It took Legend of Korra creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko five days to give us an official statement about the series finale. Now that it’s finally here, though, the best way to describe it is unapologetic. More than that, they were proud and happy to take part of what was a step towards better LGBTQ representation in media.
“Korra and Asami fell in love. Were they friends? Yes, and they still are, but they also grew to have romantic feelings for each other,” Konietzko explained.
The two took to their personal blogs, confirmed and explained their choice. This shows how close the subject was to their hearts. I highly recommend reading the statements, because they wrote truly beautifully. Here’s Michael’s post, and here’s Bryan’s.
“That’s how writing works the vast majority of the time,” wrote Bryan. “You give these characters life and then they tell you what they want to do.”
While Korra and Asami weren’t meant to be a couple from the get go, the creators explain this notion is true for many other things. They started a journey, a journey which they believed would only last one season, and when the journey got extended they had the chance to learn so much more about these characters they’d created. They also mentioned due to some fan reaction, that they never planned on getting Korra and Mako back together. It was never an either/or situation. Furthermore, at one point in time, Konietzko didn’t want Korra to finish the show with anybody. Korrasami ended up being a natural story accumulation, “organic” as they chose to say.
If it’s on Wikipedia, it’s for realsies, just like your relationship status on Facebook.
The creators explained they waited a few days with their statements to give a chance to everyone out there to experience the ending. That said, DiMartino posted a link on his personal Facebook page, to a Vanity Fair article that explored the ending in depth and referred to Korrasami as a romantic relationship.
While many felt validated enough by the way the ending was portrayed, and by DiMartino’s choice to post the above article, there’s no denying that once these two posts were published, celebrations all around the world wide web ensued.
And not only that, Korra’s voice actor, Janet Varney, wrote on her Twitter page that finding out about Korrasami was an absolute delight.
The world of Avatar was always meant to teach us about acceptance, and equality. There is a reason why the name of the concluding book was “Balance.” If we delve into the creators’ words, here’s what they had to say about their reasoning behind the decision to end the show with Korra and Asami together.
“We did it for all our queer friends, family, and colleagues. It is long overdue that our media (including children’s media) stops treating non-heterosexual people as nonexistent, or as something merely to be mocked. I’m only sorry it took us so long to have this kind of representation in one of our stories,” Bryan said.
They’re not naïve—they acknowledge that this is no “slam-dunk victory to queer representation” (also Konietzko’s words), but they took what is understandably a huge leap with the tools that they had.
Granted, we can say this wasn’t enough, and that it doesn’t matter that it was a kids show, but that’s the beautiful thing. We are in the middle of an ongoing revolution. We’re not at the point of seeing an on screen kiss between a same sex couple on a kids TV show, no matter how we wish we were. But up until a few days ago, we weren’t at the point of seeing such a couple being acknowledged at all. And that’s were Korra’s breakthrough lies. That’s what’s going to pave the way for the next cartoon same sex couple. Where we are today, is not where we were last week.
The best way to show this is, perhaps, to note Bryan’s words regarding taking this to the network.
So they tried, and the network said yes.
Again, this is a kids network. We want for this kind of acceptance to be a given, but unfortunately, we’re not there yet. We do, however, serve as witnesses to the growing change.
There’s a petition asking for more stories in the Avatar universe to be told through comic books. Who knows? Maybe this is where we’ll see something more explicit. You can sign it, and know that by doing so, you’re also taking an active part of this ongoing revolution.
I’ll conclude this with beautiful fan art that I came across in the past few days. And in the words of the internet, Merry Korrasmas.