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Review TV

The Legend of Korra Book 3 and 4

The above picture shows a happy time, with Korra and Asami bonding like sisters (or depending on how you ‘ship’, something more).  It’s pretty much the last happy moment Korra will have in her life.  I might be exaggerating but not by much.  Book 4 starts tomorrow so if you aren’t caught up, here are my long-delayed Book 3 thoughts.

After the uneven Book 2, Korra had left the Spirit Portals open, and Book 3 dealt with some of the ramifications of that.  Korra is maturing, but it’s still tough to be the Avatar in a rapidly progressing world.  I thought the antagonists of this season, the Red Lotus, were fantastic.  Varied, with real personalities that could shine through.  Too often the bad guys in a cartoon are a faceless organization or you have one guy who has to carry the villainy.  We had the ‘one guy’ method with the first two books with Unalaq and Amon, so this was a nice change.  Henry Rollins was downright creepy voicing Zaheer.  I got chills when he said he had ‘entered the void’ after witnessing the death of his love, P’Li.

The final battle between Zaheer and Korra was every bit as action-packed as Aang versus Ozai – it even recalled that fight visually with the pillars of stone.  Korra fought valiantly but the poison Zaheer used on her took too much of a toll.  Zaheer was taken down by the airbenders though, with Jinora at the lead – earning her arrow tattoos! – and Suyin was able to metalbend the poison from Korra just in time.  It appeared to be mercury.  Mako and Bolin both take out the other Red Lotus members – with Mako FINALLY getting a chance to be clever, and using a burst of lightning on Ming-Hua while she was in water to subdue her.  Loved that moment for him.

Two weeks later we see a wheelchair bound, depressed Korra appearing at the ceremony for Jinora.

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Moreso than the physical toll the combat and poisoning took on her, it’s her mental well-being everyone is worried about.  And I know Tenzin was trying to help when he told her that he, Jinora and the airbenders would take care of things while she recovered, it had to feel like a “we don’t really need you” to an already depressed Avatar.  Seriously, this is how Book 3 ends:

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So where will Book 4 find Korra?  It’s three years later, and the Air Nomads, ably led by Master Jinora seem to have things in hand.  From the first few minutes put online the other day, Republic City has adjusted to the spirits, and Asami helped rebuilt things with Future Industries.  Beyond that, we don’t know a lot.  The trailer shows a ton of images of Korra up and moving, but seemingly fighting against herself.  Is Kuvira (one of Suyin’s trusted metalbenders) the bad guy?  Does Zaheer escape custody?  There’s very little to go on for enemies from what we’ve seen, but it sure looks like it’s shaping up to be a dynamite final season.

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TV

Legend of Korra Book 2 Trailer!

Okay, we FINALLY have something to sink our teeth into here, but we have to wait until September to for Book 2 to start.  So let’s obsess over the trailer!

  1. Korra and Tenzin meditating.  Spirit world connection!
  2. Unalaq bending.  Such beautiful animation.
  3. Looks like…A FUNERAL??  Who are you killing, Bryke?
  4. The next part looks like some of the stuff about the first Avatar, notice the different animation style of the clouds.
  5. A few more quick scenes – Unalaq looking sinister (or badass depending on your perspective), a Satoplane with Korra and Mako on the wings.
  6. Bolin and Mako going into a light – to the spirit world?
  7. Korra and Jinora appear to be entering the spirit world.
  8. A bit of the Dark Spirit being voiced by Grey Delisle, followed by Korra going into the Avatar State.
  9. Some cool battle scenes – a boat chase, a waterbender slinging ice, Korra airbending.
  10. The ‘first’ Avatar, Wan, perhaps in his first trip to the spirit world.
  11. Korra, with some sort of dark spirits flying past her?
  12. Mako with some superior firebending.
  13. Korra, attacking with earth and waterbending.
  14. Desna and Eska, Korra’s twin cousins, sort of snow-rollerblading via waterbending.
  15. Korra over the falls!
  16. A spirit taking what looks like Jinora to Wan Shi Tong’s library?
  17. The United Forces fleet?
  18. Mako, defending that spirit world entrance?  If that’s what it is.
  19. Korra waterbending, seems like it’s Katara-style.
  20. Asami driving the hell out of a boat.
  21. Wan meeting a froglike spirit.
  22. Wan Shi Tong meets Jinora!  I hope she brought some knowledge for his library.  May still not want to see her, or the Avatar.
  23. Hard to tell, looks like Wan battling snake or eel spirits.
  24. Tenzin, Kya and Bumi being thrown or chased off a cliff?  Look like some kind of animal up there.
  25. Korra talking to Roku…and Kyoshi!  I was waiting for that.
  26. Korra and Jinora being swallowed by some sort of glowy-mouth giant crocodile spirit?
  27. Korra, seems like snow flying around her.
  28. Motorcycle policeman Mako.  That sounds like an Anime title all on it’s own.
  29. Tenzin’s family at some sort of rock formation, Korra appears to be within the rocks, possibly creating that flash of light.
  30. Bolin, doing flips and shit.  Maybe he’s been learning from Lin!
  31. Desna and Eska, surfing.
  32. Wan takes a direct strike, but what was it?  Energybending?
  33. Korra, bending, then Unalaq, defending against a firebender.
  34. Wan, seeming in full Avatar mode, keeping peace between humans and spirits?
  35. Korra, touching some sort of sphere, triggering the Avatar state.

So glad to see the other previous Avatars returning.  I bet Korra gets along a lot better with Kyoshi than Aang did.  Love seeing Jinora involved in some serious stuff, perhaps showing some trust coming her way.  The scene that looks like a funeral has me worried for Katara or Lin – we see nothing of them.  No way to tell if teary Asami is from that same time though.  Love the art style in the Wan portions.  So awesome that we get to see how the Avatar formed.  Wan Shi Tong is back!  It makes sense to seek out his library if there’s a need to research the original Avatar.  Why can’t it be September now?

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Featured TV

The Legend of Korra Season Finale Preview

Well, it seems like the show has barely started, and we are already at the season finale.  This Saturday at 11am, we see the endgame with Amon and Korra.  From the previews, it’s clear that there is a HUGE battle involving battleships, planes (launched from General Iroh’s ships?), airships, and who knows what else.  We see Mako being ridiculous again, having a deep, meaningful moment with Korra while I presume Asami is in the next room over stewing.  The hobo in the bush makes an appearance, sheltering Team Avatar and showing off a makeshift town under the city with benders and non-benders living together.

Here’s a recap of recent events:  Tarrlok’s bloodbending was found out, and Korra escaped when Amon and his thugs found Tarrlok and took his bending.  Amon and Sato attacked Republic City with airships and attempted to capture all of the remaining Council members, but Tenzin again fought off the chi-blockers sent to subdue him.  It seems airbending might be the best defense against the Equalists, as they have little information on how to fight back against it, and the blasts of air can keep them out of hand to hand range (where they could actually chi-block Tenzin).  All the more reason to hope Korra breaks through with that for the finale.

Lin Beifong, with the help of Tenzin and Team Avatar, rescued her de-bended metalbender cops, and then helped defend Air Temple Island during the attack by Amon.  The airbender kids helped ably, aiding my theory that the Equalist chi-blockers have no way information on dealing with airbenders.  Tenzin takes his family on Oogi and tries to escape, but is pursued by airships.  Lin Beifong, in a touching sacrifice, leaps off Oogi and begins wrecking the Equalist blimps (Beifongs hate airships!).  She is captured, and Amon takes her bending away.  I admit, this more than anything affected me.  Lin became one of my favorite characters these past few weeks, and seeing this hurt.

But they couldn’t leave fans with that heartbreak as the only thing to carry them forward to the finale, so there is one more scene.  A flotilla of ships, called in by Tenzin, and the general in charge…named Iroh.  Voiced by Dante Basco, Zuko’s grandson leads the fleet and will be key in helping to liberate Republic City.

My predictions for Saturday’s episode:  Team Avatar, after some relationship drama underground, perpetrates some guerilla attacks from within Republic City while Iroh’s ‘United Forces’ fleet attacks from the harbor.  Korra will break through with airbending, and faces off with Amon.  He attempts to take her bending, but she finally goes into the Avatar state and resists it.  There HAS to be a reveal here of who Amon is, as you don’t keep someone behind a mask for this long without it meaning something more than “I was burned by a firebender”.