Please note: this post will be talking about The Legend of Korra so there will likely be spoilers.
Although really the last episode aired in 2014 so if you haven’t seen it yet what are you doing with your life.
Okay, look. We all know that Avatar: The Last Airbender is a magnificent show. I’m not saying it’s bad or that there’s anything wrong with it. It might even be a better show than Korra. But personally, I geek out over Korra way more than ATLA. Maybe it’s because I watched Korra as it aired but only watched ATLA years after it ended. I’m not sure. But Korra is my #1 fandom and I feel like it’s a little bit underrrated, or at the very least lives in the shadow of its predecessor.
I’ve actually been wanting to post this for a long time and it just happens to coincide with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday so we’re doing it today. Also I’m perpetually in a state of rewatching The Legend of Korra on blu-ray so the topic is fresh in my mind.
ALSO TURF WARS COMES OUT IN A FEW MONTHS AND JUST LOOK AT THE SYNOPSIS OH MY GOODNESS.
(Except don’t look at the synopsis if you haven’t made it through all four Books yet.) I probably should have said that first but oh well.
Today I’m linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for a Top Ten Tuesday.
This week’s theme: fandom freebie
My topic: 10 Reasons Why The Legend of Korra is the best ever.
10. The soundtrack.
It actually pains me that the only Book One’s soundtrack has been released. All four seasons just sound great. Jeremy Zuckerman perfectly catches the feel of the world and the important points of each character and each episode. I will never get tired of listening to Greatest Change from the Book One finale.
9. The setting.
We’re still in the Avatar world, but 70 years have passed and a lot has happened. In ATLA, you could see that the fire nation was undergoing their industrial revolution. Technology has advanced a lot since then. Korra is basically set in the 1930s, and there’s also a hint of steampunk (especially with Asami), and I just love that. It’s a little weird to think about the Avatar being in the same world as cars at first, but it really grew on me. It’s so unique.
And with the new Republic City, you see the mixing of nationalities. The four nations were really divided in ATLA, but they’ve all come together in Republic City. You can even see it with Mako and Bolin, who are brothers but bend two different elements. You’ll sometimes see someone with blue eyes be an earth bender, or someone with brown eyes airbend, like Jinora. I think that’s really awesome.
8. The journey.
Korra’s journey is the opposite of Aang’s. When we meet Aang, he’s a master airbender and has to struggle to learn the others in a short amount of time. He also is fairly connected to the spiritual world and often receives guidance from past Avatars.
That’s all great, and I really liked Aang’s journey, but Korra does not repeat it. She’s Aang reincarnated, but her journey is basically the exact opposite. When we meet her, she’s the master of three elements, but has never been able to airbend. And she sucks at everything spiritual. She has to learn these things as she goes, and then her connection to her past lives gets severed, so she has to learn a lot on her own.
7. The spirit world.
Book Two is my least favorite, and sometimes things can be contradictory, but gosh I loved learning more about the spiritual world and how the Avatar came to exist. We only get slightly glimpses here and there in ATLA, but it’s so much more developed in Korra.
6. The reminiscence.
A lot is new in Korra, and the creators really strive to make it its own and not piggyback on ATLA, but every now and then they’ll give you a glimpse of the past and it’s wonderful. It’s fun to piece together what happened to the original characters when they grew up, and I love that they intertwine their histories with a lot of the new characters.
5. The villains.
So Azula is pretty much my favorite villain of all time, but Korra has a lot going for it. Aang was always running from the same thing, and it often felt pretty cartoonish. Korra’s villains don’t feel that way at all. Each season has a new villain, and each one of them is pretty terrifying. Their motivations seem legitimate and their threat is real. Each one of them is after something different: equality, power, chaos, unity. But each one takes their ideals to the extreme.
4. The time jumps.
I know a lot of people might not like time gaps between seasons, but I actually really like that about Korra. Sometimes the gap is small, only a few months or so, and then sometimes you jump three years, like between books three and four. But that allows a lot more to happen, and you get to see Korra’s entire character arc instead of just a glimpse. And it means new outfit changes and haircuts and darker blues and I just love that. I get so bored when animated characters wear the same thing every time.
3. The shorter seasons
Yeah, I wish there were more episodes. But I’m fine with the shorter seasons. Each one is only about 12 or 13 episodes, which makes them so easy to rewatch. And it makes the storytelling tight. Nothing is extraneous; everything was meticulously planned. Every episode contributes to a story arc.
(I really would have been fine with a Book Five, though. But I’ll settle for the comics.)
2. The characters and character development.
I want to preface this with a reminder that the creators of this show are both male. And it’s an action show marketed for children. But holy crap do they have great character, character development, and kickass females. Korra pretty much broke all the rules as the leading female of an animated action show (and continue to break stereotypes as the seasons went on), but man everything they do with characters in this show is amazing. You have girls with muscles. You have girls that like to dress up but can still hold their own in a fight. You have girls that are masters of their element. You have girls who are villains. You have girls who rescue men. You have girls that are there for each other. It’s just…it’s amazing. And it’s amazing to see how every character grows over the entirety of the show.
1. The utter gorgeousness.
There’s a reason I own these on blu-ray. The animation in this show is absolutely stunning. The bending, the backgrounds, the fine details. It’s all so utterly gorgeous and takes my breath away every single time. If nothing else, watch this show for the animation. You will not be disappointed.
What is your favorite fandom?
Have you ever watched The Legend of Korra?