Shows

LoK Season 2’s Horrible Spirit Wonderland

Spoiler-Free Show Review:

The Legend of Korra Season 2

Rating: 4 out of 10 stars

Intro

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Avatar universe and The Legend of Korra (LoK). But Season 2 takes all the worst parts of Avatar lore, runs like a bad fanfiction, and introduces lasting consequences that should never have been a problem in the first place. This is my second time watching it, and I hated it even more the second time.

If you decide to skip Season 2, I recommend reading my spoiler review of it instead of this one, because it will sum up the main takeaways from Season 2 and prepare you to understand the beginning of Season 3.

Background

The Legend of Korra Season 2, called Spirits, was released in 2013. It was animated partially by Studio Mir and partially by Pierrot. The creators are Michael Dante DiMartino and Brian Konietzko

Season 2 might have been better if it weren’t for strained relations with Nickelodeon and if the series had been planned out better in the first place. Initially, the creators of The Legend of Korra were only contracted for Season 1, so getting a Season 2 had been up in the air.

Summary

Season 2 begins six months after the first season. Korra has to find a way to deal with increasing unrest between the spirit world and the natural world and stop the embodiment of evil and chaos from being released on the world.

Pros

  • Introduction of numerous new characters
  • Get to see a beloved old character
  • The story of the first avatar was creative
  • Pretty animation at times
  • Good music

Cons

  • Abusive relationship between Bolin and a Water Tribe girl played for laughs
  • Relationship between Varrick and Zhu Li uncomfortable as well
  • Korra acting obnoxious in her relationship with Mako
  • More drama with the love triangle that is just too much
  • Bolin kisses a woman without consent
  • Bolin being a little too dumb
  • Has the worst villain of all the seasons
  • Too much spirit mumbo-jumbo
  • Serious permanent consequences that I really hate because why, oh why…
  • Really awful ending

Review

Characters

Eska and Desna are Korra’s twin cousins They are typically emotionless, passive, and disinterested in life around them. However, they can be stirred to anger under the right circumstances.

They come from the Northern Water Tribe and are visiting the Southern Water Tribe for the Glacier Spirits Festival. They are skilled waterbenders.

Bumi and Kya are Tenzin’s siblings.

Bumi, the one on the left in the picture, is a nonbender who is brash, stubborn, and fond of telling long and often pointless stories about his military career.

Kya, shown on the right in the picture, is a waterbender whose skill rivals her mother Katara’s.

Varrick is eccentric businessman and inventor that Asami seeks to make a deal with. He is a flamboyant, intelligent, bossy genius. He’s definitely a fan-favorite, but in my opinion he is at his worst in this season.

He has an assistant named Zhu Li who is willing to do almost anything for him.

Origin Story

Avatar Wan

Season 2 introduces the story of Avatar Wan, the first Avatar, and his relationship with the spirits Raava and Vaatu. This is the best part of Season 2, by far. It adds so much lore to the Avatar universe.

Raava and Vaatu

Relationships

There is one clearly abusive relationship in this season between Bolin and a Water Tribe girl. She treats him like a slave and exerts greater and greater control over him. When Bolin asks his friends for help, they shrug it off and give him less than helpful advice.

The love triangle of Asami, Mako, and Korra needs to stop. At this point it becomes painful and dramatic and it is easy to grow sick of the whole thing.

Varrick treats Zhu Li like some sort of slave and it becomes increasingly apparent that he is unable to appreciate her worth. Their interactions are uncomfortable at best, and cause one to wonder why a woman would degrade herself in this way for such a self-centered man.

The Bolin Problem

Bolin is not at his best in this season. When he is not a submissive, uncomfortable part of a toxic relationship, he is doing stupid and inappropriate things such as kissing a woman without her consent.

The Spirit World Problem

The Spirit World is like Wonderland, and I hate Wonderland. Nothing makes sense. Things change without warning. And with dark forces involved, spirits quickly turn from good to evil and back again. This whole season is about Korra finding herself spiritually, and in the spirit world she is figuratively and literally lost.

The spirit world in Avatar: The Last Airbender was so much better, because it stayed mysterious and kind of creepy. In Season 2 of The Legend of Korra it lost its cryptic quality.

Ending

The ending sucks. It’s like you are watching a completely different show than Season 1. It introduces lasting consequences that Avatar fans will be disappointed with for seasons to come.

Animation

The animation is a little bit nicer in this season than in the previous season. When telling Avatar Wan’s story, the animators changed the style. I like that choice as it feels liked it amped up the feeling of storytelling. The style was elsewhere surprisingly consistent considering two different studios were working on it.

Music

The music had a somber quality appropriate for the more spiritual themes of this season.

Conclusion

If you read this and then decided Season 2 wasn’t worth your time, check out my spoiler version of this review. I don’t recommend watching it, but if you can’t bring yourself to skip it, there are some redeemable qualities mentioned above, so it’s not a complete waste of time.

Honestly, I think this season was appropriate for most people ages 10 and up.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate show, check out my rating system.

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