be born. It should have been explained better in the show, but it does make sense. I blame the short limit on the number of episodes and the time wasted on the romance.

      • CJay says:

        Hm, that is an interesting theory. But without the necessary build up even if that was the intention it was, like you said poorly demonstrated.

        And completely agree with the romance. Also the ending pretty much advocated cheating on your gf as long as you are “in love” which i also feel like is a random direction to go it.

        Asami on the other hand had good closure. I was worried the whole show that she was going to become some kind of villain after being dumped or something but luckily the show avoided that pitfall.

        • Ahmy says:

          In regards to that “cheating” thing, I felt it was rather obvious that they had broken up when things were coming to the climax…like something that wasn’t necessary to show on screen but was hinted at when they argued in the kitchen. I dunno.

          I do agree on Asami though, I was waiting for them to wreck all that lovely character development she got by turning her either into a villain or a bitchy green eyed monster. I’m glad she ended up the way she did.

    • Saff says:

      It’s an interesting point! I debated about this, too. But Aang was trying to contact her throughout the series, and a friend of mine pointed out that almost all of the episodes had a theme of one of the Chakra points being unlocked (if out of order), which, if true, could make everything that happened make a lot more sense.

      To quote her:

      Earth chakra: deals with survival/blocked by fear. See the episode where she faced Amon at the memorial statue

      Water chakra: deals with pleasure/blocked by guilt. See the shipping trainwreck at the finals

      Fire chakra: deals with willpower/blocked by shame. Same episode, I would argue, but instead look at her victory on her own, taking the team to the finals

      Sound chakra: deals with truth/blocked by lies. Hiroshi Sato being an Equalist, when no one would believe [Korra].

      Light chakra: deals with insight/blocked with illusion. Her meditation in the box probably opened this

      Then I talked about the Air chakra (which is opened by love and blocked by grief). (Last episode, I think.)

      Then the Thought chakra is cosmic energy vs. earthly attachments. If you view that scene at the cliff as… well, her having suicidal thoughts, that could fulfill letting go of earthly attachments. [/End quoting, paraphrasing]

      Again, though, it depends on how you view things!

  5. Saff says:

    The ending is still rushed no matter how hard you look at it and the pacing needed some work, and the ending does seem a bit deus rex machina-y even if you’ve seen the original series, but it makes sense if you have seen the original, which the majority have, I think. I suppose it’s also relevant to keep in mind it was originally a 12-episode series, and by the time it was greenlit for an additional 14, I believe all the work had pretty much been done, and it would have been ridiculously costly to changes much of anything at that point. So with that said, I think it was forced to wrap up and tie everything the way it did, though I would’ve found it more awesome to have her bending taken away except for air into (the majority at least) of season to, and have Korra grow and develop from that. But alas.

    I think Mike and Bryan do better work when they have more episodes to use. I don’t think they know how to condense as well as perhaps they should.

    • Hunter-Wolf says:

      Totally agree, it really felt they are cutting all ties with the ending of the first seasons (specially with Tarlok killing himself and his brother along with him, well .. he did it specifically to rid the world of his brothers OP blood bending) .. that means no going back to Aman or Equalists storyline anymore in 2nd season.

      So yeah the ending did indeed feel rushed, but it isn’t deus ex machina-y by any means, just rushed .. i too hoped -at the point Korra was crying her robbed powers and inability to become a proper Avatar- for the second season to -surprisingly- follow the exact same storyline you described, Korra going on a journey to strengthen her resolve and find a way to regain her ability to control the three locked elements again …. but now that i think about it .. it would be too similar to Ang’s journey .. so let’s wait and see what they come up with in the 2nd season .. maybe it will be some pleasant surprise and they won’t have to rush any part of the story this time XD

  6. Nic says:

    Gotta say, pgels, that here, you not having watched the first series of Avatar really makes your comments about the ending seriously flawed.

    I, too, think it was kinda rushed but Deus Ex machina ending? Way to show you have no grasp on the world the Avatar series lives in. The ‘Avatar Mode’ is the very reason why the Avatar is so respected… and feared by every foe.

    It brings a direct connection to the souls of the previous Avatars and makes the Avatar incredibly powerful and able to pull off what would otherwise be impossible feats. The downside? If the Avatar is killed during that mode, it dies permanently. No resurrection. So it comes with great risk.

    So, that is why her finally learning her final element allowed her to connect with the previous Avatars and bring out her true power. All this was established eons ago in the previous Avatar series so this shouldn’t even be a surprise to anyone who watched the first series.

    I’m gonna be a bit harsh here and say that even though I agree with the fact that the ending was kinda disappointing, you really shouldn’t start talking throwing words like ‘Deus Ex Machina’ without having seen the first series. I just can’t take you seriously when you speak about the ending until you do.

    • AidanAK47 says:

      Nope Nic, it’s a pure Deus ex machina in every sense of the word. I seen the original series. I know about avatar mode. So the way Korra just suddenly activated it and can control it perfectly was just an asspull. Korra didn’t go through half the crap it took for Aang to achieve it.

      • Hunter-Wolf says:

        No it isn’t a Deus Ex Machina, not every Avatar is identical to the others, each one of them had different personalities, circumstances, strengths and weaknesses and their stories aren’t all identical to Ang’s (very clear from what glimpses we saw of them in the previous series), besides .. it has been mentioned countless times that Ang’s soul was seeking Korra out over and over and trying to tell her something .. so this time the spirit world and her previous lives (specially Ang) were actively trying to contact her .. and she clearly manged to make some link with them and Ang when she experienced his memories with Tarlok’s father while she was locked in the metal cell.

        • AidanAK47 says:

          …You didn’t counter my point.
          How does anything you just wrote prove that this isn’t a Deus ex machina? In fact all of what you just said is baseless assumption.

          • Hunter-Wolf says:

            Ang’s spirit trying repeatedly to contact Korra throughout the whole freaking series is a baseless assumption .. what !!? .. you were asleep while watching the series i presume XD

          • AidanAK47 says:

            Like I said. Baseless assumption. You have no idea what Aang was trying to contact her for. You are just using this as cheap justification.

            Also according to my memory it was mentioned twice that Aang was trying to contact Korra.

    • wicked says:

      A series like this should at least try to stand on its own merit in term of plot. I dont mind minor plothole that need to be filled in by the previous series, but dont use something you never even mentioned by name and only shown once in the series as a way out, and not even bother to explain it afterwords.

      by the way, Aang had enetered Avatar state before he learned all the bendings and didnt master it right away even when he was able to bend all 4 elements.

  7. Ahmy says:

    I think something to keep in mind with the rushed ending and some of the pitfalls: This was originally going to be just this. No second season what-so-ever. So they played this out to make sure that it would be a stand alone series. All things throughout this one season were “closured” in a sense. Korra finally got air-bending, she resonated with the previous avatars, love triangle ho hah was solved, and the de-bending problem defeated along with the bad guy/s. They were really expecting such popularity that they got a second season out of it. I think that makes the rushed climax make a tiny bit more sense.

    Not that I don’t agree, there were some things that I felt were no necessary or needed more development i.e. General Iroh; he kicked ass, I wanted more of him. XD But when I look at this as the final, completed project, I feel it’s not so bad.

    (And Meelo= adorable. LOL)

  8. starry says:

    Please watch the original series, its pretty much better in every single way to Korra sans the animation.

    While the ending may not be a deus ex machina, as explained it did cheapen the loss of Korra’s bending powers. It could have been so much better if she learned how to be the Avatar without them.

    • detra says:

      I wouldn’t really say that it’s so much better.
      I only watched it some time ago and especially season 1 was very childish and too many episodes felt like filler.
      Second season was much better and the final one is up to par with what Korra delivered in terms of story and action.

      The ending of this season may not be perfect but seeing as a second season wasn’t planned at the start it’s satisfactory enough.

      • starry says:

        Eh, the first season may be childish and have fillery episodes early on, but it hits its stride and the characters come up more developed then Korra’s was by the S1 finale. Hell, Sokka was more developed then Bolin by the fourth episode for instance. Even the fillers helped the characters grow and showed off Aang practicing bending (something Korra pretty much dropped after episode 2)

        If they had twelve episodes to work with until very late in production, they should have paced and developed it for a twelve episode story, not a full season.

  9. CJ says:

    So, any plans to watch original Avatar now, psgels? Some of the ending definitely makes more sense with prior Avatar lore (but it’s still rushed). But then at this point, Avatar: The Last Airbender is still a way better show than the first season of Korra. The same dude choreographed the fight scenes for both series (and I recall TLA having more sword and weaponry combat that was just as epic). And if you wanted character development, I think TLA will satisfy you big time.
    So hopefully you will go on to Avatar: The Last Airbender now! I’d love to know your thoughts on both it and Korra’s ending with TLA knowledge.

  10. WatcherZero says:

    How about taking a look at the other amazing series at the moment, the remake of Thundercats? If you liked Korra you will like that too.

  11. wicked says:

    On fight choreography, western animation has really stepped it up lately, taking a page from movies studios. Warner Brother’s DC animations like Batman under the red hood and the currently airing Young Justice has some exceptional fighting choreographs.

  12. Anonymous Anime Addict says:

    If you enjoyed the Legend of Korra in any way, then I really recommend you watch Avatar: The Last Airbender. It is by far superior in every regard. I was impressed with it. It really stood out from other U.S. animated TV series.

  13. Tanz says:

    I knew the sloppy ending must have had a reason. With how epic they ended ALL the season finale in A:TLA, I knew something was wrong in Korra. Damn you, Nick. Give them more seasons!

  14. FlippyJ says:

    The Legend of Korra was so disappointing in how it presented so many themes and characters that had potential but were simply not developed for the sake of romance and action. As psgels pointed out, the political issues presented in this series were very interesting as the equalists have some valid reasons for their cause that make them morally grey rather than simply the bad guys. All the members of the council and the police are benders and many jobs can only be done with bending. Normal people would suffer both economically and socially as they have no protection or representation, prompting them to start a revolution. The only thing wrong with this is that I had to think up all of this in order to make the equalist issue more interesting than it actually is. We are never actually shown how non-benders suffer, thus making them only the “bad guys” rather than people fighting for their rights. If the writers had only shown us a poor non-bender family being oppressed by benders and thus being forced to turn to the equalists for help, the conflict would have been so much deeper and more meaningful.
    While I am a big fan of the original series and fully understand the avatar/energybending concept, the last few minutes of the finale still seemed terribly deus ex machina and nonsensical. By giving Korra the ability to return people’s bending, the writers effectively ruined what made Amon a truly intimidating villian and made the entire season have no consequence.

    • Hunter-Wolf says:

      Those are some interesting thoughts you have here regarding the idea of the Equalists and how it could have been expanded .. but let’s not forget Aman presented himself as that said victim of Bender tyranny (and we did see many people abuse their bending during the series like the three gangs of republic city and how they abused the shop owners by threatening them with their bending to collect protection money from them), also Tarlok is a prime example of a bender gone rotten (not to mention the irony that Aman himself is the kind of bender who would justify the existence of the equalists and show how arrogant and power-hungry some benders can be), not to mention Asami’s father who could really be considered the most crucial member of the equalists, he had valid reasons to had bending and benders.

      I really felt bad for the captain of the equalists forces when he found out about Aman’s lies, he seemed to be the most dedicated equalist and really believed in the cause, another point is that the equalist revolution (even with Aman’s involvement and lies) was almost a bloodless revolution, and no it isn’t because Avatar:Korra the show is aimed at younger audiences .. many character died in the vicious attacks of the Fire nation in the previous series including the mother of katara, but with the equalists there was almost no bloodshed at all (even off-screen), that boosted their image as a group fighting for a valid cause not a bunch of terrorists or murderers, they surely do a lot of wrong things like taking away the bending from people you didn’t abuse it or jailing them just for being benders .. but that still puts them in the gray spectrum not the typical bad guys black zone … IMO the series did a very good job handling the issues and i personally didn’t feel the equalists where typical bad guys at all.

      As for the ending, no it wasn’t Deus ex machina at all, just rushed (probably due to pressure by Nickelodeon), as for Aman being intimidating, well .. as soon as his mask fell and he was known to be a blood bender he wasn’t any more intimidating than Tarlok .. heck even less .. and we can’t even tell for sure what he did exactly with his blood bending .. being the liar he turned out to be (everything about his was a lie) .. maybe what he did was just locking the bending not taking it away for real and forever (which is something only the Avatar can do) so the avatar would simply be able to return it again (with some help from her previous lives) very easily because when it comes to bending the Avatar is real deal XD

      • FlippyJ says:

        While I understand what you are coming from, the three gangs and the shopkeeper does not make the equalists any more valid. Yes, the non-bender shopkeeper was being bullied by the gangs, but he was also saved by a bender(Korra) and the Metalbending police was literally five minutes away from reaching his store and helping him. The Equalists were not made to oppose these truly terrible gangs, but rather to oppose the benders that lead the city. The only problem is that the Avatar, as the world’s spiritual leader, and the police in this case are taking perfect care of a non-bending citizen. Why are the equalists opposing an Avatar who actually cares for non-benders and the Metalbender cops who seem to protect non-benders just as well? The only actual moment where the non-benders were being oppressed was when Tarlok did that non-bender curfew which was actually the moment that introduced the the political side of the series. The writers, however, did not present anything past this to develop the theme and it was clear that Tarlok didn’t enforce the curfew out of discrimination for non-benders but rather just to intimidate his enemy Amon into taking action.
        Furthermore, Hiroshi Stao renders the equalist movement mute as he is the complete opposite of the “oppressed non-bender”. In fact, he is quite the opposite as he shows that a poor non-bender can become the richest and most powerful man in the city. As a complete madman who is willing to kill his own daughter, he makes the Equalists look even more like ruthless, unfounded, terrorists rather than an actual movement for equality.
        Korra gaining energy bending is Deus ex machina in the sense that she did not change herself or delve into her spirituality that would warrant her to achieve the avatar state and the powers that come with it. Korra in the finale is just as brash and forceful as she was in the beginning of the series. This is evident in how she crashed the equalist rally to accuse Amon of being a bender. She came completely expecting that a simple accusation would completely turn all the equalists against Amon, and obviously had no back up plan when it failed and resorted to force once again. While Tenzin kept telling her to become more patient and reflect on her past actions, she still fails to think about her actions thoroughly. She treats every situation like she treated the airbending gates: If it doesn’t work out for her, throw fire at it!

  15. Chiarissimo says:

    qqqqqqqqqqqq
    psgels bitching on a sequel without having seen the original and writing a final review when it hasn’t even completely aired

    you surpassed yourself

    • Hogart says:

      Wow, the trolls are getting lazy these days.

      • AidanAK47 says:

        Hogart, you seem to be implying that trolling requires effort. But yeah…this is a pretty weak attempt. Come on Chiarissimo. If you are going to troll then at least try to be humorous.

      • Hunter-Wolf says:

        Trolls learned how to look at mirrors, wow .. i didn’t know they could do that, but they probably can’t identify themselves yet XD

        If anyone is trolling here it’s you Hogart, at least Chiarissimo does make some valid points, yeah the series despite any illusions that it is a standalone serious is a sequel to Avatar:The Last Airbender … so when Psgels calls the Avatar’s previous lives “a bunch of dead people show up from out of nowhere?” it shows clearly Psgels had no idea what he is talking about .. let alone going as far as calling it a Deus ex Machina without trying to check the previous series .. yeah it felt rushed but it isn’t a Deus ex Machina at all.

        • AidanAK47 says:

          “If anyone is trolling here it’s you Hogart, at least Chiarissimo does make some valid points”

          (Looks at Chiarissimo’s posts)

          “And the romance was just great.
          Go back watching japanese shit or something.”

          “The 26 episodes were just split in two, just like with Gundam 00, to pick an exemple which you japanfags would understand.”

          “qqqqqqqqqqqq
          psgels bitching on a sequel without having seen the original and writing a final review when it hasn’t even completely aired”

          …where are these points you speak of?
          And while my knowledge of Avatar is a little vague I do recall that Aang needed to mediate in order to talk with them. They didn’t just pop out of nowhere. They also didn’t just pass on technique with a single touch because that would render Aangs journey to find people to teach him other styles of bending completely pointless. All he would need to do is contact his previous selves and WALA…mastery of all elements.

          • Hunter-Wolf says:

            I know Chiarissimo does troll a lot (seeing i replied to one of his trolls above), but i was just saying he does have a valid point about needing to know about the previous series before criticizing the ending and calling it Deus Ex Machina while having ZERO knowledge the mythos of Avatar’s world.

            First there was no passing a technique with a single touch .. if you mean what Ang did .. Ang is dead and his souls is part of Korra’s souls now, what we saw in merely her pervious souls helping her unlock something she already has .. like she lost the key to a locker and Ang just gave her the key again .. simple as that.

            If you mean what Korra did to Lin .. she simply did the same thing .. she reawakened her earth bending again .. we didn’t see Lin fire bending or anything .. so where did you get the idea there was any form of ability passing happening here !!?

            As for meditating and using Avatar state, well Ang was a kid and pretty much an idiot and an air-head at the start of his journey and at least during its first half, Korra on the other hand while hot-headed is way more mature and experienced than Ang, heck she mastered all three elements except air with utmost ease, and don’t forget the spirit of And (which is part of her own spirit) was clearly and explicitly trying to establish contact with her since the start of the series .. it’s easy to understand how what happened in the end happened if you thought about the differences between Ang and Korra and Ang himself trying to establish contact from his side .. yeah it got rushed and there could have been other alternatives that explain thigns better and take their times but it still does make sense in the context of the world of Avatar as a whole.

          • AidanAK47 says:

            No. He touched her forehead and that was it. She could use elements and energy bending. She didn’t even use energy bending on herself to unlock. She just suddenly could use her elements again.
            Plus you have not countered my point again. You say he just unlocked something she already had. You could do that with fire bending, water bending…everything.

            It seems you greatly misunderstood me. I was talking about Aang passed on a technique to energy bend to Korra. In the previous avatar series Aang talked with the previous avatars then isn’t it also possible for them to pass on techniques like Aang just did to Korra. There wouldn’t be any need to find bending teachers then.

        • Hogart says:

          I didn’t have any point to make except that this particular trolling was lazy.

          But I certainly disagree with the notion that psgels needed to watch the first Avatar to be able to share his opinion on this series. A good stand-alone series shouldn’t require a PhD in the original material in order to understand its ending.

          I don’t know if we’ll see eye to eye on that, but your approach to explaining that was a far cry from Chiarissimo’s lame trolling.

          • Hunter-Wolf says:

            Knowing what an Avatar is and what they are capable of (including making contact with the previous avatars) was explicitly hinted at many times during this series (specially with Ang flash backs), even watching the first episode of the first series explained a lot, heck .. reading the Wikipedia page of the first season explains a lot too .. the writers just can’t waste their time trying to re-explain things they know very well that most of the viewers already know by hard .. that would be a waste of time and instead of seeing something new we will be seeing the old series all over again.

            And since Psgels isn’t just watching the series he is reviewing it, i think he needed to do his homework and check what the previous series was about, i mean to not be able to recognize the previous Avatars and calling them “some ghosts that came out of nowhere” is just sad, i didn’t say he had to watch the entire old series episode by episode .. at the very least he could have read a quick plot synopsis of the previous season before watching this one .. those are easy to find, sorry but he really came of as lazy here .. no show is 100% standalone when it’s events are strongly linked to a previous series, having ZERO idea about the previous season is no excuse to complain really, don’t go and watch Terminator 2 or 3 and then complain there are many plot points that don’t make sense.

            and sorry if i accused you of trolling XD

        • Hogart says:

          No problem about the trolling remark, I can see how it came across as one anyway.

          But this whole “research” thing is a really fine line. I personally think psgels did a good job pointing out what problems newcomers would have, which are things that could have been mitigated without the writers having to ruin it for the rest of us. It’s all down to taste, of course.

          Besides, the real problem was that many Avatar fans (even some here in the comments section) aren’t too thrilled with the ending. I think his not knowing about the Avatar’s ancestors is minor compared to the series’ problems. But that’s just me.

          Besides, I don’t remember watching Terminator 2 and wondering what was going on, even having not watched the first one beforehand.

  16. Hunter-Wolf says:

    I did like the show a lot and all the themes it handled (even if tehy didn’t fully explore them), the combat choreography was top-notch as expected by teh standard set by the previous series and the bending is masterfully linked with different combat styles that fit really well with each associated element.

    As for the characters, Korra, Tarlok, Lin and Tenzen (in that order) take the cake for me, they were all interesting and enjoyable to watch and had many interesting moments and developments, i specially loved how Tarlok brought an end to his brother’s cursed bloodline and took his own life with him (IMO one of the best moments in the show, i have to say i didn’t see it coming until he took the cap off the fuel tank, at worst i thought he was looking at the gloves that he was thinking about shocking his brother unconscious and capturing him to regain his honor in republic city).

    Overall this season does have some minor flaws IMO but they don’t detract much of its overall enjoyment.

    First the romance between Korra and Mako was developing nicely when it first started but then it went down hill and stalled throughout the whole season until it came to its predictable conclusion in the finale after long episodes plagued by Mako’s cringe worthy indecisiveness .. IMO it could have been handled a lot better .. heck (Bolin x Korra)relation would have been way more interesting if handled right.

    Sadly that brings us to the bending brothers, Mako and Bolin, Bolin was sadly reduced into a comic relief character half-way through the series, he is funny alright but he didn’t get a single meaningful character development since the pro-bending tournament finale episode, Mako on the other hand became a prop for the boring love triangle that didn’t go anywhere .. again .. since the kiss with Korra he didn’t get any meaningful development … during the Pro-bending arc they seemed like they have the potential to be interesting characters, but sadly it didn’t last beyond that story arc as they got shoved aside to make way for the main story events .. my only hope is that the brothers and all the other characters that got shoved aside will have some role in the 2nd season.

    As for Korra and her Avatar developments, well people shock me when they compare her with Ang .. WTF people, they are two completely different people, heck .. each and every Avatar probably went through a completely different experience until they mastered their powers, some might have awakened their Avatar mode with little effort, some might have spent their entire life trying to master it, some might have learned all the elements easily, some might have had some difficulty with a certain element .. etc etc … heck if after seeing the first episode where Korra clearly had full control over three of the main elements that Ang spent the whole series trying to control then expected Korra’s journey to be Ang’s journey all over again then you are -sorry- an idiot.

    what’s also different is that Ang’s soul was trying to contact Korra since the beginning of the events in Republic city .. something that didn’t happen with Ang .. that alone explains a lot about what happened in the ending, and since we are talking about the ending .. i agree that it felt rushed .. heck personally i excepted Korra to go on some journey to strengthen her spiritual connection with Ang and the previous avatars and regain her control over the other three elements (and that this will be the theme of the 2nd season), i was a little surprised that they went with that rushed conclusion, but it only means they were forced by Nickelodeon to close all open story threads (including that of Tarlok and his brother) as if they weren’t getting any second season to complete the story, it’s sad .. but it doesn’t make the ending a deus ex machina or nonsensical .. it just needed more time to flow naturally, and of course required that you have watched the previous series or at the very least have the slightest idea what it was about .. plot synopsis online pages do exist for a reason.

    Heck it would have been cooler if Korra’s Avatar mode kicked in the moment Aman tried to steal her bending and that would have also awakened her ability to control Air .. IMO that would have been a nice alternative, but like some people suggested .. if the writers if their research right about Asian charka points and its related philosophy the whole (chakra point) (X) gets blocked by (emotion) (Y) could also provide an explanation to what happened as well.

    Finally i have to say i’m pretty excited for a second season, not only because we literally have no idea what it will be about, but also because we will get a chance to see an Avatar doing their work as a full-fledged Avatar (something we didn’t get to see Ang or the other avatars do for too long, only quick glimpses), and also it gives a second chance for characters like Mako and Bolin and all other characters who didn’t get a chance to develop well in the first season (or didn’t get enough time like General Iroh) .. there is also the chance of seeing more about Ang’s story and adventures.

    • wicked says:

      What made Avatar interesting in the first place was the different spirituality that are connected to bending in the first place. How much “thinking” had to be done before getting it. It took Aang forever because he had to figure out the rules and find his teacher, while Korra had a fully prepared system behind her, but that doesnt really excuse how little emphasis they put into developing that side of her. She get flashes from Aang sure, but hardly a spiritual connection regards to nature of bending like Roku used to do with Aang. That’s what’s disappointing. Just look at the way she learn Air bending, the development is jerky. Korra tries to learn the steps, korra gets frustrated, korra finally learns to calm herself and go with the flow in the heat of the moment. All that were great, then it stalled for other plots, then as a last ditch effort she suddenly seems to be able to do it with any sort of real revelation other than desperation, something not consistent with the series past.

      It also would have made about 10x more sense if her avatar mode did activate when Amon was taking away her bending or the moment she realized airbending.

      It is a rushed ending meant to close all the plot point, but that’s why it felt like Deus ex Machina, they knew they had the avatar state in their back pocket the entire time(never brought up in the series except for one flashback toward the end), when the situation seems dire they used it to make a happy ending.

      What’s sad about it is that there were some many theme worth exploring deeply that are now basically dead and throw away because of the happy ending. It’s also going to be tough to have a villain top Amon, he was one hell of a menacing villain with a really good cause.

    • Zouachi says:

      I believe the love triangle between Korra Mako and Asami was really great.

      Lets look at it that way. Korra was training since she was a child, meaning she spent all her teenage years working out her bending in the North Pole. It also doesnt seem like there were any young boys of her age down there. Now she leaves her harsh but dull life to go to the city where she expects that everyone ”lives the big life”, so she wants to leave big too. And what does a 17 year old teen girl that never experienced romance want? A hot, badass, manly man. She doesnt have the idealized view of love as Aang may have had (since he was 12), teenagers mostly think about sex (obviously that cant be made explicit in the show, since it is for kids). That is why her falling for Mako was the most logical thing to happen. She doesnt want a nice, caring, fun guy like Bolin, but someone more badass like Mako, thats the normal nature of the feelings most teen girls living in the city have.

      Now lets look at Mako. He lived in the streets all his life, had to sell his bending abilities by working in a factory or ”whoring” himself in pro-bending to amuse the crowd (already theres a sociological point there), all he wishes for is to get into a higher social class, and what better way to do that than dating Asami, a hot rich high class girl. He gets everything he needs, a girl and money. What does Asami want? Since she was rich most of her life, she wants that feeling of adventure that only a manly pro-bender like Mako can give her, since most rich men end up businessmen, politicians, intellectuals, nothing exciting for a teen girl there.

      Now that it is established that the triangle is very consistent and logical, lets see how it all unfolds. First theres episode 5, Korra pretty much uses Bolin to make Mako jealous, then embraces him when she has the chance. What does Mako do? He does not yet feel the same way for Korra, so he decides to stick with Asami, which is pretty logical, since he doesnt know Korra that well yet and Asami is more consistent with his needs (as explained above) than Korra. Later on, when Korra get kidnapped, he starts to realize that he does have deep feelings for her, even though Asami is a better match for him. Until the last episode, we see him drifting more and more towards Korra and ignoring Asami, it does make him seem like a douchebag, but his character develops, he ignores his primal needs (sex + money) for the girl he really loves and cares about.

      You get a love triangle well concluded (Asami is foreveralone but hey, thats life), character development and even a sociological analysis on the side, all this wrapped up in an awesome show. This is how you handle romance perfectly and realisticly, compared with some shows like Sakamichi no Apollon, where no one has any balls.

  17. Tanwir says:

    I think the ending was a bit rushed but then I felt kinda excited. I, like many others, thought Korra was going on a Journey to restore her powers but the ending made me realise that there will be now a different plot. And maybe the first series was to show her development as an avatar. And remember what Aang said ‘when we are at are most lowest, we are most acceptable to change’. When aang was in a crisis about giving up his belief for the greater good, he then at his lowest point learnt to take people bending away. The avatar is there to bring balance to the world, therefore depending on the situation the avatar will change or gain ability to maintain the balance.

  18. Space Eater says:

    Reviews will be reviews: opinions. I personally liked the series, whether it had some flaws here and there, I enjoyed the show.

  19. animedude411 says:

    so im not sure how many people have explained this already, but the ending to korra makes sence if you have seen the original series.first of all korra using airbending to save Mako is a direct shoutout to how ang learned earthbending in the original series.he spends an entire episode trying in vain to master it (it is the one he has trouble with much like korra and airbending) but when his friends are in danger he just forces himself to get it right, cheesy perhaps, done before, yes, but completely out of place for either shows, no.

    second, the “dead people comming out of nowhere”. well in the avatar world, there is a spirit world where all of the deseaced avatars, as well as several actual spirits dwell. by connecting to it, and as an extension all the past avatars, you go into whats called the avatar state, as your body esentially beacomes a vessel for all the knowledge and power of every single past avatar, Ang learned how to take bending away from a lion turtle spirit at the end of the first series, its not too much of a streatch to assume that he figured out how to restore bending as well, so when korra goes into the avatar state (shown by the glowing eyes, and increadibly powerefull bending) she gains angs knoweldge of taking away and (presumebly) restoring somebodys bending.

    was it a tad rushed, perhaps, could they have figured a way to give you this information in this series, yeah, but it was defintly NOT a case of dues ex machina.

    personally i really enjoyed the entire series including the ending, but i also got more out of it having seen and loved the original series

  20. The Doctor says:

    Agreed I have seen and loved the original series in its entirety. I have seen all three of the original series in their unity and I love them. I watched the new one and admit that even with the ending I love it all the same even with the rushed ending because if you watched the original series it makes perfect sense.

    Still, as someone who is a fan of jap anime as well as Avatar I admit that I see where the others are coming from. Me myself I would have rather seen a series where Korra tried to regain her routes with the other three elements than just have all of the deceased avatars come out of her ass (still love Korra’s character by the way) and re-establish her connection with bending slowly and methodically rather than right away.

    That’s just me though, and with the calibre of the writers I am not going to give up on the next book, but I do admit that I would rather have that kind of outcome to that series. It’s not deux ex mechanica and I do have an interest in where they are going, but it still seemed kind of rushed.

  21. happy win says:

    My chip with this series is that it just seemed to lack the …. cultural richness if you will, as the first series. Earth nation fire nation, different groups different ethnic vibes, it just had republic city, just the one city. It was cool and I do like the idea but it just lost some of the depth and richness of the first series.

    Than there was the matter of the whole lightning bending, wasn’t that the purest form of fire bending. The one zuko couldn’t even do? Now its used by everyone for welding….. OK cool I guess
    Than blood bending, I used to like it but here it was like the chest code win
    Sorry I can’t loose I have blood bending.

    Romance also detracted from the whole show for me. Maybe because I’m not 13 maybe because I don’t like twilight, I font know but the romance just didn’t do it for me, the whole hugy lovey I lobe you ending just felt like…. I’m watching a cartoon for children.

    I was so excited to watch this being a huge fan of the original. Maybe that was my problem to high of expectations. It just dissipointed me enough where I’m not really interested in where they want to go from here. This is just my personal opinion, if you like this series or the romance or whatever thats awesome really. It just didn’t do it for me as we all have unique taste in anime, mine not as superior than anyone else.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
Rakugo, continues to be great and gets another time skip. Im always surprised by how engrossing it is just listening to these people talk.
Lenlo
Makes me sad, just like Berserk. Got an entire shelf dedicated to it but its just so slow. stupid boat.
Lenlo
Vagabond was phenomenal, but its been on hiatus for years now hasnt it
Kaiser Eoghan
....well without spoiling towards the middle of that rakugo episode and all throughout during that middle part, my opinion on Yotaro's character went far up.
Kaiser Eoghan
Struggling to remember the name of that josei samurai manga from the 90s (or earlier 2000s), had a gender bending theme.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've already read kenshin and vagabond, I loved shigurui death frenzy and sword of the stranger but found samurai champloo uneven. Theres a kagemusha manga but I haven't read it and I've yet to see/read blade of the immortal.
Kaiser Eoghan
At a glance I'll go against the grain and say I think demi-chan is funnier than konosuba, going on one episode of each.
I've been watching a fare share of samurai films in the last two years and lately so I'm open to wathing more anime/reading manga dealing with samurai.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, how I love to watch it jumping off the cliff. This show contains lines like "I don't understand... even if I did understand... but I don't understand." It isn't a dialogue that we encounter too often I'm sure.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
Masky
But yeah, I guess I could try to find the video if you guys are interested, though like I said, I got hipsterish feel from the video and felt rather annoyed through it even though I did get what the point was and found it sort of convincing besides my annoyance
Masky
(not that liking NGE is hipsterish, its just that I find NGE to be more style than substance sort of series <_< Anyway, guy didn't dislike madoka or anything, he just seemed to dislike people using word deconstruction wrong in his opinion)
Masky
(especially with how much they seemed to praise Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Masky
I mean, I think the guy was being somewhat hipsterish, but its true the being darker take on genre isn't same as deconstructing the genre
Masky
@AidanAK47: Some other guy on youtube did video that had actually pretty good point about how Madoka isn't really deconstruction, if you go by definition of "Break it down to parts and then play them straight to show how horrifying it would be in real life"
Anonymous670441
Gente - Ristorante no Hitobito
Kaiser Eoghan
If anything its the hate I have for certain characters that makes it more effective.
Kaiser Eoghan
The obsessional level of attachment is just uncomfortable to me, I don't want to get THAT attached to a non-real character.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its literally just a case of "Okay lets look at this picture of this character, she looks interesting, no feelings or expression from me, apply this fetish, fap, get release, go home. "
Kaiser Eoghan
Or drooling/dribbling/heavy breathing/grinning over the characters. I abhor alot of the anime girls I find attractive or am indifferent, even when looking at ecchi/hentai drawings I'm straight and clinical with it.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean to each their own. But I really hate the level of emotion/devotion to moe/finding the characters attractive. Such as celebrating their birthdays, going on about how cute/hot they are, how important it is that they're virgins. Or not being being self-aware of how irritating the characters are.
Lenlo
Anime hipster is pretty accurate. His general treatment of the current state of anime is annoying, as is his obsession with moe. Maybe its cause I cant stand moe most of the time, but it bugs me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: Essentially my brothers view on digibro.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I don't usually feel the need to correct errors in your reviews as the errors are generally un-important, but I think you meant to say apprentices rather than appearences in the Rakugo review, just bringing that up as it felt like kind of a throw off.
AidanAK47
Which is kinda like saying Madoka wasn't a magical girl deconstruction because Sailor Moon and Nanoha had dark elements too.
AidanAK47
Went and read the reddit comments on it and seems I was right on the money.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, He's basically a anime hipster. For example, I saw a thumbnail of his which had Saitama on it and below it "Is There Meaning In "Subverting" Shounen Tropes?" and I thought "Okay, he's going to go on about how OPM isn't subversive and then list a bunch of arbitrary examples in an attempt to redefine what is actually subversive"
Lenlo
I have lots of issues with Digibro. Dude has some good points, but other very horrible ones. Some issues he feels strongly about and gets kinda biased on imo.
Anonymous669202
acca looks visually interesting, and I personally really dig this kind of show, but it seems that it's definitely not for everyone
AidanAK47
Time to live up to my word. Four posts incoming.
AidanAK47
Man, Little witch Academia was so good. I disagree with the whole Digibro thing about being able to recognise a great show in it's first episode but watching this makes me think that this really is going to be something special.
AidanAK47
Alright, gonna put in effort today and have 3 or 4 first impressions posts done. That should knock out near half the season.
Kaiser Eoghan
Had a flip through handshakers. Garish is the word I'd use to describe it visually, it takes you out of the show.
Topgavin
ASuperMario From the first minute I can already tell it's by the same people that made K. Those colour filters and the extremely jarring/obvious city CGI is unmistakable.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, literally makes my hands shaking. It's an abosolute mess. Highly recommended to check it out because it's so terrible it's great to watch
Vonter212
Yeah, and it's also a literal woman in refrigerator plot device, since that the thing that pushes the story forward.
Masky
I'd say that having to hide your sister's body in fridge would count as daaaaaaark and edgy, but when the body is wearing only underwear, and for some reason main character put metal things in fridge to keep body standing(I guess to not knock fridge open from inside?) I think it goes to "exploitation" you are talking about
Vonter212
@Masky - Did someone said doing dark things for drama? That's the bread and butter to get despair. Unless it's for the sake of perversion. Then it's just exploitation.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Masky: His other works dead tube and scumbag go further in the unhinged regard.
Masky
*relies on easy "let's do [x dark thing] for drama!" thing
Masky
Geez, Mayonaka no X Giten is fricking disturbing/disgusting ._. I'm pretty sure that writing relies on e, but I can't help but think mangaka is trying to make corpses sexy.
SuperMario
I found Onihei to be quite good, actually one of the most solid new episode I watched this new season. Guys, check them out
Vonter
I just hope it doesn't fall into the same misstep Kabaneri or Inuyasha or Bleach fall by making a villain so over the top that it crossed the line of not having a satisfying downfall.
Anonymous657941
@Vonter I think they just moved on. I lost interest rather quickly and I guess even the fans did that at some point, like with some other long-running series. There is much more new and more direct "fujo" stuff out there, many of them probably switched. Don't know what happens in the manga but maybe the story got worse or contained things some people didn't like.
Vonter
January will be loli dictator month (for me) :p. World Conquest Zvezda Plot, Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil (new), Seraph of the End. For some reason I stumble into three curious series with little power hungry girls. If I can ask, why did Owari Seraph's hype died, I remember back it was mentioned more often. It still has the fujoshi fanart but still, I don't see people bringing it up.
SuperMario
@CATski: well, if you didn't like its first 3 episodes I dont think the rest gonna change your mind. Have you finished Erased then? How did you like it?
SuperMario
But I understand it's difficult to speak in front of camera, get some time to get used to it
SuperMario
@kaiser: I won't commend on poem as I'm terrible at it myself but younneed to work more on presentation Kaiser. Small little things like looking directly at the camera or say "thanks for listening" in the end can connect you to the audience better
Anonymous657071
Ok. I'll give the thing another chance. *clicks torrent* XD. CATski.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Topgavin: You might like centaur no nanami if you like demi-chan.
Kaiser Eoghan
Damn...repeated myself =<
Kaiser Eoghan
There are these things called slam sessions done in bars where people get up and read out stuff in front of a crowd and read stuff out. Actually watching rakugo made me think about practicing for that kind of thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: the video I did was of me reading out a short piece of writing I did, a poem. lol I uploaded it to the wrong youtube account too I just realized =P
[link src="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypBZ2hBDBYs&t=11s
I"] was recording this from my mothers laptops inbuilt cam while reading off my desktop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I think it's a good idea for you to try out reviewing movies/stuffs in youtube channel. I'll be very interesting to listen to them
SuperMario
@Topgavin: Agree. Demi-chan was so charming. Definately one of my favorite so far this new season
Total users: 40

Featured Posts

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. – 02 [The Partner in Crime’s Name is Nino]

I admit that although I think ACCA is one the most solid show this season and I in particular like how they set up the settings and the events to come, the first two episodes didn’t grab me that much personally. As a result, in prepare for this post, I went ahead and watching them […]

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – 15

It was inevitable that Yotaro’s past with the Yakuza would come back to haunt him but boy did it really bite him in the ass. I was wondering as to how the show would work with Yotaro and give him conflict but then this episode comes along and gives him plenty to worry about. He’s […]

Little Witch Academia – 02[Pappiliodya]

I may regret choosing to cover this series as what makes it great is a quality that cannot really be held up to professional scrutiny. Much like Triggers other works, it’s not what’s being presented that matter but rather how it’s presented. You can make the argument that Trigger doesn’t necessarily innovative but rather take […]

3-gatsu no Lion – 13 [Black River (part 2) – Beyond the Door]

This week we have 2 disjoined chapters, which are different in tones and more importantly in their point of view. We go through the first section from Smith-san perspective detailing his own thoughts towards the match against Gotou, and the latter part Rei took the stage, being on his way to challenge Gotou in next […]

Saga of Tanya the Evil – 02[Prologue]

As I initially thought, this series becomes a whole lot better when you can see the disparity between the main protagonists thoughts and how those around her view them. The first episode jumped ahead in the story to where Tanya had established herself somewhat and I believe the intent was to mislead the audience with […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2, Chaos;Child, Marginal#4 KISS Kara Tsukuru Big Bang and Scums Wish

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 Short Synopsis: Kazama stands trial after accidentally blowing up a lord’s manor while saving the town. This show certainly hasn’t lost it’s charm. I had the biggest smile on my face while watching and it even managed to get me laughing out loud at points. I will admit […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Onihei, Gabriel DropOut and ACCA – 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

Onihei Short Synopsis: A captured thief joins the police to hunt down his old leader. For a studio’s first work this is quite a solid offering. The beginning reminded me of samurai champloo though this seems more a traditional samurai story. Animation isn’t anything too impressive but it does the job and there is some […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Hand Shakers, Kemono Friends and Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Hand Shakers Short Synopsis: A boy holds the hand of a girl he finds in a hospital room and ends up in a supernatural battle to the death. GoHands, you know what would be great? If you know, instead of slapping on lens flares and colour filters all over the place, you just don’t do […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Little Witch Academia, Idol Jihen and elDLIVE

Little Witch Academia Short Synopsis: A normal girl goes to attend a academy for witches You know if the remaining 24 episodes are as great as this one this anime may end up on of my all time favorites list. Animation is great and full of personality, story is simple but fun and I had […]

Latest Reviews

Flip Flappers (Fall 2016) Review – 93/100

What makes Flip Flappers stand out from the rest of the anime field? I found a lot of people asking that question along the way. Well, first off, Flip Flappers isn’t your ordinary anime offering, that’s for sure. Its visual styles are too much and too incoherent for one thing, the narrative never really reveal […]

Sound! Euphonium 2 (Fall 2016) Review – 86/100

I must admit that out of all the series I was blogging last year, Sound Eupho 2 was the one I’m saddest to see it ends; not because it was my absolute favorite anime last year, but because the sheer amount of their attention to details and their ridiculously quest for perfection are something that […]

Fune wo Amu (Fall 2016) Review – 81/100

This series is, in retrospect, a really appropriate title that speaks to the very spirit of noitaminA block: an adult drama slice of life about the making of dictionary that surely don’t try to target the young audiences. Sound as dry as it is, Fune wo Amu’s actually one of the strongest noitaminA show come […]

Your name. (2016) Movie Review – 82/100

As of this writing, Kimi no Na wa, or Your name. has enjoyed a phenomenal commercial and critical success. It becomes the highest grossing film of the year in Japan, and broke many records elsewhere in Thailand, China, America… you name it. Even in the local theatre where I went to, we got a full […]

Occultic;Nine Review – 0/100

I am certain this may seem like an extreme rating for some but the number scale always has been something I only carried over as part of psgels format. But this rating exemplifies my feelings about this show in its entirety. This show is awful, terrible, rage inducing, illogical, nonsensical garbage. Watching this show was […]

Magical Girl Raising Project Review – 65/100

In the success of Madoka there have been plenty who have tried to capitalize on turning the Magical girl genre dark. Few have actually succeeded and while Magical Girl Raising Project doesn’t quite succeed, it is still a much more competent attempt than many others. The story is about a phone app which promises to […]

Yuri!!! on Ice (Fall 2016) Review – 83/100

“Can you hear my heartbeat? Tired of feeling never enough. I close my eyes and tell myself that my dreams will come true” That’s exactly what Yuri on Ice offers, a heart-pumping ride to the sport of figure skating. Yuri on Ice’s current success and mainstream breakout is something that no one could have guessed before it aired; but here […]

Strange Frame – Love & Sax (2012) Movie Review – 76/100

Hooray, I’m finally back to this section after a while. I originally plan to review a more in-focus groups of animated films, like Korean movies, anthology movies, female-directed films, etc but now I have a different plan. The days that I cover all these will come, I promise. Instead, this time I want to highlight […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy Review – 84/100

Sometimes you dread for the current state of anime: high school settings, cute girls, fan-service jokes, idol madness… that you wish for once to see something different, and out of nowhere an oddball like this just pop up: a wuxia puppetry show influenced by Taiwanese glove puppetry written by Gen Urobuchi. The sheer fact that […]