Korra

Korrasami, World Building, and Final Thoughts on ‘The Legend of Korra’

The Legend of Korra is dead. Long live The Legend of Korra. With the series finale of LoK putting the final nail in the coffin for the Avatar: The Last Airbender sequel, Wannabes Andrew Darowski and Maricela Gonzalez look back on the series as a whole, what they loved, hated, and everything in between.

Thoughts on the Series Finale and Final Season

Andrew: Admittedly, it’s been a long time since I was fully on board with Korra, so take all my comments with a grain of salt. I was more satisfied with the finale than I expected to be, but I just don’t think Korra turned out to be the show that they originally wanted. I took a big step back when I saw the giant robot (Sort of a shark jumping moment for me).

I don’t know that kuvira was well-enough set up to be a compelling villain, so the last five minutes of her and Korra talking and then Kuvira accepting defeat felt a little weak sauce.

I don’t know when varrick became such an important character, but at least someone in the series had a definitive romantic conclusion.

Mako is just a mess as a character overall. Looking at him across all the seasons, it makes me wonder why he was there.

Maricela: I feel like I have to eat my words about being such a devout LoK fan as for the first time, I felt a deep sense of disappointment in this final season. While there were a lot of great moments (the mecha was crazy but more like crazy-awesome to me), the season felt uneven and a bit aimless. (Andrew: Aimless is a very good word for it)

Is that because Korra herself spends much of the season aimless? Maybe. For instance, I understand it’s taken her years to fully get over her traumatic experience with Zaheer. But why does it take her practically the entire season to figure her shit out? Even when we thought she did (the return of Toph), her first face-off with Kuvira showed that wasn’t the case.

Kuvira as a villain had little setup in the last season. I remember thinking in the third season finale, “Why do I need to know the name of Su’s head of security? Who gives a shit? Zaheer and his Red Lotus crew are total boss villains. I can’t wait to see how that develops!”

Then, it didn’t.

In that sense, the final season feels like a final season but one that precipitated out of a few additional seasons. After the defeat of the Red Lotus. After establishing Kuvira as a main character. After setting up Korra and Asami’s progressing relationship.

And I do have to agree on how random and pointless Mako’s arc has been. I really wanted to love him, and I still kind of do, but that’s mostly me projecting Zutara feels over Mako and Korra’s early romance. What was his arc in the final season? Hanging out with Prince Wu only to kind of but not really sacrifice himself and die? No. That’s not good enough.

While I really loved the unexpected (but totally expected) Korra-Asami “ambiguous” relationship confirmation at the finale, I feel like the focus on their friendship/romance came at the expense of developing Mako, and to a lesser extent, Bolin as a full-fledged, rounded out characters.

Andrew: Can I give my bit on Korrasami?

Maricela: Yeah!

Andrew: On the whole, I wasn’t a fan of it anyway. but I’m much more upset about how it was handled. Basically it seems like a gutless execution for some media frenzy about how “subversive” they are being. Almost an attention grab. I expected more balls. If they wanted them to be a couple, they should have made them be a couple. That would have made the whole final season a different experience. If they openly say: “Hey, Korra and Asami are together. They will be together for the whole season. Here’s some actual television that deals with them being in a relationship.

I’m not talking about adding a sexual component. Just say it outright, and don’t make it a final scene. With it being the last scene, they don’t really have to answer for anything, and they didn’t risk any sort of backlash.

Maricela: What’s interesting that stands out in the creators’ post-show statements on how Korrasami canon developed was the degree of self-censorship that occurred before taken the pairing seriously. They may have liked it in the writers’ room, but it wasn’t considered as a real possibility…until it was considered as a real possibility. Could they have done more? I definitely think so! Was a kiss off the table? It seems like it was, but who knows? Maybe that was negotiable with the network, too.

It’s a small step in the right direction of media representation, just as the inclusion of a young woman of color as the main character is a small step in the right direction. I say small because let’s be real, Legend of Korra never had the audience it deserved. Even with media attention, the so-called Minivan Majority won’t really know about it unless they’re being extra vigilant on their online media. And it’s quite a busy time of year! I don’t think it was merely an attention grab, but I do think that such a singular focus on the final scene doesn’t quite take into account of the show works as a whole. Korrasami didn’t happen in a vacuum, and maybe if more people watched the series from the beginning, it wouldn’t have been cut short.

Favorite Episode

Andrew: None really stand out…is that a bad sign…
Maricela: “Beginnings Part 1 and 2.” Glimpses of Avatar Wan and the explanation for why the Avatar exists in the first place are thematically powerful and visually stunning.

Least Favorite Episode

Andrew: Varrick and Bolin and EMPs and freedom fighters
Maricela: This season’s “The Coronation” was weaker than most. Predictable, too much time spent on Prince Wu, and it didn’t really progress the story anywhere unexpected. Did we really need an entire episode to set up Kuvira’s coup? No.

Favorite Character

Andrew: Again, none are really standing out…Su, metalbending mom
Maricela: Korra with Meelo as a close second favorite

UGH This Character is the Worst (in the Best Way)

Andrew: Varrick
Maricela: Zaheer

UGH This Character is the Worst (in the Worst Way)

Andrew: Bolin
Maricela: Prince Wu

How You’ll Remember LoK

Andrew: Honestly, the final shot and the creator commentary ensures that the only way anyone is likely to remember it is with Korrasami.
Maricela: I’ll remember Legend of Korra as an experiment in form, theme, and world building. Bryke had created such a vast, rich world with Avatar: The Last Airbender that to progress that already huge world into a very different future is quite a feat. Not everything worked (Sorry, Mako) but everything that did work, worked beautifully. TV series, animated or otherwise, have a lot to learn from LoK.

ATLA or LoK

Andrew: ATLA 100%
Maricela: ATLA

For more The Wannabes’ thoughts and feels on all things The Legend of Korra check out The Deep Dive and Reincarnation and Diminishing Returns.

Originally published on The Wannabes Buzz Blog.

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One thought on “Korrasami, World Building, and Final Thoughts on ‘The Legend of Korra’

  1. Adding a few thoughts since I had to sit this discussion out (almost done with this season. Don’t shoot me!).

    Korra Alone and Beginnings Part 1 and 2 were the highlights of the series. Season 3 was near flawless. Meelo will always be great. And I will always loves the series for creating a kickass female character for girls to look up to, even though ATLA is superior, I agree.

    Thanks, LOK, for doing the thing.

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