I know it’s not anime but whatever, I wanna talk about this piece of awesomeness.
Honestly, western cartoons have a knack of totally not catering to my preferences. Of course I watch cartoons ever since I was a kid but the stuff that I’ve always wanted to watch appeared in anime. Stuff liked actual characterization, a plot and those things. . . I actually want that to come out of cartoons. Not that I don’t appreciate the ones that don’t. I love very intellectual, smart, funny, sitcom cartoons likes The Simpsons and Family Guy as much as other people. Heck even Disney Channel, Cartoon Network and Niceklodeon have this with “Adventure Time”, “Phineas and Ferb”, “Spongebob” etc etc. But I guess in a sense, I wanted to see a cartoon, with a proper story, plot, characters and shit. This is when Avatar steps in.
Avatar: The Legend of Aang answered is the gap that what was lacking in my western cartoon life. It had everything I wanted from a story. A great plot structure build upon many different episodics, compelling characters that you get attached to more and more as the episode count rises, and an actual use of visuals with an amazing input in animation. This is what I wanted from western cartoons and The Legend of Aang gave this to me and more. So imagine the look of my face when they announced The Legend of Korra, the technically sequel to the original Avatar. It promised a more darker tone in plot, a more steampunk world in setting and a more mature set of characters. It had a lot of hype with it. But the big question would be, did it deliver in it’s promise? Well I loved it but not to the extent that I thought I would.
The Legend of Korra has an amazing plot that really doesn’t leave time for a breathing space. In each episode, the plot gets thicker and thicker as the problems of Republic city becomes bigger and stakes become higher. While Aang’s story had a lot better structure in it, Korra makes up for it through . . . well the awesomeness of the story itself. I honestly liked all the plot revelations even with the wonky pacing. It really delivered in this sense.
What Korra unfortunately suffers from is a lack of character depth. Korra is definitely a good character, I’ll give you that. She’s whiny and annoying but the way her character is built up is really really good. Her strengths and weaknesses are very much highlighted in the course of the series and you could actually see a change in her towards the season finale. The other characters though, I don’t like as much, MAINLY KORRA’S FRIENDS. My god these people are so One-dimensional. They never break their archetypes and actually become characters. I don’t hate them but I don’t particularly care about them. This really hurts the series because The Legend of Aang had an amazing cast, and when I say amazing, I mean AMAZING. Korra, because of the lack of time and with the really huge plot and all, didn’t have much time for this. Don’t even get me started with the romantic yadda yadda which was cute at first but became incredibly dull. In the end, a lot of the characters in Korra felt like they were made by fan fiction writers or something.
On a more positive note, Korra had amazing animation. And when I say Amazing, again I really mean AMAZING. It was like The Legend of Aang Season 2 times 100. The fighting choreography is really awesome and detailed (even anime can hardly top this) and the CGI for the steampunk setting actually fitted really well (very reminiscent to ufotable’s works). And like The Legend of Aang, Korra has a fantastic setting. Republic City is fleshed out amazingly because of this.
While the ending was a bit too happy for me, remember we are only HALFWAY through the story. There still a lot more to come and in addition to that, a lot more plot points that have not been revealed (Iroh’s character in general since he is related to Zuko I assume) and I’m really pumped up for the second season whenever that comes.