TAYV Review: The Legend of Korra: Rebel Spirit and The Southern LightsS

I finally watched the premiere episodes of Season 2 of TLOK, and in anticipation of starting the discussion thread this Saturday, I've decided to do a review, mostly because I've had some weird feelings about the show over the past two episodes. Spoilers ahead.

TAYV Review: The Legend of Korra: Rebel Spirit and The Southern LightsS

When TLOK first started, I really felt connected to Korra. She was tough, sassy but ineloquent, quick to use her fists and quicker to ignore sound advice, but she seemed willing to at least try and learn, especially when times got tough. But it appears that in the sixth months since Amon was defeated, Korra has in fact regressed, and seems even cruder than when she first started out. Out of the blue, she's now the niece of Water Tribe royalty and has severe daddy issues stemming from her father trying to do what's best for her. It was obvious she had authority issues previously, but towards the end of the series it looked like Lin and Tenzin had helped her get past that. Apparently not. Korra is downright despicable towards her father, who's only doing the best he can in an incredibly bad situation. Choosing Unalaq over her father and Tenzin is the same rash decision-making that got her in trouble in the first season, and she's only going to see defeat again.

TAYV Review: The Legend of Korra: Rebel Spirit and The Southern LightsS

The core conflict of this season is deeply intriguing. Religion versus secularism, and the fate of the world is at stake. Right now, it seems like religion is necessary for the world to work, but how does the world of spirits connect to bending? More importantly, how does that world connect to nonbenders and the previous conflict? The council of benders was disbanded, and a president was elected in Republic City, a non-bender, which suggests that the breech between benders and non-benders are on the mend, but that might negatively effect the world at large. Additionally, there's the upcoming plot of Wan, the first Avatar, who apparently journeyed the world to learn how to bend all four elements on his own. Combining that with the mention of the original benders being spirit benders and the central themes of both seasons, and I'm wondering if there will soon be a shift of the whole world to spirit bending. Just a theory, but I hope it plays out.

TAYV Review: The Legend of Korra: Rebel Spirit and The Southern LightsS

The design of the spirits is nice, but I can't help but think about the panda spirit from last season. I hope we see something similar to it soon.

TAYV Review: The Legend of Korra: Rebel Spirit and The Southern LightsS

The comedic timing feels very off this season. Taken by themselves, the antics of Bolin, the twins, and Tenzin's family/acolytes are quite hilarious, but the jarring way they're blended with the dramatic moments of each episode lacks the intelligence of ATLA or even the previous season. Additionally, Bolin's desperation for a girlfriend seems a bit out of character, though I could be wrong. Kya and Bumi are wonderful additions to the cast, the twins are a bit too weird and inexplicable for my tastes, and Unalaq isn't exuding as much evil to me as the internet is claiming. Sure, his actions are evil, but his intentions seem perfectly decent, certainly better than Amon's. His and Tonraq's dynamic seems very much that of Scar and Mufasa (okay, Cain and Abel, but I like Lion King better) and it's a bit of a tired trope.

TAYV Review: The Legend of Korra: Rebel Spirit and The Southern LightsS

I'm actually liking Mako better now that he's not being a douche. He seems like a decent fit for a cop, and it's nice to see the cops have a bit of diversity in their ranks. Also, his attempts to support Korra and the way he tries to write spiffy one liners are adorable and endearing. I still think Korra's a dumbass for going out with him but at least he's better than he was. Asami is quickly taking over as my favorite character, fighting through setbacks and emotional trauma to make her company successful once more, for both her own happiness and for the betterment of her world. And the new character, who I'm just gonna call Howard Stark, is completely awesome. That's really all I can say about him.

TAYV Review: The Legend of Korra: Rebel Spirit and The Southern LightsS

Oh, and the animation is still stellar. I love the way Tonraq fights.

TAYV Review: The Legend of Korra: Rebel Spirit and The Southern LightsS

In conclusion, the first two episodes were a mixed bag. I'm still holding out hope for this season to get better, especially with one of my favorite Walking Dead cast members coming on board as Wan, who looks like a very exciting character, but I wouldn't at all be surprised if this season tanked. Let me know what you thought below, and of course join me on Saturday at 4 pm EST to discuss episode 3! I'm hoping that will give everyone enough time to watch it live, on DVR or pirate it (Yarh!).