The Legend of Korra Finale: At Our Lowest Point

First of all, I know that some people don’t consider Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: The Legend of Korra to be anime, and for valid reasons.  But it also one of the best western children’s cartoons ever (Although from what we’ve seen so far, I highly doubt the target audience for the current season is children. It has some pretty creepy stuff in it) and has very strong Asian influences.  Plus, it’s very popular among both anime fans and non anime fans.

Second of all, this post contains a lot of spoilers, so if you plan to finish the show but haven’t yet, I suggest you do so before reading this.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, in the world of Avatar  there are those who have the power to “bend” one of the four elements (Water, Earth, Fire, Air). Only the Avatar has the power to bend all four elements. The Legend of Korra is about a conflict between benders and non-benders, with the non-benders being led by a villain called Amon who has the power to take away a person’s bending. As a recent fan of the former series there have so far been things I liked about this new show and things I didn’t like so much, but it has definitely been interesting.

Credit to iyka of Pixiv

In the finale of the season, Korra’s bending is taken away from her. She manages to unlock her airbending, but to her it seems only a small comfort in the sight of her loss. Without the other elements, she is no longer the Avatar. It had been her goal, her purpose, even her identity, and now it was gone. When she finds that even the most skilled healer in the world can’t bring it back, she flees the consolation of her friends and cries alone on an icy cliff. When she hears someone behind her, she thinks it’s her airbending teacher, and says, “Not now, Tenzin. I just want to be left alone.”

“But you called me here.”

She turns and sees that it is actually Aang, the deceased protagonist of the old series and her past life.

This whole scene was to me reminiscent of the scene in John 20 when Jesus appears to Mary Magdelene while she was crying outside his tomb, and she mistakes him as the gardener before discovering that it was him. Similarly to Korra, she and the other followers of Jesus were in deep despair at his death. They had given up their homes and livelihoods to follow him, and the he died. But when they learned that Jesus was alive again the despair of both Mary and the other disciples was replaced with joy. Avatar also parallels this, as Aang then restores Korra’s bending, and she is in turn able to restore the bending of others. (I was a little disappointed, as are the other fans, at how easy this was for Korra. That’s a lot of potential character development wasted! Though I notice no one is complaining that Lin Bei Fong got her bending back.)

Aang restores Korra’s bending

Aang goes onto tell Korra something that stuck me deeply:

When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change.

While it varies a little, when we are the saddest is often when we come the closest to God. The times when we are broken are when he starts to heal and change us, and the times when we’re at our weakest are the times when he has the most power in our lives.

So that was the most moving scene for me so far in Avatar: The Legend of Korra. I’m hoping the next season is even better!

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About Murasaki Lynna

Lynna is an aspiring author who alternates between writing as slowly as a sleepy dango and as swiftly Momo Kisuragi being chased by her fans. Originating from Canada, she would like nothing better than for writer's block to never plague her and time for anime and writing to be plentiful. Life, unfortunately, often has other plans.

Posted on 07.05.2012, in Christianity and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Yeah, that season finale was a cesspool of deus ex machina, but I actually didn’t notice the parallel with John 20 until I read this, so that’s pretty cool.

    Also, count me as one of the people who’s disappointed that Lin got her bending back. I’m disappointed that EVERYONE got their bending back so easily. Imagine a season 2 where Lin has no bending, but is passing her skills onto Bolin so that he’s more than that guy who says funny things and then goes away. Meanwhile, Korra has to learn who she is besides the Avatar and in the process sees that the Equalists have a legitimate movement because she goes on a life-changing field trip with Asami.

    But that’s probably wishful thinking, at least if Bryke continue to write all the episodes.

    Like

    • Murasaki Lynna

      I understand what you mean. Bolin is too cool to remain in the background, and I would love to see him gain some more skills. But I guess I personally feel he wouldn’t be as cool as Lin. Still, we shouldn’t give up on the next season. I heard that they didn’t think at first that they would even have a second season, so they felt the need to rush everything and tie up all the loose ends. Hopefully, next season they will ease it up a little and focus more on the characters. I would love Korra to go on a field trip with Asami. At first I thought Asami was a little boring, but from the time she began to get made at Mako onwards she really became more interesting.

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      • If they weren’t certain about getting a second season, they should’ve focused on crafting a plot that fit within their given episode limit. What they did instead was try to recreate ATLA in terms of scale, so they attempted and failed to cram a 50+ episode plot into 12. There’s a good essay I read that’s pretty detailed on the series’ problems. There are a lot of really good points, so it’s worth reading. http://tinyurl.com/7esoxrq

        I’ll still watch season 2 and all, but it’s gonna take a lot to clean up season 1’s messes and I doubt they’ll smooth everything over. At the very least, I would hope they show that the Equalists have a real reason for revolution.

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    • elricprincess

      I’m writing a fanfic for the Avatar wiki that will explore all those themes. There will be a post on my blog at avatar wiki when I’m ready to post.

      Like

  2. Are they going to make a Movie of this?

    Like

    • Murasaki Lynna

      The series? If so, I have no idea. I’ve heard the live-action movie of the first series was an epic fail, though, so I’m not sure if that would go very well.

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  3. I don’t really have any complaints about how the finale went (it was freaking awesome, if I do say so), although I can understand how some were disappointed with how some things were done. Moving on…

    Someone finally made a post about it! This scene was one of things that I loved about the finale. It showed how much Korra’s character developed from a hotheaded and proud, if not arrogant, girl who was overly dependent on her bending as well as her Avatar status. Throughout the season, her pride takes a lot of heavy blows. She learns that “being the Avatar isn’t all about fighting” and she learns to get in touch with her spiritual side.

    Then comes her debending by Amon, the heaviest blow to her pride. When Katara fails to heal her, she’s probably thinking “I’m not the Avatar anymore. I’m a failure. I let everyone down. I’m nothing” Her new-found airbending, even being surrounded by the people that love her, isn’t enough to comfort her. This is shown when Mako confesses his love to her. She shuts him out and rides on Naga to the edge of the icy cliff in despair (and was probably contemplating suicide, though this is just fan speculation), a.k.a. her lowest point. But unlike Tarrlok and Amon/Noatak, she decides to live on and lets go of her pride; she finally connected with her spiritual self. It’s what helps her reach Aang and gives her the healing she needed.

    Korra’s character arc deals with brokeness and humility, and I think it is similar to those times in our lives when we’re humbled down that we remember God and run back to Him.

    I could probably add more to the above, but it’s past midnight here and I need to sleep.

    Like

    • Murasaki Lynna

      Thank you for the comment! Korra ended up getting the most character development, really. I look forward to the next season!

      Like

  4. elricprincess

    The finale was the best part of the series. Still wish Korra hadn’t gotten her bending back though, her just having airbending and seeing that humble her more for the next season would have been a cool thing to see.

    Like

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