**This article contains spoilers for The Legend of Korra
I became a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender when I was 12 years old, (the same age as Aang!) so I was pretty young. I think ATLA is one of the greatest animated shows ever, definitely one of the best things to happen to Nickelodeon. In my opinion, it is a very kid friendly show even with all the violence and drama involved. You have Zuko whose face was burned by his own father. There’s Katara and Sokka’s mother who was murdered by a Fire Nation soldier, and then Aang. His home, all the people he cared for, were murdered by the Fire Nation. An entire nation was destroyed. All of these horrible events happened, but it isn’t shown on screen. Now with Legend of Korra, it’s a little different. Many of the viewers for Korra are around my age because we were there when ATLA was on air, so the demographic for Korra is different. It is still on Nick and many kids do watch the show, but many adults watch it as well.
There is no denying the fact that Korra has much more mature themes than ATLA. In season one there was a murder/suicide, I’m still in shock and this happened in 2012. I remember sitting on my couch in shock, at first it didn’t quite register what happened. I was not expecting to see something like that on a kid’s network. Korra is now in its third season, and it was recently taken off the air and is now being released digitally on Nick’s website. It’s not that bad of a change really since people see almost everything on their computers/tablets/phones now. I don’t have a television in my room anymore and am happy I don’t need to make sure to claim the living room every week just to make sure I get dibs on the TV.
The show’s creators have said they know the show does extremely better online, and you can tell they also know that their audience has grown up. We’re no longer the children and young teenagers that were with them six years ago. Season three of Korra is getting very intense, I just finished watching the newest episode and I just have to say that shit got real. Red Lotus member Zaheer literally took the Earth Queen’s breath away, as in he air bended all of the air from her lungs. He killed her, and what surprised me the most was that you see it. You see him taking out all of the air from her body, you see the Queen die. In ATLA you don’t see Katara’s mom die, you don’t see Jet die, hell, it wasn’t even confirmed in the show if he died. All of the bad stuff was taken off the screen, in Korra you face it head on.
It’s just interesting to see how different Korra is from ATLA, especially now that I’m a little less than a decade older.