Korra Is Not the Worst Avatar

Several years ago my ex tried to introduce me to Legend of Korra. After watching the first two episodes, I decided that I wasn’t really a fan of Korra and didn’t bother watching any further than this.

But my one co-worker and I were discussing it one day, and she says that Korra does achieve growth and does become better as the series goes on. So I decided to give it another go recently – why it took me years to go from vehemently disliking it to completely being engrossed and watching the entire series in two days is beyond me, but maybe I was in a different place then than I am now. We’re always growing, evolving, and becoming better versions of ourselves when we put the work in.

I’m not really sure what made me hate Korra the first time around, but I came back to this series with an open mind this time; and I’m glad because I really enjoyed it.

It will never top the first in the series: The Last Airbender, but it’s not supposed to. It’s a continuation of the Avatar cycle with a new avatar. It’s not a competition for which series gives you more nostalgia or which one is better. Both have their merits as well as their flaws, but I don’t blame the writers for all of those, seeing as both series were rushed by Nickelodeon.

I found a lot of myself in Korra, honestly: headstrong, determined, fierce, and constantly underestimated. I related more to her than I could Aang because as a woman, we are constantly being told we’re not strong and if we are strong we should be more pretty and eloquent like Asami (who is strong, mind you, but the first thing we see of her is Mako fawning over her like a fan boy).

I could relate to her trauma, her struggles, and her PSTD.

You could see her evolution and growth through the series, and I absolutely adored her relationship with Tenzin. He really seemed like he was a second father figure to her despite having four children of his own.

I liked that Korra’s personality was so different from Aang’s and yet they were both powerful and both good Avatars, doing the best they could for the world. I admired her courage and her bravery. She was sheltered so she was a bit socially awkward despite her outgoing nature and I honestly found that endearing because I’m also socially awkward and lived a bit of a sheltered life, myself.

It was nice to see a female hero (while beautiful) who was admired for her strength and skill rather than her pretty face.

The only complaints I have with this series is there wasn’t enough Bumi or Kya. the fact that Katara wasn’t at Jinora’s ceremony (that’s her grandchild, c’mon!), and the fact that Nickelodeon cheated us out of the Korra and Asami kiss. Being part of the LGBTQ+ community, I may not forgive them for that last one.

The characters were all well thought out and executed well, and my favorite villains I think were the most well thought out: The Red Lotus. Because had they gone about things in a different way, they could’ve been the ones that helped teach Korra.

I also adored the new team Avatar. Despite his flaws Mako is a good character and a good brother. I think some of the reason he is so closed off is because he had to step up and take up the role of protector for his little brother so he didn’t really get the chance to be a kid.

Bolin is probably one of my favorite himbos in all of animated history. He is adorable, and I can understand the times where he gets upset with Mako. He’s not the pretty boy that his brother is, and whilst outwardly he doesn’t show it, I think inwardly that could have wounded his ego a bit. Yet he doesn’t let that stop him from loving or forgiving his brother, and I found that to be very touching and well done. Not to mention he can lava bend which is pretty cool, if you ask me.

I like that Asami despite being a non-bender is a useful addition to the team and a strong fighter. Seeing her take down those men in the Earth Kingdom as she helped Korra in that fight was pretty impressive, not to mention when she took on her own father to stop him from destroying Korra and the rest of team Avatar.

Korra isn’t the worst avatar ever, and I wish more people appreciated her. Vatu is the reason her spiritual connections with her past lives were lost, and she shouldn’t be blamed for that!

Linda M. Crate’s works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. She is the author of seven poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is: the samurai (). She has also authored two micro-collections, and three full length poetry collections.

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