Is “Legend of Korra” the Next Big Thing in Anime? (Review)

Legend of Korra Review

“Legend of Korra” has been getting a lot of attention in some circles as the next big anime, but can it really live up to the hype? I would submit to you, dear reader, that in the first place, nothing produced by Nickelodeon can ever be considered anime. At least not at present, and let us now acknowledge the one jillion kajiliion pound gorilla in the room, and the reason why ”Legend of Korra” has any notoriety at all: A little thing called “Attack on Titan.”


How is this for a strong female character?  Mikasa does not even have magic powers, she just kills giants with katanas and 3D maneuvering gear.

Something that has always irked me about anime dubbed in English (I do not know enough Japanese to watch anime without translation; but I watch subbed versions) is that most voice actors that partake in them are terrible at emoting through tone. This is even more accentuated in the case of this particular cartoon, “Legend of Korra” (that is truly the only way to describe this abomination), since the voice actors are probably mostly amateurs.  There are few that actually stand out, such as David Faustino voicing Mako; but that is not enough to salvage this train wreck.  In the case of dubbed anime, you can at least fault the actors for not watching a sub first; but here, the cracks in the foundation go much deeper.

In Japan, anime voice actors come into that line of work either by studying specifically for that purpose, or by first becoming live-action actors and/or singers, instead of just getting picked out for sounding like a casting director thinks they should. This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to American anime wannabes.

Just now, the last few “Attack on Titan” episodes produced so far are trickling down very slowly for the American audience because they have to be translated, so it is natural that big anime fans would look for something else to take the place of “Attack on Titan” in the meantime, especially since the second season of “Legend of Korra” just started; but that does not make it the next big thing. The absence of excellence does not elevate the presence of mediocrity.

There are marked differences between both franchises, with “Legend of Korra” being decidedly a kids’ show, and “Attack on Titan” being a much more mature series, even though the protagonists of “Titan” were still children when they had everything taken from them, and were forced to become refugees at the outset of their journey, and eventually soldiers fighting against impossible odds.

The reckless, irresponsible, and downright criminal behavior of Korra herself is in deep contrast to the stoic, self-sacrificing nature of Mikasa, Eren, and Armin, among other soldiers in “Titan,” whose very salute means that they offer their hearts in the service of mankind, even at the cost of their lives.

I have watched the first two episodes of “Korra” before reviewing the show; but I cannot watch more. My inanity threshold has been surpassed by this dross. Just one episode seemed to last forever, while each episode of “Titan” seemed to go too fast ( I have watched 23 episodes so far, and I cannot wait for the next one).

“Legend of Korra” is not the next big thing in anime. It is not even anime. It is a mediocre cartoon. It does not even hold a candle to anime geared towards children.

By Milton Ruiz


12 Responses to "Is “Legend of Korra” the Next Big Thing in Anime? (Review)"

  1. P   August 5, 2014 at 7:00 am

    This was a terrible article. It wasn’t the information I needed. I just got a lesson on Ao, basically.

  2. Celiarg   November 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Are you… are you comparing legend of korra with an anime? What the hell? In my opinion, Nickelodeon’s show suppases every anime I’ve seen (which are many)… The animation is more fluent an dinamic, the characters show much more emotion, and the story is far more than great. It is not an anime, it has some of it’s drawing style, but nothing more. And perhaps it is the fact that is not a japanese series why I like it so much. So… don’t ¬¬

  3. serikeee   October 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    OH MY GOD LEGEND OF KORRA ISN’T AN ANIME! The style is reminiscent of anime but that doesn’t make it an anime! It’s nowhere close! There is NO LoK in Japanese with English subtitles, there is no comparison between Attack on Titan and Legend of Korra because they’re completely different. Just because they share some fans doesn’t mean they’re similar.

  4. troxpeTropxe   September 23, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Well as for objectivity, Attack on Titan is a worldwide hit whereas Korra is only really watched in the US, and even there it’s flopping going off recent viewing figures. There, facts, not opinions.

  5. Ccs   September 23, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    “There are marked differences between both franchises, with “Legend of Korra” being decidedly a kids’ show, and “Attack on Titan” being a much more mature series,”

    Someone get Captain Obvious a medal.

    • Iskaminien   August 12, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      UH. Despite the effectiveness of the attempts, Korra does feature plots concerning political and economical and even social themes (if you look at Amon’s arch). This is hardly more kid-friendly than the Aang series.

  6. dan   September 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    worst. review. ever

  7. Simon   September 16, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    At least watch more than two episodes before making a judgement! I agree that the first few were meh, but it got a lot better as it went along. Your failure to finish the series is like a movie critic only watching the first ten minutes of the movie. As a critic, it is YOUR JOB to watch things that you may not like. Finish the series, then write an article. Your current argument is invalid.

  8. Someone   September 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    This is honestly just sad. These are two different shows from two different countries with totally different plots and characters. Of course they’ll be different! And believe it or not, just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s horrible and no one else will. I suggest you rename this because I thought I’d see something well thought out, not a biased rant.

  9. marc   September 16, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Well, we can see which show is your favorite …by the way you’re an idiot.

  10. Chelo Aestrid   September 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I loooooooooove the Airbender cartoons with Aang. This and the Korra series never meant to be “anime” anyway…just the style is similar, but it’s from Nickelodeon. I hope Korra is just as good as Aang. The humor and imagination brought out the kid in me again.

  11. Mitch   September 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    This was so biased. Like can you please show some objectivity?


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