With the Legend of Korra series coming to a close, the plot is going to move forward, right? Right!?
Unfortunately, no, "Remembrance" is a recap episode with only about five minutes of new footage. The previous episode, "Reunion," seemed to be stalling for time with its superfluous side plots, and "Remembrance" is a near complete waste of time. However, it is not completely without its merits.
For viewers who watched the Legend of Korra from the beginning, this recap episode probably helped remind viewers about the events of previous seasons, although having watched both Avatar and Korra series a few months ago, this was not all that necessary of a reminder.
If you are familiar with anime, it is notorious for airing recap episodes to buy time for the production crew to make new episodes. However, those recap episodes are often labeled as episode "6.5" or something to that effect because it does not affect the overall number of episodes. Unfortunately, "Remembrance" is the eighth episode of the season in of twelve or thirteen episodes in total, which is disappointing. Apparently, creator, Bryan Konietzko posted on Tumblr that the series' budget was cut, so they either had to layoff some crew or make a "clip show," and obviously he went with the clip show. You can read his full post here.
With all of my disappointment and explanation out of the way, "Remembrance" was not a bad episode all things considered. The creators said that adding a bit of new footage and some narration by the characters in the context of the story was inspired by the anime, Samurai Champloo, an anime by Shinichirō Watanabe, the creator of Cowboy Bebop and Terror in Resonance.
"Remembrance" was split up into three parts following Mako's side of the story, Korra and Asami's one, and then Varrick and Bolin's amusing retelling.
Mako telling Prince Wu about his romantic shortcomings with Korra and Asami was surprisingly entertaining to watch. It is kind of surprisingly to be reminded by how much romantic action Mako had throughout the first two seasons, and all of the trouble that it caused. The commentary by Prince Wu and Mako's family was funny for the most part.
Korra and Asami's part of the episode proved to be the most boring with a simple and straightforward narration of the series. It did not feature any fun commentary or humor, and Korra and Asami literally just told each other everything that they already knew for no reason.
Varrick and Bolin's part of the episode offered some amusing moments with Varrick hijacking the actual story in favor of his absurd retelling. By combining a lot of footage throughout the previous seasons, even if some altered editing, it managed to make fun of the series with some great metahumor like taking a shot at how boring of an antagonist season two had.
One aspect of this episode stood out to me, the difference in animation between the previous seasons and season four. Even though season two is the weakest of the series in terms of animation, seasons one and three seem to be more refined and contain far better use of shadows than this current season. Season four appears to be more one note with its shading and use of color. Hopefully season four will improve in these final few episodes.
What could have been TLOK's "Ember Island Players," had some of the fun commentary about the previous events, but it still did not deliver anything necessary in the overall story.
Overall: 6.5/10- As far as recap episodes go, "Remembrance" is one of the better ones. That being said, it is still a recap episode in the final season of an already short series, and regardless of the behind the scenes problems (screw Nickelodeon), "Remembrance" felt like a waste of precious time.
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