The Legend of Korra: A Beautiful Mess
The Legend of Korra A Beautiful Mess

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The Legend of Korra is a show with great ideas but not so great execution, and this video explores why I think it is a beautiful mess. Patreon: Twitter: Edit by Jesse Guarascia: Thank you to Perrydactyl Show, Steven The Homeless, and GC Positive for helping with script revisions.


Jack : When Korra lost her bending Me: Wow, this is so deep. Korra who was born with the power of both fire,water and earth bending and barely took Tenzin's teaching to heart loses her powers. Can Korra overcome her weakness of only having the element to bend air, can she still be the underdog? Holy shit I'm really interested now. Aang: JESUS TOUCH Me: Ah...

Obi-Wan Kenobi : Don't disrespect my main man Sokka. He helped too. Also Momo. Momo was critical to the narrative.

Jaysee : I think Korras Enemies were that interesting, because their Intentions weren't simply "evil" as the Firelords have been. Equality, Balance, Freedom and Order can all be good things, so in a way Korra not only struggles in finding her Place in the world, but also because her Enemies goals are not inherently bad. This is what made the correlations between Korra and the antagonists such an important part of the series. And it also transports a message that is pretty rare in these Kind of shows, that nothing really is good or evil, but the way how to achieve their goals can make people do bad things.

ventusluca : They ruined the spirit world IMO. In The Last Airbender it was this really mysterious world with all these alien beings like Koh, who didn't really feel either bad or good, but had their own neutral interests. This mysterious world looked like a really tranquil world, managing a semi-unsettling look while not feeling unsettling at all. They've exchanged that for a world that's effected by your emotions, full with pink flying butterflyrabbits that turn into killer monsters when you don't feel happy all the time, and you can force this change through some weird waterbending move. If that isn't a huge jarring 180 on a previously established world than I don't know what is. I also really dislike how they changed what the Avatar is. First it was "The incarnation of the spirit of the planet." And now they changed it to some weird carpet-like spirit that fused with a human that fights with another carpet-like spirit in a battle of peace and chaos. It's also stupid how in The Last Airbender lightning bending was this extremely hard to achieve move and only the best of the best firebenders could do it, and they just made lightning benders these low pay factory workers working at a powerplant in The Legend of Korra... Not to mention that they excluded Suki and all of the other Kyoshi warriors from The Legend of Korra, or how they never explained who the mother of Zuko's child is, or never really gave any attention to what happened to Sokka (he died obviously, but about everything we know about him is that he was on the council of the united republic and became chief of the Southern Water tribe.) Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed The Legend of Korra, but I just really dislike how they kind of went back onto things they previously said or did and changed them.

hello my name is : Zuko's hair had a better character arc than most of those in Legend of Korra

Turkey Tom : I’m The Avatar And You Gotta DEAL WITH IT

starcasters : My reactions during this was “Oh” “Oh true” “Ahhh damn” “Yup” “Lol yeah” “Ah the beatles” I liked the idea of korra, i just didnt like how it was executed. It did look good! The fights, the animation was better, and the colour etc, but - it was for sure, the character development that felt like something was missing and bringing up the time limit made sense. And when it did end, i felt sad lol despite everyones objection, because it was over.

TheOneBadAssGamer : when you said conflicted all i could think about was the Boulder so......... The boulder is conflicted about fighting a little girl. yes i typed that and said it in his voice. I had to get it out of my system.

Rylan Browne : I think that a lot of people didn't like Korra because it was basically the complete opposite of TLA. You mentioned that Aang learns from his allies while Korra learns from her enemies. There was a single enemy in TLA that was literally just an evil dude, never really changing, Korra had 4-5 major enemies that either changed in the end, making them more human (Doesn't mean TLA was worse or better, just different), and while everyone wanted Aang to be the avatar the save the world, he ran away. Nobody wants Korra to be the Avatar, but she runs towards it. It was incredibly different and even though I thoroughly enjoyed both series, Korra was ultimately rushed more so, trying to pack everything in. I agree with everything you said and I really wish they put more time into Korra, giving it more explanation because it has really good character slates, they just needed a little more. Korra's arcs were still amazing, and so were her villains, the show definitely getting better as it went on. Thanks for the video, it was beautifully made!

Luis Leonardo : I think the biggest struggle Korra suffered, as a production, was lack of planning. Legend of Korra was meant to be only one season long, which is why at the end of Book 1 all the loose ends seemed to have been tied up, even if a bit rushed. With the demand for a second season they had to start just making it up as they went, and that ultimately affected everything that followed.

Jae Murphy : MOMOs arc was pure genius

Jackson : I still like Korra, but it has a lot of issues. My biggest issue is how Korra loses her connection with past avatars

Curlew : I want "... sokka helps too" framed

Steve LaFave : I honestly believe Nickelodeon caused the legend of Korra to not be as great as it could've been. The fact that the creators weren't sure if they'd get the chance to do more seasons after the first season so it set them up to have to have new main conflicts each season with a new villain. Which led to a structure of what I could see as a theme and moral of the series. Personally the over arching theme for me is that there is no set evil, every good intention can be disastrous and every people are capable of great evil. Regardless though I loved this series and am sad that it had to end the way it did because of Nickelodeon having its hand on it.

Melissa D : 3:20 that moment when you remember appa had a character arc and realize he had more development than most of Korra’s supporting cast.

MrMeSoLonely : The last air bender and Korra are the only shows that made me cry in my 20 years of life. TLAB's last episode because I knew that it's the end of Aang's journey and season 3 of Korra because I think it was kinda relatable for me at that age (18) where I felt useless in my life and I watched my friends and family being useful to others and growing in their lives. I still love them both because of the impact they had on me and my life and I'm sure I'm gonna watch them again and again. Loved the video man.

Lalluska : I'm so glad that at least someone's giving Korra credit for the things it did right. Let's be honest, The Last Airbender had its shortcomings as well, almost the entire first season is sort of "eh" when it comes to pacing and overall tone (tho one could argue that the lighter tone of the first season makes the pay-off later in the series as it gets darker even better). It's been really bothering me to see Korra get so much shit. I'll admit it's partly because of personal reasons. Korra's journey to find herself was far more relatable to me than Aang's journey to defeat an ultimate big bad Ozai. Watching Aang always felt more like I was just sitting by watching him go. The conflict was always too big for me to relate to. Korra has the big baddies too, but while that's the case, I think with the antagonists changing every season, it doesn't feel like the conflict is just about the the antagonists. And I really like how you pointed out that Korra's sole existence causes some of the biggest conflicts in the show because that's what made it more personal for me. Because it hit close to home. And yeah, the fact that the gang is all more adult helps too, since I ended up watching The Last Airbender when I was already an adult. I think the gang seeing each other less and doing less together also reflects that. Since in adulthood you can no longer meet your friends as often as you'd wish, what with all the responsibilities and work you now have to do. Yet despite not seeing as often, if you've got the right friends, they'll still be your best friends.

Max : 7:20 okay, I actually had a theory about bloodbending taking powers. Remember how Ty Lee (and chi blockers in Korra) hit some pain points to disable bending temporarily? I believe Amon uses bloodbending to damage those spots in your body permanently to disable people’s bending forever.

OriginalKarasu : Dude Amon story is insanely good... Im obsessed with it... I love it

amBIdextrous : "Three Legend of Korra makes many interesting steps forward, but also trips over itself." You mean... Just like... Korra?

Marc Alcatraz : Although i agree that Zuko's arc is the all-time best in storytelling history, Jaime's in Game of Thrones might end up being better, but not by much as they have very similar growth.

Malena Gleason : Korra x Asami, to me, didn't feel like genuine romance. I know that it's not up to interpretation anymore; it's canon. I just thought they could've built them up better.

KBurnside99 : I always feel like I should hate the Legend of Korra because of how much other fans do, but no matter how hard I try, I still really like it. It's no Avatar, but it had some truly beautiful moments in it and while the characters didn't get much time to develop, the screen time a lot of them had was enough to make them lovable and interesting (Tenzin and Bolin were probably my faves). Everytime I see someone trash Korra, I remember the final fight scene with Zaheer in Book 3, a scene I'd say rivals the most incredible moments in ATLA. Korra had moments of brilliance but ultimately it's like the lovable yet disappointing sequel to a masterpiece that will always overshadow it.

TheAmazingDolphin : About time we had an reasonable video on Korra.

my tits : wow...great video man. "beautiful mess" is definitely Korra in a nutshell, character and show both lol. this is much better and descriptive than that other guy caling the entire thing "garbage." LOK definitely does do that "expecting you to care/figure it out yourself" thing, Noatak using bloodbending to chiblock people's bending permanently for one, and him also having only blocked Korra's connections to fire, water, and earth, not air. and lavabending works in the same way that waterbenders can control ice--they ARE earth and water, just in another form. i've always really appreciated ideas easily regardless of execution, so i easily go along with LOK most of the time lol. but even with those said, as someone struggling with bicuriousity..."Korrasami" is absolutely nothing that i want out of a LGBT rolemodel, especially not in Avatar of all shows. LOK should be focusing on Korra and Kuvira's spiritual relationship together, not Korra and Asami's romantic relationship. Korra and Asami have nothing more special than when either with Mako, whereas Kuvira changed Korra more in one conversation on that flowerbed than Korra has ever changed before. i am very confused and distraught with the current state of LOK in that regard, which is Avatar as a whole i suppose.

MysticSeireitou : I always assumed Lavabending was just hyper-pressurizing the earth until it got hot. Pressure and Temperature are proportional so if one goes up, the other should also go up. My reckoning for how Bolin gained it, when he couldn't use Metalbending, is the necessary mindset involved. Lavabending likely requires a strong and overbearing will to hyperpressurize the earth, whereas Metalbending requires calmness and refined senses to pick up on the earth fragments in metal, which doesn't seem to be Bolin's cup of tea.

SwagHags69 : Seasons 3 and 4 are GOOD TELEVISION The first two are messy Don't get it twisted, they found their voice eventually.

Olga Garcia : I blame mostly nick for korra not being as good as ATLA, the didn’t give bryke enough writers, episodes and support compared to ATLA and they also removed korra from tv to get more traffic on their website, that’s shady af

wowitsWyatt : Jinora revealing her tattoos is also my favorite scene

Jhon Saint Paul : There were some problems with TLoK, but I loved the series a lot. I loved her struggles and her trying and finally overcoming her adversities. Korra is my favorite Avatar. I could also watch the Avatar universe forever. I'd love to see some prequel series - Avatars Kyoshi, Kuruk, Yeng Cheng, volcano bending Avatar guy, and many more! So happy there's an Avatar Kyoshi duology coming in 2019! Can't wait!!

Ryan O'Grady : I feel like all of the issues you talked about could be resolved by adding more episodes to each season.

AlphaMunky : Three years onwards, I’ve learned to appreciate Korra. People wanted last air bender grade stuff, I’m glad we got something different. I loved Korras character development, the villains (minus unalaq), characters and world. I love the last air bender and legend of Korra, it’s possible to like both...

The Infinite Draw : The core difference between Korra and Aang is that Aang was wanted, needed and for the most part respected. But Korra was treated like dirt by nearly everyone. Aang never wanted to be the Avatar but he was supported and needed. Korra wanted to help the world but was constantly rebuffed and torn down. She didn’t let this stop her though. She persevered even after being nearly destroyed both physically and mentally.

TheHunterWolf : Indeed, i agree that in a meta way the story of Korra herself as a character is quite similar to what the show itself went through .. they both stumble, they both get lost, they face the burden of living up to their predecessors, they both faces the danger of being canceled (not being wanted by the world), but in the end they do find their path and place in life. Also, read the damn comics, the end of the series is not the end of the story, they are pretty fantastic, they cover a lot of story from after the end of Last Airbender (mainly about finding Zuko's Mom, but there are other stories too), then there are newer comics about the continuation of Korra's story (and her relation with Asami will easily be explored in the comics since they don't face the same limitations the TV show faced). The Promise is the first one

Paully808 : Reading through the comments and as usual with any video essay ever discussing TLAB and TLOK, it's all "Omg, TLAB was the most perfect thing ever with absolutely no faults. it's like God himself handed it down as a finished masterpiece and because of that TLOK is shit, or at the very least meh" when in reality, TLOK succeeded in a lot of aspects that TLAB was sorely lacking in. But because TLAB is so well revered, much like the Star Wars trilogy, anything that comes after, no matter how good, even if it improves on the previous trilogy's work, will never be good enough and will always be talked down about about because there's no time like the first time.

CANOU 58 : teem Aang and Korra is a best and Aang is "serious" Korra is a child but grows up to be better.

erzan : I would have had Legend of Korra divided into 4 seasons. With Amon as the overall villian wanting to use 'Harmonic convergence' to wipe out bending all around the world in one moment. Kuvria, Tenzin and Iroh are of similar age. S1 Metalbending Kuvria is an anti-hero who is convinced by Korra to leave the Metal Clan and become her Metalbending master. S2 Lightningbending General Iroh teaches Korra and joins the gang. S3 Spiritbending* Tenzin teaches Korra and she has finally connected with her Spiritual self. S4 Energybending Korra connects with Wan and he introduces her to the Avatar Spirit just in time to counter Harmonic Convergence and traps Amon in the fog of lost souls. *I would have had Spiritbending as a technique Tenzin learned to gain his Airbending tattoos from his Aang.

Isabella : This video was perfectly said and done. I agree on almost all levels of what you said and I really enjoyed how you mentioned all of LOK's flaws without going into the realm of "hate". Thank you for this <3

Xaron P3 : You can't just put "The Avatar's Love" as background music and expect me to still see your video over the tears.

Samin Yazdi : You've made me want to go back and rewatch the show. This is only a bad thing because I'm in the middle of finals and I really should be studying instead ;)

Darkking Forever : Toph needed a spin off show of her younger years.

Amber Beam : “Less is more but I could keep watching episodes of the Avatar universe. Forever.” That’s perfectly put. We know that more would spoil it but it could be beautiful

Nathan Bonbrake : Gotta be honest here while LoK will never top Last Airbenders cast. The villains in LoK are amazing (season 1 and 3 mostly)

TheBrazilRules : Considering they made a statement about it on their TUMBLR, I can't agree that Korra's relationship with Asami has anything to do with personal growth.

Harvey Ebetts : I'm still under the impression that it's the normal type of mess

Mithrax The Forsaken : I can't help but look at Korea as many missed opportunities

Jadon Daley : Yk I love the lok for its fighting scenes and so forth but it's absolutely trash

doro : Did not know I would be full on crying because of a video essay about avatar today but I think I’m okay with it.

EW! PEOPLE! : General Iroh II is the most Underrated Character in the legend of korra. Azami's father is Hayao Miyazaki 😂