Written a lot about this — Korra and Korrasami with Makorra

I  actually posted a lot about this on Tumblr as fans are well, indignant or disappointed. Many are fans who are gay or who intensely love or ship gay pairings were offended by Bryan’s statement of “hetero-lens” due to its widespread spectrum implicit in the arena of homophobia. I, on the other hand, thought the comment was meh to  me because it didn’t really  feel I was in that category. This reviewer who has spent the majority of 2014 being indoctrinated into queer or even heteronormative homosexuality to the point that TPAB actually thought that all I watch is otome or queer animes is pretty much salient with the fact that I am/never was homophobic. I enjoyed some of the pairings in the otome show, saw potency in them and actually critiqued the execution of those shows.

I even wrote one of the longest reviews on this blog on critiquing and also praising Sekaiichi Hatsukoi which is a gay anime which pulled no punches.  I really liked Queen’s Blade which is a lesbian anime, though a bit directed towards guys, had all the lesbianism, no holds barred, in its glory for the whole series. I loved Maria Watches Over Us which is a lesbian anime directed towards girls. I loved Cardcaptor Sakura and thought that Tomoyo loving Sakura or even Touya loving Yukito to be very well handled. I wanted Touya ending up with his teacher not because she was female but because I liked teacher-student pairings at that time but really hated the other character liking her teacher and marrying him after her high-school graduation :/ though it was a totally heterosexual pairing. Because though it was not illegal it wasn’t to me tastefully written. I actually like Domoki liking Watanuki in xxxHolic and don’t like those other girls who fancy/like Watanuki aside Yuko Ichihara. And even that after layers of interactions and understandings comes about.  One of my favourite anime, also directed towards girls is Revolutionary Girl Utena which shows Utena and Anthy as bisexual characters and mostly lesbians, full frontal, in the animated movie retelling Adolescence Apocalypse.

So, this opinion and article will articulate most of my feelings on the series and also on the pairings that survived. It will be long, span paragraphs and I decided after half-writing it I should also push this through some pages so please bear with me. Thank you if you read all throughout the way  and Thank you for reading a bit. Honestly, this article took a long time to write — I was exposed to more material, got tired and procrastinated or cogitated a bit more. Yet I wanted this to be a comprehensive read of what I thought about Korra the series, the character and also Korrasami and Makorra. I will put briefly that I had higher hopes for the series but they were not met and as you will see this is more than any shipping or anything else.

It has to do with how  TLA was handled and how LOK was handled: both  are different shows and may deal with different things but have some core elements. It is the same way  you might judge a reboot or even the different installments  of the Final Fantasy series. It  was mostly how  LOK was written independently in itself. How  it  was budget cut a lot by both Nick and how Bryke had many problems with Nick that eventual made this an internet only show that was also facing cancellations. So much so that Book 3 and Book 4 followed one after the other. Also, though  I personally have nothing against Bryke I do think as writers and creators who were facing a lot of pressure that they did do some mistakes and mess up. Also Nick initially did not like that Korra was a girl and wanted her to be a guy because the Aang formula was pretty much potent still and in these series people  for some stupid marketing reason and cultural biases want the main protagonist being a male and not female.

The TLA team was larger, had more writers and obviously many discussions amongst Bryke and those other people so many more ideas and expansions of concepts  were apparently plausible  and executed. Bryke originally wanted Toph and Azula to be guys and also wanted a love triangle between Katara, Aang and Toph so obviously that idea was scrapped by many  others pitching in their ideas. Asami was initially also meant to be a villain I wouldn’t have minded if that happened because I think Spysami is pretty more interesting than thinly written Korrasami. Or, she may have been a double agent that would  have proved volumes about her dexterity in general. Makorra was, as I read from Tumblr,  described as the perfect pairing by Bryke themselves and how Korra and Mako were right for each other and “soulmates” — so I think Bryke’s Korrasami was done almost like a last minute thing. In fact, I don’t think they did away with Makorra either which is telling in the  finale episode. I think they were confused at what to do really and thought that keeping both pairings open but focusing a bit more on Korrasami was the only thing they could do to “salvage”  the series because before this finale  many people had heavily, explicitly, inexorably critiqued Legend of Korra both critics and fans alike.  So, LOK had a lot of problems since Book 1 that had  to do and nothing to do with Makorra and pairings and stuff.

I won’t  lie that I fast-forwarded to  the last scene in LOK to see what happens because by this time I was kinda bored and wanted to know what happens to Korra and by Book 3 and 4 the hints of Makorra were pretty high I wanted to see if they patch up, after some time of course because  some time even passed for Kataraang to happen. I was impressed with the spirit portal which became like the equatorial region of their world and that was awesome.I loved the  last scene music and ambience but the pairing made me very unhappy because it was just too rushed and scatterbrained to be a beautiful buildup.

So to continue, though some fans of Makorra are homophobic; most of us  aren’t. This is due to the fact we come to this show after years of watching anime shows from its infancy dealing with heteronormativity, queer sexualities (both straight and gay), performativity, and also the construction/reconstruction of identities. So, as most of us  are in our late teens and twenties or even forties we are already nonplussed by homosexuality rather accepting it wholeheartedly as a romantic-sexual outcome. We have relegated our “hetero-lens” a long time ago even before The Legend of Korra or The Legend of Aang/The Last Airbender premiered. I have criticised Korra on numerous occasions and none of them were solely on ships. As listed below:

Legend of Korra, Book 3: “Change”  Criticism

Korra Season 3 Comes to An End

I am not partial. I have enjoyed gay pairings and straight pairings with equal zeal. I am not infected with “hetero-lens” — also I have accused Korrasami of a “hetero-lens” too. That one is that of heteronormativity. As a friend of mine stated gender or a critique of gender was not established in Korra. Korra is, as Anime Live Reactions put it eloquently, stereotyped as a strong woman/person of colour becoming bisexual and lesbian to validate her strong, “tomboy” existence. Asami’s sexuality has always been a game. She is a doll, a feminine debacle, and having Korra, a masculine, pair up with her reinforces a heteronormative way of looking at things. It essentialises that the  avatar spirit is  a “male” spirit with or without past lives because Wan, the first avatar, pretty much is shown to be in a relationship with Raava, a female spirit.  Lesbianism, gayness or even straight-on  heterosexuality is not about binary images but heteronormativity and performativity does reduce it to such.

Korra cannot be alone or be in a heterosexual relationship because that also incinerates the  heteronormative way of looking at heterosexual relationships. Makorra ending in a bad note now encapsulates and also mediates on the fixation that strong men and women cannot mix. This stereotype is nothing new. If Mako and Korra could end better we would not point fingers at this rather Bolin and Korra’s chaotic end was foreseen on a lack of attraction on Korra’s part and even Bolin does not date Eska due to her domineering and inhospitable personality. Korra and Bolin are strong and do have chemistry but they end amicably, on good terms, there is hardly any name-calling and finger-pointing between them. Bolin does not  ever bring up that Korra broke his heart by kissing her brother nor that he wanted Korra to apologise much because they went through things that allowed forgiveness and friendship to happen. Ironically, even Bolin and Eska’s breakup  and later encounter seemed both comic but also reasonable and realistic. It was apparent that they both have considerably, without a doubt moved on. The way Mako and Korra interact are still as lovers even by the end of Book  4  breakup or no breakup  they just do, both context and subtext affirms it as a romance with mutually concerted feelings — it’s pretty confusing.

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Shoujo Otome Hunter

Just, a little experiment I am trying; a comedy and also a dating game based on the Otomes of before

Our main character is 4 different things at the same time but it can gear shift depending on certain story factors.

Teruko Totsi is seemingly a regular girl of a mixed ancestry thus darker skin and black eyes. Her short wavy hair and skin tone make her stand out. But what makes her stand on more is her enduring “sickness” — she lives periods of her live in different stages and like a ovulation cycle it targets her not only based on moods but also seemingly random interactions.

a: Teruko becomes a 17 year old high school introvert at a prestigious gakuen and is known as the absentee in transmission. Her only seemingly friends usually talk about her poor health. As a 17 year old Teruko is a bit quieter than most but partakes in sports and drama. Her most favourite sports are swimming and basketball. She is affiliated with no clubs though but is asked sometimes to join as her skills are not totally bad.

b: Teruko becomes a 26 year old university student who studies Physics in a small Polytechnic. She is more social and boisterous than many and sometimes annoys her peers. This Teruko has a fear of wider water bodies as she see apparently cant swim. Plays only tennis at times but is not good at it.

c: Teruko becomes a 37 year employee at a corporation where she specializes in administering certain projects related to language acquisition and is a sort of a management trainer to some people. Professional and sometimes cold she does smile alot and is quite good at what she does.

d. Teruko x is a odd creature, age unknown, profession unknown, only that in this state Teruko attains a heterochromatic stage where her left eye becomes blue and glows at times.  This Teruko has a  lot of bruises and gashes and is known as the aloof hermit.

 

Partners/Romances (might extend later):

1. Rokuro – class president at Teruko’s gakuen. Is usually concerned about her but is hard on her because he thinks she is wasting her potentials. Thinks she has hikikimori and often wishes the school would intervene a bit more on her case. Is an excellent archer.

2. Manabu: school resident delinquent. Slender and muscular and usually seen with stitches or bandages by Teruko. However, is an excellent chess player. Likes sitting next to Teruko when she comes to school but doesnt talk to her much. Thinks Teruko is an escort or is a wild child. Doesn’t get along with Rokuro though her tension is mostly confined to stares and forced politeness.

3. Hisao. A junior classman who has a crush on Teruko when he saw a good form 3 point shot from her. Tries to get her attention. Is cute and nice but is actually quite tall and looks older than he is. Doesn’t get along with his parents and thinks Teruko is a model disobedient child to her  parents too. Likes buying Tereko strawberries when he sees her.

4. Eiji: A chem lab in Teruko’s university who likes to see old films and read Josei/Shoujo manga.

5. Professor Aramaki: Biology teacher who specializes in biogenetics and works full time in a well known pharmaceutical. Is very quiet and looks sad at times. Has asthma and is divorced. Likes Teruko’s social amicability but blushes a bit around her.

6. Fumio: the supposed failing Uni student and apparently is more into porn. Is also supposed to be majoring in physics but likes designing machines. Teruko doesn’t mind him as a partner and he first enjoys Teruko’s lack of school gossip as some people are too mean to him. But he thinks he understands Teruko’s absences and they both talk  alot.

7. Arata: A quiet biology student who sometimes works as Aramaki’s assistant. Is talented but wants to quit studying due to unknown reasons. Likes to sometimes daydream and go off by himself. Is seen at times scrapbooking bugs and flowers. Is picked on for his shy nature.

8. Setsuna: Teruko’s colleague at the company he works in. Is an accountant but also paints landscapes. Is easily scared and apparently not treated nicely by his male coworkers. Likes Teruko’s confidence and skills.

9 CEO Nemuro: Is  a computer genius and a known misanthrope. Talks in codes and dry statements. Hates too much noise and values thoroughness. Teruko get along, surprisingly very well and he likes her detailing convos.

10: Genji: a older man who Teruko X interacts with seems to know CEO Nemura though only socially.

11. Halcyon: an assassin that Teruko x supposedly knows. Is very enigmatic and enjoys sharing snacks with Teruko and watch TV with her. Loves talking to her too

12. XYX an unknown person who Teruko sees and knows and calls “Gnome” as a nickname. Sometimes Teruko ends up seeing him in her apartment and he casually leaves. Known for his good manners and smiles Teruko thinks he is like her.

 

I thought writing an Otome type script would be fun. Project pulse! Tell me guys what ya think 🙂