Life

Characters I 100% Ship Despite Never Wanting a Relationship Like Theirs (Spoilers!)

Warning: Spoilers for Yuri on Ice, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, The Owl House, Kaguya-Sama: Love is War, The Legend of Korra, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Heaven Official’s Blessing, Fruits Basket, and Sasaki and Miyano.

I don’t like the typical lovey-dovey stuff that most couples think is romantic. You know, the hand-holding, kissing, cuddling, drama, passion, etc. I consider myself biromantic, but the kind of romance I want is very unconventional. Writing together, editing each other’s work, sharing music, having meals together, watching stuff together, having conversations late into the night….that’s my kinda romance. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a romance that is not my type. These romances are just plain cute and I love them. I will rank them from #10 to #1.

#10: Sasaki and Miyano from Sasaki and Miyano

I finished a review on Season 1 of this anime just recently. Miyano is a high schooler who is addicted to BL (Boy’s Love) manga, which depicts homosexual romance between boys or men. Careful to hide his interest in BL, he eventually shares one of them with a classmate named Sasaki who ends up really enjoying it. This begins a friendship in which Miyano gives Sasaki a new BL manga every time he finishes the previous one. Sasaki develops feelings for Miyano and confesses. Miyano asks for some time to sort out his own feelings. The only person he has had a crush on before was a girl, and he is unfamiliar with bisexuality so he has a hard time coming to terms with this.

Miyano discovers he is equally in love with Sasaki after a few agonizing episodes, and at the end they share a kiss and officially become boyfriends. Their relationship was sweet from the beginning and I found myself really enjoying this anime.

#9: Tohru and Kyo from Fruits Basket

During most of Fruits Basket‘s three seasons, there was an implied love triangle between Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki. Yuki annoyed me beyond reason most of the time. I eventually realized that his profound self-centeredness was his way of coping with trauma from the past and trying to move on, but I still didn’t feel like he was a good match for Tohru. Kyo always seemed to have a personality that was more fun, even if it was a little more angsty. Yuki and Kyo both had baggage, but the chemistry between Kyo and Tohru was always better. Eventually, we find out that Yuki sees Tohru in more of a familial way. So many obstacles seemed to stand in the way of Kyo and Tohru being a couple, but they made it! The anime ends with a flashforward to when Tohru and Kyo are old and living their lives together still.

#8: Xie Lian and Hua Cheng from Heaven Official’s Blessing

This anime was added to Netflix recently, though I watched it on Funimation. Xie Lian is a Heavenly Official and Hua Cheng is a ghost. They meet very early on in the anime, but they only officially talk and start living together after meeting on the back of a cart. Their relationship quickly develops into what seems like a more-than-friends kind of dynamic. The way they talk is notable for instance. It definitely seems like flirting with each other. And when they touch. And just every cute little thing they do. Season 1 doesn’t end with them officially a couple, but the manga does. It is a confusing anime at times, but the one thing that is not confusing is the love they have for each other.

#7: Aang and Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender

Yep, I’m one of those Kataang shippers. Pretty sure we’re in the minority since most people seem to ship Zuko and Katara. Katara and Aang’s relationship was in question throughout the seasons until the end. Katara seemed confused about how she felt about Aang. Aang frequently feared that Katara saw him like an awkward little brother. It sucks to be friend-zoned by someone you like, so his consternation is understandable. Even the second to last episode it is not clear how Katara feels and there is the sense that they are running out of time. The kiss they share puts it beyond question in the final episode. I don’t know why people always seem to need a kiss as confirmation of love. It is like it is explicably intertwined with romantic love, even though there can be romance with no kissing. But anyway, I was happy to see them admit how they felt in the final episode, and I saw some of the continuation of that relationship in the graphic novels. It was cute, even if it gave Sokka the oogies.

#6: Korra and Asami from The Legend of Korra

Korrasami is a great ship, and I wish we had seen more of it on screen. But there were restrictions on how much the creators could portray of a LGBTQ+ romance, so ugh but whatever. I’ve seen enough of the two of them together to know that I ship them, and the ending with them going on a spirit world vacation but it beyond question for me. What’s awkward is that they both dated the same guy, and even were kind of romantic rivals for each other. It’s definitely a unique romance.

#5: Vi and Caitlyn from Arcane

So this one is just implied. HEAVILY implied. These two hit it off relatively quickly, making some people say it was too much too fast. All I have to say about that is that I doubt there would be that much complaint about a heterosexual romance that developed as fast. Being in dangerous situations where you have to depend on someone entirely can advance feelings like this pretty fast. I was so sad when they had the equivalent of a soap opera breakup in the rain. I mean, they weren’t officially dating, but DAMN. I really really hope when Season 2 of Arcane comes out, Vi and Caitlyn are a couple.

#4: Kaguya and Miyuki from Kaguya-Sama: Love is War

These two are awesome. They are freakin’ hilarious. The premise is, they are both hopelessly in love with each other. They also both think that it is a sign of weakness to confess their love, so they both subtly try to get the other to confess. It’s a big game to see who cave first, and they are both so adorable. They make formidable and intelligent opponents. As of the end of season 2, no one has confessed still, but I am rooting for them. They are perfect for each other! If only they could let go of their pride for half a second to admit it.

#3: Luz and Amity from The Owl House

Lumity is a wonderful ship, and I shipped them from pretty early in Season 1. Probably partially because it kinda got spoiled for me and I knew what was going to happen. The blushes are a dead giveaway to how they feel about each other. By the end of Season 2, they are officially girlfriends. Luz the human, and Amity the witch. I am pretty annoyed that the show got canceled, but at least they are canon. It’s always nice when one’s headcanon becomes actual canon.

#2: Adora and Catra from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

Catradora is one that some people think is toxic. I should explain. Catra and Adora are besties until Adora switches sides in a war. Catra feels abandoned in the wake of this treachery, and they become enemies. Not frenemies. Actual enemies. The way they treat each other as enemies is physically and emotionally scarring. But when they become friends again and eventually girlfriends, they treat each other in a healthy and sweet way. So it’s an enemies-to-lovers situation and some people feel fit to call that toxic even though it is clear by the end that the relationship has a healing effect on both of them.

I love them. I didn’t think the cartoon would have the guts to let them kiss, but it did and it was precious.

#1: Yuri and Victor from Yuri on Ice

When I saw the way Yuri and Victor interacted with each other, I couldn’t help thinking that I would love a relationship as intimate and pure as theirs–although the touchiness and drama of their relationship is something I could do without. Though personally, my love language is certainly not touch, it is the genuine, deep love that they had that was what really stood out to me. They were so sweet and sincere, and were truly better together.

I have seen some people complain that the romance was too vague, but my god, I don’t see how it could have been more obvious. Yuri blatantly speaks of how his figure skating shows how he loves Victor. Victor surprises Yuri with a kiss after one of his performances. And yes, it was confirmed to have been a kiss, for all you naysayers. Victor cries at the idea that he may not continue to be Yuri’s coach. Earlier on, Yuri cries at the same thought. Yuri buys the two of them matching rings as a gift, and watching them put them on each other is adorable.

It’s so unbelievably cute. I was so worried about the ending, but it turned out really well and I was impressed and so happy for them.

Conclusion

So do any of these ships sound like the type of relationship you would want? Do you have a favorite out of these? Any more cute ones to recommend I watch? If so, leave a comment!

Shows

LoK Season 3 is Darker than the Rest

Show Review:

The Legend of Korra Season 3

Rating: 9.2 out of 10 stars

Intro

I had the pleasure of watching The Legend of Korra (LoK) Season 3 for the second time with my best friend. It is not as good as Avatar: The Last Airbender (ATLA), but it is fun nonetheless.

Spoiler-Free Version

First, a spoiler-free sum up of my thoughts, and after that we will get into spoiler territory, so watch out:

This season is much better than the poor planning and execution of Season 2 for many reasons.

The villains, though they lack much backstory, prove that they are resourceful, intelligent, and dangerous. There are lasting consequences to poor decisions in this season because the villains are so competent. Zaheer in particular rivals Amon as a potential best villain of the whole show.

My favorite addition to characters this season was by far Kai. That kid is funny, mischievous, and very likeable.

The settings include a close-up look at modern Ba Sing Se, which is unfortunately as corrupt as it was in Aang’s time, and Zaofu, home of the metalbending clan.

Rather than getting a ton of obnoxious relationship drama, we get a dose of pent-up family drama. It’s kind of refreshing to not have to deal with the stupid love triangle that dominated Season 2. I have to say it – even though Mako was fun at first, his wishy-washy-ness with Asami and Korra was a pain to watch and made we like him less. Last season even made me love Bolin less, and he’s my favorite character.

This season they all find the better version of themselves and move forward with life. The world is starting to regain balance in ways it hadn’t during Aang’s time as Avatar – the spirit world and the physical world have intertwined, causing problems and yet seeming to bring more balance to a world that had been previously deprived of the presence of the spirits in most instances.

Warning: Below this point are spoilers for Seasons 1-3 of The Legend of Korra, as well as spoilers for Avatar: The Last Airbender Seasons 1-3!!

Background

The Legend of Korra was created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. It is a sequel to the TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender (ATLA).

Characters in this show are either benders, who can control one of the four elements, or non-benders, who cannot control any elements.

It is a unique blend of anime style with the style of American cartoons.

The Legend of Korra Season 3 was released in 2014 under the name of Book 3: Change. After episode 8, the show stopped airing on Nickelodeon and moved online. This was partly due to leaked content and partly do to unfavorable ratings.

Summary

The Legend of Korra Season 3 focuses on Korra’s efforts to rebuild the Air Nation, Lin Beifong’s reconciliation with her sister and her sister’s family, and Zaheer’s attempt to end the Avatar for good.

Pros

  • Entertaining, appealing old characters
  • New and fun characters
  • Formidable villains
  • Interesting settings
  • Humor
  • Focuses on family drama instead of relationship drama
  • Merging of the spirit world and the physical world brings new challenges
  • The Airbending nation is back!
  • Considers how preservation of old traditions must be balanced with changes that come about as part of the modern setting
  • Consequences for inadequate efforts

Cons

  • Villains without much backstory

Observations

  • Darker than previous seasons

Review

Characters

If you want to learn more about the main characters, look back at my reviews for seasons 1-2. The links are at the bottom of the page.

Kai develops the ability to use airbending and meets Team Avatar when they are trying to round up recruits to rebuild the air nation. He’s mischievous, thieving, and untrustworthy–but chooses good when it really matters. His crush on Jinora and their mutual affection is kind of cute, and puts him on Tenzin’s bad side. Bolin treats him like a little brother willingly, and Mako does more grudgingly. Overall, Kai is a wonderful addition to the team and adds a lot of humor and trouble to the mix.

Suyin is the half-sister of Lin Beifong. This is where the family drama comes in. Suyin was rebellious as a child, in stark contrast to Lin, who was obedient and law-abiding. Suyin is the reason Lin has a scar on her face. She wants to make amends with Lin, but Lin is uninterested in acting like a family again. They get into a serious fight that is amazing to watch. “Fighting is all part of the healing process,” Bolin assures the others, and he is not completely wrong. Suyin is the leader of Zaofu, the metalbending clan, and has a large family of talented individuals.

Opal is the daughter of Suyin. She develops airbending abilities and is trained by Korra. Even though she really wants to go and join the Air Nation, her mother insists she stays at home. Opal eventually stands her ground and is permitted to leave home. Bolin x Opal (Bopal) is so much better than Bolin x Eska (Boleska).

Zaheer is one of the new airbenders, and has long admired Laghima, a long-dead airbending master. At the beginning of the story, he is kept in a prison as a result of his efforts to kidnap Korra as a child. After developing airbending abilities, he is able to escape and fights to release all of his friends from the Red Lotus. Zaheer is an anarchist who believes governments are evil and that the avatar cycle must end along with these governments in order for a new world to be born. Zaheer rivals Amon as the best villain of the series, but I wish he had more backstory,

Settings

Ba Sing Se is a huge, sprawling Earth Kingdom city. Just like in Avatar: The Last Airbender, there is a lot of corruption going on here, and the outer parts of the city are decrepit while the inner circle is immaculate. The Earth Queen rules her city with an iron fist, and tries to make her own airbending army. I found this second look at Ba Sing Se to be a much-needed echo from the past, tying ATLA and LoK together even more.

Zaofu is a beautiful and secure city run by Suyin. It is a place where metalbenders can hone their craft as well as their talents, which for some includes artistic skill. The protective dome makes Zaofu especially safe. It is technologically innovative city, but even its strong defense could not stop Zaheer’s attack.

Humor

This show balances humor with darker aspects. For example, the very serious scene of Korra vs. Zaheer, the poisoning, and the mass destruction are lightened somewhat when Zaheer is defeated and Bolin “put a sock in it” by literally putting a sock in Zaheer’s mouth.

Balance

This season is all about the balance brought about by change. The spirit world becomes integrated with the physical world in a way it never was during Aang’s time. The rise of the airbending nation caused by this is somewhat of a relief considering there was only a single family of airbenders before that. It is heartening to see that the balance Aang envisioned is finally coming to life.

Dark Aspects

The Earth Queen’s murder through suffocation is one of the darkest parts of this season. It’s not bad that it’s gotten darker–just different. Zaheer rips the oxygen from the queen’s lungs and creates a mini tornado-like ball around her head until she dies.

P’Li is one of the few individuals who can combustionbend like Combustion Man from Atla. When her head is encased in metal, there is an explosion inside that kills her. This is a particularly brutal death, but since the metal covers her head, we do not see the gruesome results.

The capture and poisoning of Korra is very dark as well. Even though Zaheer fails to end the Avatar cycle, the poison has lasting consequences.

Consequences

At the end of the season, Korra is unwell and barely able to move, let alone walk. I think that this a good step because it makes the Avatar seem less invincible. It also shows that trauma cannot just be there one day, gone the next typically. Physical and emotional scars tend to stick around, at least for a time.

Conclusion

I would wholeheartedly recommend this season. It is rated PG, but I would not recommend it for younger children since this season is darker.

Rating System

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

Links

Acknowledgements

Thank you to Alyssa A. Wilson for her feedback on this article.

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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.

Links

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Shows

LoK Season 2’s Horrible Spirit Wonderland (SPOILERS)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is legend-of-korra-season-2-1.jpg

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.

This review is filled with spoilers. It may not be worthwhile to you to watch Season 2, and if you read this blog post it will summarize everything of importance from that season, allowing you to skip Season 2 if you desire without being lost during 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. When her uncle Unalaq convinces her to open the Southern Spirit portal, chaos ensues. To make matters worse, the Northern Water Tribe invades and seizes control of the Southern Water Tribe. Additionally, we learn about the first avatar and the continual fight between Raava and Vaatu–the embodiment of good and the embodiment of evil, respectively.

Pros

  • Introduction of numerous new characters
  • Get to see old characters–Iroh and Admiral Zhao
  • The story of the first avatar was creative
  • Pretty animation at times
  • Good music

Cons

  • Abusive relationship between Bolin and Eska 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 and the children of Unalaq. 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 that Asami seeks to make a deal with. He is a flamboyant, intelligent, bossy, occasionally obnoxious 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.

Wan’s story starts in a world where lion turtles guard the secrets of the elements and allow various people of the tribes that live on their backs to borrow elemental powers from them. In other words, the lion turtles give people the gift of bending a particular element–fire, air, water, or earth.

Wan borrows the power of firebending from the lion turtle to join a hunting party, but does not give it back when he is supposed to. He then tries to help the poor in his town by robbing the rich with firebending–like a kind of Robin Hood figure. As a result, he is banished to the Spirit Wilds.

When seeking sanctuary among the inhabitants of the Spirit Wilds, Wan is initially rejected by them. After he rescues a trapped cat deer, risking his life in the process, the spirits accept him.

Two years after being banished, Wan decided to find other lion turtle cities. He left with the cat deer, Mula, and during his travels stumbled upon Raava and Vaatu locked in a desperate battle. When Vaatu begged for help, saying he had been tormented by Raava for ten thousand years, Wan used his bending to separate them.

This turned out to be a mistake, as Vaatu was the spirit of darkness and evil. Raava explained the error Wan had made and rejected his offer to help capture Vaatu again. Wan continued on his journey and found an airbending village where Vaatu turned benign spirits malevolent. Wan managed to protect the airbending village until Raava arrived.

Vaatu bragged about how he would destroy Raava when Harmonic Convergence arrived. Raava was growing weaker, so she agreed to join Wan. Wan asked for the power of airbending from the lion turtle whose village he had saved, and was granted it, though Raava was required to hold most of this power until Wan was able to master it.

Wan and Raava traveled together to other lion turtle cities as Avatar Wan mastered the four elements. Coming across a conflict between humans and spirits that escalated when Vaatu turned the spirits dark, Wan temporarily merged with Raava. This allowed him to control all four elements at once. The strain was too much and Wan passed out. After he woke up, he learned that the humans had all been killed.

Raava was so small that he put her in a teapot and carried her with him to the Southern spirit portal, determined to face Vaatu. Wan fights Vaatu and merges again with Raava to get an edge in battle. This time, the merging is permanent, and Wan becomes the first Avatar through this fusion.

Wan defeated Vaatu and trapped him in the Tree of Time. He then spent the entire rest of his life attempting to bring peace to the world. Although he was not successful, he was reincarnated in what was the beginning of the Avatar cycle.

Raava and Vaatu

Relationships

The relationships in this season are so messed up.

First off, there’s Bolin and Eska to contend with. Their relationship is meant to be funny, but it is obviously abusive. That this is a relationship without consent on one side becomes increasingly apparent, even though Bolin repeatedly and reluctantly submits in the toxic relationship.

Their first conversation offers hints and red flags.

Eska: You amuse me. I will make you mine.

Bolin: You mean like a boyfriend? Or…like a slave?

Eska: Yes. Win me prizes.

It gets to the point where Eska dictates how Bolin (and Pabu) dress. She also tries to control Bolin’s future and force him into a marriage with her.

When Bolin goes to his friends for help, they do not take him seriously. And when Bolin tries to break up with Eska, he is threatened. The entire relationship is unhealthy and destructive.

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.

When Bolin becomes a mover (movie) star, it is clear that he does not understand the concept of acting. When Ginger pretends to be into him during a scene, he kisses her even though it is not in the script. When she is understandably angry, he doesn’t get it.

While this is meant to be funny, making Bolin dumb enough to do inappropriate and irrational things makes him a far-cry from the lovable Bolin of Season 1.

The Spirit World Problem

The Spirit World is like Wonderland, and I hate Wonderland. Nothing makes sense. Things change without warning. And with Vaatu 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.

Korra turns into a child in the spirit world temporarily, helps a damaged spirit, and meets good ol’ Uncle Iroh from Avatar: The Last Airbender. This brings up more questions than answers. For instance, what is the afterlife for people of this universe? Just passing on to the spirit world? Why aren’t there more dead people around?

Also, Korra and Iroh and some spirits basically have a tea party, which makes it all too much like the tea party with the Mad Hatter in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. And Korra shrinks and grows like Alice… Did I mention I hate Wonderland?

Even if you like Wonderland, you’re unlikely to like this Wonderland knock-off.

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 introduces the concept of a dark avatar to the canon, which is honestly a mistake. The Vaatu and Unalaq combo is laughable even if it is destructive. It’s like the series jumped genres and became an animated Godzilla vs. Kong. It ends just about how you would expect – with Korra the victor and Unalaq vanquished in a bloodless way.

The real tragedy is that Korra permanently loses contact with her previous Avatar lives. It’s basically like someone hit the reset button on the Avatar cycles. It’s a horrible consequence that fans will be lamenting for seasons to come.

A cooler consequence is that Korra leaves the spirit portals open and spirits integrate with Republic City and the rest of the world.

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

I wouldn’t recommend watching Season 2. This review says enough about the season to be able to move on to Season 3 with no problem. If you’ve already watched it…then sorry, I guess. Unless you liked it. Some people do.

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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