The Legend of Korrasami

legend of korra, laser time, review, binge watch, the last airbender

Earth. Fire. Air. Water. Sexuality? The Legend of Korra fans had a crazy 2014 after Nickelodeon initially aired much of the show online, with the fourth (and final) season premiering only two months after the conclusion of the third. Seasons 3 and 4 had their strengths, but it was the final scene that really launched this show into an entirely new plane of appreciation and turned it into a standard for children’s shows.

As the series ended, Korra and Asami entered the spirit realm, hands entwined in one another’s. If you haven’t heard the news, “Korrasami,” as it’s affectionately touted among fans, is indeed canon, and was confirmed officially by the creators days after airing. I just want to say how amazing this decision is! Like most of us, I’ve been watching cartoons for decades, and I have never, ever seen anything as great as this happen. Sure, in Rocko’s Modern Life there were jokes about homosexuality, hidden or blatant, and some anime have touched on the subject. Though anime reaches a variety of audiences and is generally more progressive, few kids’ programs focus on relationships at all. Korra does reach a larger, older age group, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t commend its approach to sexuality, specifically non-heterosexuality.

Showcasing bisexuality in what is essentially a kids’ show is remarkable. Sexuality in general is too limited in scope on most kids’ programming, a medium where having characters kiss can cause a hullabaloo. In Korra, however, many romances were developed and sustained. Relationships are incredible things, and they can help people in amazing ways, but society likes to push the idea that relationships are a requirement and must happen to achieve happiness in one’s life. Korra shows us that relationships are great and can provide amazing feelings and moments one can’t experience alone, but offers the idea that personal space and alone time are also important. Korra and Mako break up, get back together, and continue the cycle for most of the first two books, and while some of it is groan-inducing, they’re still handled better than most kids shows.

Beyond romance, The Legend of Korra is a vital piece of entertainment that should be seen, not just as a stellar kids’ show (because it’s much, much more than that), but also because of its ideas and implementations of modern day ideals. It’s not reliant on dated, laughable scenarios we’ve seen a thousand times before. It may not have the strong overall story like its predecessor, Avatar: The Last Airbender, but its finishing touches and impact on the landscape of similar shows is refreshing.

In a lot of discussions and reviews of the series I’ve seen since the finale, the term “subversive” is thrown around a lot. I could easily run through a list of synonyms for that term, but it’s actually the perfect word for The Legend of Korra: it’s a subversive show, and one that nearly anyone will like. If you need diversity, want great characters, and can tolerate a bevy of adult situations, then The Legend of Korra needs to be in your life. The overarching Avatar franchise may be on ice currently, but I certainly wouldn’t count it out for long. Over the past ten years, the series has broadened the idea of what constitutes kids’ shows and has paved the way for similar programming. Check out Avatar and Korra. You owe it to the kid-at-heart inside you to do so.

18 thoughts on “The Legend of Korrasami

  1. I have to admit I was hoping that she wouldn’t end up with anyone at the end of the show. I think that would have been even a step further down the subversive path, having the main protagonist end up alone at the end of her grand adventure.

    But this is fine. I really liked both of the characters, and their good together.

    At the very least, she didn’t end up with that dud Mako. He’s the Kaidan Alenko of the Avatar universe. 🙂

  2. I thought it was bullshit.
    I had to be told about korrasami shipping and thought it was a joke because at no point in the show did their relationship seem more than friends, but Korra(the show) had relationships handled so terribly between mako-korra-asami-bo lin
    so eventually i guess the creators were like, fuck it.

    1. I agree that the show never showed them as romantic at any point. But the implication seems to be that that stuff was happening, they just decided not to show any of it.

      Which, given that the relationship stuff was the worst parts of the early seasons, I don’t really have a problem with it. Especially since Korra’s love life kinda wasn’t relevant to the plot.

      Of course, that’s assuming it even was their decision and they weren’t just told to leave it out by Nick,

  3. Seems more like a decision that people living in Los Angeles would make. (Also one is a vegan)

    I am thoroughly unsurprised by this decision.

  4. I just assumed the lesbian ending was a final fuck you to Nick after all the prolonged bull fuckery with their episode order, time slot shifting and budget cuts. Although that 36 hours of the internet being on fire over the ending was amusing, that and all the forthcoming porn it guaranteed.

    The ending pushed the show from a reasonable 6/10 hats to a full 8/10.

  5. Yeah, I didn’t buy it. I marathoned the entire series after the finale so I was looking for the relationship buildup the entire time, and I never saw it. Yeah they held hands at the end, but straight chicks hold hands all the time. She wrote the letters to Assami and not the two guys, yeah probably because it’s easier to talk about your near lack of bending power and disabilities to someone who can relate to not having them. Plus, who tells all of their friends all the same stuff? It’s easier to talk to some people about certain things and not others. I know the show creators pretty much said they wanted them to end up together but just couldn’t show it, but in my viewing experience those two were never more than friends, good ones. I literally have no idea how people could be pairing these two before the finale. It’s like they just decide they would be together because reasons. Korra didn’t need to end up with anyone romantically, and in my viewership that’s exactly what happened.

    But yeah, Mako was pretty lame.

  6. Considering she had terrible romantic chemistry with Mako and Bo-Lin, and that they do show several scenes in which Korra’s and Asami’s friendship feels natural. I does make a bit of sense… Though I will say that the way the relationship was developed trough the series didn’t really warrant that massive jump at the end. In that sense, it feels less like a natural procession of the story and characters, and more a external decision of the writers to make a statement. And that has always bothered me. To me, the best stories are those that feel natural within their own universe, when you are able to see the strings behind the story itself… it breaks the illusion of this being a world of it’s own.

    Also, selfishly speaking, there was a LOT about this show I liked, but it kinda bothers me that because LGBT relationships are such a hot topic issue this days, the show will remembered by that more than anything else… and to me that’s unfair to the show’s other, more important strengths.

  7. I was really happy about this.

    I remember I was joking about Korra/Asami being my preferred couple during season 3, never thinking that that was a thing that might actually happen. So I was pleasantly surprised when suddenly it did.

    Like Cody said, it DID seem to come out of nowhere. But I don’t think it was because the characters didn’t develop their relationship, I think it’s just that the show didn’t show it to the audience. Either because Nick made them, or because they finally realized that the sucked at writing relationship scenes and avoided it.

  8. So I was going to address what a lot of you are already saying: they rushed the relationship, or rather, gave little-to-no indication of it. While I do agree with those sentiments, and I apologize for not talking about it in the above article, I do NOT agree with the idea that it was a “…decision that people living in Los Angeles would make”. WHAT?!

    Yes, the escalation of Korra and Asami becoming a couple was sprung on viewers, and essentially a rushed idea in regards to characterization. That’s a flaw of the writing, or perhaps Nick’s involvement not wanting the show to have that as blatant as the creators wanted. But to say this was “bullshit” or ruins the show is not fair. It hardly affects the integrity of the overall show itself, only the closing scene; The Legend of Korra’s overall quality still makes up for a lackluster relationship declaration. But the ability and wherewithal to actually pull it off, regardless of how you fell about LGBT relationships, is damned commendable. Korra will have an ever greater legacy than it ever would have, as well as bring in a new audience who may have overlooked it, and is that a bad thing? Spreading the word of a great-to-terrific series (depending on who you may ask) to more and more people is all a fan can ask of their show.

    Please, criticize the show’s way of handling the relationship, criticize Nick for how they screwed the show and its creators repeatedly, but do not ridicule the show for doing something normal. Showing a lesbian/bisexual relationship in a kids show is an amazing landmark in television history and should be talked about for years to come.

  9. Just a small piece of constructive criticism — as someone who has never watched this show and who knows nothing about the ending or the characters involved, I found this article to be very inaccessible.

    1. I understand that, I truly, truly do. I even had to cut this entire piece to, well, pieces to prevent it from being 1,600+ words on the series. I’m considering an article that introduces the entire Avatar series for newcomers and offering a review.
      Unfortunately trying to do it all as one was a task that was disrupted by a bad flow and poor arrangement. I tried to make this more for those who have seen and are familiar with series.

      I certainly appreciate the criticism though, thank you very much!

  10. I dono, KorraSami feels kind of a cop out and seems like the only logical conclusion. Though I haven’t watched the show at all I’m just going by tumblr fan art posts.

    If the show had a male lead in a same sex relationship I feel that would have been a more of a statement but then again I guess I’m just used to anime where same sex relationships are par for the course.

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