‘The Legend of Korra: Welcome to Republic City’ (Series Premiere) Review: A Welcome Return

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Five years ago, Avatar: The Last Airbender aired its mini-movie finale and Aang finally defeated the Fire Lord, leaving the world in peace, temporarily. The Legend of Korra is set 70 years after that event, and while it may be the same world, this is a whole new show.

The new series quickly establishes that this is a very different world than the one Avatar Aang saved. There are plenty of connections to The Last Airbender, but Legend of Korra never relies on them. But these connections are still incredibly rewarding for those who still love the original series. Seeing that Katara has grown into a wise water bending master and serves as a mentor to the new avatar is truly spectacular. Obviously Aang is long gone since Korra is sixteen, but I must admit hearing that Sokka was gone as well hurt quite a bit. But this is all part of how Legend of Korra is separating itself from that show. I also loved the inside joke with viewers about the fate of Zuko’s mother in a hilarious wink to the long time fans. Other than that, Toph is mentioned once, but it is not known if she is still alive. There are a few other subtler references (pay attention to the names of Aang and Katara’s children), but that is where the writers have drawn the line for now.

Welcome to Republic City does a great job of establishing what this new series will be about. The seeds are very carefully planted for a potential revolt by an anti-bending group lead by the mysterious Amon. Korra is also an extremely compelling lead. It is quickly established that she has mastered all the elements aside from air, and has made no connection with the spirit world (obviously Aang will return in this form, but it was smart making us wait). She has a bit more of an edge to her than most of the main characters in The Last Airbender. The premiere shows her rebelling and moving to Republic City with just one companion, her lovable yet powerful polar bear dog Naga. Her goal is to be taught air bending by Aang’s son Tenzin, a wise yet slightly-eccentric man who provides quite a bit of the humor in the episode.

Speaking of humor, the tone of this new series is perfectly in line with its predecessor. The writers’ comedic timing is as good as ever and delivers some great laughs in the midst of establishing all these new aspects of the world. The voice acting is also something great from the old series that carries over flawlessly. The new cast bring their characters to life brilliantly.

So clearly, The Legend of Korra does a grand job of establishing the new with just enough of the old for the fans. But are there any problems? I see one which could damage the series later on. Korra is already awesome. Much of Aang’s appeal was watching him get better and better at these different styles of bending. In this series, everyone is already really good at bending, it seems. For example, we see metal bending in the premiere. That’s fine and good but how much more awesome can the action really get? Welcome to Republic City doesn’t exactly have the awesomeness we see in say Sozin’s Comet, but definitely season three of that show. But this problem is something that the writers could just impress us more with in the future.,but for now, I’m a tad worried.

Other than that, the premiere of Legend of Korra is perfect and a welcome return to this wonderful world. I am so glad the risks were taken to add to something already great. The show doesn’t try to fix what isn’t broken, it’s just a new thing that evolved out of the old, and that is exactly what this needed to be. Look for my review of the second episode later in the day! (9.5/10)

One Response to ‘The Legend of Korra: Welcome to Republic City’ (Series Premiere) Review: A Welcome Return

  1. Rob says:

    It certainly is a welcome return.

    The only counter point that comes to mind in regards to questioning the direction of Korra’s awesome-ness is as such: Her struggles are going to be very different than Aang’s. She all ready has incredible fighting skill, and unlike many other lead’s, a self-confidence and vivaciousness that is unrivaled.

    As eluded to in the previews, it looks as if she will be dealing with things like not having the answers to the problems, nor being able to overcome that which stands in her way by sheer force of will, and knowing true fear and helplessness for the first time. Considering the depth and weight of these sorts of issues this is what will be an interesting and compelling set of obstacles to watch her come to terms with and overcome. When you think of it in terms of that, there is no limit to how much more awesome she, and her bender’s resolve can become.

    Not worried in the slightest 🙂

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