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Archive for March, 2013

The Legend of Korra: Air Book

Gasp! What is this? Yes, an update after little more than a week! I finally got around to watching the first part of The Legend of Korra. I know, I know. I am late to the party.

So what did I think?

Some things I liked were Tenzin and Lin Beifong and how the history of their parents (Aang and Katara on the one hand and Toph Beifong on the other) has affected their lives. Also, love how the Beifongs have developed metal bending. Korra is an interesting character who is a bundle of strength and weakness. The plot with the Equalists is not exactly surprising – it is a common story where a select few of a society have abilities most people do not have and we have seen it everywhere from X-Men to Justice League to varying degrees – but it is done quite well. I also liked the use of chi-blockers. Asami is a good character too – a rich girl who can take care of herself, thank you very much, while still being quite feminine. Love how they design Republic City as an early 1900’s version of Shanghai. The twist with Aman was quite interesting.

Some things that were problematic for me were Mako and Bolin, who seemed like a less angry version of Zuko and a bender version of Shokka respectively. The romantic story line felt a little heavy handed in places. There were more gags than I like, especially with the children. It was rather jarring in the flashback scenes to see the characters we know and love from Avatar: The Last Airbender as middle aged adults. As for the ending, I am of two minds about it. On the one hand, it almost undoes the rest of the story. On the other, how else could there be a satisfying ending? And there is a precedence for what happens in the original series. And in all fairness, this may be in part rectified depending on how the next book begins. The pace also felt a little too fast. There was not much time to wander around and explore things and go off on what seem to be tangents. I would have loved to see  more than a glimpse of Tenzin’s brother Bumi and would have loved more with Genreal Iroh as well. Republic City is great, but what has been going on in the various nations since the last series ended? And when are we going to get the full story about Zuko finding his mother?

The pro-bending choreography (actually all the fight choreography) was amazing. Interesting how pro-bending is affected by personal issues, but beyond this I am neutral about pro-bending.

Is this as good as Avatar: The Last Airbender? No. But ignore my review. Go watch The Legend of Korra. You will enjoy it. I know  I did.

As a bonus, this has inspired me to rewatch Avatar: The Last Airbender soon – just as soon as I finish Fruits Basket (only three episodes left). I can make no guarantees about my pace, and I don’t have time for episodic summaries, but I can promise as a minimum a review after each season.

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First, apologies for my long absence! I know, I know. I have started a class this semester, which along with work and writing has been taking up my time. I also admit, discovering classic Doctor Who has not helped either. I have made some progress watching anime, but not very much. I know a new Sailor Moon anime will be airing starting this summer and I do want to check it out, but at this point I am making no promises. And not much, that I want to collect anyway, has come out lately. This is the closest thing to anime I have finished recently, and if you enjoy anime you may enjoy this.

Second, a disclaimer. I love Justice League, the version that aired on Cartoon Network for a while. So when I found out that a new series staring a bunch of sidekicks was airing, I was excited.

It all starts when Aqualad, Speedy, Kid Flash, and Robin are taken to the Hall of Justice as a first step to joining the Justice League – and are very disappointed. Speedy is so disappointed he goes off on his own and renames himself Red Arrow. The others are also not happy. So while a major threat is keeping the League busy, the other three decide to go investigate  fire at a Cadmus facility. There they get in over their heads and also find a clone of Superman – Superboy. They do manage to escape and convince their mentors to let them form their own team. It is soon joined by Artemis, who Green Arrow says is his niece, and Miss Martian, who really is the Martian Manhunter’s niece. They have a lot to learn about teamwork, but being much more low profile than their mentors they can go on missions that the League can’t. Which is a good thing since an organization called the Light is trying to manipulate things behind the scenes . . .

What can I say. Each character is unique and realistic – having incredible (though not always supernatural) abilities, and still acting like teenagers. They sometimes don’t get along or have secrets or get angry or moody. And sometimes we see their potential when they work together seamlessly. Kid Flash is very much a typical teenager, Robin is a nut, Miss Martian is very peppy, Artemis a bit angsty, Superboy is downright angry, and Aqualad is probably the most mature. Which explains why he is the leader. I enjoyed this one. And while season one ended with a big question, season two has already finished airing so we don’t have to wait. Sadly, season two may be the last season. But we will be glad for what is available.

I will see if I can watch Castle in the Sky again in the next few weeks. The next Saiunkoku manga comes out next month. We will see if I can start watching World Masterpiece Theater regularly again after this semester. In the mean time, take care!

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