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Author Topic: The Legend of Korra : One Year Out  (Read 14189 times)
Antiyonder
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« Reply #175 on: Jul 16, 2016 04:02 pm »

Yeah, the love triangle could have been better.  The problems concerning it:
1. Take the trope where a character will feel down about him or herself, and suggests that the world would be better off if they never existed (i.e. It's a Wonderful Life).  While such a story usually is done in service to suggest the character to be worthwhile, some attempts at the story subvert the trope by demonstrating that the world is better off with said character not being born.

But how often do love triangles exist for any other purpose, but to hide the fact that the main pairing (then Makorra) will hook up, rather than being used as a way to decide if the endgame pairing really has enough substance (i.e. something that happens when a character takes a proverbial life of their own)?  Heck, I don't think I've even seen any case where the couple that forms in the end is the unlikely one.  If the main character is a player, then the main character is likely to be the winner from the start.

Not to mention that for something meant to add complication to the story and cast, they almost always end without any complication.  Everyone is on good terms in the end no matter how much heartbreak is allowed to be shown.  And when you toss in some adultery (sex or the family friendly kissing of another person), it shows just how much the triangle comes off more just a cheap diversion towards the main pairing's hookup than actual drama.

2. In the case of LoK, the love triangle suffers from a real lack of actual character.  If Masami was meant to be the shallow high school love, then why exactly are we suppose to view Makorra as the true substantial couple?:

- Lack of common goals.  Korra has an interest in helping people worldwide, Mako (at least in Book 1) is more like the Pre-Uncle Ben killed Peter Parker.  He'll gladly look out for those he knows personally, but doesn't seem to give much care to those outside his circle.

- Lack of really any common traits.  I mean take Probending.  Korra actually enjoys the sport for fun, Mako views it as nothing more than a means to get cash.

- Yeah, it's impressive if two or more people can get along in the business world.  But such a thing is called professionalism.  It doesn't always equal friendship or love.  Prior to their hookup, we never see them enjoying each other's company or getting along perfectly unless there's trouble a brewing.  Which can be problematic when they are in downtime as again, we never really get much common ground with the two.


Actually, going back to my previous post and my first point here, that's another problem in a nutshell.  Bryke tended to have this belief that conflict/tension is utmost important to a good story.  The catch is, if the story is going to be 95 percent conflict with 5 percent good natured interaction/levity, then the resolution needs to be really elaborate if we are to believe that the problem is truly over.  Examples:

1. Love triangle which had a dash of dishonesty?  No hard feelings in the end or any slight annoyance.

2. Lin and Tenzin had a fallout for about a decade because of the latter choosing another woman?  No problem, just make a single comment about "getting along for old times sake", and tension begone.

3. Kya and Bumi have been carrying hurt feelings of neglect for 50 years?  Show them a happy picture and all is forgiven.  Sure, Zuko's family was also happy at one point, but that's really minor detail.

4. Again, the oppression of Nonbenders went on for years and was so bad that the victims no longer had any humanity to the point where they condoned harming fellow Nonbenders through endangerment or were willing to harm children not guilty of oppression.  Yet all it takes to solve the issue is to put Obama in the chair.


Yeah, levity and good natured moments is really important as much as conflict, as it arguably adds more weight when problems are brewing, but also because the bigger and more complicated the problem, the more one rightfully expects a big solution.  And while their might be some exceptions, Bryke had this lazy tendency to make many conflicts as intense and unpleasant as possible, but then tried to remove every bit of it in the end rather than trying to make the end result believable.

According to Bryke the issue has been present apparently as far back as the time period of ATLA

This is funny, because the issue was straight-out debunked in ATLA too in the very same episode it showed up (Sokka's Master).

In fairness, the Fire Nation's threat could have been a good enough incentive for such conflict to not be as prominent, and might have escalated again after the war ended.
« Last Edit: Jul 16, 2016 04:04 pm by Antiyonder » Logged
fraroc
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« Reply #176 on: Jul 16, 2016 04:43 pm »

I don't think anyone here is saying that tropes are bad, that would make no sense. Though what is bad is that Korra failed to create a good story that maintained consistent quality from beginning to end. The love triangle wasn't bad because it had been done a million times, it was bad because it destroyed many people's ability to become invested in the characters. And that's the rub, many, including myself, just can't bring themselves to care about Korra or the people residing in her universe. For example, in the second season, we started off with characters who didn't exactly have a storyline that pulled audiences in, they adopted traits such as being pointlessly aggressive or just plain stupid and insufferable, and after fourteen episodes they simply reverted to where they were before. Bolin didn't become an even greater character than he was before, we sat and watched him as he let the fame go through his head, and by the time he was finished with his story line he became the same Bolin he was fourteen episodes ago. The same goes for Korra. Other characters, such as Mako and Asami either had no reason for being in the story, or weren't characters at all. The reoccurring trend here is that this show does not demonstrate a true grasp on what character development is. There are of course moments where the show does, but the overall trend speaks a different story.

I'd have to disagree about Bolin, while people might think he's annoying and hasn't developed, he's defiantly grown as a character. While he's the "group clown" he's shown to be able to take charge when the situation calls for it. He's saved Asami, Raiko, Mako and Tenzins lives with his skills.
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Antiyonder
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« Reply #177 on: Jul 16, 2016 04:49 pm »

I don't think anyone here is saying that tropes are bad, that would make no sense. Though what is bad is that Korra failed to create a good story that maintained consistent quality from beginning to end. The love triangle wasn't bad because it had been done a million times, it was bad because it destroyed many people's ability to become invested in the characters. And that's the rub, many, including myself, just can't bring themselves to care about Korra or the people residing in her universe. For example, in the second season, we started off with characters who didn't exactly have a storyline that pulled audiences in, they adopted traits such as being pointlessly aggressive or just plain stupid and insufferable, and after fourteen episodes they simply reverted to where they were before. Bolin didn't become an even greater character than he was before, we sat and watched him as he let the fame go through his head, and by the time he was finished with his story line he became the same Bolin he was fourteen episodes ago. The same goes for Korra. Other characters, such as Mako and Asami either had no reason for being in the story, or weren't characters at all. The reoccurring trend here is that this show does not demonstrate a true grasp on what character development is. There are of course moments where the show does, but the overall trend speaks a different story.

I'd have to disagree about Bolin, while people might think he's annoying and hasn't developed, he's defiantly grown as a character. While he's the "group clown" he's shown to be able to take charge when the situation calls for it. He's saved Asami, Raiko, Mako and Tenzins lives with his skills.

He's arguably been more reliable in battles, it's really more personal/social matters he tended to fail in.  Take the whole Boleska bit.  You'd think by the end of Book 2 that he would assert himself with Eska and tell her off for her psychotic/bratty behavior.

But nope, she gets to be the one to decide what comes of their relationship, with him reluctantly agreeing.
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Raimundo
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« Reply #178 on: Jul 17, 2016 03:16 pm »

I don't think anyone here is saying that tropes are bad, that would make no sense. Though what is bad is that Korra failed to create a good story that maintained consistent quality from beginning to end. The love triangle wasn't bad because it had been done a million times, it was bad because it destroyed many people's ability to become invested in the characters. And that's the rub, many, including myself, just can't bring themselves to care about Korra or the people residing in her universe. For example, in the second season, we started off with characters who didn't exactly have a storyline that pulled audiences in, they adopted traits such as being pointlessly aggressive or just plain stupid and insufferable, and after fourteen episodes they simply reverted to where they were before. Bolin didn't become an even greater character than he was before, we sat and watched him as he let the fame go through his head, and by the time he was finished with his story line he became the same Bolin he was fourteen episodes ago. The same goes for Korra. Other characters, such as Mako and Asami either had no reason for being in the story, or weren't characters at all. The reoccurring trend here is that this show does not demonstrate a true grasp on what character development is. There are of course moments where the show does, but the overall trend speaks a different story.

I'd have to disagree about Bolin, while people might think he's annoying and hasn't developed, he's defiantly grown as a character. While he's the "group clown" he's shown to be able to take charge when the situation calls for it. He's saved Asami, Raiko, Mako and Tenzins lives with his skills.

Personally, I agree that Bolin was one of the most developed and fleshed out characters in the show, but not until the end of the series. If we're talking about Bolin in season 2, his development was very lackluster in my opinion. What did he learn exactly, other than the fact that he has horrible taste in women and is a terrible judge of character?

Quote
2. In the case of LoK, the love triangle suffers from a real lack of actual character.

This is honestly the problem with the show's romance as a whole. It always felt superficial at best and toxic at worst:

Why should I care about Varrick and Zhu Li when Zhu Li's hardly even a character and Varrick is a selfish, conniving human being?

Why should I care about Korrasami when it's only popular because it's considered progressive and it doesn't develop the characters in any way?

Why should I care about Asami when she solely exists to be a love interest?

Why should I care about Bolin and Ginger when Bolin's being an idiot and Ginger's just a gold-digger with an EXTREMELY annoying voice?

Why should I care about Bolin and Eska when Eska is a psychopath and the show treats it as dark humor?

And it's not like they didn't have anything to work with:

Bolin and Opal should have been interesting, but between Bolin's picnic fiasco and Opal showing her vindictive and manipulative side, I started to wonder why I was rooting for these two.

Korra and Mako could have worked had they fleshed out Mako's character more and written Korra's character with consistency.

This may be an unpopular opinion and I'm not trying to get into shipper territory here, but here's what I think: Mako and Asami should have just stayed together throughout the entire show and Bolin and Korra should have been endgame. It would have saved us a lot of drama and unnecessary characters, and it would have helped with the relationship dynamics that were sorely lacking in this series.

Not to mention, this so-called friendship between "the new Team Avatar" could have actually developed naturally.
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ahintoflime
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« Reply #179 on: Jul 17, 2016 03:28 pm »

Not to mention, this so-called friendship between "the new Team Avatar" could have actually developed naturally.

Having the group just end up loving each other in relationships wouldn't seem natural. I couldn't buy Asami's attraction to Mako anymore than Korra's attraction to Mako and vice versa.

That particular group should have just stayed in Republic City after having been friends with the Avatar instead of jumped on Naga and the airship/sky bison and remained a group. Ultimately they were just there for battles when they had to remove Korra from play to push the plot forward with Asami being there ready in the wings to act as a love interest.

Or better yet, that group shouldn't have existed at all because that group idea worked for Aang given the setting and established plot and just saying "We need a Team Avatar" isn't reason enough for characters to be brought into the fold.

That is if they are going for these more grander story lines instead of like how AtoMako said about just having probending be a thing and Amon a mustache twirling villain right from the start who just wants power. Cue Korra stopping him while having fun in the city.
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AtoMaki
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« Reply #180 on: Jul 17, 2016 04:08 pm »

Not to mention, this so-called friendship between "the new Team Avatar" could have actually developed naturally.

Well, we had The Spirit of Competition and The Winner Is... for that as far as the core trio was concerned, then The Aftermath for Korra/Asami, and finally Team Avatar in the very next episode. I think this was done fairly well all things considered, the only problem was that the plot had to jam a lot of other stuff in too, like Tenzin's family, Amon and his Equalists, Lin, and at least six gorillion other people all with their own agendas.
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Loopy
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« Reply #181 on: Jul 17, 2016 05:13 pm »

I, for one, think all of the love plots would have been better if it was revealed that Asami had dated Tahno just before Mako, and it turns out that she's just a serial Probender-dater. It doesn't matter if it's man or woman, short or tall, Earth or Fire or Water or Air or Avatar, all Asami cares about is that you were a professional Probender and look good in those pads. Then Korra finds out about this in the final scene of the series, gets skeeved out, and steals Opal from Bolin at Varrick's wedding, thus revealing that the Probending subplot from Book Air was, all this time, a critical component to all the characters' ending. Boom, pure genius.

Granted, this doesn't fix Varrick's romantic plot. But I don't care because I just like seeing the funny man do the funny things.
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shorewall
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« Reply #182 on: Jul 17, 2016 06:32 pm »

I want to post, but I think my post will be the one that is too much shipping.  Cheesy
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Raimundo
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« Reply #183 on: Jul 17, 2016 07:59 pm »

Not to mention, this so-called friendship between "the new Team Avatar" could have actually developed naturally.
Having the group just end up loving each other in relationships wouldn't seem natural. I couldn't buy Asami's attraction to Mako anymore than Korra's attraction to Mako and vice versa.

Well, to be honest, the first (one of the only) thing we learn about Asami IS her attraction to Mako. But what I was saying was that I would have just preferred that she had just started out as Mako's girlfriend who slowly but surely found her place among the Fire Ferrets. I mean Korra, Mako, and Bolin did have a dynamic in the beginning and it was pretty cool to see.

Quote
That particular group should have just stayed in Republic City after having been friends with the Avatar instead of jumped on Naga and the airship/sky bison and remained a group. Ultimately they were just there for battles when they had to remove Korra from play to push the plot forward with Asami being there ready in the wings to act as a love interest.

Or better yet, that group shouldn't have existed at all because that group idea worked for Aang given the setting and established plot and just saying "We need a Team Avatar" isn't reason enough for characters to be brought into the fold.

The sad thing is, it's not like the "New Team Avatar" thing couldn't have worked. This is one of the reasons why Book Two failed, for example:

The season opens with showing us how these characters are dealing with life after the Equalists and, obviously, things have changed.

Bolin is no longer satisfied with being an athlete and he misses his team. Asami is handling the affairs of her company, but she finds being the CEO difficult and she seeks a friend in Bolin (of all people). Mako is now a Republic City Police Officer but is also struggling with being Avatar Korra's boyfriend. Korra has to struggle with being the Avatar in general, but the show demonstrated before that she needs and values her friends. All these characters were still connected to each other and it appeared that their subplots were too. This season had the perfect opportunity to build on the foundation that was set up in Book One and form a camaraderie between these characters.

So...are we going to have Mako, Asami, and Bolin go an actual adventure with Korra and have them learn more about each other in the process, both developing their characters and exploring their dynamics? NOPE!

Let's have LOVE TRIANGLES that hinder the plot, storytelling, and the development of the characters.

Let's have Korra be uncharacteristically cruel to Mako which results in her getting separated from the group.

Let's have Mako and Bolin all of a sudden not care about each other for no apparent reason.

Let's have Asami do...absolutely nothing at all.

Let's have Bolin, the one person who actually cares about the friendship between these characters, completely fail at being the heart of the group due to an out-of character power trip.

This season completely robbed the Krew of having any form of a believable group dynamic and hindered them from becoming real friends, let alone being worthy of the title "The New Team Avatar". Bolin was the only exception because he actually took pride and had fun with the friendships he had with other characters.

Quote
Well, we had The Spirit of Competition and The Winner Is... for that as far as the core trio was concerned, then The Aftermath for Korra/Asami, and finally Team Avatar in the very next episode. I think this was done fairly well all things considered, the only problem was that the plot had to jam a lot of other stuff in too, like Tenzin's family, Amon and his Equalists, Lin, and at least six gorillion other people all with their own agendas.

I actually thought Book One had the strongest characterization overall, even with the numerous subplots that were going on. I didn't even mind the love triangle. The show was still new at the time and none of the characters were overtly unlikable. Not even Mako, in my opinion.
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Freedom153
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« Reply #184 on: Jul 18, 2016 11:21 am »

Approachin TWO years out, I think the biggest thing I have gotten from Korra is, if you mostly think something is functional and like it on the whole, don't spend time analyzing it or thinking too much about it.

I'm over Korra as a whole, and have gone back to WoW, but with a really different mindset. I try my best to not pick apart odd story elements or weird design decisions like I used to (though even back then, it was not as much as I picked at TLOK). I find my game time more enjoyable for it; I would rather play than spend time complaining how this or that was a horrible change, or Yrel is Jinora's secret alternate alternate universe twin. My only regret with TLOK is that I did not spend more time writing instead of time spent posting.

More broadly speaking, ATLA is done and gone, just like WotLK and MoP (two good WoW versions) are gone. We have what we have (TLOK being better than the current iteration of WoW at least, but then that's not hard) and don't have what could have been. I'll be watching for the comics and any subsequent attempts by Bryke at a new show, but that's about it. I'm done with my fanfiction; I got out what I needed to.

To quote Lavanya Six, Tenz-out. Oh, and Korra herself: "I'm the Avatar, and you gotta deal with it!"
« Last Edit: Jul 18, 2016 11:27 am by Freedom153 » Logged

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shorewall
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« Reply #185 on: Jul 18, 2016 02:36 pm »

I've learned how to stop worrying and love the bomb.  Cheesy

No seriously, my biggest takeaway is to love and appreciate your fans, but completely ignore them.  If you build it, they will come.  Most fans don't know how to tell a good story.  As an artist, you have to have faith in your own ability.  And if you miss, learn from that.

Also, I continue my endorsement for LOK.  I really liked it, and I still do.  Though I don't know if I can bring myself to go back and watch it.  Maybe it was the shared fandom and excitement.  It was a fun time.  Smiley 

Actually, I think I'm gonna go back and watch it and see what I think.  I haven't since it ended.  But that's mostly because I like transitory art.
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"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can tough the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginning-less time, darkness thrives in the void but always yields to purifying light."
longman83
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« Reply #186 on: Jul 18, 2016 02:42 pm »

Approachin TWO years out, I think the biggest thing I have gotten from Korra is, if you mostly think something is functional and like it on the whole, don't spend time analyzing it or thinking too much about it.

I'm over Korra as a whole, and have gone back to WoW, but with a really different mindset. I try my best to not pick apart odd story elements or weird design decisions like I used to (though even back then, it was not as much as I picked at TLOK). I find my game time more enjoyable for it; I would rather play than spend time complaining how this or that was a horrible change, or Yrel is Jinora's secret alternate alternate universe twin. My only regret with TLOK is that I did not spend more time writing instead of time spent posting.

For me, in retrospect, an unexpected enjoyment of ATLA followed by an equally unexpected disappointment with LoK have been the impetus for analysis. I was so surprised - first, to find that I actually really liked ATLA, and later, to recognize that LoK was hardly what I thought it would be based on ATLA - that I wanted to find out why that was the case. In the process I discovered ASN among other things. For that, I suppose I have even LoK to thank for bringing me back to things I long abandoned after high school, and bringing clarity to my reactions to fiction.

Ever now and then I feel like I'll soon get to the point where I've said all I wanted to, make my peace and move on - but atm, not yet  Tongue

Not to mention, this so-called friendship between "the new Team Avatar" could have actually developed naturally.
Having the group just end up loving each other in relationships wouldn't seem natural. I couldn't buy Asami's attraction to Mako anymore than Korra's attraction to Mako and vice versa.

Well, to be honest, the first (one of the only) thing we learn about Asami IS her attraction to Mako. But what I was saying was that I would have just preferred that she had just started out as Mako's girlfriend who slowly but surely found her place among the Fire Ferrets. I mean Korra, Mako, and Bolin did have a dynamic in the beginning and it was pretty cool to see.

Quote
That particular group should have just stayed in Republic City after having been friends with the Avatar instead of jumped on Naga and the airship/sky bison and remained a group. Ultimately they were just there for battles when they had to remove Korra from play to push the plot forward with Asami being there ready in the wings to act as a love interest.

Or better yet, that group shouldn't have existed at all because that group idea worked for Aang given the setting and established plot and just saying "We need a Team Avatar" isn't reason enough for characters to be brought into the fold.

The sad thing is, it's not like the "New Team Avatar" thing couldn't have worked. This is one of the reasons why Book Two failed, for example:

Ehh, I dunno... perhaps the Krew could have worked as Team Avatar, but not with Book 1's foundation. The Book 2 issues you listed were also mostly evident in Book 1 IMO. In either case, what stands out is the Krew's inability to contribute to Korra's development as an Avatar - and vice versa - hence rendering the 'Avatar' part of 'Team Avatar' a misnomer.

Heck, as I said earlier in this thread, the very moment the Krew rechristened themselves as the new 'Team Avatar' showed it up as a farce, because it was an excuse to ignore Tenzin's advice which proved to be the real support Korra needed in the end:

Quote
I mean, name a major development Korra had in the series that was connected to Team Avatar? Again, Korra ran off on her own in Book 2 and went on a spiritual journey and calmed down her aggressiveness as a result. Nothing to do with Team Avatar.

http://hdscreenshots.avatarspiritmedia.net/korra/108/0415.jpg
They taught her that crying like a baby on a cliffside is pointless when you can beat people up as a team to relieve your stress about not being able to airbend. So yeah, lesson learned, you don't have to face all of your problems by yourself.(Mako said something along those lines and used Aang's team as an example)

If I may add to Avatar Epsilon's good observations, this scene here demonstrates how Team Avatar 2.0 got in the way of Korra's development. If memory serves me right, in the previous scene Tenzin suggested that Korra meditating on her visions of Aang may help breakthrough the airbending block. Next thing, she's sobbing on a cliff about not being able to airbend or solve the city's problems. Hello, what about Tenzin's idea? Then the Krew show up, and settle on driving around in a car busting crime, (Um, Korra, have you forgotten what happened with your first vigilante crime busting spree in RC?) This one doesn't fare much better; and eventually Korra gets kidnapped and runs out of options before going 'O yeah, Tenzin's idea!' and finally learns something...one episode later.

We could even go back to the first instance of the Aang visions, which was the conclusion of Voice in the Night. Pretty heavy conclusion and you'd think the next one would build on its revelations. Next episode - Spirit of Shipping feat. the Krew. Great...

Book 2 does seem more egregious to me because unlike Book 1 the Krew's ineffectual nature begs the question of why they even featured in Book 2 in the first place when they clearly didn't belong in the story.
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Antiyonder
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« Reply #187 on: Aug 09, 2016 09:54 am »

No seriously, my biggest takeaway is to love and appreciate your fans, but completely ignore them.  If you build it, they will come.  Most fans don't know how to tell a good story.

In other words, don't constantly make changes to appease the fans.  I do agree with that idea and even support the approach to a degree, but this arguably is a case where moderation is arguably better rather than the one way or another (ignoring feed back being one way, and the other being pandering).

Rather the approach to take should be to listen to the feedback first and decide whether you find a particular response to have merit.  If you find the idea to have merit, but can't fit it into the plan, then by all means dismiss it, but consider following the suggestion if it can fit into the plan without compromising it.

Where Bryan and Mike arguably failed is that they acknowledge that people were critical and made changes to satisfy said critics, but at the same time failed to understand the reasoning behind the criticism and simply assumed that it's because they're teenage girls (very progressive line of thinking there Roll Eyes), butthurt Masami fans or homophobes.

I mean we're talking about two guys who kept a character in the main cast simply because she's pretty.  Not really a move one would associate with someone planning a good story.


Also, prior to the forum downtime, I wanted to add a bit to my prior post on why it seems like all love triangles tend to feel more like a frustrating diversion rather than a source of true tension.

3. Now one thing that felt refreshing is that Asami wasn't a secret villain or turned to one when Mako hooked up with Korra, but why do rivals tend to usually be jerks or flat out evil in these scenarios?

Simple because it's pretty much an easy way to ensure that the love interest can break if off with the rival without taking said person's heartbreak seriously.

Heck, it's not even just a triangle thing.  Looking at Batman Beyond for example, the title character's girlfriend would tend to get annoy with her boyfriend being inattentive due to his crime fighting activities (though she wouldn't know that until the Justice League Unlimited episode Epilogue).  Now such a thing might be a problem if she were to break things off with him and find a guy who can be more open and attentive.  Except literally any other guy who shows an interest in her is a clear sleaze if not villain.

And well, Asami being an exception was nice, well she was originally suppose to be an Equalist spy.   So yeah, even in the original plan, the triangle has an easy out, simply because it's a no brainer that dating a villain would be a bad thing.
« Last Edit: Aug 09, 2016 10:02 am by Antiyonder » Logged
ahintoflime
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« Reply #188 on: Aug 09, 2016 10:59 am »

simply because it's a no brainer that dating a villain would be a bad thing.

I guess that adds weight to Mako deciding to break up with Korra - dating a villain like Korra is a bad thing and Mako's smart enough to know that so he chose free will. You can be friends with a villain, but don't be their soulmate.

There's no legitimate weight to the love triangles in LoK.
If Korra breaks it off with Mako then she can concentrate...give the illusion of concentrating on her personal goals and duty to the world and learn to think for herself...make an attempt to learn to think for herself rather than relying on someone else to do everything for her.
If Asami breaks it off with Mako then she loses a cute boy toy and can leave the story.
If Mako breaks it off with Korra, he's still got Asami. And vice versa. If Mako leaves both of them then his point of being in the story is over and he can leave as well.

This isn't a high school or college love triangle where you see the same person in your class or in passing. These three would never have reason to meet and stick together aside from true love, so them breaking off doesn't have consequences unless you get saddled with a bouncing baby bundle of joy.

Rather the approach to take should be to listen to the feedback first and decide whether you find a particular response to have merit.  If you find the idea to have merit, but can't fit it into the plan, then by all means dismiss it, but consider following the suggestion if it can fit into the plan without compromising it.

A lot of problems could have been prevented if they built the story with an overarching idea in mind, even if they were never guaranteed more episodes. They're still doing comics for ATLA so there would more than likely be comics of LOK past season 1 of Air.

What we end up getting is:
-a "had to give them something to do" story for the majority of the characters
-the antagonists are disjointed or in the case of Ming Hua missing a few joints
-the threats ramp up when they clearly shouldn't
-ideas are never explored
-questions are never logically asked
-each season they basically had to start anew and reintroduce their growing cast all over again
-Deus Ex Machina season finales

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« Reply #189 on: Aug 09, 2016 04:06 pm »

A lot of problems could have been prevented if they built the story with an overarching idea in mind, even if they were never guaranteed more episodes.

You see, I think they needed an overarching idea for the characters rather than the story. Just firmly establishing (and sticking to it!) who is who and where his/her place is in the team would have worked wonders.
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« Reply #190 on: Aug 09, 2016 06:16 pm »

There's no legitimate weight to the love triangles in LoK.
If Korra breaks it off with Mako then she can concentrate...give the illusion of concentrating on her personal goals and duty to the world and learn to think for herself...make an attempt to learn to think for herself rather than relying on someone else to do everything for her.
If Asami breaks it off with Mako then she loses a cute boy toy and can leave the story.
If Mako breaks it off with Korra, he's still got Asami. And vice versa. If Mako leaves both of them then his point of being in the story is over and he can leave as well.

This isn't a high school or college love triangle where you see the same person in your class or in passing. These three would never have reason to meet and stick together aside from true love, so them breaking off doesn't have consequences unless you get saddled with a bouncing baby bundle of joy.

This is a really good point. When love stories work, it's because the audience is invested in the characters' investment. It's not so much that we think the character won't ever find someone else or that the romance is required for the plot to work out, but we as the audience are invested enough in the character and sold enough on the importance of the relationship to them that we genuinely don't want the character to suffer the resulting heartbreak. And if they do suffer, we get what the kids would call "the feelz" over it. People brought outside investment to Korrasami (it was more about the meta than the story convincing us that these characters gave two shakes about each other), but I think the only character whose romantic plot got widespread investment from the audience was Bolin with his crush on Korra. Lots of us liked Bolin at that point, and he seemed really invested in Korra, so we wanted it to work out, and felt sorry for him when it didn't.

(I'd like to take a moment to pat myself on the back for not making an ATLA comparison.)
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ahintoflime
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« Reply #191 on: Aug 11, 2016 01:14 pm »

A lot of problems could have been prevented if they built the story with an overarching idea in mind, even if they were never guaranteed more episodes.

You see, I think they needed an overarching idea for the characters rather than the story. Just firmly establishing (and sticking to it!) who is who and where his/her place is in the team would have worked wonders.

Legend of Korra, aside from being named incorrectly, was plot driven rather than character driven. The characters did whatever the plot needed them to do. They never did what they should be doing like leaving once their point in the story is over or showing up despite them not needing to show up.
If they had firmly established and stuck to the plot then it wouldn't be so messy. But the writers had a tendency to give the reigns over to the characters in the plot driven show. So it ends up being like one of those battles in a video game that you can't win no matter how much you try. What the characters do doesn't matter because all that matters is the end results that finish the book.

There's no legitimate weight to the love triangles in LoK.
If Korra breaks it off with Mako then she can concentrate...give the illusion of concentrating on her personal goals and duty to the world and learn to think for herself...make an attempt to learn to think for herself rather than relying on someone else to do everything for her.
If Asami breaks it off with Mako then she loses a cute boy toy and can leave the story.
If Mako breaks it off with Korra, he's still got Asami. And vice versa. If Mako leaves both of them then his point of being in the story is over and he can leave as well.

This isn't a high school or college love triangle where you see the same person in your class or in passing. These three would never have reason to meet and stick together aside from true love, so them breaking off doesn't have consequences unless you get saddled with a bouncing baby bundle of joy.

When love stories work, it's because the audience is invested in the characters' investment. It's not so much that we think the character won't ever find someone else or that the romance is required for the plot to work out, but we as the audience are invested enough in the character and sold enough on the importance of the relationship to them that we genuinely don't want the character to suffer the resulting heartbreak. And if they do suffer, we get what the kids would call "the feelz" over it. People brought outside investment to Korrasami (it was more about the meta than the story convincing us that these characters gave two shakes about each other), but I think the only character whose romantic plot got widespread investment from the audience was Bolin with his crush on Korra. Lots of us liked Bolin at that point, and he seemed really invested in Korra, so we wanted it to work out, and felt sorry for him when it didn't.

And many never forgave Korra for that action against Bolin, which colored all future interactions for them; despite Bolin's relevance to the show being statistically insignificant and the theatrics coming across as parody.

And at the end of it all, just a couple of years once the show ended, no one can muster the energy to do anything long lasting like the myriad AtLA projects and fanworks that still come to light. The show did the shipping for the audience, so that portion of people don't have anything to do. And the writing went off the rails enough that anything bizarre or unique just comes across as mundane.

(I'd like to take a moment to pat myself on the back for not making an ATLA comparison.)

Here here! A pat on the back given to you by you on behalf of yourself.

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« Reply #192 on: Aug 13, 2016 03:41 pm »

Korra and Mako could have worked had they fleshed out Mako's character more and written Korra's character with consistency.

Honestly, I found Korra's behavior in regards to their relationship to work a little more often for the most part.  Mako seemed to be the one who's personality changed each episode in the interest of getting them together by the end of the Book.

Prior to episode 5 I don't see really anything to suggest anything other than Mako starting to develop platonic respect for her.  Yet the recap suggests that Korra has a thing for him and that the feelings seem to be mutual.  Best I could concede is episode 3 which they feel asleep against each other and woke up with a bit of embarrassment, though Mako seemed to really just react more out of surprise whereas Korra was the one who gave off a ship vibe.

And of course the ultimatum in Aftermath.  Ultimatums tend to be a sign that a healthy relationship with a particular person is a no go.  Even then, I think it could have been more salvageable if Mako showed some sign of uneasiness between making the ultimatum and Korra proving that she wasn't being a jealous harpy.  But nope.  Next time we see him in the episode, he's getting ready to put on some music without a care in the world.

All the more glaring when a couple episodes later, he Hulks out at the thought that someone is even pulling a single hair strand of Korra (though I have to say that a literal fan image of this sentence would be nice to see).
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« Reply #193 on: Aug 14, 2016 08:24 pm »

Well here we are, almost TWO years out now?  I haven't actually visited on this website for probably about half that.  Partially it had to do with the strong negative vibe here.  Sorry but it's just true.  The Angry Spirits section alone weren't enough to make the vanilla portions of the site feel any less like I was slogging through a swamp of Angry Spirits to find anyone anywhere who shared any of my enthusiasm for the show or even the franchise anymore and various other communities were by and large, less depressive atmospheres.  I know that probably sounds harsh, maybe it is?  I always respected most of your opinions so please don't get me wrong I'm not saying anybody here weren't entitled to their outlooks and opinions... I'm just saying it got to depressing to share in my fandom here.  Of course there's also simply times passage and the inevitable loss of direct interest that comes when it's basically clear that the franchise is done and not coming back.

Yet, here I am again, with some returning interest having just spent a few days chatting about LoK with some new friends who happened to ask me if I'd ever seen the show and it got me thinking about it again and wondering about the state of the fandom.  I won't pretend to understand half of what I read in the opening post here.  To much statistical analysis and World of Warcraft to make much sense to me, but I can drop my year one going on two retrospective.

Air:  Season one had a lot going for it, and a bit going against it.  It took to much time getting to the point.  We had to much pro bending, a whole episode wasted on the terrible romance subplot that ultimately shredded Mako's character beyond the point of redemption and permanently scarred several more... and yet it sticks out as a solid narrative with a compelling villain for the most part.  It also hinted at what I believe to be LoK's biggest flaw throughout, that being a tendency to put plot ahead of character.  Korra goes through hell and back here for the first of what ultimately is to be four horrifically psychologically draining experiences.  It sets out as a darker series than TLA, and the current state of the world, despite possibly existing at a more peaceful era than its predecessor, was devoid of much of the classic worlds color and atmosphere.

Spirits: The misstep of missteps.  I sometimes feel like, if not for season two, opinions of the series as a whole would be much higher around here.  There's simply no discounting that human beings are reactionary creatures.  If we love something, and it spurns us badly enough, no matter what it does beyond that may never ever be enough to repair the damage.  Season two had precisely two standout moments.  Avatar Wan's story was great, and Korra's journey to the spirit world for an episode was great... and the rest was a production mess that may or may not have been avoidable according to the design team.  More than any other season, Spirits fell back to promoting plot over character, making characters do things outside of their personality in order for something to push the plot forward, and colorful as it may have been, the finale of Season Two is just 'the worst' for what ought to have essentially been the crowning conflict of the entire franchise.

Change: In my opinion, season three of Korra is the best season in the entire Avatar Franchise.  More so after giving it some time.  TLA 'Earth' is the only thing that comes close, but there's simply so much to love about Change that I could gush about it for days.  Plot over character is almost gone, even when the characters do things to push the plot it finally feels like something that character would actually do, the villains are simply the strongest in all of 'LoK's lineup with Zaheer being so fantastic that his return in season 4 is a definite franchise standout.  We see Korra really changing, really settling in to what it means to be an Avatar... and we promptly see her suffer her worst blow of all BECAUSE of that.  It's funnier than the rest of the series, sweeter, and ironically darker the further it progresses than even season 1 ever managed.  Here more than in any other season they showcase LoK's unflinching determination not to downplay death and loss, even death and loss from the 'enemies.'  I could go on all day, but then we'd be here all day.

Balance: This season could have just as easily been named 'Consequence' I think, as it was a lot to do simply with the fallout of the season three.  It's sort of depressing in that we see in seasons 3 and 4 a connectivity that might have existed throughout the whole series if not for the chaotic organization in Nickelodeon's production.  Had they not asked for a second season after asking for only one from the team, then asking for two more after asking for only the two from the team.  The series never had the opportunity to be as connective with itself as TLA did, and as a result only seasons 3 and 4 feel directly related. 

Balance is pretty good.  Korra really showcases why she is the star of LoK in this season.  She's the most complicated character in the whole series sans Zuko, and it's because much more than Aang, Korra had to carry her show.  Her supporting cast was never as strong, though her villains by and large were great foils.  This comes to an almost cathartic truth when it's Zaheer as opposed to any of her supporting cast who ultimately helps her fully overcome the hangups and traumas that are holding her back.  Kuvira is another strong villain (all of the villains in LoK were pretty good save Unilak) and one that sort of details who Korra 'might' or might not have become had she not run the gamut of hellfire she was put through in the series.  Giant Mechs aside, the fights were at their mot incredible... I never liked Su, but her metalbending fight with Kuvira is probably the greatest animated action sequence of all time.  Korra Alone may be the best episode in the series... and yet somethings missing in the season and it basically comes down, I think, to the fact that it all feels like fallout and cleanup and never like the adventure that the rest of the series is known for, until there's suddenly an unwanted Pacific Rim cameo at the end.  As Loopy said above, the pacing in season 4 is off in more ways than one, so while it is a decent season, it never reaches the height of Change.  As to the FINAL sequence, I honestly think it gets to much attention, both positive AND negative.  It's a relatively light bisexual push as it comes to completion to late into the show to be worth all the praise it currently receives (The comic may say otherwise in terms of the overarching 'franchise' but not for the television series itself) and the negativity around it is just as overblown as it primarily seems to balance on an individuals ability or inability to notice the signs.  That's all I have to say about that. 

Closing thoughts: For all its faults, I would NEVER call Korra a bad show because it just isn't.  When there's reruns of spongebob every day and a dozen Adult Swim shows that are made by artists who can't actually draw and written by stoned out hacks, LoK stands out as simply quality entertainment.  It wasn't as good as its predecessor in every or even the majority of respects, but it rose above TLA occasionally and I don't believe that something has to surpass the glory of what came before to be good and worthwhile anyway.  I enjoyed LoK from start to finish, even the bumpy crap of season 2 was better than no Avatar at all for me, and I'll continue to enjoy it on my blu-ray's for a lot longer, and hopefully some day with my nephew and maybe some day with kids of my own and watch it all again new in someone else eyes to recapture just a little of the Avatar magic that made me love the series so much in the first place.
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« Reply #194 on: Aug 15, 2016 09:03 pm »

Personally, I'm still having trouble figuring what exactly went wrong with Book Four.

The pacing is a bit odd. But does it move too slow or too fast? Many complained that Korra's PTSD arc dragged for far too long. But at the same time, there were complaints that the finale and other episodes felt rushed.

Fans struggled with the fact that Korra is separated from the most of the cast, but do they really have a place in the story at this point? After having two to three seasons of development, Tenzin and his family taking a more recurring role seems rather fitting; especially since the airbender story arc is done. Mako's subplot is pretty useless and has no effect on the main plot whatsoever. And Asami is Asami. Varrick and Bolin's subplot and the Beifongs subplot are the only ones directly connected to the overarching story so...yeah I guess they kind of need the screentime, eh?

Maybe the problem might have to do with Kuvira's character. Personally, I thought Kuvira was just an okay villain. There was something missing from her character. I never felt she was well-rounded or complex enough to act as a foil to Korra.

Try to compare her to someone like Firelord Sozin, whom I feel is one of the best villains in the franchise and basically who all of the LOK villains are modeled after. Both characters are meant to act as parallel/foil to the Avatar, but Sozin works better for a number of reasons. First, he actually has an established relationship with the Avatar, making every interaction with Roku meaningful. Secondly, we actually see the consequences of his horrible decisions making him far more sympathetic. Thirdly, the narrative involves the Avatar's story as well as his, allowing for parallels to truly be explored in-depth.

Aside from the fact that Kuvira just kind of comes out of nowhere, her character arc is quite shallow and confusing. What are her struggles as the Emperor? How does it affect her relationship with Bataar Jr.? Why did she incorporate segregation and purging laws into her conquest for power? And most importantly, how does her story affect Korra and our perception of her?

Korra's story in Book 4 felt disconnected from the main plot in general, but since Kuvira is the driving force of the plot it becomes kind of a problem. Kuvira's kind of a test for Korra more than she is a character. She sees her as another way to prove herself to the world. And Korra's kind of a nonfactor in Kuvira's conquest so the investment isn't really there. Villains like Zuko, Long Feng, Zhao, Azula, Amon, Tarrlock, Zaheer and even Unalaq had a personal vendetta or relationship against the Avatar that made them either more interesting or easier to hate. After rewatching Book Four, I still have a very lukewarm feeling towards Kuvira and, thus, a majority of this season.

Korra and Mako could have worked had they fleshed out Mako's character more and written Korra's character with consistency.

Honestly, I found Korra's behavior in regards to their relationship to work a little more often for the most part.  Mako seemed to be the one who's personality changed each episode in the interest of getting them together by the end of the Book.

Late response, but I pretty much agree with this, Mako's character was quite fickle in the first couple of seasons.

But oddly enough I was referring to Book Two, where we actually saw Mako and Korra as an actual couple. Korra wasn't really the lovably head-strong character she was in Book One and these two really lacked chemistry. And she was unnecessarily cruel and mean to Mako for no apparent reason.


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Antiyonder
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« Reply #195 on: Aug 16, 2016 02:37 am »

But oddly enough I was referring to Book Two, where we actually saw Mako and Korra as an actual couple. Korra wasn't really the lovably head-strong character she was in Book One and these two really lacked chemistry. And she was unnecessarily cruel and mean to Mako for no apparent reason.

Honestly, I found that to be a side effect of trying to demonstrate how damn wonderful Mako is and that he's too good for this world.

I mean look at Lin:
1. For one thing, Mako even with potential should not be in such a high position in Law Enforcement in only six months.  As such one figures he got to where he is because Lin saw something great in him and pulled strings to get him his job.  So you'd think she would trust his instincts more often.

2. Not saying it's implausible for a competent person to employ the wrong people, but Lu and Gang don't strike me as the sort who can at least seem like they are hardworking and reliable.
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« Reply #196 on: Aug 16, 2016 09:01 pm »

Maybe the problem might have to do with Kuvira's character. Personally, I thought Kuvira was just an okay villain. There was something missing from her character. I never felt she was well-rounded or complex enough to act as a foil to Korra.

I agree that this is a major component. I've noticed that I often have a problem when the bad guys are depicted as steamrolling over the protagonists without getting the appropriate character development. When I see a villain with enough humanity to feel like a real character, I don't mind them winning out over the heroes, but when the villain doesn't get that depth, I get frustrated because it feels more like plot contrivance.

Kuvira suffered from that, I think, in that she beat Korra in that fight without getting the kind of development we all wanted for her. And considering that Korra had been getting such development, Kuvira's lack of humanity stands out all the more when they confront each other in front of Zaofu. That the story later tries to claim parallels between the characters just rubs salt in the wound.

I agree that Kuvira really needed to be more than a cameo in Book Change. That the storytellers supposedly planned both out at the same time, and even took the time to throw two useless Kuvira cameos, yet didn't involve her in the Zaofu episodes at all really shows how out of their depth they were.
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Nausicaa
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« Reply #197 on: Aug 17, 2016 05:57 am »

Yeah, it's a little weird that they didn't do something more substantial with Kuvira in Book 3.

I think they should have made her friends (or at least, on friendly terms) with Korra & co. during the Zaofu episodes, then maybe have her pop up throughout the rest of the of the season. There's definitely stuff in Book 3 that could altered/ swapped out for a scenario that gives Kuvira some time to be established (Korra's desert adventure, for example). They could also include some scenes clarifying her relationship with Suyin.

I think that giving Kuvira a more substantial "good guy" role in Book 3 would help justify some of those Korra/ Kuvira comparisons that get thrown around in Book 4. Showing her personality pre-Great Uniter would be helpful. It'd also serve as buildup to Book 4 elements like Bolin joining the army, and add some nice tension to her interactions with the main cast.
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AtoMaki
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« Reply #198 on: Aug 17, 2016 06:30 am »

I think that giving Kuvira a more substantial "good guy" role in Book 3 would help justify some of those Korra/ Kuvira comparisons that get thrown around in Book 4.

I dunno but Kuvira is already shown as a better (or at least much more efficient) "good guy" than Korra, and pushing this further would hurt Korra's character and role a lot IMHO. A better idea would be to have Korra join Kuvira at the beginning (and ditch the "Korra runs away from her problems... again!" plot once and for all) and get those sweet clashes of personality rolling from the very beginning of the season.
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« Reply #199 on: Aug 17, 2016 07:01 am »

I think that giving Kuvira a more substantial "good guy" role in Book 3 would help justify some of those Korra/ Kuvira comparisons that get thrown around in Book 4.

I dunno but Kuvira is already shown as a better (or at least much more efficient) "good guy" than Korra, and pushing this further would hurt Korra's character and role a lot IMHO. A better idea would be to have Korra join Kuvira at the beginning (and ditch the "Korra runs away from her problems... again!" plot once and for all) and get those sweet clashes of personality rolling from the very beginning of the season.

I like this scenario, but I don't think Kuvira would have rose up unless Korra had left for an extended period of time.  My favorite AU scenario would have Kuvira join Korra, and both of them work together to return order to the Earth Kingdom. I would have Korra go on a Spirit Quest for a year or two because Bolin could have done something to piss of a Spirit, and then Korra could have returned from the Spirit World to discover Kuvira's burgeoning empire. Made even worse because in this scenario Kuvira would have done so in the Avatar's name.
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