The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Agent Richard07, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    Here's a little something that might be of interest...

    Episode 1
    Episode 2
    Episode 3
     
  2. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    thanks! I didn't know that existed!
     
  3. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not so sure. I mean clearly he's up to no good, but I smell a red herring. Something else is going on.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The story's not bad, but I can't stand the ugly, crude Flash animation.
     
  5. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A solid opener I think. The animation and music was absolutely gorgeous, and I love the style for the spirits. I like that we're getting some focus on Water Tribe life at least initially because we got a good look at the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation in A:TLA we didn't get nearly as much time with the Water Tribes. I'm looking forward to seeing where the story goes and how the characters develop because at this point... I'm not sure what to think about a lot of things.

    I kind of wish they'd made Unalaq a bit less overtly smarmy/sinister, because except he's coming across as way too much like Tarrlok for my tastes. On the other hand of course, Tonraq was really aggressive and controlling of Korra - I like him overall, especially his relationship so far with Mako and his reaction to Korra bringing back the Southern Lights. I hope we get to see more of the relationship between these brothers.

    I'm a bit confused about the relationship between the Water Tribes. It seems like they're somehow politically united, with actual rulership resting at the North Pole? And as for Unalaq's attitude about the Southern Tribe's relationship with the spirits, let's not forget that 60 years ago, the Southern Tribe was so devastated that they had no water benders until Katara was trained, while the North had their magnificent ice city. Is it really that they "lost" their relationship with the spirits, or it was never properly restored after the War? (Although... considering Aang married a Water Tribe gal, that seems unlikely...).

    Korra seems to have regressed a bit... or maybe it's just my own expectations getting in the way. I certainly didn't want her to lose her fiery attitude, so glad to see that's still intact. It does seem weird that after last season's finale she'd still be so (seemingly) unattuned to the spirits. On the other hand... she seems very in control of the Avatar State, going in and out of it at will. Considering the huge difficulty Aang had with controlling it and the process he went through with the Guru, this seems very strange. Overall no big deal though.

    I wonder if Jinora's going to be the one who ultimately really helps Korra learn about her spiritual nature, considering her scene in the statue room? That'd be really fun.

    Bumi, Kya, and the Creepy Twins are fun enough so far, but nothing big - I'm sure we'll see more of them.

    Eh? Aside from that red hair isn't unique to white folks, there's always hair coloring.

    You thinking a Tarrlok-esque (or maybe Zhao-esque) multiple villains with different motivations?

    Oh, and random thought, but wasn't there supposed to be a Spirit voiced by Grey DeLisle? Did I miss that, or have we just not met said Spirit yet?
     
  6. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    I thought I read somewhere that Iroh (grandson of Zuko, voiced by same actor) was going to be a regular this season?
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes -- according to the Avatar Wiki, "Eventually, the governments of the tribes were merged, and a Chief for both tribes was chosen." However, the United Republic Council had both Northern (Tarrlok) and Southern Tribe representatives.

    I took that to be implicit. They lost their connection due to the slaughter of their waterbenders, and so the next generations had no one to teach them about their spirituality, and thus the culture drifted away from it.


    They had a whole world to look after. And no one person, even one as formidable as Katara, could singlehandedly teach an entire society what they'd lost.


    We've been shown from the start that Korra was an exceptionally quick study with everything but airbending, a natural prodigy. That's one reason she has trouble learning things that are difficult for her -- because, unlike Aang, she's used to things coming to her almost effortlessly. So it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that she's harnessed the Avatar State more easily than Aang did. That's in keeping with the established differences between them.


    Well, yes, but the point is, if they had no examples to follow, why would they choose that color? It would be just as arbitrary as if she chose to dye her hair blue or green.

    And I concede that there are some people of other ethnic groups with reddish hair, but I don't know if we've seen any in the Avatarverse; and Ginger's overall look was just too much based on Hollywood starlets from our American cultural heritage, so it stood out as incongruous in this context.



    We haven't heard any of the spirits speak yet (perhaps because nobody's said "Eeny meany chili beany"), so no doubt it will be in a future episode. Probably not until Korra connects mentally with the spirits or crosses into the Spirit World.
     
  8. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    While of course the show clearly has some very obvious influences from Asian cultures, I think it's a mistake to allow that to limit the scope of the show. Not *everything* has a direct parallel to the real world and not all the peoples seen on the show are 100% inspired by real world Asia.

    For example, the swap water benders were decidedly not Asian. They were American hill-billies (or is it rednecks? I can never remember what the distinction is) with their design apparently influenced by South American tribal groups. The Sun Warriors also had a distinctly South American (Mayan/Aztec) influence while the sand-benders could be said to be at least partly influenced by Saharan desert nomads.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that it's a big world and we've only seen a small slice of it. While it's clear the Asian inspired cultures are the dominant ones, for all we know there's a relatively small group of highland dwelling earthbenders with a thing for playing the bagpipes and a taste for koala sheep stomach stuffed with wheat and barley.

    Besides, why would the show runners allow racial prejudice to get in the way of a good Jessica Rabbit joke? ;)
     
  9. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    Looked like a great deal of effort was put into the production itself with the good animation and humor but I thought the double episode itself was pretty slow. Still, I look forward to seeing the first avatar and how bending got its start.

    And as much as I wished that we had a season dedicated to an avatar without powers, I do like what we're getting just as much... A fully realized Korra who can access the avatar state. Also, with all these new powers we're seeing in others, it looks like the avatar could benefit from learning more than just how to bend four elements.

    I hope so. I like 'em both.

    I thought something about her stood out but I figured it was just the modern-day evening gown and the gams. ;)

    Interesting. I didn't make that connection.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Further thoughts on the difference between Aang's and Korra's relationships with the Avatar State: Aang was a gentle person from a pacifistic culture, and he was always uncomfortable with wielding power. The Avatar State frightened him, and so it was difficult for him to embrace and master it. But Korra is aggressive by nature and defines herself by her strength, so she enjoys having and wielding power. Being passive and vulnerable is what makes her uncomfortable. They have opposite temperaments, so what came easily to Aang is hard for Korra and vice-versa.
     
  11. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I like that about Korra.
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Great season premier. I really enjoyed getting to see more of a different part of the world outside of Republic City, but I do hope we return eventually.
    I'm curious if the storyline they set up with Asami is going to have a bigger role to play as the season goes on, because right now it seems kind of unrelated to the bigger arc with the conflict over Korra's training, and the problems with the spirits. I hope so, because I really like the character, and hope we get to see more of her as the season goes on.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I've heard that the imbalance in the spirit world may be linked to the rise of modern technology displacing the old ways, and Future Industries and the new business-magnate guy seem to be on the cutting edge of technological innovation. So I imagine Asami's arc will indeed tie in to the rest.
     
  14. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While a reasonable explanation, it kind of makes Unalaq come across as even more of a dick from my perspective, when it seems like the Northern Tribe should have been a lot more involved from the get-go if it was such a big deal.

    Well, but that's sort of been true with Legend of Korra a lot, blending what seems to us a lot more American-esque stylistic choices to show the advance of technology while never losing the obvious Asian-inspired origins. It just felt to me like a logical continuation of that trend, much like with the... guy... Asami was there to talk to in the first place.

    Good point, yeah. And from what little we've seen I think Bumi would fit in perfectly well there, heh.

    I guess this makes sense if we're just thinking of the Avatar State as the Avatar powering up, it's just that throughout A:TLA - and especially at the end of Season 2 - it seemed to be extremely connected with the spiritual nature of the Avatar, and that controlling it/willing it was something that even Aang with his highly-developed spiritual nature had difficulty with. I suppose on balance it evens out - Aang has a more natural affinity for it (hence activating it accidentally several times) but feared it/didn't want it as a child, while Korra's less attuned to it but revels in it so can basically "brute force" it and over 6 months has fairly mastered it. Or it's just a minor retcon and I can stop thinking about The Guru, which is fine.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    We don't know how long ago he took over as chief. We only know that it was sometime later than 151 ASC (After Sozin's Comet), the year that Tonraq was banished, and sometime before the current year, 171 ASC. And we know the Southern Tribe had had all its benders save Katara wiped out before 94 ASC (the year Katara's mother was killed). So by the time Unalaq reached a position of leadership, the South's loss of spiritual connection would've been a fact of life for anywhere from 60-80 years. I don't see how he can be blamed for the policies of his predecessors in the chieftainship.



    I guess that's the problem... for pre-modern culture and technology, they can draw on purely Asian referents, but for modern technology, the only available historical precedents are either from the West or influenced by the West. So it's hard to keep a Western look from creeping in. Still, they did a good job with the Satomobiles, making them look like an Asian take on '20s cars (though I doubt they have very good aerodynamics).


    Not impossible, I suppose. While the main populations are based on China (Earth), Japan (Fire), the Inuit (Water), and Tibet (Air), we've also seen Guru Pathik, who appeared Indian, and the Sun Warriors, who looked Mesoamerican. So there could conceivably be other ethnic types somewhere -- African, European, aboriginal Australian, etc. But we haven't seen any indication thereof.


    Well, yes, but what I'm saying is that it was difficult for him because he was afraid of the power aspect of it. He could easily access the state because the spiritual came so easily to him, but the power frightened him and overwhelmed him. (The fact that he was a 12-year-old kid may have been a factor in his problems controlling it as well.) Korra needed a long time to reach the point where she was spiritually able to access the state, but once she figured that out, harnessing the power of it came naturally to her. She's forged the spiritual connection at last, and that's not going away now that the bond is there, so she can enter the state at will, and isn't as reluctant to do so as Aang was, so it comes even more easily to her. But she hasn't yet gained an understanding of what it means to have that spiritual connection, and how to use it wisely.


    Well, let's see. Blocked chakras interfere with the Avatar State, and the chakras are blocked by fear, guilt, shame, grief, lies (to ourselves), illusion (of separation), and attachment. Korra's not prone to fear or shame, and is self-assured enough that she probably doesn't feel much guilt. I'm not sure she's got anyone to grieve. She's attached to Mako and her friends, but self-reliant enough that maybe it's not something she has a problem setting aside. Lies and illusion are the problems, though; she's often been less than honest with herself about her own fears and vulnerabilities.

    Still, there are many paths to spirituality. Pathik's way of unblocking the chakras was one approach, but that doesn't mean it's the absolute rule that every Avatar must follow. And it was more an intensive therapy for remedying a problem Aang was having due to his emotional turmoil, rather than something he needed to start using the state in the first place. So it's not implausible that Korra could manage without it.
     
  16. 1001001

    1001001 Let the Good Times Roll!! Moderator

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    Just finished watching the premiere.

    Excellent!

    This is a great series, IMHO. And the first chapter did not disappoint.

    Korra is so different than Ang. It's very interesting to see her progression.

    Uncle's got something bad going on.

    :shifty:
     
  17. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed, yeah. I don't so much blame him for what wasn't done in the past as his... parochial?... attitude now. But then, snobbish likely-villain.

    Yeah, nothing to be done about that overall I'm afraid.

    I'm... not so sure about her not being prone to fear or shame. As you note yourself, she's been less than honest with herself about her own fears. ;) She's only recently stopped being a very sheltered child raised with the expectation of saving the world, and is now a very emotional and hormonal teenager. And both Amon and - especially - Tarrlok were able to use her fears and shame against her very effectively.

    That said, good point about the chakra system and how it may have been fairly unique to Aang's journey.
     
  18. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "that's the problem", "I'm afraid".
    Why is a problem and worthy of regret the very limited introducing of western culture (and of the caucasian race - possibly) in "Avatar"?

    Affirmative action here and there - but this is just ridiculous.
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Because a lot of people liked the fact that it drew almost exclusively from Asian sources, and now seeing more Western influences feels like they are going against that.
     
  20. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^That's probably because most of the show has so far taken place in Republic City. That appears to be changing so the western influence should be somewhat less pronounced. Mind you, I always got the impression that the city was equal parts pre-WWI New York & Shanghai, so I don't fully subscribe to the idea that the western influence is all encompassing.
     

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