The Legend of Korra Book One: Air (Season 1) Review: A More Than Worthy Sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender

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Wow, even fans with the highest expectations for this sequel series could not have predicted that it would be this good.

Perhaps the greatest success of The Legend of Korra was that it never tried to be anything like its predecessor. Sure, it took place in the same universe and Bolin can be very, well, Sokka, but for the most part the creators knew that to create a worthy successor, things had to be different.

And different it was. Republic City was a perfect playground for these new characters to play in. This living, breathing city had real issues that made The Legend of Korra more adult than its predecessor. To compare the show piece by piece directly to The Last Airbender, I found Korra and Amon to be far more compelling than Aang and Ozai. Although, while the supporting cast had a few stand outs (looking at you Lin Beifong) their dynamics never quite reached the wonders of its predecessor. The action was better here, but the humor was lacking. So all in all, the show was very different, better in some areas, worse in others, to make for a show that is about equal to the once it came out of, a feat in and of itself as that was pretty much a perfect series.

Now, if you look at these twelve episodes as a single story, it is also pretty damn perfect. Starting with Welcome to Republic City and A Leaf in the Wind, Korra was introduced quickly as a strong character who still had a few lessons to learn. Watching her explore Republic City and learn about all the things that make the city tick was great. One stand out was pro-bending, which is probably the best fictional sport since Quidditch.

The next two episodes took a darker tone as we were officially introduced to Amon. The Revelation was the first truly great episode of the season, and is made all the more compelling after seeing the finale. The Voice in the Night was one of the weaker entries of the season but even so managed to accomplish a lot.

Next came The Spirit of Competition, the only episode really centered on comedy of the season. It was much needed and proved that this show can be as funny as The Last Airbender if it wanted to be. But the following episode things went way dark as Amon basically performed a terrorist attack on the pro-bending championship.

The weakest entry of the season came after that with The Aftermath. The problem was that it just should have been two episodes as all the major events happening felt rushed. But once that was out of the way, the rest of the season was brilliant.

Tarrlok came into his own as a villain in When Extremes Meet and Out of the Past. The latter also delivered a lot of our connections this season to the former series as we finally saw Aang as a full fledged avatar and even trying to spiritually communicate with Korra. The flashbacks were awesome without taking too much away from Korra’s story.

Turning the Tides put the season into its final act as Amon attacked and subsequently took over Republic City. Then came the perfect ending that was the two part finale last Saturday. Everything you could have wanted happened in the finale. It was literally perfect.

I have read a number of people complain that everything was too perfect in the end. I cannot justify not giving this season a perfect score as it told this single story so well. Sure, I did give every episode a ten, but the flaws with those episodes always led to something far more interesting in the future. The Legend of Korra is every bit as good as the best TV shows our there right now, if not better. (10/10)

2 Responses to The Legend of Korra Book One: Air (Season 1) Review: A More Than Worthy Sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender

  1. Mitch says:

    Haha it was amazing! Every episode was great. Character development did lack, but that was only because of its short season. Since Nick gave Bryke more episodes hopefully we can get more development from characters such as Bolin. I was highly satisfied with it!

  2. Trey says:

    I have to say, the season Overall was pretty great, but they never should have brought up the whole Bender vs. Non-bender thing and instead have made Amon specifically go after the Avatar. Benders vs. Non-Benders wasn’t the focus in the end, Korra’s Spiritual Growth was. So they swept the Non-Benders out of the way pretty quickly to re-focus on that.

    I still love it overall, but The Revelation is the best episode in my book.

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