When I heard the news that Legend of Korra would no longer be aired on Nickelodeon for the rest of season three, and instead would be released digitally online, there was only one speculation I could make: someone was going to die horribly in the next few episodes.
It came true in this week’s episode. There is a big difference here between the Earth Queen’s death and the death of Jet and Amon in earlier seasons: Jet was killed by an object (a boulder), and the camera decided to cut away at the moment of impact for Amon. Here, we are directly shown the Queen being murdered directly by another human being.
Bravo, I have been waiting for this grown-up moment for a long time. Although I was slightly annoyed that none of the characters could directly say that “the Earth Queen is DEAD” in their subsequent dialogue. Trying to use the old Funimation DBZ method of replacing the word “death” with other synonyms just sounds very unnatural.
Look, I understand that at its core, Korra is still technically a kid’s show. But just because it’s for a younger audience, doesn’t mean that it should be afraid of exploring themes like death and violence. Look at how the earlier cartoons of the late 80s and early 90s did it: the Transformers animated movie (1986) and Sonic the Hedgehog (1992, aka SatAM) are the best examples. They were loved dearly by kids at that time, and everyone remembered how dark and tragic their signature moments were.
Now, I would like to see some blood in the fight scenes. I am not asking for Kill Bill levels of bloodshed. Just some battle wounds depicted as the characters exert themselves.