70 years after the events of The Last Airbender, the world has changed drastically, technology has evolved a lot, and a new nation, The Republic City, has been founded as a central city where Benders of all elements and non-Benders can live together to symbolize how the world has become more united since the 100 year war. Tragically, spending a century frozen in Avatar State took a toll on Avatar Aang's body over the years, eventually causing him to die prematurely in his late 60s. Luckily Aang's third son Tenzin was born as an Air Bender so the culture is still alive. As per tradition, a new Avatar was born, a South Water Tribe girl named Korra. At age 18, Korra has mastered all elements except Air so she's scheduled to move into Republic City to learn Air from Tenzin.
However, Korra quickly realizes that she's completely untrained at the spiritual side of being the Avatar and is a rather incompetent Avatar in a world that expects her to live up to Aang's legacy. Now, Korra must learn what it truly means to be the Avatar while facing several villains that threaten to break the world's balance yet again and raise an important question: "Does this evolved world even need an Avatar anymore?" Amongst those villains are Amon, a communist leader with the terrifying power to turn Benders into non-Benders, Korra's uncle Unalaq who wants to conquer both the physical and spiritual worlds, Zaheer's gang of anarchists aiming to take down every goverment in the world, and Kuvira, a dictator that turned the Earth Kingdom into a facist regime.
After many hardships and facing dangerous enemies, Korra eventually matured into a fully developed and responsible Avatar, and is now remembered as one of the most influential Avatars in history, having more positive changes to the world than any other Avatar before in the few years she's been around since first arriving at Republic City. Korra repaired the relationships between Benders and non-Benders, brought spirits back to the world, indirectly created a second generation of Air Benders, and helped the Earth Kingdom evolve from an archaic and disorganized totalitarian regime into a more democratic nation. With those accomplishments Korra has proven that the Avatar is indeed still needed in the more modern world of Bending.
Why it Rocks
- The show faithfully represents how the Avatar world has changed since the first series. Most of the original characters appear either as spirits or as elders.
- The show's setting and the technology presented takes inspirations from the 1920s.
- The new characters are well written and likeable. Many of them are descendants from the original cast.
- Korra is a strong female protagonist. At the start of the show she's spoiled, selfish, and an utterly incompetent Avatar, and at the end she's a fully fledged matured Avatar who puts others over herself.
- Each season's main antagonist is an allegory to major conflicts and ideologies in Early 20th-century of human history:
- Amon: Communism and oppression of minorities.
- Unalaq: Theocracy.
- Zaheer: Anarchy (especially Anarcho-green and primitivist ideologies).
- Kuvira: Fascism, and also a slight allusion to Adolf Hitler's rise to power.
- In addition, each season has at least one secondary antagonist or supportive character that also serves as an allegory:
- Tarrlok: Corrupt politicians.
- Varrick (Season 2 only): Greedy capitalists that cause conflicts for the sake of making money.
- President Raiko and King Wu: Incompetent politicians or radical non-interventionist, that refuse aid in International issues.
- Queen Hou Ting: Monarchs that abuse their power and leave people in poverty and disorder.
- Poisoned Korra Illusion: PTSD caused by a near-death experience
- The show's theme of "is the Avatar needed anymore?" itself is an allegory to how reliance on technology has slowly been replacing religious beliefs in society and the topic of tradition vs innovation.
- As of Season 3, the Air nation is no longer near-extinct and at the end of the show is slowly being rebuilt.
- Good writing.
- Excellent fights with element bending and non-Bending martial arts.
- Beautiful animation, like its predecessor. And the show is in HD, which makes it even more beautiful.
- This is the first Nickelodeon show to have a bisexual character (Korra and Asami started dating at the end of the show)
- Every season has a completely different plot so there isn't an overaching story throughout the show and the ending was rather rushed.
- Season 2 is generally considered one of the weakest seasons in the entire franchise.
The reason the show omitted the word "Avatar" on its title was to avoid potential issues with James Cameron's Avatar movie.