Legend of Korra Book Two Premiere: what worked and what did not

korra season 2 episode 1 2

WARNING: THIS POST HAS MASTERED ALL FOUR STYLES OF SPOILER-BENDING!

Being treated to not just one but two episodes at the start of a new season is somewhat standard procedure these days, but it still surprised me when Nick decided to give us that extra bit of material last Friday. Nevertheless, I’m here to talk about the opening episodes of season two of Legend of Korra. Previously, I wrote about my wishes for this season, and I’m glad to see that at least two things of my wish list have been adressed already. Still, I can’t just sing praise about the first chapters of the new book, so I’ll be telling you what worked and didn’t work so far (at least from my point of view).

The animation worked
Once again, Legend of Korra reminded me of the animation talent working for Nickelodeon. The character design, meticulous movements and combat choreography is still top-notch and on top of the food chain when it comes to television animation. It’s great to see how the animators are investing even more time in facial movements and expression, giving the characters that additional bit of life. Also, which member of the team played too much Kingdom Hearts and designed some of the spirits? No matter, they look rad, and I can’t wait to see more of them. Talking about spirits…

The spirits worked
I hope that this season will really live up to its title and give us many more of these critters. In the first two episodes, we already see plenty of nifty designs for them and I can only imagine what kind of horrors and freaks the designers have in store for us. Plus, Unalaq’s “spirit-bending” looks interesting and is something I’m curious to see more of.

The new characters worked…partially
I just dropped Unalaq’s name, but he’s just one of the many new characters we’re introduced to in these two episodes. Next to him, we see a lot of Korra’s father Tonraq, Tenzin’s siblings Bumi and Kya and Korra’s eerie cousins Desna and Eska. The latter ones are so far my favorite: their robotic voices and cold expressions are such a stark contrast to the rest of the party, and a line like “I will protect you, my feeble turtleduck” will make me love you instantly.
Out of all the new characters, I just don’t know what to think of the odd tradesman Varrick. Granted, he has had only a single scene, but I’m not sure if this show needs another hyperactive, loud and annoying character next to Bolin. Oh, now that you mention that guy…

Bolin just did NOT work
Here’s the only thing that did not work in these two episodes: goddamn Bolin. If his role at the start of this season will be any indication for future episodes, I am so done with him. I was willing to give him a second chance, but I wouldn’t mind if Deska and Eska locked him up in some basement to perform weird water-bending experiments on him. Not a single line from his mouth added anything to a single scene, and I’m more annoyed than charmed by his escapades. Can’t Pabu just maul him already?

Anyway, next to Bolin’s annoying antics, Rebel Spirits and Southern Lights were a damn good start for this season. I can’t wait for next week’s episode, which will hopefully have not so much Bolin in it. If you like to share your opinion of the episodes, drop a few lines below.

Bend on!

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