Avatar and legend of korra

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krellen
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Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby krellen » Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:28 pm

I'll give you Utena, but unless you're specifically talking about Uranus/Neptune, I'm not sure how "lesbian" Sailor Moon is. The central relationship of the series is heterosexual, and three out of five of the main characters are boy-crazy/largely preoccupied with boys or past relationships with boys.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:57 pm

What all of you keep neglecting is that this is a western childrens cartoon.Yes,having a lesbian couple in a tv show or a movie is safe and pandering.Yes having an anime with girl on girl(or boy on boy)action is nothing new.But an american cartoon for kids?Heck,some even say that nick was jerking them around so much because they killed their villain in season one,because they think it was too adult.So to even get this past them is neither safe,nor pandering.
rrgg

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby rrgg » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:56 pm

I guess my main reservation is that if these were real people it would seem extremely rude to just assume they were gay without any sort of explicit confirmation. But since they're just fictional characters that doesn't really matter, plus the Word of God will probably be weighing in very soon.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Sat Dec 20, 2014 5:21 pm

rrgg wrote:I guess my main reservation is that if these were real people it would seem extremely rude to just assume they were gay without any sort of explicit confirmation.


Why?It wouldnt be any ruder than assuming they were a couple if they were two guys or if one was a guy and one was a girl.
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Thomas

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:09 pm

Yeah I'm with Daemian here. Why should it be rude to think someone's gay (or bissexual) over thinking they're straight? The only thing to take offence over is all that stupid homophobic children crud "oh he's so flamboyant and unmasculine" or whatever.

If I was gay and people assumed I was heterosexual, even though I was very clearly going out with someone of my gender, that would be really annoying and even kind of oppressive if it's widespread.

If Korra were straight and she had these scenes with a guy, there would be almost no chance that people could interpret the scenes in this season as anything but romantic. We're trained to assume romantic connections between two lead characters who start off hating each other. Never mind holding hands and staring into their eyes.

I really can't understand why you're waiting on Word of God. Every narrative convention is screaming "romance". They used like half a dozen romantic tropes in that final scene alone. I mean I can understand a young person missing it, but anyone else? There's a reason why every adult watching the show has been explicitly talking about the Korra/Asami romance, because that's exactly what happened. Every single reviewer who I've seen so far has taken it for granted, and everyone I was watching it with took it for granted without discussion.
rrgg

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby rrgg » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:21 pm

That is also sort of rude, but the label gay has way more baggage attached to it. If someone doesn't want to tell people they're gay then either then either they aren't gay or they don't want people to think they are, which is generally their buisness.
rrgg

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby rrgg » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:30 pm

@Thomas

Narrative conventions confirming an unconventional romance?
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Narratorway
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Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Narratorway » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:38 pm

Are you saying it's a contradiction? 'Cause it aint.
rrgg

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby rrgg » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:09 pm

Technically no. But without explicit confirmation the conventions can't really be considered that reliable.
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Narratorway
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Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Narratorway » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:22 pm

Because...?

Ooh, that reminds me: I was totally going to respond to this way back...yesterday.

Zukhramm wrote:Dude, I walk into the spirit world while holding hand like that with all my friends. It means nothing.

Image
Last edited by Narratorway on Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Thomas

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:23 pm

Being okay with a society where you make the normative assumption that someones straight is not a good thing and it's not a good mindset to have. It's damaging.

Apart from anything else it can lead to this situation where you have a really awesome role model who is obviously bisexual and yet people on the internet still argue she isn't.. :P


Also you just described a bisexual relationship as "unconventional" and suggested normal narrative tropes don't apply to it. Sure it's less numerically common, but it's not like it functions different from any other kind of romance.
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Thomas

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:28 pm

I'm rewatching season 1 at the moment, and I stumbled upon this coincidence :P

When they were establishing the Mako and Asami romance, Mako and Asami were sitting alone with each other in an intimate environment. Asami shared the pain she felt at the loss of one of her parents and Mako empathised, and then Asami rested her head in Mako's arm as they both looked forward.

This was the cue where you were supposed to know that they not only had romantic feelings for each other, but were actively practising their relationship.

In the finale, Asami and Korra were sitting alone with each other in an intimate environment. Asami shared the pain she felt at the loss of one of her parents and Korra empathised, and then Asami rested her head...
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:01 pm

rrgg wrote:Technically no. But without explicit confirmation the conventions can't really be considered that reliable.


This is why subtlety is a dying art form.
rrgg

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby rrgg » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:02 pm

Narratorway wrote:Because...?

It's because a lot of those conventions tend to rely on other conventions to back them up. Like how when asami held hands and said "I love you" to her father it could mean very different things depending on what is true about their characters. If you want to make your own judgments about fictional people that's fine, but I wouldn't exactly call it undeniable proof.

Narratorway wrote:Ooh, that reminds me: I was totally going to respond to this way back...yesterday.

Zukhramm wrote:Dude, I walk into the spirit world while holding hand like that with all my friends. It means nothing.

Image

Like I said, I find that kind of rude.

@Thomas
I don't think society should make either assumption about an individual's preferences. What's wrong with asking someone and taking them at their word? Let people determine their own labels if they want.

Thomas wrote:I'm rewatching season 1 at the moment, and I stumbled upon this coincidence :P

When they were establishing the Mako and Asami romance, Mako and Asami were sitting alone with each other in an intimate environment. Asami shared the pain she felt at the loss of one of her parents and Mako empathised, and then Asami rested her head in Mako's arm as they both looked forward.

This was the cue where you were supposed to know that they not only had romantic feelings for each other, but were actively practising their relationship.

In the finale, Asami and Korra were sitting alone with each other in an intimate environment. Asami shared the pain she felt at the loss of one of her parents and Korra empathised, and then Asami rested her head...

I'll agree, this is some pretty strong evidence. Still not quite explicit though.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:10 pm

rrgg wrote:I don't think society should make either assumption about an individual's preferences.


Except we arent doing that.We dont assume either of the two is gay or bi because of how they act or dress or whatever.We conclude that the two are a couple because they act like a couple.It has nothing to do with their genders,but how they act towards each other.There is absolutely nothing wrong or disrespectful with that.

However,what is disrespectful is people thinking they arent acting like a couple simply because they are of the same sex,even though they acknowledge that its a common narrative convention for a man and a woman to act in such a fashion when they have romantic feelings for each other.
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Thomas

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:07 pm

You've already admitted above that this would be a different case if it were male/female. That basically means you need evidence that someone isn't hetero, but you don't need the same evidence to assume they are in hetero relationship

There are more romantic cues between Asami and Korra than Asami and Mako in that scene, yet the Mako scene was meant to demonstrate romance and was accepted as such.

From a narrative standpoint, the scene makes very little sense unless it was romantic.
1) It's calling back to the very last scene of Avatar, which was Aang and Katara together.
2) Check this out (it's not necessarily an explicit reference it's just a universal language for saying 'relationship' in films/tv)
Image
3) It's valuing the Korra/Asami relationship above every other relationship in the series. It's saying "this is the one we end out on". That makes no sense unless it's a romantic relationship, otherwise it should be ending on a scene with Team Avatar together. Unless Asami's relationship is romantic, there's no reason to highlight it over Bolin's or Mako's.
4) They spend a whole shot on their hands touching and then being held. Focusing on skin contact is a way of suggesting a romantic relationship, and there's no reason to include that shot unless you're very carefully trying to signify it.
5) All their interactions in this book have been romantically tinged.
6) They were staring into each other's eyes. Friends do not do that :P
7) They were also just about to kiss =D

8)The picture obviously wasn't convincing enough, so lets try the GIF.
Image
rrgg

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby rrgg » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:17 pm

@DL
Either way you're still making broad assumptions based on some aspects of what you think a romantic couple looks like.

It might end up being correct, subltety still works for people who think like the author, it's just not suprising when other people interpret it differently. That's why I prefer to wait for the WoG these days (or in the case of real life, their own word).
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Thomas

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:36 pm

If I believe that you never assumed that Kitarra or Aang were romantically interested in each other until the very last episode when the actual kiss took place (making the broad assumption that kisses are romantic :P) I will buy your point.

If you didn't think that Korra liked Mako until she explicitly asked Mako out, that Mako didn't like Asami until they started dating. That Hans and Leia didn't have feelings for each other until _they_ kissed.. and so on then sure.

That's kind of defeating the point of fiction and it's ignoring a whole social and film language that we've built, but at least it's rationally sound.

But if that's not true, then ask yourself why you're making it into a different thing now that it's a girl and a girl doing exactly the same things that happened in all those other relationships. Because that sounds much more assumptive and much more potentially harmful than what we're doing
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Zukhramm
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Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Zukhramm » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:54 pm

Thomas wrote:making the broad assumption that kisses are romantic :P


You can't just make an assumption like that.
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krellen
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Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby krellen » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:57 pm

I haven't watched a single episode of this show, but I did see that gif. That is a romantic scene, and anyone trying to convince themselves otherwise either has little experience with American media or is trying too hard.
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Zukhramm
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Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Zukhramm » Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:13 pm

I want to note that a large amount of exposure to American media doesn't mean it's not still incomprehensible to me. Also, my issue isn't that scene but everything before that.
rrgg

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby rrgg » Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:59 pm

krellen wrote:I haven't watched a single episode of this show, but I did see that gif. That is a romantic scene, and anyone trying to convince themselves otherwise either has little experience with American media or is trying too hard.

So if you were about to be flung into another dimension with what is essentially a god made flesh you would refuse to hold hands on the grounds of "woah woah woah, that sounds like it would imply we are gay"? :p

@Thomas
To be honest not really, given that it was a nicktoon about 10 year olds. Plus it came up long before the ending in dialog and episode plots. But that's sort of besides the point, what determines which conventions are right and wrong? Why does the end all relationship have to be romantic as you put it?

Anyways apparently one of the creators already tweeted about how the episode actually did end with a subversive romance, so there you go. :P
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krellen
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Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby krellen » Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:22 pm

rrgg wrote:So if you were about to be flung into another dimension with what is essentially a god made flesh you would refuse to hold hands on the grounds of "woah woah woah, that sounds like it would imply we are gay"? :p

I'd refuse to hold hands because I don't really touch people due to past trauma, not because of homophobia. But holding hands with people you are not romantically or familiarly involved with is not something done in our culture. It's basically something only lovers and parents/children do.
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Thomas

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:33 pm

And if you do ever hold hands for reassurance, it still looks different from that. You stand closer together and your arms go more straight down and you squeeze a bit more. You also don't then hold their other hand too and stare into their eyes
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I'm not saying the final relationship has to be romantic. I'm saying they have to choose that relationship for a reason (and they set the precedent of choosing to end on romance). If they were choosing to end on a friendship, picking out Asami was weird and doesn't seem to mean much. Mako or Bolin or even Tenzin have more 'right' to take that friendship spot, and it makes sense to just have all of them in the closing shot if you want to end it like that. And again, if it was a guy-girl, I'm pretty sure there woudn't have been the slightest doubt in anyones mind.

You're last shot should sum something up, it should be the thing you want your audience to take home with them. 'Asami is a good friend to Korra' is kind of weird because Korra had lots of good friends. 'Asami and Korra expressed their romantic feelings to each other' singles out Asami and it leaves you feeling like Korra is going to have that special someone with her whenever she needs her.

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It also works really well because the Korra in series 1 was a confused teenager who was seeing the world for the first time and diving in head first and making mistakes as she went. Her first romantic relations developed at breakneck speed, with very little knowledge of the people involved and her compatibility with them. Mako was her pro-bending hero and she got caught up in a rush. And even then, like a teenager, she had no idea what to do with that relationship, it was a trainwreck of confusion and hurt feelings.

At the same time, the second big theme is Korra's fear of being hurt, and not meeting people's expectations and dealing with pain. She struggles to deal with her own happiness, the weight of responsibility and what the future holds.

Throughout the series Korra learns to come down, handle situations with better wisdom and take things at the proper place. She grows in her understanding of people and the world around her and she begins to find a closeness in herself with someone who is less hot-headed than Mako and can give her space and the support/anchor she needs.

Unlike the first time round, she engages in a relationship with someone she knows and trusts and who compliments her in the same way she compliments them. She knows them better, she knows her better and she's finally able to go ahead with it because she knows it's good for her. She can shake off the weight of her enemies and the world and responsibility and, with good reason, trust that whatever the future holds is going to be good. She entered her first relationship as a messy teenager and she enters her last one as an adult.
---------------------------
It's just a nice bookend.
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Thomas

Re: Avatar and legend of korra

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:40 pm

I can't find a non-child non-romantic image, but it looks more like Image

Korra is doing this
Image
or
Image

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