The Legend of Korra modernizes Avatar series

Every child has that one cartoon he or she loved and adored. Avatar: The Last Air Bender is that cartoon for millions. After being named the 35th best -animated show in the world, Avatar expands its universe with The Legend of Korra. However, despite being a brilliant show, The Legend of Korra abandons its routes.

Approximately 70 years after the events of the original show, The Legend of Korra returns to a world of bending, a martial art that give its practitioner control of one of the four elements: fire, water, earth and air. Korra, the series’ protagonist, becomes the new Avatar, who preserves the balance between these four elements. However, until Korra masters air bending and the spirituality of bending itself, she cannot bring peace to Republic City.

The new chapter abandons the traditions of the old show. Whereas The Last Airbender focuses on Aang’s struggle to restore balance between the elements, The Legend of Korra follows a girl trying to succeed in an ever-changing society. Aang’s quest was a mythological tale of good vs. evil, while Korra’s quest focuses on the social problems associated with modernization. This change in focus neither worsens nor betters the show, but makes it less of a sequel and more of an independent story.

Despite these hang themes, the show may be the best animated show in this hemisphere. The characters are vibrant, yet relatable, particularly Korra, who personifies this generation’s common traits. She is headstrong, passionate and adventurous, thus instantly likable. The animators employed great detail to characterize every person, building and machine, provoking further exploration of this alluring world. Along those lines, the plot creates enough intrigue, particularly around the Equalists and has so much heart, specifically in Korra’s relationship with her air bending teacher Tenzin, that audiences will keep coming back for more.

The Legend of Korra is not Avatar’s spiritual successor, but it is a great series. It creates a new world for itself, rather than relying on the world the previous series built. As a result, the show’s creators have proven once again to be master storytellers, capable of creating completely original worlds.