The fourth series of The Legend of Korra has just been released on DVD in the U.K.
I found out about this American anime/cartoon series last year via Twitter, watched some episodes on You Tube, liked them so bought the DVDs of series 1-3. I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the fourth series ever since finishing the third during the summer.
Who is Korra? She is a young woman with the ability to manipulate air and other natural substances. She is also an Avatar, the latest in a long long of heroes and heroines who have used their air-bending powers for the good of the world.
Each series of The Legend of Korra sees her battling a new arch-enemy. The programme is not high-fantasy in the style – for example – of The Lord of the Rings. Korra fights the bad guys in the midst of arguing, laughing, dating, dismissing, playing, and much else besides with her friends. If the word was not so loaded, you could call it ‘intimate-fantasy’.
But maybe it is a good word to use. I am looking forward to seeing how Korra’s relationship with one friend in particular develops; namely – Asami.
I know that at the end of the series they will walk hand-in-hand together into the Spirit World – not as friends, but lovers. I am keen to see how their relationship develops up till that point.
From what I have read so far I suspect it will be done in a low-key almost ‘invisible’ manner. That’s a shame, although given that this is essentially a children’s cartoon series we should not be surprised. We’re lucky that it portrays a (positive) bisexual relationship at all.
Last night, I watched the opening episode After All These Years. It starts with Asami waiting for Korra to return to Republic City after three years away. Is she in love with Korra at this point or does she still wait as a friend? At first view, it seems to be a matter of interpretation.
The episode also introduces to the fourth series baddie – Kuvira. She is a senior army officer on a mission to unite the various realms of the Earth Kingdom.
In this episode, she appears to be acting in the name of the (soon to be) Earth King, a feckless young man named Wu, but I have a feeling that will not last long. You can tell by her scowl that she is bad news.
Korra herself does not appear in the episode until the end, where we find her taking part in a cage fight. It seems she was not only physically injured in her fight against the Red Lotus but emotionally as well. As a result, she has lost her way.
If we want a physical representation of this we might look at Korra’s new, short, hairstyle. If her previous, triple-pony-tail hair was part of her avatar uniform, so’s to speak, then this one certainly emphasises the fact that she is now cut off (no pun intended) from her old way of life.
Time will tell whether she makes it back, either incompletely, as in the last series she lost her spiritual connection with the previous avatars, or completely, by restoring that connection.
I like the Legend of Korra very much and hope to share some thoughts about each episode as I watch them.