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.|