In this issue: Major Spoilers reviews Brave and Legend of Korra. Plus, why does everyone dislike Cars 2 so much?


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  1. June 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm — Reply

    ‘Skeletons in the Closet’, the episode revealing Tarrlok/Noatak story is very reminiscent of ‘The Avatar and the Firelord’ quite possibly THE best episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, in my opinion. Both episodes have historical revelations concerning our big bad. Tarrlok and Zuko both imprisoned with the telling of the tale, and the revelation of a familial connection not revealed up to this point. Just found that an interesting parallel.

    As a series some of the biggest issues I have with Legend of Korra arise when comparing it to A:TLA. Most of my problems have to do with pacing. I felt Korra’s issues with her Airbending and the spiritual aspects of her bending weren’t addressed as pressing, there didn’t seem to be any urgency as it related to facing the Amon threat. Aang’s Earth and Firebending training were very urgent, and were integral to the plot.

    I think Korra’s airbending coming out with Amon’s removal of her other bending abilities made sense, but it still felt rushed and it didn’t especially resonate the way is could have, nor did her achieving the Avatar state. Her communication with Aang felt a little Deus ex Avatar to me, and lacked a lot of the impact that is should have had. If the season had maybe one or two more episodes to explore Korra’s loss of her abilities, and address the fact that she has to be the Avatar without her water, fire and earthbending, I think the conclusion would have had more emotional impact.

    In the original series the pacing was more relaxed (as it could to be due to the sheer number of episodes available to tell the tale) so the character pieces tended to be more impactful. That being said, even with the minor issues I had The Legend of Korra I think it is a fantastic show, and is heads and shoulders above any other animated show on the air right now. Comparisons to the original A:TLA are inevitable, but I personally feel the original Aang arc was one of the best scripted/plotted shows (animated or otherwise) of the decade of the aughts.

    I do like the idea of a third series as some point focusing on the Earthbender Avatar, likely set in an almost contemporary modern setting if you extrapolate Korra as being the 30s-40s and push forward another 60-80 years. That could really turn the concept on its ear. Follow that by a series featuring the next Firebender Avatar in a futuristic setting (possibly ending with that Avatar’s death and the birth of the first Airbending Avatar since Aang) and you have a fantastic Avatar Cycle covering each element and coming full circle. I think the success of Korra spinning out of A:TLA but changing the time period introducing mostly new characters and settings proves it could be done, and done well.

  2. July 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm — Reply

    Legend of Korra is an awesome miniseries, and a worthy successor to The Last Airbender. The Avatar saga continues to get me involved and rooting for the characters in ways that dramas meant for adults never seem too. One of the highlights for me were the brief glimpses of Aang and the gang (hey it rhymes!) as adults and meeting they’re kids and grand kids. Re-entering this world after 70 years gave me a weird form of nostalgia and made me understand my grandparents a little better. I kept wanting to go up to characters and say “Hey, I knew your dad when he was 12”

    That said, I do have a few issues. Two minor, and one major:

    1.) Mako and Bolin basically felt like they re-skinned Zuko and Sokka, respectively. While I understand that the story had to move quickly, I never really felt like they came into they’re own and distinguished themselves form the funny guy and the serious guy from the last series.

    2.) The specialty schools of bending (metal and lightning) felt too common place to me. In the last series it takes elite training form Uncle Iroh or a moment of genius from a savant like Toph before the characters are able to do these these things. Having a factory full of guys to shoot lightning at a generator, the fact that a street urchin like Mako can bend lightning, and having a police force full of metal benders, made these abilities seem less special to me.

    3.) Lastly (and this is the major one), It kinda bugged me that nobody stood up and said, “Hey, I don’t like the fact that Amon is using violence and extremist tactics, but he’s got a point. Non-benders are at a serious disadvantage to benders.” Clearly, judging by all the people showing up at Equalist rallies, Amon’s message is resonating amongst the mundane citizens of Republic City. We don’t even see non-benders represented in scenes with the city council. I understand that they only had twelve episodes to work with, but some kind of acknowledgement of the chunk of the population that clearly feel like they’re being marginalized would have been nice. One of my favorite things about The Last Airbender was that they took every characters motivations into consideration when plotting his/her course through the story, and it seems a shame to have something so glaring go unaddressed in The Legend of Korra. Hopefully they’ll open the next series with a few scenes of Korra or the city council trying to appease the non-benders and working to correct some of their concerns.

    Overall, I would definitely recommend The Legend of Korra to any fan of the first series or anyone interested in a jumping on point for the Avatar saga. 4 Slices of meatloaf from me.

  3. b003
    July 2, 2012 at 10:02 pm — Reply

    I miss the journey of discovery that Ang had and she doesn’t. The mythical creatures, like that face stealer. Seems like most of the magic and mystery has been replaced by steampunk.

  4. Tony
    July 4, 2012 at 8:03 pm — Reply

    Ever since the third episode, I was really appreciative of the darker, albeit often discouraging, tone of the series. The main characters were constantly on the ropes. Either flat out losing or slinking away with their hides barely intact. But even so, it stayed consistent with its flow and continued to deliver great writing up until the last episode.

    Almost all of my issues with the series are with the way it was wrapped up.

    1) General Iroh, a character that got me really excited, just didn’t deliver for me. He’s a skilled firebender, sure. His heritage alone is going to see to that. But they also made him a general. I was really hoping to see him exhibit something that spoke to how he earned said title. He wasn’t an strategist and he wasn’t an especially critical thinker. Just a skilled fighter.

    2) Korra’s idea of “exposing” Amon is going to tell everyone at the rally, a room full of people who love and support Amon, about his past as a waterbender and have not a single shred of proof to back it up. What did she think was going to happen? None of those people had any reason to trust her.

    3) I said it when I saw it and I’ve heard people say it independently since, (Including a previous commentor) but Aang unlocking Korra’s power stunk of Deus Ex Machina. She hit rock bottom, ok. But she didn’t work for it really. Aang sweat blood and tears to become a fully realized avatar. Now, the stage is set for any avatar with moderate spiritual awareness to have their power fully unlocked at any time. And not even during a solstice!

    4) The most powerful moment in the series for me was Lin Be Fong’s heroic sacrifice. She was a strong character and her depowering was an incredibly moving moment. So when her power was restored at the end of the series, I was outraged. Just as comics have made death meaningless with their constantly bringing people back to life or retconning the actual deaths, LoK removed the power from Bei Fong’s sacrifice by giving her power back. I would have much rather seen her try and live without it and still contribute. You don’t need bending to be hard as nails.

    5) Okay, this is my last one because I think I’m starting to ramble. Korra, even despite her poor spiritual awareness, had 3 distinct opportunities for her Avatar state to trigger. Both times she was at Amon’s mercy and the one time Mako was, she was some combination of afraid and desperate enough that it should have triggered. Roku described it as a “defense mechanism”. What kind of poor defense mechanism doesn’t trigger when your life is literally in peril? Instead of her somehow having airbending unlocked, I felt the avatar state should have triggered with the justification that you can’t just seal the Avatar’s power. She’s the Avatar. There’s just too much power there. Then she could have bent her other elements as normal again and I would have been satisfied.

    On average, the series was pretty amazing. 3.5 stars overall. But I’m sad that I’m mostly alone in my dissatisfactions. I was highly anticipating the series and even bought all but the last two episodes on itunes in a desire to show my support. I don’t think I’ll be doing the same thing for season two unless I hear some pretty amazing stuff. :-/

  5. Charlie
    July 7, 2012 at 11:47 pm — Reply

    Just have to say
    Both Brave and Korra were awesome.

    Brave met my expectations, which were extremely high given Pixar’s previous success.
    Legend of Korra completely shattered my expectations, which were mixed. I thought there would be no way to live up to Last Airbender, but I thought looked decent after watching the first two episodes on I loved this series, and I think I like it even more than Last Airbender, and can’t wait until the second season!

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