The very first thing any fan of The Legend of Korra will let you know is that this: To get pleasure from it, you will need to not examine it to its predecessor, Avatar: The Final Airbender. After all, that hasn’t stopped anybody.
Nickelodeon began it. According to Korra’s animation director, Yoo Jae-myung, the community was squeamish from the get-go about having a feminine protagonist. Why couldn’t Korra, a surly teenage lady, be extra like her predecessor, the winsome boy Aang? When the present premiered in 2012, it by no means appeared to get pleasure from Nickelodeon’s full backing. In the center of the third season, it was offloaded to Nick.com, an toddler digital streaming website, the place it languished.
Little doubt feeding into Nickelodeon’s hesitations (and declining rankings) was the response of viewers, many of whom—notably devotees of Avatar—weren’t shy about expressing their utter distaste for the sequel. Whereas there was a lot of griping about the animation, the plot, and the high quality of the villains, most of the criticism centered on Korra herself. Deemed both too competent or too incompentent, completely unlikeable or insufferably pandering, too whiny or emotionally clean, she wasn’t their Avatar.
At this time, some of the backlash is known as sexism. A personality like Zuko—egocentric, irritable, immature, male—is beloved for the similar causes Korra is hated; as ever, fandom is full of boy-men who can’t bear to see their favourite present get womaned. Even earlier than Netflix introduced that The Legend of Korra can be out there on the platform in August, it felt the must defend the present from the peevish hordes: “Korra’s 👏story 👏was 👏important 👏Aang’s 👏story👏had 👏been👏told👏” Now that The Legend of Korra is streaming, it’s been extremely popular—although scorching takes about how dangerous the present is, and breathless defenses of its virtues, proceed.
Buried beneath all which are legit critiques of Korra as the narrative truly is, however you’d must dig like a badgermole to get to them. The writing is far much less constant than it was on Avatar; the sheer amount of facet characters comes at the expense of … every little thing, Korra included. She goes by a lot so shortly that it may be onerous to really feel for her. And whereas the present lastly finds its voice in seasons three and 4—as the airbenders battle to resurrect a tradition and villains truly kind of have a motive for being—it by no means turns into the soul balm Avatar is.
Which is OK to say. The truth is, it’s at all times been fairly disingenuous to insist that Korra be talked about purely by itself phrases. There’s a large statue of Aang in the center of Republic Metropolis’s harbor. At one level, one character says to Aang’s son Tenzen: “I can’t believe your sweet-tempered father was reincarnated into that girl.” Korra—a messy steampunk yarn to Avatar’s dreamy agrarian delusion—has at all times invited viewers to make these kinds of comparisons.
You may even go so far as to say the present was designed to subvert viewers expectations. In the years since Korra’s premiere, “subverting expectations” has change into a bit of a meme amongst followers of style fiction. The phrase has been each some extent of reward and criticism for tales like Star Wars: The Final Jedi or Sport of Thrones, however largely criticism. As franchises stretch out ever longer, writers wish to liven issues up and produce tales in keeping with the values of the current. It’s pure, and a great factor. Casting a lady as the Physician in Physician Who or together with folks of shade in Star Wars films may fall into this class.