Korra leaves a lasting legacy of love and equality

By Ivan Mateo

Hot button issues of equality for women and same sex marriage continue to rage on in the United States. “Avatar: The Last Airbender” always pushed the boundaries of equality, religion, government and more, and “The Legend of Korra” displayed the same qualities.

“Korra” caught fan interest because of how popular and successful its predecessor “Avatar” is and was. “Korra” did not experience as smooth of a journey as “Avatar” did because of a rushed first season, the giant shoes “Korra” had to try to fill, and Nickelodeon pulling the show from the air and making it online only.

Despite these obstacles, “Korra” concluded its four-season journey on one of the highest notes ever imaginable. The creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, pulled off an amazing and joyous feat of two female characters falling in love.

The final scene depicts Korra, the main protagonist, and Asami, the other female member of Team Avatar, holding each other’s hands and gazing into each other’s eyes. The show’s creators pulled it off in a subtle manner, yet as close to definitive as one can get. The ending scene of Korra and Asami directly mirrors the marriage ceremony shown in an earlier scene between two heterosexual characters: A man, Varrick, and a woman, Zhuli.

Did that just happen? On Nickelodeon? I was surprised, happy and fascinated. However, this ending didn’t just come out of nowhere. The creators slowly built up to this final moment, yielding a poetically beautiful reward.

Film and television need stronger woman protagonists whose actions are not predicated by others, especially men. Also, just having strong women is not enough; there needs to be variety to represent wider ranges of women.

Asami and Korra are two unique women coming from different backgrounds that discover mutual ground. Korra possesses infinite amounts of potential and power with stubbornness sprinkled in, and Asami utilizes her ingenuity and intellect towards creativity while still remaining modest.

After the series finale, Twitter and Reddit roared with a wide range of emotions, questions and comments. Users did not know what to think. Why didn’t Korra and Mako end up together? Did Korra and Asami end up as merely best friends? Or was there something else there, something more?

Many online publications such as Vanity Fair, IGN, USA Today and Forbes praised “Korra” for breaking down walls. People like myself watched the episode again to see if their relationship was simply platonic. I leaned on the side of Korra and Asami possessing feelings for another, but others needed validation.

After some time passed following the finale, both creators released blog posts on Tumblr titled “Korrasami is canon” and “Korrasami confirmed,” which solidified what fans theorized. Korra and Asami began as strangers vying for the feelings of the same guy, Mako, subsequently becoming rivals with mutual respect and admiration toward one another. They then relied on one another as best friends in times of need, and ultimately fell in love.

To think DiMartino and Konietzko could and would pull this off on a predominantly kids’ network like Nickelodeon communicates the strength and trust clearly evident in the network and creator partnership.

“Korra” leaves a legacy of fluid animation, beautiful elemental fighting styles, reaching new frontiers, and more ” but the lasting impact will be felt formany years to come. In DiMartino’s Tumblr post, he writes about “Avatar” and “Korra” by stating, “this universe and its characters also speak to the deeper humanity in all of us, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, culture, nationality, or sexual orientation.”

Yes, it does, it really does. Kudos to the creators and Nickelodeon. Bravo.

Legend of Korra

Monica Lopez / The Poly Post

Legend of Korra

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