‘The Legend of Korra: The Spirit of Competition’ Review

Photo Credit: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/05/05/the-legend-of-korra-season-1-episode-5-spirit-of-competition-tv-recap/

If there is one thing that did not quite carry over too well from The Last Airbender its the humor. The Spirit of Competition fixed that in a fun, lighthearted episode.

Pro-bending is one of the coolest things that The Legend of Korra has added to this incredible world, so it was nice to see another episode focused on the best fictional sport since Quidditch. But there was a lot more to this episode as well, as we saw relationships budding, with hilarious results.

The interactions between Mako and Bolin in the beginning were great. Mako clearly does not want anyone else dating Korra, even though he is with Asami. But when his brother asks what he thinks of him and her together, he tenses up and says to focus on the next match. Mako continues to be the most level headed character on this show, which only excites me for when he might eventually lose that head on some Equalists.

Korra’s interactions with Tenzin’s wife and daughters were very funny too. The animators do a great job creating the over exaggerated reactions to things that happen, just as they did in the last series.

Eventually, Korra got rejected by Mako followed immediately by a romantic gesture from Bolin, which she takes up after he goofily charms her. This episode really helped to separate Bolin from just being a carbon copy of Sokka. His date with Korra was a lot of fun, which made it all the more heartbreaking when he witnessed her kiss his brother. This was truly an incredible moment. It struck all the right notes at an unbelievably quick pace. First it was tender, then sad, and then, just as the music swelled for a commercial break, Bolin had a full meltdown, easily the funniest moment in the series yet.

These tensions on the team affected their skills in the arena. The scene that the two brothers shared after being knocked out was nice. But then we got some awesome pro-bending action as Korra won the match singlehanded. The final touch was nice too as the team forgave each other and Korra healed Bolin’s shoulder with water bending, a trick she learned from good ‘ol Katara.

The Spirit of Competition was a much needed episode that established that this show can be as funny as its predecessor, while still being incredibly mature (were Bolin and Pabu drunk?!). But it also moved the plot forward in terms of the characters’ romance and gave us some great pro-bending action. The Legend of Korra continues to impress. (9/10)

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