Happy days are here again! After the great success of Avatar: The Last Airbender returning to Netflix, the streaming gods have decided to put The Legend of Korra, which is the follow-up series to ATLA, up on their streaming service. Coming on August 14th (!!), those who have never watched The Legend of Korra will finally get a chance to continue the journey in the Avatar cycle.
Now, obviously I’m excited since I’m one of the very few people who prefers The Legend of Korra to Avatar: The Last Airbender (Though, I definitely love them both). But this article is for the people who know very little or next to nothing about The Legend of Korra, and why they should be very, very excited.
Watching Avatar: The Last Airbender First is Not Required
This might sound like blasphemy to some fans, but I think it might be even better if you don’t watch Avatar: The Last Airbender before you watch The Legend of Korra. And that’s because the tones are so drastically different. I hate to say this, but there are a lot of fans of ATLA who cannot stand The Legend of Korra. And while there are a myriad of reasons why some people dislike it, I think the main reason is that it just feels so much different from ATLA.
Avatar: The Last Airbender deals with some pretty dark themes, like genocide and war, but it always tries to maintain a sort of whimsical tone to it since it’s a children’s cartoon. But The Legend of Korra is much, much darker, with some people thinking it’s trying too hard to be edgy. But I don’t think so. In fact, I like to compare it to the darker tone that the Harry Potter books on throughout the series. In my mind, ATLA = Harry Potter and the The Sorcerer’s Stone to The Prisoner of Azkaban, while The Legend of Korra = The Goblet of Fire to The Deathly Hallows. If that makes any sense.
For those who have already seen Avatar: The Last Airbender, here are the reasons you should be excited to finally watch Korra...
The Legend of Korra Extends the Story of Avatar: The Last Airbender 70 Years Into the Future
So say you have watched Avatar: The Last Airbender already (Which you probably have since it was the number 1 show on Netflix in America for a little while). If you have already binged that show, then you’ll probably want to know what happens after the adventures of Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph, and Zuko. Well, I have some good news, and some bad news for you. The good news is that all of your favorite characters from ATLA make some kind of guest appearance on The Legend of Korra. The bad news is that some of those characters are dead.
That’s because the events of Korra take place 70 years after the events of Avatar, which means that the world has moved on dramatically. In fact, the first image you really see in the show is Korra standing in front of a statue of an adult Aang, since she is the next Avatar in line. Oh, and speaking of which...
We Get to See the Next Avatar in Line
Segue! So obviously, The Legend of Korra is about the next Avatar, but Korra is very different from Aang. In fact, she’s pretty much the polar opposite of him. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but just picture Bizarro Aang, and you’ll probably have a pretty good picture of what Korra is like. Now, keep this in mind: You might not like Korra at the start of the show (Or by the end of the show, for that matter, as some people never warm up to her). But that’s intentional, since again, she’s very much unlike Aang. So a lot of the qualities that you liked in him, you probably won’t see in Korra. At least at first.
That’s the cool thing about Korra. She’s a really fascinating Avatar. She doesn’t have to rush through the process like Aang did, but at the same time, she has a lot of her own bumps along the road. As I said before, some people don’t like her journey as the Avatar (and there’s one moment in Book 2 that most ATLA fans unanimously hate), but it’s definitely different from Aang’s journey, whether you like it or not. Just so you to know.
The Action is Exceptional
The action in Avatar: The Last Airbender is awesome, but I personally think they take it to another level in The Legend of Korra. A common complaint of The Legend of Korra is that the characters aren’t as good as they are on ATLA. And while I disagree with that notion, I will say that I think Korra makes up for it in its action sequences, as I think they flow a lot better and look more dynamic.
That’s not to say that the action of ATLA didn’t work for me. It did. It definitely did. As I’ve said in the past, I love Avatar: The Last Airbender. But the action in Korra just blows me away. Plus, there’s a lot more metalbending on Korra, and also a new subbending technique on this show that I don’t want to spoil for you. So, if you liked the action on ATLA, then you’re in for a real treat with TLOK.
We Get Multiple Villains This Time Around Rather Than Just One Big Bad
And finally, a huge difference between ATLA and TLOK is that we get a different villain each season. In ATLA, we had a lot of smaller villains (Zuko being one of them early on) but Fire Lord Ozai (voiced by Mark Hamill) was the big bad and the main antagonist of the show.
Not so on The Legend of Korra, where each season has a compelling new antagonist. And while some villains are better than others on TLOK (I’m going to warn you in advance that Season 2 is a little slow), I think that the series best villains are way better, and more three-dimensional than Ozai ever was. So you definitely have something to look forward to with all four books if you’re into compelling antagonists.
And those are just some of the reasons why I think you should be excited for The Legend of Korra to appear on Netflix. I’m well aware that there are many, many people out there who will tell you that The Legend of Korra sucks, but don’t listen to those people. Watch it on August 14, and decide for yourself whether you like it or not. Let’s just say that I envy you. And that's because I wish Icould watch it for the first time all over again. Oh, well. I guess viewing number four should be pretty fun, too.
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.