This is a really interesting interview with Yoo Jae-myung, who’s an animation director for both A:tLA and LoK. There’s quite a bit of new behind-the-scenes information from both series, and he gets to tell his personal story about getting involved in animation, too.
The most relevant thing for Korra fans now, I think, is that he pretty much confirmed that the Studio Pierrot rumors were true at one point (because Studio Mir wanted to take a breather by working on The Boondocks instead), but Book 2 ended up being animated by Studio Mir anyway because that particular partnership didn’t work out.
Also interesting (if terribly depressing) is that Nickelodeon actually suspended production of Korra when Book 1 was being planned because they didn’t like Korra being a female protagonist… but after seeing the first episode completed, they went all in for four books. They apparently see LoK as their premiere show, which is really awesome. =D (Now just make us some proper merchandise, Nick!)
There’s certainly a lot more in the video, though, so I’d definitely suggest watching it. (Though I will warn that they use finale clips in the background that… really shouldn’t be used as background for an interview? I mean, I don’t want to see the boat scene when I’m watching an interview =( )
No, unfortunately :(
/throws things everywhere
for everyone still asking about it:
the part we’re talking about is at 17:55
how is this surprising?
I thought we knew this re: action figures of the girls of AtLA
OR LACK THEREOF.
yeah, true that :/
I knew Nickelodeon was full of jerks, but I had no idea they actually suspended production for a sexist reason.
Way to be progressive, Nickelodeon. >.<
mako and bolin page 1
Oooh that’s where it came from
MAKO AND BOLIN’S MOTHER IS FIRE NATION THEIR FATHER IS EARTH KINGDOM
the whole game changes
Wait wait where is this information from?!?!
But seriously everyone is so surprised every time we get a false rumor about a release date and I’m just sitting here like
Remember this post that Bryan posted on Tumblr back in March?
It includes a storyboard of Korra and Mako.
…Or so some of us assumed.
Let’s take a closer look then shall we?
I remember seeing this for the first time and being all “That kind of looks like Bolin except he’s looking a bit too lanky and his arms much too thin.”
But taking a closer look at it now?
Check out that expression. That is definitely more of a Bolin expression than Mako expression. Although that boy does tend to surprise people with the expressions he has in store haha. So the expression can’t really be that valid of a point.
But then look again.
There’s that turtleduck butt hair in the back.
However the front still looks more like Mako’s— WAIT!
Let’s pull up some comparisons.
Wait a minute.
Mako has a baby turtleduck butt too.
But the one in the picture is bigger than his.
And yet the front of the hair….
There can only be one explanation.
I remember my friend Ash who used to work as a developer on The Legend of Korra as a script writer telling me about a brain storm session the team had about Book 2. It was just a small tossing around of ideas because they were still hard at work for Book 1 and I didn’t actually think they’d go through with the idea.
But this right here.
This seemingly insignificant storyboard holds the key to the plot of Book 2.
Don’t read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled.
Okay. Book 2 was discussed to be more about Korra’s journey with discovering more of the spiritual side of being the Avatar including more journeys to the Spirit World.
What the real twist to the story is that the Spirit named Koh has a secret ability that was never revealed in the original series.
The ability to combine two souls, people as well.
Korra has to reenter the Spirit World and find the fractures of Bolin and Mako’s souls that weren’t part of them being combined, in order to make them into their own beings once again.
It all makes so much sense now with Janet Varney’s seemingly innocent tweet about Mako and Bolin combined would be the perfect man.
And if my suspicions are correct then this means that the Asami sub-plot will also come into play. Yes. There’s also a sub-plot about finding Asami in the Spirit World since she sacrificed herself for firebending at the end of Book 1 and became the sun.
This also means that with only Korra and Makolin left as the members of the Krew there is need for the adding of Howl, the White Lotus guard, as an official member of Team Avatar. Howl factors into this based on the fact that since Mako and Bolin are now combined, there needs to be a third member of the team. There will probably be some awkward sexual tension going on knowing Bryke and the other writers, but Howl will generally fill in a Sokka role, slight comedic relief with a surprising amount of knowledge up his sleeve. At least that’s what I remember Ash saying he would be if they went with this route for Book 2.
And after all that chaos with spirit magic and combined souls and suns…
I bet you’re all wondering what ship will be end-game.
Who am I kidding? OF COURSE that’s what you’ve been waiting for.
And the answer to that question is…
It’s completely canon now.
the post that started it all
The Avatar fandom, ladies and gentleman.
Because it’s too easy to assume that Mako’s hair just grew a little.
I mean I know this is a joke post but still.
I love this fandom.
Remember when we didn’t know who or what Korra was and there was a 200+ (ish?) page thread on ASN filled with theories and someone got it right on the first page. Ah, nostalgia.
I began rewatching LoK last month for the first time since the summer with a fellow AtLA fan/friend of mine. When we hit the rally in “The Revelation” I turned to my friend with a bit of astonishment and said, “This is so clearly mirroring the Cultural Revolution I can hardly stand it.”
A studio art/French double major, she clearly had no idea what I was talking about, even though she decided that nodding along was the best course of action to take in response to my claim. And as we kept watching, I realised that this is why Amon’s propaganda is so successful (even with the fans), and this is why his “revolution” is not meant to be seen as legitimate, either: it’s straight out of Mao Zedong’s (little red) playbook.
This is a fantastic analysis. Particularly the point about the LoK fandom buying into Amon’s propaganda, which is really fascinating.
chaobunny replied to your post: It’s also hard to sympathize with Korra because she just takes so much for granted. She slacks off and doesn’t even work for contact with the spirit world or airbending but gets it anyway. She never thinks about what it’s like to be a nonbender and be opressed. She doesn’t try but always comes out on top. She even takes other people for granted (look at how she treated Bolin). I want to like her, i want her to be an empowered lady, but her attitude just rings to me of a spoiled brat.Korra’s not perfect but to be fair she’s a flawed character and that’s okay? I mean characters have to have flaws otherwise they’re not realistic and considering where she comes from her way of looking at the world makes sense.
I read a really good meta that actually posits that due to how Korra was raised by the White Lotus, she is actually a really realistic portrayal of what would result! So the issue is not so much that KORRA is flawed, the issue is how the writers handled it, such as by presenting no real challenges that were not easily overcome, and creating the love triangle bullshittery, shitting all over Bolin and Asami, and not giving time to the incredibly interesting secondary charachters, like Lin and Tenzin and Penma.
And how the notion of bender privilege was handled? It started out GREAT but urgh it died a painful death…
The issue isn’t KORRA, it’s the writing.
I also think the writing could have used some work. I just really think Korra is a fascinating character. I think the real shame is that they wasted a lot of time on non-essential plot points (the love triangle especially) and so we didn’t get enough backstory on Amon and The Lieutenant who were the most interesting characters in season one. Actually my biggest regret about season one is that we learned nothing about how Noatok got from being a rebellious son to leading the revolution in the first place or what his motivations were. He dies before we really find out. I know the writers are capable of creating sympathetic antagonists, because this was done a lot in A:TLA (i.e. Mai’s family, Zuko, I’m sure there are more but I can’t think all that clearly right now). Honestly the conflict wasn’t really explored enough. One of my favorite episodes was When Extremes Meet because we got to see that the Equalists had a point about the power structure—and I think to some degree Korra sees this too, at least via Tarrlok, and that’s the first time we see her publicly stand up against him. But we don’t see anything like that again, unfortunately. So it was addressed, but not resolved.
Tl;dr I don’t necessarily dislike what was included in regards to the equalist arc, I’m mostly upset about what wasn’t included, and I just wish the plot was delved into more and that loose ends were tied up. Amon’s death is not closure to the arc. And I’m actually hoping that this will be addressed in future seasons. I think the writers can still help fix things a bit.
I could also write a whole essay on how I’m not happy that Korra magically got her bending back at the end of the season but I won’t go there now.
In the end I guess it’s that Korra herself I love as a character so I tend to get defensive about her, partially because I think a lot of the intense criticism that she gets has to do with the fact that she’s a female protagonist, which is a whole other discussion in itself.
I’m just trying to make a point here.
I’m sick and tired of seeing posts like these.
What did you guys expect going into LOK? That everything was going to be the same?
Just like real life, times change. Many years ago, we didn’t even have technology and now it’s used on a day to day basis for most people.
The Avatar Universe advanced, just like we did with technology, and I’m sorry if A:TLA fans are so stuck in their ways that they can’t handle change.
But it’s realistic and something that happens.
No everything wasn’t expected to be the same.
Do you realize how many defenses and justifications for it that were going on about how lightning bending has become commonplace when episode 3 came out?
There was a lot of debate on it and it was generally accepted that things had advanced. This isn’t a conclusion that’s new.
That post was a joke because of how excessively it was used in this first season. Which personally, I feel it was but that’s really because the deadly factor of being shot with lightning was left out of Legend of Korra in comparison to the original series. There was no weight to the action really and no conflicts with it. You’ve got Equalists electrocuting everybody and Mako to on occasions and it’s just not treated as something to be concerned about.
Before the series aired peopled were panicking because Mako and Bolin were shown to be electrocuted by the Lieutenant in clips from trailers, but in the end it wasn’t anything to be concerned about really just a temporary inconvenience and temporary pain.
that’s more my personal issue with the lightningbending, not that the universe has advanced, just that there wasn’t really any emotional weight to it to be played with and more just for flashiness and action
Not only that, but bending isn’t technology; it doesn’t increase in any remotely predictable fashion. Lightning requires a certain inner peace and absolute concentration; that isn’t something that changes. If there’s one thing I think the modern world shows us, it’s that advanced technology doesn’t translate into similarly advanced spirituality; generally, it’s quite the opposite. Bending is a fundamentally spiritual attribute; if lightning generation is really that easy, that the spiritual aspects of bending are really that easily attainable, its quite likely that there would be so many benders as to render the Equalist cause rather moot.
hmmm yeah that’s true too, or at least you’d expect lightningbending to be treated a bit more exclusively like how metalbending is well-known in the LoK universe and is something you might be able to accomplish when put through rigorous training and such
it seems a bit of a stretch that so many firebenders including a firebender from the streets without likely training is able to do so, and just that any firebender can do it without using the proper forms
although I do remember that benders are actually outnumbered by nonbenders, I think it said so on the republic city interactive game on nick.com *shrugs*
Well I’m going to offer two arguments here.
Possibility one is that maybe the very fact that it wasn’t as deadly as used by characters in Korra wasn’t intended to make the skill a less precious thing, but instead the increased use of lightning-bending actually shows that even thought lots more people know how to do it now, maybe they aren’t masters of it or as powerful the way Azula and Iroh were. Just because a lot more benders have learned metalbending (the cops, for instance) doesn’t put them on Toph’s level. It’s clear that in this time-period lightning-bending is very well known, which would cause more people to try and learn it, but just not as well. So maybe that’s why they need so many firebenders to produce lightning for the plant. If everyone could do it like Azula, then they wouldn’t need that many people producing energy.
But let’s assume just for fun that it doesn’t work that way and lightning bending is still very exclusive. I think we could still make a case for that based on what we saw in LoK. I know the fandom hates on Mako a lot, but he WAS a pretty damn good bender, considering how he was powerful enough to resist Amon and how well he did in pro-bending. And there are only a few people we saw use lightning in LoK. Lightning-Bolt-Zolt, who wouldn’t have gotten that nickname if he wasn’t something really out-of-the-ordinary and very skilled at what he did, and Mako, who we have established to be powerful, plus a few unnamed firebenders who we can’t make assumptions about because we don’t know who they are. And we don’t know for sure Mako had no formal training—he used to work with the Triads, after all, and I’m guessing it may have been more than just “running numbers” like he told Korra. Maybe it IS still a rare skill, and that’s how Mako was able to get a job. I feel like there is more than enough evidence to make it work in canon.
Think about this: there was a time when not many people could read. This changed as society advanced. The same could apply to lightning bending. My theory is that Iroh or someone went on a campaign to teach lightning bending to more people so they could pass down the skill.
I really don’t understand why people are so accepting of metalbending and bloodbending in LoK but so skeptical about lightning-bending. Because when all is said and done aren’t they essentially the same thing—“alternate” bending skills that took a slightly different path from the original but are still canonically approved concepts? I feel like the fact that these skills were “discovered” during Aang’s era (well we know that for metalbending, possibly for bloodbending, which would be true only if Hama was the first to discover it, which we don’t know for sure) would be more than enough to make them widespread 70 years later, plus the fact that we don’t know for sure if lightning-bending was older than Aang’s era, because we have no evidence otherwise.
chaobunny wanted it rebloggable so :)
I just wanted to add further commentary on this.
I too remember that a lot of people had huge problems with the Lion Turtle back when the A:TLA finale first aired, and I admit that it did sort of feel like it came out of nowhere, but I think I became a lot more satisfied with the A:TLA finale upon reflection. At first, I wanted Aang to kill Ozai because I thought he deserved it. But the more I thought about it afterwards, the more I realized how much that would have destroyed Aang as a character. In addition, the Lion Turtle’s presence and energybending raised a lot of interesting questions that will (hopefully!) be answered in LoK, such as the origin of the first Avatar and the origin of bending, and how the spirit world influenced the creation of the Avatar. Not that these questions weren’t there before, but the Lion Turtle’s presence confirmed their validity. There have been tons of theories on this and I like the idea that there was an original, pure form of energybending that came before the Avatar. Basically, I love how much speculation came out surrounding the Lion Turtle.
Also, the Aang’s-back-hitting-the-rock to unlock the chakra was another great source of criticism; I guess it was sort of explained by Katara’s comment in 3x01 about there being a lot of energy built up in that spot or something like that, so I guess it was like a volcano that just kept getting pressurized until it exploded? It was never really explained, I suppose, and I wish there was more on that. But again, I agree that time tempers criticism and most people just look upon it with nostalgia now.
So the Lion Turtle I liked upon reflection, but the rock is still iffy. But yes there was a ton of criticism and I remember it well.
My personal regret about season 3 was the fact that Kataang development disappeared from episodes 12-16 and was only mentioned briefly in episode 17, which introduced tension that was not discussed at all in the finale, and then was resolved with the kiss. I love my OTP so much I feel like it deserved more screen time towards the end, especially in the finale.
With Korra I definitely think that a lot of the criticisms are valid; whereas Aang had to do a lot of soul searching to decide whether or not he should kill Ozai, Korra didn’t really have to do the same to get her bending back; Aang just showed up to save the day, which was kind of a let down in my opinion. While I agree that Korra’s acquisition of airbending was very abrupt, that isn’t one of my problems with the finale; it was mainly the ending when everything gets resolved much too fast. If the Korra season 1 finale had ended 5 minutes earlier, I would have loved it a lot more. But I am willing to forgive them for that because it was originally going to be a mini-series and they couldn’t end it all depressing. But I think that the pacing of season 1 in general could have been improved. I definitely think that the pacing was a major issue for me, whereas that was very well done in A:TLA.
Wow I haven’t analyzed stuff like this in a while, it feels good.
Aang: *Gets frustrated when he can’t master an element*
Fandom: Look at all the lessons this illustrates!
Korra: *Gets frustrated when she can’t master air*
Fandom: She’s too immature.
Aang: *Loses it and goes into the Avatar State every time he has a breakdown*
Korra: *Doesn’t keep a completely level head during fights*
Fandom: When is she going to learn to control her emotions?
Aang: *Burst of power that saves the day*
Fandom: EPIC SMACKDOWN BITCH
Korra: *Finally does airbending to defeat Amon*
Fandom: Well that was unrealistic.
Aang: *Receives help from the spirits in solving a huge dilemma* (Sozin’s Comet)
Fandom: The lesson here is that you should stay true to your beliefs and when you’re in trouble, an enormous turtle will rise to the occasion to solve all your problems.
Korra: *Gets her bending back from Aang*
Fandom: DEUS EX MACHINA
I think the difference with the A:TLA finale was that Aang was prepared to kill Ozai after discussing things with the past Avatars even though he felt it was wrong, and that’s when he found the Lion Turtle who gave him another way out. Whereas Korra never sought out to try and get her bending back or find a solution herself; she just got very upset and then Aang showed up and gave it back to her and she didn’t really learn anything from it.
But I do agree that the fandom can be a bit harsh sometimes.
More photos from the LoK press kit I won!