Here’s the problem with Korra:
The best developed and most interesting characters are not the main Krew. Korra has a story, has depth, but it’s being stifled with the writing. Mako could have been a fantastic character, except his character purpose has been written up as “love interest” instead of interesting character who is also a love interest. Why? He has a great story! His parents were killed by a firebender when he was 8 years old, and he himself is a firebender. He’s been struggling to raise his younger brother on the streets, worked with gangs, and is a probender. He’s done a lot of morally ambiguous things before, so why is this not featuring in the storyline? He started dating Asami because they had something in common - probending - and they could talk together about it. Where is that? Where is the implication that his girlfriend no longer has a home or money - or dealing with her losing her own mother, and now father? Bolin is not like Sokka - he has not had moments of brilliance or development or anything really, other than comedic relief. Bolin had to deal with much of what Mako did, but when he tries to do something, it gets shown as “Silly Bolin!”
Poor Asami! Asami, who is shafted most of all. Here’s a smart, pretty, well trained martial artist who loves to race cars. She’s wealthy, but she understands not everyone is because she didn’t start off that way. She lost her mother to a bender, and yet she still finds it within herself to be a big fan of bending as a sport, to date a firebender. Even Katara had more rage about this - and can we guess Asami started to learn to defend herself after her mother died? She starts dating a boy who likes her, who shares something in common with her, and he spends his time flirting (and kissing!) another girl. How awkward and terrible - because it’s obvious Asami wants to be friends with Korra, and wants to get along with her. But her boyfriend is a jerk, everyone assumes she’s evil because she’s pretty, and her jealousy as framed as intervening and irrationaleven though her boyfriend kissed another girl and continues to flirt with her.
I have nothing wrong with shipping, or even these love triangles themselves, what I find wrong is the way the characters are being handled to portray them. It sucks.
And then suddenly Amon becomes the most interesting, most compelling character, and you realize the best characters are all adults - Amon, Tarlok, Lin - what a disappointment. Hire some writers guys.
I really feel like in hindsight, all of the episodes being done by one writing team was probably a mistake. I really feel like under someone else, the Krew could have popped more.
I’m upset because while I agree to an extent, this show was only meant to be 12 episodes long! If they weren’t approved for a second season this would be a pretty intense stand alone piece. I think alot of people are used to the original avatar series, where there was actually time to go into every little detail while taking breaks inbetween. But there was literally no time for that! I don’t understand how people can constantly bash on this show knowing all these things. I don’t understand how fans of TLA are having trouble connecting to these characters. When you have a series of this size the writers can’t do everything for you! When you have a series of this size originally aimed towards CHILDREN the writers expect the older audience to think for themselves and use their adult experiences to see the depth LOK has.
There really is no need to simplify these characters. The creators have given us everything they can information wise about their creations, so why is everyone disregarding it? Bolin is NOT Sokka, just as much as Mako isn’t Zuko. But he’s not just comedic relief either. What we see as comedic relief on the surface is actually a coping technique? BOLIN HIDES HIS FEELINGS GUYS, WHERE ARE THE LONG DRAWN OUT OPINIONS ABOUT THAT? Asami FINALLY got some damn depth in her character, EVERYTHING GETS TAKEN AWAY FROM HER WHERE’S THAT OPINION? Don’t get me started about Mako, he is LITERALLY A MOTHER HEN! HE PULLS EVERYONE INTO HIS NURTURING ORBIT ONE WAY OR ANOTHER HAVEN’T YOU NOTICED?
Dammit these are TEENAGERS for goodness sake. Teenagers on the verge of adulthood after being forced to take on adult responsibilities their entire lives. Of course they’re gonna be like this. You aren’t SUPPOSED to like the way they handle things. Of course the adult characters are going to be more interesting, they’ve got it together. They know themselves. I just…. golly.
Yes I think the pacing was something you had to get used to in this show, DEFINITELY, yes I think the writing sort of clogs the potential character interaction/development but it’s not the characters fault. The characters are written beautifully and true to their nature and real.
Can we take a minute to think about Mako?
I know he’s been a bit of a jerk these past few episodes, but I really can’t help but feel sorry for him in this one.
The one thing that’s bothered me the most is that Asami’s mother was killed by a fire-bender. I can now understand why Hiroshi Sato would help the Equalists, but I still think it was too much calling Mako a street rat. It wasn’t Mako’s fault that his parents were dead, leaving him and Bolin to fend for themselves.
The fact that Mako’s parents was also killed by a fire bender just really just the cherry on top. Generally speaking, Mako is that same as the ones of those who murdered his parents and Asami’s mom. I can’t imagine how that feels to know that you have the same power of someone who murdered your parents.
Bah, this episode has just too many feels.
Personality types in LoK
I went on a Mako-rant earlier and decided Mako’s personality type out of the 16, so I figured I’d at least try doing Korra and Bolin, as well* (and try to explain why who is what).
Out of the Myers-Briggs 16 personality types, I say Mako is def. an ISTJ. He seems to be the guy who needs quiet Mako-time to recharge his batteries (I). In the case of Mr. Sato, Mako wanted to see concrete evidence, not deal with Korra’s instinct derived from her overheard phone call (S). When he and Korra went to break out Bolin, he thought of a reasonable, logical, and consistent way to do so (T). Mako is organized and purposeful, like in his search to find a way to earn 30k yuans for the tournament (J). Plus, ISTJ is called the “Duty Fulfiller.” Hey, Makooooooooo!
Bolin seems to be an ENFP (He’s very close to my personality! I’m ENTP). He loves being around people and interacting with them (E). I feel that while Mako needs physical evidence to go on, Bolin is more willing to go with his gut, even if he’s wrong (like the whole romancing Korra thing. *frowny face*), giving him the N (iNtuition). Bolin totally makes decisions on feelings, considering everyone involved, like when he felt he had to step up for the tie-breaker rather than Mako or Korra because it was what was best for the team at the time (F). When he so easily agreed to let Korra try helping out the ferrets in the second episode, I think it shows how he can be flexible and open to change—he’s also a pretty casual guy (P). ENFP is nicknamed the Inspirer. [At first, I thought he’d be the Performer, ESFP, but Bolin is more fanciful and naive than practical.]
I think that Korra is obviously some kind of an extrovert (E), because all her energy comes from action. GIRLFRAND WAITS FOR NO ONE!! FUCK THE POLICE! SHE’LL KICK THESE PUNK’S ASSES! I battled long and hard to determine if Korra was sensing or iNtuitive, but I’m going to have to go with sensing: she sees/hears something about Equalists, she takes action. And I think airbending would be easier for her if she was an N, and since she sucks at subconscious meditation-y stuff, she gets S. Not gonna lie, Korra was really difficult for me to pinpoint, so I had to look at each ES— personality type and then come up with a conclusion (which I’m still unsure about). I finally settled on ESTP, the “Doer.” Korra’s a risk-taker, living in the here-and-now. She’s also impatient, disrespectful of rules and tradition that get in her way, but her own inner rules keep her from doing anything she views as wrong.
*I’m not a pro at personalities, nor am I a psych person, so these could be horribly wrong for all I know.
Here’s the places I looked at to help me:
Firebenders seem to have a bum rap in Legend of Korra. Are they the go-to villain of choice simply because of bad history, or is it because there are legitimately more firebender criminals in Republic City? Does it even matter? That they represent the criminal class to the point of being the stereotypical mugger just speaks to the idea that firebenders are not included in the halls of the elite the way other benders appear to be.
- The Republic City Council has five seats — two for water, one for air, and one each for earth and fire. Yet Republic City, as Yu Dao, was a city with a mixed fire-earth population. Why are they still under-represented so badly?
- The industrial revolution of their world is fueled by firebending. Literally, in most cases. We saw Zuko operate a war balloon with firebending and we see Mako throw lightning into a capacitor to give the city electricity. Yet we see no industrialists who are firebenders. The workers are firebenders and what happens to workers in an industrial revolution? They get exploited. This is backed up by the game, which says Mako was paid little for his work at the power plant.
- Avenues to prosperity and power = 0. Well, two, to be completely fair. In a world that reserves the top spots in the police squad for the earthbenders and reserves both an island and a council seat to a single family of airbenders, the firebenders have only Pro-Bending and the Triple Threat Triads. And while Pro-Bending seems to actually be evenly divided up, the Triads do not. Their leader, at least until recently, was a firebender and it is the Agni Kais that get a name drop in episode seven as the the culprits in the murder of Asami’s mother. And it makes sense, doesn’t it, to turn to crime when you are locked out of most legitimate avenues to success.
Of course, so far, Amon has been all in vilifying the firebenders. He gives his (probably made up) back story of his family being murdered by firebenders and he unbends Zolt, leader of the Triads and a firebender. And yet, it seems like there is untapped potential there for his revolution. He already wields one of the typical powers of firebenders through the hand taser things. On the one hand, I’d like for the firebenders not to end up as villains again, but on the other hand, they seem ripe for a revolution.
(Imagery-wise I find it really funny that Mako’s “I’m hurt and in need of comfort” move is to pull his scarf over his mouth so that he looked exactly like the civilian-equalists pulling their scarves over their mouths during the tournament attack.)
ooo this is a good one! Firebenders have had a bad rap for 170 years! And that’s as sad as it is understandable. I can imagine there are still many bitter Firebenders out there, maybe even ones who are down on their luck? We really don’t know WHY they attacked these 3 characters, but for some reason I get the feeling it was the same guy everytime….
Not Liking All the Mako-Bashing Going On Right Now
Yup, his behavior toward Korra was pretty jerky, but he did apologize in the end.
I really don’t like how everyone is turning on him & going on & on about how much they hate him & how horrible he is. Fandom is fickle.
He’s flawed as hell. I’ll take a realistic, flawed character over a flat, boring character who never makes mistakes any day.