Book Four of The Legend of Korra ends the show well, despite Nickelodeon’s interference.

4 stars
After the fantastic Book Three, which followed two great but flawed seasons, I was interested to see where The Legend of Korra would go with its final season, Book Four: Balance.
The story picks up three years after the last season with Korra on a journey of self discovering, while suffering from severe PTSD from the events of Venom of The Red Lotus.
Meanwhile, a dictator named Kuvira rises in The Earth Kingdom, giving those in Republic City grave concerns about what she wants.
Book Four is a great season in my eyes but overall it does not live up to Book Three.
However, although I think this, the season still has numerous fantastic things to talk about.
I really loved the character arcs this season, especially those of Korra, Varrick and Bolin.
This surprised me, considering how annoying I found Bolin to be in the previous two seasons but, in this one, they brought back the likability he had in Book One.
Another thing I really enjoyed about the characters was how they put the spotlight on some who had not had their time to shine before, most notably Zhu Li.
Zhu Li was a very minor character in previous seasons but she really shined here and her storyline with Varrick was just perfect.

Zhu Li and Varrick
Varrick and Zhu Li during the final episodes of the series.

Kuvira also continued the tradition of great villains in this series, by bringing a realistic portrayal of a dictator.
The only problem I had with Kuvira was the resolution to her story seemed very rushed.
Sadly though, the problems with characters do not end with her.
Many of the characters who were important in previous series are conformed to side characters here and, since this is the last season, that is pretty sad.
Tenzin and Mako are the main offenders, with Mako only really being important in the finale and Tenzin being given basically nothing to do, despite his importance to the story.
There was also a similar problem to Book One with this season.
In Book One there was an episode entirely dedicated to a love triangle, which dragged the season down.
Here, the episode that did this was the eighth, a clip show episode called Remembrances.
This was a pretty poor episode in my opinion, especially since we have seen how creative the series can be with recap episodes, like with The Ember Island Players in Avatar: The Last Airbender, while this clip show just did not feel that creative.
But I cannot exactly fault the writers for doing it because they were forced to either do a clip show episode or fire half of their animation staff by Nickelodeon so it was not their fault.

remembrances
Remembrances reminded me of a lot of things about the show, including some things I wanted to forget like the love triangle in the first two seasons.

However, aside from these problems Book Four was great.
The animation and music were once again great, although you could tell that their budget for animation had been cut at times.
Aside from episode eight, the story flowed very naturally and was exciting to see play out.
The final three episodes were thrilling and had me engaged from beginning to end.
Then there is the show’s ending.
This ending was very progressive but those I have talked some who seem split on the idea.
Some love it because they feel it was well hinted at and some do not because they feel it came out of nowhere.
Personally, I agree with both.
This ending was hinted at very well in previous episodes but there was never really a scene of them establishing this thing or talking about it so when it happens it does not feel particularly well developed.
Again though, I do not think this is the creators’ fault.
Brian Konietzko, one of the show’s creators, has said that while Nickelodeon was supportive of the ending, “there was a limit to how far we could go with it.”
So the creators were not allowed to go all the way with this ending, like they ended it with Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Because they were not allowed, by the network, to have scenes that built this ending up they had to hint at it.
And, even though they could only hint at it, I thought they did a great job of bringing it across to the audience.
It is just a shame that Nickelodeon limited the show runners’ creative freedom, instead of letting their ideas run wild, and I am not just talking about the ending.
Most of the problems I had with The Legend of Korra appear to be due to Nickelodeon’s interference, like the shaky start to Book Two.
It really is sad how they treated the show but the fact that The Legend of Korra still managed to be a great show with this interference speaks volumes about how good it is.
Overall, Book Four was a great season to end The Legend of Korra.
It is just as good as Book One, although not as good as Book Three.
I highly recommend the series.
I am just sad now that I have finished both Avatar and Korra now.
What am I supposed to watch now?
I hope there are more follow ups to this series in the future and, if there are, I will be tuning in immediately.

The Legend of Korra, Book Two: Just as bad as it is good.

3 stars
Book One of the Legend of Korra was a great start to the show.
The only big problem I had with it was the annoying love triangle but I felt if the show dropped this then it could actually turn out to be good as Avatar: The Last Airbender.
However, after watching Book Two, I do have some doubts about the show going forward.
Book Two really showed me why people do not like The Legend of Korra because this season was a mixed bag in its entirety.
I found there was as much stuff I did not like as I did.
This season picks up six months after the previous and angry spirits are coming into the world and attacking people so it is up to Korra and her friends to figure out why.
To see why this season was a mixed bag you need only look at the structure of the story.
The first six episodes of this season are rather slow and disjointed.
It was hard to get invested in what is happening in these first six episodes.
However, from episode seven onwards, the show takes a massive step in the right direction.
This is especially apparent with episode seven and eight, titled Beginnings: Part One and Two.
These two episodes delve into the story of the first Avatar, named Wan, and are just fantastic.

Avatar Wan
Avatar Wan, the first Avatar, from the episodes Beginnings Part One and Two.

They are some of the best episodes in the entire Avatar series.
However, although I did think the second half of Book Two was far better than the first, it still had its problems, most notably in the finale.
Because, even though I was enjoying what was happening in the finale, a lot of it made absolutely no sense to me.
On top of that, it did feel pretty ridiculous at times.
It really did feel like the show had jumped the shark with the finale.
Another thing I did not like about Book Two was how it treated its characters.
For example, Korra was my favourite character in Book One but for the first six episodes of the season she is completely unlikable.
Bolin is annoying for most of the season and Mako’s treatment towards Korra and Asami in the back half of the season left me hating him by the end.
The only one of the four main characters who came out still completely likable was Asami but she does not get enough screen time.
Speaking of which, there are so many characters who were important in the first season and yet are barely in this one.
The worst offender of this is easily Lin.
She was my second favourite character next to Korra in Book One, yet here you could remove her from the story entirely and nothing would change.
But, although I did not like what they did with a lot of the old characters I did really like the new characters they introduced this season.
Korra’s parents were really likable and her cousins Eska and Desna were also a welcome edition.
Watching Tenzin’s connection with his newly introduced siblings Kya and Bumi also helped improve things.
But my favourite of the new characters would have to be Varrick.
He stole the show in every scene he was in and I cannot wait to see what they do with him in Book Three.

Varrick
Varrick is the best character introduced in Book Two and I cannot wait to see what he will do next.

But, there are still other issues I have with Book Two.
There are two main villains this season, Unalaq and Vaatu, and Unalaq is really forgettable, despite being Korra’s uncle.
And remember how I said that the love triangle was the worst part of Book One?
Well, it is back and is just as bad as it was before.
Thankfully it is nowhere near as prevalent as it was in Book One so it is less aggravating.
Still, they really need to drop the love triangle because it drags down the show every time it pops up.
However, there are still things that the show has maintained from Book One that were great, specifically, the animation and music.
Both of these are still incredible and help to draw me into many intense scenes.
The music was so good I even found myself humming along to it.
So for every bad thing there was this season, there was a good thing to counter it.
Book Two has as many good moments as bad moments.
It is definitely not as good as Book One but it is still enjoyable.
You just have to sit through a few annoying things to get to the good stuff.
Hopefully, Book Three will be more fulfilling.