making-of-Korra

so i just bought turf wars and I’m sorry i’m CRYING can you imagine Kya coming out to Aang????? like he would just be soo happy can you imagine how his face would light up and him hugging her so tightly she can’t breathe and aang getting so axcited to meet her girlfriend and just being so proud of her for exploring her feelings and figuring this out about herself and JUST he’s so accepting he would just be so happy 😭😭😭  

imagine him and Katara making a feast when Kya brings home her first girlfriend and she doesn’t know it but the whole family spent the entire day cooking and getting ready because they were so excited and then she gets there and Bumis all rambunctious and prying and 12 yr old tenzin is kinda timid and asks her polite questions about where she’s from and her family and this girl is just floored that she’s having dinner with freakin avatar aang and the OG Waterbender Katara and they’re all so friendly and welcoming and no one can stop smiling and I’m sorry i’m just really overwhelmed with emotions right now 😭😭

Wikipedia tells me the finale was a year ago today. I hope it was a good year for everyone! It was a weird one for me—but ultimately a good one, I think—full of new challenges and adjustments, and plenty of decompressing from the five intense years of making Korra. Thanks to everyone for the continued support of our/my work, old and new. Here is a sneak peek of a thing I drew for a thing. I hope you all have a safe and happy end of the year!

Love, Bryan

swatztj  asked:

Talk to me about Korra dealing her trauma post book four and how Asami fits into her long term recovery bc I cannot get enough

Oh man, you’re basically asking me to spill out my soul. I could go on forever about Korra’s recovery arc as well as Asami in general (hence why it took me FOREVER to respond to this – !!! I’m so sorry @swatztj​ !!!). Let’s see where this goes… (warning - word vomit below)

* * * * *

Korra’s recovery arc was one of my favourite about the entire series. While it’s amazing to know that Korra and Asami are off living happily together (korrasami forever <3), I always do enjoy seeing individualistic aspects of these two characters and how their unique traits can complement each other. But, let’s dive into Korra’s arc first.

Korra was first introduced to us as the freaking Avatar, master of all four elements - we had to deal with it. We saw her as a very strong, physical being who mastered her waterbending, earthbending and firebending at a young age. Her demeanor was brash, loud, aggressive and direct, used (in many cases) as a tool to hide insecurities.  She was more of a punch first, think later sort of gal and all she ever wanted to be in her life was the Avatar, there was no question about it… that was, until the aftermaths of Amon, Unlaq and Zaheer transpired.

*Though since this about Korra’s trauma in Book 4, we will focus more on the post-Zaheer conflicts*

Korra was kidnapped, chained, poisoned, forced into the Avatar State, smashed against mountains and stripped of the air within her lungs. She was at her most vulnerable moment and completely out of control.

Some of us believed that Korra would get right back up after Suyin removed the poison from her system. After all, it didn’t seem to take too long for Korra to spring back into action after briefly losing her bending in addition to her connections with the past Avatars (though, this isn’t to say that she didn’t endure any pain, grief, self-doubt or negativity during those periods).

However, at the end of Venom of the Red Lotus, we saw Korra as an empty shell – incapacitated, quiet and unresponsive to the outside world. Internally, a whole other battle was being fought. 

She was told that the airbenders would return to their nomadic roots while she recuperated. She was told that they would work together to end discord and restore peace and balance. The woman who had always dreamed of being the Avatar, master of all four elements and bridge between worlds, was no longer needed. Her physical power and self-identity was gone.

* * * * *

I’m trying to understand why this happened to me. But nothing makes any sense. I’m tired Katara. I’m so tired.” ~ Korra (B4:E2)

In the beginning events of Book 4, we see Korra detached from her friends and family. She could barely sleep or eat and spent much of her wakeful moments in silence. When see was faced with times of sleep, she would constantly be plagued with the intrusive horrors she endured by herself in Book 3. This trauma caused Korra to fall into a depressive state as well as develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and hope faded away from her at every passing second. With the little sliver of willpower she had left, she finally made the decision to visit Katara – the first step needed to begin her recovery arc.

After months of being incapacitated, the steps needed to regain mobility took time and patience for Korra. We slowly but surely saw her become more and more active. A quick toe twitch turned into a few walking steps with Katara’s guidance. While these were fantastic accomplishments for someone wheelchair-bound, things moved a bit too slow for Korra’s tastes. We saw her lash out in anger/disappointment at Katara as well as Tenzin when he visited the compound to see her spar. Though Korra made progress, it doesn’t spark enough hope for someone who had been eager to get out in the real world her entire life.

While she was healing physically, Korra was still faced with phases of “fight, flight or freeze” throughout her recovery. Certain triggers continued to appear when she began to walk, spar and bend again, which caused flashbacks to flare up at unexpected moments. Her body would lock up and her mind became fixated on her traumatic past. She still felt as though she was being attacked, reliving the effects of the poison and suffocation over and over again. This caused Korra to hit a wall – she didn’t quite understand why those flashbacks and freeze ups kept happening, but she truly believed that she needed to expose herself to action again. Here is where another key element to Korra’s recovery arc comes in – exposure.

* * * * *

The mind can be a powerful ally or your great enemy.~ Katara (B4:E2)

Originally posted by yipyipmotherfuckers

The opening shot of our Avatar in Korra Alone was very indicative of the condition of her mental state – shattered, distorted, unstable, but not necessarily unrepairable. After embarking on a voyage to Republic City, we saw another confrontation between Korra and her past trauma; this time in the form of an eerie apparition. She turned away from her destination (Republic City) to walk an anonymous life in the Earth Kingdom with the hope of reconnecting with herself and her Avatar spirit.

Throughout Korra’s journey, she constantly struggled with hallucinations. Sometimes she visualized Raava – with whom she ran towards - but other times (more often than not) she faced with her own ghostly shadow – with whom she backed away from. These apparitions only seemed to become stronger whenever Korra fought them. Her “punch first” tactics remained ineffective as her hallucinations constantly countered her with bending and chains. Even when she was in combat with other opponents, they morphed into her ghostly visions, forcing her to constantly fight with herself and lose each battle in the process.

This, understandably, got quiet infuriating. A part of Korra knew that her visions were not real, but she couldn’t escape them as they seemly controlled every aspect of her day-to-day life. She had enough, making the decision to finally chase after these phantoms as opposed to fighting them. Little did she know that her decision would lead to the familiar face of Toph Beifong.

* * * * *

“…You need to face your fears. You can’t expect to deal with future enemies if you’re still fighting the old ones.” ~ Toph (B4:E4)

Unsurprisingly, Toph hadn’t changed one bit. Her demeanour remained direct, harsh, taunting and honest and this seemed to take Korra by surprise. After all, she was used to being met with looks and words of sympathy (understandably so) after her horrible incident. The bluntness used by our old metalbender, while unexpected, was another step that helped Korra towards her recovery.

Toph was able to quickly realize that Korra was very detached from the world; instead of looking forward she would always looked back in the past:

If there’s one thing I learned on the beat, it’s that the names change but the street stays the same.

Yes Korra did hold Avatar title, but she was still a person – a human being who could only accomplish and change so much within her own lifetime. Other Avatar’s would come and go and so would other acts of evil.

What was great about this confrontation was that little spark of defensiveness and enthusiasm we were used to seeing in Korra before the Book 3 finale. Korra knew of and believed in the accomplishments she achieved throughout her life as the Avatar. She challenged Toph on this exchange, but in a less angry and hostile way that we were used to seeing in the first few Books. 

This ultimately led to the two characters sparring, where Korra seemed to be having moments of excitement despite losing the battles. It was quite a refreshing site to see, in my opinion.

Originally posted by avatar-satos-spirit

Not only did Toph confront Korra on these issues, but she also detected small amounts of liquid metal circulating throughout the Avatar’s body. She attempted to rid this metal of her system, but Korra resisted, letting her fears and flashbacks take over again. This would be a task that Korra would have to do on her own; and it is one that she would successfully complete.

Korra used Toph’s advice to metalbend the liquid out of body and release some of those fears that she held close, tapping into her Avatar state. Toph was able to ground Korra back to the world again and make her feel more in tune with reality.

While this helped her physically, Korra’s battle was not over as she experienced yet another hallucination while facing Kuvira for the first time. Now, Korra needed to revisit her biggest nightmare of all face-to-face – Zaheer.

* * * * *

That poison should have killed you. But you were able to fight it off. You think your power has limits. I say its limitless.” ~ Zaheer (B4:E9)

Originally posted by yumighoul

Korra’s confrontation with Zaheer immediately began with an act of determination and fury. She finally stood before the man that traumatized her life and boldly claimed how he held no power over her anymore. That daring and direct demeanor she showed to Zaheer was reminiscent of her persona back in the earlier Books. However, just like in the past, these defiant acts were used as a way to cover her insecurities.

Zaheer lunged towards Korra with the intent of triggering her fears once again. Despite his chained position, Korra backed away in panic and this ultimately broke the belief that seeing him bound would make her unafraid. Korra was terrified of not only him but of being perceived as useless and of not being the person she used to be again.

Zaheer challenged these fears and claimed that neither of them were the same since the events that happened years ago; he was chained despite learning to fly and she was limitless despite holding herself down. Korra would never be the same person again as she would have to carry the trauma  with her for the rest of her life. 

However, instead of associating said trauma with pain and weakness, she could use it for strength. As Zaheer had said, the liquid metal should have killed Korra, but it didn’t. She was the one that survived despite all odds pointed against her. She had won the battle in the end and he had been the one who lost. The fact that she remained alive points to the idea that she had no limits.

We have to remember that Korra was alone in her showdown with Zaheer. None of her friends or family could aid her. Her severed connections to the past Avatars left her alone to fight against Zaheer and the poison in her most vulnerable state. Korra resisted the poison by resisting the Avatar State for as long as humanly possible. When she could no longer hold off that particular battle, she fought for her life as well as Raava’s, despite how painful and agonizing every second of it was. She was truly unstoppable and she had yet to recognize or consider this amazing feat.

Korra had to accept what happened to her and while this meant acknowledging the bad, it also meant acknowledging the good. Instead of fixating on the moments of suffocation and powerlessness, she had to let the scene play out entirely - focusing on the future and not just the past. The past was not something she could change.

For the first time in nearly three years, Korra gained control over her fear. She accepted what happened – the pain, the exhaustion as well as the endurance. She had made it and in the process, connected back with her spiritual energy.

Originally posted by yipyipmotherfuckers

Korra reached an understanding with her trauma. While her past was not something that she could simply shrug off or ignore, it could be used as a tool of recognition in which Korra could connect with others at a deeper level. As Toph had said in the swamp:

Sounds like you’re carrying around your former enemies, the same way you’re still carrying around that metal poison. You maybe consider you could learn something from them?

Which can be coupled with Tenzin’s own words of:

It’s true, there will always be new conflicts and enemies to face. But the important thing is to learn from your enemies and better yourself over time, which you have.”

Korra learned from her painful struggles and was able to use new-found knowledge to reach out to others – including her own enemies. She greatly opposed the methods used by Kuvira to unite the Earth Kingdom, yet she still related to and understood her at a personal level, even going as far as to risk her own life to save the dictator. She understood Kuvira’s emotions of fear, abandonment, vulnerability and lack of control and this level of empathy displayed wasn’t something we saw Korra use towards Amon, Unalaq or Zaheer.

Originally posted by giffingkorra

Korra truly found inner peace once she found her way out of the dark tunnel. She proved to herself and others that she was more than just a symbol of physical prowess. She had found inner peace with herself and her trauma, drawing meaning from it which will ultimately help to make her become even stronger in the future.


Korra fought, learned and recovered from some of the darkest moments in her life. She will always carry the scars left behind from the incident that happened in Book 3, but she made herself an even better person by pushing forward instead of holding back. Korra became a beacon of hope for so many of us and remains a character that we will always hold near and dear to our hearts.

* * * * *

“I want you to know that I’m here for you. If you ever want to talk or… anything.” ~ Asami (B3:E13)

Now, I’ll try to make the Asami part quick because this response has gone on for far too long :p.

I think Asami took the role of Korra’s anchor and voice of reason, even if neither of them fully realized it from the get-go.

Asami bore witness to it all – Korra’s gravely injured body smashing into rocks as well as her diminishing hope and sense of self. She saw her best friend falling deeper and deeper, but if there’s one thing we know about Asami Sato, it’s that she will always have your back.

Asami took on the role of Korra’s caretaker; she helped her dressed, pushed her wheelchair around, made conversation and she presumably helped her bathe, eat and sleep. She was truly there for her despite her other responsibilities of being the CEO of one of the most prestigious companies in the world. Korra was her priority. Heck, the woman was even willing to drop everything and accompany Korra while she recuperated in the Southern Water Tribe.

Originally posted by korrafreakingsami

These feelings of sadness and hopelessness were quite familiar to Asami. We know that she’s had a pretty difficult life from the start - her mother was murdered, her father sided with the equalists, she had to take command of a large company at age 18 and overall, she had a lonely life. Due to these unfortunate events, it was likely that Asami understood Korra and her depressive state at a far deeper level than anyone else who was close with Korra. Asami neither pushed nor prodded and instead gave an open invitation for Korra to talk with her whenever she was ready

Korra did end up taking Asami’s offer up as we see her communicate to her via a letter in Korra Alone. Korra opened up quite a bit to her, explaining how hard the past few years had been, how she couldn’t tap into the Avatar State, how she kept having hallucinations and how she feared that she would never fully recover again. There was a reason why Korra contacted Asami and not Mako, Bolin or the others. She knew that Asami would understand her at that vulnerable time and felt comfortable enough to expose a very fragile part of her life. Asami was the rock that Korra could hold onto and I’m sure that she felt some relief and comfort after sending her letter off.

This comfort continued in Remembrances. Korra expressed her same worries again, but Asami’s consistent support, admiration and belief in Korra and her abilities shined through during the exchange.

And finally, we know that what goes around, comes around. After Kuvira’s attack on Republic City, Asami lost her father for good. This time, Korra was the one who took the initiative to provide emotional and physical support for her. She apologized for her three year absence and suggested taking a vacation where the two of them could finally relax and take care of each other without any interruptions (…besides the big rock spirit thing…). 

Korra and Asami had seen each other at some of their darkest moments and while they were strong and developed individually through their past traumas, they would and always will be stronger together and persevere through any obstacle thrown at them.

Originally posted by otterbender

The. Freaking. End :)

BS Bending in TLOK

Watching The Legend of Korra is so disappointing in a lot of different ways. So if you ignore the plot, you’d expect at least some good action scenes with the effort and consistency from the old show. Ehhhh. The bending in LOK is strikingly idiotic and a degradation of the gem from the old show. Maybe if I weren’t comparing it to The Last Airbender, I wouldn’t mind it. But the fact it is so blatantly off from its predecessor makes for another highlight of Korra that I can’t un-see. From how elements are manipulated to even more complex shit with specific kinds of ~special people bending~, Korra, if I can put this politely, fucks everything up.

Right from the start you can tell that Korra definitely dumbed down the movements of the characters. It’s odd because the martial arts expert from Avatar worked on Korra as well. However, he only worked on 22 episodes of Korra, compare that with his 61 episodes guided in The Last Airbender. It’s probably a mix of Kisu’s lack of involvement, and an overall decision from the writers that maybe it wasn’t as important? Which is sad, because it really disassociates the audience from the complex spirituality and intricacies of the world. Styles benders seem to have spent years mastering are lost, and replaced with a modern, boxing type “PUNCH PUNCH PUNCH!!!” Hollywood action situation. Here’s some pretty (MS PAINT) pictures to do the talking for me.

And a bonus:

If the simplification of normal bending hasn’t gotten to you, there’s still a lot more I have to sift through. There’s so much shit pointing to how bending’s complexity was reduced for coooool moments. I’m even going to make nice little subheaders.

Lavabending 

So, in ATLA we see lavabending is a feat only the Avatars are capable of. Roku does it, Kyoshi does it. Avatar cool kids only. But then in Book Three, Bolin suddenly has the ability to lavabend at the tip of the hat. Which, by the way, is another thing stupidly prevalent throughout this series. Both Korra and Bolin in times of crisis suddenly have the ability to do things they couldn’t do, but really wished they could’ve. Hooow convenient.

So the discrepancy here is how Bolin can lavabend, and so can this random Earthbender guy, wouldn’t that mean all Earthbenders can? Metalbending makes sense, but lava is so hot it’s going to set stuff on fire. Technically, it counts as two elements, and has been confirmed as such by making it an Avatar-only thing in ATLA. But now these two random guys can just do this. Apparently it may even be easier than metalbending, which is also ridiculous. If lavabending is just bending the Earth to “go fast”, that’s a lot easier than metalbending because there’s more mass to bend. Just make it go zoom zoom and blamo everyone’s a lavabender.

Some people like to claim that because Bolin had an Earthbending dad and a Firebender mom, then that means he can control both elements to control lava. Which is dumb because then that would make him a fanfic-esque Dual Bender. And we really don’t need any of those. It’s never explained or justified, and is so different from the original show, it feels…sacrilegious. How dare you dishonor the lore. /s

BALD AIRBENDING MAN

What’s his name?

I don’t really care, because he’s dumb too. I feel like I don’t have to elaborate, though. It should be pretty obvious. ~Harmonic Converge~ (weird af plot device) gave him airbending, and because he studied it before and read a book by an Airbender Lady, he’s a master at it now. His powers are so innate, he worked so little to get to where he is. Hell, he didn’t work at all.

Unless you want me to believe that all his days in prison, he anticipated becoming an airbender and practiced all the moves beforehand. Granted, there are no official moves anymore. I’m sure he’s experienced in reckless punching. That’s all you need to bend, right?

If he can read a book and be great at airbending, why can’t Korra. Why didn’t Aang read THREE books to go defeat Ozai. Aang just should’ve read Earthbending for Dummies. Then he could bend the entire world off its axis. And This Bald Guy can jump off a cliff after quoting some “deep airbending lore” and he can FLY. Not even propelled by anything or even (AGAIN I REITERATE) moving his arms to BEND the currents around him. He’s not flying. He’s floating. And floating characters have always seemed like pretty bad animation, seriously. He looks like a late-stage yuri on ice character. Super out of place, and moving oddly across an undefined plane.

MAKO IN GENERAL

Mako does a couple things I’m not a big fan of. Ok, a lot of things. But in terms of bending, I have a few choice picks.

In Legend of Korra, lightning and its redirection has a lot less of an impact. Being electrocuted no longer hurts anyone unless the writers want us to feel bad for a character being hurt (usually Korra). But half of the time, it’s just there to look really COOL and not really do anything. This is proven by two things. Mako shoots lightning right on Amon at point blank, and Amon isn’t affected. The same is true for Mako. He HOLDS ON to the lightning and ISN’T AFFECTED AT ALL. Let me make another ATLA/LOK comparison.

Zuko: Tries to redirect lightning, gaurding his torso so hopefully it doesn’t hit him. In the end it does and he’s pretty much out of the fight.

Mako: Doesn’t even really care if he’s hit by the lightning at all. He holds on to it for a good few seconds, because it’s not like electrocution hurts or anything. Only after getting a REFRESHING SHOCK for a good bit does he decide to toss it back at the Robo Man.

Maybe this would make sense because Mako is supposed to be a cool, all-powerful Firebender. But then even that theory breaks down, because he can withstand the strongest forms of raw fuckin’ Bending Power from all elements, apparently.

He does another of these dumb moves when he’s being bloodbended by Amon. We see Amon being bloodbended, but he escapes the grip, and the audience assumes it’s because he’s a bloodbender. But then suddenly MAKO CAN DO IT TOO. What a great guy.

Also Amon’s fine from this shock as well. And this kind of encompasses everything I’ve touched on. There’s Amon bending without moving, Mako having unrealistic powers never touched on before, and powers that are nerfed to all hell just to add ~drama~ in replace of actual sense.

TL;DR: LOK’s bending is saturated action filler written in for wish fulfillment, sacrifices old techniques and inner consistency for cool looking moves and scenarios, and shows a disappointing lack of passion or misunderstanding of the source material

anonymous asked:

My main problem with LoK is the Avatar state, to be honest. In Last Airbender, the Avatar state was a last resort, almost undefeatable power, while in Korra it's just a small power boost. That said, the characters and the antagonists are amazing, and I love LoK to bits.

Hmm. 
I guess I hadn’t thought about it before, 
personally i think it has more to do with the differences between Aang and Korra. 

Aang is a pacifist, he is shown a lot as not wanting to really use extra force when he doesn’t have to. So while I could be wrong here I think it comes down to that Aang just never really uses his bending for fighting when he doesn’t have too. On top of that, his early experiences in the Avatar state weren’t really good ones?
1. He froze himself for a 100 years
2. He went into it after finding out about the destruction of his people
3. That general tried manipulating him into it by messing with Katara
4. After going through unlocking all his chakras, when he finally does get them all he almost gets killed
I think the reason it feels like the Avatar state was used as a last resort a lot more in airbender is because for Aang that was his literal, last resort. 
Even in Lok, his fight with Yakone, he doesn’t use the Avatar state to attack him, doesn’t use it until he takes away his bending. 

Now Korra, I’m pretty sure came out the womb ready to fight, by the time she arrives in republic city she has had years and years of training and was already this power house of a bender and hadn’t even learned to airbend or being able to tap into the avatar state. 
In Korra’s first scene of book 2, she uses the Avatar state to boost her speed so she can beat the the kids in a race and Tenzin gets upset about it. 
So I think it makes sense that Korra would figure out a way to integrate the Avatar state into her bending to give her a boost when she needs it. 

I guess for me I think it comes down to that Korra is a lot more liberal with her use of the Avatar state where Aang was more reserved and only used it when necessary 

Did Asami ever move off Air Temple Island?

I was thinking about it, and you know how we see Mako, Bolin, and Asami move onto Air Temple Island after Haroshi is arrested in season one? Well we never see Asami move off. We know Mako and Bolin get an apartment in the 6 months between seasons one and two. But Asami isn’t mentioned to have moved out, nor is it commented on that the spirit vines displace her in season three like it is for the boys.

At the beginning of season two Asami was on the verge of bankruptcy, so it would have made sense for her to take advantage of free lodging. While rebuilding her company, while in fairness we don’t ever see her at the Air Temple during season two, we do see her right away in season three walking around it with Korra in a manner that suggests she’s confident and at home there. By season three she’s comfortable enough to help herself to the kitchen to make Korra tea. And at the end of season three Asami is shown as the one taking care of Korra after she’s poisoned, while this would make sense for her to do based soully on the closeness of the two. It would make more sense still if she was living at the temple already.

Now we do know by season 4 she owns her mansion again, as that’s where Mako and Bolin’s family lives, but we don’t ever see her there. In fact it kind of seems like granny and the rest of the family is there taking care of it for her. I think it could be possible that after she got future industries back on its feet (and acquired Varrick’s business as well) she could have bought her childhood home back, but found memories too difficult to face.

We also know that Asami is the one who designed the new suits for the Air Nation, so even if she didn’t continue living at the temple after Korra left to heal, she remained in close contact with Tenzin and the other airbenders even without Korra there.

Maybe I’m wrong, but it really does seem to me like Asami stayed with Tenzin’s family at LEAST up through the end of season three. And that’s such a cute idea for me. Of course people are excited about Korrasami I myself will never stop being excited over it, but I also really like the idea that this only child who lost both her parents and didn’t seem to have too terribly many friends found a true family with Tenzin’s family.