Legend of Korra: Book 4 is off to a strong start with the season premiere. For those who have not seen the episode, the first part of my review will be spoiler free, and you can click here to watch the episode on the official website.
Taking place three years after the events of Book 3, the episode, "After All These Years," shows from the start that this season is going to feature some strong themes of political corruption, dictatorships, and the price of true freedom. Of the three main cast, the character models have been altered to show the difference in age with the characters now being around 20-ish. Asami's character model shows the larger change than the Bolin or Mako, and the jury is out for Korra, but it is definitely changed as well.
Often times, time jumps leave the viewer annoyed and confused, but this time jump actually works and it provides enough information for the viewer to understand what is happening. A lot of the episode did serve as setup for what is to come by reintroducing the audience to the characters and where they are three years since the events of the previous season. For the most part, we know the status of the characters' relationships, current whereabouts, and a general sense of what has transpired in the last three years. The exposition was actually delivered with a surprisingly degree of organicality, so as to not seem forced.
Tonally, Book 4 appears to be maintaining the fun yet mature tone that was present in Book 3. However, unlike the Book 3 premiere, Book 4's tone is decidedly darker and ominous, so as to make the viewer feel as though there is an impending war, which is likely. Prince Wu's scenes were the only parts that stood out as immature and unnecessary.
In terms of animation, the series is better than ever with Kuvira's action sequence being the highlight of the episode. The voice acting is as perfect as always with a few voices that seemed familiar, but unfortunately the information about who voiced who is currently unavailable.
Overall: 8.3/10- Book 4 is off to an excellent start with the premiere episode putting all the pieces in place for what should be an exciting and intriguing conclusion to the Legend of Korra series. Of the series to premiere this fall, Legend of Korra probably had the strongest first episode, and if the series continues its high quality, it is going to be the best of the year.
Before moving on to the spoiler discussion, my current plan is to review Legend of Korra episodes on Saturdays or Sundays, since it is one of the most fun series to review.
*Warning, spoilers for the episode are ahead.*
Considering the events of Book 3 with Korra not even being able to walk, my anticipation of Korra's return to the series grew, and the reveal that she has been participating in underground an Earthbending Fight Club was a surprising revelation. However, showing Korra being beaten and bruised in a match clearly shows that Korra is far from being at the top of her game. It almost reminds me of the Dark Knight Rises, but let's hope that the season will turn far better than said film.
Kuvira appears to be a new foil for Korra and the gang, except, unlike the previous antagonists, Kuvira is not overtly evil or even antagonistic with her intentions at first (Bolin is even working for her!). Apparently, she has created her own army to unite the Earth Nation, and she is known across the land as "The Uniter." However, her tactics consist of strongarming the other cities with a "Join or Die" stance will result in some conflict later in the season. Actually, I would not be surprised if she ordered the bandit's attack on Kai and Opal to steal the supplies.
Speaking Kai and Opal, they probably received the most screen time of anyone in the episode, and it actually worked excellently. Kai and Opal did well as the audience’s viewpoint to demonstrate the current state of the Earth Nation after the Queen’s assassination. Now, the Air Nomads are acting as Jedi-like peacekeepers, and their new outfits, despite first impressions, are very cool. The winged suit makes a lot of sense opposed to the staffs used by Aang.
In terms of comedy, the episode was generally light on humor, which is a good thing. However, "Mello the boy, becoming Mello the man" was a hilariously animated scene with some strong anime influences.
My only problem with the episode is Prince Wu, who brings an unfortunate juvenile tone to the episode that detracts from the more serious political themes of the episode. Other than that, there was nothing bad about the episode.
What did you think of the episode? Please comment below and let me know.
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