Welcome to this week’s article of The Good, Bad, and What The?, where we took a good, long look at characters in movies, video games, anime, and books and put them on the judgement table to see if they are worthy to be in their respective stories. I strongly believe that well developed characters are more important than anything else in a good story, so I always judge them hard. At the end of every character’s evaluation I will give them one of four ratings: Good for those characters that are developed and deserve their place in the story, Bad for those characters that have no place being made or interacting with anyone else in the story, What The for the characters I just can’t figure out, and then the characters who are dull as dishwasher will get the rating of Sack of Potatoes. Today on the judgement table once again: Korra, the main character of “The Legend of Korra.”
So the show has now come to a close. “The Legend of Korra” has ended and with its conclusion, it is now my favorite animated show in existence. I know I did a previous article on Korra, but with such an amazing ending and all of the crazy that occurred, I need to talk about. This is going to be filled with huge spoilers, so watch the ending before you read this and if you haven’t watched the show…go watch it right now! I demand it! Here’s a quick sum up of season four.
Korra is trying to recover from her battle with Zaheer and the poison he filled her with. While trying to recover, trouble is brewing as Kuvira, a new found leader, is banning the entire Earth Kingdom under her banner. She is called the Great Uniter and will not stop trying to bring the Earth Nation to its former glory. When Kuvira is refused by Republic City the war begins and Korra with the other defenders of Republic City must try to stop Kuvira’s tyrannical onslaught.
Avatar Korra is on of the most powerful females you could think of. She is muscular and tough in appearance and has the power to back it up. A lot of people think Korra is very hot headed and doesn’t solve things in a sensible way all of the time. Korra in this last season showed she does have the mental and physical skill needed to be the Avatar. This season had Korra fighting less than any other. She was tactical, intelligent, and tried as hard as she could to fix things without violence. This shows a massive amount of character growth and development. If you look at Korra in the first season of the show, she thought she was unstoppable and acted very childish at times. Her answer to Kuvira if it was season one would simple have been to try and beat the crap out of the enemy till they submitted. No planning, just go full on attack. That isn’t what she did. It took tremendous teamwork and tactical planning to really pull of their eventual defeat of Kuvira. Kuvira had her giant mechanical suit with a super weapon that seemed to be totally invincible. After huge destruction and a lot of failed attempts to stop this suit, they finally came up with a plan to stop this thing. Korra never at any point gave up and held her own at all times. You literally watched Korra grow into a woman and a wise Avatar as the series went on and it was amazing. It was the kind of development you usually only get out of books, not T.V. and especially not out of something that is technically a children’s show. So Korra has enormous development as a character but of course that’s not all she also is one of the best female leads I have seen.
Korra is not dainty or skinny she isn’t even really curvy. Korra is muscular and lean and takes no crap from anyone. Although she greatly matured as time went on, she never lost her assertiveness. She puts people in their place and doesn’t give in and definitely would never in a million years yell for help and call for a man to the rescue. She believes in getting out the problem herself. She is not worried about her appearance or if she is being politically correct or if other women like her. It’s quite the contrary Korra loves just how brash she is. She owns her strength and most importantly, owns her responsibility as the Avatar. Even with owning that strength Korra is not so dumb as to ignore help she makes sure that she uses all of the strength her allies have. When fighting massive enemies you are only as powerful as the team you have at your side and Korra knows this. Early on in the show Korra would have refused help even if she was on her death bed. She learned from her adventures and failures and used them to become strong, she didn’t use them as something to complain about. With all this strength Korra is still a human being even if she is the Avatar. Korra understand that she does have weaknesses and flaws and instead of deny them she accepts them.
At the beginning of the fourth season you can see that Korra is struggling to try and get back to full strength. The battle with Zaheer and the poison in her body really took its toll and she simply couldn’t recover on her own. Korra tried fighting and training herself back into shape but it just didn’t work no matter what she did. Finally Korra went to seek out help. In seeking out this help she met the great Toph. Toph tried to get Korra back into shape but no avail. Korra needed to confront the problem herself. Toph led her in the right direction and even got Korra to remove the last of the poison from her veins but Korra needed to go and see the root of the issue, she needed to speak with Zaheer and confront him. When she did this, Zaheer said to Korra that the two of them weren’t so different. In fact all of Korra’s past villains were a lot like Korra. They tried hard for what they believed in and used their power to work towards it. After talking with Zaheer Korra had more of an understanding of herself and realised something: just because their ideas were flawed does not mean that her enemies were necessarily evil to the bone. Then upon defeating Kuvira, Korra said herself that they weren’t really so different. Both of them knew extreme sadness and the fear of failure. This is the sign of a main character that is not infallible; she is human and can have human flaws. Many main characters are shown to be always 100% right and cannot mess up, they are simply perfect. Korra is not perfect, far from in fact, but most importantly she accepts this imperfection and uses it to better herself. People learn from mistakes and grow from it in real life. Korra in doing the same is relatable and believable. She is a character you can really understand and feel for because although her problems are on a huge scale you kind of get the struggle she goes through mentally. “Yeah I know the shame of defeat and fear of failure.”, is what you think to yourself. From a young age human beings get that concept. A character that feels natural is a character people will love. Lastly, I would like to say that Korra is the definition of representation as well as awesome.
Korra is a main character who leads this show with strength, knowledge, and emotion. It doesn’t matter she is female because the show is so well written that Korra is a selling point to anyone. Studies say boys don’t like to watch show with female leads as much, but I think that is just because there have been female leads that just weren’t that interesting. Shows try to promote the fact they have a female lead like “Hey guys look we have a female character aren’t we so progressive!” Well “Legend of Korra” does none of that. They have a female lead and simply write her well and the viewers come forth. “Build it and they will come”, so saying the saying goes, and that is exactly what “Legend of Korra” did with Korra. They built her up to be amazing and the fans appeared. Now obviously Korra is female, but what else about her is great representation? As well as being a very powerful female lead, Korra is also a non-white and mostly importantly now a lesbian character. That’s right Korrasami fans, Korra and Asami are now officially a lesbian couple. Screw you Nickelodeon, “Legend of Korra” does what it wants yo! This is a very very big deal. There may be other shows with gay couples and female leads and non white leads but this was all packed into one character in a show for kids. That’s the big point there. Korra is a character for a kids show that pushed the envelope in every way she could. Korra has the power to be a real influence on the kids of the upcoming generation and it is fantastic.
So the final verdict is and guess what! Korra is fan-freaking-tastic. She goes well beyond Good; Korra is straight up amazing and basically my favorite female character ever. We need more of this great writing and more shows that push forward a character like this. Korra is a character that pushes all boundaries, is relatable and loveable, and on top of all this is straight up a badass. You can’t be such an amazing combination in one character. I want everyone and their grandmother to watch this show. I don’t care who you are anybody can found someone or something to love about this show and especially Korra herself.