Because fans should be critical, too

What’s Going On (And What May Go On)

(Warning: This is a very rambling post.)

The last four months have been interesting to say the least. I don’t wish to go in detail to what happened so much as what I found along the way.

First things first: no, I haven’t watched the rest of Book Two of The Legend of Korra since I stopped watching after episode four. Now that I have at least three weeks of free time, you can bet that I’ll make time for those last episodes, and I want to thank all of you who encouraged me to give Korra another chance and even sent links to the episodes. Unfortunately, I know how it all ends–Korra loses contact with all her past lives–but I’m still going to finish viewing it all myself.

Now I must address the Korranalysis: I still wish to get it finished, but Book Two’s lackluster start was a severe blow to my motivation. I’ve alluded to this in my last post, that the problem was that Book Two’s mediocrity made me re-evaluate my harsh thoughts on Book One, and, if anything, made Book One look that much better. Had I simply skipped Book Two altogether–as was the initial plan–the Korranalysis would have been finished by now. Of course, circumstances (read: a chance to be on a podcast) got in the way, and suddenly the drive was gone. My interest in Korra faded away, and I’ve since been absorbed in school, financial instability, and, most importantly, my own artistic endeavors, namely those involving animation and music. (At some point, I’ll be making a Youtube channel for both my animations and my music projects.)

This shift in focus has made me question my value as someone who can pass reliable critical judgment on something, as my thoughts on animation especially have become increasingly subjective and theoretical. It’s not as if I’ve been entirely objective during the entire run of this blog, but I always aimed to be as fair and as honest as possible, whether in regards to the show’s merits and values, or my feelings about them. The problem is that I feel as if I’m less qualified to make such judgments calls if I want to contribute my own bits to the art gallery. I’d still love to share my thoughts on other shows and such, but they’ll likely be shared under less rigid pretenses (that is, without a systematic rating system).

For example, I’ve recently purchased FLCL and the first season of Teen Titans, and would absolutely love to write something and/or make a video about them. It would be interesting to see how FLCL holds up a decade divorced of the circumstances in which I first saw it–that is, in my high school’s anime club between sprinkles of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series and AMV Hell. And I consider Teen Titans a good show, but its visuals–especially that dated anime mimicry–can be a pain of the eyes. All in all, there’s enough going on between these two shows to warrant some sort of evaluation.

So what about Avatar and Korra? Well, there’s still work to be done there. I need to edit and/or rewrite all the Avatar reviews (and get the screenshots back), and  if I can finish the Korranalysis before March 1st (the day the first video was released), I’d be a very happy man. At the moment, though, I’ll refrain from any promises and just wait and see what happens next. This will definitely be a busy next few months.

Before I take off, as proof that I wasn’t entirely dead since my last post, here’s the first demo from my music project, Ricci Musique. Have a happy holidays, you faithful readers!

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5 responses

  1. It’s great to hear that you’re doing well marshall, we were all getting a little worried. I really believe the second half of book 2 has some of the strongest stuff that avatar has ever done imo. Don’t let this change your expectations though because the second half had mixed reactions. I’m looking forward to your future endeavers; I hope you enjoy beginnings and the rest of season 2 :). Stay safe and happy holidays to you too!!!

    December 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm

  2. rosemon

    I’d say that even if you didn’t catch up on Book 2, you wouldn’t be missing anything of value. Without necessarily spoiling anything, Book 2 takes some of the worst mistakes of the previous book and either repeats them or takes them to an even worse degree. For example, Mako’s two-timing of the two girls is repeated and the villain this time doesn’t even have the pretense of a more noble cause (one involving social justice anyway). The number of intersecting plot lines increases to such a degree that watching the show becomes a confusing, disjointed experience for anyone other than a diehard Avatard. The love subplots in general carry even more odious messages regarding an acceptable relationship between men and women than those of the previous book, despite Bryke insisting that it’s all in good humor and that the critics are spoiling their fun. The new season also clearly demonstrates its anti-feminism through the overabundance of men over women as plot movers (despite having a female lead), derailment of women through the romance, and side-lining of the few main women into the metaphorical kitchen. The poor animation continues all the way up till half way through the season. With all of this in mind, Korra Book 2 Spirits is easily the most pointless as well as the weakest season among all the books in the avatar franchise. One would think that having some new writers on board would have improved the show, but it managed to be even worse written than Air.

    December 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    • It’s funny how different people’s opinions are for the season, some people thought it was better than season 1 and some people thought it was worse. I’m in the former’s camp. The entire season was rather bumpy with weird character moments and just weird choices in general. Some elements of the story were introduced only to be forgotten until the end and were anticlimatic. The show also had really weird moments near the end that made people scratch their heads. The highlights were the beginnings two parter, varrikk, animation in a few episodes, character development for Tenzin and korra, and parts of bolins scenes.But unlike last season, it had a message and a point. The show actually had something to say and it didn’t cop-out like last season. For me, the ending is what proves a story’s worth. Even with its flaws book 2 was better than book 1 imo.

      December 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm

  3. Dman

    Hey Marshall! Nice to hear from you! I just wanted to give you an updated link to the download the Korra episodes.

    http://elrics.tumblr.com/post/56755525736/avatar-masterpost-contains-both-animated-series

    I hope you enjoy the next couple episodes. It is in my opinion it is better than the first season of Korra (But that stupid love triangle comes back and ughh!; prepare yourself). Anyways, I wish you a wonderful holiday filled with joy and happiness.

    December 23, 2013 at 9:26 pm

  4. Catastrophe

    Yay you’re back! Sorry about the the problems going on in your life. I wish you the best. I personally wouldn’t mind hearing your more subjective opinions on ATLA and LOK. Also, I would love to read your evaluations of other animated shows.

    As for Book 2 of LOK, I personally found the sexist undertones throughout it much more offensive than Book 1 (especially regarding consent issues with Ginger). Asami and Lin were tossed to the side, the cast was mostly male, most of the achievements and heroics were directly linked to the male characters, the females had very little agency, and fucking Mako was praised like he was the second coming of Jesus.

    While I enjoyed Beginnings, it didn’t completely line up with the mythology in ATLA in my opinion. Also, I’m of the opinion that it would be best to leave the avatar’s origin and where bending came from a secret. (I’m about to read your post on it and may further comment there).

    To me, Korra’s character development felt contrived, like the writers were forcing character development on her since she has obviously learned nothing from Book 1. Ir didn’t seem organic and honest.

    Overall, the ending of Book 2 really ruined everything positive about it and is the reason I’m quitting the show (though I still plan on reading and watching your thoughts). It destroyed some of the most essential mythology to the whole series. The avatar doesn’t seem like the avatar anymore. Plus, the past lives made things so interesting. Also, it felt as though the writers did it to make Korra extra special (as if she wasn’t already).

    Sorry for the long post! Can’t wait for more updates!

    January 5, 2014 at 3:47 am

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