Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Legend of Korra

I was a big fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender, not the film by M Night Shyamalan, mind you, the film was a disaster. I like the original Nickelodeon TV series that lasted for three seasons.

The anime series was set in a parallel universe, which looks very much like China, a topography which is divided into four nations, earth, air, water and fire, and in each nation, there would be some people who are born with the ability to “bend” one of these elements. They are the benders. And there is the Avatar, who can bend all the four element, whose duty is to maintain the balance of the world.

It was such fun, following Ang, the last airbender, and an Avatar, in his journey to defeat the evil fire lord, with the help of his friends, siblings Katara and Sokka, a blind earth bender Toph, and later, fire nation prince Zuko himself.

At heart, an action adventure story, the story was also very nuanced about character development and relationship building, giving even the minor characters their moments to shine. There was also a great amount of world building, how each of the nations used the bending powers of the citizens to their advantages and so on. It was also filled basic Zen philosophy, and so on.

After the series ended, there was a clamour for more, and naturally, we came to the next Avatar. Ang is old and dead and his soul migrates to a water nation baby, Korra, who will be the next Avatar.

To keep us hooked, there are plenty of references to the earlier saga. Sokka is dead but Katara, who married Ang, is still alive, and they had three children, the elder was is Tensing, who is the new air nation master. He has three children, all air benders.

Unlike the previous series, which had one cohesive adventure story, the journey to defeat the fire lord, the new series, The Legend of Korra, in its fourth season, has individual story arcs in each season, with the titular heroine faced with a new villain each time. Like Ang, she also has her band of Team Avatar, like the brothers Mako and Bolin, and the girl Asami, and the police chief Beifong, Toft’s daughter. Even Toft herself makes an appearance in the fourth season. And there are numerous other fascinating characters.

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