It’s funny to think, but my most controversial article wasn’t when I claimed that the first Avengers movie was better than anything Star Wars has ever done. No. It was actually when I wrote about why I think The Legend of Korra is better than Avatar: The Last Airbender. And I say it’s my most controversial since I still sometimes hear people say, “That was you?” when I go into Avatar: The Last Airbender fan pages, as that article sometimes still comes up in conversation.
Now, here is the article in question. And, after rewatching The Legend of Korra for the umpteenth time (this time on SteelBook), it only helped reaffirm for me just why I love the sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender so much. In fact, I think I love it even more now than I did when I initially wrote that article. Now, this isn’t another comparison piece. This is purely me gushing over why I STILL love The Legend of Korra with my full heart and soul. Korra fans unite!
I Have Even More Appreciation For The Different Villains in Every Season
You know, when I first watched The Legend of Korra, I loved all the different villains (Well, except for Unalaq, but Book 2 was always my least favorite season). I thought they were all really diverse and unique in their philosophies as they pertained to the world of the story. But, since that time, wiser minds than mine have poured over said philosophies, and have actually pulled apart real ideologies, like populism, fascism, and anarchism. These were always there within the subtext, but I never thought to that extent whenever I watched the series. Like many, I mentally just pegged it off as a “kids’ show”. A more mature kids’ show, sure, but a kids’ show all the same.
But now that I’m aware of just how deep the show actually is, it elevates the series tenfold for me. I’m not just watching Amon as some dude who wants to rid the world of benders. I’m seeing him as somebody who is tapping into a groundswell of anger from people who want but don’t have. And then, I’m thinking about all the angry people in our own nation who choose political parties purely for hatred of the other side. And I get all that from “a kids’ show”. A Kids’ show! Yeah, Kids’ show, my ass. The Legend of Korra is deep as hell!
I Understand Korra More Now Than I Did Before
A lot of people don’t like Korra for a myriad of reasons. But one of the main ones is because they find her annoying. Yes, in Book 1, Korra is annoying, and for good reason. She’s the freaking Avatar! Unlike Aang, she masters her three elements by the time she’s 17. People have been fawning over and protecting her from the very beginning. So, of course when she reaches teen age and still can’t master Air, she’s frustrated.
That said, wouldn’t you be, too? I can personally remember having good grades in all of my classes EXCEPT for math in high school. It was so frustrating, and whenever I had to focus on math and couldn’t just coast on my other subjects, I got angry and became a very different person. I wasn’t the joker I was in my other classes, which I thought were really easy, and I became testy and even rude. Math challenged me, and instead of taking the mature approach and just hunkering down and investing all my energy in doing well, I blew it off and got upset when I’d fail. And do you know why? Because I was a teenager! And teenagers don't always make good decisions. Now, just imagine pretty much being a god, except for one detail getting in the way. That’s Korra, And I no longer find her annoying. I find her realistic.
I Can Appreciate The Animation Now More Than Ever Since I'm Not Just Focusing On The Story
I’ve seen The Legend of Korra all the way through six times now. That’s more than I’ve watched any other show ever. One season is usually enough for me, and I’ve only watched Avatar: The Last Airbender 3 times all the way through. But now that I’ve seen The Legend of Korra so many times and know all the story beats, I now pay more attention to the backgrounds and the animation itself, and wowie zowie, it’s really great!
Republic City, with all its steampunk-y goodness, is still a sight to behold, and the actual bending is so fluid and beautiful. Yes, it was also great in Avatar: The Last Airbender, but it’s cleaner here. It’s also a lot flashier. In ATLA, the bending always felt like it was out of necessity to tell the story, but here, there are a lot more flourishes, if that makes any sense. When I see Suyin Beifong fight Lin, or Zaheer airbend against Tenzin, it’s just so much more intense from an animation standpoint. It’s mwa! Chef's kiss, and I love it more and more with every rewatch.
I Actually Like Bolin Even More Now, Too.
I hate to bring up Avatar: The Last Airbender because I promised I would try not to compare it with this article, but I find it’s kind of impossible when discussing Bolin since he’s definitely The Legend of Korra’s version of Sokka. You know, the lovable character who can always relieve the tension, but should also be taken seriously when things get hairy. For some, Bolin is one of the main reasons why they don’t like The Legend of Korra because it’s so blatantly obvious that he’s supposed to be filling in the Sokka role on this show.
But you know what? I like Bolin more than Sokka. Yeah, I said it. And it took me a while to feel that way. I think it’s because of his sibling, Mako, as Mako is no Katara. What I mean is, Katara is interesting all by herself, and so is Sokka. They compliment each other well. But Mako isn’t all that interesting by himself. Bolin, however, elevates him, and he even makes Mako more interesting since they are so different when paired together. In that way, Bolin is doing a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to their relationship, but that just heightens his personality, making him really stand out, especially when he has to throw down and be a badass. I just love Bolin! And if we’re talking my favorite characters in the entire Avatar universe, it would probably be Toph, then Bolin. That’s how much I love the guy.
More Fans Have Embraced Korra Now Than They Did Before, So I Can Talk To More People About It
And this might be the most important reason of all, but people actually LIKE The Legend of Korra now that it’s on Netflix. In fact, a lot of people who had only seen Avatar: The Last Airbender and heard that The Legend of Korra sucked have now watched The Legend of Korra and realize that it’s awesome! Sure, most of those people will still say that they prefer ATLA, and that’s fine. I’m not asking anybody to trade one show for the other. I love Avatar, too.
And it’s cool that I now have people I can talk to about TLOK. I’ve been saying for years that I like Korra better than Avatar: The Last Airbender, and most people just called me an idiot. And while a lot of people will still call me an idiot, I now have a lot more defenders who will say, “Whoa, wait, you DON’T like The Legend of Korra?”, which is nice. Again, Korra fans unite!
But what do you think? Do you also love The Legend of Korra? Sound off in the poll below! And for news on the 2021 Fall TV schedule, make sure to stop by often!
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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.
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