Avatar Korra has returned in Book 4: Balance and this day couldn’t come soon enough for the fans of this series. The finale of last season was such an emotional rollercoaster that even with all of the speculations flooding the net things were still very much in the air. New potentials had been reached, a young air bender received her tattoos, an enemy defeated, and an Avatar emotionaly and physically broken. Out of everything, it was Korra’s condition that was the most talked about and everyone was on edge to see how she would (if possible) overcome any of it. Though the trailer that was released for Book 4: Balance actually answered a question or two, it definitely opened the flood gates for many more. Toph Beifong anyone?
Things get underway as “After All These Years” skips ahead and we see where Team Avatar is at in their lives three years later. A move expertly pulled off by the writers that skips the character building that we would have seen had this not been the final chapter in the series. Mako is now bodyguard to Prince Wu of the Earth Kingdom. The Air Benders have been protecting and helping people all over the land. This is where we get to see Kai and Opal and it looks like they’ve been doing some training in those three years. Showing off some new outfits and very impressive Air Bending skills while helping to protect a small town. Bolin is now part of the Earth Kindom’s reunification team along with Varrick. However the most impressive among them is their leader, Kuvira ( voiced by Zelda Williams). A character that showed up for a few seconds in last season’s finale but had an introduction that lasted several seconds too long. Hinting that she was someone we would see later. Well, it seems as if in the three years she’s made some serious strides and has some very large ambitions. Her debut is a fantastic display of her Metal Bending skills along with her reunification techniques. They seem to border on extortion and a protection racket under the guise of unifying the Earth Kingdoms. Her methods are already causing problems for Bolin and Opal’s relationship as the methods of “The Great Uniter” are well known.
We also get a quick glimpse of Tenzin and his family and as always, Meelo steels the show with only a few seconds. He’s a bit older now but nothing has really changed about this kid and that’s for the best. By the time things wrap up we find out that Korra has been lying to her father and she’s currently partaking in some pretty hardcore and violent activities.
If you haven’t seen it just know that The Legend of Korra remains one of the best looking animated shows around. This level of high quality has shown us some of the best martial arts and action sequences imagined. The creativity when it comes to the bending fight choreography always astounds as well as when the story calls for a more character driven sequence. Just when you think you’ve seen everything this series has to offer in that aspect they surprise you with something new just like we see with Kuvira. It also still has one of the best scores to accompany a weekly cartoon that I’ve heard in some time. Seriously, there has been too many great pieces of music in this series ever since Avatar: The Last Airbender aired years ago.
Knowing that this is the final installment of Legend of Korra puts some very high expectations for this season. There’s so many moving parts to this story it’s going to be quite the feat to wrap everything up. From the political complications in the Earth Kingdom, Korra’s personal issues, the various relationships, and whatever else is thrown our way it should be an amazing ride as we stay till the end.