This is a notice to those of you who wax nostalgic about the cartoons of your youth, and claim nothing they make these days can compare. I bet you’re not watching The Legend of Korra, the follow-up series to Avatar: The Last Airbender, on Nickelodeon. A:TLA was well known for being an excellent show, and not just for kids, and The Legend of Korra seems no different. If you don’t know what the deal is, basically this world has ‘benders’ who control one of the classical elements of Fire, Earth, Water and Air. There is always one bender, however, who can learn to control all four, and they are the Avatar, destined to keep balance in the world. The previous series followed Avatar Aang and his quest to re-unite the nations and tribes after Fire Lord Ozai tried to take over. The Legend of Korra skips ahead 70 years, with a Republic established and relative peace. The new Avatar, Korra, is a powerful but hot-headed young woman from the Southern Water Tribe. She follows Tenzin, Aang’s youngest son and her would-be airbending teacher to the capital, Republic City. She’s in for quite a culture shock, as Republic City resembles a modern-day metropolis, with a wide mix of benders and non-benders from all tribes…and a building anti-bender sentiment amongst certain people. Behind all of that, there lies an even greater threat to bending itself.
The makers of the show have successfully advanced the world as you might expect, taking the Steampunk elements and moving them forward to exist in a 20’s to 30’s sort of world. The first cars are appearing, they use newsreels to do the “last time on” montage at the beginning of each episode, and Korra has to deal with the media. Korra herself is a very interesting heroine. She’s tough and wants to do good, but frequently leaps before she looks (sometimes literally). She has real fears and feelings, and with an older Avatar, they writers can bump up the maturity level of the storylines a bit. This keeps up with the age of the kids who grew up watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, while keeping it accessible enough for new fans. I’m enjoying the show immensely, to the point where I’m actually worried about the characters. The danger they are all facing is terrible, if true (I have theories!), and I don’t want to see them hurt. Previous knowledge of A:TLA is helpful but not required, and you can go through the Nick site for Korra to get some of the background. Hit up the comments or the forums if you want to discuss the show!