Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Legend of Korra! Sequel to Avatar the Last Airbender

Didn't know that they had a sequel in the making! I'd actually been wondering what the creators of avatar the last airbender were up to as I rewatched season 1 and managed to stumble upon the brand new series that is actually a sequel 70 years into the future from where we left off Aang and Katara (plus friends). In the middle of watching episode one and I'm noticing the changes for the positive! The animation style has been improved drastically and its very difficult to tell it apart from Japanese anime. Not just any anime either but high class stuff. Things you might see from Hayao Miyazaki's studio gibli type animation. Very well made and defined. The environment (the streets, architecture, technology) kind of reminds me of Full Metal Alchemist and Howl's Moving Castle. There are lots of architectural elements that are pulled from real life albeit American landmarks like the Golden Bay Bridge in San Francisco as well as the Alcatrez Prison which is the new temple that Aang created.

OMG the cops are like spider man LOL ;p But instead of using spider threads they're metal benders (advanced form of earth bending). I seriously miss the silliness of Aang, Katara and Sokka though. It's heart wrenching to let them go but I really hope that this series provides just as many laughs and as amazing of a story as its predecessor because they've definitely improved other aspects of the show. Right now it just feels like there's way too many adults in the picture and everything around Korra is so tightly controlled that there's no room for fun and games like the kid's adventure that started with Aang, Katara and Sokka fumbling their way around to get Aang trained. They managed to get sidetracked so many times, with their mini adventures and got to do all the things that Aang as any 12 year old would want to do. But there is a stark difference in this series because here everything is being controlled by the adults. Which surprisingly includes an adult Aang who tried to watch over Korra by making sure that she is well trained and extremely sheltered. Now his progeny who are also adults are in charge of making sure that Korra stays in line. They've practically drawn a box around her and told her where and when to breathe. Nothing like the freedom and carefree environment in which Aang grew up. Taking his own decisions doing what he wanted when he wanted. As an adult he's made a will in which he's taken all of that away from Korra. And even though she is 5 years older than him at the very start of this series, she's lived a very regimented life always under the watch of her teachers and she knows infinitely less about the world around her.

Episode two further elaborates on how Korra is fundamentally different from Aang even though she is his reincarnation. In the first episode it is shown that Korra was able to master water, fire and earth bending as a child and pretty much on her own without getting trained by a master like Aang but we find out now that she has never once been able to air bend. She has a personality that seems like a combination of Toph and Katara being both strong mentally and physically but she isn't patient, or smooth in her movements. There is always a lot of haste, a lot of fast reflex but no contemplative skill like what Aang had mastered as a young air bending monk. What's worse is that Tenzin, one of Aang's children, is her air bending master and he's carrying out his father's will of constantly keeping Korra under surveillance. The fact that they kept her in a high security facility all her life in the South Pole doesn't help the fact that she's becoming more and more rebellious. Only Katara seems to understand what Korra's going through and let's her go saying that the time of her brother and her friends has passed on with them and its time that Korra began to take care of her world in her own way. BUT for that to happen she's going to have to understand her world first and that's not going to happen if she's constantly being guarded or kept in enclosed surroundings.

LOL this is awesome Tenzin just says there's nothing for Korra to be worried about, when she can't concentrate during meditation, because air is the element of FREEDOM....can we get any more ironic than that? The poor girl has been caged up all her life and you expect her to feel FREE??!!! ROFL she blasted her way through the 2,000 year old basic air bending exercise simulation and blew it to smithereens!!! HHAHAHHAHAH But she makes it to the bending arena (bending has become a pro sport) and here's where she meets a pair of siblings who are competing for the championship title. Interesting to see that's they've added another pair of siblings only this time they're brothers and the younger one acts a lot like Sokka did when he saw a girl he likes LOL. The older one is pretty aloof and he reminds me a lot of Zuko, his name? Mako named after the voice actor of uncle Iroh from the last series who passed away before (or after) the series was completed. The fact that Mako is an fire bender probably helps that fact. Modern styles of fighting? Nice one Korra. She's totally into moving forward with what bending and its development have to offer and in the sport of pro bending she'll get to do just that...if Tenzin lets her...not by a long shot though. Just finished the episode and I don't think he'll have a choice *pfft* Korra's one strong headed child.

This show looks extremely promising, especially since they've made so many changes with the plot and the overall flow of the story. It might even be more relatable to the audience because it includes more things that we as viewers can relate to and by that I mean the technological elements. The music is smooth and subtle as always. Classical Asian and Native American instruments, depending on the scene with an added touch of 1930's United States California. I'm in for the ride!

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