Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra were both popular animated television series. While made for children, people of all ages loved the show, and there are still many die-hard fans even though both shows are over. While fans have their personal favorite between the two, there are some things that The Last Airbender did better than Legend of Korra overall.
Here are ten things that Avatar: The Last Airbender does better than The Legend of Korra.
10 A CLEAR GOAL
The Last Airbender had a very cohesive feel overall partially because there was a clear end goal in sight. Aang and his allies were working towards freeing the different nations from the Fire Nation and fighting Fire Lord Ozai. Even when there were filler episodes or more fun moments, fans knew where the story was heading which made it easy to follow. Legend of Korra did have some interesting villains, but each season had a different goal, making it more convoluted.
9 EACH SEASON HAD A DEFINED THEME
The structure of each season of The Last Airbender was also easy to follow. In each season, Aang would go about mastering one of the other three elements: water, earth, and fire. Instead of making the show seem too simplistic, this simple narrative structure allowed for lots of character development, comedy, and storytelling. The seasons of Korra were more all over the place, so the show struggled to find its way a little more.
8 A BETTER VILLAIN
While some of the villains in Korra were fascinating, there wasn’t one overall villain that she needed to defeat. The Last Airbender had a more traditional fantasy quest feeling which worked well given it was a children’s show in a fantasy world.
While Ozai might not have been the most complex or interesting villain himself, having one bad guy that needed to be defeated to save the world gave fans something to root for and gave Team Avatar their mission. There were, of course, other villains in the series, but Ozai was the big boss battle we all knew was coming as we watched the show.
7 TEAM AVATAR
The friendships between the members of Team Avatar were some of the best parts of the show. The four of these characters were relatively young, and they relied on each other and trusted each other. They had a strong team dynamic and a lot of humor and affection for one another. Korra’s core friends spent some of the time in different places, so the group never felt as cohesive. Plus, all of the romantic subplots between these characters made it harder to feel like they were one big friend group. While the individual characters from Team Korra might have been likable, they weren’t as strong as a group as Team Avatar.
6 MORE MEMORABLE SIDE CHARACTERS
Another thing that made Avatar stand out is the use of some really great side characters. Uncle Iroh is the most notable example of this. He is definitely one of the best characters on the show and a fan favorite. Other than Iroh, characters like Azula were fascinating villains and side characters that are hard to forget. Because Korra is a bit more all over the place, it’s harder to remember some of the side characters. Most of the characters from Korra that are memorable were Aang’s descendants, but this didn’t necessarily make for interesting characters.
5 SEEING MORE OF THE WORLD
In Airbender, the team travels across the different bending nations to help Aang learn how to bend and to help others along the way.
While some of the episodes with world building were filler, this also gave fans the chance to see many different places in the Avatar’s world. The Last Airbender had a broad scope and easy to follow narrative. Being able to establish the world and the different nations helped fans feel immersed.
4 MORE COMEDIC
One thing about The Last Airbender that many fans loved is that it’s just really funny. Sokka especially is known for his humor, but he’s not the only one who can deliver hilarious lines. The banter between different characters was often hilarious, and fans still enjoy quotes such as, “that’s rough, buddy.”
While Legend of Korra did have some funny moments, the humor often felt more forced and less natural.
3 CLEARER THEMES
Another reason why The Last Airbender felt more pulled together as a show was that the themes were more thought out and clear. Airbender largely dealt with themes such as destiny, connection, and choices. Large themes are often more clearly laid out in Airbender, such as when Aang is told he has to let go of earthly attachments to become the Avatar but goes against this to follow his own path. While Korra did have some complex themes such as equality, the execution wasn’t always good.
2 MORE LOVABLE/INTERESTING CHARACTERS OVERALL
The good characters on Avatar were all pretty endearing and easy to root for. In Korra, it was often harder to get behind some of the characters, even a few of the main ones.
1 ESTABLISHED THE SETTING AND MYTHOS
As the first of the two series, Airbender did a great job of setting up the world, including the mythology. There were many episodes that delved deeper into the mythos of Avatars, and even some episodes that showed flashbacks of earlier Avatars. This helped fans see the themes of how the Avatars are all connected and how the past incarnations of the Avatar shaped the world that Aang now inhabits. While Korra tried to expound on this and bring the Spirit World to the forefront again, it just wasn't as effective.