I like The Legend of Korra, I think its a pretty solid series. But when some fans compare it to Avatar: The Last Airbender, it just seems kind of lacking. Some fans just downright hate the series either because the world resembles more of a steam/dieselpunk world rather than the one they were familiar with, or that the characters just weren't as likable. Well I think I know the main real reason why people were let down by Korra, or at least why I was a little disappointed with it.
Here's the difference between Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra, they are two different types of shows. Sure, both show take place in the same universe and both have a group of young people fighting bad guys with bending powers, but there is a difference that doesn't really get brought up. The main difference is not really in the tone of the show either. Sure, one is aimed more for children 8-12 (I'm just estimating the ages but its probably around these ages) while the other is more aimed towards teenagers, but this is still not what I'm talking about. So what is this difference I'm talking about? It's the genre.
Both shows are fantasy action series, but as ATLA follows more of a Lord of the Rings/Star Wars formula, Korra does not. In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang's main quest, his main goal, is to defeat the Firelord and bring balance to the world. Its very specific and clear on what Aang has to do in the series. And if you look at the series as a whole, it's one giant story, like LoTR or Star Wars. But Korra is not one large overlapping story. Legend of Korra is more like a series of adventures rather than an epic quest. While the Gaang had to fight different villains from season to season, there was still one Big Bad. Now take a look at Korra. Korra is more like a superhero TV show in that it focuses on a different villain each season.
With this reasoning, I think it would be natural for fans to be disappointed, because they expected an epic fantasy quest, but instead got something else. I'm not saying this is bad, I'm just saying it's not what people expected. So maybe I, as well as those who didn't like the show too well, should watch the series in a new light and see just how we like it now. I know that I will probably rewatch the show someday.
But I want to know what you think.