Avatar–The Legend of Korra – 06

Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_13.23_[2012.05.12_13.28.52] Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_18.28_[2012.05.12_13.33.57] Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_22.46_[2012.05.12_13.36.03]

“And the Winner is…”

My apologies for the LQ caps this week, but the weekend is going to be a crazy one and time was of the essence in getting this post up.  It was certainly an interesting episode, a little slow in the first half when dealing with the relatively less interesting world of pro bending, but as always spiking considerably when things turned to Amon and his holy war.  There wasn’t much news on the relationship side of things this week (unless Bolin’s ability to speak fire ferret proves irresistible to Korra), at least as regards the younger generation – but we did get some interesting tidbits about their elders.

As speculated last week, it was indeed Lin Beifong that was Pema’s rival in love.  It makes sense, but knowing it certainly adds an interesting dimension to the relationship dynamics.  I imagine Tenzin and Lin were a pretty volatile couple, lots of passion of both the good and not-so-good variety, and they most likely burned themselves out.  Given that they’re likely to be two of the adults most influential in Korra’s development, that shared history is certainly going to make their interactions complicated, and it’s obvious that Lin still harbors a lot of anger about the whole business.  I have cause to wonder about Tarlok, too – perhaps it isn’t so simple as him wanting the glory of defeating Amon to help his career, because there were some hints than Amon has a mole on the Council (he certainly heard of their decision quickly enough) and he was awfully quick to change his position when Lin shared her plan (how’d that work out?).

Before things got really interesting there was the matter of the pro bending finals, which was altogether pretty predictable stuff.  Of course the fact that the refs had clearly been paid off begs the question of whether this was simply Tahno ensuring his continued success, or someone higher up wanting to make sure the Avatar didn’t win the tournament.  Mostly, though, the finals served as the perfect launching pad for Amon’s declaration of war – what better place for en Equalist to begin the revolution than at the celebration of bending prowess (and its use for material purposes)?  Amon has won every skirmish so far, and this one was no exception. He got the exact decision that he wanted from the Council – hold the event as scheduled – and then was able to easily circumvent Lin Beifong’s flawless security plan.  He’s either a lot smarter than his enemies, or he’s getting a lot of help – or both.

Of course, the fascinating thing about Amon is that despite being a terrorist, there’s an essential core of truth in his arguments that nags at you.  He’s not right, but some of the things he says have real merit – benders having advantages over others based simply on birth, for example – and he’s completely right about the finals, too.  What a disgusting display at the Shrine of Bending – a bunch of bullies cheating their way to the title, a perfect metaphor for Amon to use to illustrate what benders do to non-benders everyday.  It couldn’t have worked out better if he’d scripted it (hmmm) right down to his easily defeating Tahno and the Wolf Bats and taking their bending.  The aftermath with Korra and Lin teaming up to try and capture Amon (but mostly just to survive) was cool – a bit too much slow-mo for my tastes – but my favorite part was when Amon’s man broke into the radio booth – “I am currently wetting my pants.”

Surely, then, “Korra” is moving into a different phase now – instead of fighting an underground movement, Republic City is fighting an all-out war against an army of chi blockers.  It feels as if Bryke have intentionally given us a heavy dose of shipping news and competitive bending early on to world-build and ease us into the series, with the plan of scaling those elements back as the story moves into life-and-death mode (which the original Avatar was in right from the opening episode).  It marks an interesting change in style for them, but one that probably fits with the older cast and more modern setting.  I think the next major transition will be when Korra finally makes contract with the Spirit World, and probably Aang – she had another vision of the past today, and I think that moment is surely coming soon.

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Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_14.20_[2012.05.12_13.29.49] Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_17.31_[2012.05.12_13.32.59] Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_17.46_[2012.05.12_13.33.15]
Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_18.01_[2012.05.12_13.33.29] Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_18.46_[2012.05.12_13.34.15] Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_19.02_[2012.05.12_13.34.30]
Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_22.51_[2012.05.12_13.36.08] Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_24.40_[2012.05.12_13.37.57] Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_25.07_[2012.05.12_13.38.24]
Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_26.14_[2012.05.12_13.39.31] Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_26.44_[2012.05.12_13.40.01] Legend of Korra E6.flv_snapshot_28.03_[2012.05.12_13.41.20]


  1. A

    Nick didn't give us a preview and we're out of clips from the SEASON preview, so now I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what's going to happen next week.

  2. A

    gah, where can i download this episode?

  3. a

    I like this episode. It focuses on the globular plot whereas the last episode, was focused on the romance. Although I wish we saw a bit of the paranoia of the people aside from that of the commentator. It was only implied they were evacuated because when Lin Bei Fong dropped back to the seats, it was all empty. I think it's pivotal to show that danger is lurking and just waiting to erupt.

    Is it true that this season will only be 12 episodes? I'm surprised it's going to be that short seeing that the original series were 20.

  4. That's the number I've heard.

  5. K

    Judging from how Amon is executing his revolution thus far, I won't be surprised if he manages to take control of Republic City at one point.
    I'm really looking forward to Korra's spiritual journey, especially since she isn't really in touch with her spiritual side. Her avatar state will be interesting to see.

    The fighting choreography is spectacular, as always.

  6. J

    Damn, characters continue to be as flat as they can be. Amon is as dull as Aizen from Bleach, the only difference being that Amon actually has some valid points in his arguments. Cheap writing too: you filled the arena with **ALL** those guards, and they were all taken out from behind? Wait, seriously? I spit at the ridiculousness of it all!

    Also: So the dirty team wins cheating their way through…Question is, why did the crowd cheer and clap when they won? Why didn't they yell at those jerks? It's not like the 'winners' were careful in hiding their stuff, they even froze the floor sometimes, dammit.

    Having said that, so far the character that has proved to make me laugh the most is Tenzin (the radio man stands closely in second place). That scene between him and Korra discussing his love life was hilarious. Maybe it's all in his voice too: whenever he stutters or shyly confesses something, it's priceless.
    And boy, have these acrobatic fights grown on me. Creative moves left and right, excellent battle choreography.

    So bring on the adventure, guys! I think Avatar is best when they're fighting for their lives. It keeps them busy from concentrating on human relationships, which could be a lot better here…

  7. A

    This show is set to be 26 episodes check the main website so there is no need to worry about pacing for now =)

  8. D

    That's 26 episodes ordered total, though. This season, as it focuses on Equalist antagonists, was written with the 12 episode limit in mind, and according to Bryke, they'd already wrapped up the script and sent it off to be animated by the time they got word to do another 14 episodes. Pacing will continue to be pretty frantic, which means we'll get a good story, but without the slower moments, we might not see as much character development.

  9. I wonder why Nick didn't simply sign on for three full seasons up front. Avatar was one of their biggest moneymakers ever – would have thought they'd be happy to know they had a sequel on their waves for three years.

  10. A

    I also have to agree on the guards getting knocked out easily I mean aside from metalbending arent they also earthbenders as well? metalbending is a subsect and they could have used their earthbender as undercover cilvians to be able to use just in case something happened to their guards because electricity can easily take out metal in all cases -_-

  11. v

    OMG, I finally found someone who blogs this amazing show.
    You done a great job Enzo, really appreciate your efforts.

  12. S

    So, that's what a US Production budget put into a fighting anime really looks like. Korra vs Darth Maul-Blocker was so well animated.

    Oh, and the editing & composition for this episode was off the charts. Amon basically does nothing except talk but he's so menacing. It just works so well.

    Amon was also playing Xanatos Chess on the Council. If they cancel the Finals, then they look amazingly weak. If they keep it going, he gets a chance to display new weapons technology against the Metal Benders, since he knew they'd be there in mass.

    I said back at the start that this is one of the most subversive political messages you are likely to see in a work aimed at children (of some age type) in mass media. They've basically copied the Communist playbook from the 1920s and 1930s and just switched "Bourgeoisie" with "Bender" and ran with it. Right down to the semi-truth complaint, an answer that's vindictive but appeals to base impulses, with a final result of trading the current situation for a far, far worse one. [This isn't a complaint, mind you; I'm loving that this is there, as it'll create an easy cultural touchstone to point out the massacre that Communism is. It also fits the story very well and fits the time frame of the world as well.]

    The bits of flash back we've gotten, through Korra, about Aang look really interesting. He managed to put on a bunch of height and had a wicked beard. I look forward to Korra spending time talking with him.

  13. I think you're projecting a little too much literalism into the politics of Amon and the Equalists, TBH – I don't think it fits quite so neatly into a RW political context as you do. I see an amalgam of several different movements in Amon's speeches, and I don't think it's intended to be a literal riff on communism specifically.

  14. S

    I'd be projecting too much if I thought they were intentionally making an anti-Communist message. This is not Animal Farm; it's a well written action series for kids. It doesn't preclude political message that subverts a course of political thought.

    But I do think it's unintentional anti-Communist message. I really doubt they set out to write it that way. What they have done, though, is studied the rough time period pretty well, and they are using the powerful movement of the time as a frame from which to work to tell their story, this time around. The result is they end up having to subvert the frame work they're borrowing. That it mirrors reality is just a side product.

    Plus, they really haven't borrowed anything from the National Socialist (Germany), Totalitarian (Italy), Fascist (Spain) or Anarchist movements of the time. Mostly because of the lack of a major Personality Cult or an appeal to Nationalistic impulses. They've rooted Amon's appeal and statements in an internationalist, anti-establishment and revolutionary context. All we're missing is a pro-Literacy movement run by the Equalists to really nail the fact they studied the time period insanely well.

    I find it more an interesting point rather than what they're intentionally up to doing in Korra. This is still a story about Korra, but in their effort to make the world feel more natural they've done something very rare in a mainstream work. And, the only way they can see through the storyline, now, is to cement the Equalists and their tactics/goals as evil. Since they've borrowed heavily and explicitly from the Communist movement, that's what's going to end up happening in this series. Even if it's just resolving the story line of a specific Antagonist.

  15. Wow – you don't see the Equalists as a cult of personality? I certainly do – I'm pretty sure I've used that very term here, in fact. I think this is a classic messianic movement in it's form and structure – yes it's based on political ideals, but more than anything it's based on the power of Amon's personality. He's even displayed "divine" powers to show the doubters that he's unstoppable.

  16. e

    'In terms of plot, this seems to be the quiet before the storm. I wonder if Amon will find a way to strike during the tournament… a mass media-covered stage there for the (over)taking…'<— Ha! called it last week. Amon didn't disappoint. It was such a showing-off chance too (I think you're right on the money with the personality cult Enzo).
    The way the equalists 'ninjas' managed to surprise the metalbender police was a tad too easy and convenient though. Also, at least position *some* of your forces under civilian disguise there Lin :/.
    In terms of comic relief Tenzin's flustered reaction about his love life was quite enjoyable. And Bolin is potentially friend of all living non-human creatures. Go Bolin!

    The water tribe councilor could be either Amon's mole or a giant red herring for one. Hmmm…
    And Amon himself (are we sure is a he after all? between mask and garb his/her true nature can be altered plenty) on top of his bending removal chakra technique moves a bit like an air bender. Suspicious.

  17. I refuse to believe Steve Blum voicing a trap. Does not compute.

  18. A

    I find Amon fascinating too, but for different reasons. He's pretty much giving lessons of what an anti-villain should REALLY be: a complete monster whose words ring true.

    It feels bad to agree with the man, even if what he says feels right – because once you look at the whole picture you see a paradox, a hypocrite. He fights oppression, but in turn oppresses; he denounces bending, while he hurts people through bending with his own hands; he says the spirits are sided with him, even though he's going against their ambassador.

    And one can tell the writers are making a great job at making the guy noticeably villainous, making him vengeful, vicious, dishonorable, cowardly.

  19. Cowardly? Examples?

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