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Avatar: The Legend of Korra – Book Two – Spirits

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Spoilers, ho!

E01

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  • So Mako is just as dorky as Bolin, maybe even dorkier because he doesn’t realize he’s not nearly as cool as he thinks he is.
  • All the stuff she went through in Book One and she’s still missing the point. Right now, Korra’s the kind of character I despise the most. Her character development is negligible. It’s good that she questions “the way it’s always been,” but she hasn’t even tried. She just stumbles into things and begrudgingly resigns herself to various situations. She’s kind of a disgrace right now. I couldn’t believe she was serious when she air-punched a few trees and thought that could pass for mastering.
  • Tenzin was right, she has no respect for the Avatar state. She had no clue what that thing was, didn’t try to communicate with it even though she’s supposed to be the link between the human and spirit world. The Avatar is extremely vulnerable in that state. Aang was younger than her and had a less coordinated training period, yet he understood things that she continues to refuse to take time to grasp. This is not character development, it’s stagnation or worse, regression.
  • Uncle dude is rude as all get out. It’s inappropriate to stand up at a gathering for celebration and go on about the disintegration of a people and not have fully addressed it with the council of those people. Dad dude did hear when he expressed his concern and disdain for how things had changed, but that wasn’t a real “lets work it out” conversation.They were strolling for goodness sake. Bad news, he is. He’s trying to take over, I just know it.
  • And Korra’s a disgrace of a cognizant human for not seeing it or not investigating the guy further before sliding under his wing. She leaves the safety of people she knows care about her and cozies up to Uncle dude who her father obviously doesn’t trust. Why don’t they ever ask why the one they’re close to doesn’t like the stranger before dismissing the one they know in favor of the one they don’t? Basically, that says that they couldn’t care less about the one that they know and have done nothing up to that point but take them for granted. Even when Naga was snarling and barking, she tried to shush her. I don’t remember Book One portraying Naga as highly excitable, if anything, she’s extremely chill until she needs to jump into action. Her reaction to her obvious agitation should have been, “you see something, girl?”
  • Right now, Korra is a mix of the worst parts of Sokka and Katara. Really, this is like Book One never happened. The writing is seriously failing Korra.

E02

  • She’s a thrillseeker. It’s not like you can say she’s all of these potentially bad things, “but she has a good heart.” She doesn’t; she’s rather shallow. I’m guessing it gets better. I’m committed and I will see it through to the end, but I hope I don’t have to suffer the whole way.

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  • Dad dude is hot.
  • Korra is rude.
  • No one is saying WHY! It’s just DON’T.
  • The twins… really… they don’t add anything to the story.
  • I’m glad Dad dude left. Now she can be saved by him or something. Uncle Dude was behind the banishment, I’m sure of it.
  • She’s an idiot. She goes into the forest… she should be trying to commune with them. It’s always brute force with her. I don’t feel sorry for her at all.
  • He IS trying to take over!

E03

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  • Aangs family…  never would have suspected, but it’s actually a good bit of grit for an otherwise flimsy book.
  • FAMILY DRAMA!
  • Well, they did warn me about Book Two… I’m just going to have to tough it out.

E04

  • Why is Bolin stupid. He was goofy, but not stupid. Do they even know how to spell character developement anymore?
  • That was a joke of a trial.
  • Jackoffjill, it WAS his fault!

E05

  • I feel like I can’t even be bothered to complain.
  • Now is actually a weird time for me watch this with its theme of civil unrest. The excessive force, the shady dealings of authority figures, people being framed or unlawfully detained, peaceful protests, curfews, lies and other misrepresentations… This all has a not-so-vague resemblance to the aftermath in Ferguson, Missouri.
  • “Of course they’re responsible, who else would it be?” Ever-ready to assign blame and take sides without doing any serious thinking.
  • Bolin!
  • At least I got to see Lin.
  • So there are 9 episodes left, but I don’t see how Korra’s growth arc can even begin the way things are now. And that most likely means that any growth she exhibits by the end of this book will be convoluted, rushed, and hard to swallow.
  • Mako said it!
  • I appreciate that Mako spoke up and stood his ground.

E06

  • It’s Varrick, isn’t it?
  • I don’t like how Bolin has been turned into a buffoon.
  • Mako just failed. He wouldn’t help Korra do dirt, but he was all in to help Asami. And I’m not pitting the females against each other. My point is that he was OK with it when it served his purpose, but he played the noble card with Korra.
  • Yeah, it’s Varrick.

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  • A fire dagger… cool.
  • It IS Varrick,.

E07

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  • I’m a sucker for origin stories and this came at just the right time. In fact I think the timing is too perfect–as if they knew they were writing a sucky book and figured now would be a good time for a reprieve or the origin story was pretty much the point of the book and they decided that they didn’t need to work too hard for the supporting story.
  • Is that what it is? Is this whole book just a filler arc?

E08

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  • Awesome!

E09

  • Just as I thought. I knew a “heartfelt” apology was on it’s way. And it’s lacking. I’d rather her say, “you can nag me all you want later, but right now, I need your help to save the world.”
  • And that’s why I need words. Mako failed again and Asami is no better. Like I said, an open invitation.
  • The concepts of friendship and trust are, at best, vague notions to these people and, at worst, wholly foreign.

E10

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  • Yup, Jinora.
  • Iroh!

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  • OK. It’s not fully resolved, but Korra’s visit with Iroh is actually a really good and convincing step for her growth in the right direction. I wonder if they can really redeem her.

E11

  • I’m sickened by this whole Mako love nonsense.
  • What is the deal with their justice system? Mako let’s Asami hear an interrogation after she just waltzes into what I’m sure is or at least should be a restricted section. And Bolin is the one to break the news to Mako that he is free to go. It’s a mess.

E12

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  • When is someone going to come around to back up Bumi’s stories? I’m tired of Tenzin dismissing him.
  • Uncle dude’s got skills.
  • Korra’s face at the end was the best.

E13

  • From what I understand of how their universe works, Korra was too weak, scattered, and selfish to fully carry the burden that is the Avatar. I wasn’t expecting another Aang, but neither was I expecting a person so far removed from him that I actually cannot fathom them being the Avatar. This entire book is a race against time so that Korra could right a wrong that she fanned the flames of. And no, I will not accept that her journey is supposed to be a reflection of Wan’s. Too easy and too many holes. Even though Aang hadn’t fully mastered all four elements, he was spiritually, emotionally and mentally more focused than she was. She doesn’t get it. To her, being the Avatar is more of a conquest with bragging rights than a spiritual privilege. There’s very little harmony in her multi-element bending, she often looked like someone who was backed into a corner and just decided to grab the nearest thing and fling it at their opponent.

E14

  • I’m not convinced. This is not a redemption. She didn’t earn any of this.

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  • See? Words. Unlike with Asami, Mako’s breakup with Korra (both times) were definitive and they even managed to confirmed their love the second time. And that’s quite different from saying they “care.” But I hope he doesn’t get back with Asami–that would be terrible. I’m guessing he and Korra will eventually get back together? Open invitations are easy holes to fill later down the line. But the position Mako and Korra are in is that there will need to be specific things said and out of the blue, “I want to be with you no matter what” revelations just won’t cut it. If they get back together the same way she SUDDENLY grasped airbending in Book One, I’m going to be so mad!

Korra is an epic fail of a character in this book. She wasn’t my favorite in Book One either, but at least she had some redeeming qualities. Unlike Zuko who had far to fall and in turn had even farther to climb back up, Korra started just below neutral and has done very little aside from moving about laterally with the occasional voluntary step down further into the pit. How is it a main character’s growth pales in comparison to a secondary lead? There is no growth. The harmony in her multi-element bending has only progressed as far as her being able to wield them all. If she took the responsibility of being the Avatar as more than just a title; if she didn’t run around claiming it like some little kid running around yelling, “I’m Batman;” if she would have taken her training seriously, she would have had a much easier time defeating Uncle dude before and after he merged with Vaatu. She can wield all four elements–Uncle dude only had one. So when he merged with Vaatu, he still only had one. If there was harmony in her Avatar bending, she would have been able to quickly vanquish Uncle Vaatu dude, even with his magenta beam of death. For the majority of the story, Korra was written as a stereotypical PMSing woman; it’s disgusting. The writers took a perfectly good vehicle and vomited all over it.

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But it wasn’t a complete waste. The newsreel recaps were cool. Iroh. Jinora, and most awesomely, Wan and the origin story. Overall, I think the premise was good; however, rather than writing most of the cast as stubborn idiots, the writers should have put more effort into planning more plausible ways of people being tricked and nefarious plans coming to fruition. Trading on your friends and dismissing people like you’ve never known them is such an easy way to write. There’s no accountability and tearful apologies just don’t cut it. Writers do that so that you end up being blinded by how much you hate a character or their actions and forget that they were written that way and what you should really be pissed off about is godawful, trashy writing.

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There are myriad other things I want to gripe about, but I what I really want to do is put this embarrassment to bed and move on. So I shall.

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