He started off well enough. He was dreamy, serious, awesome at what he does and a very caring older brother. With one look in the Avatar’s direction a thousand ships were launched and Mako became the new Zuko. Only better because, you know, the hair.

In a competition of first season hair there is no contest.

Then Asami, the best romantic foil ever put onto a kid’s show showed up and sort of stole Mako’s heart. Were we supposed to hate her? Be suspicious of her? It didn’t matter she was too cool to hate and so was her romantic rival, the most powerful bender on the planet.

It's when Asami is taking Korra for a ride in her racecar that you realize they are both the best and love triangles are for the birds and both women should be happy forever.

And while we all loved Korra and Asami equally poor Mako was getting the short shrift, because he was stuck in a love triangle and any way you look at it he was going to have to break some precious baby’s heart.

But that’s not where the hate for the scarf lover really developed. It was in his indecision after it became clear he was firmly embroiled in a love triangle with a soapiness usually reserved for shows about women banging vampires.

Fair enough, when you have two equally awesome dames and the guy is being too thick to decide which to love and which to say farewell too and is hurting both women in the process it’s easy to hold a little animosity towards him.

Only poor Mako didn’t stop there. Apparently he, and the show’s creators, really wanted a healthy portion of the audience to be irritated by him. So when Korra was at her lowest. When she’d been beaten, kidnapped, and forced to run for her life, when her friends and adoptive family finally found her and were ready to provide her comfort and assurance Mako swooped in like the emotional vigilante version of Batman and took her away from all the bad feelings.

It was, I suspect, meant to be romantic. Instead this comic illustrates what happened quite nicely:

It only gets worse from there. The last few episodes see Mako refuse to leave Korra’s side. He even takes on the big bad evil boss! And then rushes out to cuddle with Korra after she begs to be left alone so she can process her loss of power.

And yeah, that’s sweet and hella romantic and d’aaaw, but there’s a very strong sense of chivalry in his actions and chivalry, while super great when I don’t feel like opening doors or dealing with asshats, is a system designed to keep women in one place while keeping men in another. It is not the same thing as just genuine niceness (Bolin is an example of a dude who is awesome and nice without being “chivalrous.”)

Every time Mako opened his mouth it was so he could worry about Korra and it kind of made her out to be…delicate.

I don’t think it was the purpose desired by the character or the show’s creators. For the most part Legend of Korra, and its predecessor, The Last Airbender, have been forward thinking, incredibly diverse, wonderful entertainment for kids of both genders that actively shies away from negative stereotypes and openly mocks those who might attempt to enforce them.

But when they finally gave us a female heroine in the central role of Avatar they had to have Mako tag along behind her and it felt as though…as though a girl couldn’t get by with being the hero of the story without a little help from a dude.

By the end of the season Mako, who’d started as one of the show’s most beloved characters, had become the guy a lot of fans (especially older female fans) just didn’t want to see. He wasn’t the dreamy perfect dude of the first few episodes but a guy forcing himself into a woman’s narrative without really earning his place there.

Comic Art Source [oelm]

  • Mike

    How DARE a teenage male be confused about his feelings! And it’s awful for one person to be concerned and try and comfort someone they care about! Also, I can’t believe Mako HELPED Korra in taking down the guy who was bombing the city! I mean, having them both play an essential role in Amon’s defeat? Mako is clearly the worst man ever!

    • http://fempop.com/ Alex Cranz

      Truth.

    • Renjick

      Oh, the teen defense. Grow up. You must know a lot of dumbass male teens. Your own experience maybe?

      • Mike

        Ignoring the insult, that has nothing to do with what I said. Asami has every right to be upset with Mako, but Mako also has a right to be confused. This article makes it seem like he did something horrible. It calls him out on being concerned, being protective, and not being “the dreamy perfect dude of the first few episodes but a guy forcing
        himself into a woman’s narrative without really earning his place there”. That last part I really don’t get. Both Avatar and Korra have done a great job of being gender neutral shows, whether the protagonist is a male or female. Because Korra is a girl, she’s not allowed to have a male help her or comfort her? Does that mean Katara or Toph are horrible people because they helped Aang? Or does this rule only apply when it’s convenient for the woman?

        • http://www.facebook.com/nick.ford.5811 Nick Ford

          Granted Renjick’s response wasn’t the best…but then your initial was problematic. It seemed to me to mostly just be a response that was full of biting sarcasm that didn’t seem to take the original criticism with very much intellectual interest. Instead it took it on in the interest of being confrontational and put-offish…just like Mako! :P

          But unlike Renjick I want to address your concerns because they’re legitimate and I certainly don’t think they should be written off with insults.

          So here’s what I got for you:

          “How DARE a teenage male be confused about his feelings!”

          Right off the bat you’re confusing the issue. The author isn’t mad about a teenager being confused about their feelings. That’s obviously a regular occurrence with *adults* let alone *teenagers*. When the author talks abut Mako’s lack of clear thinking it’s a critique of how he was nearly *systematically* confused not only himself but all of those others around him which led to *way* more problems then needed to be there for the plot’s sake and for a good character (and good character development!).

          He acted irresponsibly and callously in terms of Kora and Asami. How? The kiss. You *don’t* keep that shit from your girlfriend man. I KNOW it must’ve been hard for him and confusing but if you WANT to build the story and the character they have to go THROUGH trials and troubles and not simply slip past them (AKA Boylln spills the details and Mako planned never to fess up).

          There simply wasn’t enough of Mako actually getting a fair shot with either girls and he let himself simply be *dominated* by his feelings (and rushed writing didn’t help…).

          “And it’s awful for one person to be concerned and try and comfort someone they care about!”

          There’s a difference (and they mention the difference ala Mako’s brother…) between being *genuinely concerned* and chauvinistically altruistic with your feelings to the point of just falling over backwards. I’ve been there man and it *real life* it’s hell.

          “Also, I can’t believe Mako HELPED Korra in taking down the guy who was bombing the city! I mean, having them both play an essential role in Amon’s defeat? Mako is clearly the worst man
          ever!”

          If you want to make a strong female lead did it even *make sense* to have Mako go too? We knew he loved her, he didn’t NEED to go! Why didn’t he stay with Asami? The writers then wrote it like she *needed* him but did she really? Kora should’ve taken Imman head on in that room. She would’ve lost but she would’ve gotten her air powers all the same probably. There was pretty much no reason for Mako to go to begin with even *logically* speaking.

          But apart from the logic of it all (story-wise) it was just more of Mako being *way* overly on Kora as if she needed the protection. What happened to the strong female leads people? Suddenly Kora can’t move without Mako holding her hand? WTF?

          Look, my point isn’t to diss you, Mako or the writers. You have valid concerns, Mako (all things considered) is STILL a decent guy (he just f-ed up a few times) and the writers are STILL damn good given the amount of time they had. But *none* of that excuses the lack of actual thought Mako put into just about *any* of his actions past the half-way mark on this first chapter.

          Hopefully this clear stuff up.

        • http://www.facebook.com/nick.ford.5811 Nick Ford

          Oh right…you had a few other things too. Just want to briefly(?) address these few things as well:

          “Because Korra is a girl, she’s not allowed to have a male help her or comfort her?”

          Obviously it’s not about “allowing” (at least for me) help for Korra. It’s just that why would Korra suddenly seemingly NEED Mako there? She doesn’t. She hasn’t needed him all season so why now? Because he’s hanging all over her? Even ignoring the feminist stuff going on here (I don’t consider myself a feminist, just a person with some sympathies to their positions as I’m sure you’ve noticed) this stuff just doesn’t even make sense plot-wise.

          “Does that mean Katara or Toph are horrible people because they helped Aang?”

          Of course not. The point isn’t that Mako is a “horrible person” because he helped Korra but that he had no real place in the story and should’ve spent more time developing relations with Asami (IMO). The fact that he and Korra never seemingly did so (due to Mako’s wishy-washyness) is reason enough to put his involvement with Korra as suspect IMO.

          It was just rushed writing and makes for bad sterortypes about women being reinforced. Sure they CAN be independent of men but when the men start hanging around them somehow that independence is subject to be lowered to the relationship that the man is trying to create.

          “Or does this rule only apply when it’s convenient for the woman?”

          Lastly, this just comes off as spiteful and dangerously close to some sort of misogyny just because you don’t like feminism.

    • Mako rules

      Shut up, liar. I like Mako ‘cauz like he’s like me in terms of personality. And that personality is serious-minded, which is what mien is. Besides, I like serious people more than funny people ‘cuz funny ones get under my skin whereas whereas serious ones are responsible.

  • Brysahn McKenzie

    Mako started to become a less interesting character because he didn’t have the balls to tell Korra how he feels about her. We all know that Mako likes we know that but he made it worst because he kiss Korra back after she kiss him while he’s in a relationship with Asami. Then Mako said he was confused about his feelings, which it was a damn lie. Then Mako became the worst character on the show because he started to become a wild man when he heard that Korra was missing and completely forgot about Asami be his girlfriend. Then when Asami ask Mako about the kiss he tried to keep it a secret and telling Asami that she is just imagining things. And then he apologize to Asami about everything that happen between them, seriously if Mako was really sorry he should of ended the relationship way before Amon attack Republic City. All Asami wants for Mako to tell the turth but he didn’t. Mako had the worst character development in season 1 and became the worst character in Legend of Mako.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Justin-Sanchez/100000491835565 Justin Sanchez

    I think the problem with Mako is that they made his sole purpose to be the center of a love circle, about midway through the season. In the first episodes, he had complexities. “Who were his parents? Does he have any other relatives? How important is pro bending to him? How much is he really attached to his brother? Why does he always seem edgy and depressed? Has he ever gotten over his parents death? Any animosity towards a certain group or person he’s hiding?” Stuff like that. The it became: “Is he gonna leave Asami for Korra? Is he gonna leave Asami for Korra? Is he gonna leave Asami for Korra? He left Asami for Korra!” They need to continue developing Mako as a character with hidden soul biding its time to unleash its true colors, while giving glimpses of it throughout, like Zuko. Not some love sick puppy. And guess what. I’m a guy writing this. And he annoys me just the same.

    • katar13

      I’m a girl and it’s nice to see that people can recognize bad writing when they see it regardless of gender. You have a good point about Mako having complexities earlier on in the series. He wasn’t my favorite it the first episodes, but I liked that his character had potential and I liked Korra calling him out on his bs. Sadly, Mako went from being potentially interesting to being a tool in a poorly written love triangle. I am still baffled and confused about why Korra even finds him so appealing in the first place.

  • gundam16

    I don’t think this article has a point. Everything is explain by him being concerned. The whole triangle thing is a separate issue that I can’t even explain, did it have to exist when he clearly liked Korra in the beginning? Is there a legitimate reason why he didn’t go after Korra? Not really.

    But are any of his actions, outside the love triangle, wrong? No, he was just concerned over someone he loves. Katara also tagged along with Zuko when he went to fight his sister. I’m not some huge Mako fan but there is no real point in this article, He didn’t tell Korra to stay back while he handles everything, he backed her up like a cop would a partner to face a villain that she was underpowered to fight on her own(a plan the original Team Avatar was going to use on the day of black sun).

    I don’t much keep track of what fans think because it tends to be blah, and usually painted with how much they personally like one character. The reason they don’t like him is probably because they didn’t like him hurting Korra or maybe it was because he acted confused, I can’t even imagine, but this article isn’t the place to find the answers.

  • gundam16

    This is so ridiculous, how can you not see that what you’re saying is lunacy.
    It’s far too much from a perspective of it tickling your fancy. which has nothing to do with
    why people like each other or why characters should like each other.

    What do they have in common? they like to do the same things. They like each other company. The End.
    Also I don’t see why people consider Asami so great. And I’m not asking for an answer
    I’m saying it seems over blown. She was fine, and she had a bit more story than some of
    the other characters, she thought her dad was wrong and had to fight him, but its not like
    she thought really hard on the conflict or had any issues with her dead mom.

    Fact is that Korra also doesn’t have some serious issue like that either. Another article even mentioned how much she had going for her, including a police force, a family, and an easy going personality.
    This article states that Mako has some stuff(relationship with his brother, orphan, gangster pass ect) but that it isn’t explored because it didn’t have anything to do with the storyline and probably won’t.

  • Rebochan

    So let me get this straight. Mako explicitly takes care of Bolin and makes all his hard choices for him and acts over protective of him and flips his shit when Bolin is kidnapped…and this does not make Bolin delicate.

    Korra single-handedly rescues herself from a dangerous situation, gets herself back to town, and collapses from elements exposure…and Mako carrying her AFTER all of this makes her “delicate”.

    I also would like to point out the numerous times Katara mothered Aang, rescued Aang from moments of distress, or Aang’s love for her motivated him, since I’m guessing all of this is fine when it’s a man. STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS should never receive any degree of aid or concern from the opposite sex or everything they do is automatically cancelled out.

    Girl takes out Amon even after he debends her and it’s apparently moot because she airbent for the first time out of concern for Mako. I guess Aang’s love for Katara helping him to activate the Avatar state also makes him weak and delicate, right? Oh right, he’s a boy, it’s okay.

    I hate bloody hate fake feminism.

    • Hayley

      That was the smartest thing I’ve read on here. I also like how you finished it with “fake feminism” instead of just hating on feminism in general. Thanks, person~

    • Nepeta

      But he didn’t flip his shit when Bolin disappeared, he was calm and collected.

      And why did Mako have to carry her back? Why couldn’t Lin or Tenzin while we’re at this? They were there, one is a cop and the other is her father figure in the series. Why did Mako suddenly believe that they were ‘crowding her’ and that apparently in order to give her space, he had to pick her up?

      He debends her and she was blood bent. She also couldn’t apparently air bend properly before due to her personality. So why could she randomly and suddenly air bend because her loved one is danger? THE POWER OF LOVE? sure, but that doesn’t go with story all that well.

      I bloody hate badly written characters and plots.

      • Rebochan

        Yes, Mako was SO CALM AND COLLECTED about his brother that he yelled at Korra and freaked out about them not having a plan to find him. He did NOT calm down until he had an idea of where Bolin was and a rescue plan. Flash forward to Korra’s disappearance, where the damn chief of police broke him and his friends out of jail because Korra MIGHT be in the hands of someone that he now knows to be extremely dangerous and they have no idea how to find her. I’d also point out that Mako didn’t know anything about the Equalists or Amon when Bolin was missing or he might have STILL been flipping out. Oh yea, and Bolin, how did they find him? Perfectly safe and awake. How did Mako find Korra? Unconscious and sick from elements exposure. Yea, I think he’d react two completely different ways to two completely different scenarios, but I guess for the anti-Mako argument to work, we have to create some kind of false equivalency exactly as you and our author did.

        Oh right, why didn’t anyone else pick her up? Who cares?! Oh right, we have to portray a man completely at wits end over the safety of someone he’s close to and trying to ensure she’s okay as some kind of monster for wanting to make sure she’s fine. Oh, and especially monstrous when it’s a guy who’s already lost his parents and clearly has insecurities about losing people. It’s almost like…his insecurity is some kind of character flaw that created conflict the very next episode…hrmmm….nah. Inhuman monster.

        As for Korra’s airbending, in addition to the fact you rearranged the events again to try to paint Mako as the favored character, I’d point our LAST Avatar used the Power of Love to reach the Avatar state for the first time And furthermore, almost rejected it entirely because he was SO IN LURVE that he couldn’t BEAR to reject Katara. Ohhhh, right, Aang has a penis. It’s okay, he’s allowed to do things even partially motivated by the power of love, because unlike Korra, the power of the penis will ensure that Aang is taken for the sum of his actions and anything he does out of concern for the opposite sex is further signs of how emotionally strong he is. Furthermore, any members of the opposite sex pulling his ass out of the fire, reviving him from the dead, healing his wounds, or shouldering his emotional outbursts will be taken as a sign that the woman is strong enough to care for another person and the man is strong for bringing up his weakness to her. Whereas Korra will have absolutely everything she is and does thrown out because she cares about someone so much she does something she’d been slowly building up to over the entire series. Good god, she beat the crap out of the final villain because she was finally able to work up the need to airbend when someone she loved and cared about was about to suffer like her? God, what a fragile damsel, of course she needed a MAN to motivate her. And god forbid she ever need HELP from a dude, because THAT means she’s a helpless, fragile damsel who gets the vapors at even the hint of conflict (and help in this case means a guy helped her recover AFTER she rescued her own damn self.)

        Again, fake feminism can shove it. People look at amazing, deep characters like Korra with complex motivations, flaws, and incredible resumes of baddassery, and instead of lauding them, fake feminists write articles like this that try to destroy them on the flimsiest of technicalities. Then lament that there are “no good heroes for girls.”

        • nepeta

          Okay, let’s start with your false equivalency.

          Bolin is Mako’s brother. The person he raised since he was 8. Bolin disappears? Even if at this point he doesn’t know what Amon is doing, he knows his little brother was kidnapped.

          No one is kidnapped for a good reason. So even if he doesn’t know why or how dangerous, if Mako flipped his shit over Korra missing, he should also have flipped his shit over his LITTLE BROTHER DISAPPEARING. It’s even worse because he doesn’t know how bad Amon is, because at this point, Amon could do anything. For all he knew, his brother could have been killed.

          What does he spend the episode doing? He spends the first ten minutes trying to find him (calm, which is okay because at this point it’s just “Bolin wasn’t home.”)

          Then Bolin is with the gangs? Oh no! He then reacts with a “Stupid Bolin, what did you do now” and calmly goes off to find him. Worried, yes, but he keeps his head on his shoulders. Bolin’s in the back of a truck? Oh no! He still remains calm–Mako did not lose his composure at all. Who was the one who was acting rashly that episode? That was Korra.

          Now flash forward to Korra disappearing. This time he even has an idea of where she might be! Yes, he now knows that Amon is serious business, but if he was able to remain calm when his brother was taken, his character then should have remained calm during this point, or at least kept his head on his shoulders. What does he do? He snaps when Asami asks a simple question of “What if she’s not here?” (but hey, I’m willing to ignore that, maybe he was just really, really worried). What’s worse? He threatens an equalist with fire. This is not consistent with his previous characterization.

          I would have been fine with him picking Korra if he had not said two seconds ago, “GIVE HER SPACE!” What part of giving her space involves him picking her up? If she’s injured, does it not make sense for the cop, the one who probably has basic first aid training to take care of her? How is picking her up and moving her around giving her space?
          Yes, he has loss issues (which curiously don’t play much into Bolin’s disappearance) but he also had his parents die due to a firebender.

          If your parents were killed by a firebender, why would you threaten someone else with fire?

          It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but if I remember correctly, the first time he used the Avatar state was when he was saving Appa. The second time was when he was in the North Pole, talking to the moon/ocean spirits and then later when the moon died.

          None of those times had to do with the power of love. While we’re at this, his spirituality was slightly better than Korra’s–his problems were different than hers.

          No, Mako can support her. Mako can give her shoulder to cry on should she need it, Mako can help her when she needs help. Here’s my question though, Mako was with her almost constantly after she escaped Tarrlok. There were very few scenes where he actually left her alone. Could we not have had Bolin maybe comfort her? Or Tenzin, who she previously confessed her fears to?

          I will take back the POWER OF LOVE slightly, because I need to rewatch that episode and it is possible my memory of it is tainted because I hated the last five minutes of the final.

          And Korra is not a good hero for girls. Yes, she is badass and strong and tough. Awesome. I love that about her. I love how she can also be afraid and worry. But what else did she do? She went after another girl’s boyfriend. She also looked down on Asami for her feminine habits and only respected her after she showed she had some masculine hobbies. And unfortunately we spend several episodes where she does this. These are not things you want a role model to do.

          I can’t claim to agree with all of the points in the article, but the hate for Mako isn’t unjustified. His character is not developed at all and the parts we see contradict each other. They aren’t also good points.

          • Rebochan

            The “false equivalency” I pointed out is that the situation with Bolin and the situation with Korra are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SCENARIOS. Mako has completely different information to go off of and compeltely different expectations for what will happen. And unlike when Bolin was missing, in the second scenario, there is NO ONE to tell him it’s going to be okay and calm him down – because they’re dead certain it won’t be okay and finding Lin’s debent men only ratchets up the stress. Also, I’d point out that Mako doesn’t even contribute to saving Korra – she saved herself, then arrived in town nearly unconcious and in a state where it’s hard to tell how she is. Compare to Bolin, who was shook up but safe – allowing him to calm down and realize he would be safe.

            “It’s even worse because he doesn’t know how bad Amon is, because at this
            point, Amon could do anything. For all he knew, his brother could have
            been killed.”

            Sorry, gotta address this directly – they don’t know anything about Amon. They don’t even know that he has any kind of unique ability that can hurt someone. While they can certainly be worried for Bolin’s safety, once they understand who took Bolin and where, Korra and Mako together formulate a plan to help him – and at this point, they thought they could take this guy. When Korra went missing, Amon had become a powerful terrorist with an agenda to seriously hurt Korra and had made overtures about wanting to do so – so her disappearence to Mako would have seemed like him finally making his move when Mako is completely unable to save her (and he doesn’t – again, he’s left to stew about her fate for most of the episode).

            “Then Bolin is with the gangs? Oh no! He then reacts with a “Stupid
            Bolin, what did you do now” and calmly goes off to find him. Worried,
            yes, but he keeps his head on his shoulders. Bolin’s in the back of a
            truck? Oh no! He still remains calm–Mako did not lose his composure at all. Who was the one who was acting rashly that episode? That was Korra.”

            Yea, no, this isn’t the chain of events at all. Scrolled up the episode again to check on it.

            “Now flash forward to Korra disappearing. This time he even has an
            idea of where she might be!”

            Actually, no he doesn’t. They’re still guessing. I covered the rest above.

            “What’s worse? He threatens an equalist with fire. This is not consistent with his previous characterization. ”

            Okay, I’m sorry, I hear people bring this up like some big evil thing that he does, but people on this show REGULARLY threaten people in potentially fatal ways with their elements to make them talk.

            “What part of giving her space involves him picking her up?”

            What is so evil and wrong about him picking her up and checking on her well-being to calm himself down? Oh right, monster, etc.

            “If she’s injured, does it not make sense for the
            cop, the one who probably has basic first aid training to take care of
            her? How is picking her up and moving her around giving her space?”

            You mean pulling her out of the crowd of people? That’s not giving her space? Ohhhh…right, again, monster, etc.

            Also, Lin? First aid? Yea, doubtful. Earth benders aren’t really known for smashing people with healing boulders. Besides, they clearly took her home where other people could care for her and when Mako got overprotective, HE GOT CALLED OUT FOR IT.

            “None of those times had to do with the power of love.”

            So, okay, maybe it’s been awhile for you, so, refresher. Aang couldn’t willingly summon the Avatar state in the entire first series unless he was under severe emotional stress (oh hey! Emotion fueled powers! Another thing men are allowed to have without criticism of their baddassery!). The North Pole wasn’t even the Avatar State, it was just meditation – something Aang knows how to do. Oh yea, and in Season 2, Katara being drowned in sand caused him to activate it again out of…that’s right, concern for a love interest.

            In the series 2 final episodes, he had to unlock his chakras to learn to use the power of the Avatar state. He explictly refused the final chakra when he was told to let go of love and he thought it meant losing Katara’s love – meaning he turned down a vital tool in the Avatar’s arsenal over a girl. Later, what was his motivator to unlock his final chakra? Katara being in such mortal danger that he deliberately tried to forget about her so he could use the Avatar state to save her.

            Oh yea, two seconds later, a member of the opposite sex killed him and it was the loving healing of his love interest that brought him back to life. Man, it sure is good being a male hero. You never lose any of your badass cred when you receive aid or ass-whoopings from ladies.

            “There were very few scenes where he actually left her alone. Could we
            not have had Bolin maybe comfort her? Or Tenzin, who she previously
            confessed her fears to?”

            Because they were trying to wrap the arc about Korra, Mako, and Asami and Tenzin’s arc was with his family and Lin as it was. Furthermore, clearing that out ensured Asami’s REAL storyline was mired in the romance arc, but involved her dealing with her father’s madness. I’ll admit timing left Bolin out, but that’s what the second season is for.

            “But what else did she do? She went after another
            girl’s boyfriend.”

            And got called out for it, nearly lost the relationship, and oh yea, did I mention Korra never had any experience with expressing intimate feelings and made some pretty common mistakes? The aftermath of it made her learn from it. She even later willingly encouraged the guy she liked to spend more time with his girlfriend – and this was after she also completely ignored a dressing down from said guy to follow a hunch that proved right, proving that Korra did learn how to put the needs of the many over her wanting to hook up with Mako. And they didn’t actually hook up until Mako realized he had feeling for her and let Asami go rather than leading her on (though I must admit, I’d have been happier with them throwing a wrench in the usual way of such plots and had him realize he really loved Asami and Korra learned how to move on.) Regardless, she stayed hands off until after the break up and still waited for Mako to make the first move – instead of forcing him to.

            “She also looked down on Asami for her feminine habits
            and only respected her after she showed she had some masculine hobbies.”

            Or….Korra just didn’t understand Asami because Korra and Asami are very different people. She learned that Asami did in fact have many interests and that being both incredibly feminine AND incredibly masculine were not diametrically opposed. Heck, she was even willing to try using the powder room out of curiosity once she realized being feminine wasn’t actually “bad”. And sure, she didn’t like it, but her attitude wasn’t “Ew! Girly!” It was “Not for me.”

            In other words…Korra is a great role model for girls because she learns from others and tries new things. She makes mistakes, big ones, but she learns to swallow her pride and become a better person. She even learns the difference between genuine confidence and dangerous pride (a pretty common hero’s lesson, but one not often used for female heroes.)

            “And unfortunately we spend several episodes where she does this.”

            Try…one. And even then, it’s not even real hostility, it’s Korra not “getting” Asami. Keep in mind this isn’t even the first time the franchise has challenged gender conceptions. Toph alone, you could probably write a book about her and gender norms.

            Yea, see, this is exactly what I complained about before – throwing out a fantastic character in a genre sorely underrepresented by women as it is on simple technicalities and carefully removing any and all context to prevent complex situations from being reflected on accurately. It seems your list was entirely based on “Korra made mistakes and any person that makes mistakes is a bad role model.” Well, fuck “role models”. Girls could probably learn a lot more from someone who, like them, can make a mistake, learn from it, and become a better person out of it. You know, the same things most male heroes do? Like, hey, making a mistake in a relationship scenario is not the end of the world? Oh yea, Aang had that happen too…good thing he’s got that penis.

            To respond to the other point, as for Bolin and panicking – has Bolin ever really been shown to panic that much aside from when he is himself completely helpless or hurt? Maybe it’s a defense mechanism to not take things seriously, and it’s likely something he needs to grow out of (and probably will in the next series), but Bolin and Mako are also very different people. Mako’s defense mechanism is clearly trying to micromanage a disaster, which is both a noble trait and a negative trait in one. When he ends up in a scenario in which he can’t actually do that, he snaps. I really wouldn’t be surprised if that comes up in an arc down the road.

          • nepeta

            Mako has different situations–but Korra wasn’t telling him to be calm when Bolin was kidnapped. He was calm on his own, I think Korra would have only said it once in the episode if she said it at all. The calm composure was a part of his character at that point.

            Also, until he saw Bolin on the stage, with a gag on his mouth, he had no idea what happened to Bolin during that entire day he was missing. If your brother is put on the back of a van, with his mouth gagged, I highly doubt you would automatically think it would be okay anyways. It’s a kidnapping–these people are not treated like houseguests. And how many people who are kidnapped ever actually come home?
            Most of them remain missing for years. They also lost his trail and it was lucky that Korra remembered meeting that equalist.

            Either way, the fact is, despite the fact that his brother was kidnapped, despite his worry (he failed to protect his brother, so that also must have played with his mind), he managed to remain calm. He managed to keep his head on his shoulders.

            And that was the chain of events–I did scroll through the episode to check. Mako comes home, Bolin isn’t there. He looks around–because maybe Bolin’s with friends? Bolin’s with gangs! There was that “what did Bolin do now reaction”, before they hop on Naga and run off to find him. There is worry throughout the episode, but he was depicted as calm throughout the episode. As the sort of person you want in an emergency because he could keep calm and collected despite his worry.

            And yes, they didn’t actually ‘know’ that Korra was with the equalists. It was their guess–but the entire time they were ‘guessing’ they thought they were right. We knew it was the wrong place, but they thought they were right.

            Same with Bolin–maybe Bolin was going to be kept in a cage instead of paraded on stage. They just knew there was an event going on and they guessed Bolin was there. Lucky for them they were right that time. Unlucky for them, they were wrong about Korra.

            Also, he didn’t know Lin’s men were debent at the time he was threatening the firebender. All he knew were “Lin’s men were here”. Then what does he do? He asks the guard where Korra is. Fair enough. Then he threatens him with fire?

            Other heroes in the previous series did do it (and I believe they were called out on it, but forgive me if my memory is wrong, it has been a while). But that doesn’t change the point that is ISN’T RIGHT. It doesn’t make it ANY BETTER THAT HE DID IT.

            And if his parents were killed by a firebender, why in the world would he threaten someone else with fire? He know the results of that, he is an orphan because of that. You would think that would be the last thought on his mind, or at least he would regret it after.

            And no one calls him out on this? Not the cop? Not the peace-loving airbender who thinks all life is sacred to the point of being a vegetarian?

            And if Korra comes to town in a state that you can’t tell how injured she is, the best thing to do would not be to pick her up. What if she had internal injuries? Yes, go check up on her to reassure yourself that she’s okay. But you don’t need to pick her up to make sure she’s alive and fine. Need to touch her? You could always just touch her cheek or arm to see that ‘she’s real’.

            Giving her space is not picking her up from one animal and moving her onto another.

            Giving her space is moving the crowd around her AWAY FROM HER.

            Lin is a cop. I’m relatively certain that you learn basic first aid when you are a cop because you or your partner could get injured while on duty and it’s a good idea to know how to keep your partner alive until the medics come.

            Also, I did not once say he is a MONSTER. I’m not sure why you keep
            putting that in. I’m just saying he’s a badly written character. To be fair, this show is filled with bad writing.

            He got called out for it by Asami. The girl who is his supposed girlfriend. Then what does he do on that? Does he change in any way, shape, or form? The point on being called out is to change your behaviour because you realize what you’re doing is wrong. He doesn’t change though–he still hovers around Korra.

            And he isn’t even confused about his relationship status at this point–he even says in the last episode that when Korra was kidnapped, that he knew he loved her.

            At that point, he could have just broken it off with Asami as there was nothing he was confused about. That kitchen scene could have been it. Instead it still takes him a long while, even after Korra is up and running.

            There is no punishment for this–he ends up with Korra and Asami doesn’t even get angry at him for longer than a second for cheating.

            Notice that whenever Aang used his avatar state due to his emotions or to save Katara, it was always shown as something he could not control. He was going after everyone and in a very violent fashion. Once he gets out of that state, he even regrets his actions. It was shown as a negative thing, not as a positive. It took him two seasons to even learn how to control the avatar state.

            He left behind the power he should have had due to love–and then realized later he needed it. Was that action a good one then? No. It was a flaw of Aang’s, that he tried too hard one way or the other (he either completely forgot love or tried too hard to keep it) and he learned from that. He learned moderation.

            Remember when he went into Avatar state over Appa? That was also power of love, love for Appa. He was shown as violent then too–and then he tried too hard not to care at all. What did he learn? He learned that not caring was just as bad as caring too much.

            The arc with Korra, Asami, and Mako could have ended a lot better. Aside from the not-breakup (and you can tell that is bad when the creators actually have to announce that it was a breakup). But that’s not what we’re discussing at the moment, so I will leave it at that.

            Did she get called out for it? I can’t remember if she did–as far as I know, no one told her, “Mako’s dating someone else, stop chasing him.”
            Instead, you have that kiss, the lack of consequences from it.

            Bolin isn’t even angry at the two beyond the ten minutes at the end of
            ep 5. Despite the fact that the girl he was trying to date and his
            brother (who knew they had a date) were kissing, he still forgives them by the end of the episode.Yay for brotherhood and friendship, but should it really be that easy to forgive them for a broken heart?

            As for the needs of the many over Mako–that scene had so many problems either way. Yay for Korra deciding to follow her hunch instead of listening to Mako.

            But why did Mako, who supposedly thinks that Korra is amazing and selfless and all those adjectives, accuse Korra of doing this because she was jealous? Did he really think that this selfless amazing girl would be as petty as to decide to get an innocent man in jail because she’s jealous?

            There were other reasons to not believe Korra–the biggest one being that she based this hunch by eavesdropping on a guy she had no reason to suspect in the first place. Lucky for her, she’s right.

            I know Korra has some romantic/social problems due to living in a complex. She does clearly know somethings though about romance (she did say to the waiter/owner of shop on their date that they are not “together together”. To know the connotation of together to be romantic shows she’s not as oblivious on the romantic interactions.)

            It’s fine for her to make mistakes.

            But it’s not fine for those mistakes to have no consequences. Neither Bolin nor Asami end up getting angry at her and Mako for longer than a few minutes over these mistakes. Bolin is curiously more mature than Korra and Mako considering he has the decency after his rejection to just be friends with Korra and not chase after her anymore.

            Makorra even happens at the end of this, with Asami oddly being on good terms with Mako despite the BS she went through.

            They might not have anything in common, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be nice to the person. You don’t have to be friends. But Korra calls her a prissy, rich girl to the air-babies. Korra makes faces every time they meet, and then at the house she talks about shopping and makeovers as though she looks down on them.

            She doesn’t know Asami at that point. She’s only seen her three/four times. It’s fine to be jealous. It’s fine not to automatically like Asami because she is dating the person she loves. But she’s making assumption on Asami beyond that, and these are the assumptions she uses whenever she has to talk to Asami or talk about her with someone else. Instead, she gives Asami no respect despite the fact that Asami is trying to be nice to her.

            It’s only when she finds out Asami is into drag-racing that she even gives her a little respect. What if Asami wasn’t into it? What if they had to do makeovers and shopping? It’s fine not to like those things–Korra isn’t the girl who would like them. But to not give a person respect because their hobbies don’t match yours? To not be polite to a person due to their interests? That is not something you want to teach anyone.

            She didn’t even learn the lesson “Even if our hobbies are different, we can still be friends/nice to each other” but instead “hey, there is a topic we share in common! Now I can be a nice person and admit that there is more to you than I thought.”

            Fuck poorly written series. When did she learn about her mistakes?

            The reason she couldn’t airbend/contact the spirit world was supposed to be because she wasn’t patient. This was her weakness–she’s too rash at times.

            Did that change? She didn’t learn patience, she didn’t change to become more spiritual. She tried, and she failed (and we saw that episode).

            And yet she could still airbend and get into the avatar state in the end.

            She doesn’t act respectfully to Asami. Did she get any consquences from that? No, Asami was still nice to her, and had to wait till Korra realized they had something in common and hey, now I can act respectfully to you. (Asami should have called her out on that, but she didn’t).

            She chased after Mako. Despite the fact that he was dating Asami. Aside from the emotional drama, what consequence did she get from this?

            Bolin forgives her and Mako easily despite their actions.

            I was very happy when she said, stay with Asami.

            In episode 11, though, when Mako tries to kiss Korra while they’re talking, she only turns away because she doesn’t want to get hurt again. Not because Asami is sleeping 10 feet away. (check the comic con reading of the script for this).

            Not because she told Mako to stay with Asami and that she didn’t want to go after someone in a relationship.

            What did she learn from that whole relationship debacle? What lesson was shown at all during that subplot?

            She loses her powers and thinks that without them, she isn’t as awesome anymore.

            Does she learn that she’s still the same without them? That her friends won’t leave her without her powers? That you can still be awesome even if you lose that part of yourself?

            No, instead she gets her powers back almost immediately, which reinforces the “you are awesome because of your powers”. What message does this send to the audience?

            Role models don’t have to be perfect. Characters are supposed to have flaws.

            But these flaws are supposed to be addressed. This flaws are supposed to be seen as something to grew past, to develop from. They are supposed to be called out on and they are supposed to give you negative consequences. Korra didn’t develop from any of those flaws–she changed only a little and is for the most part the same as she was from the beginning. Same with Mako. Asami. Bolin.

            I like LoK, but there are a lot of things that could have been improved in it.

          • Rebochan

            Yea, just watched that episode again too, and I really, really loathe being forced to watch a show just because this stupid fandom has to invent wild conspiracies. I remember when watching this show was fun, but I already fear when Season 2 premiers and they manage to ruin that too. Again, the scenarios are not equivalent and I’ve pointed this out multiple times. I realize you need them to be for this “Mako is evil” argument to work (and that’s the article’s premise up there, by the way), but they’re not and I’m loathe to repeat myself again.

            “Also, until he saw Bolin on the stage, with a gag on his mouth, he had no idea what happened to Bolin during that entire day he was missing.”

            Actually, he did – he thought it was something pretty straightforward and simple. When Korra was missing, there was nothing but panic and guessing – oh yea, and I guess the fact that when Bolin was missing, there wasn’t, oh, a civil war going on with terrorists rapidly claiming territory and intending to seriously harm or kill Korra as part of that goal might have colored his perception.

            “If your brother is put on the back of a van, with his mouth gagged, I highly doubt you would automatically think it would be okay anyways.”

            Not “okay”, just something he can handle. Also, if anything, you even admitted that Mako mentioned this has happened before – so Bolin has a habit of getting in minor scrapes from time to time and Mako is used to pulling him out of trouble. If Korra has an enemy and it’s literally the one person she’s admitted to being frightened of, yea, that’s different. Not equivalent scenarios.

            “And yes, they didn’t actually ‘know’ that Korra was with the equalists. It was their guess–but the entire time they were ‘guessing’ they thought they were right. We knew it was the wrong place, but they thought they were right.”

            They assumed she’d be there just because there were Equalists there. They still didn’t know for sure she was there, hence the threatening of the guard. Oh, and I guess the part where they might have to fight through the people that just decimated the police force like it was nothing – that might be a concern as well.

            “Also, he didn’t know Lin’s men were debent at the time he was threatening the firebender. All he knew were “Lin’s men were here”. ”

            Pretty obvious guess considering that’s what they DO?

            “Then what does he do? He asks the guard where Korra is. Fair enough. Then he threatens him with fire?

            Other heroes in the previous series did do it (and I
            believe they were called out on it, but forgive me if my memory is
            wrong, it has been a while). But that doesn’t change the point that is
            ISN’T RIGHT. It doesn’t make it ANY BETTER THAT HE DID IT. ”

            But it sounds stupid to single out Mako like this is something unique that he does when multiple characters use threats of violence to make people talk in dangerous scenarios.

            “And if his parents were killed by a firebender, why in the world would he threaten someone else with fire? He know the results of that, he is an orphan because of that. You would think that would be the last thought on his mind, or at least he would regret it after.”

            You’d also think by that logic that Mako would be terrified of ever using fire again, but since he he clearly isn’t, then why would threatening a guy with something he has on hand be some vastly evil and out-of-character concept?

            “And no one calls him out on this? Not the cop?”

            The metal-bender who grabs people like rag dolls with metal cables, which could easily kill them just from the force?

            “Not the peace-loving airbender who thinks all life is sacred to the point of being a vegetarian?”

            The peace-loving airbender who beats the crap out of people who threaten him and his family?

            “And if Korra comes to town in a state that you can’t tell how injured she is, the best thing to do would not be to pick her up. What if she had internal injuries?”

            Wait, what? No, that would be if she took a fall and you were concerned about her spine or something. Otherwise, picking her up is fine. My god, only in this fandom is “picking up an injured person” considered a sign of a character’s evil.

            “But you don’t need to pick her up to make sure she’s alive and fine.”

            By the same token, there is also nothing wrong with it except that this fandom can make even “looking at each other” into the devil’s eyes.

            “Giving her space is not picking her up from one animal and moving her onto another.”

            And away from people? God, only in this fandom.

            “Giving her space is moving the crowd around her AWAY FROM HER.”

            Like telling them to “Give her space?”

            “Lin is a cop. I’m relatively certain that you learn basic first aid when
            you are a cop because you or your partner could get injured while on
            duty and it’s a good idea to know how to keep your partner alive until
            the medics come.”

            Lin’s a metal bender in a city that has quite possibly the first organized police force. And how do they enforce crime? By whipping and throwing them with metal cables and trying to crush them with boulders. And honestly, have we seen any kind of first aid tech in this universe? No, we just see healing water benders.

            “Also, I did not once say he is a MONSTER. I’m not sure why you keep putting that in.”

            It’s because when even the simplest actions are blown up into Mako being this horrible, terrible person for performing them and as the rest of response shows, an excuse to endlessly character bash, well, I’m just pointing out the obvious.

            “He got called out for it by Asami. The girl who is his supposed
            girlfriend. Then what does he do on that? Does he change in any way, shape, or form?”

            Uh…he broke up with her? Like a responsible person who realized he has feelings for someone else and knows he can’t be in two relationships? It took him a few episodes, but those few episodes comprised an exceptionally short period of in-universe time.

            “The point on being called out is to change your behaviour because you realize what you’re doing is wrong. He doesn’t change though–he still hovers around Korra.”

            Hence why he broke up with Asami rather than continuing to hurt her. And he also apparently did this after he realized he wanted to kiss Korra, but chose not to act on it – if the commentaries are any clue anyway. So in other words, he needed time to understand the weight of his actions and why Asami saw them this way before coming clean.

            “And he isn’t even confused about his relationship status at this point–he even says in the last episode that when Korra was kidnapped, that he knew he loved her.”

            Except that he expressed being confused about his emotions for both women multiple times in Episode 5. And I’m pretty sure he didn’t say he loved her until the last episode.

            “At that point, he could have just broken it off with Asami as there was nothing he was confused about. That kitchen scene could
            have been it.”

            What, the kitchen scene that was the first time the problems in his current relationship were pointed out to him? That’d be a rather sudden and cruel break up.

            “There is no punishment for this–he ends up with Korra and Asami doesn’t even get angry at him for longer than a second for cheating.”

            First, he didn’t cheat – he did not kiss Korra (aside from when it was forced on him), he did not hit on Korra, he did not try to get closer to her in an intimate manner. Once he realized he actually wanted that, he ended the relationship – hence preventing infidelity. Second, Asami did get angry at him, she just accepted the end of their rather brief relationship as inevitable. And yea, these guys aren’t exactly married or engaged or even in a committed relationship – they’re just dating and dating is messy and fraught with complications in real life. You don’t pledge eternal love and faithfulness to the first person you ever date, on the first date. The point of dating is exploring what you want in a relationship.

            “It took him two seasons to even learn how to control the avatar state.”

            And it took Katara being in danger to make him realize he had to control it. The point is, loved ones being a motivator is a recurring theme and not some unique thing made up for Korra.

            “He left behind the power he should have had due to love–and then realized later he needed it. Was that action a good one then? No. It was a flaw of Aang’s, that he tried too hard one way or the other (he either completely forgot love or tried too hard to keep it) and he learned from that. He learned moderation.”

            Yea, that’s called applying context to a situation and recognizing that each one is different. My complaint was that Korra was not even being given that level of justification and it was because she’s a woman acting to help a man. We are far faster to condemn the actions of female heroes even when they’re identical to male heroes.

            “The arc with Korra, Asami, and Mako could have ended a lot better.”

            I think we can all agree on that, but it’s the hazard of trying to do a story with the same scope as the original series in half the time. I would suspect that with the next three series being made with the knowledge of having plenty of time to pace these things out, this will not be repeated. I also hope that the rather sudden nature of the relationship causes realistic issues with Mako and Korra’s relationship and furthermore Asami’s relationships to them. Unlike the last series, there’s not a massive over-arching war that requires them to work together as a team – and given the previews of the next series, it seems Asami is largely acting independently.

            “Aside from the not-breakup (and you can tell that is bad when the creators actually have to announce that it was a breakup).”

            It’s funny, but that break-up seems to play differently with a lot of people I’ve spoken to. I recognized it immediately as a break up because I myself have broken up with people like that. Others got confused and I noticed it was based largely on their personal experiences. It was clearly an attempt to convey a relationship that just sort of fizzled instead of having a clear defining line, but it seemed to have expected that most viewers have the same experience and in reality, people don’t.

            “Did she get called out for it? I can’t remember if she
            did–as far as I know, no one told her, “Mako’s dating someone else,
            stop chasing him.”"

            Mako sure as hell did when she tried to force the issue to the point of what is technically physical assault.

            “Instead, you have that kiss, the lack of consequences from it.”

            Wait, what? There were all kinds of consequences. Yea, they hooked up at the END of the series, but in the short term, Korra nearly lost her friends, her tournament, and had to completely disengage from Mako entirely. Mako and Bolin had to keep the kissing incident a secret so as not to upset Asami, largely for selfish reasons – don’t forget her relationship with Mako is what bankrolled their bending team.

            “Bolin isn’t even angry at the two beyond the ten minutes at the end of ep 5.”

            Because they put the incident behind them? He’s not dating Korra and he realized that he really does care about his brother. I’m sorry, do we need to have Korra wear a scarlet letter for her transgression for this to be a consequence? You know, in real life, people work through this stuff all the time, and I think it’s a healthier message for girls to teach them that even if they make a horrible mistake, they can work through it and not have their entire lives ruined for it.

            “Despite the fact that the girl he was trying to date and his brother (who knew they had a date) were kissing, he still forgives them by the
            end of the episode.Yay for brotherhood and friendship, but should it
            really be that easy to forgive them for a broken heart?”

            Bolin had one date with Korra and learned that she didn’t in fact feel the same way towards him. Broken hearts suck, but they can be mended and Bolin is the kind of person that’s been shown to not really let things get to him the way Mako does. He loves his brother and realizes that Mako didn’t try set out to hurt him, and Mako feels bad that Bolin was hurt. Korra refrains from pursuing Mako or Bolin out of respect for not breaking their friendship.

            “But why did Mako, who supposedly thinks that Korra is
            amazing and selfless and all those adjectives, accuse Korra of doing
            this because she was jealous?”

            …because she’d already done something out of jealousy right before this? Oh hey, look, consequences!

            “Did he really think that this selfless amazing girl would be as petty as to decide to get an innocent man in jail because she’s jealous?”

            And how would Asami have felt if her boyfriend turned against her family based on evidence-free claims?

            “I know Korra has some romantic/social problems due to living in a complex. She does clearly know somethings though about romance (she did say to the waiter/owner of shop on their date that they are not “together together”. To know the connotation of together to be romantic shows she’s not as oblivious on the romantic interactions.)”

            There’s a world of difference between understanding some basic lingo and actually knowing how to conduct yourself in romance – and that second one is usually something people learn through trial and error.

            “But it’s not fine for those mistakes to have no consequences. Neither Bolin nor Asami end up getting angry at her and Mako for longer than a few minutes over these mistakes.”

            Darn, I thought we had hope, but instead, you took out all the context and tried to pretend there were no consequences. What, so she makes one mistake and all her friends and loved ones should abandon and refuse to trust her for the rest of her life? That’s a lovely message to tell girls.

            “Bolin is curiously more mature than Korra and Mako considering he has the decency after his rejection to just be friends with Korra and not chase after her anymore.”

            But Korra DID stop chasing Mako. And Mako technically wasn’t trying to chase after her, though Asami had to point out to him that it was uncomfortably close to that.

            Bolin’s also a different person – he’s very laid back and seems content to go with the flow. He’s had other people handle the hard stuff for him as it is. It’s in some ways mature, and in others immature – Bolin has trouble taking care of his own problems.

            “Makorra even happens at the end of this, with Asami oddly being on good terms with Mako despite the BS she went through.”

            What good terms, she wasn’t even present in the scene with Water Tribe in the finale and from the way the next series seems to be playing out, she’s not even in regular contact with them because she has her own life and concerns. She probably realized it was over well before Mako did and instead of being angry with him at the last moment, felt relieved that she was out of it.

            “They might not have anything in common, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be nice to the person. You don’t have to be friends. But Korra calls her a prissy, rich girl to the air-babies.”

            Because she doesn’t know her that well and she’s basing her on a stereotype? And she’s not rude to Asami to her FACE.

            “Korra makes faces every time they meet”

            Golly, it’s almost like she’s jealous of Asami dating the guy she’s interested in! Nahhh.

            “and then at the house she talks about shopping and makeovers as
            though she looks down on them.”

            Yea, it’s called different interests. Korra still isn’t interested in them after becoming friends with Asami.

            “She doesn’t know Asami at that point. She’s only seen her three/four times. It’s fine to be jealous. It’s fine not to automatically like Asami because she is dating the person she loves. But she’s making assumption on Asami beyond that”

            No, she’s making assumptions BASED ON THAT. She’s basically going “What does Asami have that I don’t have?” and getting jealous of those traits.

            “and these are the assumptions she uses whenever she has to talk to Asami or talk about her with someone else. Instead, she gives Asami no respect despite the fact that Asami is trying to be nice to her.”

            Yea, sorry, what universe is Korra rude and mean to Asami? I think we’re watching another show.

            “It’s only when she finds out Asami is into drag-racing that she even gives her a little respect.”

            Yea, it’s called a common interest.

            “What if Asami wasn’t into it? What if they had to do makeovers and shopping?”

            Then they wouldn’t have had anything in common and wouldn’t have gotten close and the akwardness levels with Mako would have doomed the friendship?

            “It’s fine not to like those things–Korra isn’t the girl who would like them. But to not give a person respect because their hobbies don’t match yours?”

            You mean because Asami seems like one thing (and is dating Korra’s love interest) and she later learns Asami is deeper? I don’t get why you ignored my analysis of her in the last post either.

            “To not be polite to a person due to their interests? That is not something you want to teach anyone.”

            Except that’s not what’s being taught at all.

            “She didn’t even learn the lesson “Even if our hobbies are different, we can still be friends/nice to each other” but instead “hey, there is a topic we share in common! Now I can be a nice person and admit that there is more to you than I thought.”

            But she did – she found there was some common ground after all, but the drag racing alone wasn’t it. She even made an overture to try one of Asami’s hobbies, even if only in secret.

            God, worst role model for girls ever. Worse than Bella Swan and Hitler in a Dress put together.

            “Fuck poorly written series. When did she learn about her mistakes?”

            Just because there isn’t a narrator explicitly telling you “And so Korra is learning this lesson” doesn’t mean she isn’t growing as a character.

            “The reason she couldn’t airbend/contact the spirit world was supposed to be because she wasn’t patient. This was her weakness–she’s too rash at times.”

            And she wasn’t patient because she started out very prideful. “I’m the Avatar, and you have to deal with it!” Much of what she did was in essence for herself, and when put in a situation where she had to look beyond it, she adjusted her outlook over time.

            “Did that change? She didn’t learn patience, she didn’t change to become more spiritual.”

            Except all those times she did. Like deliberately avoiding confrontations with Amon or the Equalists in order to wait for a better opportunity (twice!). Or when she finally learned to meditate. Hell, even her working her way through the forms in the board puzzle showed that she’d learned to wait and move freely.

            “She tried, and she failed (and we saw that episode).”

            Wait, is this some kind of non-existent episode?

            “And yet she could still airbend and get into the avatar state in the end.”

            Because over the course of the ENTIRE SERIES, she’d learned.

            “She doesn’t act respectfully to Asami.”

            Except she does.

            “Did she get any consquences from that?”

            Eating crow and not having someone trust you in a critical time?

            “No, Asami was still nice to her,”

            Oh, scarlet letters, of course.

            “She chased after Mako. Despite the fact that he was dating Asami. Aside from the emotional drama, what consequence did she
            get from this?”

            Listed all of them. But you’re right, Korra needs more consequences for mistakes in romance. I think girls need to learn you only get one chance to not be treated like a harlot for the rest of your life.

            “Bolin forgives her and Mako easily despite their actions.”

            Mako clearly lost a lot of his trust in her though.

            “In episode 11, though, when Mako tries to kiss Korra while they’re
            talking, she only turns away because she doesn’t want to get hurt again.”

            Mako didn’t try to kiss her and you’re making that last part up. He thought about it, but didn’t act on it.

            “Not because Asami is sleeping 10 feet away. (check the comic con
            reading of the script for this).”

            How about I check the episode as it actually aired?

            “What did she learn from that whole relationship debacle? What lesson was shown at all during that subplot? ”

            My god, maybe it’s….patience? Respect for others? Oh no, sorry, she’s a whore now.

            “She loses her powers and thinks that without them, she isn’t as awesome anymore.”

            No, it’s because she can’t be the Avatar anymore. Being the Avatar requires having all four elements. She has been completely stripped of everything is or was and she can never be the Avatar again.

            “Does she learn that she’s still the same without them? That her friends won’t leave her without her powers? That you can still be awesome even if you lose that part of yourself?”

            Why should she, it’s not the point of the storyline. A lot of people want this old cliche slapped into Korra and are mad she hasn’t gone the usual Women In Refrigerators route of being permanently depowered and having to “earn” the right to have powers other men get without any speedbumps in the way.

            “No, instead she gets her powers back almost immediately, which reinforces the “you are awesome because of your powers”.”

            Nope, it proved that Korra had in fact become the person she needed to be to not only restore herself, but bring balance to the other people who’d been hurt. This wasn’t about Korra needing powers to be a person, it was about whether or not she could save herself and everyone else in a role that no one else has. She’s spent the entire series building up to that and I realize people usually need this spelled out to them like in the last series where characters explicitly state the conflicts and themes, but Korra as a show didn’t do that and now they’re mad.

            “What message does this send to the audience?”

            Fuck cliches done by the numbers?

            “Role models don’t have to be perfect. Characters are supposed to have flaws.”

            And yet, you seem to think of Korra’s as unredeemable on even the slightest act.

            “But these flaws are supposed to be addressed. This flaws are supposed to be seen as something to grew past, to develop from. ”

            Which is what actually happens. You feel they can only count as “flaws” is Korra is constantly suffering for the rest of her life.

          • nepeta

            I don’t think we’ll ever agree about the scenarios between Korra being kidnapped and Bolin being kidnapped–I had a sibling who was once almost kidnapped by ordinary people, not by extremists and gangsters who were about to have a gang fight/war, and it is absolutely frightening to think what these ordinary people would do, that my sister could have been a picture on the back of an envelope, kidnapped 3 years ago and not seen since. Let alone being kidnapped by nefarious cults and gangsters. Which is the main reason why I can’t agree with you saying they are different–the scenario might be slightly different, but the people being kidnapped, the brother vs the friend who he might/might not love, are also different. Brother > friend.

            And as far as I can tell, Korra was never really called out either for her threats (sure, she was arrested once, but she got out scot-free due to her status). So both Korra and Mako shouldn’t have done this, but we were only discussing Mako so I saw no point to bring it up. There you go, I evened out the issue. Neither were called out on it. However, I have to say Mako’s is still worse–Korra just used her arm/brute strength, while Mako threatened with fire.

            And for some reason, none of the people in those whips ever appeared injured, so I assumed that a) the whips weren’t too dangerous and b) as these are used almost constantly, they can’t harm seriously as these are cops trying to subdue a criminal.

            And yes, Lin uses the whips, but she is also a cop. As in, Mako is a civilian threatening another civilian (albeit a dangerous one, but this dangerous one has clearly been subdued) with fire. Her job is to protect the equalist in this case.

            And nearly all the time that Tenzin went around fighting, it was in self-defense and no more than needed. Once the enemy was down, he didn’t go and start beating them up even more.

            I doubt we’re going to agree about the “GET AWAY FROM HER” scene–I still think it was a badly written attempt at adding romance to the scenario. ‘Oh look how much he worries’. The whole scene still seems odd to me, mainly because I can see he is worrying, but no one else is shown. And I still don’t see the need to pick her up from one animal to another–as I said, you could always have just pushed the people away from her. I’m also inclined to think that Lin or Tenzin would best know how to take care of her.
            I think this best shows my feelings:
            http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mch87uZkiG1qja923o3_1280.png

            He expressed confusion on episode 5. Then two(?) episodes after, Korra is kidnapped, one after that she is saved, and the one after we see that he spent all night/a long time by her bedside.

            According to what he says in the last episode, when he confesses to Korra, he ‘realized that he loved her when Tarrlok kidnapped her’. So, that night/time she spends at her bedside, was probably the point where he realized his love/had time to sort out his emotions due to this kidnapping.

            If he realized it at this point (as he says he did during the last episode), then at this point, there is no confusion. Or at least, he knows who he loves more. So when Asami (a while after that, as Korra had to wake up) points out their crumbling relationship and how she wants to talk about, this is the perfect moment to mention his own feelings about it.

            Yes, he only did that kiss once, though he did attempt a second kiss shortly before they broke up. And if you can go by the commentary for the second kiss, then I can use the script for the second kiss–the script especially since that was what the creator’s intent was. This is how they were portraying Korra.
            It is still cheating, just not as serious as an affair. Especially since he (or Korra, for that matter) should have told her about the first kiss before hand.

            And no, I’m not calling her a whore or harlot, primarily because she isn’t one. I’m not sure why you are trying to force words into my mouth.

            The only issue I have is that there is a lack of consequences from this cheating.

            Go on a date with Bolin, kiss Mako after–>Bolin spends three minutes crying (comedically), they almost (but don’t) lose the match, and then he forgives them ten minutes later.

            The entire ordeal with Asami–>She tries to call Mako out on it once (and even then the convo is 30seconds long and ends with a “talk about it later”) and then Asami parts with good terms.

            The only really negative thing I saw about this excessive love drama was Asami giving them sad/angry eyes from a distance. We don’t even see Mako apologize about the kiss (or Korra, for that matter. See, I’m being even about the issue.)

            One of the few scenes I remember well from AtLA was when Aang had that letter from Katara’s and Sokka’s dad. He hid it from them, felt guilty, and then showed it to them.

            And they didn’t trust him after that. He had to earn their trust again.

            Or when Katara stole that scroll–led the enemy right to them and lost her necklace. There were negative consequences to these actions. She didn’t get that necklace back for a long time and I think this led to the Avatar get (my memory is a bit rusty).

            I also don’t get why you are saying ‘if it’s a female heroine, she is treated differently’ when I am also commenting on Mako’s weak writing. He also had a power of love moment when he somehow broke through the blood bending and shot lightning. Something the Avatar couldn’t do against a weaker blood bender when he was 40-ish.

            No, as I said, they were evidence free claims against Asami’s father. So if all Mako had to do was point out it was an eavesdropped conversation that was heard out of context and could mean anything. He just had to point out how flimsy it was.

            No, I don’t want Korra or Mako to suffer consequences forever and ever due to a mistake. What I do want is that they do suffer some consequences due to their mistake.

            Bolin’s attitude is happy/easy to let go, etc, yes. And I can accept that he would forgive his brother quickly and Korra (because he is a rather nice guy. :D)

            But the first thing that happens when his brother comes to pick him up from the shop? Not “I’m sorry” or anything like that, but “I told you dating teammates was trouble.”

            Yes, an I told you so is the appropriate comment at this time. Considering that the game was right after the sad noodles scene and not that long after the kiss, as well, it is a really quick time to come to the realization that he forgives them. Especially since neither of them seem to have sought him out–and I know Mako would have come get him eventually, but the reason he came when he did was because it was time for the game? They didn’t even handle Bolin’s reaction well, his heartbreak comes off as comedic instead of as heartbreak.

            I think it gets even worse since the opening had to tell us that Mako apparently is attracted to Korra at this point (instead of showing us that beforehand), and so while Korra’s actions have the ‘confused’ and then ‘aggressive’ (which isn’t good), Mako’s just comes out of the blue.

            As for Asami, yes, it’s great that she let go of a relationship where her boyfriend was getting more and more distant, both emotionally and physically. Especially with the lack of trust in their relationship. And this is where the weakness in her writing comes into play–aside from the kitchen scene, she didn’t get angry at him, and was somehow able to break up with him amicably with a kiss on the cheek, despite the fact that he cheated on her and hid it?

            It’s great that next season that she is away from them, but she doesn’t really have a reason to be near them anyways. She can’t trust Mako or Korra, and she isn’t really friends with Korra or Bolin.

            Let me make this clear, since you seem to have missed my point: Korra is not a bad role model. She just isn’t entirely a good one either.

            Clearly by making faces and actively avoiding her every time they are on screen together, I think Korra’s being rude to Asami’s face as well as behind her back (most of those times, Korra was within view). I was willing to write off the faces as a comedic routine (because, yeah, she is jealous), but I didn’t quite like how it was only after they had a common interest that Korra made any effort to be nice/polite to her and how Asami didn’t seem to react at all to this.

            No one in the series seems to have grown as a character, aside from Lin and Tarrlok.

            No, she didn’t avoid Amon due to patience. It is mostly out of fear–almost all of her reactions to Amon this entire series were due to fear. As well, she even mentions that she is tired of waiting and wants to go out and fight him, and Mako has to tell her to be patient and wait for Iroh. I suppose she learned to grow in the sense that she listened to her friend’s request?

            Blah, can’t remember the episode, but there is both the one where she talks to Tenzin about being a spiritual failure and also the times when she couldn’t quite succeed at meditation/air bending. We do see her get good enough to go through maze, but that wasn’t airbending.

            We hardly saw her training at all for airbending or meditation aside from those short bursts at the beginning of the series. Sure, she must have done it at some point, but we can’t see her develop if it’s offscreen. And considering how next season she appears to have mastered airbending, it seems like we’re never going to really see her learn at all.

            In AtLA, we had entire episodes dedicated to training. Instead of dedicating such large sections to probending tournaments, which were great to world-building but not entirely needed for the plot, they could have focused more on her training, especially since it is important to her sudden ability in airbending.

            It’s easy to dismiss all this by saying, they only had 12 episodes, but there are a lot of series that only had 12 or less episodes and they managed to develop their characters and plots successfully. Digimon (originally they thought they only had 13 or so episodes), Magical Girl Madoka, FLCL, etc.

            So men can go through the losing their powers and then earning it back, but Korra can’t? In the women in refrigerators trope, the point of that is the loss of her powers would motivate someone else. Unless they planned on making next season “the legend of
            Mako/Bolin/Asami/etc”, I doubt it fits in at all with this trope. The point of losing her powers and earning them back is character development–Korra learns something from this. Not Mako/Bolin/Asami/etc.

            What did Korra say to Mako shortly after his confession? “It’s okay, you don’t need to talk to me, I’m not the avatar anymore”

            The fear that kept recurring this season? Amon removing her powers.
            Whenever she did something rash? “I’m the Avatar, deal with it.”

            She connects her identity to being the Avatar. It’s natural–she was trained in that compound because she was the Avatar, half the people who raised her were because she’s the avatar.

            It was not just the loss of being the Avatar, but what she thought was connected to her because of her Avatar status.

            So, when she is crying and now able to connect to the spirit world enough to talk to Aang (and the problem with that is aside from a few dreams and that one attempt at meditation, we see nothing to show she was able to. She was getting closer but not quite able to talk to the spirits.) she immediately gets her powers back.

            And then she’s happy once more. But they never tackled the issue of her thinking her self-worth was connected to her being the avatar. It was not set up that way? Then why all those fears about losing her powers, why that statement of “I’m not the avatar anymore, you don’t need to talk to me”?

            If they were not going to deal with it, then they should not have brought it up.

            No, the reason that people are angry at the series is not that they haven’t laid out the lessons easily for anyone to read. They are angry because half of the development is done off-screen and the rest isn’t shown at all. The negative consequences are minimal and the romance was forced into the series, dominating it toward the end. We barely see the other two main members of Korra’s gang (Asami and Bolin) and there is little character development.

            And most of these people aren’t angry at all. Just disappointed. Because those first four episodes showed a lot of potential.

            Also, not really bashing–there are badly written ‘flaws’ to Korra and Mako, and Bolin and Asami are likeable but missing flaws needed to make them good characters. It is not bashing to say that these show/characters aren’t written well. I haven’t said anything in a rude/derogatory manner about the characters, for that matter, which is the main part of bashing.

            The only reason I’m not discussing their good points is because you seem to be taking the stance that noticing the weak-writing in characters makes me think they are all ‘monsters’ and ‘evil’ and ‘unredeemable’ and all that jazz. I know plenty of people who really don’t like the weak writing put in the series but still like it (including Mako).

            P.S. If I missed anything, I probably just accidentally skipped over it while scrolling up and down.

          • Maylee

            Well, Mako did state that Bolin managed to get himself in trouble. But people forget that Mako also said that he doesn’t know what he would do if something happened to Bolin. Plus if I was kidnapped I would depend on my sister to keep a level head. I have an older sibling so I do understand some of the ways Mako acts.

        • nepeta

          Also, while we’re at this, Bolin was there. Bolin lost his parents too. He is close to Korra as well (with his supposed crush and their friendship). Why was he not out of his wits too? He is suppose to be the ‘immature’ one after all, and you would think he would panic more when Korra came back injured or when she disappeared.

  • layla

    No . Mako is an idiot . This is fact. Assami is only a diva on the legend of korra . I found the first episode wounderful the secound episode terrible for the third episode i found no words and the fourth episode horrible

    • Mako rules

      In your dreams, asswipe. Asami and Mako are perfect each other since they’re more mature than Korra and Bolin, who are idiots like you. At least, the former two are more responsible and mature. People like the latter tick me off with they;re personalities.