This was going to be a review, but I realized that I’m still far too excited and amazed by this show to be truly critical with it. Instead, I wanted to share some of my first impressions, reactions, and ponderings. It will be interesting to see if any of these ponderings actually come about.
Korra. Is. Amazing!
There is really no other way to put it, though I expected nothing less. I have this insanely high opinion of Mike and Bryan and I don’t know that they could ever ruin the Avatar Universe for me. I don’t know that it’s actually in their will-power to disappoint. Because of this unrealistic optimism, I never actually doubted for a moment that LoK would blow my mind in new and amazing ways, I was just interested to see in what form this blowing of the mind would take place. And I am downright giddy because I know this is only the beginning.
And so to begin!
First and most important –Jinora’s Question
I never expected the question of Ursa’s fate to be answered in Legend of Korra. If anywhere, we’ll find out in ‘The Promise’. Nevertheless, when Jinora posed the question to Katara, my heart sped up a little faster. Will they? I wondered. No way! But it would be totally unexpected and sudden. This was when I jerked upright and the hyperventilating kicked in. Ohmygosh, will I finally learn the truth right now?!
Cue Ikki’s interruption.
My reaction was so violent it wrenched a very loud ‘Oh!’ from deep within my gut despite the 1:00 AM clock readout.
This crush of disappointment was quickly replaced by a spurt of hysterical giggles because it was a moment so typical of Bryke. How long have they been teasing us with this single unanswered question? How many fans do you suppose have contacted them, demanding the answer? The fact that they tease us –their devoted and loyal fans– in such a loose and easy way just shows these guys have an awesomely playful sense of humor. This was, truth be told, the most epic ‘PSYCH!’ moment I have ever experienced, and I absolutely love Mike and Bryan for it, which I plan to tell them as soon as I find some contact info [facepalm]. I know a lot of people were pretty annoyed, but –great balls of fire!– it’s not like it was a malicious prod! They won’t drag it out all this time and then never conclude it! They’ll give us the answer –eventually. And until then, I’ve decided to enjoy the thrill ride of not knowing or even knowing when I’ll know. So to quote Bryan: Be Happy. ;)
The fact that Aang tasked the White Lotus to protect the next Avatar while she learned the elements was so perfect. It was something I’d never even considered, but it makes perfect sense considering what Aang went through to learn them. Another tiny but brilliant detail that aids to the overall power of this series.
I’ve recently discovered that I have an aversion to main characters. Generally, they are quite low on my list of favorites, if they are there at all. Yes, even with A:TLA (sorry, Aang.) Korra is awesome. I totally love her. She’s like a combination of Katara and Toph, on steroids. I’m not sure yet if she’s my favorite, but she’s definitely in the top 3.
I love that the first Book is called Air. I wasn’t sure if they were going to carry that on. It begs the question, however, what will they call Book two?
“My brother is gone…”
Oh man, when Katara said that I felt like crying. Sokka, dead?! I knew it beforehand, of course, but the actual confirmation was just heartbreaking! No more sarcasm-and-meat-guy, no more boomerang, no more sudden made-up words…
“…and so are many of my friends.”
…many? At this I instantly perked up. Because ‘many’ is not ‘all’. I could be wrong, but as far as I know, it hasn’t been confirmed that everyone besides Katara is dead. I can’t help but wonder if they’re hinting at something. Could another member of the Gaang still possibly be alive? It’s not beyond the realm of possibility, is it? And I suddenly have a vision of a gray-haired, cantankerous Toph catching up with aged Katara, who at some point could theoretically pay a visit to Tenzin.
Katara: Ooh, this Pro-Bending looks interesting. I wonder if Korra and her friends would teach me some of those modern moves.
Toph: Ha! You couldn’t even waterbend yourself onto the platform, old woman!
Katara: And I suppose you’d be able to handle it no problem?
Toph: Pro-Bending is a real sport. I just happen to be a real sportswoman.
Katara: …I could still take you.
Toph: All right, Sugar Queen! You and me, right here, right now!
It would be utterly embarrassing for Korra of course, not to mention for Tenzin and Lin, who would have to pull their quarreling mothers apart…
“You’re oppressing yourself!”
“That doesn’t even make sense!”
Did anyone else have a Megamind flashback?
The interaction between Tenzin and Lin was priceless. I especially love Tenzin’s almost-outbursts: “Don’t bring MY MOTHER into this!” This guy has me in stitches. As for Lin, that last instant when Korra pulled that face at her helped us see past the shiny metal armor to the woman behind the Chief. There might be a little of her mom in her yet.
I expect great things from them both in the future. :)
I honestly anticipated Bolin to be more comedic. I’ve been thinking of him as LoK’s Sokka, which was a mistake from the get-go, because I should have known Bryke wouldn’t do something so shoddy as to replicate personalities, even if it is a great one. I will need some time to adjust to the un-Sokka-ish humor. I most definitely did not expect him to be so popular with the ladies.
For the most part, Mako pretty much lived up to my expectations. I didn't expect him to be so dry and sarcastic. Love it. <3 I loved his line to Korra, "You're the Avatar, and I'm an idiot." And I think I just mentally compared him to Mr. Darcy, so this is a subject I shall be leaving now. ;)
…Meelo…kind of frightens me…
At the end of ‘A Leaf in the Wind’, as Mako is gazing out at Air Temple Island, and Korra is wistfully watching the gleaming lights of the Pro-Bending arena, my initial reaction was "Shipping? Already? Isn’t it a little early for that?" But remember The Boy in the Iceberg? They pretty much started off the bat with Kataang, too. But I like Mako and Korra together, so I’m cool with it. I’m starting to dread the eventual love triangle, though. I don't mind 'romantic tension', just so long as no one starts a bicker war. So I await with equal parts anxiety and anticipation. We don't even know who the third point on the triangle is yet.
The music is, simply, epic. The Track Team deserves a trophy room of awards, not to mention a freakin’ CD! They are a pair of GENIUSES. I get chills whenever I hear their music, like that awesome ragtime piece as Korra was trying to master the maze. Like Bryke, they never cease to amaze me.
I have always adored the 1920’s era and I truly appreciated the little things like the phonograph shop, the old-fashioned radios, the period game announcer and his microphone. Especially the microphone! Was it not the coolest looking thing ever?
(Speaking of the phonograph shop, loved the cabbage merchant allusion with this guy. Running gags are awesome, but the best are subtle references to running gags. XD)
One last thought to share. More like a second impression, since it didn’t occur to me until the second time through the episodes. I’m beginning to wonder if Korra may somehow be related to Katara. Tenzin and his kids both seemed overly familiar with her already. I suppose it’s entirely possible they’ve met before, knowing Tenzin would someday train her, but I found it a little odd. What if Korra were, say, Sokka’s granddaughter? Random thought to consider.
Can't wait for the rest of the series. It promises to be amazing -duh- and I'm looking forward to see some airbending training. The poor element neglected in the first series. Seeing how Korra handles the spiritual side of things will be very interesting.