Analysis and Commentary of Full Clip from Book 2 of The Legend of Korra

A few days ago at around 4 pm, I noticed that my e-mail and Twitter feed had exploded with notifications about a Legend of Korra Book 2 preview. I followed the link to an IGN page (of course) and feasted my eyes on a video that I’ve been waiting almost a year to see. The Book 2 clip had a lot of interesting information in it – some of which we already knew, a lot of which we didn’t know. The video in itself also had a lot of interesting moments: some Korra-related, some Korra-unrelated. In order to highlight all the interesting moments of our very first Book 2 clip, I wanted to do an analysis on it in order to speculate all that I could from the clip itself.

In the beginning of the video, we’re introduced to Noah and Gabby – arguably two of the worst teen actors I’ve ever seen. They actually give those two actors who play Austin & Ally on Disney Channel a run for their money. Anyways, we get a quick look at them prancing their way around Nickelodeon Studios, in a way that would probably get me arrested, until they reach Mike and Bryan’s cubicle.

Noah makes an interesting first impression: He creeps up on the creators like Gollum from The Lord of the Rings, scares the sh*t out of Mike DiMartino, and then asks him if he makes Korra. Well gee, I don’t know? You’d think the concept art and sketches from Book 2 plastered all over the cubicle would be a dead give away – call me crazy. Mike responds with a “Yes, hello” while Bryan has more of a “WTF are you doing here” expression. Once the awkward confrontation ends, we get our first look at Book 2 – Korra is seen air-punching the ground for a brief second, which results in swirls of wind twisting around her.

Gabby begins to speak and immediately comes across as one of those annoying school girls who say “like” after every three words. “Sssooooooo, like, what’s up with, like, Book 2?” she asks. Bryan responds by talking about how Book 2 introduces a whole new realm for Korra to battle and master. A prime example of this is the Spirit World in itself. Korra will need to master the Spiritual side of being the Avatar and battle out any Spirits who disturb the balance of the physical world.

While Bryan is commentating, we get another look at Book 2 – A Spirit is seen striking the ground, pushing Korra away, and then holding Korra against the side of a short, snowy cliff.

Noah then looks at Gabby and asks “Soooo, what kinds of Spirits will Korra be meeting?” Gabby gives Noah an awkward look basically suggesting, “How the f*ck should I, like, know?” but Mike quickly jumps in to answer the question. Mike explains that the Spirits in Book 2 have the ability to take different forms – there are Creature Spirits and Light & Dark Spirits. When the Creature Spirits are mentioned, we see a glowing ball of ice that strongly resembles the ball of ice Aang was found in during The Last Airbender. The Light & Dark Spirits literally resemble a darker colored Spirit (brown-ish) with a lightly colored aroma around it.

My thought is that these Spirits could be the type that switches between friend and foe. One minute it could be on Korra’s side, the next it could be trying to rip Bolin’s head off.

While Bryan starts napping again, Mike asks the two if they want to see a clip of the Spirits. If you listen closely, you can hear Bryan groaning in the background. Noah responds with a resounding, “I want to check this out!” while Regina George Jr. decides to keep her trap shut for once.

In the beginning of the clip, we see Korra and Mako both fighting off some Spirits with fire bending. I can’t really explain it, but there was something different about the animation in this scene. It didn’t look bad, but you could tell that there was definitely a bit of a change in the animation for Book 2. Korra eventually back flips her way out of the mess and focuses her attention on one Spirit. She then begins to bend water in a circular motion around the Spirit.

One thing I noticed here is that Korra looks a bit different. She seems slimmer, and her features look a bit more prominent – she almost looks more feminine. I personally love the changes; they are subtle, but very enhancing.

Another thing I noticed was that when Korra was bending water around the Spirit, the Spirit began to glow and turn a white-ish color before breaking out of the trance and attacking Korra. My guess is that this is some sort of technique to exploit a weakness Spirits have. I don’t think this was subset to air bending for the simple reason that air bending was not utilized, water bending was. But it’s definitely a topic that will be interesting to find out more about once Book 2 airs.

After the Spirit breaks out of the glowing trance, it attacks Korra, holds her to the ground, and then almost drools on her with its purple saliva. That’s how our preview of Book 2 ended – a small cliff hanger.

The video, on the other hand, ended a little differently…

Gabby yells, “That’s so, like, awesomeeee!” in her annoying school girl voice, Noah gives Mike a high five, and Bryan quickly turns back to his desk and breathes a sigh of relief that the “actors” (major emphasis on the quote-on-quote) are leaving. But wait! There’s still time for one more incredibly stupid, terribly scripted scene!

And no, M. Night Shyamalan did not direct this one.

Gabby explains that she wishes she could air-bend, but Noah displays his laughable, Noah Ringer-like acting ability when he says that it’s not real. Gabby then throws her hands up in the air saying, “Oh well” which cues the camera crew to turn on a few high-powered fans. This basically blows papers all over the cubicle and gets a good reaction out of the creators – Bryan throws his hands up in a WTF fashion and Mike has an expression basically saying, “Get these loonies the f*ck out of here. I don’t even give a sh*t anymore.”

But wait, there’s still more!

“I JUST AIR BENT! WHOOOOOOOOOOO!” says Gabby. Someone get me an Advil.

  • HaZardous

    Mike was annoyed at the camera crew for blowing their papers around, not the kids. :P

    • Katie

      He was annoyed at their very presence…

  • Tumas

    Thanks for that interesting commentary, and an interesting theory on the Spirits. Really looking forward to seeing more about the new series and finding out more.

    You really brought Mike and Bryan’s frustration/akwardness to my attention. I saw it before, but watching the video again, it became apparent just how akward the whole thing was. I just feel sorry for them; I know they can have brilliant things to say (like through their respective tumblr accounts, Mike’s blog and the art books), so I can understand the glum/indifferent expressions at having to reduce themselves to this.

    I appreciate that Nick has a certain marketing strategy aimed at a certain audience, so I guess it’s a necessary evil. At least we’re getting high quality ‘Korra’ and ‘Avatar’ merhcnadise I think other Nick show’s don’t get (the graphic novels, the artbook and soundtrack, yay!). So I can let this one slide, a little, just barely.

    Anwyay, personally I’m not too sure about Korra’s subtle change in design. I liked how she had a slightly muscular build and somewhat struggled to be a girly-girl (rather like Bolin when he talked about why he liked her), so her becoming more feminine is a wee bit of a let-down for me. I will still like Korra completely for her character, but I just loved her that little bit more for her non-completely-conventional design. But I guess that could ultimately be a nit-pick on my part.

    PS: That’s ‘Gollum’ rather than ‘Golem’ (sorry, a bit of a ‘Lord of The Rings’ fan here)

  • MitchGunner

    Another thing that looks noticably different in the animation is the fire. If you pause the video on a point when korra is firebending and compare it to Book 1 firebending, Book 2′s fire looks more stylized and extreme in colors.

    • daniel yefru

      LMAO YOUR RIGHT I WENT TO THE VIDEO I PAUSED IT WHEN KORRA WAS FIREBENDING MAN IT WAS BOSS ANIMATION I CANT BELIVE IT

      • MitchGunner

        Haha. Yeah, I think that it could be very interesting if there is a slight change to the way the elements look. I’m not sure if I’m quite “FOR” the new style yet but I’m certainly not against it.

  • Cheesewhizz

    I f**king couldn’t stop laughing at your analysis of the office parts of the clip.

    • Noah

      MY PRRECCIOUSS!!!!!!

    • sillystringz

      Soooo, like, what’s up with those girls in school who, like, say like at least 5 times in a sentence?

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

      Then I succeeded. Making fun of those kids was probably 75% of the reason why I wrote this.

      • Sam

        Did Bryan actually groan in the background?

  • ペドロ

    almost started crying at ” Regina George Jr.”
    You did get me laughing at a lot of points!

    But all jokes aside, I really cannot wait for Book 2!
    The Legend of Korra itself is better than most anime’s I’ve watched.

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

      Glad you enjoyed it :)

  • Daniel Elss

    I’ll just let this here:

    Insider Information: Vortex-Bending

  • chewgum

    ciao, sono italiana e non parlo molto bene inglese quindi vi scriverò in italiano. l’aspetto di korra nel clip video è diverso dal solito, il suo viso è completamente diverso, lei è più magra inoltre anche il dominio del fuoco e il dominio dell’acqua sono diversi, questo secondo me perché questo era un clip video non ancora terminato del tutto. Infatti abbiamo la prova che bryan sta ancora lavorando alla correzione del colore e alle animazioni come ha scritto in alcune delle sue immagini che ha postato. per il resto l’aspetto di korra è ok, nell’immagini di correzioni del colore di book 2 postate da bryan korra mi sembra uguale a book 1, speriamo nel meglio e poi staremo a vedere l’intera serie, sono sicura che ci faranno stupire ancora.

    • Tumas

      Pensavo la stessa cosa.

      E sono sicuro che ci faranno stupire ancora; non ci hanno deluso finora!

    • Wat

      I just found out that Spanish is NOTHING like Italian…

      • Kotoi

        …I thought everyone knew that. Seriously. Maybe it’s because I’m Portuguese so I’m more familiar with European languages. If you know Spanish, there are some bits of the text you can understand without using Google Translator.

    • Swaroopa

      Chewgum, tu sei giusto. Il animazione per Korra non e` buono come Book 1. Tuttavia, io certo che mike e bryan devono fare la correzione del colore primo, quindi non preoccupatevi!

  • Jason

    I think when korra hit the ground the giant ice ball came up.

    • daniel yefru

      FUCK YOU JUST REMINDED ME BACK IN JULY 20TH THEY SHOWED ART PICS OF BOOK 2 ONE OF THEM WERE KORRA FINDING AANGS ICEBERG IN THE SOUTH POLE

    • daniel yefru

      whoops i didint mean to say fuck you i meant to say holy fuck

      • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

        Lol.

      • Peter

        don’t worry, I get my fucks mixed up as well…

      • Katie

        XD getting your f***’s mixed up?

        • daniel yefru

          yup

  • Anime_Fr34k

    Keval, you would make an awesome theorist no doubt. That acting was indeed horrible with emphasis on horrible. The second book is going to be beyond what is expected from it. Agreed?

  • GandalfTheWhite

    Keval, on Mike’s tumblr, he says there’s going to be a “panel” at a LA Barnes and Noble in June 26. He mentions Korra, so should we expect more news about Book 2?

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

      Doubtful. He’s with a bunch of other television producers so they’ll likely talk about the logistics of television production and what not.

  • Chris

    I also remember a short scene where a creature covered with spikes chased two people in what looked like water tribe dress. This was while Mike and Bryan were talked.

  • Reifu

    Don’t you think that is a but harsh on Regina?

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

      If you take it all seriously, sure. I just threw as many jokes as I could into this post to get a good reaction out of the community. It wasn’t mean to be hurtful.

      • bluesclues

        *ahem* sarcasm *ahem

        • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

          Trueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  • Katie

    XD again, those idiots are part of Nick Studio 10, Aka another way to make me groan in agony, where two other kids and those dipthongs screw around all day, and apparently get payed to have egg fights and fart in jars.

    • Muggle

      Dipthongs? You know that dipthongs are actually a thing, right? O_o

      • Katie

        Yup. They also have something to do with Spanish Grammar….. I just chose the word because it makes them sound stupid.

        • Muggle

          Okay then. I thought you tried to make up an insult and wound up using a real, totally inoffensive word. Though “dipthong” does sound like it should be more offensive xD

  • Filmeditor16

    Your analysis was very funny, and very true. But I have to disagree with you on one count. I don’t like/want Korra to look more feminine. As a straight, tomboyish big boned girl, I really contected with Korra. She’s pretty, but she’s not deathly, horribly, skinny like “Paris Hiltion Chic” that so many girls starve themselves for. I can’t stand a lot of the teenage actress on tv now a days that look like they haven’t had lunch, ever. Now some people are just built like that, and there is nothing wrong with that. But other girls suffer from anexira and other disorders like that just to strive for an image that is considered “cool” or “perfect” when in reality they are miserable and unhealthy. I love Korra because she’s one of the few female people on tv (cartoons count) who is not a bag of bones. She’s fit, she’s muscular, an she’s still pretty. And it gives me hope that one day, someone will love me like Mako loves her. Korra doesn’t wear make up, she doesn’t dress in girly clothes, and shes strong and a good fighter. Seeing Korra and Mako gives me hope that someone will fall for me even though I don’t like Make up, even though I don’t dress in forever 21 and American eagle or whatever the hell kids wear now a days, and because I like playing gym games and sports. I went a tiny bit off topic but you get my drift. Maybe it’s a guy thing? I’ve seen a lot of guys who like Korra thinner and more feminine. But a lot of girls like myself like her the way she was in Book 1. But when you look at other parts of the trailer and screen shots, she looks like she did in Book 1, maybe that clip is just the way it was animated and not the whole book is like that.
    Either way, I’m excited about Book 2, and can’t wait till Comic Con.

    • Muggle

      I’m thinking that since book 2 takes place 6 months after book 1, Korra’s more feminine look might be a result of less physical activity. Maybe she’s had more freedom and less training/fighting to do since the end of book 1? That would result in a very fit woman like Korra looking more ‘feminine’ and thinner.

      • MitchGunner

        That seems like kind of a stretch. I think it was what Filmeditor16 said about the animation being slightly different in “that” scene specifically. I was thinking the exact same thing.

        • Filmeditor16

          Yeah, the scene could just be messed up or something. Do you remember how Makos eyes were green in episode 2? Or how I think it was Lin who had 6 fingers? Or it could just be how that part was animated. Or better and crazier yet that scene could be in a different reality that’s part of the story. Who knows? We certainly won’t until we watch the Book.

          • Muggle

            That’s probably more likely, but who knows? I’ve seen that physical process happen to a lot of women, including some of my relatives.

          • Michelle M.

            Lol no it wasn’t Lin with 6 fingers it was Tahno :D

      • Filmeditor16

        Good thinking, Muggle. That could be a reason. We could also think that maybe puberty kicked into overdrive and Korra changed in 6 months, because Korra was only 17 in Book 1. But in other places in the trailer and screenshots she looks very similar to the way she did in Book 1. Good thinking though! That sounds probable.

        • Xin

          I partly choked when I read your first sentence.

          • Filmeditor16

            Excuse me? What’s wrong with liking several opinions and ideas?

          • Xin

            …I meant the sentence where you said, “Good thinking, Muggle.”

          • Filmeditor16

            OH MY GOD IM SORRY I thought you were being hostile I never know online :( yeah haha :)

      • Erin

        She could also be thinner from all the acrobatics she will have to do for airbending.

        • Filmeditor16

          True!

      • Stormbender

        It might be a result of her airbending training that she’s a bit smaller, you can’t make bricks fly- not that she was huge before

    • Tumas

      I’m not going through the same things you are, but I do understand your point. Speaking as a guy, I actually liked Korra’s non-strictly-conventional design in Book 1. When Bolin was saying why he liked her – “smartest, funniest, toughest, buffest, talented incrediblest girl in the world” – I couldn’t help but agree with him. If I found someone with her physique and/or tomboyish attitude, I’d definitely consider asking her out (if we go well together, of course).

      Honestly, I wouldn’t stop watching ‘Korra’ if the design were slightly changed to be more feminine (though, as you pointed out, this may not necessarily be the case), but I definitely get your point.

      And I hope you find your own Mako; I’m sure you deserve it and will find that special guy.

  • Brenda

    I agree with you 100%
    I love you.

    • 11:47

      WTEQ…

  • Alex

    Korra was sound bending actually, you can see the air and water surrounding the spirit and the sound that was made which I think can change the spirits

    • MitchGunner

      I think it was just water-bending, though I’m not sure about the spirit’s reaction (turning white).

  • serock

    haha, i’m glad someone else thought that those kids were so bad and annoying. reading this was a pleasure because of that ;)

  • Erin

    I think that part where Korra was held against the cliff could be apart of that video with the really crappy graphics that they gave us a while ago. The one where everything is sketched out? I dunno, just a thought. (By the way Keval nice analysis it was very funny)

  • Emily

    great analysis!!! Sooo, like, awesomeee!!! lol :P Super funny!

  • MOX

    To be frank, I don’t think a change in animation is good. Maybe they could get rid of a few computer added things that just seemed too smooth, but that’s it.

    I noticed the changes in the clip, and I hope that not all of Book 2 will be quite like that.

  • chewgum

    ciao, ma secondo voi Michael il 26 giugno mostrerà dei pannelli su book 2 a barnes & noble at the grove a los angeles??

    • Katie

      …what.

  • Catherine

    It kind of makes me mad that Nickelodeon sees the Avatar fanbase as such…

    But seriously, great job on this article. XD Can’t stop laughing!

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

      I’m glad you enjoyed it and found it funny :)

  • Jeremy

    Very astute analytical skills sir.
    I only hope the creators don’t have to deal with the inane actions of Disney too often.

  • m

    I kind of don’t like how they’ve changed her face. ATLA was very different in that one of the aspects I really liked was how progressive the show was, having strong female characters each taking up different issues or having very different back grounds (Katara being a feminist, Toph being a strong blind girl, the mechanist’s son being paraplegic, all characters we rarely see). I feel that Korra was really different though. There was a typical female rivalry between her and Asami, even though personally I think they should have been together, not her and Mako. One of the things I liked about her was all of the muscle and strong confrontational attitude, and showed a woman with different muscle physique that usually isn’t projected. I’m hoping that it’s just that the scene was weird or something, because she still looks like herself in the full body scenes. I think the only really progressive issue they’ve taken up in this series is privilege and how power works beween the oppressed and the oppressors, but even then there still some really problematic stuff that was said, or maybe that was the point? Not sure on that one. But when she was water bending around the spirit I noticed a stark change in the music, maybe to match the type of bending being done, but it looked really similar to that ice ball Katara trapped Zuko in in the Season 1 finale of Atla, which I thought they were doing for a moment. However, it looked like she was taking the heat out of the spirit, kind of like when you burn coal and the white brittle color it turns when coal is cooling and easy to crack after.

  • Stormbender

    I think that Korra was trying to freeze the spirit when she started bending water around you and it just melted the ice with some spirit thing

  • Muggle

    Noah and Gabby are the reasons why I can’t stand children’s programming. SHUT THE FUCK UP AND USE YOUR INSIDE VOICES. FOR GOD’S SAKE IT ISN’T THAT GODDAMN HARD.

    • Katie

      XD everyone can airbend. Ever walked past a box of tissues with one sticking out?

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  • daniel yefru

    xD if you think there airbending act was terrible you should see there magic act on fairy odd parents behind the scens look lol

  • Katie

    This is a little late for the comment, but reading your posts makes my day.

    As in, your hilarious.