Why The Legend of Korra was better than The Last Airbender :: Part One

12:32 PM

If you haven't seen either of the Avatar series, move along. Some people really like the series, other people don't. Many have no desire to ever watch it. And that's fine. But this is for the people who already like the series and have seen it or who have an open mind about watching the show.

I have a very unpopular opinion: The Legend of Korra is better than The Last Airbender. Don't get me wrong, I loved The Last Airbender and I feel like I grew up with the characters. But after rewatching the two series back-to-back (again), I was finally able to organize my thoughts much more efficiently. Since this originally turned out to be a very long post, I've separated it out into a few posts.

The "Bad Guys." In The Last Airbender, we had one central villain through three seasons. Firelord Ozai represented pure evil, simply wanting to conquer the world. There was nothing good about him, no redeeming qualities. Even in the comics, Firelord Ozai is a dark, screwed-up BAD GUY. Other (minor) villains who graced the screen were similar (Azula and General Zhou, for example) followed this ultra-evil outline as well. The only exceptions were Zuko, Mai, Ty Lee, and the general Fire Nation public - and out of those, only Zuko I would consider an actual villain. Mai and Ty Lee were misdirected henchmen and the general Fire Nation public I'd equate to the general German or Japanese populations during World War II - they had no clue what was actually going on.

Other the other hand, in The Legend of Korra, we have Amon/Noatok, Tonraq, the Red Lotus, and Kuvira (a personal favorite) as our main villains. Toph says in the last season that each "villain" has a real motive that was just executed the wrong way. Amon wanted equality, Tonraq connection to the spirits, the Red Lotus return to order by removing tyrants, and Kuvira unity and help for her nation. While Korra did not handle Amon's desire for equality (the first season was pretty rough), she connected the world with the spirit world, spared Kuvira because she agreed the Earth Kingdom was a mess, and allowed a world politician to step down in order to create a better nation just as the Red Lotus would have liked. There was no pure evil other than Vaatu whose spiritual job was to create chaos.

Honestly, I could go into more "surface" details that make The Legend of Korra better (music, animation style, general voice acting). But I really don't want this to get misconstrued. I loved The Last Airbender. I really did. And it's one of my first go-tos when I'm having a bad day and need a show that feels like a good friend. But when you look at the two show 100% objectively and with a more "artistic" eye, I do think The Legend of Korra was an all-around stronger show (minus the horrible hiccups of the first season) and deserves way more praise than it currently gets. Stick around for the next parts!

Do you agree with me? Or have you never watched either of these shows before?

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  1. I honestly haven't watched any of these before, but this is definitely a great review. I'm pretty sure a fan of these would love to read this, Kiersten. Hope to hear from you soon! :)

    Love, Airish
    Gorgeous Glance

    1. If you have time and you like new cartoons, you should definitely give it a watch. =]

  2. Interesting post! I haven't seen either of these shows x

    Pink Frenzy

    1. Thanks for reading, Laura! You should give them a shot!

  3. I had never heard of this before!
    Aleeha xXx