Written a lot about this — Korra and Korrasami with Makorra

Also, LOK started as a small mini series meaning that Makorra was canonically the only pairing to be endgame.  Of course, things change but seeing how oddly Book 1 ended I wondered why they made such large themes as nonbenders vs benders shrink to some 13 episodes book. Also the pace of Mako and Korra becoming a  couple was not badly done in Book 1 though it was not as efficient as it could have been it was not so poor as its execution in Book 2. Additionally, when a breakup happens  normalize the  relationship into friendship — give both verbal and nonverbal hints that this ship had sailed away — even in Book 2 and even Book 3 Makosami and Makorra was pretty subtly there.  Asami did not seem to mind Mako much and their friendship or her forgiving of him was not shown with the caliber that it could have been. Korra and Mako had so many moments even in Book 3  that I was pretty sure they might have a resurge of their relationship the way they were going. Of course, this was less evident obviously of Borra which was now pretty much a ship of friendship; Boilin reiterated that Korra and he were good friends almost since the  last part of Book 1.  Obviously he had a strong attraction from her since the  very first time they met/he saw her. Yet, this normalisation was handled very  beautifully. This was the BEST TRANSITION in the ENTIRE LOK series. I will give props to Bryke showing how as Bryan wanted a boy and girl  who inspire one another become friends — this was best done via Bolin/Korra or Borra relationship.

I won’t say Bolin had good character developments in the later books; Bolin was best portrayed in Book 1 and Book 3 (where he learned lava bending). Bolin’s  character for me  was difficult because I think people did not know how to write him. In Book 1 he was comic relief as well as a main character (like Sokka from TLA) but Sokka had a lot of layers by the end I do not think Bolin had the same sort of exposition and multi-arcs as much as Sokka did. Not to mention that Boilin and Opal’s relationship is pretty much summed up as Opal comparing Bolin to an air bison: “air bison chooses you.” — I didn’t like  the humour concerning that most of Book 2 Bolin was in  a pretty abusive sort of relationship where he was pretty much left out his personhood — I do not think Opal comparing him to an air bison does him much justice :/

I think the  characters they invested a lot of  time in is as follows: Korra,  Tenzin, Mako, Jinora and Lin with some more done to Suyin, Kuvira and Bumi.  Though the episode count was smaller TLA and LOK had  a 10 episode  gap: TLA had 62 I think and LOK had 52. I know that there was a lot of technical problems and  Nickelodeon made it harder for Bryke to work and these 10 episode difference is also quite  surprising. I know Nick at first did not not like that Korra was a girl.  That they thought that her being a boy would be better. Yet this amount of studio and creators’ dispute is pretty alarming.

Truthfully, I really wondered what happened with Bryke  and Nick because the amount of hostility between both parties was kinda shocking. This hostility I do trust is a reason Bryke do not also want to work on the avatar project in a long while. They are in a  business where Tomb Raider have had multiple incarnations and Adventure Time has over 50 episodes in one season so I cannot fathom what happened between them that would generate such reluctance to work with each other. Not to mention that  avatar is a franchise and world that has much more to offer.

This  and from what I know that Bryke may be the show’s  creators but the TLA team was more large and widespread.  The writers were many and there were many more input which was absent in LOK. This smaller group was also a bit surprising. I know that the TLA team was a major reason why TLA was a success. The fact that the ending originally was not so romantic in LOK as in Korrasami was not holding hands may also be  something that Bryke wasn’t so sure about. I honestly believe  that they wanted either Korra to go alone or wanted Makorra but couldn’t decide. After all Bryan said now that he also felt Kataraang was somewhat forced so I am a bit skeptical about Korra’s romantic conclusions. Though they didn’t want Zutara I  can see maybe the idea was toyed with a bit as well but then scrapped  and understandable. Either way both Kataraang and Zutara relationships had ample ground to be worked on so either conclusion was enjoyable and good 🙂 many may still want Katara to be with Zuko because of their interactions but it’s no bummer that they  are not: I liked Zutara a lot but I am not unhappy it didn’t happen because I can also see the love  and progress of that love  between Aang and Katara.  I respect that relationship a lot as well.

If Kornora happened I think I would be think it is more exposed and we have seen a lot of Jinora and Korra to understand as a couple. I think that representation would be  more beautiful. Many people would say that Jinora is pretty young but obviously if they wanted they  could  have  made it years later that these two characters hook up. Jinora, according to avatar wiki, is 14 and Korra is 21. If the timeskip happened a bit further Jinora may be eligible  to  date Korra. Korra and Kuvira could have been managed from Book 3 or just write Asami better from Book 2. Either way I found Jinora, an older Jinora, or a more mature Mako and a placated Kuvira as a better love for Korra not Asami as she was shown in Book 4. This is mostly  due to how Asami is written because I think they could have done better. Asami, as I aforementioned so many  times, is a very marginalised, thinly written and usually just a pretty face  but she  had amounts of uninvested potential.

The undeniable fact is that  Korra  and Asami have  one similar vein that unites them: Mako.  They both dated Mako. Aside this their  relationship has no origin or conclusion; even by the end, even in their reunion, even when it seems really crude for him to be present Mako  turns on the lamps and gets everything into motion. This is also another reason why the development of Korrasami seemed blotched and pretty irregular to me like some beaten clay that has not really solidified to its pottery-shape. Mako is the irreducible factor in the Korrasami equation. Even by the end with both ships afloat you see that neither Korra and Asami can shake the boogeyman of Makorra in overdrive or even Mako as a character. This is more strange because Book 4  has given Mako ample time away from the screen which I criticised but Asami and Korra must entail him in their presence. This is not what a lesbian relationship is about. This is not what a bisexual relationship is about.

A bisexual, gay or  straight relationship isn’t about the prominence of past relationships; even if your ex is your friend the romantic friction must be at an organic all time low even if there is still some residual attraction. Makorra cannot die easily and neither will it because writers pretty much left that open. Korrasami cannot progress well because it is as an abandoned art piece you see its beginnings but you pretty much know nothing about it. Korrasami is just more or less fandom stuff — so was the strange ways Makorra was executed. I am not saying Makorra can’t end or that it has to be canon but even when Makorra is being “bad” it is being so advertised that it stays on with people even if that be annoyance. Makorra’s chemistry was explored and Korrasami was pretty much last minute answers.

As a whole, Korra is without a doubt a character with more potential then the series gave her. Ultimately, Korra is more defined by her romantic relationships than any other avatar. Korra as avatar is usually last servings; Korra as a captain of a ship is more or less the Korra we are most familiar with (a Jack Sparrow of sorts). The fact that so many people and I  wrote about this in length, her romances, is very telling.

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8 thoughts on “Written a lot about this — Korra and Korrasami with Makorra

    1. Why can’t you stand them? They are pretty natural. And if you are being sarcastic to me that’s not funny. I am pretty much into many gay/queer pairings in media. I didn’t like how Korrasami was written but I didn’t like many things about LOK that I actually did write before on this blog. Have my opinions changed? No. But now I am enthusiastic to read Korrasami in the comics. I REALLY wanna see the pairing fleshed out. I find it pretty funny you would call yourself Asami because Asami is confirmed bisexual/queer. But if you are being serious being gay/queer is pretty natural. Having queer/gay/SGA/homoerotic feelings are pretty natural no matter how you identify yourself. Do you have issues with yourself? Why do you hate media like that and can’t stand them? Hopefully, you do not gay/queer people in real life. That is just hate. Hate comes from ignorance. I have seen ignorant people do ignorant things. But ignorance is not genetic. Talk to a counselor. Read materials. Make yourself more aware. Don’t be a homophobic/queerphobic person. Trust me putting down others is not the way. Queerness, of any type, is not a threat to anyone and if you have been taught that then you have been hanging out with bigots. Don’t be a bigot like them.

  1. Thank you so much for articulating this! I absolutely hate it when (typically heterosexual) writers shoehorn shallow, heteronormative, stereotyped or unhealthy LGBT relationships to signal their virtue (Once Upon a Time is hugely guilty of this by crack pairing Red Riding Hood/Dorothy Gale in one episode and then writing them out of the show, despite the Philip/Aurora/Mulan and Swan/Queen relationships being far more popular and developed) or appeal to disgusting yaoi fangirl fetishes (the boy/boy relationships in Dragon Age and Mass Effect suffer a terrible case of this, and the straight relationships are even worse because all the love interests need psychiatric help). There’s throwing a bone and then there’s being completely tone-deaf to basic human psychology, nevermind politics and media influence.

    At least when Joss Whedon killed Tara it followed the previously established rule of the series that every single relationship eventually falls apart. Except, oddly enough, Angel and Spike (at least one interview confirmed they were lovers in the past, they’ve both died and gone crazy multiple times, and they have a pathological ambiguously platonic love/hate relationship).

    1. I am happy that I got to articulate this. Though I know by no means my views and understanding are a popular one. We are age driving by policies and social etiquette not really emotion, rationale and logic. That is why our passions tend to get flimsy and our romances cheap rhetoric. I do not care that there are yaoi fetishes. Yaoi can help straight and queer women alike and it has. I liked many yaoi, if not all, for similar reasons. Men’s sexualities in terms of aggression, passion and assertiveness is given more credence and acknowledged than anything. Lesbianism or bisexual women in mainstream narratives are meant to titillate the straight, usually White, man. For women, imagining a gay/bi-male relationship sometimes offer many possibilities especially when lesbianism is considered scopophilic and been fetishised so much. Also being “male” or reading through a male lens can be empowering for some people feeling the same social double standards and coercive practices put on women will not be put on men. This is more or less, to an extent true.

      However, this does not mean I support ever yaoi portrayal on TV and I notice anime fanservice nowadays are pandering to fans rather than actually working on a narrative that seems realistic and plausible. By entering queer representation as such the shows make the queerness another form of “entertainment”, a theatrical display of drama that is meant to work as some perverse catharsis. Eve Sedgwick Kosofsky had already articulated that if queer relationships are harmed by their absence in media and discourse then straight relationships are equally, or more or less, hurt the same way by having grand narratives such as Romance Archetypes/Stereotypes, History and how Love is constructed. Overexposing the heteronormative matrix/gender normative matrix in both straight and queer relations equally so (in one way or another) actually hurts our sense of self. Most animes do this too. I was lucky to see many without it but that does not mean there aren’t stupid animes like there, such as “Highschool of the Dead”, to show nothing aside cheap sexual kicks that make no sense and characters as flaccid (all puns intended) as a squishy debacle.

      Thank You for taking the time to read my work.

      1. I did not mean to imply that I had a problem with male/male relationships. I have a problem with Japan: it is most definitely not LGBT friendly (gay marriage isn’t legal, there’s no legal protection against hate crimes, no politician wants to touch this with a ten foot pole) and this is reflected in their media. The Japanese genres of Boys Love, Girls Love and so forth typically never portray realistic relationships and rely on silly stereotypes like “all relationships exhibit a masculine/feminine dynamic”, “it’s a phase they will grow out of”, “everyone is straight yet bi-curious.”

        I totally agree with your critique of romance writing in general. The reason why, say, SwanQueen is so popular with fans (of any sexuality) is because Swan and Regina were written as characters with their own quirks and foibles, who are complex enough that they don’t fit into traditional gender molds, and who aren’t defined by their endless cycle of dying boyfriends. All too often relationships in general, much less gay relationships, are written to fulfill media’s unhealthy obsession with romance (or worse, a diversity quota) and forget that characters need to be interesting and complex outside of their romantic relationships.

        Every relationship in Bioware games is awful. The straight relationships feel forced or end badly, the gay relationships are loaded with stereotypes, and every single love interest has severe psychological issues that they never receive treatment for and which present a danger to themselves and others. These are not healthy relationships!

      2. Of course, I know that you did not mean you don’t like male/male relationships. Well, yes, that is not only for yaoi genre but it is also for romance het genre as well. There are problematic dynamic in those shows that do make me unhappy. I don’t know much about bioware games to really comment about but I liked the queer relationships of Fallout 4 as whether you play Nora or Nate and whether you are having a relationship with a guy or girl the story is the same and means a lot. I think the “everyone is straight bi-curious” trope happens because people can call themselves straight but in modern times they do exhibit a lot of queer attitudes. Yes, the trope is comical but it is also based on some realism. I think many shows have fanserive. It is hard to write actual romance of both het and queer quality because it will not always be aesthetically pretty and will have ugly truths in it and also people aren’t perfect and will have flaws, foibles and make mistakes but most people wanna zone that out when watching media. I can understand that but true representation is hard to write when you want only the frills and not the flesh.

      3. The blog “kissmyanime.wordpress.com” has a more articulate tackle of the subject of Japanese media (including Boys Love/Girls Love) being politically incorrect. I feel my flailing attempts to explain it would only mangle the message.

        In my experience the term “fanservice” most commonly refers to risque content like jiggle physics and skimpy clothing. I think what you mean is “pandering”. Pandering more accurately refers to things like the Korrasami debacle, where writers signal their progressive political views in a way that exploits and marginalizes gay rights.

        Retconning Korra to bi or gay after already intending her to be straight isn’t just an example of the show’s already bad handling of relationships, budget cuts, etc getting that much worse. It might have turned the Avatar world into a fantasy ideal where gay relationships are so normalized as to be unworthy of comment by Korra. Korra, who is a messianic figure raised in a convent in a world styled after an Industrial Age China. A nation which in the real world was extremely conservative and heteronormative.

        What are we supposed to take away from this? I wish we could just write in gay relationships as easily as we right straight ones and without resorting to tired stereotypes. Homophobia, as it pains me to admit, is alive and well everywhere today and media is clinically proven to affect people’s beliefs. An ending that boils down to a vague “two girls love each other” message (much less two boys, non-cis, etc) isn’t going to magically make homophobes disappear or convince anyone to question their social constructs. Is the Avatar world a fantasy ideal free of homophobia or will Korra and Asami have to conceal their relationship from their friends and family? Is Korra sexually fluid or transgender because she has vague memories of being (and having sex as) a man and a father? Will the nonexistent sequel explore that I wonder? This could have been an excellent opportunity to deconstruct the concepts of sex and gender, but instead we got “look at me I’m so progressive” subtext that most of the audience missed.

        What irks me about this is that the progressive media codones Bryke’s behavior rather than demanding better writing. There are a lot of constructive ways that media could tackle the subject of convincing people to stop being heterosexist and to assuage the alienation experienced by non-straight non-cis teens. Did we learn nothing from the baby steps on Touched by an Angel or Glee? Writers who are bad at relationships in general, script changes, budget cuts, and censorship are not a constructive way to tackle this. I totally support Korrasami in the abstract but I hate the writers and producers for strangling it.

      4. This is an excellent answer filled with rich analyses. My good friend, if I may call you, I completely love you reply. I do not always think that immanently BL or GL is non-PC as in the convoluted politics of PC Korrasami/KS/KA is also pretty “progressive” but that is another topic. I do agree that BL and GL can be, as het romances, as harmful and gender normative/heteronormative. Even in the abstract Korrasami feels dull. It is a fanservice crack ship that became canon. There are many types of fanservice and one is just “giving fans what they want” in the modt basic and reductionist level. To me most cultures are heteronormative not heterosexual as heterosexist can be taken at times in a “positive” light. The fact is even if there was no problems in the Avatar world in queer relationships, as apparently Kaya is also queer, it just does not happen. Like Makorra did not just happen. Korra was also pretty demisexual and gender queer and she was already queer. Making her in a femslash relationship without any background between the two characters is literally fanservice and pleasing straight, cis men. Korrasami feels forced and written for them. Bryke’s “hetero lens” comment was unethical as it gave ammunition to trolls and bullies alike to give patronizing lectures to MK people and people in general who disliked Korrasami. It also pushed aside the queer people who actually disliked Korrasami. There is going to be a comic soon and it just seems to be a cash grabber though I hope it delineates fairly Korra and Asami though I doubt it. Korra was already queer; she was non-gender normative, interested in one person and she was very apolitical in some stances. She did not need a relationship with a stranger to validate her queerness.

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