The truth is that Makorra and Korrasami, both, were written, in my honest opinion, pretty poorly and boringly. In Book 1 Makorra still had some good points. I will not say Mako is a horrible person because in the beginning Mako did view Korra as the avatar only. It is through rigorous experiences and also through conversations that he found that Korra, despite his initial dislike of her as a spoiled molly-coddled person, was not that at all. Mako realized that Korra had had problems being in tune with herself and also her roles and that the pressure of being an avatar was in conjunction with many of his socio-economic problems. Ironically, it was repeat performance — Aang was pressurized too much and so could not be the boy he was and Korra was too isolated and had the same effects. Mako eventually understood this.
Mako saw in Korra a kindred and so had Korra found a kindred in Mako. They both had flaws but both valued the same things — a healthy physique in terms of learning new fighting styles and both could rely on each other when they were really sad and confused. I do not see much of Korrasami acting like this. Asami treats Korra pretty much as the avatar all the time. As in, as a status quo, as a title, as a person of power alone and as a thing rather than also a person unique to herself. So, it is hard to see them in a relationship. I would say that if Aang made Zuko his lover/boyfriend/spouse it would make more sense as Zuko learned to see Aang as Aang aside from avatar in many moments from Book 1 of TLA. Zuko’s focus on Aang as avatar was more or less transitory and had purpose on stopping the fire nation. And Zuko’s relationship with Aang was always a problematic once. The same problems did to arise much in Korrasami. She quickly acclimatises to Korra because she is not an exiled prince whose honour restoration depends on catching the avatar. Asami has large moments of calm yet still cannot ask Korra what her favourite colour is; would she likes wearing more? Mixed red, green and blue as she has stronger focus on earth and fire elements? It feels pretty inorganic at times what Korra and Asami do. Better pace and writing would make this more sweet and subtly romantic. An example is how Kenshin Himura falls in love with Tomoe Yukishiro and then Kaoru Kamiya in Rurouni Kenshin. Between Kenshin and Korra there were almost none to minute physical contacts in the TV series but their love was nicely orchestrated.
Also, if a lesbian relationship was to be structured I would have elected wholeheartedly Korinora and Kovira. Korra and Jinora had have loads of fun since Book 1 and this fun became mutual support in Book 2 and a very deep understanding. Jinora became an indispensable ally in Book 3 and also somebody who could help Korra to learn more about spirituality. Despite their age differences, the timeskip may have been longer and in those absences Korra could have found in her heart a special place for Jinora and Jinora for Korra. I would have liked a more complex relationship with Korra and Kuvira which may have taken a romantic turn — it may have began as appreciation and sparring in Book 3 and developed into something deeper in Book 4 which would have heightened the tension between them because of their obvious feelings with the anxiety of Kuvira having her goals and Korra having hers and they both feel differently but know the potential good between both of them which would elevate both the psychological and physical ramifications of the series.
I think Jinora aspiring to be like Korra then falling in love with her and Korra valuing Jinora as a young friend and even mentor then realising that this person is the right person for her would actually do great things for both characters. That love would be more real and calm and even visually and emotionally feasible than the Korrasami one or even a no-make up /recovery Makorra one. Also in the end Makorra stayed canon. People noticed that Mako and Korra still loved each other deeply and that depth was not extinguished rather inflamed by Mako’s speech at the end and Korra’s reactions to said-speech without validation that Mako and she are just friends now because I think Bryke themselves cannot for the life of them believe that Mako and Korra can only be friends; in the subtext and even context they are NOT ONLY FRIENDS. I think deep within themselves they root for Makorra.
Long time before in a conference I think Varney herself suggested that Korrasami is the only way to make people happy. This was not Bryke’s opinion and truthfully even Varney prefers Korra with Bolin. One may see that Korrasami was a tactic to make fans happy that is why it’s execution was so flimsy. Korra and Asami would be better as best friends like Korra and Bolin. I would have loved Korra being with Jinora or Mako or even Kuvira. Many people even thought that Amon was not a bad person for her so we can see that Korrasami was initially pretty much a thin fandom and I have noticed it is mostly supported by people who are either pretty very young or wanting representation. That is what irks me. Other bi/queer people did notice the lack of good exposure in the representation of Korrasami. They wanted a kiss or more embraces perhaps. Korrasami is not even a healthy representation of a lesbian romance or even a lesbian couple as it’s buildup was skewed and it espouses many negative stereotypes of women and strong women in general.
The excuse of it being a kids’ show and all is pretty malignant in its own right concerning that despite the fire Adventure Time got they still made Princess Bubblegum and Marceline a couple who shared a romantic/sexual past. The feelings of both of these girls are nicely handled. Their gestures are double entendres — at times friendship at times more than friendly endearing — the way they notice each other, share each others’ possessions is fully deserving of an applause of a gay romance nicely handled for kids’ show. Those two women may be bisexual and they both are full-fledged characters so they hooking up in the end and not with Finn would make more phenomenal sense and celebration. Stereotypically, it would make “no-sense” too for others because Marceline is an edgy, prankster hybrid Vampire princess while Bubblegum is an OCD, scopophilic, a bit arrogant and also control freak of a person. Marceline is a more free spirit while Bubblegum is a disciplinarian. Yet, they also share similarities. They look at wider scheme of things, they enjoy small fine things in life, they enjoy to capacity simple creature comforts, they can appreciate good food and know that too much drama in conferences can be boring. They both know when to stay put and when to wander. I would also say that though Princess Bubblegum may end up with Finn I think that Bubblegum with Marceline also makes a beauty. I would be happy if she does end up with Marceline or if Finn does end up with Marceline rather than her. Also I was also pleased that despite Marceline’s appeal Finn has also looked to her as a comrade and a best friend primarily, someone he highly respects and learns from as well.
Moving back to LOK, many people hated Makorra as they thought Mako cheated and that was that. I liked that Mako and Korra made mistakes and that they were flawed and that they realized that they loved each other through many shared experiences. Mako did not start his journey liking Korra much, he thought she was pretty and likeable but at times he wondered if they were the right people for each other. Korra felt it in her bones from the start but obviously there was a mutual acceptance after many moments and that made that relationship realistic. Mako liked Asami, true, but his attraction to her was more of a crush and a physicality (I see that happening even between Asami and Korra as in I feel Asami likes Korra more as attraction). This became obvious in Book 2 when Asami and Mako kiss very easily and make out instead of talking or Asami asking or Mako confessing what happened with Korra.
But that attraction was not enough, Mako and Korra understood each other on a deeper level. I did not think Mako was a cheat — he would have told Asami earlier if things were not spiraling out of control and Korra was not a cheat either. This felt more like nitpicking because Mako did apologise to Asami and I could see Asami and Korra have a mutual unspoken understanding too. These things happen between people. It was not that Mako and Asami dated for years and then Mako out of the blue deserted Asami and Korra betrayed a friendship with Asami in its entirety. They were young and they only kissed out of turn/line that is wrong but they apologised and attempted to make amends. Yes, it should have better presented and Korra and Asami should have had more interactions in Book 2 that showed and told that things between them were cool and collected. Their guilt should have better realized but it was realised. Mako initially did not own up and got mad about Boilin saying to Asami that Korra and he kissed because well he probably didn’t like being accused of suddenly but yeah I think he would have quickly said so what he did . After all when he realized how much he loved Korra it was obvious that he loved her enough now and in a way made a distance with Asami. As Mako said too many things were happening and he just didn’t know how to break it down and Korra had encouraged him to stay with Asami after her father turned a baddie so it would be callous to just say out to her that look we are dating now. As I said it was executed badly Makorra in Book 1 but it wasn’t so flawed — teens do make mistakes like that and if a guy like Amon is around they do get unsure when to say things even adults would.
Then Mako denying that Korra has broken up with him was wrong but he was put on the spot and he did love Korra. Also as I said that breakup from its infancy felt forced. Mako would have tried to make amends with Korra because he loves her and Korra loves him and they respect each other. Sometimes we do not immediately tell others the truth but we do pretty soon. Mako would have as soon as he could as well. Though I did not like his actions I could understand why he lied. And I thought to be frank that was not good writing of him at that precise time. I would have expected Mako confess and say that he would be with her and that he hopes they could still work out. I felt Bryke made Mako a liar because they coercively wanted Mako and Korra’s relationship to end. Mako and Korra were both at fault but they were earnestly trying to support each other and in real life that may not work out as you plan. But they weren’t abusing each other that their breaking would have made me happy or relieved.
Rather I saw them put into a bad spot again — Mako saying to president Raiko what Korra wanted to do was not his fault because pretty much a lot of people thought Korra asking the United Forces to fight in a Civil War between the Water Tribes could be dangerous. I have a very good feeling that Asami would do exactly the same thing if she was in Mako’s spot. She was willing to sell her machines in the war so if she saw that her company may shut down if Raiko got a whiff of her allegiances she would also confess. To Mako and Asami it was not really their position it is their legacy and also their possible chance of redemption. Mako has to prove that he is no longer a gangster, not a slippery person but a trustworthy cop. I mean Asami is doing the same thing; she is trying to show Republic City that her company is good and equal. That her father necessarily does not define Future Industries with his anti-bender sentiments. It is Korra getting angry and her execution of that anger that was a bit too weird. Korra’s anger is just but not so much. I mean going into Mako’s office and starting a commotion, destroying property and yelling and screaming was not fair. It was lucky she was the avatar and she wasn’t arrested because that was the head police precinct. If she had been someone else she would have been immediately arrested or been suspended to come close to the vicinity for a while. I know Mako would have made it up to her because that is what all he was doing in Book 2.
One may argue that if Korra and Mako can be childish why not Asami as she kissed Mako in Book 2. The thing is that Asami pretty much realised that Mako is not the right person for her because the amount of time and energy, support and care he shows for Korra even in Books 2, 3 and 4 are not even a modicum present in Book 1 when even Asami was riding that carriage through the park. If even in that intimacy while cuddling all Asami can confirm is that she feels safe with Mako and Mako can’t say anything else other than how his father’s scarf reminds me of his father then how can be right for each other? In fact, Korra and Mako in the same park with Naga present talked more about their lives and not just romance cuddle. I would think Asami seeing that would realise that what she felt for Mako was a physical attraction and nothing more. Also Asami didn’t renounce this “feeling safe” co-dependent attitude — she just moved on to the avatar which is telling that despite her fighting skills and inventions Asami is portrayed as bad formulated damsel-in-distress whose only affirmation in life is to be liked by physically strong or powerful people who can protect her. This may not have been with Prince Wu ’cause he can’t help her but this was done with Varrick pretty much all the time, yeah sure she she hurt his wrist in Book 4 but pretty much cosied up to Varrick too in minimum time.
Also, she never really tells Raiko off in Book 4 for not prioritizing Korra or tries to help her in any way. Hell, even in the letters there is no sign of aid Asami is pretty much in love with her own projects to even give a shit. No advice, no nothing. She listens and that’s great but she doesn’t even affirm that with saying always write more. I see that in Book 2 Mako did critique Korra so maybe Korra thought she would be judged if she wrote to him but Mako did say always he respected her choices and didn’t take her crap when she was dealing some unspecified, unfair rage at him. Mako would understand what Korra felt she would understand that Korra not being able to go avatar state is important — hello. Book 1 finale anyone? I don’t see how only Asami would be able to understand. Because she has to reshape her company well she kinda managed to do that with a lot less time than expected. It is Mako who gets shot down a lot so I can see that Korra would get an understanding ear from him too. So there is no really reason or instinctual feeling given that Korra only confide with Asami; it feels just like we might do Korrasami so let’s just put that in.
None of this complex dynamic even as friends existed between Korra and Asami. Even when Mako chooses Korra again and Asami can only fume she is also second choice for Korra as well. A buy one get one free kind of choice not an emotive and well balanced choice. I felt Asami’s character was horribly raped as a to and fro doll who gets the deep end from both Korra and Mako multiple times. Korra in Book 3 should have done more activities with Asami that made them more friends before lovers. Asami’s role is still pointless and she hardly was involved in anything major even by Book 3. If they made Asami even actively learn about spirits in Book 2 and 3 and write part of the equations that enabled the Spiritcannon of Book 4 I would think wow what a character evolution.
What I also could not fathom what happened between Kai and Jinora and what happened to Jinora as a character in Book 4 — this airbending master was overlooked as a potential, pivotal person in Book 4 aside finding Korra she had less exposure than the Beifong family. I found this pretty silly concerning that Jinora was a airbending master now and she had done so much more since Book 1. These character reductions was getting cheesy because Boilin may have been in many frames but at times I could not pinpoint why he was there. Book 4 made better exposure of Varrick and Zhu Li which I would have preferred if they did so to Asami, Bolin and Mako.