Legend of Korra Book 4: Season Premiere Review
Among of its many ridiculous shows [Grachi, I mean really does anybody watches that?) this is the one Nickelodeon decides to remove from its television schedule. Nevertheless, perhaps the best show Nick has to offer besides it predecessor, the first episode of the fourth season/book of Legend of Korra is now available on Nickelodeon’s website and other sources as well.
The series starts off three years after the events of the past book where Avatar Korra with the help of Team Avatar, the newly trained air benders and her other allies successfully
defeating the Red Lotus.
Much like the earlier seasons, you can still watch it without knowing too much of what happened from the previous season because Legend of Korra wraps up nicely every time for each season’s finale. As a regular viewer of the series, frankly they could’ve done more with each books by adding a couple of episodes in there. Of course the shorter books might be a result of legal agreement with the network but just like the past books with the exception of the second one (Book Two: Spirits is probably the least engaging season for me), a few more episodes wouldn’t hurt.
The series also picks up from the mess the Earth Kingdom has turned into after the flux of leadership (due to cruel death of the queen–which I didn’t mind because she was shitty anyways) and the harassment of different bandits pillaging what’s left of the disorganized and cluttered kingdom. What I like most about this is how the Earth Kingdom being portrayed as this nation trying to get back to its former glory as if trying to rise from the rubble they dug themselves into–no pun intended. For the people who don’t follow the series, the Earth Kingdom has always been this formidable nation who initially didn’t even partake in the 100 year war (See Avatar: The Last Air Bender). Other than the Air Nomads in their temples, I have always seen them as a peace loving nation who only fights when their people are in trouble.
And now you see this nation struggling and on the brink of a kingdom-wide social chaos and in desperate need of any political policies and a restored economic stability.
New Characters and Possible Show Stealer
Another thing that stood out for me is an introduction of a not-so-new but new character. I say this because she already appeared in the later episodes of Book 3 but you might not even remember her because she is just this one Zao Fu officer of the Metal Clan who helped fought off the Red Lotus and saved the life of Tonraq–the current chief of the Southern Water Tribe and Avatar Korra’s father. Her name is Kuvira. The episode shows how she is trying to unite the broken Earth Kingdom by subduing what little remains of the resistance or the bandits by taking them in into her army and helping/pacifying the towns by offering protection, supplies and security.
It interest me how the creators and the writers plan to develop this character and provide the proper background check for her. For all we know, it was only mentioned by Opal that her mother (Suyin Beifong) still holds a grudge towards Kuvira and her brother for leaving/betraying the Metal Clan.
Another thing I want to mention is how wonderfully voiced Kuvira is. My favorite character is Tenzin (voiced by J.K. Simmons) who I think steals the scene he is in especially during fights. I couldn’t think of anyone who can perfectly play Kuvira other than Zelda Williams. Her voice works both ways with the character. In the past book, her warm, thick voice provided comfort and security to the people she’s protecting but now, she’s known as Kuvira the Great Uniter–a ferocious metal bender restoring order and balance in the Earth Kingdom or so it seems to be. Even though nothing is definitely clear, you can really infer that she’s definitely something to look out for. There can be a lot of potential to this character.
Love Stories and Interests
The one thing I never did learn to enjoy is how the love stories are handled and written in the series. Ever since the Mako-Asami-Korra-Bolin love square during the first season, I was really irritated at how they wasted screen time of then mini series status of Legend of Korra which I think ended ubruptly with that infamous speed boat scene. For one thing, the characters seems like they don’t even want to be involved with one another in the first place with the exception of Asami and Mako in beginning. Besides them, no paring seems so compatible and genuine especially with that thing involving Kai and Jinora.
I’m not gonna defend the relationship between Avatar Aang ang Katara from the past series even though they were probably 12 and 15 years old respectively. Their involvement with each felt like a natural thing and it took work spanning over three full-size books/seasons ranging from 3-5 minute screen time every 10 episodes or so. I mean, it was only in the third book that really gave the audience the concrete idea of Aang ang Katara to be together. (Hello Zuko and Katara fans.)
Honestly, I skipped the part in this episode when Kai and Opal started talking about each others’ long distance relationship–come on now, really?
Final Thoughts and Overall Appeal
To sum up, the fourth book of Legend of Korra is promising. Promising in a way that you can see the variables present which can be good for the series if done properly and written with the willfulness and dedication of all the writers. For one thing, the series has presented an alternative plot which for the first time did not present an immediate and direct threat to the avatar which for the past books and series have done so. The introduction of Kuvira brings this uneasy and eerie intuition to the “balance” of the world Avatar Aang and his friends worked very hard to achieve.
If you have noticed, I’ve never mentioned anything about Korra in this new episode that is because she was barely in the premiere at all. Approximately, she was in it around 2 or 3 minutes tops. Frankly I want to see the involvement of Republic City and the pillars of it like Lin Bei Fong and Tenzin once more much like in the first book. I hope they improve the character of Korra even more because I really want her to be that fully realized avatar not only in the bending department but that spiritual stuff and maturity as well.
Followers and longtime fans of the series won’t be disappointed with the new season of the Legend of Korra. It’s fresh, engaging and it presents a genuine entertainment value and character development everyone can relate to. Voice acting is still top notch for the most part and the fight scenes of course will still get you up on your seat. I see a great balance in this new installment…