The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

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

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not so much a matter of liking as a matter of internal consistency. Four prior seasons have established this as a world whose cultures and ethnicities do not include anything paralleling Europe or Africa in our world. It's not impossible that they could introduce some small fringe population that resembled Europeans or Africans, but the leaders of innovation and industry we've seen in the two series have all been from the known nations, so logically anything they invented would reflect their own cultures rather than some hitherto-unknown Europe analogue.
     
  2. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If you actually look at the art design on the cars, planes, ships etc. I'd say they do indeed have a very Asian inspired flare to them. They're no more European inspired than the wooden carts and airships from the original series.
     
  3. Chensams

    Chensams Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Very entertaining.
     
  4. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So - expanding the universe of a show is a bad thing?
    I disagree. I find the 'small universe syndrome' undesirable.

    And the motivation given for this desire to encase the world depicted in the show, to exclude anything relating to western society and even race - self-consistency - is quite unconvincing:
    The world is a large place; for example, just because the asians/europeans/etc had no idea of the civilisations existing in the Americas does not mean they did not exist.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  5. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As someone already said we had hicks in TLA, so it's not out of no where that there might be a red head.

    And to me the show is now like the early 1920s and somehow the red head fits well.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, despite their accents, the Foggy Swamp Tribe were still designed as Asians, with names like Due, Huu, and Tho.
     
  7. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Maybe the red head was meant to be "exotic."
     
  8. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Here's a thought. Probably not what the creators intended, but it could still work. I assume their film technology is equivalent to the real world's 1920s, monochrome and silent. Maybe as part of the development of the tech, they discovered red photographs with a richer "depth" than purely black hair. In greyscale it would register as a deep grey bordering on black (hence the reason they dropped the idea of Spock being a red "Martian"; he'd appear to be wearing "black-face" on B/W TVs), but it would also have "highlights" that jet black hair might not convey on camera.

    I only recently learned that Elsa Lanchester had vibrant red hair and the hairdressers for "The Bride of Frankenstein" weaved her actual hair around a wire frame to create that iconic Nefertiti silhouette. I had assumed the Bride's hair was black because that's the way it appeared on camera.

    Anyway, that's my crazy a$$ "in story" theory.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^That's very creative. I like it.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I just realized something I'm not happy about. We now know that Korra's grandfather was the chief of the Northern Water Tribe, that her father was the heir apparent to the chieftainship. That means that, technically...

    Korra is a princess.

    That's just so... Disney. So conventional a role for a female lead in animation. Besides, being the Avatar is enough of a special/chosen role. This is just overkill.
     
  11. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wait, you just realized that? ;) I thought about that, that it seems somewhat like small universe syndrome (somebody else pointed that out upthread). But, it is what it is - and certainly it's all very much background stuff, she's never been presented as a princess-archetype. Katara would be a princess too, and Sokka a prince - it was just downplayed for them because of the state of the Southern Water Tribe. And... Zuko a prince, and Toph the only daughter of one of the wealthiest families in the Earth Kingdom. That's quite a collection of elite people. Mako and Bolin are by far the most "normal" main characters on either show.

    Interestingly and assuming the Northern Water Tribe's chieftainship has stayed in the same family, that means she may be a distant relative of Yue. Likely even a great-niece. Who, aside from being her past life's brother-in-law's ex... is the Moon Spirit. I doubt they'd actually bother, but wouldn't that be fun to point out? :D

    Besides, I'm pretty sure with her father having been exiled in shame years ago, she doesn't have any claim to princess-ship and Tonraq doesn't seem to have any interest in deposing Unalaq (or at least, not yet).
     
  12. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If we give her an Asian name will you be happier? :rolleyes:
     
  13. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    They may not bother, but then again, this season is supposed to be about the spirits. For all we know Korra and Yue might hang out!
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I know. It's just... an animated action series with a female lead (particularly a brown-skinned one) is a big deal, a really nice step forward in defiance of stereotypes and conventions. So anything that smacks of the old Disney cliches of the proper role of a female cartoon heroine gives me a bad feeling. Remember when Disney's marketing people tried to give Brave's Merida a glamour makeover for the merchandise and thereby strip away everything that made her distinctive as a character? I doubt anything like that will ever happen here, but just the idea that it hypothetically could is enough to give me the willies.


    Hmm... yeah, I never thought of that. Hakoda was the chief, wasn't he?


    Well, except for Aang. He was just an ordinary member of an egalitarian society aside from being the Avatar. And that's what bugs me here. Korra's already the Avatar -- does she have to be royalty too?


    Hadn't thought of that. It would be cool if they could bring Yue into the story this season. But still, it's more of the same small-universe insularity.


    Even so, she's part of the royal lineage -- at least, assuming it's defined by blood in that society. Again, even the hint of princesshood is enough to get my teeth on edge.
     
  15. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    First western culture and caucasian race, now female cliches?

    When there is practically a certainty that the creators of the show at Nickelodeon are merely trying to make a good show, not being driven by Christopher's fears about being 100% politically correct.
     
  16. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's assuming the southern tribe even has a tradition of hereditary leadership. I'm pretty that in at least some tribal cultures (particularly those where day to day survival is an issue) chieftains are appointed by popular vote, usually by the elders of the tribe and being the son or daughter of a chief means exactly nothing. People are expected to make their own way.

    Maybe I'm reading it wrong but I get the impression the Southern tribe was a break-away colony of the North. For one thing the moon and ocean spirits are in the North, so it stands to reason that this is where waterbending originated (assuming they haven't been moved.) They also have an actual city which appears ancient. Yes, I know the southern tribe was decimated during the war, but the reason is probably mostly because they were the smaller, less established of the two tribes. They didn't have a fortress city to protect their families while the warriors went away to fight in the war.

    Anyway, if that is indeed the case then it'd make sense if the South never had their own line of succession.
     
  17. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Tonight's episode was okay, though it mostly felt like a lot of set up to things that are coming. I'm not really digging Bolin's "dating" plot; I'm not really sure what the point of it is.

    My biggest issue is a personal one, though. I don't watch TV live anymore. I've gotten so used to watching shows in long marathons that watching the story unfold 20 minutes at a time, one week at a time, is hard for me.
     
  18. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    2X3 Another solid episode that I was totally engrossed in. They really improved on the first season (which I still enjoyed!). Gone are the endless pro-bending competitions!

    I was particularly fascinated by Tenzin and his siblings. I was really shocked that Aang ignored his other two children like that. It really paints him in a negative light. I'm really glad that we're seeing Tenzin and his family getting as much screen-time as Korra.

    I'm assuming that Korra's Uncle staged his own abduction with his own men...
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I respect that they're willing to go there with the previous lead character. It shows how nuanced the characters and the world are. It shows that few choices are purely positive or purely negative. We make choices that we think are for the best, and sometimes there are negative consequences. I mean, Aang had a responsibility to the world to repopulate it with airbenders, and to pass on his knowledge of airbending to his children. And as fortune would have it, only one of his children was an airbender. The greater good of the whole world required him to devote special care and attention to that child. He really didn't have a choice. But, unfortunately, that meant not being there enough for his other two kids.


    Hmm, that didn't occur to me. I suppose it would explain why he arrested Tonraq and Senna at the end -- he needed somebody to put on trial.

    But then, the abductor that Korra mistook for Tonraq said when she unmasked him that Tonraq hadn't participated in the conspiracy after all. If he was working for Unalaq to make it look like Tonraq was involved, why would he have said that? Also, I'm not sure, but it seemed like the other abductor who spoke to Korra was familiar with her, a fellow Southerner. So I'm not sure the idea works.


    Still not sure how I feel about where this is going overall. Spirit portals that allow instant teleporting between the North and South Poles? That's a bit more miraculous than most Avatarverse magic. It seems kind of an arbitrary new thing to introduce.

    Eska is getting seriously creepy. Her treatment of Bolin is downright abusive. RoJoHen wondered what the point of it is; I suspect that maybe it's setting up an eventual Bolin-Asami romance, positioning Asami as the better alternative. Or something.

    Is anyone else getting digital glitches in the episode? Sound dropouts, image delays, that sort of thing? That happens a lot with Nickelodeon on my cable service. I remember now that last season it happened maybe once per Korra episode, but now it's happening more often. And there have been one or two times when I couldn't even watch a Power Rangers episode because the distortion was too bad. I'm wondering if it's just my local cable provider or something broader-based.
     
  20. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't have any image/sound problems...

    Maybe Uncle's story about transportation portals is a lie?

    I really hope we get flashbacks showing Adult Aang with his children.