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"Korragraphy": Choreography Mistakes in The Legend of Korra

The Legend of Korra, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, is a spin-off of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Legend of Korra initially aired on Nickelodeon, but by the third season, the show had become listed as an "online only show", due to its online popularity being so much greater than its popularity on television.

The Legend of Korra, much like its "parent" show, contains lots of action, disputes between characters, and intriguing plot-twists. What is most noteworthy in The Legend of Korra, in comparison to Avatar: The Last Airbender, is the shift in the style of plot/scene-pacing as well as the style of combat that is enacted by the characters.

This may be a heavily opinion-based post, but I personally find that, in regards to the action-scenes of The Legend of Korra, the "choreography" of the fight-scenes, as well as the order in which the fight-scenes take place, is poorly done in this show. Many epic fight-scenes happen too early in the series, or certain "moves" performed by the characters are done with such ease that the audience grows numb to acts of authentic skill. Thus, whenever a truly impressive "move" is pulled off in a fight-scene, the effect is lessened.

Questions to be answered in this post:
Does action-scene "choreography" really matter? Is "fight-scene sequencing" actually important for keeping fans interested? Are fans "numbed" by watching too many epic battles before the battles of ultimate significance take place?

  • I don't know if this article does a good enough job of presenting specifics and explaining WHY the choreography itself in Legend of Korra falls short. This article speaks more to a gap between what certain audience members expect from fight scenes and the way in which the first two seasons did not play into those expectations. For example, when Korra and Amon first square off, an audience member might expect that this is the climax of the season and be disappointed when the fight does not match up to expectations of a climactic fight scene like Aang and Ozai. This scene, however, is NOT the climax of the season: Korra going into the Avatar state is. Meanwhile, Amon is an anticlimactic villain. As it turns out he is just a blood bender and does not deserve the same epic showdown that Ozai did. In short, the choreography is important to an extent but the show focuses more on plot and theme than fighting: a philosophy which is consistent with the show's commitment that violence should be seen as a secondary option. – Cmandra 1 year ago
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  • The original series had a more cinematic "ancient martial arts" feeling but I really enjoyed the way the choreography felt in Korra. It seems to have evolved from ancient martial arts techniques as the original show displayed and becomes more of modern style. This is emphasized in the bending competitions where the bending feels like a boxing or UFC match. Everything about the sequel series is rooted in industrialization which means that the bending also progresses in technique and efficiency. Its truly difficult to argue your point, I'm afraid, as the information might require visual proof. The bending, in the show, does appear seamless even to younger or newer Benders, but if you think about the level that bending education has evolved from the almost primitive feeling of the original show, it mostly explains why the characters have improved in talent. – consciouskyle 1 year ago
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  • I appreciate that Korra had the brute strength that Aang did not. Korra was intentionally this way to break gender stereotypes and give you more varied women. Between Katara, Toph, Lin, Korra, and Asami there are so many different and amazing types of women that the enhanced fighting does not phase me because /that's Korra/. – alexpaulsen 1 year ago
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  • Fight scenes cannot be underestimated in importance. A really great fight scene has an element of surprise. Think back to Monkey Kingdom where the witch uses her hair to sling around the enemies' neck and strangles them with a jerk of her head, or Matrix where Neo flies off. I loved Legend of Korra but am forced to agree with you regarding the fight scenes. – Munjeera 1 year ago
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  • I didn't notice too significant a drop in fight scene choreography. If you're correct, it might be due to the fact that Korra is set in a technology advanced future where mech-suits do a lot of the fighting. This could even be a comment on the way technology distances us from our past/traditions? Seems a bit heavy handed however – Rayna 9 months ago
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