Being at home this Summer I discovered the wonders of Nickelodeon's Avatar: The Last Airbender as well as The Legend of Korra. From art to story-telling The Last Airbender has been some of the best animation I have seen, and still pretty sad I missed out on it all over the years. The dialogue and character development were spectacular, every single character had a complete arc that was satisfying. After AtLA I found myself having to really detach myself from the previous story to fully appreciate LoK but a couple of episodes in I was hooked.
I shared my thoughts on the first two seasons of Legend of Korra here but having finished the series I have a better perspective on the overall story- though it still suffers from not giving Korra enough moments to succeed on her own. Thankfully, "Team Avatar" (this show's Tuxedo Mask) is there to say the day. Again… and again… and again. I wish we would have gotten a chance to see Korra take down at least one of the "big bads' all by herself. The biggest battle we saw her fight was against herself, with the battle against Zaheer a close second. Her battle style could have lent itself for so much more action. While the animation on LoK was just as impressive as in AtLA, it took the final two seasons for the series to earn the right to be in the same conversation as AtLA.
Here are a few bullet-point highlights from the final two seasons:
Battle with Zaheer and the Red Lotus and how PTSD/Trauma was handled: The battles with the Red Lotus were some of the most beautifully-animated of both series. The attention to detail was breathtaking. Korra's inner turmoil in the fourth season was the best and most believable story of the series' run. It was rough, heartbreaking, and completely relatable.
Blast From the Past: Zuko, Toph, and Uncle Iroh. I was so happy we got to see them in the future. Toph was my favorite, so I almost cried when she called Korra "Twinkle Toes".
Toph and Aang's parenting: I always figured young heroes must have a hard time adapting to parenting. I felt that way about Harry Potter and glad "The Cursed Child" dove into it. Same with Toph and Aang. While they might be everyone's heroes, at home they were not always the best parents and possibly a bit toxic. Unfortunately, their kids had to deal with the fallout of their short-comings.
Growth: Not only do we see Korra turn from an overconfident selfish girl into a very selfless avatar, but we see each of the characters grow personally and within their respective friendships. The final season really locked in these characters for me and allowed me to appreciate their journey more.
Korra and Asami: Besides Tenzin and Bolin, Asami was my other favorite: somehow she is the only one without powers on Team Avatar, but still gets results no matter what odds she faced. I loved how Asami and Korra's relationship transformed within the seasons and how Asami became Korra's rock.