Is Korra Worth It? / by Aaron Dehmlow

So there I was right, buying a game that I know I'll probably never finish when I spy myself “The Legend of Korra” game (based off of the show). Immediately after I bought it, I figured I was going to regret it but turns out it's sort of a continuation of the show and I ended up enjoying it quite a lot. Which got me thinking, was the show really that good? And is it something I would actually recommend people spend 26 hours of their life on? I couldn't help but wish that I had someone recommend it to me so I know what I should expect. And BAM! Well what do you know, here we are.

To start off, “The Legend of Korra” is - let's call it “a sequel" to ‘Avatar: the Last Airbender.’ A show that was undoubtedly one of my favorite things to watch as a kid and still one of the top stories I've ever heard. As someone who deeply enjoyed the explanations of how fictional worlds work, ‘Avatar’ gives such a unique take on the manipulation of elements. Even though it was a kid’s show, I found the way it flowed together, even masterfully written. Four main races of people from completely different cultures having unique connections to the one of each fundamental element nature as to ofer; Fire, Earth, Water, Air. Each culture having "Benders," which have the ability to control and create these elements. But only one, known as the “Avatar,” can control them all. Using a blend of many Eastern influences, “Avatar” gives us a world of beauty, balance, creativity, and war.

Assuming that anyone reading this article already knows the basic story of the show, “The Legend of Korra” takes place after The Last Airbender’s protagonist Aang's passing. Korra is a different Avatar right from the beginning, by already knowing how to bend earth, fire and water. Which compared to the “prequel” leaves little character development or growth. Admittingly, I was disappointed by the idea that she did not have to learn through all the elements. Though when you take the whole series into account, there really isn't any other way. She also is fierce and confrontational, the complete opposite of Aang's character. Of course, the very world Korra lives in is dramatically different, there is no war and all people are united once again.

This all takes place in a pretty steampunk-style world filled with all sorts of interesting clever gadgets and yes, even some Mechs. I have to say yet again I was slightly disappointed. The charm of “The Last Airbender” was gone for a more modern action packed scene. Don't get me wrong, there were some pretty great things to come out of this pre-modern alternate reality technology, it just didn't feel like the Avatar I knew. This one was also broken up into books as the original was, four books with 12 episodes rather than three with 20. The story also didn't carry as much as “The Last Airbender” did, throughout that show there was one goal, one bad guy, and nearly seamless finales with the beginnings of the next book. “Korra” on the other hand, the first season (while great on its own) really had nothing to do with the other three and as the events of the second season carry slightly into the third. The fourth season is more like the aftermath of the real series. Although one thing that was lacking in the “The Last Airbender” that was wonderfully explained and portrayed in “The Legend of Korra” was the origin of the Avatar itself. It didn't feel like it was just thrown in, the side story of the original Avatar and all bending was absolutely the highlight of the entire show.

The thing is, if you loved “Avatar” like I did and you are craving more of that magical enticing world of power, than “The Legend of Korra” is a worthy stop on your trip through the spirit world. None of the slight deterrents like, never finding out about Zuko's mom or why all of Aang's friends are alive but not him despite being the youngest, will turn you away for long. Because we don't watch it for its logic, we watch it for its power to make us feel like we are a part of an almost believable world filled with magic, lore and purpose. We watch it because not only does the Avatar bring hope to his world, but to ours as well. It's not just some show that was fun to watch at some point, it's something that we can relate to and be inspired by. So if you ask me if it was worth it, I'd tell you, “hell yeah, man!” Now let's get some beer, marathon all night and go on a wonderful ride.