Avatar The Legend of Korra: Goodbye

The_Legend_of_Korra_Season_4_Trailer_Creates_“Balance”_For_Final____[1]I had to take a while to wrap my head around this (probably more than I needed) because this isn’t just the end of Avatar: The Legend of Korra, but more than likely the end of the entire franchise. While I do think it’s essential to talk about the end of the season there is just as much to talk about regarding the series as a whole and its proper place. No more, lets just get into it.


I just wanna get this out of the way now. I enjoyed the finale itself much more than I did the finale to end ATLA. I liked the balance of action and storytelling without having things happen for the sake of the plot. Some of what LOK get’s criticized for is the fact that things happen solely for the sake of plot and there’s no foreshadowing for it or justification. Well if you look at the finale of ATLA much of that happens in the finale. Some can say they can get away with that because of the job they did throughout the series but for me there’s always something to be said about finishing strong. That’s just me but feel free to say why you disagree.


What stuck out the most about the finale was how it wasn’t an over-the-top style of finale. It was not overly formulaic of the final villain going against the main character and went a different route with Korra as a character and her exchange with Kuvira. She showed Kuvira everything an avatar is supposed to be from the power and strength to the wisdom and courage and through all of that she realized that her efforts had been exhausted. I just wish we saw more of Kuvira’s history. Don’t get me wrong, there were standout performances  from characters like Bolin, Su, and Lin with lots of large-scale feats to speak of. I enjoyed Korra defending herself from a direct blast from the spirit cannon and Mako detonating the core of the giant mech. I think it’s just that it was less formulaic of a finale and more of an intricate and strategic resolution when the drama reached it’s climax.

There was still more than enough for the fans throughout the season as Varrick and Zhu Li finally made the jump as well as Korra and Asami. Korra finally rounded out as a character befitting the role of an avatar (even though it took a little longer than I had hoped). There was even some room to see Bolin as more than just comic relief and allow for Lin some much more development and time with Toph. Although the recap episode did not help the latter half of the season (like at all), in a vacuum it wasn’t that bad just (highly) unnecessary. The political commentary wasn’t lost as some (like myself) thought that the moments leading up to the finale had us believe that the Prince Wu would be receiving enough development to have us see him as the earth king by the end. I found it fresh and much more fitting to see them take another route as all of the things that took place were reminiscent of the inherent problems of the political landscape as it stood. Also, he just wasn’t ready and Wu even realized that and believed that a democracy would serve the people better.


Verdict: The biggest thing to take from this is that the series (save for the comic book) is done. The comparisons between ATLA and LOK will continue for the most part and as such I think we all know where the favoritism will lay. I personally won’t do too much of it because it’s kinda unfair. The latter of the two had to deal with things the former never had to and was still able to put out a competent product at the least. For me it isn’t about which one was better or not, instead it is appreciating the superior quality the series as a whole has given and how it stacks up as a great animation. It stands out to many as possibly the best western animation in the last decade and a half and has accolades to support that claim. It has captured many and has easily branched far beyond the audience it targeted when it all began. Very few western animations have the following this series has and will continue to have. It is unique unto itself and as someone who has followed the entire series since it’s beginning, I have been reminded by it constantly of what a series can be when an artist has respect and passion for their craft, vision, and their fans. From the production team to the voice actors and everyone in between, this series has heart and a commitment to quality in a way that few series (animated or not) seem to maintain. I have heard that this doesn’t feel like the end or that the finale didn’t have a definitive enough finish. For me it did. I’m done with the series; but not in a bad way. It’s done far more than I could have asked for and I am beyond content. Some can’t let a good thing go forgetting that all good things must come to an end. The series has run a remarkable course and honestly, I have no problem letting go.

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“When you base your expectations off only what you see then you blind yourself to the possibilities of a new reality” – Zaheer

 Avatar The Legend of Korra Book Four: Balance stays at a 4 out of 5

+ Very cohesive finale without it being excessive

+ Solid fanservice to round out the series

+ Bolin and Varrick both were better characters for the series

+ I liked the political aspects that played out

+ I finally really saw Korra as the avatar in more than just name

– It just took a little too long for my liking to see Korra be the avatar

– Recap episode was unnecessary (Don’t worry, I know why they did it though)

– Needed a little more Kuvira backstory

What? it’s done.

Avatar The Legend of Korra B4: Balance Is The Name of the Game I Guess

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So, were about halfway through the final season of Avatar: The Legend of Korra (LOK) and I think it’s safe to say that since the beginning of book three, the series has found a groove and a method that works for them. People maligned the initial two books consistency and constantly made comparisons to its predecessor Avatar: The Last Airbender (TLA). While I feel much of it was unfair, what was undeniable was that the quality of the first half of the series was not up to par and left many with low expectations for the second half. Even though the network didn’t have as much faith in book three, (as evidence as how the season ended) it was clear that series had genuinely turned a corner and with book four it has seemed to continue to adjust and ride that wave of success.


Book four entitled Balance picks up three years after the battle with the Red Lotus and sees Korra looking for a way to regain her physical and emotional stature.  Her struggles are clear in the beginning as she is in all parts of the world to fix whatever Legend_of_Korra'_Book_4_Spoilers__Was_A_Season_4_Kuvira_Scene____[1]is wrong with her. With Korra’s absence, the new air nation has taken the task of peace keeping. Elsewhere, one of Suyin’s brightest disciples Kuvira has been on a path to rebuild the earth kingdom as the “Great Uniter” in the wake of the Earth Queen’s death. With the help of Bhataar Jr (Suyin’s oldest son and Kuvira’s Fiance) and Bolin they have created an army which exchanges their assurance of protection and goods for their undying allegiance. It’s clear that Kuvira has plans beyond simply uniting the earth kingdom and with the amount of support she has obtained she is not far from achieving her goals.

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Korra at the end of Book three

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Korra at the beginning of Book four

What this book has going for it (as opposed to the previous one’s) was the development of the story at the end of the previous book. Given the different structure of this series in terms of episodes and season’s as opposed to the previous series there is not the same amount of time in season to develop the same way so there is even more emphasis on making the carryover from season to season seem fluid, While it wasn’t there as much from book one to two or two to three, it was there for this one. Better (not more) exposition also has to be a priority as there may be more seasons but there’s less episodes in the season and with the season’s change so does the antagonist and the journey. This has been much better in book three and the thus far in four as there are not a lot of side stories to congest the season and convolute the plot progression as a whole.

More character involvement and development is also at the helm of the first half of this season as we see Korra deal with a level of vulnerability she has never faced before. With Bolin we see that being apart of Kuvira’s army is to defend ideals he does not agree with as he begins to learn how she attempts to gain power. He is still the funny and aloof comedy relief that the series isLOK book 4 episode 1 bolin known for given its main audience is still towards a younger demographic (and a better one on average than Sokka but I know I’m in the minority on that one), but he has a sense of purpose now that he was looking for in the previous books. Whether it’s being apart of the army or rebelling against it it supplThe_Legend_Of_Korra_Book_Four_Official_Trailer_Has_E_At_Last[1]ies him with a much needed depth of character. Using secondary characters like Tenzin’s children or older characters like Katara and Toph for stretches provides freshness (especially in the case of Katara and Toph) for the season as it continues. The inclusion of Tenzin’s children was also necessary so we get know them a little more. In the end they resemble their father and grandfather very much and learning that can be a good thing for viewers as they identify with them better as they become larger parts of the story. Even though id still like to see more of some other characters like Mako and Chief Beifong, it’s been pretty consistent the entire way.

Some how some way the writers have found a way to make lemonade out of lemons as they conclude this series bringing together all the former antagonists (notice I didn’t use the word villains) and use them to make Korra a better character (which is also what they should’ve done in the first place). She is beginning to learn that it is not so much about who she is but what her job is. The Avatar legend-of-korra-season-4-episode-4-tophis much more than a person who bridges two worlds and “takes the bad guys out” when the world needs it. She is a symbol. As that symbol of peace and righteousness she has to inspire and realize that the world has changed and has to be a leader in that change. They still do need the Avatar just not in the way the used to (just as Toph tried to teach her when they met… man I love her). As with her previous adversaries, Kuvira presents a clash of opposing ideals (instituting a fascist-like regime to gain autonomy over the entire nation of people and probably all nations) and it remains to be seen if Korra can take what may have been mistakes (simply rushing in head first without understanding the ramifications of the actions) in the past and use them to usher in a new era for the world and show them how the Avatar and its relevance has changed. They kinda robbed Korra of that development by bailing her out with antagonist that started out with great potential but fell disappointingly flat (with the exception of Zaheer). With a more mature Korra and what is probably the most complex antagonist either series has seen in Kuvira, this could shape out to have the best finale either series has seen (which is good because I wasn’t a huge fan of the series finale of TLA, seriously I wasn’t).


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Seriously, this show has taken some lumps in more ways than one

Verdict: As I have said before it is clear that this final book is great has all the makings to be mentioned in the same breath as its predecessor in terms of quality which is quite the turnaround from where it was before even book three. I’ve always seen LOK as being the opposite of TLA. Where the latter was essentially more plot driven with great characters to support the plot, the former seems to be more character driven as they use the plot to support the characters. Problem is that you still need a good plot to do that and while LOK has had its moments the plots fell short sometimes as they were never really explored by the characters to the extent they needed to thus inhibiting true development. One of the biggest reasons TLA is looked at so fondly is that because the plot was so important they gave the characters time to explore the finer points and create more time for characters to develop throughout the journey and make a good story a great story. It’s all relative now because the creators have found a way to still make the previous seasons worthwhile for Korra and the rest of the cast. If they have put as much effort into the second half of the season as they have this first it could save the series from a lot of ridicule and make its place beside TLA look quite a bit better.

The first half of Avatar The Legend of Korra Book Four: Balance gets a 4 out of 5

+ Better direction for Korra and other side characters

+ Plot consistency

+ Great potential in antagonist and finale

– Would still like to see some more reoccurring characters get more screen time

Catch Avatar The Legend of Korra Fridays on Nick.com

October Message From The Editor-In-Chief

With witches on brooms, spirits on edge, and monsters under the bed, it can mean only one thing… it’s October! Bumps in the night, the funk of forty thousand years (Yes, I pulled a Michael Jackson there), and candy won’t stop us from doing and enjoying our jobs.

For gaming, we have our 3DS’s fully charged and Super Smash Bros. busting our fingers and the scary moments from PT and The Evil Within. Speaking of those two horror games, we will have a livestream with the latter two titles and a commentary video of our reactions as well, so stay tuned later this month!

For movies, we’ll be watching Annabelle & Dracula: Untold to creep us out of our seats, and John Wick for the action thrill seekers.

Television has our attention with the series premiere of The Flash and Constantine, as well as season premieres of Regular Show, The Legend of Korra, and The Walking Dead.

Our ear buds are ringing on music, with albums from Steve Aoki’s Neon Future and Taylor Swift’s 1989.

Our main focus at the moment is still building the company and the release of our newly designed website, which is schedule to have its official launch in the first week of November. We can’t wait to start posting all our reviews, gameplays, and livestreams in one place over using individual social media outlets, which will still be available for you to get in contact with us.

So, lock your doors, close your blinds, and stick with us as we save you from the horrors of bad games, movies, television, music, and comics… but we can’t protect you from the mad man wearing a leather mask, wielding a chainsaw, and hiding in your backyard. You’re on your own for that one.

Boo!

Grayson M.
Editor-In-Chief