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I just watched the season finale of Legend of Korra, and i have to say: it was a sad, sad, sad moment. Not only it was a bad ending, it just managed to ruin everything good the series had going on so far. For starters:
- Amon's backstory: Even though it was indeed a sad story and generated a touching moment in the end, that just took away many cool concepts of the Equalists. They went from a revolutionary group with some valid points (misguided, yes, but not completly on the wrong) but extreme methods to just a bunch of people who were fooled by a lying leader. And with that, what could have been an amazing conflict of opposing view became just another standard cartoon finish.
- Re-Bending: Nobody was sadder than me when Lin lost her bending. It was an impressive moment, specially in the way that De-Bending was used in place of executions, and was just that effective. Same with Korra. BUT, the ability to bring bending back weekened that. It feels so much lime a Marvel Death, where you just know that any character who dies will just come back, and that takes out the inpact that their deaths thould have. If Re-Bending was really needed, it should be the target of a massive quest, a good storyline, not just another Deus Ex Machina. That single moment took out the power of what was, until then, the most dramatic moment in the series.
- The Romantic Plot Tumor: I'm not going to go through the Shipping wars, because everyone has their favorite ship and, in the end, it goes down to personal preference. The problem, though, is that Bryke can't write romance for the life of them. In the original series, the romance was a lot more diluted, and that managed to hide some of their flaws, but the condenced nature of Legend of Korra just brought out those features. The romance in this series had a strong Twilight vibe about it.
- Everyone is connected: In the end, every villain in the series had something to do with Yakone. This kind of reveal where everybody is married/descendant/related to each other is a severe writing flaw. It worked with cartoons back in the 80's and early 90's, but nowadays it just doesn't make sense. Specially for a series that is obviously for late-teens.
- Ensemble issues: This one is my greatest problem. They proved in the original series that they are skilled at working with an big group of main characters and give them the much needed spotlight. It didn't happen here. Tenzin and Lin had their moments, mostly around each other, i agree, and Korra, being the main hero, had her developement. But after the first few episodes, the characterisation broke down. Mako was restricted to romance plot. Same with Asami. Bolin didn't get even that. Maybe its because they had a lot less episodes to work with, but the characters ended up surprizingly flat. The deepest one was Amon himself.
In the end, the series had several strong points, but those elements, who were the focus of the ending other than the action scenes, made it drop from "incredibly awesome" to "barelly watchable". Bryke have great ideas and can create amazing stories, but they need some help to work certain details that can make or break a story. Specially, they need someone who can write a believable romance story in a way that doesnt feel like its preventing the plot to happen.
I, for one, am not sure if i will go back to next season. This ending was so much of a let down.