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Legend of Korra
March 24, 2012 2:27 PM   Subscribe

The Legend of Korra - the sequel series to Avatar: the Last Airbender - is set to premiere on April 14. This weekend you can watch the first two episodes at Korra Nation.
posted by curious nu (75 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
If you're in the US.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 2:36 PM on March 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is just gonna be a bunch of guys chucking rocks at each other, isn't it?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:37 PM on March 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


Kids are finishing #2 right now and are enrapt. Such a great show. The writing, the animation, the voice work. All amazing.
posted by DU at 2:41 PM on March 24, 2012


It's all I can do to resist watching these online episodes, because I want to see this show on my big-ass TV. My little girl and I *loved* the original series and have been waiting for this so much. So far, all the advance comments are very positive, so I am hopeful that the curse of M. Night Shamalamadingdong has not tainted the creators of the series.
posted by briank at 2:46 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, I'd watch it, but I'll wait for the Shyamalan live-action 3D movie.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:50 PM on March 24, 2012


I watch it earlier today and had to pause about every three minutes so I could flail properly. It's adorable. And the music! The music is good! And I love everyone, but especially Tenzen's eldest. She may be my new life coach.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:50 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is just gonna be a bunch of guys chucking rocks at each other, isn't it?

THE BOULDER DOES NOT APPRECIATE YOUR SARCASM.
posted by curious nu at 2:50 PM on March 24, 2012 [28 favorites]


This is the second time I've posted this on Mefi but

HHHHHHHNNNNGHHHHH

brb tearbending
posted by zennish at 2:59 PM on March 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just keep getting redirected to the Facebook page. Stupid Canada. Back to the NDP leadership election.
posted by thecjm at 3:09 PM on March 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


This had better do justice to Shyamalan's artistic vision
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:20 PM on March 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


So I have to be a member of Facebook in order to watch. Fuck you FB. I'm from Canada anyways, likely wouldn't be able to view the content.
posted by Fizz at 3:22 PM on March 24, 2012


Mako seems like a really boring love interest, but other than that, I loved the episodes and eagerly await the premiere.
posted by archagon at 3:25 PM on March 24, 2012


So I have to be a member of Facebook in order to watch. Fuck you FB.

I do not have a FB account, though I'm in the U.S., and right now I'm watching a 47 min. video on that site that appears to be the full first episode.
posted by XMLicious at 3:27 PM on March 24, 2012


You know, I'm an official Old Guy these days, and I thought the original was a ton of fun. I got a little tired of Sokka being the butt boy, but that was my only real complaint about the best animated show I've seen in years and years.

Batman:TAS got pretty close sometimes, but the episodic nature of that show made it very different. In a way, you can almost think of the original Airbender series as a thirty-hour movie, presented in thirty-minute chunks, and they took full advantage of their extended run time.
posted by Malor at 3:34 PM on March 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the video is US-only, at least for now.
posted by dinty_moore at 3:37 PM on March 24, 2012


I'm shocked to hear that A:TLA had butt boys in it at all. Were they all displayed on a peg rack depicting the diameter they were accustomed to receiving, or how was this actually depicted?
posted by hippybear at 3:40 PM on March 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


No, that's a specific term from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, originally referring to Xander on that series. It's come to mean a hapless, annoying character that's close to the hero, usually with some redeeming feature(s).
posted by Malor at 3:44 PM on March 24, 2012


A direct link to the video that works for those outside the US.

The first two episodes are, unsurprisingly, pretty great.
posted by fearthehat at 3:44 PM on March 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


In the UK here. Banged head on the FB thing for 30 seconds, then went googling. Saw the episode with only a modicum of effort. It's definitely as sharp as the original. And happily, there's more going on than just gladiatorial bending fights.
posted by ursus_comiter at 3:46 PM on March 24, 2012


Ha, I was just debating watching these or Iron Giant (which I haven't seen, somehow) this evening. Thanks for the tie-breaking vote, MeFi.
posted by maryr at 3:49 PM on March 24, 2012


Thanks, fearthehat!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:51 PM on March 24, 2012


Watching it now with the kids. I hope it lives up to the original series. Thanks curious!
posted by Loudmax at 3:51 PM on March 24, 2012


What a disappointment.. the original Airbender is one of my favorite shows, the new one is as generic, predictable, trite as any third- or fourth- or fifth- rate cartoon network show. The only thing they have in common is animation style.

Every single conversation and action set fall into a trough of abysmal cliches. There is not a single surprise in the first two episodes. They've spent ginormouos amount of time telling us, over and over again, that Karra is impatient and green behind the ears. Everything's telegraphed 5 miles away and you know how each conversation is going to end from the first few words. Gahhhh thank god for fast forward. This is the worst follow-up series ever, worse even than MLP 2nd season.
posted by rainy at 3:54 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I was gonna post this late last night but I forgot to after the awesomeness of actually watching. I can't frickin' wait for the rest of the season.

BTW, if you like the music (like any individual of taste should), isolated tracks were released. Lost My Heart In Republic City is already an early favorite.

(I wish they'd make a score release for the original series. So many great tracks.)
posted by kmz at 3:57 PM on March 24, 2012


Just ordered the first season of the original series for my kid, but really for me. I'm hoping by the time we make it through all three Books, there will be places to see at least some of the new series, preferably legally.

Gonna watch this after he goes to bed, though because I need to squee in private, whiskey in hand and feet propped up.
posted by emjaybee at 4:01 PM on March 24, 2012


No original soundtrack release, but some have been working hard to try to make a compendium of the music available from whatever source they found worked best.
posted by hippybear at 4:01 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


My kids and I watched the original series over and over together. The cactus juice episode is still their favourite "Giant friendly mushroom". We can never eat lettuce without someone saying "letus leave?". Even if it is total crap, we will be there!
posted by greenhornet at 4:04 PM on March 24, 2012


Ah, apparently also with a grooveshark playlist thingy. (Scroll down a bit.)
posted by hippybear at 4:04 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, I've got all the unofficial collected tracks, but something official would be nice and probably more comprehensive.
posted by kmz at 4:06 PM on March 24, 2012


Oops, I looked it up... the correct term is 'butt monkey', not 'butt boy'. Sorry!
posted by Malor at 4:13 PM on March 24, 2012


I was just debating watching these or Iron Giant

For crying out loud! Watch Iron Giant already! Supermaaan!
posted by SPrintF at 4:14 PM on March 24, 2012


The first two episodes of the original Avatar series did not really have anything to make them stand out. Or at least that's what I thought when I watched them. Brother and sister bickering, a nod towards feminism 101, some nice action sequences -- nothing to really make it stand out from any other cartoon. It's very much a character-driven show, and I think that a lot of what's great about it accreted slowly over time.

I see a lot of potential in Korra and Republic City and Tenzin's family and the Equalists. I think it's probably going to be ten or twelve episodes before it becomes great in the way Avatar was great -- that's how long it took Avatar to get great.
posted by Jeanne at 4:19 PM on March 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have just two words for you, rainy: AGNI KAI
posted by brieche at 4:24 PM on March 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


MY CABBAGES!
posted by The River Ivel at 5:06 PM on March 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wait, was a descendent of the cabbage guy there?! Did I miss it?!
posted by maryr at 5:12 PM on March 24, 2012


Out of curiosity, for a new viewer is the story relatively understandable if I didn't watch the first series? I'm vaguely familiar with the characters and locations, but I never got around to watching the entire show.

Or should I watch the first show and then view The Legend of Korra?
posted by chrono_rabbit at 5:34 PM on March 24, 2012


Or should I watch the first show and then view The Legend of Korra?

We don't know. We haven't seen it yet. However, the original is just superb, so starting there couldn't possibly be a bad choice.
posted by Malor at 5:40 PM on March 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


That was excellent. Won't spoil anything, but I thought that they fit far more creative stuff into these two episodes than they did the first two episodes of the original series. Korra comes off as impatient but not stupid (and Tenzen, her teacher, comes off as serious and somewhat overbearing but capable of perceiving when he is wrong, unlike the stereotypical "authority figure" that appears in most of these kinds of cartoons, who are either disciplinary and stupid or laid-back and all-wise).

And they did to the Bechdel test what the leaf did to that ancient Airbender training machine.
posted by AdamCSnider at 6:01 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The first thing I noticed about the show, when contrasted to the original, was the dramatic increase in music quality. Also, am I the only person who thought there was a crazy resemblance between Aangs son Tenzin and the amazing spectacular author Neal Stephenson?
posted by KeSetAffinityThread at 6:17 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or should I watch the first show and then view The Legend of Korra?

From watching the premiere, I can say that the new show is designed to be accessible to newcomers with enough references to the previous series to reward people who have viewed the original.

That said, there's no reason not to watch the original first.
posted by zixyer at 6:49 PM on March 24, 2012


I can't believe no one has reported in on the latest batch of improbable animals-- do we finally see the snail-sloth?? Are the turtle ducklings back?!
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:19 PM on March 24, 2012


I got a little tired of Sokka being the butt boy

Yeah, he's got Xander syndrome bad. But they remedied that admirably in the last season with the excellent episode Sokka's Master, one of the best episodes of the whole thing, and doing it in a way that let him be simultaneously goofy and badass. It's a shame that he (apparently) hasn't survived into Korra's age, but I'm looking forward to hearing about what happened to him later in life. Also: Iroh!
posted by JHarris at 8:40 PM on March 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you're in the US.

...ENET.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:11 PM on March 24, 2012


I can't believe no one has reported in on the latest batch of improbable animals-- do we finally see the snail-sloth?? Are the turtle ducklings back?!

Watch the new episodes and see what the old woman in the station has on her leash! Also, Korra has a polar bear dog, which is not a spoiler since it's in all the promos.
posted by emjaybee at 9:17 PM on March 24, 2012


Alright, Korra is a cool character. I hope they flash back to the intervening 70 years!! I wanna see katara and aang as married, lol
posted by roboton666 at 9:17 PM on March 24, 2012


I was just debating watching these or Iron Giant

Oh man, Avatar is one of my all-time favorite TV shows, and Iron Giant is one of my all-time favorite movies. Whichever you watched, watch the other tomorrow!

And non-US people: this thing's also floating 'round the torrents!
posted by Greg Nog at 9:38 PM on March 24, 2012


I watched it this afternoon - interesting that the bad guy is a mysterious man in a Guy Fawkes mask who leads a political group called the Equalists.
posted by AlsoMike at 11:01 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't believe no one has reported in on the latest batch of improbable animals-- do we finally see the snail-sloth?? Are the turtle ducklings back?!

Even better! There are fish-fish!
posted by mikurski at 11:10 PM on March 24, 2012


Ugh, so excited. The rendering of Republic City as some kind of steampunk, 1920s style Shanghai is so freaking excellent I cannot contain my glee. Well researched, well designed, well executed.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 12:34 AM on March 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Even better! There are fish-fish!

Republic City is weird.
posted by kmz at 12:35 AM on March 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm predicting some kind of Aesop regarding biological diversity and industrial pollution.
posted by mikurski at 12:37 AM on March 25, 2012


I tried to watch the first episode and it's dubbed; I can't watch dubbed shows.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:01 AM on March 25, 2012


Thanks for the link for Non-US members fearthehat. :)

And my joy knows no bounds when it comes to this show. Like everyone here I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about the original series:

My initial response: "Nickelodeon? English dubs, not subs? Umm...are you sure I'll like this, I'm pretty particular about my anime."

And here we are so many years later, I routinely watch the original series on a regular rotation. It's something that's not far from my television. The voice work is phenomenal, the animation style is a visual delight. The story is engaging and thought-provoking. It does not talk-down to children and there's something for everyone for all ages. Humor, romance, action, violence, politics, social commentary, it's all there. This is what good story-telling should be. I really wish more people would take a page from the work that these guys have put into the series.

I have no doubt that Korra will be just as wonderful as the original series.
posted by Fizz at 5:45 AM on March 25, 2012


Also, greatest line from first two episodes:

"Is this your polar-bear-dog miss?!" *LICKS FACE*
posted by Fizz at 6:07 AM on March 25, 2012


it's dubbed; I can't watch dubbed shows.

I can't tell whether this is just extremely deadpan, but in the event that there's some actual confusion, this series, along with the original Avatar series, was made by Americans; the original language is English.

I liked the first two episodes, but I found it a little bit boring so far. So much of what I liked about the original series was the friendship between the three main characters, and it seems like there's not a lot of interplay between Korra and her peers just yet. Hopefully that'll change as she gets to know the Pro Benders better, though.

I DO really like that unlike almost any every other show about a Mystical Prophesied Hero, they didn't tragically kill off her parents as a way of setting her off on her journey. It's just two nice normal folk who are like, "Oh hey we think maybe our daughter's the Avatar?"
posted by Greg Nog at 6:22 AM on March 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Greg Nog,

I agree the first two episodes were a bit slower but also necessary. We're still getting to know all the characters, cousins, uncles, pro-bender twins, mysterious masked figures. It's QUITE a bit of information to get across to viewers. The great thing about having such a large city is that there will be many elements to discover, so there will never be a want of story or plot when it comes to smaller day by day episodes that build the larger arc that hovers in the back.
posted by Fizz at 6:32 AM on March 25, 2012


Yeah, I mean, I can easily see it building into something as good as the first series, but I also agree with Jeanne, above, where she mentions that the first series also started a little slow and formulaic before it got good.

I did LOVE how they handled the "What happened with Zuko's mom?" question.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:45 AM on March 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I watched it this afternoon - interesting that the bad guy is a mysterious man in a Guy Fawkes mask who leads a political group called the Equalists.

My first thought when I saw the mask was Victor von Doom rather than Fawkes, but that's an interesting take on it. From what we've seen of the Equalists (not much) it looks like they're going to be portrayed as something a bit more complex than your standard horde of evil villains, which will be nice.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:15 AM on March 25, 2012


MetaFilter: something a bit more complex than your standard horde of evil villains
posted by hippybear at 7:30 AM on March 25, 2012


I was going to wait for the official release dates, but as it became clear that there was no way I'd be able to remain unspoiled between now and April 14th I caved, watched, and am now impatient for the next month to go by so I can watch the next episode. Love the new characters, love the almost-modern urban setting, intrigued by what little we've seen of the Equalists.

I agree these two episodes are a slow start, even compared to ATLA. After two episodes of ATLA it's immediately clear that Aang needs to master the three elements he hasn't yet learned so that he can stop the rampaging Fire Nation. In Legend of Korra, Korra's bending training is much further along, and the Republic is at peace. There are definite signs of civil unrest, but so far we know very little about the antagonist(s) and their agenda. Presumably that will change in an episode or two at the most.
posted by bettafish at 11:53 AM on March 25, 2012


I don't see how it could have gone much faster. They had an enormous amount of information to impart about how the world has changed in 70 years, the broad outlines of the fate of the original characters, the impact those characters had on the shaping of the world, and the introduction of a bunch of NEW characters. And it appears the conflict is going to be subtler this time, more finely drawn, as it were, so that's likely to take longer to explain, as well.

Honestly, I think they did an outstanding job of packing a LOT of information into 47 minutes, without ever being boring. It's not loaded with action, but it's a transition point between two series, so it's both denouement and world-building.

They had much less to do in the original, and were conveying a story with simple, mythic outlines. So of course it went faster.
posted by Malor at 12:31 PM on March 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


It actually feels too *fast* too me -- a number of the encounters felt to me like things that could have easily stretched out into their own episode, and there were an awful lot of characters introduced. It feels crowded -- by more people, by the city feel, and by more adult supervision. And even the soundtrack seems more prominent

I think it's deliberate, though -- the number of highly inverted things can't be an accident. There's the obvious air/other elements inversion, but I think it's more. Aang struggled to find masters and teachers; Korra apparently struggles with supervision and structure. Aang's journey sprawled across the world (and was often in rural/agrarian settings), Korra's looks like it's going to be focused in the city.

And what some might see as telegraphing punches, I see as doing good groundwork in setting up a contrast with Aang that is likely to be the key issue of the series. We know Aang always had to wonder if he was powerful enough to defeat the fire lord -- and in the end, he all but *had* to fall back on the Avatar state to win.

Meanwhile, Korra almost looks like she could challenge the likes of Ozai from the start. Where situations require raw power, she's well prepared. So, yes, as the masters and everybody says: she is missing the restraint and wisdom that can help her balance delicate situations. I like how they illustrate it, though. It's of course most directly portrayed in her fights and particularly in her charge-right-in approach to the airbending exercise. But I think it's even more effectively shown in her park conflict with the equalist (who expertly draws out her potential power as a threat), it's seen in her collision with the authorities of the city when she stops the hoodlums (and really does do more damage than they did in the process), and finally, it's seen when she struggles to balance the demand for power in the ring with its rules.

And I wasn't sure about that at first, but I like how they take her story there and show her first small significant victory in that context. Because the ring really is a natural place for her to begin to approach this -- a natural channel for her pugnacious energy, one she clearly has affinity for, but also one that demands that she adapt and discipline herself. It fits it's the place where she starts to turn to an absorb some of the airbending lessons.

Maybe it's trope-ish, but I can live with it.

I can't believe no one has reported in on the latest batch of improbable animals

Fire Ferrets!
posted by weston at 7:54 PM on March 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


xkd responds to the airbender's powers.
posted by chapps at 8:08 PM on March 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I could be wrong, but I believe the last four Avatars are presented in the very beginning of the opening sequence: there's Kyoshi earthbending, Roku firebending, Aang (all grown up!) airbending, and Korra waterbending. Which is are really clever and elegant touch.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:04 AM on March 26, 2012


I always thought that xkcd strip was sort of overpedantic and mean-spirited.

Also, weston, regarding tropes, remember: Tropes are not bad.

I think your analysis is very astute. It's a very different show, and the first two episodes did a very good job of illustrating the specific ways in which it's going to be different.
posted by pts at 5:27 AM on March 26, 2012


Is The Legend of Korra anti-science?
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on March 27, 2012


I'm gonna go with: I'll let you know after we get more than a tiny percent of the story!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:45 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, as fxg says.

I also think that the author might be overestimating the degree that freedom of philosophy is an essential factor in the development of science and technology. It seems to me that it also has lots to do with the ability to go around and gather all of the wealth in the world and cart it home for example, as with those developments in Rome, China, the Islamic Empires, Age of Sail Europe, etc. The Fire Nation after a hundred years of conquest and this new Republic City are kind of in an analogous position.
posted by XMLicious at 4:56 PM on March 27, 2012


It doesn't seem too anti-science to me... I imagine engineering must have had to advance significantly to go from Ba Sing Se (largest city I remember seeing) to Republic City and freaking CARS from what we've seen so far. Has there previously been radio on Avatar? Some sort of electronic sensors for the Professional Bending?
posted by maryr at 6:01 PM on March 27, 2012


Yeah, I was kind of surprised at just how much technology they'd added... it isn't totally out of place, if you figure that there was steampunkey Victorian-level technology in the original series and this is seventy years later, but I don't remember there being electricity at all in the first one.
posted by XMLicious at 6:17 PM on March 27, 2012


I rewatched most of the 1st episode and it doesn't seem as bad now.. when I watched it the first time before posting my first comment in the thread, I haven't eaten for 20 hours, so I was a bit grumpy. I think Avatar started out much stronger, but I now hope Korra might improve to live up to its deserved fame -- gradually over the next half a dozen episodes or so. We shall see!
posted by rainy at 9:49 PM on March 27, 2012


Yeah, I was kind of surprised at just how much technology they'd added... it isn't totally out of place, if you figure that there was steampunkey Victorian-level technology in the original series and this is seventy years later, but I don't remember there being electricity at all in the first one.

Learning how to control electricity was the sign that you were a top-tier firebender, if I recall correctly (specifically, lightning). Wouldn't surprise me if that particular technological advance was developed in the Fire Kingdom.
posted by AdamCSnider at 2:44 PM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The metalbending innovation probably played a big role. Makes it pretty easy to skip over some of the more difficult parts of industrialization.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:28 PM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was a little disconcerted by the shift in tech level, but it can very neatly be explained away as the byproduct of a four-nation peace. The four nations each had their own specialized technologies in ATLA; once the different benders start working together it's only natural that there would be innovations.

I was wondering how the new series would keep itself from falling under the long shadow of the first, and I think they've done it bay inverting the central character and setting; Aang was a civilized boy in an uncivilized world, while Korra is an uncivilized girl in a civilized world.
posted by lekvar at 5:43 PM on March 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


These two episodes are currently available for free download from the iTunes store.
posted by weston at 12:00 PM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


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