One of the best things about both The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra is just how amazing and well-realised the female characters are. In so many shows and books (and sometimes even in those where the girl/woman is the main protagonist) they so often get side-lined or get undermined in favour of the male characters. Not the case here. Bryke have consistently given us characters worth rooting for and the women were no exception. it is almost possible that in some cases they outshine the male characters (Toph and Azula in ATLA)
What’s also great is that these characters are layered and multifaceted, they all have their own individual struggles but they overcome them. What makes Korra especially amazing is the struggle she has undergone pretty much from the very beginning. When she first enters Republic City, she encounters the Equalists, in the second season, she battles Unalaq, who doesn’t think that the Avatar should be the bridge between the physical and spirit world, in the third, she encounters the Red Lotus who want to kill her and end the cycle of the Avatars. Having said that, it is the way that her character is handled that is truly commendable. They did not shy away from taking bold decisions (even when it was at the cost making Korra annoying to the general fandom, like Book 2) She has had an amazing graph which makes for a much better central character. She went from being very secure in her role as the Avatar to someone who doesn’t believe in herself anymore and finds herself asking the same questions that the Equalists and the Red Lotus asked: Does the world need the Avatar. She has had so many knocks and had the resilience to get up again and again but everyone has their limits and Korra has reached hers.
And let’s not forget Asami. She had to come to terms that her father was a criminal and then had the responsibility of running her company. She accomplished both. She could so easily have turned into a vamp or been bitter with Korra about Mako, but she chose to look beyond that and in doing so, she and Korra became great friends. I love female friendships for the simple reason that there aren’t many of them around. Asami was underused and overlooked for most of Book 2 but it was so gratifying to see her in a very active role in Book 3 (Book 4 only just started so I’m going to hold my opinion in that regard) She is intelligent, driven, loyal and ambitious and I love her for these very reasons. She is easily one of my favourite characters on the show.
But there are so many other amazing characters on the show: Lin, Suyin, Ming-Hua, P’Li, Katara, Jinora.. They are all exceptional characters in their own rights with distinct personalities. Above all, they are all strong women, which is especially gratifying.
Korra has also had a far tougher journey than Aang did. Yes Aang went through his sets of trials and personal and spiritual journey but in comparison to Korra, it was much simpler. She has had her life threatened in every season and almost every time, she either came close to losing her ability to bend, the Avatar Spirit or her very life.
We are now in the final leg of the journey and I for one, am not ready to see it end. I love Korra in a way that i didn’t love Aang. In his own right, he was a great character and I am not comparing the two series simply because they are so different, especially in terms of tone of the series. But Korra holds a special place in my heart and the thought that it might be over soon, is enough to send me into withdrawal mode. But i digress, in the final season, I want to see Korra bloom into the kind of Avatar she has the ability to be. I also want to see her, for once, in all her Avatar glory (like Aang in the ATLA finale) and with a nemesis like Kuvira, we might just get an epic showdown. I don’t much care for Makorra, I think Korrasami make a far better pair, not to mention that it would be especially awesome to have that in a mainstream animated show (though for those very reasons I am not very optimistic)
I love this series and while I am in no way ready to see it end, I think I would like to see where it ultimately leads Korra.
P.S. – I hope we get graphic novels for Korra the way we do for ATLA. Those are great in their own way, awesome artwork, engaging stories and a fine way to keep these characters alive..
P.P.S – This article/essay originally appeared on my Tumblr page. For those interested, I tend to be more active on Tumblr than on wordpress. These are my pages:
http://rukizaki.tumblr.com/ (here you’ll find stuff that usually has to do with Korra and additionally art (usually fanart but you’ll also find other really interesting stuff)
http://shewholovestoread.tumblr.com/ (this blog has to do with book reviews, a lot of them are the ones I post here since I’ve synced the accounts, but you’ll also find stuff about other books and links to other blogs)
So, if you’re interested, take a look. 😀