The legend continues


photo by Amazon Prime Video

Korra along with the original members of her team, Bolin and Mako are featured with their respective bending abilities. Tenzin, the son of Avatar Aang is also shown.

Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, PBS Kids. Long ago the four children’s networks lived together in harmony, then everything changed when Nickelodeon aired “Avatar the Last Airbender” revolutionized television forever. ATLA was an important part of many childhoods, but after the ending of the show, a lot of people were left wanting more. Then more arrived with the show “The Legend of Korra” which brought back the story line in 2012 after ATLA ended in 2008.

Now available on Netflix, “The Legend of Korra” takes place in the Avatar universe as a four-season continuation of ATLA. Although “The Legend of Korra” takes place 70 years after ATLA, some of the original characters are still alive, but the world has a new Avatar, a 17-year-old Korra, who has the ability to master all four elements.

Vastly different from the original, the plot centers around Korra. With Korra’s spitfire personality and proficiency in the physical aspects of being the Avatar, she is almost the opposite of Aang, who was a spiritual master and kind-hearted. Dictated by the Avatar cycle, the rotation of which nation the next Avatar is born into, Korra is a part of the water tribe. 

The genius of “The Legend of Korra” is that it combines what fans loved about ATLA with themes that can be enjoyed by the now grown-up audience. Although Korra is the main focus of the show, the flashbacks give insight into what the original “Aang Gang” was like once they had grown into adults and had children of their own.

Despite the connections to ATLA, “The Legend of Korra” has its own charms. The new team consisting of Avatar Korra, Mako a fire-bender, Bolin an earth-bender, and Asami, a non-bender, has a unique dynamic. For example, unlike the core characters in ATLA, “The Legend of Korra” group had to overcome major personality differences in order to get along and finally consider themselves family. 

The genre of “The Legend of Korra” is mainly action/fantasy, but it also has aspects that would intrigue romance and comedy lovers. Rather than a love triangle, Korra is involved in a love square that often causes turbulence in the dynamic of the team. While many of the characters provide comedic relief, Meelo especially stands out, providing jokes at the right times to break up the tension.

Being an action-filled cartoon, the animation of the show excels at providing jaw-dropping graphics during important fight scenes. The fluidity of bending and motion in the art style allows viewers to be fully immersed in this fantasy world.

Where “The Legend of Korra” falls short is the lack of sympathy you feel for the characters. Even though the show itself is enjoyable, it is hard to feel sorry at the low points of each character, being that they usually bring about their own downfall. Lots of the turmoil in the show is caused by a subpar choice that could have easily been avoided, so where the creators may have wanted you to feel grief, it leaves you feeling annoyed.

While “The Legend of Korra” will never have the nostalgic feel associated with ATLA, it provides a mature telling of a new story in the universe many know and love. Any Avatar fan looking to be immersed in the fantasy world of bending and spirits would enjoy watching this well-developed series.