Even if Mako doesn't come off as a Gary Stu, it's still hard to dismiss him being a creator's pet. I mean for one thing, they spend half their commentary track to defend him. Yet they don't seem bothered with fans wanting Asami (who at the time did nothing wrong in the slightest) dead, nor do they seem to care when viewers call the lead female character a b***h (which is more of an attack on her gender more than her actions).
I think it’s important to remember that Bryke do not have the same sort of knowledge of the fandom that we do. We might remember the ridiculous hatred of Asami when she first showed up and looked like a femme fatale, but they probably never saw that. We might remember the Korra hate from Book 1, but I never really got the impression that Bryke actually saw any of that.
What they did see – what they couldn’t have ignored – was that Mako was the one character in the show whose voice actor was threatened over his character’s behavior. No one said anything bad about Janet Varney or Seychelle Gabriel, but there was a lot of nastiness surrounding David Faustino that Bryke must have been aware of.
And so, yeah, they spent most of their time in the Book 1 commentaries defending Mako. They defended Korra too, when they felt it necessary – her treatment of Bolin in The Spirit of Competition, for instance – but they just didn’t seem to think they needed to say as much there. And I’m not sure that was an oversight on their part, because Janet Varney never really spoke in Korra’s defense either – I get the feeling that the staff believed Korra to be well-liked.
Once Book 2 rolled around and the Korra hate became more obvious, though, they did start defending Korra the same way they did with Mako. I expect we’ll get a lot more of that on the Book 2 commentaries, too.
So, no, I don’t think the defense of Mako on the commentaries is a sign that he’s a creator’s pet. I think it’s a sign that the Mako hatred was far more visible than anything else, and he was the only character who they recognized as under attack because of it.
Sometimes, I wonder: what exactly happened in the aftermath of of Zuko’s agni kai? We see the initial see the initial setting of the stage, Zuko begging at his father’s feet…but thenn the camera switches to Iroh who looks away as Ozai burns his only son. All the while we hear Zuko scream…
We never see the aftermath. All we know is that Zuko was scarred, and subsequently banished.
Did Ozai simply turn and walk away? Did he stare at his son for a moment as he lay in a pool of his own blood and tears before retiring to his quarters, or did he go further by insulting him to his face?
And, when he did do the deed, did he take his sweet time, or did he deliver a quick blow?
How long did he wait before declaring Zuko’s punishment? Did he tell the boy face-to-face, or did he consider the task not worth his time?
Seriously, this becomes more fucked up the more I think about it. I mean, Ozai had to have looked his 13 year old son in the face–as he was on the ground, crying, and begging for his father’s mercy–all the while completely aware of what he was about to do.
On top of that, Ozai already thinks the kid’s a failure, so he must have seen this Zuko’s crowning achievement as Ozai’s failure of a son.
Banishing the kid thus acts a win-win for Ozai. If Zuko fails–Ozai still gets to think of his son as a failure, and Ozai wont ever have to deal with Zuko again (which is how Ozai originally thought it would go since he knew he was sending Zuko on a snipe hunt). If Zuko miraculously succeeds–Ozai accepts him sees that Zuko may not be as much of a failure as he thought,and he gets the Avatar.
After some thought, I’m going to guess that the conditions for Zuko’s banishment came a few days after the duel.
Ignoring the fact that this was just used as a joke so we could see Aang run really fast, I find this comment interesting. Here we ave a guy who is aware of Fire Nation propaganda and isn’t afraid of admitting its existence. While its possible that he still buys into a lot of the Fire Nations propaganda, I think this is still notable.
I know there’s also an example in “Sokka’s Master,” but here’s some evidence of plausible in-universe tension between benders and nonbenders as far back as ATLA.
Well, not really tension, but Meng does mention bending as a possibly advantageous trait that one might possess. This may also suggest that nonbender-bender tension has existed in the Avatar world long before Amon’s revolution.
I wonder if there had been nonbender revolts in years past…
interesting how people can be so quick to dismiss lok creators/crew members words in support of korrasami but will hold on to “those crazy kids were meant for each other” from the book 1 commentary like it’s one of the ten commandments