between this and korra my universe is just all feelings all the time

Theory on the Future Fate of the Blue Lion

 First off, if you haven’t seen the new reboot of Voltron or listened to the SDCC Voltron panel, let me warn you that this post will contain some spoilers so stop reading right now and go watch Voltron. 

Ready? Okay, here we go.

Now I know that ever since season one of Voltron has ended, the growing fandom of Voltron has been producing A LOT of theories of what season two will bring us. And the trailer for season two has only doubled the hype for the upcoming season and for the fan theories. 

The two theories that seem to dominate the Voltron tag are definitely the theory that Keith is either a Galra/Human hybrid or Galra/Altrean hybrid (seriously this theory has pretty much taken control over all Voltron art and fanfiction in the last few weeks) and the second theory is that Shiro will either by killed off like his forgotten 80′s Norwegian brother Sven (rest in peace dear Holgersson) or be captured for long period of time allowing Keith or Allura to take over the Black Lion. (Though this theory begs the question that is Keith has to lead Voltron and pilot the Black Lion to do so does that mean Lance will take over the Red and Allura pilot the Blue? Will Keith have to give Lance his precious red jacket? Will Lance grow a 80′s mullet too? This theory brings up so many questions)

Both these theories are awesome and have pumped up a lot of great material from the fandom so far and will probably continue to do so until season two comes around later this year.

However, there’s been a theory mulling around in my head for a while now and so far, I haven’t really seen any other fan pick up on it. And since I have no one to discuss this with, I’m going to lay it all out right here for you Voltron fandom!

As the title of this post suggest, this theory revolves around the Blue Lion which automatically means a lot of it is going to deal with this guy:


 Why so scared? Not every Voltron theory is filled with angst and- oh fuck, nevermind.

Yes, while the most fandom are biting their nails over the fates of poor alien Keith and the possible death/capture/brainwashing of Tadashi- oh nevermind that’s Sven- I mean Shiro- I’m sitting in my isolated corner of outlandish theories mentally preparing myself over the possible horrendous fate that could possibly await our favorite Blue Paladin.

But “Why?” you, anonymous tumblr user, will ask.What solid clue can be found in season one that could possibly hint that anything bad could happen to Lance and the Blue Lion in the coming seasons?

Well, simple. It all begins with this lines right here:

                 Foreshadowing or too much Film Theorists? Probably the former                                 but who cares, I’m finishing this post.

Even when I first watched the series the first time around, this line always stuck out to me. I know it’s supposed to lead to a snappy argument with Keith to lighten the area on the serious mood of the scene, but it still felt a bit odd.

Then I began to wonder if it might foreshadow to something coming later in the series. Many of the writers of the new Voltron reboot have written stuff for The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra- both series that have been known to plan ahead and leave foreshadowing to future events in small ways so I wouldn’t put it past the team of Voltron to do the same.

So, the question is, will Lance’s mind because fused with a giant ship in the future? Perhaps with with one…..

     Yeah, stop smiling Blue, this theory doesn’t really end well for you.

Of course, since Blue technically already has her own sentiment mind, this couldn’t work unless something were to happen to the Blue Lion that would make her lose the Quintessence, the life form, that allows her to be more than a plain machine….

….Something along the lines of Zarkon destroying one of the lions as a last ditch effort to prevent Voltron from ever being used against him. 

Because damn it if he can’t have his Voltron action figure than nobody should get the Voltron action figure.

But seriously, wouldn’t this be the best plan all together if everything else fails?Why waste all the time and resources trying to steal the lions when he can just destroy one of them and prevent the so-called ultimate weapon from being used against him in the first place? He was doing an okay job of conquering the universe without the Voltron for the last 10,000 years. 

But why the Blue Lion you of little faith ask? If that’s his last ditch plan, then he could destroy any of them to make it work.

Well you’re right- there is no solid evidence to support the idea that it would be the Blue Lion could be destroyed or permanently damaged if these theory plays out. 

But from a writer’s standpoint, if any of the Lions’ were to be killed or damaged, the one that would hit most with the audience probably be Blue.

Look at it this way- who was the lion that the main characters, and we as an audience first met?

                                             Love at first sight.

That’s right. It was Blue. And by all accords, she is the lion that we spend the most time with solo on screen. We get to see more of her personality and grow attached to her at the same time as the main characters to. She is the Lion we, as an audience, have the most emotional attachment to. If anything were to happen to the lions, it would hit the hardest if it happened to Blue. 

And you can bet that the writers did that on purpose.

              How dare they make me feel emotions for this giant robot cat.

So Zarkon destroys Blue to make forming Voltron impossible. Maybe he absorbs her quintessence to make himself more powerful just as he did with that one planet. So her mechanical body may still be somewhat intact, but her lifeform that makes her a living being is gone. She is a lifeless shell. But of course, Lance, her pilot, would share the same Quintessence as Blue. What if, as the ultimate sacrifice, Lance will give up his own Quintessence, his very life force, and fuse with the Blue Lion, thus in a way, becoming the Blue Lion himself?

                                        Oh look Blue! We’re a match!

But, you argue, could this be possible? Making an AI out of memories like with Alfor and the Castle Ship is one thing, but Lance literally becoming the next Blue Lion? Impossible! Nay! Nay!

Don’t worry, I’d be “naying” in disbelief with all of you if I hadn’t realized that we’ve been watching organic beings becoming sentient warships (aka the Robeasts) throughout the entire first season. Haggar and druids have doing this since the very beginning. For example:

This guy

became this asshole

And Haggar’s weird pet lizard

became a digimon I’m pretty sure

Based on this evidence, I’m pretty sure the Lions of Voltron probably all used to be actual organic beings at one point in time before becoming literal weapons to protect the universe.  Haggar and her druids probably rediscovered this same magic to create their own Voltron Lion wannabes.

But if this theory comes true and Lance does sacrifice himself to become the next Blue Lion, then the question is, who would be the next Blue Paladin?

The answer of course, for those who have watched the original series is….

                                Literally fuck anyone who just said Sven. 

Yes Princess Allura. Who else? Blue is literally one of the key colors that represents her in the series. And I don’t think it is just a coincidence that out of all the paladins it was Lance that Allura first saw when she woke up from her 10,000 year long sleep.

I’m going to ride you one day…And not in the way you’re thinking about, pervert.

You would think that the writers would have had Allura fall into Keith’s arms (who was her love interest in the past series) or maybe Shiro’s (since there seems to be some hinting of romance between them), but no, she falls into Lance’s arms, thus already starting the connection between future pilot and lion.

So there you have it folks! I’ve just tossed in my theory for what might happen in the future of the series. Of course, this is all just plain, fun speculation! And whether you agree with it or not, I’d love to hear what you think about it!

SO I have just finished ACOWAR and this is what I have concluded..

(chronologically from my notes)

-Feyre is so badass at being undercover

-long distance relationship feels

-Ianthe is a piece of SHIT

-Dagden and Brannagh are like Desda and Eska from Legend of Korra

-Some similarities between Tamlin/the wall/Hybern early in the book are looking reeeeeeal relevant to some certain *ahem* political things going on in the USA rn

-mASKS

-Eris makes me suspicious considering he is literally named after the goddess of Discord who famously sowed the seeds of the Trojan War

-more invisible hands!?!? *wink wink* hey Manorian i c u

-Feysand being the ultimate relationship in YA/New Adult lit to look up to because C H O I C E  and  E Q U A L I T Y dammit!

-NESSIAN

-Amren Nesta friendship

-omg could you imagine them and Manon all hanging out.holy mother

-Rhys’s self sacrificing tendencies hurt my heart

-i want to see stuff from Rhys’ perspective while Feyre was undercover

-The library reminds me of the Guggenheim museum and if you disagree you’re wrong

-Rhys is the Mom Friend™

-in ACOMAF i thought the bone carver was just baby Rhys but OMG its their future kid. holy shit

-When it was mentioned that a Fae warrior’s blood ran into a human line.. HMM who could that possibly mean??

-Seraphim interesting interesting

-Elain is PSYCHIC 

-Feyre falls face first into mud when she falls asleep sitting up. DEAD

-”You are selfless, and brave and kind.” p 376 OH INTERESTING RHYSAND ARE YOU DIVERGENT

- “…wear that crown to bed. only the crown.” p. 402

- “You bow to no one” p 402- this made me think of LOTR but alsoooooo of a certain someone who is heir of ash and fire and will bow to no one….

-Helion makes me think of Apollo

-Helion’s thighs

-feminism for all the wives/mates to become HIGH LADIES fuck yeah

- “50 years of Gossip”

-When Tamlin rolls into the meeting

- “The sun was shining when I left you”

-Amren being attached to the blood ruby 

-Amren and Varian

-AMREN AND VARIAN

-Azriel attacking Eris

- more with the GENDER EQUALITY PLS (Viviane, yas girl)

- “I shall Consider” remember in EoS…. Remember???

- Helion’s bisexuality

-Helion is LUCIEN’s baby daddy

-Helion’s thighs

-Elazriel !!!

-Bryaxis is bae

-Nesta the witch

-the focus on how being narrow minded is bad!!!! very relevant

-Cassian reminded me of Achilles during the first battle scene

-when nesta detects Cassian’s injuries: Maaaaaaaaates

-YAAAAS SURI

-a few pages later:

-NOOO SURI

-”I need to-to die for it to be stopped?” 529. NO SARAH NOT AGAIN PLEASE

-crying because the suriel died

-p 552-3, the cauldron looking back at them reminded me a lot of the Palantir and of the Eye of Sauron. loved the LOTR parallels whether or not they were intentional.

-again VARIAN AND AMREN

-when Elain got kidnapped by the Cauldron i just pictured it skirting up to their camp and her getting in and it driving away like nyooom nyoom

-it was late at night dont judge my sleep deprived brain

-aw Tamlin did something right for once

-POLAR BEARS AND REINDEER

-MOR LIKES GIRLS!!!

-i didnt seee that coming but omg it makes so much sense

-Andromache, again a reference to the Iliad (Andromache was the wife of Hector)

-p 600- when they are gonna have the big battle while the Made ones nullify the king’s power over the cauldron- LOTR parallel to when the Rohan and Gondor forces draw out the orcs and the Eye while frodo and sam Do the Thing™

-in short… Feyre is Frodo

-the SPEECH

-YAY monsters

-When Spring and Autumn show up!!! love that trope

-oh shit more Hybern… theyre all fucked…

-AcCePt!!! Seraphim and MR ARCHERON

-and VASSA

-sidebar, Vassa being the firebird is an interesting parallel to Russian folklore and history. not to mention the Weaver reminds me of Baba Yaga a little bit but ANYWAYS

-AMREN WHAT ARE YOU DOING

-EXCUSE ME

-Enchanted Cauldron Journeys™ 2.0

-The entire scene between Nesta Cassian and Mr. Hybern King

-Elain STABBING. HYBERN. IN. THE NECK.

-ugh yes.

-punt that bitches head like a deflated football!!!!!!

-yeah i said it.

-Amren is….. Satan?

-That was the Lucifer story, right? Are we all in agreement there??

-The cauldron is a big ol womb

-Mother+Cauldron=life, gift of life

-its the universe

-Rhys dying literally ruined my life

-even tho i knew it was gonna happen ( i saw a spoiler by accident)

- “Be happy, Feyre” Tamlin redemption arc?

-Rhys’s first words when he is Rhysurrected™

-Oops dont overcook Amren!!

-Nesta spat on Hybern’s corpse

- “We’re opening the fancy bottles”

-THE LINGERIE

-one more time for good measure:

Helion’s thighs

ugh. This book i swear to god

AND THEN THERES GONNA BE MORE?!?!?!??!?!?!

what are you doing to me sarah!??!!??

A (Somewhat) In Depth Analysis On Why (And How) Danny Phantom Should Go Ghost Again

Part One - Three Possibilities

There are three possibilities as to what is going on with all the hype surrounding the return of Danny Phantom, and these can be simplified as the “good,” the “bad,” and the “ugly.”

The good option, which I personally believe is the least likely, is that Nickelodeon HAS greenlit a fourth season, and we just don’t know about it yet because it’s so early in production. If this is the case then we probably won’t see any news or promos until at least 2018, seeing as how the hype train really got its start around August 24, 2016, when Butch uploaded a video called “Danny Phantom 10 Years Later” and the green light would have happened not long after that. Again, this seems extremely unlikely, but if it’s true, then Butch has been doing a good job building up hype while keeping it a secret.

The bad option, which will be the main focus of this post (and also isn’t so bad), is that as much as Butch wants to bring the show back, Nickelodeon isn’t so keen on the idea, and that’s why he’s turned to the fandom to build up hype, and THEN maybe Nick will listen.

The ugly option is… Well, it’s ugly. I hate that this is even a possibility, but as I’ve stated before, the good option is the least likely, making this one a decent possibility. Maybe there are no plans to #goghostagain at all, and the hype is all just a ploy to rake in the views and attention. Maybe it’s all just one big promotion for Bunsen Is A Beast (which by the way I think is a sub-par show, but I’ll get to that later). It’s disappointing to think about, but if it is the case, then here’s what I have to say: Butch, you are better than this. If you aren’t serious about this, then don’t go around trying to get people excited for something that doesn’t exist. Please and thank you.

Part Two - Forget The Hype

I wouldn’t be surprised or upset if nothing ever came out of all this hype, but since we’ve come this far we might as well take the extra step to convince Nickelodeon this is a good idea. Of course, there’s not a whole lot the fans can do to sway the opinions of the executives, and at this rate we’re DEFINITELY not going anywhere. Most of what I’ve seen has been “I love this show so you should bring it back” with no other reasoning. It’s all based on pathos with little to no logos or ethos, and that’s what I’m hoping to make up for with this analysis. There are plenty of reasons for Danny Phantom to get a fourth season, it’s just a matter of letting them be heard through the multitude of YouTube videos saying “Look, Butch said this one thing this one time!! Season 4 confirmed!!!! I am so HYYYPE!!!1!!!!1!”

Part Three - The Passage Of Time

Like many good shows, it ended too early. Apparently the ratings were a bit too low for Nick’s liking, so they told Butch to find a way to end it. (I don’t have a very good source, so if you can find one with real numbers and add it in, that would be great.) This is a common trend. Good shows don’t get the advertising and promotion they deserve because the network wants to spend more time on their cash cows like SpongeBob and Teen Titans Go, and then the good shows get cancelled because, “Well no one was watching it, so it’s not worth keeping, right?” Then, as the years go by, more and more people find the show and say “Why was it cancelled? It’s so good!” The good news here is that if an old show comes back with a much larger and stronger fanbase, it will do really well! Unfortunately there is one problem with the way the fans will probably watch it, and that is the internet. After watching the original episodes online, that’s the way they’re probably going to expect to continue watching them. This was a HUGE problem with The Legend Of Korra! (Again, source needed) So I guess this is more of a message to the fans than the executives: Watch the show on the TV, or AT LEAST set it to record!

Another problem that The Legend Of Korra had (it’s really only a problem in the eyes of the execs) is that the audience was mostly adults and older teens. You know, the people who either 1) Where the same people who originally watched The Last Airbender and are now a bit older, 2) Were old enough to use the internet in a way that allowed them to find ATLA in the first place, or 3) Are the type of people who enjoy more in-depth, plot-driven, mature-themed shows. I think that the third option is what networks like Nick, CN, and Disney are most afraid of when it comes to choosing which shows to pick up and air. These channels are supposed to be for kids, right? Well, first of all, these networks are wrong to think that kids can’t enjoy more complex shows than SpongeBob or that the most important thing in determining a show’s worth is how much money it brings in, but I digress. Instead, I’d like to talk about how Nickelodeon SHOULDN’T worry about having a repeat of TLOK if they were to continue Danny Phantom.

Part Four - Plot And Audience

Unlike the Avatar series, which were extremely plot-driven and weren’t afraid to get a bit dark, Danny Phantom is a lot more episodic in nature. Now, if it were too episodic, then I probably wouldn’t be arguing for it to come back. I mean, I love My Life As A Teenage Robot, but there’s no real reason for it to come back other than the usual “This is one of my favorite childhood shows! Why did it have to end?” You see, Danny Phantom had a nice balance of episodic plot vs overall plot that made for a great show for kids and teens alike. If it were to come back using the original formula, it would probably do really well with the “intended” audience of preteens. Hardcore fans (the ones who have been begging for a fourth season ever since it ended) might have mixed reactions, though. It all depends on the direction the show goes.

Again, the original formula will work, but what exactly should the plot be? Should there be a time skip or not? These are all questions that I’ll talk a little bit more about later, but ultimately can not answer. The biggest question that I CAN answer, though, is should it cater more towards the new preteens audience or the older, hardcore fans? The answer is a resounding “HARDCORE FANS!!!” We KNOW there are plenty of things that were planned that didn’t make it in, and we want to see them happen in a way that satisfies our nostalgia and our (slightly) older tastes. I personally think that even though the episodic nature works from a business standpoint, this continuation should have just a little bit more of an overarching plot. Just a little bit.

Part Five - Butch’s Other Shows

I don’t want to dwell on this topic too long, but it’s important enough that it’s worth mentioning.

Fairly Odd Parents: To put it bluntly, it’s dying. We could talk about how Sparky and Chloe are terrible characters, but there’s no point because the whole show has been moved to NickToons. It’s the channel where Nickelodeon shows go to die, and as unfortunate as it is that FOP has been drawn out to the point that the original fans don’t like it anymore, soon enough it will get low enough ratings that it will finally be cancelled. Rip

TUFF Puppy: I didn’t really watch this show, but from what I’ve seen and heard, it’s not that great. I mean, it’s not horrible, but it just doesn’t have a whole lot going for it that makes it worthwhile to talk about. It ended in 2015, so whatever.

Bunsen Is A Beast: This is another show that I haven’t seen a whole lot of, and I don’t really want to. I feel that even though it has a good message of being inclusive and stuff, it doesn’t really go about it in a unique way. You know what show has a similar setup of a character from another dimension going to a human school but is actually good? Star vs the Forces of Evil. I know I’m not the intended audience for Bunsen, so I’m not really in a position to complain, but between it’s obnoxious loudness, ugly characters, and seemingly random-for-the-sake-of-random humor, it isn’t as good as it could be. Don’t get me wrong, I respect Butch for trying new character styles and whatnot, but it just isn’t working.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that there IS room for Danny Phantom to return. FOP is dying and it wouldn’t hurt for Bunsen to die off as well. Good programing is what we should be after, not money makers.

Part Six - Questions And Suggestions

This is the part where I re-introduce the hype and fangirling. It’s not part of the main message that the show should come back, but it is important for the follow up question of how. So here are some important questions for Butch. *Takes a deep breath*

How will season 4 go? What’s the plot? Is it gonna pick up where it left off or will there be a time skip? How big of a time skip will it be? Will the intro be the same or will it be something new? What, if anything, will be retconned? What new characters will be introduced? When and how will Vlad return from space? Did Vlad meet Wheatley? Will Dark Danny make a return? Is Danielle gonna be adopted by the Fentons like you said? How are you gonna make up for the fact that the technology is so outdated? What about the Unworld and the Elsewhereness? What is the meaning of the universe??? *Incoherent screaming*

…I might have gotten a bit carried away just then.

Well, time to answer some of my own questions. I think that a decent sized time skip would be a great way to have the characters age with the show’s original audience, and it would also avoid any weirdness with the outdated technology. I’m not sure how big it should be, but 10 years does seem like a good benchmark number. If there is a time skip, this could also be a convenient excuse to brush over a lot of nothingness and say “It took Vlad [this long] to find a way to return, and now, after a long time of peace and quiet, the main antagonist is back to wreak some havoc.” Maybe the first episode of the new season could be a recap and summary of everything that happened between seasons 3 and 4, including an introduction to the new plot. There should be little to no retconning because this is a continuation, not a reboot. If something small needs to be changed to help the overall flow of the story, then so be it, but don’t go erasing the entire last episode just so Danny’s powers are still a secret or something like that. There should definitely be a new intro and theme song that are more related to the new story, even if there isn’t a time skip. The overarching plot should heavily focus on that Elsewhereness stuff mentioned in the video “Secrets of the Ghost Zone Revealed” and somehow include the conflict of ending up in the Unworld. As far as new characters go, I would much prefer to see older characters more in depth, but a few new villains couldn’t hurt. Dark Danny NEEDS to return because he’s my favorite character of all the one-off villains, he’s the only one with an entire two-part episode dedicated to him that basically ended with the promise of his return that never got the chance to happen. I only mention this guy above all the other villains because he’s my fave he is literally an alternate version of the main character. And if there is a 10 year time skip, then that would make Danny the same age as his evil counterpart and–

You know what? I could go on about this hours, but this post is already long enough as is, and I don’t want to turn it into a fanfiction. I think I’m going to leave this here for now and allow all of you to add on to it as you wish.

Part Seven - Sources???

    I’m really bad at including sources, so if any of you can find good and relevant ones for me, that’d be great. Just reblog this post and add them along with any other comments or theories you have related to the return of Danny Phantom. Let’s make this one big cluster of ideas, and hopefully we will one day see that our efforts have paid off.

Ships and Songs

Along with my own personal explanations, this is for the lovely little anon who requested to know about my favorite gays!

Keep reading

Superficial Gayness, Queerbaiting, and Disappointment

I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind recently when it comes to LGBT+ characters in media, but more specifically, gay and lesbian characters and their portrayals. I’ve argued before about how members of the queer community are used to being disappointed when it comes to representation in media, and I think that statement can be a little confusing to people who haven’t experienced this disappointment. The reason for this is because on the surface, a majority of television and film no longer shies away from portraying gay characters. As such, it would seem as though queer viewers should be pleased with the more progressive direction society, and as a result, media that reflects society, is headed. And in a lot of ways, we are pleased. However, there is still reason to be disappointed in the way the queer community is represented in media, or rather, in the different ways we are not represented.

This all comes back to a term I’ve come up with when it comes to gay characters in media, that being “superficial gayness.” I think it’s important to define this term for a better understanding of my argument, but first allow me to tell you what it is not. Superficial gayness does not mean that these characters are faking being gay on the outside but are straight on the inside or anything of that sort, instead, it deals more with the characterization of these figures.

Take, for example, Cam and Mitchell from Modern Family. These two characters are featured on one of the most popular and progressive sitcoms of the past decade and have been important in desensitizing the viewing audience to gay individuals. This is all very important and I’m not trying to take away from that. However, take note of how they are characterized. Right off the bat they are identified as the gay couple, and their gayness is a large part of who they are in the context of the show. Sure, Mitchell’s character often subverts many of the stereotypes about how gay men act, but on a superficial level, they are “the gay couple in Modern Family.” Hence the term “superficial gayness.” In the eyes of the viewing audience, the fact that they are gay is essentially what makes up who they are in the context of the show. On a brief side note, let me make it clear that I am in no way trying to say it is wrong for someone’s sexuality to be a large part of who they are, rather, I am simply stating that when it comes to queer characters in media, the audience often sees them as simply “the gay person/people.”

Now we’re really getting into the meat of things, and I want to address the root of my argument, that being the disappointment members of the queer community often experience as a result of the superficial gayness we see when it comes to homosexual characters. The point I’m trying to get at is that so rarely do we see characters who simply turn out to be gay. That may be strange way to put it, but hear me out. It seems as though if the writers of a show intend for a character to be gay, that character’s sexuality is made apparent right from the start. This isn’t necessarily wrong, but what is wrong is the counterpoint of this, which is that if a character does not display this superficial gayness, then they will almost never turn out to be homosexual. Even worse than that is the queerbaiting that can often occur when it comes to these characters.

Let’s look at the BBC’s Sherlock for a more concrete example of this. (On a side note, I was hoping for a good F/F ship for my example for this part of the argument, but I wanted to stick with only information and characters that I am most knowledgeable about to better solidify my argument, and couldn’t find any good examples of lesbian pairings that really demonstrate this point very well.) In Sherlock, the titular character and his partner in fighting crime John Watson share a very close friendship. Immediately fans of the show fell in love with the idea of Holmes and Watson sharing a romantic relationship. However, take note of the fact that Watson directly states “I’m not gay,” early on in the show’s run. There is no superficial gayness, right from the start we are aware that Watson is heterosexual. That didn’t stop fans however, and as a result, Holmes and Watson are faced with more and more situations which call their sexualities into question as the show continues. This is intentional. The show’s writers are aware of the fan reaction to the idea of Sherlock and John being gay, and chose to feed into these interests, despite stating themselves that they have no intention of displaying a canon homosexual relationship. This is queerbaiting. And at the root of it, there is a lack of superficial gayness.

So, to wrap things up, let’s take a look at some shows that are doing things right, and some shows that have the potential to do so as well. First, there is The Legend of Korra. As most of you are probably aware, the show’s finale wrapped up with Korra and Asami together, followed by a confirmation from the show’s creators that yes, Korrasami is canon. What is so important to note about this situation is that the characters we see together at the end of The Legend of Korra are characters who lacked superficial gayness. They were not “the gay characters.” They were Korra and Asami, the protagonist and another important character along for the ride. Korra even dated Mako during the show’s run. However, whether it was due to fan interest or whether it was the intention all along, the two women eventually ended up together romantically. I cannot stress enough how important this is.

Another show I want to briefly make mention of that does this right is Steven Universe, if only because it’s just so damn good and portrays its characters so well. It isn’t until the end of the first season that we find out that Garnet is actually a fusion of two gems, Sapphire and Ruby, both identifying as female. Pearl’s love for Rose Quartz is revealed little by little, all coming to a head when she sings It’s Over, Isn’t It, and it’s heartbreaking. Even now, this late in the series, the foundations for a budding romance between Pearl and the mystery girl, and between Lapis Lazuli and Peridot, are being laid. But don’t forget that the show started as a goofy kid and some badass females beating up monsters together. They were never just “the gay characters.”

And now, finally, we can look at some shows that have so much opportunity to do things right, but which I am fearful will fail to do so. The disappointment and queerbaiting of past experiences make it difficult for me to get my hopes up when it comes to the possibility of these relationships becoming canon. First let’s look at one that at this point is all but canon; the relationship between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline in Adventure Time.

There really isn’t much to say about these two, and by that I mean there’s so much to say that at this point there’s no need to say any more. As far as I see it, the two are together. But a show can drop as many hints and as much subtext as it wants, to me, it isn’t enough until it is confirmed. I understand the struggles that producers have to face when it comes to acceptance across different countries, and the fact that they want to be accessible to as large an audience as possible. That being said, when it comes to Bubblegum and Marceline, their relationship has come so far that there’s no denying it anymore. However, I still have doubts. Doubts that arise from the fact that neither Bubblegum nor Marceline demonstrated superficial gayness from the start of the show. Could it all just be queerbaiting? Only time will tell, but the fear will always be at the back of my mind.

On the other hand, we have RWBY, a show produced by RoosterTeeth, and the pairing of Yang Xiao Long and Blake Belladonna. Just as with Bubbline, I believe there is no longer any excuse for these two not to be together, but for a different reason. With Bubbline, it seems as though the creators want it to happen, but due to global marketing, are uneasy about doing so. With Blake and Yang, or “Bumbleby,” it is quite the opposite. The majority of fans are in support of Bumbleby, and unlike Cartoon Network, RoosterTeeth has no reason to fear the backlash that would come from such a pairing, as their viewership comes largely from the internet community who are entirely open to the two being together. My hope is that they have the intention of eventually making Bumbleby canon, and right now the only delay is the slow burn of the narrative and setting things up for the two to eventually develop feelings of love for one another. But as I’ve stated before, the disappointments of the past make me fearful for the future, especially due to the fact that Blake and Yang not only didn’t demonstrate superficial gayness, but Blake has been shown to have some interest in a male character, Sun Wukong. Just as in the case of Bubbline, it will take time to find out the truth, but as RWBY heads into Volume 4, I find myself having severe doubts about the eventual possibility of a canon lesbian pairing.

So then, to wrap this up I just want to say that I hope shows like The Legend of Korra and Steven Universe have set an example for shows that have potential for powerful homosexual relationships. And I want to see queer representation in media moving more in a direction where a character’s sexuaity is not what defines them in the eyes of the audience. A character’s sexuality should not be the first thing that stands out about them, establish strong characters, and over time reveal those details. Otherwise we will remain locked in a cycle of superficial gayness, queerbaiting, and disappointment.

Thank you for reading.

8

Artists in Action!

Meet Ryan McFadden and Kevin Iwaki, two Coordinators in Nickelodeon Animation’s Archive and Resource Library! We can’t get enough of their super passionate personalities and the incredibly valuable work they do for the studio from cataloguing archives to curating art galleries. This is the epitome of the dream team, people!! 

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1) What is your role here at Nick? How long have you worked here?

Ryan: I am the Creative Projects Coordinator with the Nickelodeon Animation Archive and Resource Library. What my position really amounts to is a Treasure Hunter, Researcher, Historian, Caretaker and Gatekeeper to Nickelodeon’s vast collection of traditional animation resources. I have been with the company for about 4 ½ years. 

Kevin: I am the Collections Coordinator at the Nickelodeon Animation Archive and Resource Library and I’ve been here for about two and a half years. My role at the studio is to catalogue and preserve all the original production artwork from our classic 90′s animated shows like Ren and Stimpy, Hey Arnold! and Rock’s Modern Life as well as more recent shows like SpongeBob SquarePants, Fairly Odd Parents and The Legend of Korra.

2) How did you get started in animation?

Ryan: From a professional standpoint, I got my start as an intern in 2011 with the “Tape Vault”. At that point in time there was no Animation Archive as it exists today. The library was a small section of the Post-Production department and was responsible for cataloguing and storing the final master tapes of all the shows being produced at NAS.

From a personal standpoint, I got my start as an authentic 90′s Nick kid. I was obsessed with the shows that were on Nickelodeon during my childhood: Ren and Stimpy, Rocko’s Modern Life, Rugrats, The Angry Beavers, etc…Really, my career as a Nickelodeon historian began at that time. Nothing could have prepared me for this position than having lived through and experienced the phenomenon of Nick’s golden age in the 90′s. 

Kevin: Like how anything starts in this business, I knew some people who knew some other people so after I graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts I got a position at the Warner Bros. Corporate Archives. My project was to help support the archive with all of their projects from curating exhibits like Comic-Con and the Paley Center to archiving and preserving all of their historical assets like Michael Keaton’s Batman costume to original Looney Tunes production art by Chuck Jones and Maurice Noble. After two and half years of discovering more Warner Bros. history than any book published, it was time to move on, and I was ready for a more unique experience in archiving. That’s when I heard about Nickelodeon, and their project to build an animation archive and library. I knew this was a great opportunity to really make a difference, and I wanted to be one of the founders of this archive. I would say the rest is history, but my story at Nickelodeon is still being written.

3) What is your day-to-day like? Any interesting routines?

It’s always a bit different on a day-to-day basis. Some days we’re at a warehouse, digging through thousands of boxes of animation assets that have been untouched and all but forgotten for decades. On other days we’re meeting with members of the studio and providing them with art and reference materials. On other days we’re traveling offsite to setup and install art galleries. Really, our job is anything but routine and we enjoy that. Variety is the spice of life, as they say.

4) What continues to motivate you to work in animation?

It really boils down to our passion for this particular content. We feel personally responsible for the legacy and well-being of our artwork and history and we can see the value that an archive of classic Nickelodeon material brings to the studio and to our audience. It really reinforces the backbone of our brand and fuels the fires of creativity. It’s an honor to be in the position that we’re in.

5) What are the favorite parts of your job?

Our favorite parts of the job are the aspects that deal with people. We love meeting all of the various members of the studio and animation/entertainment community. They’re awesome, fun-loving people. We actually got the chance to go up to Skywalker Ranch this year and meet all of the Lucasfilm archivists. It was incredible! We’re huge fans of Star Wars and Indiana Jones. To get the chance to see their production assets was a life-changing experience. We saw the original Ralph McQuarrie concept art from Star Wars and even got to hold real lightsabers.

6) Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

We’re very proud to have been agents of change in the studio and to have worked towards bringing our department from a humble tape vault to a thriving animation archive. Aside from that, we assisted in mounting a successful gallery exhibition at California State University Fullerton for the 25th anniversary of Nick Animation this past year. At the opening, several of the creators and architects of the early animated programs (Vanessa Coffey, Arlene Klasky, Jim Jinkins, Stephen Hillenberg, Mark Marek, Chris Viscardi) were in attendance and gave monumental speeches detailing their careers and experiences. It was surreal!

7) What/who inspires you?

We feel inspired and affected by practically everyone we meet and all of the art we come across, so it’s hard to pick just one person or thing. Above all, our families have always been very supportive of our efforts here. We’re both very grateful for the insight and support of our families and they certainly are an inspiration to each of us personally.

8) What is your advice for aspiring artists or people interested in entering animation?

There is a lot of cliché advice floating around Hollywood, but it’s often very true. It’s important to know/affiliate yourself with the right people and to be at the places where those people are. It’s all about being at the right place at the right time, and to be ready to seize the right opportunities. Be confident in your skills and abilities, but don’t get too cocky, and always try to be the type of person that people want to have around them.

9) Do you have a mentor or someone else who’s been an impactful person on your career?

Before we really started to build our own archive, we got the opportunity to tour several incredible archives: Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros., Sony, NBC Universal, The Writer’s Guild Archive, LACMA, The Japanese American National Museum and Lucasfilm. We are a very young archive when compared to these others, and the professionals that staff them graciously shared a lot of wisdom and experience with us on these tours. They really opened our eyes to the way things work in a successful archive and helped us figure out how to go about achieving our goals in our own archive.

10) What are your favorite hobbies?

Ryan: I am a musician. I love to play guitar, bass and also use software like Pro Tools and Ableton Live to compose all sorts of music.

Kevin: I love collecting high-end toys, and my office has some of my Marvel and Star Wars collections on display, which always starts a conversation with visitors. I’m also a Disneyland Annual Passholder and love going to Club 33 with my friends.

11) What is one of the most challenging aspects of your job?

We have a pretty small crew and are constantly spinning projects of all different kinds on all different timetables. Sometimes balancing all of them proves challenging, but we take it as a sign of growth and progress. We are hoping to expand our team in the not-so-distant future.

12) What is your spirit animal?

Ryan: Reptar.

Kevin: Something epic like Harry Potter’s Patronus Stag…

13) Favorite Nickelodeon show?

It’s a toss-up between The Ren and Stimpy Show and Rocko’s Modern Life. Both were such boundary-pushing shows and had such unique and powerful styles. We consider both to be examples of fine art. There’s a special place in our hearts for Hey Arnold!, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Avatar: TLA/Korra too, for the same reasons. You don’t even have to be a kid to really enjoy these shows…they have something for everyone and are really a commentary on the human experience. A lot of Nick cartoons have that kind of depth and, truthfully, we get very excited about all of the shows we’ve done here at Nick.

14) Favorite Nickelodeon quote or catchphrase?

Ryan: “I can’t see my forehead.”  -Patrick Star (Patty Hype)

Kevin: “You sick little monkey!” –Ren Hoek (Stimpy’s Invention)

15) Favorite snack?

Ryan: Probably pizza…I seem to have an addiction. I think I could eat pizza every day for the rest of my life and actually enjoy it. I think I could get along with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pretty well.

Kevin: It’s a tie between a Krabby Patty and a Scooby Snack.

I See a Lot of Myself in You: A Reflection of Ourselves in Korra's Hero Journey [submission]

Preface: A quick shout-out to lokgifsandmusings​ and queertoonqueertoons, whose meta inspired me to write this. Before we begin I highly recommend you read or revisit lokgifs’ essay Running With Subtext to give context to the concept of Korra’s queer coding. See also the follow-up here. And if you haven’t read ‘Dear Bryke’, by queertoons, what are you doing with your life?

written by highlyclassifiedshit


Four weeks before the Legend of Korra finale aired I told my parents I was bisexual. I had a dialogue planned in my head so that I could get out what I needed to say without shakily stumbling over scary words like ‘bi’ and ‘girls’. All things considered, it went well. What I hadn’t planned for was how emotional voicing thoughts that had been cooped up inside my head for years would be — it had taken me until I was almost 22 to be sure enough to say it. But the moment the words ‘not one-hundred-percent straight’ slipped from between my lips I burst into tears, taking not just my parents but myself aback.

I hadn’t expected to cry. In fact, I’d expected to feel relieved. Wasn’t this supposed to generate some form of closure? I thought I would feel more confident. I thought a weight would lift from my chest. Instead, I felt scared. This was real now.

The catharsis I had no idea I needed didn’t come until December 19th.

As my tumblr feed exploded with the glorious golden-yellow screenshot that was Korra’s finale, I felt less angry about the major spoilers and more relieved, in fact genuinely awestruck, at what I was seeing. I was only partway through Book Three at the time and hadn’t even realised I was following any Korra fans on tumblr yet, but the news had brought everyone out of the woodwork. Not long later, Bryan’s infamous post found its way onto my dash.

Korrasami is canon.

I could continue, but the rest of the story is the same for almost all of us who relate positively in any way shape or form to queerness. The hours and weeks that followed the canonical verification of what was once a far-reaching femslash crack ship brought a wave of feelings, included but not limited to pure joy, disbelief, triumphant satisfaction, validation, and even a degree of new-found confidence in my own identity. What I’d like to focus on for the rest of this essay is Korra’s hero journey; how she subverts this hero journey and foreshadows her own queerness, while preemptively reflecting mine. 

Keep reading

Ten Best Animated Shows of the Last Decade

As we all know, we’re in a golden age of TV and there’s no denying that the sheer amount of content is an embarrassment of riches. Yet, there’s one specific area that appears to be flourishing, and that’s in animation.

Animated shows have always had good and bad, but recently it feels like there have been more and more shows that have gone above and beyond than any that have come before. These shows are deeper, more diverse and more original and of the great TV revolution, they represent the most startlingly original and inclusive content on any platform.

This is my list of the ten best-animated shows released in the last decade

10. Attack on Titan

Originally posted by ninjadetective

Of all the animes available to western audiences, Attack on Titan has dominated the market in recent years. Like Game of Thrones in sheer scale, it rose in popularity with the release of the single season on Netflix a couple of years ago and audiences have been waiting fervently for the next ever since.
Set in a world where giant humanoid creatures have decimated humanity, Attack on Titan is a genuinely exhilarating, quite scary, deceptively layered show that is one of the most audacious anime properties of the 21st century.

9. Gravity Falls

Originally posted by mistersalazar

Twin Peaks meets Eerie Indiana meets Disney, Gravity Falls is the story of twins Dipper and Mabel who stay with their Grunkle Stan in the strange and mysterious Gravity Falls over the summer. What could have been a simple, quaint show with a weekly Scooby-Doo style mystery, develops into something a tad deeper over the course of its ample run.
Mixing quirky humour, likeable characters and enough mystery to keep you guessing, Gravity Falls knows its genre roots and successfully adapts its darker elements for the family friendly audience.

8. Rick and Morty

Originally posted by docot

From the twisted minds of Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s comes Rick and Morty, a show that asks what if Doc and Marty from Back to the Future were a drunk and a horny adolescent respectively. The inspiration behind this was clearly a mix of Doc Brown meets Doctor Who, yet it’s got the vulgarity of Family Guy and the silly humour of Futurama, which is a pretty perfect mix.
It’s very silly and can sometimes become too self-indulgent, but when it hits it hits hard, and any fan of Sci-Fi will appreciate the homages and imagination that it packs into every episode.

7. Bobs Burgers

Originally posted by jemzzy

Like every great animated sitcom, (The Simpsons, Family Guy) Bob’s Burgers is about your average American family and the misadventures they get into. With some of the most recognisable voices in animation, H. Jon Benjamin (Archer himself) and Kristen Schaal to name but a few, Bob’s Burgers is on the more family friendly side of the spectrum and gets its jokes from the strange dynamics of a nuclear family.

It’s simple, humble and has funny bones yet never tries to be something it’s not, whilst the natural charisma of its cast can make any line funny.

6. Over the Garden Wall

Originally posted by thegirlwholived119

A delectable beautifully stylised mini-series about two brothers lost in a mysterious forest, who come across a variety of strange people and monsters in an effort to get home. Like something out of a Grimms Brothers story, it has all the trappings of a fairytale and is often genuinely scary.
Created by Patrick McHale, it stars Elijah Wood as the elder brother and is one of the most perfectly compact series you’re likely to come across in this genre. It’s got a great atmosphere, beautifully detailed animation and a really rich folky soundtrack to back it up.

5. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Originally posted by juhzou

FA:B is essentially one big story stretching across 64 episodes, which can seem daunting when it feels like they’re just bleeding into one another, yet once you get into it, you’ll want to devour as many as you can.
It’s a grand, sweeping, epic show about the battle between good and evil, set in a world of war, evil creatures and Alchemy.
It’s a bit more complicated than that, but I strongly recommend you check it out. From its beautiful music to gorgeous animation and impeccable voice work, there’s barely a foot been put wrong and the story is enthralling once you get into it.

4. Adventure Time

Originally posted by fuckyeahkasumisty

The more well-known entry on this list in the UK, Adventure Time is sort of the starter animated shows to get into before you have a crack at all the others. If you can’t get into the delightfully weird and wonderful world of Finn and Jake, then I don’t know how well you’ll adjust to the others.
Despite that, the Land of Ooo is rich in imagination and nuanced in storytelling, with many entertaining characters revealing hidden, deeper layers. Without it, we maybe wouldn’t have Steven Universe or Over the Garden Wall, as the creators of those shows came from here, but there’s no doubt that Adventure Time has helped to lead the charge in this animated revolution.

3. Legend of Korra

Originally posted by slayermoon

If Avatar had begun in the last ten years, I’d be tempted to put it on this list too, but in the end, I think Korra is arguably the superior series, if not the brilliant successor. Set 70 years after The Last Airbender, new Avatar Korra must continue to fight against evil in a world she barely understands, whilst growing into maturity and adulthood.
Since the release of its final episodes a couple of years ago, LOK has been unanimously praised for it’s excellent diverse and feminist qualities, as well as its approach to mature and complex themes. Yet at its heart, it’s an adventure romp with wonderfully memorable characters and a universe that feels tangible and real, something it explores over the course of its four seasons.

2. Bojack Horseman

Originally posted by draquomancer

Like Rick and Morty, Bojack Horseman is one of the more Adult entries on this list. Yet, unlike other adult animated comedies, Bojack leads the pack because it’s so much more than its zany concept. More than a few times, Bojack Horseman is the darkest show on TV. Having a main character smoke, drink and take drugs was never going to be a playground but once you get past the first few episodes you really begin to witness the downward spiral of a depressed sitcom has-been.
More like Breaking Bad than Rick and Morty, despite the anthropomorphic animal characters, the show always deals with very potent social themes, up to and including, abortion, sexism and the general quicksand that is Hollywoo. The people behind it know how to write complex, diverse characters, and in the case of season three’s ‘Fish Out of Water’, they can create something unexpectedly beautifully.
Check it out, you won’t get anything quite like this anywhere else.

1. Steven Universe

Originally posted by giffing-amethyst

Steven Universe is a hook you straight away sort of show, with its warm, rich characters, wonderfully realised universe and delightful humour. It’s a show that has become one of the most respected and beloved animations online, primarily due to its excellent depictions of LGBTQ characters and 100 episodes in, can still surprise you.
The show focuses on Steven, half-gem half-human, he’s the youngest member of a group of Crystal Gems who fight to save the world from evil, all from their home in the quaint little town of Beach City. With beautiful animation, complex writing, diverse characters, an engaging over-arching story and some of the finest music on TV, Steven Universe is a remarkable show, that only grows better with age.

Originally posted by broccoleafveins

I’ve tried to be as concise as possible in my description and mini-review of each show, but some of them deserve so much more attention than two simple paragraphs that I just simply ask you seek them out to enjoy. These are, of course, my personal favourites, and there are many more shows out there that were around before 2006. I also believe that TV is gonna probably do even better in the future and I can’t wait to find out.

Let me know what your favourite animated shows are :)

What a time to be alive.

It’s their ability to pull you in. That sort of magic they have when all the elements of the medium come together. Voice acting, visuals, scoring, and stories, when done as right as these shows do ‘em, can create unbelievable experiences.

And what I find so fantastic is just how many cartoons today actually do craft their own worlds and invite you in. They’re not all perfect or even complex, but these are the shows that really make a case for why cartoons are an art form.

While I could do a top 10 here, I’d rather just geek out over what makes each one unique, because in a lot of ways it’s hard to compare them. So instead, it’s probably easier to divide these badboys up by the genre they best portray. 

Now, that doesn’t mean these shows only have one feel to them – in fact a lot of them could qualify for multiple genres – but for simplicity’s sake, let’s do one per show. You’ll see what I mean.

ACTION

Regular Show

Alright, so not all episodes are action-oriented. Not even a majority. Why put in under the action heading, then?

Well, while a lot of the show deals with the everyday happenings of the park and its crew, RS is undeniably a product of the 80s (and 90s sometimes, too, but mostly the 80s). It’s pretty glorious. Not only do a lot of references to the decade pop up, but a lot of the stories are structured like 80s movies, with very clear goals and stakes. They can build up tension really well in a short amount of time because we know what’s going to happen if Mordo and Rigby don’t win the day. So, even when nothing spectacular is going on, it can still feel like there’s something to lose. 

Star v.s the Forces of Evil

This was the hardest one to place. It actually does three things equally well and in pretty much equal proportion: sci-fi, slice-of-life, and of course, action. That said, I went with action for one reason: whenever it does go full-on butt-kicking mode, it kicks serious ass.

This is like if Hotel Transylvania had fighting scenes. The comedy in the show is top-notch, and I always have fun with it, but I so enjoy the idea that a comedy/slice-of-life show like this could also be a magical girl show. That high-octane pace with cross-dimensional battles? It’s the best of both worlds!

SCI-FI

Steven Universe

Now here’s sci-fi done right. The use the big concepts like aliens and intergalactic warfare to tell very simple, yet profoundly meaningful stories. 

Overall, Steven Universe has a very emotional story to tell, and it talks about it all with respect and dignity, but also a tenderness. It’s friggin’ fantastic.

On top of that, the art style – from the flexible character models to the gorgeous colour scheme – sets such a wonderstuck tone for it all. That, combined with the techno/piano background music, gives the show an elegance you might not expect at first glance. It’s heartbreaking, yet soothing. Beautiful, yet light. Just a wonderful world to be a part of.

Wander Over Yonder

This is contender for the most beautifully animated show on television. I have to admit I haven’t personally gotten far into WOY (mostly just because I tend to look for continuing stories in the cartoons I watch nowadays), but the kid in me who used to stay up all night to watch the whole saturday morning line-up on Canada’s equivalents of Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network is screaming with joy.

No matter what age group is enjoying it, I’m so glad a show that’s animated like this can exist for kids. The comedy shines with the fast pace of the movements, the expressions are glorious, the colours are so nice to look at, the character models are cute and interesting, and I’ve always said you could stop the show at any point in any episode and get an amazing screen-shot. It’s just a blast to watch.

What can I say? This is a show that deserves the fandom it has and then some, it’s too freaking beautiful. But, beauty aside, what tone does it set with all this splendor? Well, the show’s largely about space exploration – never stopping anywhere for too long and rarely (if ever) returning to the same location twice. The universe feels neverending, and the lovable excitement Wander brings to this already energetic show give its young target audience a feeling of true space-adventure. There’s always another horizon on another planet to find, and awesome life-forms to meet there.

ADVENTURE

Adventure Time

An obvious pick, but a well-deserved one.

I’ve talked about AT’s world-building before more in depth, so I won’t go too nanners here, but with the constant addition of new characters, settings, ideas, and even animation styles, this show packs a serious punch. It’s really no wonder why it’s gotten as popular as it has.

Yup. From the simplistic, yet hilarious Adventure Time-y lingo to the epic battles with inventive monsters to the AT philosophy, Adventure Time really does feel like the imaginings of a precautious little boy. Like I said for Wander Over Yonder, an expansive world, like the land of Ooo, can really drag you into the show by force.

Avatar: The Legend of Korra

Technically, since it’s finished its run, I probably shouldn’t include Korra, but it’s recent enough to deserve a spot here. Plus, dat unbelievable animation, tho!

Like it’s predecessor Avatar: The Last Airbender, LOK takes inspiration from the more detailed art-styles of anime. So, just like anime, the budget goes into making the world look great, and making sure the battle scenes are well-animated, while keeping low costs on the movements of the characters during most normal talking scenes.

LOK used this to its every advantage. A captivating score and exciting story brought the world of benders back on screen in a satisfying way. Plus, unlike all the other shows on this list, Korra had a higher target audience: teens. That meant a lot of things, aside from the infamous love triangle of the first season. It meant they could tell darker stories, including an entire story-arch where Korra has PTSD and depression, as well as a “tasteful” yet very obvious queer canon couple at the end. Uh, spoilers, btw.

So, while the first show didn’t shy away from darker concepts, either, this one definitely felt like a mature show, while still keeping a feeling of adventure present.

MYSTERY

Gravity Falls

Why watch other shows when you could be watching Gravity Falls? Seriously. This is the question that haunts me.

The most recent episode, Not What He Seems, was so satisfying in everything it set out to do, paced so well, littlenightwing and I absolutely couldn’t believe the run-time was only 23 minutes – it felt like a movie, and a flipping fantastic one at that.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself, clearly, because I should be talking about the enchanting mystery aspect of GF. Like Alex Hirsch, the show’s overlord, once said, it’s a cross between The Simpsons and the X-Files, with one heck of a continuing story that never stops giving us questions to wonder about and conspiracies to sniff out. It even hides codes for the viewers to follow along with, creating a theory-making community that’s just as paranoid, yet intelligent as they come. Its unbelievable how well this show sucks you in.

FANTASY

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

I promise I’ll be quick. I know the fandom makes some uncomfortable, and I apologize, but the show itself is quality and deserves its praises sung, just like the others on this list.

While they’re not always on adventures, it’s almost like if Lord of the Rings had an all-female cast. It’s been called High Fantasy before, meaning it has a huge lore of history along with its fantasy setting (not mention a world filled with creatures from  all sorts of different mythologies, like Greek, Aztec, etc). When it goes big, it feels grand. When it stays small, it feels like I’m in a sleepy town like Hobbiton; with the show entering into its fifth season, it’s getting even more obvious that Equestria is definitely a land worth exploring.

Over the Garden Wall

Short, sweet, and magical: just how I like ‘em. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s only ten episodes, if you have yet to check it out, it’s a story that’s well worth your time.

This one was hard, too, because there’s a very strong mystery element all-throughout that almost made me want to switch its place on the list, but the way the story’s paced – and, I’ll admit it, the fact that Elijah Wood voices Wirt – made it pretty impossible for me to avoid the fantasy category.

The art direction in this mini-series adds so much to the atmosphere it’s stunning, as well as the gentle horns backing it up on the soundtrack. It really feels like you’re venturing into a dark forest, a strange and unknown territory that may very well be dangerous. Even horrifying. 

You’ll have to be patient with it, because it uses a fantasy pace: slow for the journey and building up to more plot-oriented parts. But, with the forest theme, and style choices from Americana folklore, this is a series that screams October, which is ironically when I’ll be screaming Over the Garden Wall from now on.

SLICE-OF-LIFE

The Amazing World of Gumball

Where Gumball shines is where a kids show should shine. It’s comedy. With it’s multiple-art style approach, and wacky, out-there theme song, Gumball sure is an oddball of a show thank I’m here all wekk. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first glance, but a few things have won me over.

First, the the characters. The two brothers and their non-conventional family are what it’s all about, and watching Darwin and Gumball bond is very sweet.

Second, the episode The Shell. ‘Nuff said, because oh my GOD, was that cinematic af and beautiful.

Third, screw your normality, the Amazing World of Gumball does what it wants.

Fourth, the background is done with beautiful photography, and with the cartoons to contrast it, it almost feels like we’re watching home movies.

Clarence

The heart is undeniable. From the get-go, this show doesn’t let up with how charming it is, which makes sense, because pretty much the whole feel of the shows mirrors the feel of Clarence himself.

Clarence’s world is a friendly one. It’s not like things can’t go wrong- I mean they almost always do, but I don’t know, there’s something about the show that feels just as eager to include everyone and have a good time doing it as Clarence is, and let me tell you, that’s a really likable thing to do. Especially when it means including gay couples, because teaching kids about that is just rad. Rock on, little buddy.

Oh, and the simple, yet pleasing art style matches this really well, too. Like Clarence drew it himself.

Oh again, and by heart, I don’t mean heart in the way Steven Universe means heart (this is why I couldn’t make a top ten list). Because the show mirrors Clarence so much, it takes on his attitude toward the harsher realities in his life, and it’s a very innocent and comforting one.

I have to acknowledge the controversy with the creator, but only to say that the creator has been punished and doesn’t work on the show anymore. The show doesn’t support that type of behaviour, and neither do we, so everything’s good.

Phineas and Ferb

Now, this is an impressive show. Creating new worlds to explore is so imaginative and cool, but writing so many seasons of a show that’s this formulaic, and still keeping it fresh? That takes a lot of ingenuity.Almost Phineas and Ferb levels of ingenuity.

I couldn’t imagine this show as anything but a Disney Channel show. Gravity Falls is it’s own entity, which is rad, but P&F has that classic light-heartedness, that well-meaning goodness that’s just so admirable.

Phineas especially captures this Mickey Mouse-esque spirit. Ferb brings his own brilliance to the show, as do the rest of the cast, but Phineas in particular really gives the show a hopeful feel.

And you know, the art style matches the quick, clever humour with geometric shapes, and the simple colour scheme keeps with that bright atmosphere I was talking about earlier.

Uncle Grandpa

I have to admit, it’s not my personal favourite, but I didn’t want to exclude the fandom.

If I had to guess at the overall feel of a show I haven’t watched that much, (bad idea but) I’d say it’s probably just the goofiness. Maybe there’s something more I haven’t seen, which is totally possible, but that seems about right. Taking everyday problems and looking at them in the silliest, goofiest way possible. Not a bad thing.

Overall

All that said, we have so many wonderful worlds to visit today, so many adventures to have and mysteries to solve and characters to spend time with. 

I feel like we’re in some kind of cartoon renaissance- but that’d probably go to the 90s, huh? Well, then we’re in the cartoon Age of Enlightenment, where it’s the thought and care that these teams put into crafting their worlds that makes the difference. 

No Bryke Just No......Follow up

Read part 1 here: http://abdullahqutbedden.tumblr.com/post/105925488585/no-bryke-just-no

Now that Korra and Asami’s final moment is out in the world, it seems like an appropriate time to express how I feel about it. I didn’t want to say anything right away so the audience could experience the finale for themselves.

That didn’t stop Bryan from posting that long ass post about how everyone who hated the final scene between Korra and Asami were all a bunch of homophobes, the damage has already been done Mike and I doubt anything you’re gonna say right now is gonna ease the backlash you two have gotten from the shippers and the fans like me who thought the entire series was a letdown compared to Avatar the Last Airbender.

The main themes of the Avatar universe have always revolved around equality, justice, acceptance, tolerance, and balancing differing worldviews. In subtle and maybe not so subtle ways, Avatar and Legend of Korra have dealt with difficult subjects such as genocide, child abuse, deaths of loved ones, and post traumatic stress. I took it as a complement when Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair called the show subversive. There were times even I was surprised we were able to delve into the really tough stuff on a children’s TV network. While the episodes were never designed to “make a statement”, Bryan and I always strove to treat the more difficult subject matter with the respect and gravity it deserved.

Funny I thought the original Avatar series was about a group of kids with mystical powers going on a long journey to bring down the evil fire nation empire. Guess I missed the episode were Aang made a sexist remark towards Azula and was told by Katara to “check his male privilege”.

Also if you were treating all these difficult subject matters with respect then please tell me why you played the Bolin and Eska relationship for laughs? It was clear Eska was abusing Bolin and not once did any of the other characters treat the situation with any seriousness throughout Book 2’s entire run the whole situation was played  for laughs as if were a plot in a shitty sitcom from the 90’s.   

And over the years we’ve heard from numerous fans, in person and online, how Avatar and Korra have influenced their lives for the better or helped them overcome a life struggle or setback. I am always humbled when people share their personal stories with us and I am grateful that my love for telling stories has been able to help people in some small way. So while Avatar and Korra were always meant to be entertaining and engaging tales, this universe and its characters also speak to the deeper humanity in all of us, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, culture, nationality, or sexual orientation.

I’m sorry Mike but Bryan already threw most of the fandom under a bus with his stupid “hetro lenses” comment so it’s too late to try and get back in my good graces with all this inspirational crap. If you really wanted to get back into my good graces you would have apologized for the crap you and Bryan have said about Avatar and Bryan should have apologized for his “hetro lenses” comment because I’m sorry but I personally felt that comment painted an ugly picture of how Bryan views criticism and the fans of the old show.   

Also yes I do agree with you somewhat that the characters in Avatar the Last Airbender were complex and great, the same however cannot be said about Korra’s cast of characters who just seemed to get worse and worse as the show kept going.

Our intention with the last scene was to make it as clear as possible that yes, Korra and Asami have romantic feelings for each other. The moment where they enter the spirit portal symbolizes their evolution from being friends to being a couple. Many news outlets, bloggers, and fans picked up on this and didn’t find it ambiguous. For the most part, it seems like the point of the scene was understood and additional commentary wasn’t really needed from Bryan or me. But in case people were still questioning what happened in the last scene, I wanted to make a clear verbal statement to complement the show’s visual one. I get that not everyone will be happy with the way that the show ended. Rarely does a series finale of any show satisfy that show’s fans, so I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the positive articles and posts I’ve seen about Korra’s finale.

I’m sorry but Korra and Asami were never friends, their interactions were so few and far between that it just became laughable whenever you tried to write “bounding” scenes between the two, I’ve already mentioned this before numerous times now but the car scene in the first episode of Book 3 was so badly written that I could not stop laughing at how bad it was. Also as others have pointed out Asami’s character only exists to revolve around Korra and Mako, in Book 1 she was only there to add a stupid love triangle subplot, in Book 2 her role was nonexistent and she became a background character at best. In Book 3 she was just there to help Korra out by telling her how awesome she was and by playing second fiddle to her during their missions together. I hate to break it to you Mike but that’s not how friendships work in the real world.

See in real life in order to have a good friendship with someone both sides have to support each other and Korra never did that with Asami she never once came up to her and asked how her day was going and if she was okay with her dating Mako. But I think the worst moment that shows how much Korra cares so little about Asami was the finale itself were after Hiroshi sacrificed himself to save Asami and buy the team more time to stop Kuvira what does Korra do? She doesn’t check up on Asami to see if she’s okay, she doesn’t tell anyone else to check up on her to see if she’s okay she just continues talking about their next plan of attack as if nothing fucking happened! Fucking Azula would look at this and say “Holly shit that’s harsh…..”

And regarding disappointing series finales I admit some finales have been pretty terrible *cough How I Met Your Mother cough* I personally have seen more good finales than I have bad, I enjoyed Justice League Unlimited’s finale, Buffy’s finale, Breaking Bad’s finale and Avatar The Last Airbender’s finale did I have my gripes with those finales? Yes but they weren’t so terrible they made me want to rant about them on the internet. So this talk of rarely does a finale satisfy people is a load of horseshit.

Also I’m guessing you’ve only read the reviews written by sites like IGN, The Verge, Vanity Fair, The AV Club etc. and you haven’t read any reviews that have been written by the fans of the old show like myself who saw Legend of Korra as a letdown compared to the original series.

 I’ve already read some heartwarming and incredible posts about how this moment means so much for the LGBT community. Once again, the incredible outpouring of support for the show humbles me. As Tenzin says, “Life is one big bumpy ride.” And if, by Korra and Asami being a couple, we are able to help smooth out that ride even a tiny bit for some people, I’m proud to do my part, however small it might be. Thanks for reading.

Funny I’ve read tons of posts from LGBT people who said that they were disgusted by your queer bating bullshit and would have much rather had Korra end up with no one but I guess those people were looking at things from a “hetro lenses” perspective I’m I right?

Have fun living in denial Mike.

Alright let’s bust out some proper punctuation and discuss Korra’s characterization throughout the series.

There’s been a lot of talk recently criticizing Korra in Books 1 and 2, kind of ignoring her in Book 3 because she doesn’t exactly get a lot to do, and praising her Book 4 journey. This discussion has brought to the forefront something that I’ve been noticing for a long time, like.. years, and really want to talk about. The point at hand is that people say Korra’s personality in Books 1 and 2 was “false bravado.” Attaching this label to her– specifically the “false” part, really rubs me the wrong way because it’s a giant red flag to me that there’s a large amount of misunderstanding of, like, the absolute fundamental basics of what made Korra tick in Books 1 and 2. It’s not the specific arguments I can (and will) provide as to why Korra’s bravado wasn’t “false” in Books 1 and 2, but rather the fact that people can even read her as such in the first place that tells me that there are some very different angles being taken here.

Note that I don’t really believe in the existence of opinions– you either believe something or you don’t. In the end the universe works in fundamental truths and if what one person believes is correct, it means that if someone believes the “opposite” they’re incorrect. Hiding behind the concept of opinions is what results in the existence of racism, sexism, etc, because it’s “just their opinion.” But if you operate on beliefs instead of opinions, well sure I fully believe that they believe in their racist/sexist/etc thoughts, that doesn’t make them correct. How this related to viewing a narrative like a TV show is that our “opinions” are far too influenced by forces from outside the text and shape the way we view our media. In the case of Korra, clearly there’s a lot of conflicting discourse on the show and pretty much everyone is on one bandwagon or another, without having watched the show in months (or years in the case of certain seasons) and thus they have a very skewed perception of the things they’re arguing. I’m guilty of this, having gone through a lot of ups and downs with the earlier seasons and jumping on anti-Mako, anti-Makorra, and anti-Book 2 bandwagons primarily. Since then I’ve had a lot of “oh shit I’m completely wrong about this” moments, and have viewed I think every season, ship, character, etc, both positively and negatively (independent of whether they were being portrayed positively or negatively in the show at the time) and now that the dust has been settled for a few months I like to think that I have a pretty objective view of the series as a whole free from the baseless opinions I’ve gone through during the show’s run. That all being said, let’s get back to Korra specifically, who, likewise, I think I have a very strong understanding of free from the confines of bandwagon opinions.

So the specific argument at hand is that there’s this idea that in Books 1 and 2, Korra was constantly repressing her insecurities through false confidence, which led to her to being humiliated and ridiculed. Korra was forced to deal with this all-encompassing deep vulnerability under her surface by external forces before having triumphant moments. Meanwhile in Book 4 Korra accepted, embraced, and internalized her vulnerability and was healthier for it.

Here is my analysis of her character, which should debunk all of that:

The idea that Korra had insecurities is a surprise to no one, but there’s a lot to be said for how people viewed them, and whether or not she was “repressing” them (here’s a hint: she really wasn’t). Obviously she was scared of Amon, of losing her bending, and that made her feel like she “wouldn’t be the Avatar anymore.” Not because of the divine connection between her bending and identity as the Avatar, but because she clearly loves bending in the less magical form of being athletic and fighting– for purposes of fun and enjoyment (as evidenced by caring so much about probending), while the White Lotus and Tenzin are trying to force her to view her bending as a duty, placing importance on the “spiritual side” and all that. This coupled with Korra embracing the superficial idea of being the Avatar results in her clearly conflating her love for bending and sport with her “I’m the Avatar you gotta deal with it” side. Korra really loves herself. She and everyone else knows she’s a terrific bender, and with the fact that she has the title of the Avatar she truly does think that she’s the shit. This is like the basic premise of who Korra was at the beginning of the series, it’s what everyone was told in early press and who was present from the start of episode 1. I think most people have forgotten that like this is who her character was originally. Keep that in mind for later on.

Anyway back to insecurities. 1x04 is the best example of this. Korra is clearly scared of Amon and, yes, “repressing” it and in trying to prove to herself she’s not scared she challenges him. He ambushes her and in a really scary scene in the dark where she’s tied up he says he’s saving her for last, then he’ll destroy her, etc. She breaks down to Tenzin saying “I was so terrified, I felt so helpless. […] You … you were right … I’ve been scared this whole time. I’ve never felt like this before and … and Tenzin, I don’t know what to do!” and Tenzin tells her “Admitting your fears is the first and most difficult step in overcoming them.”

Four episodes in and Korra has already “learned the lesson” to admit and confront her fears. Whether you think it’s good writing or not (the much-cited “rushed” probably being the word you want to jump to) the fact is that this was a concrete moment of character development and Korra doesn’t repress her insecurities ever again in the show. In 1x06 she confidently goes after Amon, in 1x07 she doesn’t second guess herself when accusing Hiroshi of being an Equalist, in 1x08 she’s open with the Krew about her insecurities instead of denying them like in 1x04, and so on and so forth.

What Korra learns in Book 1 is the importance and seriousness of her role as the Avatar. I mean, it’s really pretty simple and obvious that this was the learning character arc she goes through. At the beginning, like I said, she’s confident and loves bending, but has no experience as the Avatar and only flaunts it as a title. Through episodes like 1x08 when she helps and defends the non-benders under Tarrlok’s curfew, Korra learns to take her role as the Avatar seriously. She also keeps the fundamental confidence and bravado at the core of her personality. These things aren’t mutually exclusive, she can learn to take her role as the Avatar seriously and stay cocky and confident, which she does. In 1x12 she “hits her lowest point” after Katara can’t restore her bending. She tells Mako that she’s “not the Avatar anymore” because her love of bending and being the Avatar have always been so closely tied. It’s unfortunate that she’s so crushed by losing her bending and it may seem like she “hasn’t learned anything” but no, that’s wrong, and this doesn’t erase her character development. She’s allowed to be really sad about losing her bending, especially since she now has a newfound respect for the gravity of her role as the Avatar, and then it was taken away. And the best healer in the world can’t fix it. That’s pretty unfair and I doubt you would like to be told “okay but character development!!!!” at a time like that.

Then comes one of the most controversial moments in Avatar history. Aang “magically” shows up and “gives her” her bending back “without her earning it.” There is so much wrong with this viewpoint but first let me address the point 2015 critics are making that Korra was forced first to hit her lowest point before being allowed character development. You can’t at the same time argue this and that the story went out of it’s way to give her a happy ending without “earning it.” Korra never deserved to lose her bending in the first place so she already by default deserves to get it back. She– she, not Aang, not anything else, manages to save herself again when she connect to her past lives, because she finally for the first time actually needs them. No one else could possible understand her situation, and in everything she’s been through up until that point, she never actually really got so low that she truly needed them enough to manage to connect to them. But now when it’s her very identity that has been stolen, that’s when she needs them. And S Y M B O L I CA L L Y Aang “gives her” her bending back, when really he already only exists inside her brain and she’s giving herself her bending back! And even, ok I subscribe fully to death of the author, but even if Bryke said “no he’s giving her bending back” what would be the problem with that?! Why would you want Aang to be an asshole piece of shit and not give her bending back? But I really don’t think it’s like that, her bending becomes restored through connecting to her past lives which spiritually is way stronger than Amon’s bloodbending and overcomes his block. She deserves to be victorious and happy and it happens. She learned to admit her fears in 1x04, to take her role as the Avatar seriously in 1x08, and throughout that has been a good person actively fighting for good. Sounds pretty deserving to me. Most important is the fact that her character development has been outside of her personality, which was never a problem to begin with.

Before I move on to Book 2, I’ll just point out that Korra was never humiliated or ridiculed in Book 1 (or 2)– people take her pretty damn seriously. The only thing I can think of is Tarrlok getting under her skin with the “half-baked” comment stuff, but that was his intention as a weasley character. There’s pretty much never a point where Korra is humiliated in Books 1, 2, or 3, and I really don’t understand this argument at all. Her bravado especially never gets her into a humiliating situation, like there’s just no basis for this. Her telling Mako they’re meant to be together and kissing him is harmless teen drama. 1x04 is the closest thing but it’s a serious moment of character development. Every other time she goes into something head-on “without thinking” she’s either successful or it gets her into trouble but she and her choices are treated seriously.

Anyway the start of Book 2 holds probably the most evidence for my reading of Korra’s character as being correct. Everyone loves to go on about how she “learned nothing” because she’s misusing the Avatar state, she’s not airbending “properly,” not respecting her elders (eye-roll), etc. But as I explained in describing her Book 1 journey, that’s just who she is and there’s literally nothing bad about it. She still learned to take her role as the Avatar seriously, that doesn’t mean she can’t also use the Avatar state as a “booster rocket” for fun. That specific example was more used for comedic effect with racing the air kids though, so I’ll move on.

What does Korra learn in Book 2? It’s pretty much all internal: she learns that Aang, the past Avatars, and Raava don’t define her. Korra’s very proactive about her insecurities in Book 2. When things start getting messy she actively eliminates people in her life holding her back (Tenzin and Tonraq). When Unalaq tricks her she doesn’t feel insecure about it, she immediately keeps marching on to fix her mistakes. I think this is what frustrates people so much about Book 2 specifically, and what I love about it so much. Korra is still this hot-headed, confident, brash and at times rude person, which won her the moniker of “bitch” from so many. She makes mistakes, and she doesn’t punish herself for it! Like people just cannot stand to see her economically fix her mistakes without the “character development” they think she needs, that being a complete change to her personality. Of course she still displays natural remorse, fear, and sadness at her mistakes and losses but like she just… fixes everything and her character development is about even more self love and power.

Korra obviously goes through a lot of really difficult personal drama in Book 2, which results in some harsh words being exchanged, but just like how in Book 1 her development was never about losing her bravado, in Book 2 her development isn’t about losing her harshness. It’s presented very matter-of-factly, she’s an angry person when going through difficult shit, but she and the other parties just apologize and move on. And again her actual character development is practically unrelated and turns out to be about portraying her positively.

Korra in Books 1 and 2 was one of the most revolutionary and feminist characters I’ve ever seen, and actually, with the associated risks of making such an absolute statement I’m just gonna say it: Book 1&2 Korra was the most revolutionary and feminist character ever, period. Never before or after have I seen any character come even close to the amount of narrative importance and success she had, without compromising her rough edges to conform to patriarchal standards for female characters. She was realistic, complex, important, heroic, and victorious, all while being gender-non-conforming, making mistakes, and having meaningful and important relationships with other characters, the plot, and world. It was an absolute dream, despite how much people hated her.

Moving on to Books 3 and 4, the above paragraph no longer applies. Well ok, in Book 3 it does for the most part, so let’s just talk about the Book 3 finale and Book 4.

In the Book 3 finale Korra sacrifices herself out of pure compassion to save the airbenders. She is tortured and poisoned, and ends up in a wheelchair, physically incapacitated and with PTSD. She has clearly lost her fire, understandably.

Ok well, as hard as it is to watch, they’re going to have her triumphantly regain her character from before the Book 3 finale, validating her compassionate sacrifice and proving she can overcome even this, right?

WRONG.

What happens in Book 4 is that the writers pull a 180 on their treatment of Korra and she’s constantly knocked down, beaten up, and defeated. And her old self is for the first time portrayed negatively. And she’s sidelined by the plot and barely does anything.

From the Book 3 finale to the Book 4 finale, we have Korra going from the old her who sacrificed herself out of compassion to save innocent lives, to the new her who learned from her experiences that compassion to an ethnic-cleansing dictator is the most important thing. Like… that’s what happened, plain and simple.

Beyond that fuckery, Korra’s Book 4 journey of “recovering” is a story that has been told countless times, including in lok itself might I add! Korra has already had nightmares about her enemies (1x04), which she overcame without losing her confidence or changing who she was, has already recovered from physical trauma (1x09/10), which she overcame without losing her confidence or changing who she was, and has already overcome spiritual trauma (1x12, 2x14) without losing her confidence or changing who she was. She has also lost her confidence many times throughout the show and regained it, and has gone through a lot of character development which was outlined in the first 10 million words of this post. But she was always triumphant in maintaining her spirited personality and self love.

That’s not the case in her Book 4 “recovery” arc. The one time that was their main intention they fucked it up by having her character development come with a side of shitting on her old self, delivered by Toph “You really are the worst Avatar ever” Beifong, Kuvira the ethnic-cleansing empirical dictator but she deserves compassion!!! Uniter, and Zaheer our friendly neighborhood terrorist/torturer/poisoner/would-be murderer. Damn I mean Korra’s Book 4 character arc is just a giant mess. At best it’s okay, at worst it’s highly problematic shit, but at no point is it better than her Book 1 and 2 arcs.

If you connected to Korra in Book 4, that’s your business. But there’s really no argument against the fact that Korra was changed from her old self, who was hated by a lot of problematic people for a lot of problematic reasons, into a character acceptable to these very people. For all the reasons I described before, Korra in Books 1 and 2 was a highly revolutionary character, and an intrinsic part of that was that people hated her for being portrayed positively in her fiery, confident, brash personality instead of punished for it.

Again, I fully believe there are people who legitimately enjoyed Book 4 and connected to Korra’s character in it. Hopefully everything I’ve said here sheds some light on what I and others found objectible. As for the good parts, I would just like to implore you to view Books 1 and 2 with an unbiased, open mind (which I concede from experience is highly difficult in tumblr’s fandom atmosphere), and I think you’d find that everything you connected to in Book 4 was already done about ten to a hundred times better in Books 1 and 2, and then some.

iam-artist  asked:

Now that LOK is over, what are your top (feel free to pick any number-ten, five) overall favorite episodes?

I’m not really good with ranking my faves, but I will rank my number one out of all the episodes in the series.

KORRA ALONE

This is the Legend of Korra, but for the longest time it hasn’t been about Korra. Some episodes have focused on Korra too, but there were so many subplots that went along with it. But this time, we see everything in Korra’s eyes and not how people saw her, no other character was the main focus. The portrayal of depression is accurate, this is one thing I deeply appreciate in the show. (As someone who had depression in the past, I relate to this so much)

Some notable points:

1. Korra receiving letters from her friends and though they mean well, It’s hard to be happy for them when things aren’t going good for you. Your life is standing still while it seems like they’ve moved on. (The use of voiceover shows the distance between Korra from her friends)

2. Katara finally having a big role after being shafted in the previous books, I’m glad that she was had a pivotal role of Korra’s healing. She was perfect for it as she has gone through PSTD herself and she knows the pain and pressures of being the Avatar, her patience is also undeniably strong as we’ve seen in ATLA. She uses Aang as the perfect example, not saying things like “Aang suffered too, you know! more than you!” I believe people get receives this kind of statements that are unhelpful to one’s recovery. Rather, she says “Aang suffered, You’re suffering right now. I believe you can get through this just like Aang did” She’s not belittling Korra’s suffering, she also lets Korra shout at her as she understands her frustrations, and she believes in one’s ability to recover by giving her the right motivation. This eventually led to Korra’s first step to recovery. 

3. Its also seen on the episodes after this one, but it portrayed that Recovery isn’t that simple. You can get better but sometimes you fall back to misery no matter how hard you try. Visually, you can see Korra’s physical changes, she’s not as muscular as she was before. I think that sort of defines her in a way because she’s always been the girl who’s in shape but now she was “rusty”. Its really hard to go back to the person you once were when you’re depressed. 

4. The scene where Tenzin visits her and she tries to display to him that she is much stronger (paralleling the first episode) but the effects of her trauma remain. Another is the scene were Korra tries to go back to Republic City but she’s faced by her darker self, it was her trying to convince herself that she was ready but she wasn’t. 

5. Isolation, it’s a common act as there are times you feel the need to be alone and figure out things on your own, no matter how great your support system is. That scene where she wrote a letter to her parents on being fine? I interpret it as something like you don’t want to burden people with your problems or sometimes you don’t feel like you’re needed by anyone at all. Thats why when Korra finally reunited with Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo in The Calling, it was really touching to see the first people who welcomed her with open arms in Republic City when everyone was against her being there, made sense they’re the ones who will bring her back. Korra’s isolated from the people who loves her too long and it made her forget that she is loved by others.

6. Dark!Korra was a cool concept, Depression is truly battling with yourself and most times, it wins. 

Then here’s the rest, in no particular order.

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strange friends | one

Summary: While on vacation in Japan, Korra runs into someone on the train: a stranger she remembers from a different time, a different place.
Word Count: 5,500
Rating: some references to depression. no other warnings apply
A/N: my fic for the makorrasummerproject. a massive shout-out and my overwhelming gratitude to birabu for helping me translate all the Japanese dialogue. for the curious, mako speaks kansai-ben. for translations, go here

likes are nice, reblogs nicer, comments nicest. enjoy it ! 


“My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay close attention to the study of theoretical physics. Because one day there may well be proof of multiple universes. It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our universe lies another different universe. And in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction.”

“Do you think friendships can last more than one lifetime?”

This is the purest form of loneliness, Korra thinks. Alone on the metro, lost in a country where she doesn’t speak the language, listening to the soft rushing of the engine against the dark walls of the tunnel and unbothered by the furtive glances. The eyes drawn to the glaring brightness of her presence. Korra slouches back in her seat, her body sloping in a lazy line from knees to chest, her feet planted on the floor of the metro car. She lets her jacket slip off her shoulders, ignoring Tenzin’s admonition that showing bare shoulders is impolite in Japan - she doesn’t care. People think she’s rude no matter where she goes, or what she does; she has long stopped worrying about trying to prove them wrong.

The metro pulls to a seamless stop at the next station, a pocket of stark white light between deep black tunnels, and she watches people flow in and out. It’s not a problem that she’s lonely. It’s easier to be sad by herself than it is to be sad with Tenzin, Pema, and the kids, wondering why she can’t bring herself to smile when they smile. When they cluster for photographs at the temples and tourist spots, the most she can muster is a small curve of her mouth, a gesture that pushes vainly against the impossible weight that bears down on her body. It’s like she’s trying to move muscles soaked with a shining, liquid heaviness. The art of presence - real presence, not just sitting here - is still difficult. So Korra withdraws her sullen face from their family vacation, when she can. They want to see her happy. She can’t bear to see them disappointed.

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Noodles and Company: Epilogue

Summary: Mako is working part time at Narook’s seaweed noodlery. Eight months into Mako’s employment there, Narook hires his niece Korra as a hostess in hopes of helping her recover from her most recent breakup. Narook asks Mako to help Korra and, because Mako doesn’t know how to say “no,” he begrudgingly agrees to his boss’ request.  

Genre: Romance/Slice of life/AU

Pairings: Makorra, mentions of Korrasami

ff.net | PrologueChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11. Chapter 12.

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Issues the Legend of Korra comics could potentially address:

I love Legend of Korra. It’s one of my all-time favourite animated television programs of all time (right behind the original series, Kyoani’s Clannad, and Sonic satAM) but even I can admit that there were severe opportunities missed for the show to cover. Mainly due to the pacing issues this show has, I feel like the comics could cover a lot of ground the TV series never got to show. So, without further ado, here we go!

1) The formation of Republic City

Republic City is the heart and home of our main characters. It’s the place they met, where their fight began, and where the Air Nation began to build again. It’s where the series ended, where the final battle came about, and it’s the legacy of our beloved Aang. Whilst we’re given a little backstory that Zuko and Aang made it to commemorate the success of the United Republic, it would really be interesting to see the formation of such a project, the integration of difference ethnicities, and just how that kind of work began. The origins of Pro-bending could be shown, the different workings of the Government there, and Toph building her own decorative statue because, f*ck it, she’s a Bei Fong. How interesting would it be if the ones who built Aang’s statue were the same kids Aang and Katara had that dance party with? Or if Jeong-Jeong petitioned the right for the real history of Fire Nation legacy to be taught? What of the Kyoshi warriors’ role? It’s something to consider.

2) Backstory of the Red Lotus

Tell me: how does one come to the conclusion that kidnapping a child, planning to raise her in the ways of anarchism, being imprisoned for thirteen years and never once speaking a word of it, later escaping and going on a stealthy mission to annihilate world order and build a new society in the ashes of the old one, is the best thing to happen to the world? NEVER ANSWERED! Yeah. Pretty disappointing if you ask me.

I’ll give Bryan and Mike credit that they were formidable threats with interesting designs and skills, and their prison breaks were some of the best action offered to the audience in the series, but Zaheer and his comrades were given little-to-no depth at all. The most well-rounded of them all is Zaheer, who is at least mentioned as being an admirer of Airbender culture and ideology (thus twisting it for his own means), and P’li is given one scene describing how she was going to be used as some Warlord’s weapon (literally her words), but little else is expanded upon why freedom is so important to them. In the Book 3: Change finale, Zuko even remarks that there could be “more Red Lotus members out there”, and even mentions in the premiere that they’re formidable threats, but there’s nothing else. I get the feeling that if the season had been twenty or so episodes long, we would have gotten more depth and explanation.  

3) Krew Explorations! (Just look at those beauties)

Now, the characters of the Krew, on their own, are fine. The relationships between Mako and Bolin, and Korra and Asami, have emotional weight and depth, and their characters have good chemistry and work well when in emotional scenes with one another. That, I am not denying.  But these characters have never had the chance to truly work as a group dynamic. In the original series, the Gaang worked as almost a substitute family, whereas in Korra, it’s more like those friends you make in college. You don’t always see them, but if someone stars shit, they come running to kick their ass. It would just be nice to see how these relationships play out without the awkward tension that the first book brought with the love … triangle… hexagon. Or whatever they intended.

They all have important roles in the universe they’re in, and it would be a real treat to see how these young adults strive to stay friends, despite all the stuff they have all been through. It would allow for character breathing room and for more relationships between them to develop, without the stigma and fear of possible back-stabbing romance suddenly springing on them. Mako could work intellectually with Asami; Asami could teach Bolin how much of a struggle it was to find her calling and not follow the expectations of others; Korra could work with Mako on his cases and have friendly-fire arguments; Korra and Bolin could be bros, and so fourth. It would just be a breather to see these four kids travel around and … well, be friends.

4) Other places in Avatar-verse.

Yes, I know we saw a lot of the original series’ places when the Gaang travelled around in order to train Aang. However, 70 years have moved on since the original series came to pass. Whilst the audience have been given hints and glimpses of how some cultures have moved on (Ba Sing Sei, Air Nation, Water Tribes), there’s potential for so much more. How about how much the Fire Nation has progressed since the war? We’ve had brief cameos from Iroh II and Fire Lord Izumi, but we’ve never seen the actual capitol city viewed. How fares the high pride the nation is known for? Maybe that’ll be expanded on with the Krew-plorations I mentioned earlier.

Plus, y’know, SPIRIT WORLD EXPLORATION. WOULD MEAN A LOT.

5) Queer representation in Avatar.

It exists.

But it would be phenomenal if this were expanded on in the comics. Korra and Asami are staple characters in the show, and would be in the universe of the comics, and their relationship would certainly play a big role similar to Aang and Katara’s in the new one. But what about others reactions? How would the cultures view them? It’s something that would really benefit both the LGBTA+ community, and beyond. (This includes gender identity too, btw.) It would be a huge step forward in the media, and we know it has both Bryan, Mike, and a majority of their former staff’s support.

Hopefully that’s a few things I hope that woill be mentioned in passing, if Korra comics are ever actually created. If not . .. there’s always fanart, fanfiction, and crying over lack of canon content.

As the Dust Settles

Title: As the Dust Settles [ff.net] [ao3]

Rating: K

Word Count: ~1600

Summary: Some things one does for the self, other things one does for others. But the best one can do is to act for the future. An alternate ending to Book 4, Krew heavy with emphasis on Korra. A sendoff to Korra. [Be the Peaf Prompt 70 – For the Future]

Music: Please listen to “O Magnum Mysterium” (For Band) By Morten Lauridsen and Arranged H. Robert Reynolds for the full effect. I promise you won’t regret it.

Author Note: This fic has really been stressing me out today. I want to stress that this is my interpretation through my imagination, and you are under no obligation to like it.

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No matter where she was, Korra always felt her gaze drawn to the green-yellow light of the newly created spirit portal. The original portals in the north and south were breathtaking to begin with, but the idea that she herself created this rip in the fabric between their universe and the next brought her awe to an entirely different level. Statue be damned; it was impossible to ignore that perhaps the greatest showing of her time as the Avatar would stay eternally where downtown Republic City once was.

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beginners chapter 12

[korra and asami at university, or: asami is a little bit of a lonely genius and korra is a bad ass soccer player, and sometimes terrible things happen, but they’re really very in love with each other.

chapter 12, or: they kind of both want forever, and asami tells korra everything. // ao3.]

[trigger warning: death mention, violence mention.]

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mother, look out through my eyes (look at what you made)

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mother, do you remember how it all actually ends? it’s always unclear which set of hips is altar and which is sacrifice: they blur from the same place. it’s always unclear who loses with all those ghosts. how young of me to think the only smoke i could wish on was from birthday candles
—rough draft (candles)

//

It’s a beautiful autumn day, late September, and you’ve worked all goddamn summer to get your arm back into some kind of shape; it’ll never be where it was before the accident, and it aches when it rains. But—you can draw and build and definitely make Korra orgasm sufficiently, so.

And it would be, like, the most beautiful day ever—Korra had gotten back last night from an away game, tired and smiling and tan and strong after a summer of getting back in shape after her knee surgery. You’d both stayed at university for the most part after you’d gotten back from the South Pole, although you’d had to go back to Republic City for a few meetings.

But they were quick and Korra spent most nights at your apartment. You snuck into the nearby swimming pool at night; you had picnics and drank too much champagne at noon, fell asleep in the shade of elms and the breath of aspens; you watched the late night thunderstorms out of your big windows and rested your head on Korra’s chest while she slept.

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Korrasami season 3 analysis (part 4?)

(if you’ll enjoy it, take a look at part 3, part 2 and part 1 analysis of season 3)

So book 3 episode 11 The ultimatum did not have as many Korrasami moments, but there was some very nice once there,

There are two main blocks were we get Korrasami moments: 1) Misty palms oasis with Mako’s grandma; 2) Zaofu.

Grandma Yin mistakes Asami for the avatar. This most probably have nothing to do with Korrasami, but Asami’s face is precious:

It probably does not get any weirder for Asami than this… :)

Mako to the rescue! He comes with Korra to explain who is who. Asami rises her eyes. Sadly, I wasn’t able to decipher if she was looking at Mako or Korra. It would make sense for her to look at Mako as this is his grandma so while looking at him she would ask his help with this situation. But if she looked at Korra this would be a subtle Korrasami moment. “am…sorry, I was just mistaken for you.” - even though that’s not her fault, I would guess that Asami will feel like apologizing to Korra for this.

Notice in the second picture, Korra has her hands. We usually see her with her hands on her sides (like the one above) but here she’s different. Also, she usually is very welcoming for both children and elderly. So why would she want to distance herself and take a little defending stance..? Is it because it is Mako’s grandma..? Is it because for a moment there she was ripped of her identity as an avatar..? The latter is very unlikely and I’m definitely not sure about the first one. I guess that there is something different here.

Mako introduces Korra as the avatar. Her smile soften. Asami now clearly looks at Korra. Her face again completely different from just a moment ago. It seems as if “Korra” is the secret switch-word for her.

And asami takes her eyes away from Korra only for a very brief moment to look back at grandma Yin.

This is the moment during which grandma starts to say: “what lovely young women.” Where is Korra’s eyes? Looking at Asami! (for grandma her eyes are too high).

This is right before THE grandma’s question to Mako. Korra looks so full of herself! :)

During THE question (“Mako, why aren’t you dating any nice girls like them”) Asami and Korra seem to look at each other during, or at least just right after, the word “dating”. They might be looking at grandma, but for me, again, their eyes are a little too high.

why would you look at your friend when your ex-boyfriend grandma asks him why isn’t he dating any nice girls like them? Usually, when these (and other similar of that matter) questions arise, you tend to look for: 1) your ex; 2) your current. The person that is closest to you or the person about whom you thought “in that manner” comes to your head first. And here Korra and Asami looks at each other. For me, this moment (together with the one where Korra almost tortured Mako in her air whirlpool while showing off to Asami) was all the confirmation that there is a blink*blink between them.

Again, the first one who tries to solve this awkward moment is Asami (by making: “Aaammmm”). During all this time Korra still holds the same loving look from Asami. After Asami attempted to solve this situation and wasn’t able to come up with nothing better than the “aaaammmmm”, she looks at Mako. Korra - still looks at Asami, but her sight changed a lot. She looks a bit disappointed that Asami took her eyes away from Korra.

But then Asami takes her eyes clearly to Korra (so maybe before they were looking at grandma..? hm.). They both look like here: “am, honey you have something here..?”. And also: “if they only knew…should we tell them..?”

It is one of my most favorite Korrasami moments!

And, again, Asami did fix ‘the thing’ - she took the conversation to other topic. Next shot we see Mako explaining what happened to him and Bolin. We also see Korra looking straight to the camera. The camera shows us the view from Asami’s eyes.

Asami asked a serious question - what happened to their friends. Just moments ago Korra and Asami were worried about the brothers after finding out that they were taken by the Red lotus. But now Korra does not seem to pay much attention to Mako’s story. She seems to be too occupied by the view (i.e. Asami) and, i would guess, her thoughts and fantasies.

Only after Korra hears “Zaheer”, she looks back at Mako.

After the brothers revealed why Zaheer let them go, everybody is gathered around to talk about the urgent matter. Asami standing by Korra, on her right (i.e. the symbolic meaning of 'the right hand’ and other similar symbols of the most important things/people being on the right. It is quite often used between Korra and Asami).

Notice the composition of the above imagine. In the foreground we have Korra and the radio guy. Right behind Korra is Asami. Not Su, who’s daughter is with the airbenders at the temple and is in danger, not Korra’s father and definitely not Mako (he actually is in the furthest back there is together with Lin). This means that Asami is the most important to Korra and the solution to this problem (because of Korra..?) of all the people.

Korra plans to go to the spirit world to search of the airbenders. Again we are shown Korra in the foreground, Asami as a support and Korra’s father - most important people for Korra. And it looks like Asami is, although worried about the airbenders, she’s more focus about the safety and well-being of Korra.

Asami volunteer (more like decree) that she will watch Korra while the avatar meditates into the spirit world. Tonraq looks at Asami while Korra looks as if she does not pay any attention to her surroundings - she’s too worried about the airbenders (they are her second family and also, she’s the avatar and it’s her responsibility to save them). I would guess that if there is a person in a world Tonraq will leave his daughter with, it would be the person who just saved her - Asami.

We don’t see very well either of them at the start of Korra’s meditation. But when she’s waking up, we see Asami. She’s sitting there with that resolve in her: “i won’t move until you’ll wake up”. It’s just pure devotion. Beautiful. Not even married couples display such a relationship as these two.

During the first signs of Korra’s awakening from meditation, Asami does not display any sign of relief - she with be relieved only after Korra confirms that she’s better. It’s better. Asami just has this: “so..? what happened..? are you ok..?” (which later she translates to into proper words). I think Asami is the most worrisome person in the avatar universe.

Korra did not achieve her goal she set while going to the spirit world, so she isn’t very cheerful. Asami notice that and in the next shot (close of both of their faces), we see her with a consoling smile - she feels that Korra needs her support now.

But later we see that Korra (or, rather, Iroh) was the one who made her feel a bit better with the thought of a person to talk to, who could help. (I would like to know how Asami felt here. Did she feel useless again? Did she feel disappointed a bit, that it wasn’t her that Korra sought to talk to? Or was she happy Korra found someone who could help her?)

There was no Korrasami in this episode but there was some great butt kicking Tenzin gave to Zaheer. Definitely a airbender master.

Korra and Raava

The scene where Korra is riding on Raava up to the spirit energy arc to merge with her once again one of my favourite scenes in the Legend of Korra.  In fact I love it so much it’s my Avatar (no pun intended).  I feel compelled to put into words why that is.

Originally posted by hestia100

IMHO, the relationship between Korra and Raava is one of the most beautiful and profound parts of the Avatar franchise.  It’s the only thing I ship more than Korrasami.  Obviously it is not a romantic relationship by any means (Raava is after all, a big kite), and that would cheapen it.  It’s also not really a platonic “friendship” either, their love is deeper than that.  They are bonded together forever in a way that transcends time and death.  They would do anything for each other.  When Unalaaq was killing Raava with his water whip, each strike hurt Korra like an icy stab into her heart.  The physical AND emotional anguish Korra felt was like her soul being ripped out of her, and of course in a way it was.  In Book 4 when Korra felt utterly lost, she went on a spiritual journey across the world alone specifically to find Raava.  That’s how much Raava means to her, it’s very touching to me. 

 

The symbolism of their relationship is rich.  At first I thought Raava represented Korra’s self-esteem, her belief in herself, but no, that was actually manifested as Giant Blue Korra (GBK).  GBK was the ultimate representation of Korra’s own will and power, apart from Raava.  Raava on the other hand is Korra’s spirituality given corporeal form.  It is her relationship with her Faith, her personal relationship with God (or Buddha, Karma, Krishna).  Spiritual faith can cause terrible things like terrorism and prejudice, but it can be also be a source of such a pure, powerful, beautiful, and touching human experience, which I think Korra/Raava exemplifies.  It is your relationship with a Being or Force that is unfathomably older and more powerful than you, yet loves you, believes in you, and treats you as a complete equal in terms of worth to the universe.   I am personally NOT a spiritual person (I’m a hard atheist), but it is moments like this that I am VERY jealous of the person with faith.   

 

This allows me to circle back to why I love that scene so much.  Raava had just come back to life (darkness cannot exist without light, also beautiful).  She (Raava) is now bigger, more powerful, more resplendent than ever.  Like Vaatu, Raava has lived 10,000 lifetimes before the first human crawled out of the mud.  Yet, she looks at tiny Korra and sees an equal, a bonded partner for all her lifetimes.  It doesn’t need to, yet it willingly offers a tendril to bear tiny Korra lovingly up to the heavens to bind with her once again, as equals.  It is one of the most profound and beautiful moments in the series to me and causes some tearbending. 

Breaking Point in Blue - Chapter 1 - "That Old Feeling"

[FF.net] [AO3] [Chapter Master Post] [Soundtrack]

Rating: M (Violence and Smut)

Chapter Word Count: ~3500

Summary: Over three years after the close of the Red Killer case, Korra and Mako are called upon to investigate a poisoner whose targets include the city’s rich and powerful elite. But with three years worth of baggage between them, the duo’s task will be their most difficult yet. [Sequel to Rhapsody in Red and Mystery on the Republic City Express] Noir AU

Author Note: I am very excited to present this final full installment in the Rhapsody in Red universe. It is possible to read this fic as a stand-alone, but I highly suggest you read both Rhapsody in Red and Mystery on the Republic City Express.

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