It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything to the site. ICLP is now in full swing and my life, for all intents and purposes, is dedicated to learning Mandarin. I wanted to fully immerse myself in Mandarin to speed up the learning process, but I could already feel that this would lead to burnout, or worse resentment toward the language. So instead, I decided to use breaking immersion as a reward for hard work and study.
So what did I choose for this reward? Well, as the title suggests, I have started watching The Legend of Korra. I never watched Avatar: The Last Airbender because it always struck me as a bit too kiddie. However, Korra has gotten really good buzz and so I decided to give it a shot. I always figured that a Chinese-inspired martial arts cartoon would be a nice reward but also keep me enthusiastic about advancing my Mandarin.
For those of you that are familiar with Avatar and Korra, then you know how deep and rich the world the creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, have built. For those who don’t know the nutshell synopsis of the setting is pretty simple. There is an East Asian inspired world where some people are born with an innate ability to control the classical elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. The Avatar is the intermediary between the mortal world and spirit world and is able to wield all four elements. There is only one Avatar at a time and when they die, they are reincarnated into a new Avatar. While Avatar: The Last Airbender followed the hero’s journey of Aang, The Legend of Korra takes place seventy years later and follows the maturation of the new avatar, Korra.
I am about midway through season 3 and I have to say I think the show is amazing! The animation is spectacular. The writing is a bit cheesy and young at times, but overall, there is enough mature issues here, like divides of class and race and political intrigue, to keep me interested. The real draw of the show is the martial arts and magical bending. It’s a well put together magical system whose rules are straightforward.
I have a lot more to say about the show, but I am not caught up with the 4th season yet, so I will save my more in-depth thoughts for a later post. Stay tuned.
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