korra-avatar-state
YouTube/Nickelodeon

Every Reason ‘The Legend of Korra’ Is Better Than ‘The Last Airbender’

Most people say 'Legend of Korra' is lesser than 'The Last Airbender.' But I'm here to show you why that's not true--and why Korra deserves some more love.
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I’m a little bit late to the Airbender fandom. While I did watch the first two seasons of The Last Airbender as a kid, but by the time Legend of Korra came out, I no longer had the channel it was on.

Then I found myself with a lot of free time over the last year, and I binge-watched both series.

YouTube/Nickelodeon

Since watching every episode, I have seen and heard many debates about which is better. I even got into heated discussions with friends. Because of this, I decided to compare the two based on four categories.

And spoiler alert: Korra wins, at least in my eyes.

Storyline and Plot Structure

The first category we have to explore is the plot and story structure of each series.

In The Last Airbender, we have three seasons following one storyline with side stories branching out from time to time. The overarching story is defeating the Fire Lord and mastering the four elements over one summer. Surprisingly, it didn’t feel like it was dragging on and on, and it wrapped up nicely in the end.

korra-avatar-state
YouTube/Nickelodeon

The Legend of Korra was initially supposed to be only one season, but fans loved it so much that they kept putting out more. Each season’s arc plays out, and then the show moves on to the next arc. Meanwhile, the consequences of the past seasons are still playing out. The only downside to this was a that couple of seasons felt a little rushed.

I preferred Korra’s story, but the plot structure of The Last Airbender does come out on top in this category.

Aang vs. Korra

Now, let’s compare the avatars during their respective series. We are not taking into account the books or their lives off-screen. Just so we’re clear on the rules.

Aang was a twelve-year-old boy who ran away when things got tough, which I understand is normal for kids. When he’s back from his 100-year Avatar state nap, he immediately thinks of running away again. Without Katara and the other characters, he wouldn’t have taken on the Fire Lord, let alone defeat him.

He was also the first Avatar to energybend, so I guess that’s gotta count for something.

korra-avatar-state
YouTube/Nickelodeon

On the other hand, Korra kept running straight into battle, regardless of whether she was ready or not. In series one, she was a little too reckless, and she temporarily lost her bending because of that.

On a more positive note, she helped bring back the air nomads, a nation that was almost extinct. In the last few seasons, she fought against the poison forced on her, overcame PTSD, and still defeated a lunatic madwoman with energybending. Not to mention, she was the first Avatar to metalbend.

Overall, Korra is the stronger Avatar in her series. Aang may have gotten stronger years after his series, but Korra proved, time and time again, with what felt like the universe against her, that she was the stronger Avatar.

The Villains

Aang faced one big bad guy with a few minor antagonists throughout his series. But to be fair, Fire Lord Ozai wasn’t the worst villain he faced. That honor would have to go to Azula, who I could spend hours talking about… but I won’t.

We didn’t see Ozai much throughout the series, and because of that, he wasn’t a relatable villain. To me, relatable villains make the best bad guys.

Nickelodeon via Giphy

Korra faced down a guy who wanted to wipe out benders, her crazy uncle with an evil spirit, a group of powerful benders who tried to rid the world of the Avatar, and a metalbending woman who wanted to control the world by any means necessary.

Amon was by far my least favorite villain. Then you get the next two seasons, and it’s like the evilest antagonists from every children’s show ever are thrown at a teenager.

Because of this, Korra definitely has the best villains.

The Winner: Korra!

After all these comparisons, The Legend of Korra is just a better show, in my opinion. Regardless, I’m excited for the live-action remake of The Last Airbender on Netflix. Check out the first look at the cast below!

Cast of Netflix 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' reboot
Image credit: Netflix