Why I love Avatar Korra (and you should too): An Introduction

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I have a new love in my life- and her name is Avatar Korra.

For those of you who don’t know, here’s a snip from wikipedia:

Avatar: The Last Airbender (Avatar: The Legend of Aang in Europe) is an American animated television series that aired for three seasons onNickelodeon from 2005 to 2008. The series was created and produced by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who served as executive producers along with Aaron EhaszAvatar: The Last Airbender is set in an Asian-influenced world[1] wherein some are able to manipulate theclassical elements by use of psychokinetic variants of Chinese martial arts known as “bending.” The show combined the styles of anime andAmerican cartoons, and relied for imagery upon various East-Asian, Inuit, Indian and South-American societies.[2]

And the background on the sequel:

 Reincarnating in turn among the world’s four nations, [the Avatar] is responsible for maintaining the balance in the world. Korra, the series’ 17-year-old protagonist, is the incarnation of the Avatar after the death of Aang of Avatar: The Last Airbender.[7] Set seventy years after the first series in Republic City, a metropolis that recalls a fictionalized 1920s Manhattan and Shanghai,[8] the series follows Korra as she learns airbending and faces an anti-bender revolutionary group, the “Equalists”, led by the masked Amon.[7]

The season is done for now, and sadly won’t return until next year, but you can watch all the episodes online either at nick.com or elsewhere if you’re internet savvy.

The original Avatar series is near and dear to me; the controversy surrounding the whitewash of the film led me to the social justice blogosphere, which is how I procrastinate   spend most of my time these days.  The creators of the original series have been praised for their creative world building, their sophisticated and complex character and plot-lines, and their cross-generational humor as well as their ability to take cultures not their own and appropriate them respectfully.

This new series continues in the vein of the first Avatar but features a hero who is a strong, intelligent, brown woman- something you really don’t see in US media.  The show deals with relationships, revolution, familial ties, geopolitics.  It’s feminist, anti-racist, and thought provoking, yet somehow while it’s popular among children and many sets of the nerd community the social justice blogosphere has been pretty quiet.  If I’m wrong please let me know, but coverage pales in comparison to the praise of Hunger Games or Brave – both of which have strong heroines and are geared towards children.

I don’t know if you guys can tell by now, but for me Avatar Korra is the greatest thing since Harry Potter.  And I love Harry Potter with a fiery hot passion, you best believe.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be geeking out exploring the awesomeness that is the Korra series, specifically how the show is groundbreaking in its race, color, gender, and sociopolitical discussion.  This will, of course, be peppered with my favorite Korra gifs.

Let’s get this party started.

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