poor mako and bolin ; ;

Why the Avatar series is almost perfect <3

Bryke has been able to fight stereotypes created by almost all major forms of discrimination in the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra. It is by no means, 100% perfect. For example, Toph’s blindness is a bit romanticized and there are no non-binary characters but it’s still the most progressive kids show I’ve seen in my entire life. 

Racism/Colorism: All characters are Asian. Indigenous and dark-skinned Asians are also represented. The heritage of each bender doesn’t affect their ability or their strength. Dark-skinned characters have as much screen time as light-skinned. In Korra, the main character is dark-skinned and indigenous. The entire series also holds homage to eastern ideals and religion – ideas of balance, spirits, and community. 

Sexism: I mean, I don’t even feel like I need to write this. The show is saturated with multidimensional strong female characters that have authority over their own lives and are just plain BADASSES. (Just to list a few: Katara, Toph, Suki, Korra, Asami, Su Yin, Lin, Opal, Jinora, Ikki, Azula, Ty Lee, Mai, etc.) Bryke also showed me that they have a very deep understanding of sexism, because they were able to engage these characters in a series of romantic relationships and none of their strength or empowerment was forsaken because of it. Bryke showed the complexity and flexibility of female identity. 

Ableism: Toph is blind but is still able to play a valuable and very powerful role in the series. She is noted as the greatest earth bender to live. Teo is a non-bender in a wheelchair that is still able to fight off firebenders and help Aang succeed in his mission. Both avatars deal with PTSD at some point. Korra’s rehabilitation is particularly noteworthy, because she didn’t just bounce back right after some magic water. She kept having visions and limitations to her physical strength. It took her multiple tries to recuperate stability and balance. 

Homophobia: KORRASAMI. 

Ageism: Aang and the rest of his gang are between the ages of 12-16 and defeat a 30+ year old fire lord. In Korra, Jinora (14) guides Korra in to the spirit world instead of her 40-year-old father with “experience”. She also helps Korra battle Unalaq-Vaatu by bringing light. In the end, Meelo (7) get his chance to shine by blinding Kuvira’s robot monster with paint. The younger folks in the series have their voices heard and valued. They also see the fruits of their hard-work, because a lot of their plans prove to be successful. 

Classism: This one was beginning to bother me, because most of the Avatar’s friends in the Last Airbender had some relation to either rich or powerful people (Zuko - Firelord’s son, Toph- Beifong’s are rich, Sokka and Katara- children of a general). Then came Korra’s new friends Mako and Bolin. Mako and Bolin are orphaned and poor, but still kick as much ass as the very-rich Asami Sato. Mako talks about his poorness and how that has strengthened him and also made him very humble. 

Transphobia/Cissexism: Smellerbee is misgendered in one scene and some fans have let me know that this is possibly a scene representing trans issues. 

SOME LACKING AREAS:

Sizism: All the women are very thin. Only fat characters are Iroh and Bumi II, which are old men retired from the millitary. 

Overall, it’s been such a pleasure watching a show that rejects western ideals of misogyny and white supremacy. I feel really empowered as a queer woman of color! :) Thanks Bryke. 

i was rewatching a bit of book three earlier today and poor mako. man like he tells bolin he didn’t want to go search for airbenders bc he didn’t feel part of team avatar but it’s like, buddy just admit the real reason: you didn’t want to see your ex-girlfriends…who clearly have been spending all their time together and probably can’t go an hour without checking in with each other when they’re apart…eye fuck each other

which is completely understandable but like just admit it

Things I Love About LoK

Goal: Write 1 thought every day re: why I love The Legend of Korra until I finish rewatching the series.  

#165: The Mako skit in “Remembrances.”

LoK fans all know by now that “Remembrances” was born of necessity because Nickelodeon slashed Book 4′s budget and Mike & Bryan chose to do a clips episode instead of cutting staff.  As a clips episode, it did somewhat stop Book 4 in its tracks and interrupt the flow of the season.  But though certainly not as clever in concept (or execution) as “Ember Island Players,” “Remembrances” actually ended up being pretty enjoyable despite being a clips episode.

Surprisingly, I rather enjoyed the way it revisited the Mako/Asami/Korra love triangle from Books 1 and 2 – in particular, the self-conscious chibi character commentary, which pointed out all of the fandom’s frustrations with Mako in Book 1 (e.g., calling out Mako for kissing Korra while he was dating Asami, and for the lack of clarity in his breakup with Asami).  

I love that Mako himself recognized his mistakes as he retold the convoluted story of his love life, and acknowledged that he needed to find out “who I was without a lady in my life.”  And I love that this skit, which nominally revisits the love triangle, actually highlights Mako’s main character arc.  Notwithstanding the love triangle drama, Mako went from this:

Mako: Bolin and I grew up dirt poor, so once I became a pro-bender, I wanted it all: Riches, fame, accolades. But all that changed when I met Korra.

To this:

Mako: Korra showed me the importance of putting others before myself. And whenever I think of her, she continues to inspire me. 

The scene really helped capture Mako’s character growth throughout the entire series.  He started out as the jerk who wouldn’t even say hi to Korra when Bolin first introduced her because he was so focused on winning riches, fame, and accolades.  But through his relationship and, later, friendship with Korra, he shifted his focus to things outside of himself.  He joined the police force, and supported Korra in her fights through Books 2 and 3 notwithstanding the disintegration of their romantic relationship and the awkwardness from the fallout thereof – because he knew there was more at stake in the world than just himself.  

This little skit in “Remembrances” was not just a throwaway to needle at fans who hated the love triangle, in other words.  It contributed to the audience’s understanding of Mako’s character growth, and helped set Mako up for his hero moment in “The Last Stand,” which highlights just how much he’s willing to put others before himself.  

Finally, this is unrelated to Mako, but I’ll just close with the fact that the villain conference call in “Remembrances” was freakin’ hilarious: 

So why does she only apologize to her?

Another argument I’ve seen flying around in the past week is people questioning the fact that Korra only apologizes to Asami over her 3-year absence.  People seem to be mad because she does not apologize to Mako or Bolin, and they blame this on poor writing. 

My two cents (yuans): No it’s not.  In fact, it’s specifically written this way to prove a point.

A few other people have already pointed out this - but just to stress once more, Korra doesn’t owe anybody an apology for being absent for 3 years because she was mentally ill. 

I can’t stress this enough - Korra does not owe anybody anything for being absent and out of touch for 3 years because it’s not her fault.  

So… why does she apologize to Asami then?  Not once, but multiple times.

Simple, because she wants to. 

Korra doesn’t apologize to Mako or Bolin because she doesn’t need to.  She apologizes to Asami because she wants to, simple as that.

The story is written this way to show a particular point - it shows that Asami is special to Korra, that Korra sees her and treats her differently from Mako or Bolin.

It shows that Korra sees Asami as more than just a “friend”.  This is completely evident in all their interactions in 407.  And because she sees her as more than a “friend”, it’s more than understandable that Asami would expect more (emotionally) from Korra.

Those who are mad because Korra doesn’t apologize to Mako or Bolin, but only apologizes to Asami even though she already wrote to her… um, but that’s like the whole point?  That’s like, exactly what the writers are trying to get across?

So yeah, Korra not apologizing or not feeling guilty about not writing Mako or Bolin is not poor writing.  Those who think it is should probably re-watch books 3 and 4 and especially 313, 402 and 407.   

tldr: If you are gonna be away and out of touch for some time due to personal reasons, you don’t really have to tell your friends why or try to explain yourself (well it would be nice but not a must), but you do have to tell your partner/girlfriend/boyfriend and at least try to stay in touch.  This is like common sense. =D