With great power, comes great responsibility.
It all started on Nickelodeon in 2005 with Avatar: The Last Airbender, an animated series about a young boy named Aang who was next in line to be the Avatar — the one human who can control all four of nature’s elements in order to restore balance to a world marred by evil. After three exciting seasons, Aang’s journey came to an end. Fast forward 70 years, Aang is gone, and a young girl named Korra is slated to be the next avatar. In The Legend of Korra: Book One: Air this feisty hothead is thrown into the thick of things, as she comes to terms with her new role; luckily she is mentored by Aang’s adult son Tenzin. Now in The Legend of Korra Book Two: Spirits, Korra must battle a powerfully evil spirit. Things go into high gear right out of the gate, making book two an even more wild ride than its predecessor.
In The Legend of Korra Book Two: Spirits, Korra (Janet Varney) is back again after having defeated the evil Amon (Steve Blum) in season one. This time around she faces a force far more dangerous — a spirit that was imprisoned by the very first avatar, and is in danger of escaping in order to regain the power it believes it so richly deserves. If Korra fails to stop it, the world will be thrown into darkness and chaos for 10,000 years — no pressure.
The Legend of Korra: Book Two: Spirits isn’t your average Saturday morning cartoon. Sure it’s animated, but it’s so much more than the usual toy infomercials that litter the airwaves each and every weekend. The two-disc DVD collection contains 14 episodes that originally aired on the Nickelodeon network in 2013. Even if you don’t have an addictive personality, you will mainline this series in no time flat.
The animation is fantastic, the storyline plausible (If you are willing to buy into the avatar controlling all of the earth’s elements and all), top notch writing, and a group of very talented voice actors who bring the writer’s words to life.
Creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have constructed a whole otherworldly mythology, with layers and backstories that elevates this series beyond a simple children’s show. While Avatar: The Last Airbender introduced us to a world where mortals can control earth, water, fire, and air, The Legend of Korra books one and two gives us the backstory of the avatar, including how the first one came into being.
Korra is from the Southern Water Tribe, she moves to Republic City to study with the airbender Tenzin. After saving the city in season one, the second go ’round has her fighting a much bigger foe. Korra has to protect the entire world from Vaatu (Jonathan Adams) the evil spirit that has been around since the beginning of time. Usually tempered by Raava, the source spirit of light, there’s someone working to release Vaatu in order to obtain its power and rule the world. I know it sounds like a typical “evil guy wants ultimate power” scenario, but The Legend of Korra Book Two: Spirits is anything but typical. It isn’t just the story of Korra’s battle with this antagonistic evil spirit, it’s also about her continual journey as the avatar. This is a defining moment for her, as she grows in ways she hasn’t before. At times we see a more vulnerable Korra than we did in book one, but this vulnerability also makes her more susceptible to being manipulated by people pretending to have her best interests at heart. To have all of this going on, while at the same time taking the responsibility of the world squarely on her shoulders, tests the young woman beyond what she believes she can handle.
The Legend of Korra Book Two: Spirits is a standard def transfer, and a good one. Crisp colors and clear images that give it a higher quality than most animated series. The Dolby 5.1 audio is easy on the ears, with clean dialogue and a fitting soundtrack. Extras include, “Feuding Spirits,” a behind the scenes featurette. Two scenes shown in their storyboard form, followed by the final product. Finally four audio commentaries with the creators and the crew of the series make for a wonderful viewing experience.
The Legend of Korra Book Two: Spirits is the kind of show that appeals to children and adults alike. The intricate storyline, sprinkled with humor and suspense, is a definite must for the animation connoisseur, as well as the little crumb crunchers that take over your TV each and every Saturday morning.