It’s with tear-stained eyes that we bid farewell to The Legend of Korra. The series had an incredible run and, even with a few bumps in the road near the end, The Legend of Korra: Book Four: Balance definitely delighted fans along the way and ended the series on a high note.
The final season of Korra was ushered in rather unceremoniously. Nickelodeon pulled Book 3 off the air and began to broadcast the show exclusively online. Book 4 followed suit just a few months after the Book 3 finale (as opposed to airing a year after the previous season).
One of the highlights of the season is the new villain, Kuvira, voiced by Zelda Williams. She’s a strong female who holds her own and won’t let others get in her way. That being said, her motives and the season’s ultimate plot device – Kuvira fighting to usurp and control the Earth Kingdom – lacks the epicness of the prior seasons. In Book 3, the Red Lotus tried to usher in a new world order by destroying the Avatar; Kuvira, on the other hand, is just trying to take over some land.
The season still builds on the elements that made the series a success: humor, comedy, and Korra’s struggle to be the Avatar. It’s hard to see Korra in her defeated state for the majority of the season, but her long recovery makes the audience feel her pain and plight.
Overall this season isn’t the series’ best; however, it still delivers and will leave fans extremely satisfied, if not a little sad, that our journey in the Avatar universe has finally come to an end.
- Audio Commentaries: The audio commentaries for each episode (13 in total) are one of the highlights of the Korra Blu-ray releases. I’m so happy the studio goes above and beyond in taking the time to record these commentaries. They add so much to the viewing experience. Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra creators/executive producers Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko are on every commentary track and are joined by a wide mix of crew from writers and sound designers to voice actors.
- 2014 Comic-Con Panel (35 minutes): This bonus feature includes the complete Legend of Korra panel from the 2014 New York Comic-Con. Yes, you can find this on YouTube, but this version includes the HD cutaways and videos that those other recordings don’t. The panelists include Michael Dante DiMartino,Bryan Konietzko, Janet Varney (the voice of Korra), David Faustino (voice of Mako), and PJ Byrne (voice of Bolin).
- The Making of a Legend: The Untold Story Part II (8 minutes): You’ll either love this featurette or be annoyed by it. This “Legend of PuppetBender” is a mockumentary. The featurette tells the behind-the-scenes story of the making of Korra from the mouths of puppets designed to look like each of the main characters. Part I is found on the Book 1: Air Blu-ray and part 2 focuses on the end of the story.
- Republic City Hustle (10 minutes): This is a three-part prequel short that tells the story of how Mako and Bolin went from being street rats in Republic City to legitimate pro-benders. The animation style of this short is a nice change of pace and is visually interesting. However, like the majority of the featurettes on this disc, it can be found for free online.
- Kuvira vs. Prince Wu (2 minutes): This featurette isn’t anything special. It is simply an extended Nick promo piece put together to promote the series.
After just watching all of the incredible bonus features on the Book 3: Change Blu-ray, I was expecting this final outing to be a grand sendoff. However, while the Book 4 Blu-ray has a few good featurettes, it’s not nearly as strong as the previous releases (which really set the bar high).
The commentaries alone are enough to make this set a must-buy. While it’s disappointing that many of the bonus features on this Blu-ray are just repackaged online content, this is just par for the course for Book 4 and its treatment by Nickelodeon. Nonetheless, if you’re a Korra fan, the Book 4: Balance Blu-ray is a must-buy in order to round out your collection.
The Legend of Korra: Book Four: Balance Blu-ray: Amazon