I’ve been woefully behind on Legend of Korra this past season. There were some crazy holiday deadlines I had to finish before I could reward myself with Korra. The only episode I had seen was the first episode, so after it was announced that the finale came sooner than expected and not wanting to get spoiled with so much hype around it, I sat down and marathoned the entire series last night. Before I get to the finale, I have to say: Nickelodeon was the WRONG and probably the WORST network for this show. I feel like they didn’t even really believe in it or the potential it could have.
From the start, Legend of Korra (a.k.a. LoK), has been darker and more grown up from its predecessor, Avatar: The Last Airbender. And from the start, there’s always been a sense of hurry with the series, which the smaller episodes per seasons has something to contribute to that factor. Where Avatar has at least 20 episodes per season during its 3-season run, LoK had around 13 episodes per season during its 4-season run. Though that means LoK only loses out on 8 episodes (really 9 because of that flashback episode), LoK really should have had 80 episodes. There’s a lot that the writers could have explored that they weren’t able to explore because episode loss.
Why is the episode loss so important? If you haven’t seen Korra (or at least the finale) and plan on doing so, stop reading NOW. Because spoilers are going to be littered throughout.
Okay. All that should be left are people who have seen the show. Ready? Here we go:
The fact that LoK has at least 8 episode less than Avatar is significant because Korra and Asami. There’s a huge mix bag of responses in regards to the finale: Are they together or are they just really close friends? Where did this come from? Did they even HINT at it? Is it really a big deal? (Note: Just before I published this post, one of the writers, Michael Dante DiMartino, confirmed on his blog that “the moment where they enter the spirit portal symbolizes their evolution from being friends to being a couple.” So yeah. TOTALLY A BIG DEAL.)
In American cartoons, you don’t see same sex relationships. There might be some hints. Some extremely subtle clue to show that yeah, unofficially (officially) two characters might be together. But a bisexual relationship? It’s downright groundbreaking. It just doesn’t happen in shows. Once Upon a Time made Mulan bisexual, which I was hoping the writers would be able to explore more in Season 4 but we ended up with a subpar, character development breaking Frozen story arc (oh, there will be a blog post about that). And I also learned that Jamie Chung, the actress who plays Mulan, was also busy with a new series set to air on NBC. Ugh. ANYWHO Mulan might have been one of the first bisexual characters like ever? I’m not sure. But certainly the first bisexual character I’ve seen on air and she certainly wasn’t the last. Gotham has set up Barbara Kean to be bisexual, which sets up some interesting tension between her former girlfriend and current boyfriend. So showing bisexuality on live-action television shows is ready to be received by American audiences (yay!). But American cartoons: everyone is straight because they have to be because the people who are in charge of airing these things said so. Totally not fair and totally stupid. I know.
There’s a lot of people who say that calling Korra and Asami’s a thing are looking too hard. But are we really? I mean really, really? Let’s rewind on some of the very subtle clues that have been left on the show: 1) the only person Korra wanted to talk to for the past THREE YEARS was Asami. That’s THREE YEARS of some sort of friendship/potential crushing happening that we never got to see. 2) Korra blushed when Asami complimented her hair. I didn’t see her blush when Tenzen’s kids said anything about it. Did you? No. Okay, moving on. 3) Did you not see them holding hands and looking deeply into each other’s eyes at the end? Sure, close friends hold each other’s hands sometimes, but I can at least attest to the fact that me and my female friends have never looked at each other like that. They’re going into the Spirit Portal. The writers could’ve been all, “And then have the girls walking hand-in-hand through the Spirit Portal.” It could’ve ended with just the two’s backs as they entered the portal. Or maybe the two looking back at the screen. But they didn’t. They were looking at each other. Some people are like, “Well, if they’re bisexual, why didn’t they kiss or something?” Remember when I mentioned about the powers that be over American cartoons in the earlier paragraph? Yeah. Because they don’t like same sex couples kissing. Don’t you know that’s taboo? Geez.
IF LoK had at least the same amount of episodes as Avatar, I feel like season 4, the season that felt the most rushed, would have been padded out more. There really needed to be an episode or two of drawing out some tension with Kuriva and there definitely needed to have more air time between Korra and Asami instead of the subtle clues that some people didn’t seem to get. For the past three seasons, the writers have really developed Korra and Asami’s friendship. They went from rivals for Mako’s attention to really close friends. I know there are some people upset by this (why can’t they just stay friends?) and I agree that in terms of showcasing female friendships with other females, there needs to be more of that and less of that weird catfighting/whispering behind each other’s backs thing. But at the same time, what they did with Korra and Asami just felt natural. When I first heard of Korra and Asami shippers, I paused and thought, “Wow. They really would be great together!” They compliment each other a lot. And don’t people often fall for a friend? People are asking for a comic spin-off since Avatar had a comic spin-off after it ended and I’m totally in favor of seeing more of Korra doing her Avatar duties and maybe even being allowed to show a developing relationship with Asami. Time will tell.
Did you see the finale? Were you expecting that Korra would end up with Asami? Mako? Bolin? Or maybe even relationship-less? Shout out in the comments!