Welcome to the latest animation quick look! Beforfe M. Night Gofuckyourself turned it into one of the worst things ever put in a theater, Avatar: The Last Airbender was easily one of the greatest animated series ever. It created a fantastic original world and story, had deep, complex and fun characters. Unlike most animated series, it managed to tell a concise, focused story that wrapped up the major plot points (while of course leaving things open for a follow-up of sorts) in three completely excellent seasons.
I won’t tell you the whole story of the previous series, because you really should just watch the damn thing, it’s awesome. But basically there a four tribes that can “bend” the four basic elements to their wills. There are some offshoots to this, those who can bend water can occasionally also bend blood, which means they can make people act like their puppets. Fire benders can learn to shoot lightning, and so on.
But the only one who can master all 4 elements is the Avatar. The Avatar is born with that ability and there is only one Avatar at a time. The Avatar is meant to keep balance, so that if one tribe decided to get uppity, he would shut their ass down.
Legend of Korra takes place about 70 years after the events of the previous series, with 17-year old Korra being the latest Avatar. This instantly makes the series a little more adult, as we only saw the previous avatar Aang as a twelve year-old. Legend of Korra also deals with deeper sociopolitical issues. There’s a rising resentment against benders in general, a bickering and possibly corrupt city council, and a mysterious man leading the anti-bending revolution who can permanently take away benders’ powers. Legend of Korra strikes a darker tone than it’s predecessor, but still manages silly humor and the batshit crazy but funny moments that is the trademark of the franchise along with a lot of fun winks for longtime fans.
But does it reach the impeccably high standard of the previous series? I’d say the story is just as intriguing, I basically marathoned the whole first season in a day. But Korra and her friends don’t quite gel the way Aang and his buddies did, and they aren’t quite as interesting. I’m not saying they are bad, but it’s not quite the same level of perfect chemistry between the characters and I’m not enjoying them quite as much. But The The Last Airbender is an almost impossible standard to live up to, and Legend of Korra does a pretty damn good job of not fucking up the series pedigree.
Final rating: 4/5 weirdly mixed up animals.