Why Are We Forgetting About Korra?

by Gabrielle Smith

A month ago, at New York Comic-Con, I attended a panel for The Legend of Korra. It was full of sneak peeks, laughs, and goodbyes (considering this is likely their last panel for the series) but there was also a reminder — that Platinum Games is making a video game derived from the series. It takes place between the second and third books of the series, where Korra is stripped of her bending by a chi-blocker, and must regain her abilities throughout the game.

What I’ve found is that people aren’t really talking much about the game. I even forgot myself, considering it was a nice reminder at New York Comic-Con. The creators basically mentioned it as a passing thought, but that may have been due to time constraints. The game isn’t meant to be long (it’s about four to six hours to play), and is a digital download, so that’s likely an aspect of it. The game isn’t a full-fledged entity, but a charming addition to the series. It’s not the most important thing. However, forgetting Korra… this isn’t exactly new. Let’s talk about how Nickelodeon has been treating the series.

Book Three of Korra was preceded by very little advertising — there was a trailer released a week before the premiere date, and that was all. Some fans, including myself, found this a bit odd considering the general way of the media. A trailer gets released a month or two before the premiere to encourage theories and hype. The way book three’s trailer was released seemed like it was… rushed. A few episodes of the season had been leaked (in Spanish), yes, but it seemed out of the blue.

In the middle of the season, Korra was pulled off the air and made a digital exclusive. This surprised many fans, and many feared cancellation. The explanation for this was side-eyed by almost everyone involved — and the creators didn’t seem to know it was coming either. On top of that, the fourth season was released a month after the third — certainly atypical.

Why is Nickelodeon trying to get rid of Korra? Here are a few of my ideas.

The Subject Matter

It’s undeniable — Korra is far more mature than The Last Airbender. This likely has a lot to do with the fact that Aang was twelve for the duration of the first series. When we meet Korra, she is sixteen. Aang is still a child, but Korra is a young adult. Every death in The Last Airbender was merely hinted at. Aang’s entire culture and nation are exterminated, but somehow it is described in such a way that makes it almost kid-friendly. In Korra, there is a murder-suicide, a suffocation of a queen, and most recently deals with PTSD. Korra really isn’t a kid’s show anymore — it’s for those who grew up with The Last Airbender. Considering the rest of Nickelodeon’s broadcast, it doesn’t quite fit.

The Heroine

Let’s take a look at a recently cancelled show on a different network. Young Justice was a take on the DC Comics universe, but one that paid attention to the little guys. It was an amazing show that came to an abrupt halt because… it wasn’t selling enough toys. Later on, in a podcast, Paul Dini, who had a large hand in the DC animated universe, revealed that too many girls liked Young Justice — and apparently girls didn’t buy toys. He wasn’t happy to divulge the news, and clearly didn’t agree with the sentiment, but what he said does bring up a good question.

Young Justice was similar to Korra in the fact that it did have a diverse cast with female leads, and a large female audience. Apparently studios are afraid of them… so who’s not to say they’re not afraid of Korra, and want to get her out of the door as soon as possible?

The Original Plan

The Legend of Korra was originally a mini-series, and thus only supposed to last for the first book. Due to its overwhelming popularity, it was signed on for 52 more episodes, composing of three more books. Perhaps they are regretting their decision in this, hence the treatment of the series.

There’s nothing more that Avatar fans can do at this point but support the series. You can buy the comics, buy the game, make sure you watch it online instead of torrenting it or throwing on adblock — but also talk about it! Make some noise. The Legend of Korra is a great series that needs more attention and when it’s over, we don’t want it to be gone.

Gabrielle Smith is a lover of comics, video games, and pretty much anything you’ll see at comic con. (In fact, she’s been going to NYCC for the past four years straight). Originally from New York, she currently resides and goes to school in South Jersey. Her blog is a display of her love for all things geek culture.

5 thoughts on “Why Are We Forgetting About Korra?

    1. This has been one of the most cutting edge shows on TV, even in its original AVATAR incarnation and I’m not sure anyone knows quite how to handle it. In addition to being heavily steeped in Eastern spirituality, it has tackled relevant political themes like inequality (including its own take on the Occupy movement) and a global anarchist revolution. Nick did a great job of making the series hard to follow this year.

  1. Legend of Korra is a great series and a wonderful testament to 2D animation. These are characters that are fun to watch and root for. With the death of Saturday morning cartoons it’s a shame it’s only viewable on the internet.

    One thing the season did not really address is how much the world changed since Aang’s time. The Earth Kingdom really fell into decline, even if places like Zaofu were founded. Peace has allowed kids to be kids, while young adults have adventures. If you wanted to promote a superhero I’d prefer it be a young adult than a kid in a world like that.

  2. I have wrote on this before. There are far greater reasons for why exactly Korra is being forgotten. With the end of season 1 and season 2, literally tore the original fanbase of Avatar the Last Airbender apart. Many such as me were not satisfied with the ending of season 1 and the cheesy side story of Korra and Mako. And, season 2 was just a mess that upset the original conception of the Avatar universe. Certainly, it doesn’t help to point out that the quality of the series has also dropped as they seemed to be absolutely rushing through too many different important plot points which was absent from the original series. The series has vilified the original fanbase but gained a number of new fans in the process. But from what I have gathered, the growing fanbase that arrived from Korra is not increasing at the same pace as how Avatar: the Last Airbender grew during its run on Nickelodeon. The content is the problem but I do not think the content of maturity is the main cause for the changing fanbase and thus the disappearance of its popularity thus causing Nick to seem to want to forget Korra.

  3. Eh my issue with Korra is she frankly just had no personality the way the original avatar team . Pretty much all she had was “korra is strong” and that a dime a dozen in anime woman kicking ass is not unusual or strange in anime let alone being main character that kick ass . Background Characters like Toph daughters Bolin girlfriend and Toph stole the show . Along with the antics of the Crazy Engineer guy Varrick Background character like Opal end up being seeming far more component having more personality than korra which is pretty bad when korra suppose to be the bad ass Look at me I kick ass …but constantly get her ass kicked =/… , or the Tenzin kids were a joy to watch .. Think the idea of adult should not be synonymous with boring, dry utilitarian characters .don’t think Korra even cracked a smile all season 3 or 4? . the issue Korra had was the same as the phantom menace compared to the original star wars . Star wars about rebels and cowboy in space with spiritual themes and it was fun , we gotta stop the evil empire ! Not to mention I love lando . , while the return was about monks and politicians with zero personality and the discussion of trade negotiation on naboo. . Think my other issue with korra was the generic steampunk aspect of it took it further away from the cultural distinctiveness of the original . Just because you add technology lol.. doesn’t mean it will resemble 1930s America with mechs and bending took a backseat

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