Welcome to Republic City- Recap
The show begins with a new introduction, voiced by JK Simmons' character Tenzin, who quickly brings the audience up to speed about what's happened sinnce the end of the last show. The end of the 100 Year War, the formation of Republic City, etc. Basically the events of the current Dark Horse series, the Promise. The animation is gorgeous.
The tale starts some time in the past, with four members of the organisation, the Order of the White Lotus, arriving at a house in the South Pole. Due to the lights in the background, they've had something of a population surge since the one or two villages that existed at the start of season one of Airbender.
The OWL are here looking for the Avatar, it being roughly two years since the death of Avatar Aang, meaning that they've been out looking for his reincarnation. They are somewhat wary when being let into Korra's family's house, explaining that they've been and examined Water Tribe children from both the North and South Pole whose parents claimed that they were the new Avatar, what makes Korra's parents so sure that she's the one?
Korra's rather frazzled parents give each other a smug smile and call her into the room. The toddler promptly smashes in a wall with earthbending, yells "I'm the Avatar, ya gotta deal with it!" and firebends at the stunned members of the OWL. This starts off the ways that Korra is different from Aang, namely Aang didn't know that he was the Avatar until he was ten (normally it's sixteen) and he had to spend roughly a year learning the other elements. Korra however... doesn't. She's something of a prodigy amongst Avatars.
Korra defeats her two sparring partners, and enthusiastically runs up the OWL for some praise. They tell her, however, that although she's excelled at the physcial side of bending since she was a little girl, but she's also completely ignored the spiritual side of it (another difference between her and the monk Aang). She attempts to correct them by saying that she's not ignored the spiritual side, it just isn't as easy to her, which is why she should be allowed to progress to her airbending training, as Tenzin is "Mr Spiritual". The OWL turn to Katara is see if she thinks that she's ready... and she does. Hm, I wonder if a little bias has come into play here.
After being given the go ahead to start the last part of her training, Korra goes to tell her best friend the news. Her best friend being Naga, the polar beardog. Aww, she's show huge and potentially dangerous. ^^ They decide to go on a stroll outside of the OWL compound, though its apparent that Korra has gotten into trouble for wandering off before. They go for a picturesque run in the snow, though she is overseen by some OWL members while she's doing so.
Tenzin spies Korra, and after some pleasantries, hits her with the news that he won't be moving to the North Pole to teach her airbending as planned. It seems that there is trouble back in Republic City, and that he has to try and get it sorted there before he can concentrate on helping Korra complete her training. Korra suggests that she moves to Republic City to continue her training there, but she's cut off by the older OWL member who tells her that it's too dangerous in the city for her. And apparently it was Aang that gave the OWL the new mission statement of protecting the Avatar while they learned the elements, cool. Also, a nice little detail, Tenzin has vegetarian food, reflecting his father's dietary choice, while Katara has some kind of meaty thing. Korra goes off in a sulk in response to her rather blunt refusal.
First look at Republic City, and it's awesome. It gives the impression that it's a city that works and has people that live in it. Korra briefly does the tourist thing of looking at the buildings and the statue of Aang in the harbour, before deciding to go straight to Tenzin's island in the bay... unfortunately Naga has other ideas, and runs off for food first. Naturally polar bear-sized creature running down the street isn't exactly good for traffic safety, and causes a number of accidents.
Turns out that he's a homeles person, and that there are a number of bums that call the park there home. This suprises Korra, who thought that everyone in the city was "living it up". Predictably a cop shows up to tell Korra off for fishing in a park, and she runs off. Bush-Man waves enthusiastically at her she she leaves.
The fightscene is actually pretty good, with the impacts looking like they actually hurt. Unfortuantely for Korra, her method of crimefighting actually caused more property damage than the gangsters would most likely have caused if they'd carried out their threats. Whoops. The disturbance causes the arrival of the metalbending cops, who arrive in their very BTAS airship. They arrest the badguys, and also attempt to arrest Korra too, due to the whole property damage thing, she runs off.
The resulting chasescene is a lot of fun, in terms of the score used, the animation of both Korra and the cops, and the ways that they manage to keep up with her despite being Avatar and stuff. Hm, I'm beginning to think that this show might not be as entirely onesided as the previous one was on occasion. Korra is eventually arrested when the police work out that if they stay out of range they can just get her with their cables.
Tenzin, who is a councilman in the city, arrives to bail Korra out/tell her off. He basically agrees to take responsiblity for her actions and pay for the damages (huh, I guess that he would be fairly wealthy wouldn't he?) in exchange for deporting Korra back to the South Pole until he can begin training her. Korra tries to explain that Katara said that her destiny laid in Republic City, causing an outburst from Tenzin to "Not bring my mother into this!". Korra explains that she understands why Tenzin had to stay, what with the homeless people, the crime and the antibending folks, but just as RC needs him it needs her too.
Very, very strong first episode of the show. The themes and personalities of the characters have been established. The transition between the old setting and the new one was well handled, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of this show.
Korra managed to comme across as being earnest and headstrong without becoming a stereotype, which was a nice feature. I was worried that her being as strong as she is from an early age might lead to her being some thing of a jerk, but she seems fairly balanced as a character thus far. Janet Varney, her voice actress, also does a good job at making Korra's personality come across too, which was good.