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Apr 202016
 

Dante Basco

This past weekend I went to a convention in Melbourne called Space Coast Nerdfest. One of the stars I met there was Dante Basco. Here are some of my favorite characters that remember him best.

Rufio from Hook: After Peter Pan left Neverland and grew up, he became the new leader of the lost boys. Rufio is arrogant, but charismatic which is why the lost boys like him. However, he can be pretty rough when confronted. I was actually impressed when Rufio took on Captain Hook in a sword fight since Peter Pan is usually the only one brave enough to.

Prince Zuko from Avatar: the Last Airbender: At first he is the main antagonist that’s always after Aang. However, Zuko isn’t really bad. He’s just confused and misguided thanks to his power hungry father. Once Zuko understood the truth, he became a valuable ally to Team Avatar. It’s so interesting to see a bad guy turn good.

On a side note: When I got Dante’s autograph, he told me that he was glad to be a part of the franchise and thought that maybe he would voice the new fire bending Avatar when the next version comes along. No new Avatar series has been made official as of now, but it is a neat idea.

General Iroh II from Legend of Korra: This fire-bending master is Zuko’s grandson and General of the United Forces. Although he’s not featured in the series often, Iroh is a very crucial ally. It’s important for the Avatar to have friends in high places.

Are there any other favorite characters you’d like to add?

Feb 242016
 

Normally when a new season begins, it takes place shortly after the events of the previous season, but not this time. Legend of Korra: Book Four: Balance takes place three years later. The Red Lotus has been taken care of, but the Earth Kingdom is still in chaos without a ruler.

Apparently, Team Avatar has gone their separate ways. Korra has recuperated after a rough battle with Zaheer, but is going through a lot of self-doubt. She even changes her clothes and cut her hair as she slowly gets back in fighting form.

Mako has become the bodyguard of Prince Wu, the heir to the Earth Kingdom. However, Wu is more into living the high life than taking his royal duty seriously, which makes him a handful for Mako.

Meanwhile, Bolin works as an Earth Nation soldier along with Varrick and Zhu Li. Speaking of Zhu Li, it wasn’t until this season when she actually speaks and really lets Varrick know how she feels about him.

Their leader is Kuvira. She was Suyin’s protégé and captain of the guards. Now Kuvira sets out to bring peace to the Earth Kingdom, but believes that the only way to do so is by force. She even uses manipulative methods to get people to join her. Anyone that refuses gets imprisoned, plain and simple. That only makes Kuvira a tyrant, even though she announces herself as the Great Uniter.

Therefore, Kuvira has become the new villain for this season along with her fiancé Baatar Jr., who also happens to be Suyin’s oldest son.

I met Todd Haberkorn, the voice of Baatar Jr., at MegaCon 2012.

It turns out another old character from Avatar: The Last Airbender is still around. Toph Beifong, who was once the chief of police, now lives in a swamp as a hermit. She has fought many battles in her time, but Toph gave up that life knowing that crime would never stop. So she decided that living in the swamp was the only way to live peacefully.

Tenzin’s children have also grown as stronger air benders and even have an adventure like the original Team Avatar used to have.

With the chaos worse than ever, Korra must stop Kuvira but first she must defeat the enemy within herself in order to do so. It goes to show that the biggest heroes/heroines always seem to go through the biggest torture when going up against tough enemies.

There you have it, an excellent series about the next generation of Avatar: the Last Airbender. It had plenty of action and adventure with the usefulness of more modern conveniences. However, there was also quite a bit of romantic drama throughout the series that I didn’t care for. That could’ve been toned down, just a little bit.

Feb 172016
 

In Legend of Korra: Book Three – Change, the results of Korra’s last major battle now allows people and creatures from the spirit world to coexist. This also automatically unlocks air bending powers from certain individuals, starting with Bumi. In hopes of rebuilding the Air Nation, Team Avatar is on the search for the air benders so Tenzin can train them as Air Nomads.

Unfortunately one of those air benders is Zaheer, the new villain for this season. He is the leader of a group of dangerous criminals called the Red Lotus. This is a group that believes that the way to maintain world peace is to take out all of the world leaders, including the Avatar.

Unlike the previous two seasons, there are more colorful henchmen that work along side Zaheer. First there’s Ghazan an earth bender that can also bend lava.

P'Li

P’Li is a fire bender with a third eye and is Zaheer’s girlfriend.

The third member is Ming-Hua a freaky water bender. It took me a while for me to discover that she has no arms.

I met Grey Delisle, who was the voice of Ming-Hua, at Anime Festival Orlando 2012.

This season also introduces an entire city of metal benders called Zaofu that’s run by Lin’s sister Suyin. And to think, Zaofu would not be possible without their mother Toph Beifong who discovered metal bending for the first time in the Last Airbender series.

It’s also revealed that Lord Zuko is still around and can still kick butt as a fire bender.

Korra and her friends have grown a lot since the series began, but it’s not over yet. Check my blog for Part 4 to see what happens in the final season.

Feb 102016
 

Welcome back. By this point in The Legend of Korra – Book Two: Spirits, Korra has mastered all four elements. Now she has to focus on the more spiritual side of being the Avatar by mastering how to go in and out of the spirit world and controlling the Avatar State.

The Fire Ferrets pro bending team is no more. Mako has become a policeman working for police Chief Lin Beifong, who is the daughter of Toph Beifong. She is tough as nails and takes a while to warm up to Korra, even though they’re both fighting for the same cause.

Meanwhile, Bolin works for an eccentric businessman / inventor named Varrick. Their biggest accomplishment was the ability to make moving pictures. We call them movies, but in this series they’re called movers.

Varrick is also highly reliant on his assistant Zhu Li. When he wants anything done he just tells her to “do the thing”. That could mean anything, but Zhu Li always seems to know.

As it turns out Aang and Katara had not one, but three children. There’s Tenzin, his waterbending sister Kya, and their non-bender brother Bumi. I’m sure that Aang named him after King Bumi from the original series.

As Korra struggles to understand the spirit world, she meets up with Iroh who helps her understand it better. It’s a good thing Iroh was there because the other spirits did not like Korra at all no matter how hard she tried to remain calm.

In addition to that, Korra learns about how the very first Avatar came to be. It all started with a boy named Wan and a spiritual embodiment called Raava. The original series had backtracked in Avatar history before, but it never went this far back.

Even though Amon is no longer a threat, Korra ends up facing a new enemy, her Uncle Unalaq. He intends to seize power over the Southern Water Tribe by freeing Vaatu the dark Avatar.

Things become way more intense this season unlike anything Aang has ever faced in the original series. Check my blog for Part 3 as Korra’s adventures get even more exciting.

Feb 032016
 

Following the success of Avatar: The Last Airbender is the follow-up series The Legend of Korra – Book One: Air. This takes place 70 years after Aang and his friends defeated Fire Lord Ozai and restored peace to the four nations.

After Aang passed on, a new Avatar was born. She is a water bender named Korra that’s headstrong and eager to face any enemy that comes her way. You’ve got to admire her bravery and skill, and you certainly don’t want to mess with Naga, her pet polar bear dog.

In Avatar: The Last Airbender each season was focused on Aang mastering each of the other elements. This time, Korra has already mastered water, earth, and fire. In the first season, she struggles with air bending. Now you’d think that fire would be Korra’s biggest struggle because it’s the opposite of her element, like when Aang struggled with earth bending. It turns out that air bending requires patience in a spiritual manner, which is not one of Korra’s strong points.

Of course, Korra is not alone. She gains allies that eventually become the new Team Avatar. Let’s start with Tenzin. This wise air bending master is Aang and Katara’s son and one of the highest councilmen. He’s very serious most of the time, which is why it’s so funny when his temper goes off, stepping out of character.

Here’s a cool cosplay of Tenzin at CollectiveCon 2015.

Tenzin also has a family, which includes his wife Pema and their three children; the calm and collective Jenora, the fast talking Ikki, and their hyperactive brother Meelo. These kids are close with Korra, but can be a handful at times.

Then there’s Mako the fire bender and Bolin the earth bender. These brothers are a pro bending team called the Fire Ferrets. When Korra joins the team, she progresses as the Avatar. However, their friendship goes further than just being teammates.

Another important ally is Asami. She’s a non-bender that’s very inventive. Her relationship with Korra was rocky at first, mostly because both girls had feelings for Mako, but eventually they become friends.

Don’t worry. Some of the characters from the original series are still around like Katara, who is now a master healer.

If you thought Fire Lord Ozai was a dangerous foe, there are new villains that are even more intense like Amon. He is a masked man that has the power to take away bending powers. Amon believes this will make the world more peaceful, but there’s an even bigger mystery behind this guy.

I met Steve Blum, the voice of Amon, at CollectiveCon 2015.

This was certainly an interesting series so far, but Korra’s adventures are only beginning. Check my blog for Part 2 to find out more.