Friday, 10 April 2015

Watching Avatar Korra: Book 4 (Balance)

Image result for korra book 4Continue to Book 4.

After spending a whole day 2 days ago, thanks to, I was able to complete my 'watching' routine and put an entry about Avatar Korra Book 4, which is Balance.

The Synopsis of Book 4

Book 4 (Balance) is a continuous story from Book 3. After Korra managed to defeat Zaheer, she went paralyzed (both of her legs) and she was lived in frustrated. Although Suyin able to pull out metal poison from her body, Korra still weak and having problems to bend. After Katara helps her to heal at time to time, Korra's feeling still unrest and worried. She didn't realized that she was psychologically injured. She can't entered the spirit world, she saw her evil side with glowing eyes and lonely. At the end, she escaped from her house and decided to come back to Republic City. But soon she reached there, she got scared and stepped back. After wandering at a lot of places, searching her weakness and find peace, she ended herself at the old spiritual Foggy Swamp land (where Aang learned the true connection of the world). Surprisingly, Korra met someone who will make her understand about internal connection strength.

Back to the Earth Kingdom, after the Queen being overthrown, the Republic City counsels chose Suyin to lead Earth Kingdom for temporary. Ever since the Queen died, that land was in terrible chaos. However, Suyin refused to accept the offer because she feels that the one should lead the land is the real heir of Earth royal family. Because Suyin pushed the offers, her protege, Kuvira feels mad and suddenly got patriotic to help her kingdom. So Kuvira went out, take Suyin's elder son and build up an army. Kuvira becomes the Great Uniter and the reign of iron fist began at Earth Kingdom. 

After 3 years without any news, Korra finally come back to stop Kuvira's military force.

The Starting Point in Book 4

The first episode in Book 4 shows the news reporter giving his report about what happened before, during and what happened next. A cutting clip technique is good to remind the previous scene. Although I kinda annoying with that reporter, I begin to like his report now especially when he made a cynical face. This remembrance is the resemblance of Ember Island Players, the episodes of life's understanding and history part. Well, I loved history.

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Plus, Mako's humor face while chatting with Prince Wu is a kind of face I wanna see from Mako. A very good starting point for the serious-macho-face Mako.

The Interesting Supporting Characters

Suyin continued as the lead of supporting characters when her city, Zaofu was under attacked by Kuvira's military force. Meanwhile, Opal (Suyin's daughter) and Kai helps Earth people with food supply and settle down few conflicts with thieves but none of it really solved the chaotic situation after the death of the Queen. But the best part is, Korra finally met the one who will help her to understand the internal strength. 

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I've seen Katara, I've seen Aang and I've seen Zuko. Finally, the next previous star reappears. Welcome back my favourite character, Toph Beifong! Although Toph is no longer a petite girl (instead, she's an old lady right now) but her crankiness, badass and toughness is still there. And, her powerful bending is still no one can defeat, even Kuvira got shock when she saw Toph attacked her armies. Additional characters that shows improvement is Milo the air-bender who loved to fart, pee and vomit (ew~). Ikki's character is just so-so, but her spiritual energy and mind-strategy is getting much better. Jinora is kinda serious (she's heading to become Lin, perhaps) and Prince Wu, the skimpy Earth heir shows a lot of progress as a leader although his first appearance was unlikable by others. 

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In other hand, the witty-clever Varrick reminds me with Sokka. His story-telling is overwhelming, he's the inventor and talks a lot. Nickeledeon, please return Sokka back on-screen. Or at least, tell us a story of his meteorite lost-sword~

The Strong Role of Kuvira
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Kuvira was a protege of Suyin Beifong. She was thrown away by her parents, Suyin took her in as a family. Kuvira always had a desire to lead, and she became a most important officer in Metal Clan at Zaofu. After Suyin refused the offer to become a leader in Earth Kingdom, Kuvira step further and held the responsibilities to put balance in Earth Kingdom for 3 years. With her strict orders, discipline, iron fist and military force, people started to worry about her influence. Kuvira began to think that she's better than Avatar.

As the main antagonist, Kuvira's roles show a huge potential of being the most dangerous enemy. Why? Let's see the reason:
  • Fire Lord had used Sozin comet to empower his military but he has to wait 100 years to execute his plan (because Sozin comet appears every 100 years). 
  • Meanwhile, Amon using his blood bending technique to equalize people but still fragile to the innovation called 'electrical explosion'. 
  • Unalaq is kinda danger enemy, using spirits to conquer to world but then, he perished. 
  • And Zaheer is addicted with the principal  of 'becoming wind', 'freedom' and 'destruct before peace' but then he got completely chained and lived in prison forever. 
As far as I can see, Kuvira is a combination of Fire Lord + Unalaq, using spirit vines as the absolute weapon. Of course, her ideas of freedom, leadership and equalizing Republic City as the Earth Empire's land shows the influence of Amon and Zaheer. The best part is, Kuvira's signature mole, her sweet cynical face and her 'blinding  and binding' fighting skill is far more dangerous than other enemies (because the previous enemies were men in lead)

The New Appearance of Korra
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I think Zaheer's attempt to kill Korra did wonders. Although Korra faced a difficult time to heal physically and mentally, her wisdom also getting better. Her decision to cut her long hair is by far, the best decision. I hate her long pony-tailed hair actually. With her new short hair and new outfit, the essence of being Avatar is much clearer. I also realized that...her chest has been reshaped a bit because in Book 1, her chest is too bountiful as a fighter. Probably the shift of different studio changed the sketch. 

The Ideology in Book 4

Few Korra's fans said that Book 4 has a bit of Evangelion ideology. I guess I don't have to speak about that now.

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Book 4 is about balance, and few episodes shows the ideology of balance such as Korra's psychology balance went great thanks to Zaheer's help. Meanwile, Asami also reconciled with his high-treason dad, Hiroshi. Hiroshi even willing to sacrifice in order to defeat Kuvira's new weapon. Bolin who helped Kuvira before also found his path to return to Team Avatar and reconciled with his girlfriend, Opal. Mako and Prince Wu seems to get better to each other although Mako don't liked him at first. During the critical battle, the serious Lin and the estranged Suyin able to work hand to hand, fighting the giant controlled by Kuvira. And the main part of being balanced is how Korra able to get in line with Kuvira's power weapon and open up a new spirit portal at the middle of Republic City. The world's back to a natural order.

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The end part of this part can be seen as 'fishy, questionable and doubtful'. It shows Korra held Asami's hand and they looked at each other. Some commentators wrote down that this last episode signify Asami and Korra as a romantic couple, or bisexual or avoid the error of strict divide between 'straight' and 'gay' and lastly, pushing the boundaries of LGBT. It can be true, I can't avoid that. But my other personal opinion would be( I said it again, my personal opinion):
  • Asami and Korra just need a space after breaking up with a same guy they loved. 
  • Nothing's weird when best friend holding hand. 
  • Aang also closed to Zuko. Best friend is of course, close to each other.
  • Korra did say in Book 3 that she never had a female friend before. So what's wrong if the writer wants to give Korra a female friend?
  • For a girl, to speak problems to the opposite gender can be uncomfortable or touchy. Both must be avoided!
  • Asami never went to the spirit world. So if you become Asami, when you step into the spirit world, you would held hand with Korra.
  • Or maybe, Korra still in 'mind injured' so it's easy to turn her love to Asami *the end of argument~
Book 4 shows me a lot of potential in storyline. The fighting scene, the battle, the definition of psychological injury, the presence of the enemy and the great teamwork (also the meaningful of family values) is the improvement from the Book 3. I expect to see the great things in Book 5.


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