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Before anything else I want to say that I don't think bending in LOK is bad or not well done or anything like that; just that they've completely left behind the kung fu part .
So with that being said let this blog post begin :)
In Avatar the Last Airbender bending was really well done and developed. We had a clear difference between the Bending Arts and Your Average Superhero Powers that we encounter in the DC or Marvel universes. Or in other words they've eliminated the ever popular cliche that super powers are gained by accident or by exposure to your friendly radioactive chemical or whatnot.
Further on we found that the four bending arts are based on real martial arts , namely :
- Tai Chi - focuses on alignment, body structure, breath, and visualization. This technique is the foundation of "Waterbending" in the series.
- Hung Gar- was chosen for its firmly rooted stances and powerful strikes to represent the solid nature of earth. This martial art is the basis of "Earthbending" in the series.
- Chu Gar Southern Praying Mantis - has distinguishing movements and unique footwork that are employed by Toph Bei Fong to complement her blindness, giving her a unique style of Earthbending.
- Northern Shaolin Kung Fu - uses strong arm and leg movements. This technique is the foundation of "Firebending" in the series.
- Ba Gua - uses erratic, circular movements. This technique uses centripetal force to generate power, and uses nearly constant circular movement to create angles between the combatants. This martial art is the basis of "Airbending" in the series.
By doing this Bryke made this show even more awesome than it was. And it added a plus to the Bending Arts. I mean take a look at the classic superhero cartoons and comics : they just have to raise their hand or leg or something and the power activates or the beam comes out. Or if they have a power such as manipulating water for instance they would only have to point in which direction they want the water to go and BOOM the water goes as such. Lame!
*(This , however, does not mean that I don't like superhero cartoons such as Justlce League or Spider-Man or anyother show)
When LOK appeared we were all hyped and excited about it. And why shouldn't we be ? It's an awesome show nevertheless.
But , aside from the splendid animation the great soundtrack and everything else , I noticed something changed from the original.
Don't get me wrong I know that there is a pretty big gap between the show but even so. When they started to bend I felt as if they were just some kid of superheros and not the benders we knew and loved. All the martial arts vaished and all that was left was the point in which direction you want it to go thing and the rise your hand problem.
I will make a small list with what bugs me the most about the bending in LOK . So here it goes:
- Lightning generation isn't as epic as it was before. I know things have progressed but the epicness has vanished. And it seems much weaker than before.
-Airbending isn't as spiritual as it was before and we don't see complicated martial arts movements as Aang did once.
-Firebending is used so much by Korra that is has become rather common and it lost it's Norther Shaolin elements as well. It's just punch punch fire fire. Meh!
-Waterbending is rather the same but again without the tai chi elements and with more bloodbending. Ok , bloodbending is epic and freaky but way back when Hama was the only one doing it , or so we thought , it seemed to have more depth more movements involved. I mean go see the Souther Riders when Katara bloodbend that general on the Souther Riders ship. Those were some moves. Now I can't say that Tarrlok and Amon weren't good bloodbenders because they really were. They were master bloodbenders.
-Earthbending is pretty much absent. Bolin is too much of a comic relief to do anything else there were only a few scenes with him earhbending. And Lin uses metalbending a lot. Which is not bad because she is a total badass and the way she uses metalbending is unique. SpiderLin all the way XD.
*I am aware that there weren't many episodes and that Bryke didn't know they were going to make Book 2 and 3 and 4 when they did Book 1 and that's why the plot is so rushed and the character development is really bad.
All in all I wish they would have let the bending be the way it was in ATLA . More spiritual more connected to the martial arts more enigmatic. Not making it so , dare I say , superhero like.
P.S One more thing. Energybending was epic and awesome in ATLA. And I know that the flashy ending they did in the last epiode of ATLA was for dramatic purposes. But when the Lion Turtle gave Aang the ability to energybend they made it seem as something big and , again , epic ( man! I use epic way too much) which to me meant that it was supposed to look like that and be like that. And when I saw Korra energybend I was realyl disappointed. That was not Energybending , not by a mile.
Yeah, Yeah it was a Deus-ex-machina but still they could have done it right.
That is all. :) Cheers mates!