The Legend of Korra - Book One: Air

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Agent Richard07, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Out of the Past" was a very big episode with a lot revealed and a lot of storyline progress, but I can't help but feel it was too rushed, and at times too convenient. I expected that Korra's ordeal in captivity/exile would enable her to finally get in touch with Aang's spirit, but I thought she'd have to struggle at it more, go through more of a personal journey before she was able to access that part of herself. Instead, she just closed her eyes for a few moments and there it was.

    A lot of stuff was just too convenient or glossed over. Like the total lack of consequences for Lin's jailbreak of Team Avatar. Or how easily Mako and the others were convinced that the Equalists didn't attack the council hall (though I guess not finding Korra in the cells helped verify that -- but they could've been keeping her elsewhere). Or the way the androgynous council page (who's apparently male -- I wouldn't have guessed that) just happened to have been an eyewitness to Korra's abduction and came forward at just the right moment to expose Tarrlok. And most of all, how Amon just happened to show up in time to take down Tarrlok -- and then Naga just happened to show up to save Korra. How did they get there? Where had Naga been the whole time? And after Tarrlok was built up as such a big threat, it seems anticlimactic to see him taken out of the picture with three episodes left in the season.

    Also, Korra was oddly unable to cope with the metal box. I mean, we know she can't metalbend yet, but she was sweating, and presumably Master Katara taught her about using her own sweat as a source of water. She could've used a water knife (or whatever they call that technique) to slice gradually through the bars the way Katara and Aang cut through the supports on the drill vehicle. Granted, she had good reason to focus on the spiritual side, but it's not like she was completely devoid of more physical options. (That was a cool trick to hang from her armband to avoid electrocution, though.)

    It was nice to get the full flashback at last and see the adult Aang, Toph, and Sokka. Unfortunately, going by the end credits, they didn't bring back any of the original actors. (My DVR puts a banner over the bottom of the screen when it's paused, annoyingly, so I couldn't read the credits in detail, but I replayed them a few times and didn't see their names.) I mean, Zach Tyler Eisen and Jessie Flower are now 18 and 17 (and Jack DeSena is 24), so they'd have adult voices by now. Although maybe that's too young to pass for 40.

    No surprise that Aang was forced to use spirit-bending to take Yakone's bending away. But it makes me wonder just how often he ended up doing it to deal with bad guys. The fact that they put Yakone on trial first indicates that he didn't use it casually or as anything but a last resort, but still, how many others did he do it to?
     
  2. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Oh shit, I completely forgot today was Saturday!

    It's been a long week...
     
  3. SG-17

    SG-17 Commodore Commodore

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    I loved the way that Lin put her armor on.
     
  4. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    That was a much better episode. I really enjoyed the flashbacks of course. I also loved seeing Tenzin leading a team into action without Korra.

    Amon stealing the powers of random police officers disproves my "they must be corrupted to be power-wiped" theory. Damn.

    I wonder if power-stealing could be some kind of offshoot of blood-bending...? This would explain how Amon was able to overcome Tarlok's blood-bending, because he did his own to cancel it out.
     
  5. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    Great episode. Maybe it was rushed, but it didn't feel that way to me. It just felt like they managed to cram a lot into the 22 minutes. I agree on Naga though. How did he just show up? Maybe it's like one of those instances where animals just find their way.

    I just hope that the current story isn't rushed to a conclusion in the next 3 episodes.

    I figured that maybe it had no impurities to bend.

    I was expecting her to use the water knife too.

    I loved it too. Reminded me of Iron Man suiting up.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Naga's a she. And it's no surprise that she has tracking ability; that's already established. But it was implied earlier that she might've been taken captive along with Korra, so it was a surprise to see her free. I guess it was never proven that she was captured; Tenzin and the others just assumed it because they couldn't find her.


    As I said, Korra hasn't learned metalbending yet.


    By the way, the credits for the episode are up at the Avatar Wiki now, so we know who did the voices of the adult Team Avatar. Adult Aang was D.B. Sweeney, a character actor and voiceover artist who's known for a variety of things including Eight Men Out and the TV series Strange Luck. Adult Toph was Kate Higgins, a prolific voice artist who's best known as Sakura in the English dub of Naruto. And adult Sokka was Chris Hardwick, an actor and standup comedian whose previous animation work includes Green Arrow on The Batman. Which is good to know and all, but I still kinda wish they'd brought back the original actors. (Oh, and Yakone's defense attorney was the redoubtable Maurice LaMarche.)
     
  7. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, ok. Wasn't my first thought though.

    Funny thing about these sub abilities is why are they so difficult? If one can bend earth, why not metal automatically? If one can bend water, why is blood bending so special or equally difficult? Blood has water. Also, they never dealt with how blood bending was done without the full moon. A lot of setup, but it wasn't addressed.
     
  8. SG-17

    SG-17 Commodore Commodore

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    Who voiced Yakone? He sounded like Big Bob Pataki from Hey Arnold!.
     
  9. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Lex Luthor

    The bloodbending probably is going to be addressed since it seems to be tied in with Amon's abilities. Note how the person they used to explain Yankone's abilities is one of the most unreliable sources in Airbender regarding the use of bending.
     
  10. SG-17

    SG-17 Commodore Commodore

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    Really? I wonder how I missed Clancy Brown there.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, metalbenders aren't actually bending the metal per se, they're bending the impurities, the bits of "earth" that remain in the metal due to imperfect refining. As we've seen, sufficiently pure metal is immune to bending.

    It may seem to us that the distinction between earth and metal is arbitrary, but bending "science" is based on spirituality, not physics or chemistry. If you look at it chemically, flame is made mostly of carbon dioxide and water vapor at high temperature, so technically either an airbender or a waterbender should also be able to firebend. But they aren't, because the basis of their powers is mystical and spiritual, and fire, air, and water are separate elements according to the spiritually-based, traditional cosmology the Avatarverse is based around -- the classical element system used in Japan, India, Tibet, and Greece where the four earthly elements are earth, air/wind, fire, and water, with a fifth cosmic element of ether or void (or in this case, spirit). Metal isn't one of the basic elements in that system. It is one of the Chinese classical elements (fire, earth, water, metal, wood) but a distinct one from earth.

    As for bloodbending, normal waterbending involves relatively pure water without other stuff getting in the way. We've seen Katara bend mud (though she was more effective at it with Toph's help) and we've seen an adept bender manipulate plants by bending the water within them, but it's probably an advanced technique. Back in an early A:TLA episode, we heard Katara say she wasn't accustomed to bending water she couldn't see, so bending water that's inside something like a human body, not to mention diluted with other substances, may be a rather more advanced discipline. Not to mention that you'd need a good understanding of human anatomy to know just how to bend the water/blood inside the body and have the desired effect. And it's got to take extra power and knowhow to control water inside a living being that's actively resisting that control.

    Not to mention the psychological block. Anyone with a conscience would have trouble overcoming their natural resistance to violating another person like that, and few would even attempt to learn it, even if it weren't illegal.


    Hopefully that will be explained later. Note that in the flashbacks, they established not only that Yakone could bloodbend without a full moon, but that he could bloodbend only when there wasn't a full moon -- in other words, that he couldn't bloodbend when the moon was full, an inversion of the norm. When I heard that, I figured that Tarrlok was going to remain a threat until the moon was full and they had a window to take him down, but that's clearly not the case. But if they set up something like that, it may still have a payoff coming. It's worth noting that the only people we've seen who were able to resist bloodbending (while not in the Avatar State) were Katara and Amon. Katara could resist because she could counter Hama's bloodbending with her own. So is it possible that Amon is really a water/bloodbender? That would blow my theory about his identity out the window, most likely.
     
  12. Hoser

    Hoser Hoser Super Moderator

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    I'm still giggling that Lin metalbent a zipper.

    I'm wondering if Tarlok's out, or if he's going to continue politically. And I'm wondering if Amon suffers from dumb evil genius syndrome or if he really intended to warn Korra that they were going to electrocute her.
     
  13. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Someone else also picked that up. I think their theory was that instead of reliance on the moon (spirit) they were somehow using the ocean (spirit).
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Let's see. He's practiced the illegal art of bloodbending; kidnapped the Avatar; vandalized the council hall; attacked Councillor Tenzin, several police officers, and several private citizens cooperating with them; and confessed to concealing his true identity and masterminding a plot to gain power. I'd say his political career, not to mention his freedom, is pretty much over.
     
  15. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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    My son and I are still watching, and still enjoying the show.

    The whole style of it is quite compelling.

    Bloodbending is creepy. Why didn't it work (at least not fully) on Amon?
     
  16. Vendikarr

    Vendikarr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Here's a theory completely out of left field, and most likely totally wrong..

    Amon is Korra's twin, stolen at birth. She got the physical aspects of bending, and he got the more spiritual aspects, like spirit and air. It explains why she cannot seem to master air, and how he got the spirit ability of removing bending from an individual.

    I know, there's nothing established in the show that can make this remotely possible, but he, it came to mind an I thought I would just throw it out there.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^That would require Amon to be 17 years old, and I doubt he could've built such a powerful organization in that time. Plus he has the voice of a considerably older man. (Steve Blum is 47.)
     
  18. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Also, it sounds like a total ripoff of Fray, a comic book written by Joss Whedon which takes place in the distant future of the Buffyverse. :p
     
  19. Vendikarr

    Vendikarr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yea, not likely at all, but there does seem to be a divide about there abilities.

    Ya know, I knew it sounded familiar in my head, but I couldn't remember from where.
     
  20. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    That would have been an interesting angle.