Are Four Legend of Korra Books Too Many?

When I first heard the news that The Legend of Korra would include four books, I was ecstatic. Why shouldn’t I be? That essentially means that we as fans will get to watch more Legend of Korra episodes for many years to come. But when the news really sank in, I realized that four Legend of Korra books may not be as good as it seems.

Let’s start off my explanation with a question: Did you enjoy Book 1? Most likely, the answer to that question is yes. Book 1 of The Legend of Korra was without-a-doubt an awesome season of television. But the Book also had its fair share of problems, and most of these problems derived from the fact that the Book was only 12 episodes long.

A common opinion around the Avatar Fandom is that Book 1 was rushed, and I agree with that. The Book may not have felt rushed after episode 7 or 8, but once we saw how fast everything was wrapped up in the season finale, it was obvious that Mike and Bryan had a cram-fest when it came to writing the last two episodes. But it’s not the creators fault: Fitting a story as complex as Amon’s into a 12 episode Book is extremely difficult. But despite the fact that Book 1 seemed rushed, Mike and Bryan seemingly don’t plan on fixing this issue, as Books 2-4 will also contain a low episode count (13-14 episodes).

And because Books 2-4 will feature shorter seasons, they might also feel rushed, similarly to Book 1. The plotlines that Mike and Bryan introduce into the Avatar World are so dynamic and layered, that it’s impossible to successfully conclude them without time. And with Books 2-4 featuring low episode counts, time is not necessarily in abundance.

Another negative effect of having shorter Books is the absence of filler-episodes. If The Legend of Korra didn’t give you the same feeling The Last Airbender gave you, it’s because the season was absent of those filler-episodes. Fillers are what essentially develop the characters: We see what they are like outside the problems of the Avatar World. And because fillers were avoided, we saw characters like Mako and Asami lack character development. Filler episodes make the show fun, and without them, we are left with a Book that is nothing but a plotline; and that’s not always a good thing.

Because Book 2-4 will consist of only 12-14 episodes, we can expect them to be absent of filler episodes, lacking in character development, and feeling almost crammed/rushed.

I am not proposing that Mike and Bryan eliminate a Book or two, but I’d much rather them take the remaining 40 episodes, and divide them into two, 20 episode Books that include filler, more character development and the fun that was so often seen in The Last Airbender.

As much as it may seem that I am bashing The Legend of Korra, I really am not. I just feel that The Legend of Korra has so much more potential. Even though I love the series the way it currently is, it could be so much better if each book was simply longer.

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15 Responses

  1. noo. four books would be perfect! 🙂

    • Well, if you enjoy a multitude of plot-lines, then yes, 4 books may be for you. But I’d rather have a couple longer books. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  2. You have a good point. I’m worried book 2 may be rushed as well since I think most of the writing was already done before Nick okay’ed the additional 26 episdoes for books 3 and 4. It may end up being tied up too neatly and quickly again like what happened in the first season finale. However I think books 3 and 4 will not be quite as rushed. Or at least I hope 🙂 oh well I’ll love whatever mike and bryan come out with regardless

    • I agree. Hopefully Mike and Bryan make books 3, 4 tied together. That may resolve a lot of the issues.

  3. totally agree with this article! i was wondering why i didn’t like this series as much as i like the last airbender.

    • That’s how I feel too. ATLA > TLOK in my opinion.

  4. If only they developed the characters and stop cluttering everything with romance crap. That would be a waste of precious time and gorgeous animation for nothing.

    • Agreed. They could have made short books work, but they didn’t.

  5. i predit book 2 is going to be rushed too, cause everything been written. ANd maybe book 3@4 won’t be rushed, and lok is the last avatar series ever.

    • I wouldn’t say ever, Nickelodeon would be stupid to pass off any other future adaptations. its makes way to much money and pulls in way to many people for them to stop.

      And on books 3 & 4, maybe there will be some overlying arc to them where they’re the same story split over two books, instead of an individual story for each book. I will agree that book 2 might be a little rushed, hopefully the 14 episodes will give them some more time to flesh out characters and such.

  6. yeah i completely agree the filler episodes in the last airbender were fantastic and i think part of the problem is they have advanced the avatar world into the future unnecessarly. the new technology that has been brought in speeds everything up in the world and leaves no gap between plans being made by team avatar and plans being executed such as was the case in airbender where u would have a plan made by sokka and then a leadup of 3 or 4 episodes of fillers that builds up to a large battle. larger books would be much better as character development would much improve as u said and the sense of journeying with the characters would be greater. also with the new modern world only growing and advancing throughout korra and being in my opinion not as adventurous as the classic world from airbender, it leaves not much scope for the next avatar after korra (im praying they keep going) to act as a traditional avatar. therefore i predict and i think it would be a great idea if for the next avatar series they did an avatar from many generations ago and invent new characters and plot line that get back to the feeling from airbender. however while i did not love korra at first i think it improved with every episode and now i love it i just hope that it continues improving throughout and that by the end of book 2 its on par with airbender

    • Pretty much everything you said is on point with what I believe in. The fact that the setting is so advanced kind of dispointed me at first since I loved the whole traditional aspect of The Last Airbender (I’ve gotten used to it now).

      But filler episodes would really improve the show as a whole if they continued that, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

      I also really like your idea about Mike and Bryan going back a few generations if they decide to continue the series. Personally, I have always been very fond of Avatar Kyoshi and her back story. A series on her would be really cool, especially since we haven’t seen an Earth Bending-based Avatar develop yet.

      And thanks for leaving such an extensive and well though out comment, it really means a lot! 🙂

      • No worries, I was also thinking that maybe they shouldnt have had mako and korra get together in the season finale and rather kept to the dynamic that aang and katara had. I think that the plot sequence of airbender was perfect with the climaxes and lowpoints and i think they should have repeated that in korra instead of rapping up the equalist saga so quickly they should have left it with the equalists able to fight another day and amon still alive (he may well be) although despite this the last two episodes of korra book 1 were exceptional in my opinion and somewhat up there with airbender i just hope the show continues to improve from here.

  7. We need to stop spending so much time comparing LoK to TLA because they are different. Similar, yes. But very different. The styles are different, the setting, the plot, the characters. Purposefully so. It may be a continuation of TLA, but it is essentially a completely separate show that can stand on it’s own and is supposed to.

    The reason season 1 of LoK felt rushed (annd it was) is because Bryan and Mike originally planned for a mini-series. We all know this. They were forced to rush. Nick gave them this one chance to show their stuff and they more than proved themselves. Now, Nick has given them two more seasons to work with. Four more books. Time that will allow them to truly build a beautiful story arc, such as the one that TLA had.

    Yeah, LoK might stay a little rushed. And rightfully so. They can only do so much with what they are given. But I can promise you that each book of Korra will get better. Just as Aang’s did. Because the creators learn more as time goes on.

    It’s hard to watch the world of Avatar pan out in front of us and change. We feel like we’re leaving Aang behind. But we’re not. Things are just changing. And change is hard. It hurts and it’s hard to accept. But it’s inevitable. The only thing that matters is how we react to that change.

    We can sit here and complain how things are different than last time we were in the Avatar world or we can try to embrace what we are given and enjoy it while we have it. Because honestly, we are incredibly lucky and blessed that they even decided to let us back into the Avatar World, if only for a moment. Don’t over analyze it, just enjoy it. Those are my rambly thoughts.

    • You make a good point, unfortunately LoK and Altla will forever always be linked and compared to. That’s just how it’ll work.

      It’s not necessarily right or wrong, it’s just natural for the fans base.

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