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.