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Old June 27 2012, 01:56 PM   #464
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book One: Air

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Just because she loses her ability to bend doesn't mean she stops being the Avatar, I'm sure. Or at least, I'm sure the Avatar cycle would continue as normal after her death.
That's a reasonable conjecture, but that's all it is. Nobody could know that for a fact, because this has never happened before in the history of the world. So the characters, and plenty of the viewers, wouldn't share your certainty on that point. Thus, it would leave things unresolved and would not work as a series finale.

Takeru wrote: View Post
The finale wasn't that great, I didn't like how they turned Amon into an idiot who did some very visible waterbending in front of tons of people...
What Mr Light said. He was acting on pure survival reflex at that point.

and I did not like that he used bloodbending to take bending away, I think that takes away a lot of the spiritual side of bending. What did he do exactly, stop the flow of the blood to the brain's bending center?
Part of the core philosophy of martial arts, and Asian spirituality overall, is that the physical and the spiritual are not opposite "sides" as they are in Western belief, but facets of the same continuum. Channeling the spirit is something you do by moving the body (martial arts, t'ai chi). You heal the body by redirecting its spiritual energy (acupuncture). You rearrange your physical space in order to purify it spiritually (feng shui). There is no divide between the two. And in-universe, we've seen Iroh (the original one) explain how fire- and lightning-bending involved directing energy/chi through the body. So it's entirely in keeping with the metaphysical underpinnings of the show's universe that a bender's spiritual connection with one's element could be severed by a physical change in the body. (I gather there's also precedent in Asian martial-arts fiction and legend for strikes that can permanently incapacitate a fighter's abilities.)

In the context of the show's metaphysics, what he's doing is probably some kind of anti-acupressure -- instead of using touch and pressure to redirect the flow of chi through the body in a positive way, he's blocking it somehow -- to borrow Guru Pathik's analogy, he's damming the stream, or redirecting the flow in a way that severs one's connection with one's element.

I would have preferred if they had given him some spiritual ability, they didn't have to use Koh or explain every little detail. He still could have been a waterbender (who they tricked into revealing his abilities publicly) but with some special abilities.
I'll never understand why anyone thought Koh would have anything to do with this in the first place. I think it started with some attempt to guess why Amon was wearing a mask, but the idea that he'd had his face stolen would never have worked, because Koh's victims had no eyes or mouths, and Amon clearly had both. It was a non-starter of an idea.

And if his abilities genuinely were spiritual, then having him be a bender as well would be overcomplicating things. It would be a revelation that wouldn't go to the core of what he was, and that's poorly structured.

A spiritual reason would have also made more sense to explain how Korra could get her bending back quickly.
I think just the opposite. If it's just a physical alteration, then it makes sense that it's a lesser form of power than the one the Avatar can apply. If it actually were a power on the same level, that would make it harder for her to overcome, not easier.

I would have slightly reordered the events at the end, Korra should have unlocked the avatar state by herself, that could have reversed Amon's bending blocking and only after that would Aang have shown up to teach her energybending to restore the other victims' bending.
But she did unlock it by herself. She is Aang, and Roku, and Kyoshi, and all the others. They're the same soul born into different bodies. Aang isn't a separate person, but a part of herself that she'd never fully connected with before.

Aang just showing up in the last minute pretty much saying "You're now spiritual, here's the avatar state, your bending and energybending ... bye!" was bad writing and the show being planned as a mini series is not an excuse, it makes it worse!
No, it's not bad writing, because it's the payoff they've been building toward the whole series. From very early in the first episode, it was established that Korra had trouble connecting with the spiritual side of being the Avatar. That's a theme that was returned to in the second episode and later, and we saw her spiritual side trying to break through when she got visions from Aang. Then in "Out of the Past" we saw her finally begin to apply Tenzin's lessons about spiritual connection and access that side of herself -- but she was only able to do it when she was close to her lowest ebb. So what happened here didn't come out of the blue -- it's been set up and built toward from the start of the series.

It was also a payoff of her character arc. All along, we've been shown that Korra is arrogant, impulsive, lacking in introspection, and that those qualities got in the way of her connection with her spiritual side. As in many heroes' journeys, she needed to learn humility, to go through an ordeal that forced her to look past the one big flaw that held her back. It was only when she felt powerless that she was finally able to let go and be open to change. It fits with Buddhist and Hindu philosophy too -- you have to let go of all attachments and certainties to find enlightenment.

Mr Light wrote: View Post
Also, at the open of the episode they're hiding with this crazy guy with wild hair. Who is this guy?
His name is Gommu. And I thought he made quite a memorable impression in episode 1. Although I did watch episode 1 three or four times.
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