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Author Topic: Korra's portrayal -- negative reactions?  (Read 193113 times)
Uzuko
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« Reply #1700 on: Aug 05, 2015 06:51 am »

I really like Korra's character, but upon reflection I really dislike her journey. She started out way to strong, and Michael and Bryan clearly aren't the type of writers who can handle writing Superman and Korra is like him in terms of power. All four seasons have the same story beats, and Korra herself is constantly handicapped in an attempt to bring her down to a more human level. A great series in terms of animation, but in hindsight the storytelling and the arc just didn't hold up to ATLA even though the writers had way more to work with.
« Last Edit: Aug 05, 2015 10:44 am by Uzuko » Logged
Clowngoon
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« Reply #1701 on: Aug 05, 2015 08:10 pm »

I really like Korra's character, but upon reflection I really dislike her journey. She started out way to strong, and Michael and Bryan clearly aren't the type of writers who can handle writing Superman and Korra is like him in terms of power. All four seasons have the same story beats, and Korra herself is constantly handicapped in an attempt to bring her down to a more human level. A great series in terms of animation, but in hindsight the storytelling and the arc just didn't hold up to ATLA even though the writers had way more to work with.
This is why I didn't have high hopes for Book Spirits. Three seasons writing a full realized Avatar? That should always guarantee a win the moment a conflict arises. With these nerfs kicking in left and right, people just won't take the Avatar's power as seriously anymore. In some ways though I did excuse the Book Two finale considering they created an enemy meant to be the Avatar's evil counterpart, but with Books three and four, any talented bender could take them down. And sure enough come Book Three...
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Spiritwhisperer
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« Reply #1702 on: Aug 05, 2015 11:44 pm »

I think they did an acceptable job managing having a realized Avatar as main character. She wasn't fully realized yet in book 1 (and had an enemy directly targetting the source of her strength and confidence, which made for an interesting conflict in my eyes), in book 2 they only really engaged in a true fight in the final episodes, when Unalaq became a dark Avatar (it was pretty hilarious when Korra literally flung Unalaq out of the spirit world before he fused), in book 3 Korra easily beat up a number of different groups of mooks, but the Red Lotus took extra care to not engage directly (shirshu toxin, attack while she is in the spirit world, take hostages and chain her, poison), while in book 4 Korra is physically recovering from poison.
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shorewall
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« Reply #1703 on: Aug 06, 2015 08:09 am »

I think they did an acceptable job managing having a realized Avatar as main character. She wasn't fully realized yet in book 1 (and had an enemy directly targetting the source of her strength and confidence, which made for an interesting conflict in my eyes), in book 2 they only really engaged in a true fight in the final episodes, when Unalaq became a dark Avatar (it was pretty hilarious when Korra literally flung Unalaq out of the spirit world before he fused), in book 3 Korra easily beat up a number of different groups of mooks, but the Red Lotus took extra care to not engage directly (shirshu toxin, attack while she is in the spirit world, take hostages and chain her, poison), while in book 4 Korra is physically recovering from poison.

I also think they did a good job of handling it, but I also agree with the idea that the story suffered a little from having to keep coming up with ways to hold Korra back.  What keeps it from being a real problem for me, is that each finale basically took the shackles off and let Korra kick ass.  Book 2, Book 3 (that finale is the high point of the entire series for me), and Book 4 each let Korra go HAM.
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Spiritwhisperer
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« Reply #1704 on: Aug 06, 2015 10:53 am »

Korra didn't even need to go into the Avatarstate to fight and beat Kuvira in the cockpit.
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Ikkin
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« Reply #1705 on: Aug 06, 2015 11:49 am »

I think they did an acceptable job managing having a realized Avatar as main character. She wasn't fully realized yet in book 1 (and had an enemy directly targetting the source of her strength and confidence, which made for an interesting conflict in my eyes), in book 2 they only really engaged in a true fight in the final episodes, when Unalaq became a dark Avatar (it was pretty hilarious when Korra literally flung Unalaq out of the spirit world before he fused), in book 3 Korra easily beat up a number of different groups of mooks, but the Red Lotus took extra care to not engage directly (shirshu toxin, attack while she is in the spirit world, take hostages and chain her, poison), while in book 4 Korra is physically recovering from poison.

I also think they did a good job of handling it, but I also agree with the idea that the story suffered a little from having to keep coming up with ways to hold Korra back.  What keeps it from being a real problem for me, is that each finale basically took the shackles off and let Korra kick ass.  Book 2, Book 3 (that finale is the high point of the entire series for me), and Book 4 each let Korra go HAM.

Book 2, maybe, but Korra would have flat-out slaughtered the Red Lotus if she hadn't been shackled and then poisoned, and she only made limited use of the Avatar State in the Book 4 finale.

Personally, I think they would have been better off limiting the utility of physical violence as a whole instead of reducing Korra's capacity to engage in it.

Basically, imagine that Korra's dealing with situations where defeating the Big Bad would do very little good, because the people who follow them would consider them a martyr/follow an equally-bad heir/etc. Under those circumstances, the main conflict would be about finding a way to remove that back-up plan so the villain can be taken down with extreme prejudice, which I think could be a lot of fun.

...or maybe the Book 3 sub-plot about the Earth Queen enslaving airbenders could become the main plot, with an endgame of the Queen launching an attack on Republic City and Korra has to take her out to keep that from happening (even though she'd been avoiding that all season to keep the Earth Kingdom from collapsing).  Trying to piece the Earth Kingdom back together would, of course, be a situation in which one-on-one violence would be of limited use, and therefore present a reasonable challenge for Korra even at full strength.
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AtoMaki
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« Reply #1706 on: Aug 06, 2015 12:39 pm »

Personally, I think they would have been better off limiting the utility of physical violence as a whole instead of reducing Korra's capacity to engage in it.

Oddly enough, they tried this in each Season, even to the point where they handed Korra a non-violent solution on a silver plate (Book 2 with Iroh's advice), yet it always ended with Korra trying to punch stuff then being punched in return. My theory is that Bryke didn't want the "action" slip from the "action animation" so they just decided to pull a Mortal Kombat and never look back  Cheesy.
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HikaruIzumi
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« Reply #1707 on: Aug 06, 2015 12:57 pm »

Basically, imagine that Korra's dealing with situations where defeating the Big Bad would do very little good, because the people who follow them would consider them a martyr/follow an equally-bad heir/etc. Under those circumstances, the main conflict would be about finding a way to remove that back-up plan so the villain can be taken down with extreme prejudice, which I think could be a lot of fun.
Wasn't that in Book 1?
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Spiritwhisperer
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« Reply #1708 on: Aug 06, 2015 01:02 pm »

Basically, imagine that Korra's dealing with situations where defeating the Big Bad would do very little good, because the people who follow them would consider them a martyr/follow an equally-bad heir/etc. Under those circumstances, the main conflict would be about finding a way to remove that back-up plan so the villain can be taken down with extreme prejudice, which I think could be a lot of fun.
Wasn't that in Book 1?
It was to a degree - the equalist movement also depended on Amon's ability, in order to sustain its (military) goals.



There is the problem that Nickelodeon does have a... 'quota' if you will, that episodes need bending and action. In one of the commentaries Bryke said that often they were writing talking episodes and needed to remind themselves they also needed to insert some bending in there somehow.
« Last Edit: Aug 06, 2015 01:04 pm by Spiritwhisperer » Logged

"In the beginning the Universe was created.
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Clowngoon
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« Reply #1709 on: Aug 06, 2015 01:32 pm »

Another thing I question is if we've even seen Korra go all out at full power. In the Book Two finale, she was already pretty badly beaten when she finally fights Unalaq and Vaatu. In Book Three, there was obviously the poison. And in Book Four, even by the time of the finale, she was probably still recovering from the poison's effects.
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« Reply #1710 on: Aug 06, 2015 01:55 pm »

The fight against the colossus I suppose?

But other than that I think the succession of fights during 'Darkness Falls' are the best indication. When Mako and Bolin emerged from the spirit world to see Korra and Unalaq battle, they looked really impressed - like watching titans fight in the distance.
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« Reply #1711 on: Aug 07, 2015 03:07 am »

^perhaps Mako and Bolin are a bit more easily impressed than the audience, who have seen the bending during ATLA's time period. granted, since korra entered their lives, they have seen bending beyond the limits of Pro Bending style, but even the fighting they saw and participated in, in Republic city wasn't as powerful as we the audience have seen. tenzin hurling a mech up a rooftop came close, but that's the exception.

come to think of it, only the old people have displayed serious oldschool bending (ignoring Eska and Desna. they're freaks.). Korra only matched their bending, not really stomp them god-mode style.

her veracity during her fight with flying zaheer is a good indication of how hard she can crack down on an enemy. if only she wasn't poisoned
« Last Edit: Aug 07, 2015 03:14 am by Yougo » Logged

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Ikkin
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« Reply #1712 on: Aug 07, 2015 06:13 am »

Basically, imagine that Korra's dealing with situations where defeating the Big Bad would do very little good, because the people who follow them would consider them a martyr/follow an equally-bad heir/etc. Under those circumstances, the main conflict would be about finding a way to remove that back-up plan so the villain can be taken down with extreme prejudice, which I think could be a lot of fun.

Wasn't that in Book 1?

It was to a degree - the equalist movement also depended on Amon's ability, in order to sustain its (military) goals.



There is the problem that Nickelodeon does have a... 'quota' if you will, that episodes need bending and action. In one of the commentaries Bryke said that often they were writing talking episodes and needed to remind themselves they also needed to insert some bending in there somehow.

I probably should have made myself more clear -- it's not that I thought that they should have Korra deal with issues that didn't involve fighting (that would have given us just as little opportunity to see Korra in top form than the show as it stands), but that I thought that they should create scenarios where Korra does fight and can go all out, but it just can't really resolve the crux of the problem.

Basically, it'd mean embracing the fact that it's very difficult to create tension in a fight involving Korra without intentionally holding her back and using the fights to offer awesome eye candy for the kids/easily bored audience while focusing the conflicts themselves elsewhere.  

(For the record, that's not what Book 1 did -- instead, it used Korra's lack of experience and the element of surprise to keep her from winning serious fights until late in the game.)
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longman83
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« Reply #1713 on: Aug 07, 2015 10:14 am »

I probably should have made myself more clear -- it's not that I thought that they should have Korra deal with issues that didn't involve fighting (that would have given us just as little opportunity to see Korra in top form than the show as it stands), but that I thought that they should create scenarios where Korra does fight and can go all out, but it just can't really resolve the crux of the problem.

The initial episodes of Book 1 and 2 started off this way. Korra's first encounter with the Equalist recruiter indicated that smashing down the movement's leaders was more likely to further strengthen their grassroots support, and aggressive bending (even with the AS) was shown to useless against one dark spirit. Unfortunately, from that point on the plots meandered and eventually committed suicide just so Korra could solve her problems by punching them in the face, like she always does  Undecided
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ahintoflime
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« Reply #1714 on: Aug 07, 2015 10:55 pm »

^perhaps Mako and Bolin are a bit more easily impressed than the audience, who have seen the bending during ATLA's time period. granted, since korra entered their lives, they have seen bending beyond the limits of Pro Bending style, but even the fighting they saw and participated in, in Republic city wasn't as powerful as we the audience have seen. tenzin hurling a mech up a rooftop came close, but that's the exception.

come to think of it, only the old people have displayed serious oldschool bending (ignoring Eska and Desna. they're freaks.). Korra only matched their bending, not really stomp them god-mode style.

her veracity during her fight with flying zaheer is a good indication of how hard she can crack down on an enemy. if only she wasn't poisoned

The brothers actually do better than Korra. Mako's casual use of lightning and Bolin's handling of lava are noteworthy. Korra's feats are tame even with the Colossus. Book 2 level of Katara waterbending, what amounts to pebbles of rock throwing (that somehow don't crack the glass but an explosion a few floors down does and said explosion doesn't for some reason destroy EVERYTHING in the immediate area), and not even Book 1 level of Aang airbending. But this is for another day.

...or maybe the Book 3 sub-plot about the Earth Queen enslaving airbenders could become the main plot, with an endgame of the Queen launching an attack on Republic City and Korra has to take her out to keep that from happening (even though she'd been avoiding that all season to keep the Earth Kingdom from collapsing).  Trying to piece the Earth Kingdom back together would, of course, be a situation in which one-on-one violence would be of limited use, and therefore present a reasonable challenge for Korra even at full strength.

Just slap some Dai Lee on there then go back to your island and call it a day. Violence still works.
Kuvira did well enough anyway if you can't go the Kyoshi route. And Korra has the advantage since Korra's parents and mentor love her so she won't become Element Hitler to Kuvira's Metal Hitler.
Kuvira hurts you for the good of the Empire. Korra hurts you because she loves you and knows you can better yourself.
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« Reply #1715 on: Aug 08, 2015 12:29 am »

The brothers actually do better than Korra. Mako's casual use of lightning and Bolin's handling of lava are noteworthy. Korra's feats are tame even with the Colossus. Book 2 level of Katara waterbending, what amounts to pebbles of rock throwing (that somehow don't crack the glass but an explosion a few floors down does and said explosion doesn't for some reason destroy EVERYTHING in the immediate area), and not even Book 1 level of Aang airbending. But this is for another day.

.. 'Kay.



Bending as a whole was rather downsized in scope in LoK. Probably because of the (initial) urban environment, and to not make the benders outmatch everyone and everything to the point of laughability (except for then the non-benders get inhuman superskills). AtlA's was a bit more prone to cartoon physics, so a single armmovement from even background benders could lift up a chunk of rock the size of a house. Fights in LoK do have a lot of rate of fire and movement, but the size of the elements being bent is generally more appropriate for human scale. I'm not taking this as a huge indicator for respective skilllevels, unless we mean to read the skilllevel of benders fell massively around the globe - for no discernable reason.


I can't recall the largest body of water that Katara bent (the wave in the catacombs in Ba Sing Se I suspect) but against the colossus Korra did throw a wave of water the height of a skyscraper, and her blast of air alone equalled that of the entire airnation combined.
« Last Edit: Aug 08, 2015 12:37 am by Spiritwhisperer » Logged

"In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
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« Reply #1716 on: Aug 08, 2015 09:02 am »

I can't recall the largest body of water that Katara bent (the wave in the catacombs in Ba Sing Se I suspect) but against the colossus Korra did throw a wave of water the height of a skyscraper, and her blast of air alone equalled that of the entire airnation combined.

Let's not forget Korra's attack on the sandshark, which dwarfed Azula's most impressive non-Comet-powered firebending explosion, and Korra's earthbending-powered decimation of the Republic City Council building in her fight with Tarrlok.
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Child of the Elements - A look at Korra's childhood with the Order of the White Lotus. (Complete)
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