OK, OK, I know this is a little early as the official release date is in two days time, (the 14th) but, this episode’s been circulating the net for almost a month now so I’m guessing that, if anyone really wanted to watch Korra, they’d have seen this already! Besides, I’m going to be so busy with my blog over the next week or so so, I needed to get this post done and outta the way. Hmm, that makes it sound as though I don’t care much for Avatar but, let me assure you, that is not the case! I’m absolutely delighted that one of my first episodic blogging ventures is gonna be Korra! I think I’ve mentioned this before but, Avatar: The Last Airbender was largely what got me into anime in the first place, and even after nearly four years of watching the stuff, it’s still the best darn thing I’ve ever seen so, I’m desperate to do my utmost to spread the word of its brilliance, however I can, and if that’s covering its sequel, well that’s just peachy! Gosh, I’m so excited to return to my roots for this, every time it’s mentioned I give a pathetic whimper of happiness! Heh, I hope after I’ve said that this sequel won’t be a giant let-down a lá Guilty Crown but, only time will tell, hey?
Aside from the fact that one of Aang and Katara’s grandchildren pointed out the last series’ biggest plot holes, (what happened to Zuko’s mum) within just 5 minutes of the episode’s start, this was a pretty promising first episode that laid out some pretty firm foundations for the ones to follow.
First, we’re introduced to the new Avatar, Korra, for which the show is named. Now, I really like Korra so far- she seems an excellent protag for the show to revolve around. Like the large majority of protagonists for this kind of show, Korra’s arrogant and reasonably self-assured but, she’s a girl, and believe me, that makes all the difference! Now, Avatar’s always been good at portraying strong, female characters but, the world of anime seems saturated with pushover girly-girls. You know the kind, the ones that mumble and blush their way through every sentence, the “I made a boxed lunch for you today senpai” kinda girl. This is probably just a cultural difference as Avatar’s produced in America rather than Japan where it seems women are still encouraged into the role of housewives but, it’s certainly a welcome difference. I much prefer women that can hold their own amongst guys- far more easy to watch as their interactions are far more interesting. Yet, even though she’s already mastered 3 of the 4 elements and is totally kick-ass, Korra’s not perfect, she’s utterly stupid. I mean, what kind of person sets off on a journey to a foreign land with no food or money? A dummy, that’s who! So, I’m gonna really enjoy watching her develop as the city, inevitably, forces her to realise the inequality that exists in the world, and so on and so forth…
Then we’re taken to Republic city, the place where the entire story’s meant to be set. Wow, if one wasn’t sure whether or not this sequel would be any different, the pan across the city is pretty convincing stuff! There are bad CGI cars, and blimps! Wait, there were those beforehand, huh? Anyway, it all feels very industrial revolution-y. Yet, this progression in terms of technology contrasts with the lives the citizens we’re introduced to seem to lead.
It soon became very clear Republic city wasn’t what Aang had originally envisioned: there were vagrants, rebels and gangsters galore. It all struck me as being very anti-capitalism, (sorry, I study Sociology!) showing us how this ‘bustling metropolis’ was actually built upon the exploitation of the majority for the minority, the benders of the non-benders. But, the non-bender rebels don’t seem all that nice either- I’m pretty sure Victor Von Doom doesn’t plan to achieve ‘equality’ through peaceful negotiation so, the line between villain and good guy seems pretty ambiguous, nowhere near as clear cut as in the first series. Yup, sure looks as though the creators of Korra are making good on their promise to make Korra a darker show. I’m dead interested to see how this all plays out!