Asami Sato: The Unsung, Selfless Hero
Lately I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how selfless Asami Sato is…
She’s almost saint-like despite the sheer hell she has had to face and endure throughout her entire life. A quick glance may give someone the impression that she’s infallible, untouchable. But we know this to not be the case, because deeply rooted inside of this woman is a history full of pain and trauma.
* * * * *
At the age of six, she had her mother’s life ripped away from her from an Agni Kai Triad raid.
12 years later she had to face the truth about her father. The only person she had left in her family turned against her due to his corrupt view of benders and this disgust led him to almost murdering his own daughter.
During the equalist revolution, her relationship with Mako tumbled and fell apart into shambles.
Six months later, Asami assumed the role of her father as the CEO of Future Industries, only to face bankruptcy, double-crossing and theft with her company.
With little to no hope left, she turned to Mako again, presumably out of fear and the need for some source of comfort, any source of comfort. That interaction between them ended up being very short-lived once more.
Things started looking up for her again after the events of Book 2. Her company stabilized, her friendship with Korra bloomed and the Krew was together and stronger than ever.
When all looked well, things quickly turned as the Red Lotus captured the Avatar. Asami had to witness the gruesome encounter between Korra and Zaheer after the Avatar bore the near-fatal effects of the poisonous metal. All she could do in that very moment was watch her best friend being thrown against mountains, being intentionally suffocated before she was wrapped in Tonraq’s arms, motionless.
For two whole weeks after the events of the Red Lotus, she did everything she could and took close care of the Korra in her wounded and shattered state. She was willing to do anything, even going so far as to offer her company with Korra in the Southern Water Tribe. However, that offer was declined and she was left all alone.
As time passed, the Krew began to drift apart once again. Mako was busy with his police work and Bolin eventually set off to help restore the Earth Kingdom. Asami was buried in work with rebuilding Republic City’s infrastructure around the spirit vines. As for Korra… well that was absolute radio-silence. Asami sent letter after letter to Korra, calling out to her but receiving nothing in return. During this time period, she began to fully realize her romantic feelings for her best friend, but was too afraid admit them out of fear that Korra would never come back to home - never come back to her.
Two years of radio-silence morphed into a brief period of hope when she finally received a letter from Korra. Korra had contacted only her, revealing how she was trying to get better along with her deepest insecurities about visions, the Avatar State and fears of never fully bouncing back. Despite the dark confessions, the letter must have given Asami some sliver hope as Korra was trying her best to get better and push her way through the darkness. Maybe there wasn’t anything Asami could do, but she knew Korra still had some fight left in her.
Later, Asami was informed that the Avatar would be arriving back in Republic City - back to where the action and her friends would be. The feelings that Asami would have been experiencing - the disbelief, the happiness, the nervousness - she would finally get to see her best friend face-to-face again after more than two long years.
Except, not all went according to plan. Her and her friends were informed that Korra left the Water Tribe around six months back with the intent of voyaging to Republic City. Korra was gone, absent from the world and no one, not even Asami, had clue as to where she would be.
During this long time-period, her father began attempting to contact her again via letters. Asami felt angry and conflicted - this man was her father after all, but the actions he committed against her were beyond hurtful. Maybe she couldn’t forgive immediately, if ever, but she could try. He was one of her last hopes as her best friends were off doing their own things and Korra was missing.
Her reunion with her best friend was delayed, but eventually happened. Korra looked happier and healthier- something that Asami hadn’t seen for three full years. Not only did she reunite with her closest friend, she was also able see Mako and Bolin again. Her family was back together and they were ready to take on Kuvira and her army.
During the preparations for the final battle, her and Hiroshi were able to make some amends through their creation of the hummingbird mecha suits. They were able to bond once again over this activity of creating and designing - something they probably did numerous times before the Hiroshi’s hatred took him away from her. They were able to tell each other that they loved each other for the first time in a long while…
And it would be for the last time as she watched her father crushed before her own eyes as she slowly drifted back to the torn grounds of Republic City in her parachute.
* * * * *
Asami had every reason to hate the world after what it had put her through. Trauma after trauma, she was pushed into a deep hole of sadness and pain. She could have easily fell on a path similar to that of her father, seeking revenge out of blinding anger and rage.
To think, at only the young age of 22, she was subjected to more trauma and horror than any person should ever have to face. This… it can hit a little close to home, especially for someone like me who is around own Asami’s age.
What is also nearly unfathomable is that we seldom hear Asami complain about these experiences in her life. She keeps getting punched down but always gets right back up without a word. She may appear fine out the outside, but that internal emotional pain on the inside must be unbearable.
Despite this pain, she always puts people before herself, tending to others before tending to herself. She provides her resources (airships, satomobiles, her own mansion for friends and their family members) as well as her own skills and pure kindness. She is willing to go to some extremes to help make someone feel people feel (as we were able to see with her offer to go to the Water Tribe with Korra) or to help restore balance to the world with Korra and the others.
Asami could ask for anything in the world, she could buy herself whatever she needs or wants and I’m sure she would have people lining up outside the door to get the chance to be with her. She could gloat about her extreme intelligence, her role with the Krew or her position as an engineer and CEO of Future Industries. But she never does any of this - she never asks for recognition, favors or… anything.
She gives and she gives but never expects anything in return. Life has taken so much away from her and instead of using this pain as a reason for revenge and hate, she uses it as a means to help others - so that they don’t have experience what she already has.
And if there is one thing we know about Asami Sato, it’s that while important people keep leaving her, she will never leave them.