Right, so I keep telling myself that I’m going to do some awesome and amazing catch-up posts for every single episode that has aired so far. But then a funny thing happens: a new episode comes out every week, like magic. It’s quite obvious to me at this point that I don’t have time to do proper posts for each episode and the longer I put it off, the more this is going to stress me out because the pile just keeps getting bigger.
So, instead, I’m going to hit random highlights/thoughts for the first six episodes so I can get it out of the way. Maybe then I can keep up with the show. Please no spoilers for episode seven—I have to wait until Nick.com puts up the episode. But from here on out you should get a mid-week post about every episode. Shouldn’t that be fun?
I love Korra. Wholeheartedly, without reservation, from the very first moment we saw her. I love that she is the human incarnation of a bulldozer. I love that she tackles everything head on and never dreams of failure being a possibility. I love her immense physical strength and emotional vulnerability. I love that she’s been sheltered and taken care of her entire life and isn’t always aware of social niceties. I love that she isn’t afraid to have burping contests or kiss the guy she likes or (ill-advisedly) call out the evil man for a one-on-one fight. Most of all, I think I love how no one treats her as Aang Version 2—she is her own, complete person even if she yet one another incarnation of the Avatar Spirit.
I love Tenzin, Pema, and their children. The family dynamics had me in giggles from the start, and their kids are adorable. I like how the girls took to Korra straight away and how it took Tenzin a while to warm up. (But Tenzin still cares about her and cheers her on and advises her—even if she doesn’t always listen.) I love how serious he is in contrast to the Aang we all adored in the original series. It was so cool to see the kids do the air scooter and how they had a sky bison and everything. I love poor, frazzled Pema and her ability to keep everything together anyway.
I love Bolin and Mako. I have always and will forever adore siblings that get along well and have each other’s backs in an us-against-the-world mentality. I love that their brotherly bond is strong enough to withstand them both liking the same girl, and I love that they’re great teammates on the pro-bending field. It’s fun to watch them interact with each other, with Bolin’s goofy and warm personality and Mako’s awkward and reserved attitude. Oh, and let’s not forget Pabu, who is my favorite creature in this series so far. Sorry, Naga.
I love Amon and the Equalists. Amon is hands-down terrifying, and I love him for it. I love that he has an angsty backstory and valid gripes about the current status quo. I love that he has a huge group of well-funded, dangerous, people who are wholly devoted to him and his cause. His face off with Korra was brilliant and smart and I cannot wait to find out who he is and whether or not he can permanently strip people of their bending. Also? I love that for all the Equalists are nameless, faceless people, they’ve gone out of their way to make sure they’ve drawn some women in their ranks.
What I’m most excited about the Equalists is that they have some legitimate complains about the way the world is. They are extremists, but I’m still thrilled that the story is actually tackling social issues.
I love Republic City and this updated world. I’ve always had a fascination with the Roaring Twenties, and Republic City hits a lot of those same happy places: sprawling metropolis, organized crime, politics, social issues, etc. I love the Satomobiles and the radio (the announcer is amazing~) and electricity and the outfits. I was particularly excited about their actually being multi-racial families.
I love Lin Beifong. I love that she doesn’t care that Korra’s previous incarnation was BFFs with her mother and how she is rightfully annoyed at the Avatar’s appearance. And her metalbending is amazing. I love her and the rest of the Republic City metalbenders, though I’m a little annoyed at how easily she was manipulated and her people were taken down. But. That’s okay because then we got to see Lin be the most awesome person ever.
I enjoy pro-bending. It was fun while it lasted, but consider the arena just went kaboom and our heroes lost the finals, I’m guessing we’re done. I’ve always enjoyed playing sports more than I enjoyed watching them, so while the matches were fun, they weren’t as exciting as, you know, actual fights.
I’m intrigued by Asami. She has a pretty awesome character design, and it’s fun that there’s a non-bender that is/may be part of the main cast. I don’t really want her to be evil, but it’s looking like she or her father might be involved with the Equalists, if only because they’re named characters that are involved with our heroes who haven’t, you know, done much of anything plot significant. If she is an Equalist sympathizer, I hope she does end up on the side of good.
I’m intrigued by these flashbacks Korra keeps having. These flashbacks must be the key to solving the Amon problem—otherwise why would they be here at all?—but I’m getting impatient to know what happened.
I’m concerned that Korra is really the only main female character so far. Lin finally got some screen time in episode six (and was so amazing, I want to be here when I grow up), but Asami, Pema, Jinora, and Ikki have gotten very little. The series is threatening to be a “one amazing girl with a bunch of boys” show, which makes me sad. One of the things I loved most about ATLA in seasons two and three was that we got to see that there was more than one young woman who could be 1) powerful and 2) a driving force in the story. I also loved seeing the different female friendships and relationships, and right now LoK is lacking in that regard.
I’m a bit weirded out by how often Korra’s skin color changes. Sometimes the color change is to being under the lights in the pro-bending arena and having a plastic(?) face shield, which makes sense that she’d be a bit bleached out. But I think her skin color—and that of other ethnically Water Tribe characters—varies wildly. Which makes me sad. Korra has darker skin than all the other main characters thus far revealed. Please remember that, animators.
And to close it all out, here are some random thoughts/speculation:
- As fun as it might be to speculate about Amon and Koh, I don’t think Koh stole Amon’s face. I’m more inclined to believe Amon’s version of the story. Also, we clearly saw one of Amon’s eyes through the eye holes in the mask, which means Koh couldn’t have stolen his face. Koh takes the entire face. Go back and look at the baboon with the stolen face in “The Siege of the North, Part 2.”
- That said, I’m annoyed that firebenders are apparently still the only source of angsty backstory in this universe. Firebenders killed Kya, killed Jet’s family, burned Song, severely screwed up Zuko, etc. in the original series, and here they’re responsible for Amon’s disfigurement and Mako and Bolin’s parents’ death. Aren’t there any homicidally inclined earthbenders or waterbenders? C’mon, spread out the tragedy please.
- I have a very special place in my heart for the pro-bending announcer. The guys is an absolute hoot, especially right before an Equalist took him down.
- I really hope that they’re going to show us Zuko’s daughter, who is the new Fire Lord (Lady?). Also that we see Zuko, because he’s the only other original cast member we know for sure is alive. I want him and Katara to hang out and say hello or something.
- The White Lotus has done a supremely horribly job of protecting the Avatar. I was hoping they’d show up and be like Korra’s emergency ninja squad or something. Otherwise they’re only glorified babysitters and really poor guards for Air Temple Island.
- I want to see/learn more about the Air Acolytes. I also want them/their descendants to become airbenders. Alas, I’m unlikely to see that happen in this series unless Korra somehow gains the ability to grant bending to all people. Which would be an interesting, if impractical, way to solve the Amon problem.
- Why haven’t guns been invented yet? You’d think with how concerned a significant portion of non-benders are about their safety/status in society, they’d be all over trying to figure out a way to defend themselves against aggressive benders. This world does have fireworks, and guns are a lot easier to train on than learning chi blocking.
- The raid on the underground Equalist dojo left an awful feeling in my mouth. Way to let everyone know that, yeah, the Equalists are right and that benders will abuse their authority and throw you into jail for not breaking any laws. All they were doing was learning how to fight—you can’t possible keep those people under arrest for any significant length of time, right?
So yes, there’s my jumble of thoughts for the past six weeks. I love this show, and I can’t wait to see what they do with the rest of the season. Any points you think I should have commented on but didn’t? I’d love to hear your thoughts!