Archive for May 2016

Episode 25 - The Spirit of Competition / And the Winner Is… / The Aftermath

May 28, 2016 @ 6:32 pm

Ugh, teenage love triangles. Or quadrangles. Polyhedrons? Whatever they are, ugh! Even in the world of Avatar, kids have hormones. Fortunately, The Legend of Korra manages to deal with the bulk of this well-worn plot device in a single episode AND make it actually quite interesting, as chapter 105, "The Spirit of Competition" uses the backdrop of the Pro-bending Championship Tournament to examine the relationship between our three main heroes. Tenzin's daughters offer the wisest romantic advice, Bolin gets noodle drunk, and Pema is a home wrecker. Then, in chapter 106, "And the Winner Is...," we find out who the winner is. Duh. Who wins the tournament? Who wins the romance? How badass IS Lin Beifong? Those answers and more could only lead to "The Aftermath," as chapter 107 brings us Republic City's "Tony Stark," the return of the cabbage merchant (sort of), and freaking mechatanks!

And we finally have our first Korra spin-off idea: Batman Beifong! (Bei-Bat? Bat-fong?)

Next: our penultimate Book One discussion brings us to chapters 108-110, "When Extremes Meet," "Out of the Past," and "Turning the Tides."

The Breakdown

  • Main Topic (00:00 - 1:11:00)
  • Outro / Next (1:11:00 - 1:13:06)

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Episode 24 - The Revelation / The Voice in the Night

May 19, 2016 @ 11:03 pm

Amon wants a revolution, but first we get a revelation. Chapter 103, "The Revelation" to be precise, wherein we learn that the leader of the Equalists, while really scary and kind of a dick, might possibly have a point? Paul and Eric are in full-on fanboy mode, but Arlo is initially uncomfortable with the muddy moral waters this new series is treading in, with "villains" that are actually the oppressed and "heroes" that could in fact be the oppressors. But Amon has a plan, and it involves taking away people's bending abilities! And in chapter 104, "The Voice in the Night" haunts Korra with the fear of that very thing. We talk again about how The Legend of Korra is the Angel: The Series to Avatar: The Last Airbender's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, exploring more mature, challenging, and morally ambiguous subject matter than perhaps its parent series. Also, we meet the wonderful Asami (we'll get through this love quadrangle stuff, I promise), the adorable Pabu (he's a friend, not a snack), and we jump to some disturbing conclusions about the Republic City Council, start to get really worked up about it, and then realize that we may already be falling for Amon's propaganda crap.

Oh yeah, and we finally, officially settle on a time for the live-action The Last Airbender film. We will suffer for your entertainment.

Next: we hit the Korra Book One midpoint with chapters 105-107, "The Spirit of Competition," "And the Winner is...," and "The Aftermath."

The Breakdown

  • Intro / Banter (00:00 - 10:05)
  • Main Topic (10:05 - 1:21:00)
  • Outro / Next (1:21:00 - 1:23:23)

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Episode 23 - Welcome to Republic City / A Leaf in the Wind

May 12, 2016 @ 7:45 pm

It's a new age, and there's a brand new Avatar! 70 years have passed since Aang and his friends ended the Hundred Year War, and the world has moved on. Paul, Eric, and Arlo get the bend back together (get it?) to discuss the legend (and attitude) of Korra of the Southern Water Tribe. In chapter 101, "Welcome to Republic City," our new hero leaves her frozen homeland behind for the pseudo-steampunk '20s era New York-meets-Shanghai industrial revolution of the capital. We talk about how different Korra is from her predecessor, what kind of man Aang's youngest son has grown up to be, and whether non-benders can really survive in a city filled with bender gangs and metalbending cops. And in chapter 102, "A Leaf in the Wind," Korra struggles with her spiritual side, we're introduced to the sport of Pro-bending, and good lord the voice cast of this series!

Plus there's listener e-mail, and the rules of pai sho.

Next: The Legend of Korra Book One: Air continues with chapters 103, "The Revelation" and 104, "The Voice in the Night."

The Breakdown

  • Intro / Banter (00:00 - 12:15)
  • Main Topic (12:15 - 1:06:05)
  • LISTENER MAIL! (1:06:05 - 1:11:11)
  • Outro / Next (1:11:11 - 1:13:25)

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Episode 22 - The Promise

May 2, 2016 @ 8:58 pm

The show may have come to an end, but the Aang Gang lives on as we take this opportunity to discuss "The Promise," the first collected volume in Dark Horse Comics' official graphic novel series continuing the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Written by Eisner and Harvey Award winner Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese; Boxers & Saints), with art by Japanese duo Gurihiru, "The Promise" picks up right where the animated series left off, but quickly demonstrates that the happily ever afters we saw in "Sozin's Comet" may be a lot more nuanced and complicated than we thought. We talk about the book's exploration of colonialism and cultural appropriation; how Aang's true role as the Avatar, maintaining balance between four autonomous nations, may prove a greater challenge than defeating a single clearly-defined enemy; how well the author captures the voices of the characters, and how it all transitions from fluid animation to the static art form of comics. 

Oh, and we add another title to the growing list of spin-off series we want to see: That's So Toph!

Next: time marches on. 70 years to be exact. And with the passing of an age comes the birth of a new Avatar, with new friends, new's a whole new world! Join us as we discuss The Legend of Korra chapters 101, "Welcome to Republic City," and 102, "A Leaf in the Wind."

The Breakdown

  • Main Topic (00:00 - 1:10:45)
  • Outro / Next (1:10:45 - 1:13:00)

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The Avatar Returns
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