One of my biggest issues with The Legend of Korra thus far has been the unlikability of the characters that make up Team Avatar.
More specifically, the relationship each character has with one another seems tainted and unnatural for a supposed group of friends. The odd dynamics have ruined some of the good that has come from the series.
While some may remember Book 2 for its brilliant portrayal of the Spirit World, others will remember Book 2 for its failed attempt at positive character development.
As it stands now, Korra and Mako are finished, Mako and Asami seem to have been given a spark (creating tension between Korra and Asami), and Bolin is enjoying a rare moment of success.
It’s not ludicrous to assume that Team Avatar is a mess. The social bonds between each character are no-where near where they could be. Tension and anxiety ruins the sense of friendship and honesty that should be vibrant from the group.
Change is necessary, and – fortunately – we have reason to believe that it’s coming this season. During the course of the past several months, bits of news have come in hinting at major changes within Team Avatar. Our exclusive interview with Jeremy Zuckerman delivered the last piece of the puzzle.
It looks as though Team Avatar will be a likable bunch of characters next season that emit a sense of friendship.
Back in November of last year, Mike and Bryan did an interview with the Wall Street Journal. In the interview, they talked extensively about Korra’s romantic arcs. They acknowledged the fans’ dislike of the romantic arcs and claimed that they would “leave it alone” in Book 3.
By ridding Korra’s character of romantic arcs, the writers are reducing the tension between her and Asami. They are also reducing the tension between Korra and Mako. This, in turn, eliminates a major strain in Team Avatar which will invoke less awkwardness and more friendship building.
Just to be clear, I don’t necessarily think ignoring Korra’s romantic arcs is the correct direction to head in. If the writers created a love interest for Korra who was outside of Team Avatar, there would be no strain on the group to being with.
Either way, Team Avatar loses a major distraction in Book 3 that has only ruined the likability of those involved thus far.
During Book 2’s offseason, Mike and Bryan stopped off at a Barnes & Noble in LA to answer some questions and sign some books. One fan asked the co-creators whether or not Korra and Asami would ever become friends. The co-creator’s response was promising:
“Yes, definitely! I think it’s cool because sometimes when you first meet someone you don’t get off to the best start, but then later you become really great, close friends, and that’s something you’re going to be seeing more of with Korra and Asami in the future.”
A Korra-Asami friendship will reduce much of the tension in Team Avatar. The two never really got off on the right foot, and things only got worse as the love triangle grew more complicated. Now that the love triangle will reportedly end, a Korra-Asami friendship will likely form. This will help to build an overall sense of friendship within Team Avatar.
Aside from the struggles involving Korra, Mako and Asami, we have Bolin who hasn’t been talked about much this offseason. I thought Bolin had a very lackluster role in Book 2 until the very end, when he effectively became Nuktuk and saved the day.
Had it not been for Bolin’s final hoorah, I would have chalked up his character as a failure in Book 2. Fortunately, Bolin had a moment of success and it sounds like that success will carry into Book 3.
In our exclusive interview with Jeremy Zuckerman, the composer had some interesting insight on Bolin’s character in Book 3.
“Finally, Bolin has a theme. It’s finally emerged.”
This essentially means that Bolin will have a personality and purpose in Book 3. He’ll grow as a character and be far more than the show’s comedic angle.
Team Avatar will be different in Book 3, according to various bits of news. There will be a sense of friendship and purpose that unites the group. Just as Zuckerman confirmed in an earlier interview, The Legend of Korra will have a similar emotional feel to that of Avatar: The Last Airbender. In the end, it’s all about the characters and it looks like Book 3 will acknowledge that.
Hopefully all that was said translates to the script.