Because fans should be critical, too

Archive for August, 2013

Part 4.5 of the Korranalysis is Up!

Is it a little weird that the video segment on the most controversial aspect of the series is the shortest thus far?

A few other things:

– I’m finally back at school, so I may be able to be more consistent with my work schedule.

– Sorry I didn’t get that video treat I promised done this weekend. I’m still working out the kinks in the lyrics.

– The next video segment will be on fanservice (and why it annoyed me more than the romance did).


Part 4.4 of the Korranalysis is Up!

Once I’m done mixing the audio of the next part, that’ll be up, too.

Also, I have a question: should I go back and remake Part One is that it’s up to the standards of the rest of the videos? I feel that Part One may be a hindrance on getting more people willing to sit through the rest. So what do you think?

Part 4.3 of the Korranalysis is Up!

I’m literally down to the wire with these past three parts, so they’ll be uploaded sporadically throughout the rest of the day. (And if all three aren’t up today, then definitely tomorrow.)

I’ve got to tell you, lately I’ve been questioning the validity of this entire project. There are so many bloggers and tumblr posters with better arguments and criticisms than I provide, and don’t need to hide behind “humor” and a personal playlist to do it. I just hope I’m contributing something substantial to this discussion of The Legend of Korra.

EDIT: The next two parts will be up tomorrow. Sorry.

Announcement: No New “Korra” Video Review Until Next Week

I tried to be efficient with this, but due to family problems, the next segment of the Korranalysis won’t be done until next week. To rectify this unfortunate incident, next week: 1) three segments will be completed and uploaded; and 2) I’ll upload a special video treat that I think you all will get a kick out of. I can’t provide any details on the latter, except to say that singing will be involved.

Sorry about this, guys. I’ll definitely be done with the Korranalysis before Book Two airs. It’ll be much easier to get them done once I’m back at school and away from my family (funny how that works). In the meantime, thank you for your patience!

– Marshall Turner

What Do You Say, Bryan K?: “Benders and Non-Benders”

The man himself, going through his John Lennon-hairdo phase.

This was brought to my attention by long-time reader, rosemon:

Someone (presumably on Bryan K’s tumblr) just asked, “If the benders and nonbenders were getting along before legend of korra, what made them not get along now?”

Bryan: “It’s a very large world out there, what made you think they were getting along in the first place? it was republic city, with benders as the ruling class, with the power, but they’re still the minority; it’s like china where there’s a minority in power [something else about China] the melting pot situation where you have people from all over the world, all kinds of benders and nonbenders, moving to the same place made people realize that it’s not about fire vs. water or earth vs. air… but some nonbenders felt that they were doing all the hard dirty work.”

Someone seriously needs to take Mr. Konietzko by the hand and explain to him how the storytelling/audience relationship works. Every assumption and speculation an audience member makes is ultimately at the mercy of the information given by the storyteller within the story itself. So while Mr. Konietzko’s answer raises some interesting ideas, it’s rendered irrelevant by the fact that these ideas were never explored and/or even hinted at in The Legend of Korra.

Now, as a fairly intelligent person with a basic understanding of world history (read: as someone who watched Gandhi in high school), I can easily assume that during the 100-year war, Benders and Non-Benders were too busy fighting off a common enemy–the Fire Nation–to bicker about their inherit social issues with each other. Only after the Fire Nation was defeated could old prejudices rear their ugly heads once again.

Is this a valid assumption? Yes. Is it a sound assumption? That’s hard to say, because there’s no evidence that this is true or untrue in the actual show. For that matter, there’s no evidence that Bending oppression as a whole even exists. The Triple Threat Triads and Tarrlok are presented as individual cases of exceptions to the rule, and every story we’re told about Bending oppression involves a Firebender, even the untrue stories*.

Actually, I take it back. There is evidence that Bending oppression exists: in the actions and mindset of Korra, the new Avatar.

How many times do we see her use her Bending to get what she wants from people? How many times has she threatened someone with brute force? When has this ever been presented as a bad thing? When do we actually see Korra mulling over the social imbalance that she unwittingly plays a part in? When has she ever proposed a peaceful solution to the problem (which would shown her growth as a person and an Airbender)?

This is yet another reason that Korra is one of the most maddeningly frustrating shows ever broadcasted. Whatever message Mr. Konietzko and co-writer Michael Dante DiMartino think they’re going for is not only unsupported by what we see on-screen, but is often contradicted. And yet Mr. Konietzko, as shown in his somewhat condescending response to a legitimate question, has the nerve to wonder why the audience isn’t on the same page as him when it’s his job as a writer to persuade them onto his side. (If this guy were to writing Fight Club, he’d probably think Tyler Durden was the “hero.”)

In other words, Mr. Konietzko is doing precisely what every bad, egotistical writer does: explaining/justifying things himself that should have been evident in the work itself. Don’t most writers outgrow this attitude past high school?

*In a rather morbid way, this is pretty funny. It’s been almost seventy years since the Nazis were defeated, and they’re still the punchline of humanity. Imagine how much worse it must be for the Fire Nation, who actually did succeed in eradicating an entire race.

Part 4.2 of the Korranalysis is Up!

Bending kind of went to way side like the lightsaber did. Not quite as badly, though.

For these videos, my plan is to upload one–or two, if I’m lucky–segment every Saturday until it’s finished. As I said before, there will be nine segments to Part Four. Part Five (the last part) will be on the finale and the summation of my feelings, with maybe a little opinion on Book Two (which, thanks to my tardiness, will likely be released before I’m even finished).

Watch and then let’s discuss.

Part 4.1 of the Korranalysis is Up!

Here it is! The long awaited, procrastinated, soon-to-be-hated continuation of the Korranalysis! The rest of Part Four will be uploaded in segments such as this one.

A few other notes as well:

– I recently got The Art of The Legend of Korra. In terms of story content, there aren’t many new insights, but the art is, of course, spectacular. It appears that co-director Ki-Hyun Ryu was the Bob Camp of this production, providing the best and funniest character designs, expressions, and animation. It almost makes me glad he didn’t contribute any words like the rest of the creative leaders (DiMartino, Konietzko, and co-creator Joaquim Dos Santos) did. Corny as it sounds, Ryu’s perverse drawing genius speaks for itself.

– I have been seriously considering getting a account to upload future video reviews. What’s stopping me is the fact that is very much series orientated. So the question is whether I should continue making more video reviews or stop with Korra. There are plenty of animated features and series I would want to examine, but are my inane ramblings worth the effort (let alone the account)? Please give me some honest feedback.

– Finally, video reviews or not, a new blog dedicated to animation in general is imminent! The first article will revolve around Avatar and Korra (naturally), so heads up for that.

That is all. Let the hostilities begin!