Yes, I’m slow. Shut up. :D
(Actually, I watched the first four episodes as they aired, then fell behind. But then, I watched Avatar The Last Airbender after the whole thing had aired, so…)
All in all, enjoying The Legend of Korra so far. It both feels reminiscent of Avatar while being very much its own thing. I find the choice of conflict very intriguing because… well, yes, Our Heroes are benders, and they are great, and we like benders since Avatar, but on the other hand, the Equalists have a point in the fact that this is a world in which the division between benders and non-benders has generated a, shall we say, not ideal society. I also really liked the fact that the early episodes were so willing to point out that Korra was sheltered and privileged, and thus doesn’t start the series being capable of healing the rift that the Equalists are mining.
The most interesting episode to me so far was episode 3, The Revelation, in which Mako and Bolin each try to come up with the money for the championship, each in their own way: Mako by being a workhorse at a factory and Bolin by… falling in with the wrong crowd. The episode revealed some interesting things about who the brothers are and why, while also making the point that while Mako and Bolin do have it better than non-benders (they have the option of being pro-benders as a ticket out of of economic hardship, if they can only come up with the money to enter), not all benders are equally privileged, and Korra is as ill-prepared to understand their situation as she is to understand non-bender complaints. But she does try, and her heart is in the right place.
So brief thoughts about these first 6 episodes:
1. I have nothing but love in my heart for Mako. If you know anything at all about my character preferences this is no surprise. I’m told he’s hated in some (most? I have no clue) parts… don’t care. Love.
I mean, okay, I admit that my reaction to him and Asami is to make a face much like Korra is wont to do, because I just don’t find her interesting and she’s clearly a transitional person there to delay the inevitable. On the other hand, his antagonistic USTy interaction with Korra is great (again, if you know anything at all about me, this comes as no surprise), but I was also really interesting in an angle that has not been revisited since before Asami appeared, and that was how even though he does respect Korra, he also realizes she’s privileged and thus doesn’t quite get where he and his brother are coming from. I’d actually like this angle to be revisited at some point, instead of it being a matter of his not quite getting over the idea that she may not be “girlfriend material” yet. He’s such a dude like that.
But yes, I do like the dark, broody, initially stand offish types whose respect and loyalty is hard to earn. The Revelation was also what really cemented my love for Mako as a character by revealing that he’s had to grow up fast and be the responsible one and take care of himself and his brother, and that that is why he is how he is.
2. Korra herself. Well, the first couple of episodes where a bit touch and go there, she was veering dangerously close to typical shounen anime/manga protagonist territory (except female), and I tend to not care much for those. But once she and Tenzin came to an understanding (both of the fact that she needed a certain freedom but also that she couldn’t just be a brat about it) she got much better. I rather like her, in fact, for being tough and resourceful and not at all girly girl. Another case of “if you know anything at all about the female characters that appeal to me…”
3. Pabu is the cutest thing ever. This last episode I watched, with the trick before the match and then the swimming and d’aww.
4. Bolin is a sweetie. He’d be perfectly at home hanging out with the likes of Kenzaki and Shinji from Kamen Rider Blade and Ryuki respectively. He is so very much friends zoned, though. If a girl is willing to burp in front of you, she’s your bro.
5. Beifong is awesome. Damn, this 6th episode, loved her. That is one badass lady. Too bad that failing to stop the Equalists will no doubt have consequences.
6. Tenzin’s kids are adorable. That is all.