Deranged Midget

Until we meet again!

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DM's Peek of the Week: Korra premiere with Special Guest laflux!

Hey-o! Another week, another blog everyone! Although this time around, I have something special in store just for all you Airbender fans! I decided to not only check out the premiere and toss in my thoughts, but my brother in arms @laflux has joined me as well! I hope you all give him a warm welcome! Now let's get down to it!

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DM's Thoughts:

At last, the long awaited return of The Legend of Korra. As many of you know, I hold Avatar the Last Airbender very, very dearly to my heart. It is quite honestly one of my favourite shows of all time alongside Spectacular Spider-Man and I cannot express the happiness, joy, love, sadness and regret that emulated from this series and the hardships that affected me personally, more so than it should have really. Truthfully though, that's what makes this series so special to me and one that will be remembered for as long as I can remember. The characters, the setting, the unique aspect of connectivity, family, and spiritual elements made this a stand-out show and I cannot thank the creators more for sharing their vision with us. Well, enough of that little dose of nonsense, on to my thoughts!

The Legend of Korra returns! We left off last season with Korra reconnecting with the Avatar State and her bending after a surprise visit from none other than Aang himself! Where we continue off is a familiar yet relaxed tone, showing how the daily lives of our heroes have changed and adapted since Amon's defeat. Korra has spent the majority of that time training with Tenzin and perfecting her airbending skills. Mako took a more responsible approach and become an officer of the law with ambitions to selflessly help others. Asami is left with the task of trying to rebuild her father's company after his treacherous acts of supporting the Equalists left a bad taste with the large majority of past partners. And Bolin? What can I say about Bolin that you don't already know?

I took interest in seeing how improvement on Korra and Mako's relationship has advanced. Despite some forced moments and cheesy lines, there seems to be slight adjustments over the last season, albeit positive ones. Clearly, there is a lot of tension that stems from Tenzin and Korra in regards to her Avatar training and lack of ambition and focus. Despite her previous success, she still acts a tad bit arrogant, headstrong and poor tempered. Although, you can't really blame her considering what she's gone through and how events have changed in her life, you would think she might've humbled a little and perhaps offered some appreciation to the obvious dedication and care that her friends and family give her on a daily basis. Yet, she easily disregards them at many turns and becomes easily angered if her side isn't chosen. It is refreshing to see that despite being the Avatar, she is still just a teenager trying to find her place in the world while carrying such a heavy burden.

It was a nice treat to see a more in-depth reintroduction of Korra's parents and especially her father, with the notable addition of his brother and Korra's uncle. It's here that it seems the season will primarily take focus around as Korra's Uncle takes large interest in his desire to train Korra on the importance of spiritual respect and knowledge in regards to how it affects their world through the Avatar State. There are some scenes that may have provided a little bit of obvious foreshadowing but from a different perspective, it could also be seen as purposeful misdirection. Nonetheless, it's exciting to realize that Korra has still much to learn and that her foes will take more than brute force to conquer.

As always, the voice acting is absolutely pitch perfect and the animation is a delightful and jaw dropping sight to behold. While there wasn't much to be shown here in terms of bending, it's rather clear that there will definitely be a different tone taken this season and hopefully a far more personal one to better flesh out the cast. Regardless, I was gleefully satisfied and smiling from ear-to-ear from this premiere showing and aching to see more!

Thoughts from laflux:

Thanks Bro. Avatar has always been up there as one of the best animated shows around, and the first two episodes are a brilliant example of why. One of my few major gripes of the original series was that the original series started off rather slowly, but the same cannot be said of the first two episodes.

As you mentioned, we get a great overview of what's happened between the events of the first season and now. I've always been a big fan of the 1920's style of announcing previous events, and it was mixed in well with live action segments showing what the gang (intentional :P) have been up to. Early in the episode, it becomes clear that some characters are not going to be featured as prominently such as Ling Bei Fong or Asami's Dad, but one of Avatar's strongest suits is a strong sense of continuity and its nice to know that they are not forgotten. Speaking of Asami, I think it was a great call to have her father's company get into financial trouble because of his equalist links and it made for a great way for her and Bolin to spend some together in order to garner some financial support from Varrick. The whole segment was humorously done, and makes a possible ship between them feel less forced and more organic.

Bolin of course is always going to be a source of comic relief for the show and while he will struggle to reach the heights of Sokka before him, his interactions with Desna and Eska were amusing (and one of the most subtle version of the anime styled "traps" I've seen so far). However, unlike in the Last Airbender when Sokka would often be the sole source of comic relief, there are also humorous pieces from Tenzin and his siblings and even the usually humor shy Mako made me chuckle with his forced tough guy cop one-liners. All of this was just enough to detract from the relatively anonymous role Meelo had. Let's hope he comes on strong in the later episodes.

I think its nice to see that Korra still has a lot to learn spiritually and in regards to airbending too- and the way she abused her powers to win an air scooter race was a great way to highlight that. Speaking of which, I don't think she's a fully realized avatar yet, and when she goes into The Avatar State, her eyes continue to glow. The conflict of Tenzin and Korra's father (Tonraq) vs her uncle (Unalaq) in regards to Korra following the best spiritual path is interesting. Korra taking her uncle's side was expected but I like how this has freed Tenzin, at least for the time being, to have to go on his own adventures and as you said, I think there is some foreshadowing concerning the origins of the Avatar, and having Jinora, at least for the time being, at the forefront of this is different, but I think it can work.

Overall, this was a strong opener. The episodes were a bit light on action, but this was at the expense of solid storytelling and characterization. The ending in particular was a great way of indicating that Unalaq's intentions were not as benevolent as we suspected, and the notion of him dragging his southern water tribe cousins, kicking and screaming into an age of spiritual enlightenment, bears a strong resemblance to Sozin. It's a good recipe for a possible villain and the resemblance makes snarks (and you) like me feel remembered.

And there you have it folks, another edition of Peek of the Week and one graced honourably by my dear friend laflux! See you next time folks!

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