The Legend of Korra IV.12+13

The Day of the Colossus

The Last Stand

According to Wikipedia, the last two episodes of The Legend of Korra were both shown on the same day – 19th December 2014 – and it is not hard to see why. They are both dominated by Kuvira’s invasion of Republic City in her mecha-giant suit.

The advance of the mecha-giant is spectacular if unoriginal. In terms of the action as a whole, the best moments are given to us by Korra’s battle with Kuvira in the mecha-giant control centre. That was really tense.

Despite the two episodes being action heavy, there were, once more, some lovely character moments.

At the frivolous end of the scale (though by no means unimportant) there was Prince Wu’s and Pema’s singing – awful and funny respectively.

At the other end, Kuvira’s revelation regarding her childhood was dynamite. As was her justification for invading Republic City. She did it to hold the Earth Kingdom together. We cannot regard her as a heroine but neither is she a monster. What is she, then? Simply, a very flawed human being.

The humanisation of our enemies can never be highlighted enough. Only by seeing people as they really are – and not according to our prejudices – will we ever understand why they did what they did and work to stop it happening again.

The Last Stand ends, of course, with Kuvira’s defeat. Afterwards, we are treated to Varrick’s and Zhu Li’s wedding.

And then, That Scene. Korra and Asami sit down with one another and have a tête-à-tête during which Asami says she needs a vacation. Why not? Korra replies. Let’s do it! Asami reveals she always wanted to see what the Spirit World is like, and so they go.

In the very last scene, they stand facing one another, hand-in-hand in the portal. They vanish through it and the episode ends.

Right to the very end, Korra allows you to see Korra and Asami as friends if you really want to.

However, the manner of their approach to the portal, and then the fact that they hold hands and face each other in the exact same way that Varrick and Zhu Li do so at their wedding shows that the intention of the writers is for you to recognise that these two people are in love*. Philia has given way to Eros.

If I have one criticism of the final scene it is that it happens too quickly. I suppose, though, that we are lucky to have it at all. The world – or television executives – are not yet ready for a (positive) depiction of a same-sex relationship in an animation. Maybe it was for The Legend of Korra to lay the groundwork and for another cartoon to take it one step further.

* And then there is the testimony of one of the series’ co-creators who has stated explicitly that Korra and Asami are in love. See here

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