Avatar: The Last Airbender

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mangaluva
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Re: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Postby mangaluva » December 24th, 2014, 3:50 pm

Well, I've also been continuing to have technical difficulties, but yes I am recovering from the combo euphoria and despair.

Euphoria because THAT ENDING IS A WIN FOR EVERYTHING I BELIEVE IN including my ship but even more importantly just the bi representation. I cannot even describe how much easier my life would have been if I'd been introduced to the concept of bisexuality a lot younger, say through characters in my favourite cartoon having relationships with men and women... certainly would have saved me several years of "??!!!?!?????am I a lesbian???!?!!!????am I straight now???!?!!!?!?!?am I a lesbian again?!!!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?????"

Despair because there will be no new Korra this Friday. Or ever again.

I have a lot more feelings and thoughts but I'm borrowing my mum's laptop to browse potential sale laptops so I'm not going to spend an hour writing about them all. Suffice it to say I am happy and sad in all the best ways.
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Re: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Postby kyuuketsuki » December 26th, 2014, 6:31 am

But manga, clearly neither stated out that way. Mako's blandness caused it. Think about it. Their friendship really blossomed after both had gone out with and broke up with Mako.
mangaluva
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Re: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Postby mangaluva » December 26th, 2014, 11:00 am

Where does it say that neither started out bi? We saw them both have badly-handled relationships with Mako, yep, and given Korra's sheltered upbringing it was probably the first relationship she had, but a bit person in a relationship doesn't "become" straight any more than we "become" gay in a same-sex relationship. They were developing a friendship before Asami first broke up with Mako (the scene where Asami takes Korra for a ride in a racecar is probably the starting point of them being friends as Asami was genuinely extending a hand of friendship to Korra and Korra really enjoyed herself and started treating Asami with more friendliness) and, while it bumped back and forth a bit, it seemed to be cemented by the end of Book 2 and it developed into something more in Books 3 and 4, a good while after both of them had broken up with Mako.

But basically, we have seen both Korra and Asami feeling romantically about a man and about each other, and on that basis they seem pretty bi and that makes me really happy.
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Re: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Postby kkslider5552000 » December 26th, 2014, 5:07 pm

I hope Kyuu-tan meant that in a narrative way more than an "as if these characters were real" way.

Because I would bet money that Korra being bi was not planned at the first season. Which is not a bad thing, but is also not surprising. It feels more natural than most retcons.

But the idea that Mako changed their sexuality is really funny to me, I have to admit. :p

One of the main things I've put thought into for writing in the past year has been quality representation, particularly for sexualities, so other than my happiness for other people getting this, I do appreciate seeing this done well as a good example of that.
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mangaluva
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Re: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Postby mangaluva » December 26th, 2014, 8:32 pm

I think Bryan Konietzko said in a few interviews that the Korra/Mako relationship was originally written as a sort of send-up of Zutara and was intended to fail on that basis and that Korra would finish up single. Apparently they started noticing chemistry between Korra and Asami as early as Book 2, but brushed it off in a "we would never ever be allowed to do that" way, but later on decided "...but we should at least TRY, right?" and actually got the go-ahead to move the strong friendship they were working on building between Korra and Asami into romantic territory (to a limited degree, but nevertheless definitively and canonically romantic).

And I have to admit, one of the funniest fanfic lines I've read recently (in a Wu x Mako fic) was Bolin describing his brother's dating history and ending with "...and THAT went so badly that everybody involved is gay now!"

I don't mind the jokes, but there are a frustratingly large number of people insisting that the relationship is "just pandering and came out of nowhere" or "doesn't make sense because they're not lesbians" or genuinely thinking that their relationships with Mako were bad enough to change their sexualities (for the record, while I don't think either of them ended up having particularly fulfilling relationships with Mako, I certainly wouldn't call them HORRIFIC, just kinda... standard teenage short-term relationships, tbh, and those aren't enough to CHANGE a person's sexuality--I won't say it's never happened, because I know that trauma-induced asexuality is a thing, but it takes a relationship that's DEEP into abusive territory, not just "badly handled by an inept teenage boy"--just maybe make someone figure out what sexuality they already are. I think there's room to argue that Asami is a lesbian that just wasn't out to herself yet when she was dating Mako, and it has been made by people willing to go into a lot more depth than me, but given Korra's "DING DING DING HOTTIE ALERT" reaction to first seeing Mako, I'd put her definitely in the Bi zone. I actually like Mako, I just think he's really bad at handling interpersonal relationships with anyone who's not Bolin, and I think that could have been interestingly explored as a result of the whole parenting-his-brother-from-the-age-of-eight-after-somehow-giving-up-the-chance-to-be-firebending-Batman thing, and wasn't because Mako, like a lot of other characters, suffered from Legend of Korra's shorter length simply not giving enough time for character exploration.)

I really, really hope the fact that this turn has become globally sensational will pave the way for a lot more kids' shows to have legit gay and bi characters. I don't even care if it's done just to pander or cash so long as even a few kids who are feeling confused about themselves get to see something onscreen that helps them understand.
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Re: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Postby Kor » December 26th, 2014, 10:48 pm

Overall the finale was quite decent, with a lot of good fights and bending action going on. As far as the writing goes, though, it still wasn't without problems, such as Asami׳s dad being thrown in only so he could die and provide a tragic moment, only that it wasn't effective, because I sure as hell didn't care about him. It felt contrived and unnecessary. Plus, the conclusion didn't feel too satisfying. Felt like just another end to another chapter rather than an end to a story. Korra's and Tenzin's conversation at the end was a nice touch, though, because of their past student-mentor relationship, so it was fitting.
As far as the rest of the season went... meh. They couldn't manage to raise the stakes high enough for it to feel like the "final chapter". Going for the end of the world and fighting the ultimate evil back at season 2 was a dumb move because they could never top that. Kuvira never felt threatening enough on her own, and she only managed to be an obstacle because Korra was going through her not-so-impressive character arc. The season had some potential at the start, but didn't manage to be good.
Speaking of which, Korra seemed really "not there" as far as the center conflict was concerned. I get it was somewhat the point because she had that character arc going on, but only in the last 2-3 episodes did her presence actually felt meaningful. More on characters: as the seasons went on, Bolin became more and more annoying, unfunny and stupid. Mako barely had any character development outside of his failed relationships, and in this season he was probably one of the least important characters. Prince Wu was abysmal and a really annoying character.

The main difference between this series and the Airbender series is that while the latter was a one big story, this show had four individual stories that weren't really connected (besides the mild connection between the third-fourth). This isn't a sin because in theory it could've worked, the problem was that none of the individual stories was written well enough, and there doesn't seem to be an overarching theme going on in the grand scheme of things. This series is about Korra dealing with different avatar related issues and threats while growing as a person - it isn't a bad premise, but the writers badly tackled character writing and stakes, and forced us way too many times into badly written romances, repeated character beats and deus ex machinas.
So at the end of the day, even though there obviously was an entertainment element going on in this series and some things were done right, I don't think this show managed to be good.

I'm using an iPad now because my computer is still being repaired, so it's a bit uncomfortable to write. There are a few minor things I'd like to voice my opinion on, so I'll do it when I get my computer back.
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