TV Review: The Legends of Korra, Book 2 Spirits

Nickelodeon has come a long way from churning out childish cartoons. If a statistician were to randomly sample college students and ask them what television shows they watch, a range of answers from How I Met your Mother to Game of Thrones and not to forget about Breaking Bad would probably come up as the majority of responses. These TV shows are directed towards a very specific demographic, so while The Legends of Korra may not seem like it can be a part of this list, it most certainly should be. Between the juggling of studying and the normal everyday happenings of life, finding the time to watch some TV can be hard. However, Korra promises to captivate one’s attention and surely satisfy the need for a good story.

Without even going into the show itself, one of the best reasons to watch Korra is every new episode released gets posted free to the Nickelodeon website. Netflix can be a burden to pay for each month, but the entirety of the Avatar TV series, most importantly this current season, can be found through a click on Google.

Convenience aside, the current season of Korra ripples with intense fight sequences where all four classical elements of Earth, Fire, Water, and even Air are used in combat. On a grander scale, Avatar Korra must battle her way through fierce political divisions where the warring Northern and Southern Water Tribes tumble to the brink of civil war. The coolest dynamic of this season presents that as the Avatar, keeper of balance and the bridge between the physical and spirit world, Korra must try to find a way to mediate peace between both sides. Despite this responsibility, Korra fiercely protects the Southern Water Tribe as that is not only where she grew up and where her family is from, it is also her way of life. The underlying forces pushing these two factions closer to war remain shrouded in mystery and the complete truth of everyone’s motivation has yet to be revealed. On top of that, the spirit world has begun to go haywire with dark spirits rampaging across the oceans. It is a TV show with many layers.

Last week’s two part episode, “The Beginnings” should earn a special recognition. When passing by the Maple Hall kitchen area where a group of students were watching this very edition of Korra, first year student Andrea Burillo asked, “What movie is that?” If that statement alone does not beckon enough to the top-notch quality of visual production, specifically in the uniqueness of the art’s style, as well as to the masterfully orchestrated soundtrack, then nothing will. “The Beginnings” is an origin story, where viewers learn of the very first Avatar. If anything, “The Beginnings” can easily be watched as a stand-alone hour special, with little to no background knowledge required. The animation style of these two episodes stands out from the rest of the Avatar series, which only separates it further into a category of extremely epic stories to experience. The Legends of Korra is more than just a cartoon about a girl roaming around the world, it is an age-old clash between good and evil, but in this case the viewer will not know for certain who and what constitutes either side.

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