The Legend of Korra (2012-2014) Season 1 TV Series Review

details
Title: The Legend of Korra.
Season: 1.

Rated: TV-PG.
Number of episodes: 12.
Release Date: 2012.
ORIGINAL NETWORK: Nickelodeon.
Genre(s): Animation, Action, Adventure.
Created by: Michael Dante DiMartino & Bryan Konietzko.
Composer(s): Jeremy Zuckerman.
Cast: Janet Varney, Jeff Bennett, Dee Bradley Baker, P.J. Byrne, David Faustino, J.K. Simmons, and many more!
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Previously in the Avatar universe:
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008) Season 1.
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008) Season 2.
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008) Season 3.

Creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko bring fans from 2012 to 2014 a new sequel led by a brand-new female protagonist, set within the same universe as their original series, released from 2005 to 2008, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Within this world, only one individual, continuously reincarnated into a new person, is able to bend all four elements (water, fire, earth, and air): the Avatar. Burdened with helping the people of the world achieve peace and balance, the Avatar is a central figure of power and authority, often entangled in political shenanigans, personal, family, and social drama, as well as a quest for moral enlightenment. The first season, entitled Book One: Air, was originally intended to be a stand-alone epilogue miniseries sequel but turned out to be the beginning of a new chapter that first aired in 2012.

What is The Legend of Korra (2012) Season 1 about? The first season introduces viewers to Korra, a 17-year-old girl who has mastered the art of bending all elements except air. Running off to Republic City, she seeks martial arts and air-bending training from Avatar Aang’s youngest son, Tenzin. In the midst of her training, the city’s ruling council’s vocal leader Tarrlok looks to recruit Korra to fight off the Equalists, a group of anti-benders led by the masked Amon. On top of that, Korra meets Mako and Bolin and joins their pro-bending team, the Fire Ferrets, sponsored by Asami Sato, for a famous championship tournament. As tension increases and frustrations accumulate, Korra has to find a way to defeat Amon before the bending world falls to his mercy.

(c) Paramount Plus.

There’s a lot packed into this first season of Korra’s saga. It doesn’t help when, as your first impression, her character is quite fiery and hot-headed, more often than not, reckless too. Without much experience as a potential Avatar, and lacking the ability to bend one of the elements as well, her journey only just begins and it is through trial and error that she can ever understand the flaws of her reasoning and decision-making. Then again, she also gets carried away by her small victories, boosting her confidence to a point of excess—you bet that her falls are going to hurt more than she can handle. Unfortunately, what really affects the conciseness of the narrative is the integration of multiple subplots, whether it’s all the fun and game through the pro-bending tournament or the love triangle explored between the members of the new Avatar team. The upside is that the original Avatar’s world is tactfully expanded by integrating technology and industrialization.

The season’s main antagonist, Amon, however, serves as an excellent force of opposition to Korra’s own growth, with one trying to remove bending from individuals, through terrorism, in hopes of establishing a society free of the divide that he claims creates a climate of oppression, while the other tries to learn to bend the last element before achieving the Avatar state. The mystery behind his identity is suspenseful until the final revelation but the denouement of this whole saga does feel too sudden and a bit drab. The epilogue is also on the cheesier end of the stick, quickly nullifying and canceling any of the consequences that were embraced by the writers seconds before. The romance also evolves predictably, even if things clearly couldn’t have gone any other way for this series.

(c) Paramount Plus.

The show’s forte mostly lies in its crisp animation and epic action sequences. With the pro-bending tournament and the battles with the Equalists, there are numerous opportunities throughout the season, although sometimes less consequential than others, to showcase the originality of the poetic martial arts element-bending action. Thus, with the upgrade of the animation style, compared to Avatar: The Last Airbender, these scenes are gorgeous and highly entertaining. To make things even more satisfying from a technical point of view, the music, composed by Jeremy Zuckerman, and the sound design executed by Benjamin Wynn, add depth and an epic dimension to this first season. While comedy is hit-or-miss, the love triangle is trite, and the narrative is diffused, the show stays loyal to the original series’ heart and soul while expanding the world with unique characters.

The Legend of Korra (2012) Season 1 is an enjoyable and action-packed sequel to the original Avatar’s world as it delves head-first into an ideological conflict of power centered around the divide between benders and non-benders.


All episodes are available on select streaming services!

Have you read any comic book stories from this franchise?
Have you seen The Legend of Korra (2012-2014)? Will you?
Share your thoughts with me!

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21 thoughts on “The Legend of Korra (2012-2014) Season 1 TV Series Review

  1. I had no idea this was a sequel to the Last Airbender. I always figured it was just done in the same style.

    I know I will never watch this. Not because of any particular dislike, but my viewing time is so limited that I really have to prioritize. I’m currently stalled on the 5th season of the original Yugioh and to be honest, I don’t know I’ll be able to make to the end. It’s pretty repetitive and too simplistic, unlike the first season or two. You can tell by this point the show is just to showcase new cards 😦

    So, not enough time 😀 Give me an extra 60hrs a week of just free time and maybe I could squeeze this in, but without that as a guarantee, I’m afraid I’ll be totally passing…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew it was in the same universe but never really figured out, back in the day, in what way it was a sequel. I assumed that Korra was Aang (the protagonist in the first series) but that’s definitely wrong.

      I still think of re-watching the original Yu-Gi-Oh series too! I remember so many iconic moments but always wondered if it would be fun to rewatch them (or even read the manga like I did back in elementary).

      While I’m always happy to hear from readers of my post that it brought them to read/watch/play something I recommend, I definitely don’t expect it to happen often because of how complicated it is in our day and age to find free time for more stuff, especially if it’s old stuff haha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The yugioh manga is/was awesome. I read the original 7 book series, the 21 book tournament series and then the 7 book millenium series. Also read the Yugioh R series by the manga-ka’s successor and enjoyed that a lot.
        I didn’t enjoy Millennium World and I wish I had stopped the anime after the initial Tournament series vs Maximillian Pegasus.

        Glad you feel that way. I’ve always felt it was an incidental to my blogging if someone decided to pick something up after I reviewed it. Because as you note, there is so much and only so much time 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d heard mention of this but I’m not sure I knew it had anything to do with Avatar. Sounds like it could have been better but still managed to entertain. Here’s hoping any future seasons just get better. Is this a rewatch for you, or a first time viewing?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now you know! 😀 It does get better with the following seasons but my personal favourites remain the original series. It’s a first-time viewing when it comes to Korra. I already finished watching the following and final 3 seasons of the series. I’m just retroactively reviewing them now hahah

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  3. I discovered Avatar: The Last Airbender shortly after the first season of Korra released, and ended up watching the entirety of all four seasons in a single week. Watching the entirety of Avatar’s season 3 in one day is quite possibly the only time I will ever truly binge something.

    The first season of Korra isn’t as good as Avatar, but there’s still a lot to like about it. The first half of Season 2 is kind of hard to get through the first time you watch it, but the second half more than makes up for it by giving several characters some much needed personal growth, while also giving us an epic story worthy of the Avatar franchise.

    After that, the rest of Korra is basically on the same level as Season 2/first half of Season 3 of ATLA. Season 3 in particular has the most fascinating main villain of the franchise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Legend of Korra is definitely not a bad series but it shows that it had a lot packed into the first season. As you progress, it definitely gets better and I too preferred the villain in the 3rd of all those we got to see. I wonder what they’ll be doing next with all the Avatar projects they announced not too long ago.

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      1. There’s also a live-action adaptation of the original series coming to Netflix, although the original creators of the franchise and the guy who composed the original series’ soundtrack all left the show over creative differences. That’s probably not a good sign.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved the Avatar series and have always meant to watch this sequel, but haven’t gotten to it yet. But considering I have a large queue of tv shows, who knows when I will get to it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I keep intending to rewatch the Korra ones but have yet to. It just doesn’t appeal to me as much as the original does. However, I like that we get more world building here as we learn a bit more about the spirit world.

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