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Old March 27 2012, 07:06 PM   #48
Christopher
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book One: Air

Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
For whatever reason, Korra's situation feels more dire than what other characters have gone through. Maybe it's the nature of the conflict that's brewing.
That's funny; I had just the opposite reaction. Here's what I said about it on my blog:

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On reflection, one other thing has been bugging me a bit. Korra is worth watching for the gorgeous animation and rich characterizations and good music and such, but so far there’s very little sense of danger or high stakes. By the end of episode 2 of A:TLA, we knew that the world was torn apart by war, that Aang had an urgent mission to pursue, that he felt guilty for abandoning the world and allowing the war to happen, and that he and his friends were being pursued by a driven and capable enemy who’d already done a lot of damage to Katara and Sokka’s home and would stop at nothing to capture Aang. There was a clear, palpable sense of danger and urgency. Here, though, the stakes don’t seem all that high. The opening narration sets up the current situation but doesn’t give any indication of danger or trouble. The first episode does establish the core conflict in Republic City — the unrest between benders and non-benders, the crime and social inequality, the risk of failing to fulfill Aang and Zuko’s vision for the city. It suggests that Korra has a role in resolving those problems, and it introduces the villain Amon who will be her main rival. But this is all more potential than actual at this point, and then episode 2 de-escalates things and spends the whole time focusing solely on Korra’s training and character interactions. So any sense of high stakes hinted at in episode 1 faded in episode 2, and it’s hard to feel at this point that what we’re seeing is anywhere near as important as A:TLA’s saga.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional episode that has low stakes and focuses on character rather than danger and fighting. ”The Headband” in A:TLA’s season 3 is such an episode, and it works very well. But if the intent was to debut the series with two back-to-back episodes, then it would’ve worked better to have a second episode that escalated things like “The Avatar Returns” did. As it is, it feels kind of like the producers are coasting — like they expect us to watch out of loyalty and so aren’t trying as hard to give this series a really compelling storyline. I’m hoping that subsequent episodes will prove otherwise, but the opening of this series is simply not as narratively strong as that of its predecessor.
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