Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Latest Love // Avatar and The Legend of Korra

Latest Love is a series of posts where I talk about a recent obsession. This could be a bookish obsession or otherwise - anything that has been making me happy recently that I feel like sharing. The important thing about this feature is that it isn't a review. This is just a way of me expressing a few reasons why I like something, and maybe find some more people to talk about it with. 😊

I'm somewhat cheating on this month's post because I watched Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra years ago. But I discovered that both shows were on Amazon Prime, and I had a sudden need to watch them all over again.

I realised I had forgotten so much about both shows, which amazed me since Avatar was such a huge influence on my interests when I was younger. When I first watched it around the time it was originally airing I thought: this is the kind of thing I want to write one day. I only saw a few episodes back then and I was pretty young, but when I came back to the show around 2014-15 and watched it all my feelings were confirmed. I discovered how vast and political the show's fantasy world was. There were multiple cultures that all had their own traditions and beliefs and their own elemental magic. There were lovable characters with incredible story arcs, who face serious moral issues and grow from their experiences. There was nothing about Avatar that wasn't perfect to me.

Watching it this year brought all of that joy back like I was watching it for the first time. I remembered some things and utterly forgotten about others, including some plot twists that were able to shock me once again. My mum sat down and watched an episode with me, and now she has taken to watching the whole series. I could have never imagined this would be something she was interested in because it's both animation and fantasy - two genres she never shows interest in - but the thousands of layers that come with Avatar seem enough to pull anyone in.

My memory of The Legend of Korra was significantly weaker. I remember not enjoying it as much when I first watched it and I felt the same way when I watched the first season again. Avatar is much more my style of fictional world, where the setting is more high-fantasy. Korra is significantly more urban, which threw me because I went straight from one show to the next. But what impressed me more now that I was older was how much had changed in the 70-year gap between shows. Cars, planes, radio, film - it had all been invented. New cities had been built, and although many of the cultures held steady to their traditions, now they intermingled. It fascinates me that both shows share the same world, yet could be so different, but the threads are still clearly there.

The Legend of Korra blew my mind with how good it was watching it this time around. It took me a while longer to build the same emotional connections I had with the original Team Avatar, and for some characters in Korra they just never clicked with me (sorry Mako). But others were just as brilliant, Korra especially. Where Aang was calm, Korra is rebellious, and they both have such different and fascinating character progressions. I also loved the intensely political nature of the show. I couldn't appreciate it as a teen, but now I see how complex it is. There are villains that represent so many ideologies and the themes of the show are a lot more mature and dark. Plus I love how it delves into the history of the Avatar and that the spirit world gets further explored. Korra adds more layers to the amazingness that was Avatar but brings so many new things that make it stand on its own.

I honestly can't decide which of the two shows I prefer now. I might still have to say Avatar because there's something about its world and characters that I still completely adore. But this re-watch definitely gave me a much larger appreciation for both shows, especially Korra, which is now up there alongside Avatar as one of my favourite shows. I only hope that one day I can write a story that is a fraction as good.

(gif sources: 1, 2)

What is your latest love? Do you have any favourite shows, animated or otherwise? Have you watched Avatar or Korra? What were your thoughts? Which was your favourite?


  1. These two series are so close to my heart. <3 I know it takes some people time to get into Korra, but I love it so much, I think in part because I actually watched it as it premiered (but only watched Avatar years later), but I also love the more adult characters and story arcs. And it's animation is GORGEOUS. And I love its steampunk vibe. :D

    Avatar finally comes out on blu-ray this summer, and I cannot wait! I have them on DVD and it just doesn't do the show justice.

    1. I couldn't agree with you more. I love the adult characters and political themes in Korra. I adore the animation and have found myself doodling Korra in my spare time because I love her so much. I haven't watched or read a lot of steampunk things but I agree that it's just another thing that makes the show stand out.

  2. I LOOOVE Avatar and I plan to rewatch it this summer! I never seen Legend of Korra but I've heard it's really good too!

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

    1. I hope you enjoy your rewatch of Avatar! It's one of those shows that I think I could watch 100 times and still not bore of it. I'd really recommend Korra too if you haven't seen it! Both shows are all on Amazon Prime and they are both stunning!