I’m not sure if retrospective type threads are allowed, but (even if it is a day late - forgot last night) I’m curious to see what other’s thoughts on the series is one year out, after 12 months have passed since the last episode ever of The Legend of Korra aired.
Given I’m not posting it there, I don’t intend this to be an Angry Spirits material thread, or a place to complain about all things Korra - just somewhere to look at TLOK one year down the line, with the added benefit of a year’s time to put things in perspective.
If the replies turn it into Angry Spirits material(don’t know if our mods take requests like this), please move it there.
Feel free to put down your own impressions, one year later - here’s mine.
Initially, the finale left me slightly confused, and not entirely satisfied, to put it mildly. Rather than go to Angry Spirits straight away, I started my ongoing experiment with writing back then, working out my energy for the series through my own babbling.
If it weren’t for Korra, I’d never have tried writing, and even though I know quite a lot of what I’ve written isn’t on par with other things, just the act of writing a lot has helped me get better at communicating, computer and otherwise. And fanfiction in particular, trying to write interactions between people, and being able to see the flaws in earlier work later on, has ended up helping me much more than just typing faster and more coherently.
For a long time, I just ignored the forums, too busy writing to take part in the… spirited
discussions that took place right after the finale. Eventually, I started messing with the forums more, finding that people saw the same things I did, or things I hadn’t even considered.
After a lot of time spent in Angry Spirits, my work on writing dwindling down, I had a small epiphany watching Big Hero 6 for the first time (which I did not like at all), asking out loud towards the end, “Wait - what? How would he pluck out his own card and stay normal? Baymax without the ‘nurse’ card should be in berserker mode, and here he’s sending it to Hiro inside his fist so he can be resurrected using the chip?”“The f**k?”
Even before then, the movie had lost me, with the gut-punch artificially engineered death of Hiro’s brother. It was effective when I was five or six years old, Disney, with Mufasa - won't work again, and I'm not sure if it would work on a modern five or six year old.
Along with other things in that movie that was widely liked, that I definitely did not like, helped me realize for all the whining I had done in Angry Spirits… The Legend of Korra as a whole is still not terrible.
There are certainly worse things, for me, like Big Hero 6. After my connection of TLOK with Big Hero 6 and finding the first better, I remembered another movie people said was good that I disliked from before, Frozen, and saw it wasn’t just one movie that could have helped me realize this.
I didn’t really think of ever posting what amounts to a blog about it until seeing two other widely acclaimed movies and thinking they were bad or lacking. I found myself considering Inside Out as “just” lacking, Bing Bong the most memorable character to me, with Interstellar being absolutely terrible. That soft science nightmare with weak narrative structure and lack of explanation made Asami’s role in TLOK look like shiny silver comparatively. The audiotrack… very intrusive and obnoxious, where TLOK’s was strong.
At the same time, I watched some other movies where my opinion ended up being from “bizarro world” compared to what others said about them - liking Jurassic World without huge reservations (even the characters and plot and themes, not just the CGI dinosaurs) where I had expected it to be mindless, and liking Terminator Genisys for mixing things up with John Connor, where others said it was bad. Actually liked it better than Inside Out…
Maybe my opinions are just from bizarro world, and you know what they say about opinions, but seeing different things labeled as “good” not living up to my expectations, and things like Terminator Genisys and Jurassic World managing to surprise me in a good way, I find myself less exacting and unreasonable.
Anyways, the point of the last five to six paragraphs is, over the past year, I’ve gone from being more than simply down on TLOK, to being able to see it’s not without its merits, compared to things outside the franchise.
There are things I wish were different, especially when ATLA did them right, but… strange as it is to say, even Book 2 Korra’s shiny silver compared to Big Hero 6 (seriously, twist ending rule-breaking wtf), and gold compared to something inexplicably popular like Interstellar (seriously, twist ending wtf again, plus trying to be serious sci-fi and screwing up such basic things- the black hole would have ripped him to shreds! The only tolerable thing about that film was the robots…)
So all in all, by its own merits, TLOK isn’t gold, but I don’t see it as garbage, especially not after seeing what others say is good and bad outside the fandom’s echo chamber. I’m glad for the series existence overall, even the flaws - the process of writing has been very good for me, and I wouldn’t have started if TLOK ended on the same high note that ATLA did.
Enough of the mini-blog. Now, for some graphs I made using the ASN.net Statistics
, because numbers.
The analysis of these is more serious; I’ve seen a few people talk about “low activity”, and want to use logic and statistics to address this.
Aside from "General Interest", all terminology for different demographics taken from World of Warcraft and MMO terms; "General Interest" denotes a level of interest slightly below that of a "Casual", with "Casual" here denoting they have a passing interest in the series and may have watched the whole thing.
"Semi-Casual" here denotes they have likely watched the series twice or more and are interested in it past the first time seeing it and likely have posted a few times.
"Hardcore" here denotes they have taken the time to post frequently or be active in some sort of Avatar-centric community at some higher level.
See Wikipedia for important dates such as season starts and ends, plus July 22, 2010 for the Korra announcement.
Note: Data does not include "Dec 15" in full. Original analysis and graphing performed 11/22/2015, updated 12/20/2015.
Conclusions: user and community activity metrics are tightly tied to the beginnings and endings of seasons. Avatar : The Last Airbender Book 1 Water is not represented, as ASN.net did not exist at that time. Metrics were also greatly affected by the announcement of The Legend of Korra.
There is no significant difference between the two series' general patterns when it comes to general interest in the series - a season or show finishes, activity spikes for a while, then peters out to a relative constant.
Aside from The Legend of Korra Book 4, the first to air purely online, there is no significant difference between the two series' general patterns when it comes to those with a "Casual" interest in the series - a season or show finishes, activity spikes for a while, then peters out to a relative constant. Book 4 of Legend of Korra had much less online than Book 3, "Casual" observers possibly not aware that Book 4 was "airing" on Nickelodeon.com.
Only in the "Semi-Casual" and "Hardcore" segments of ASN.net's community do you see a difference between the two series, most especially in "New Posts" trends. The Legend of Korra's announcement brought about the most new posts compared to Avatar : The Last Airbender for Korra's run as a whole.
From the analyzer’s experience, the "Semi-Casual" and "Hardcore" are not good indicators of anything, beyond those demographics. Furthermore, in a purely author driven entertainment media, one without "gameplay" or "replay value" to lengthen interest, usually a narrative can only last consumers so long.
Final Conclusions/Opinions: The second Avatar series has finished. To expect interest to remain high almost a year later, especially among the "Semi-Casual" and "Hardcore" demographics, is not realistic. With the series end's anniversary past us, everything that can be said about Aang's successor Korra and her show has been said, and probably been said multiple times. In addition, the move of the series to online partway through The Legend of Korra Book 3 and for all of Book 4 likely impacted "New Members" more heavily than other metrics.
The two "most casual" metrics, "Most Online" and "Page View" statistics, show no difference between Aang and Korra's series, taking into account not everyone who watched Avatar: The Last Airbender was even interested in Korra (see how the Page Views for Korra's announcement or Book 1 in Page Views was smaller). The sky is only "falling" for one subset, the "Semi-Casual" and "Hardcore", one that from the author's experience across communities(ASN.net, WoW/MMO Champion the most extensive experience, Command and Conquer: Generals and its user-made modifications circa 2004-2006) is almost always a bad indicator for pretty much anything.
If there's nothing new to discuss, there won't be a discussion after all fodder has been exhausted, all the dead horses beaten and every possible ship shipped.
In closing : a year out, through time’s passage dulling initial outrage, writing serving as an outlet in multiple ways, venting in Angry Spirits, or seeing that I could certainly do worse than re-watch TLOK, likely all four, I find myself less down on Korra’s series than in the past.
Even if I don’t feel like I have much left to say about the series, aside from work on my own attempts at writing, I look forward to the TLOK comics with a strange mix of dread, curiosity and some anticipation. Mainly curious - to see where Mike takes the story, and see if there’s any overlap with what I wrote.
Edit: Changed graph colors to be less confusing.