skywaterblue: (amy and the doctor)
[personal profile] skywaterblue
Arguing about her characterization right now is reminding me a lot of arguing about the David Tennant Doctor, especially the pocket of the fandom that doesn't really acknowledge (or care) that the character considered killing herself last season.

For those of you unfamiliar, Avatar is set in a world where Asian cultures are predominant and broken into four tribes, each one of which is given the ability to 'bend' or command a certain element according to their will. (IE: The Water Tribe, The Fire Nation.) In every generation, the spirit of the Avatar reincarnates to keep the balance between the spirit world and the human world, as well as the balance between the elements. The scene in question is from the end of last season, where Korra, the current Avatar incarnation, has lost the ability to bend three of four elements.

Like Doctor Who, Korra is a family show, so the moment in question is presented rather quickly and in passing with the idea that children not old enough to discuss the problem will kind of skip over it. Unlike Doctor Who, the writers presented it even more murkily, so that there's a larger portion of the fandom that maintains there's a lot of unclarity around the scene in question. (There really isn't, of course, because the scene doesn't really work as written in any other context.)

Anyway, she's turned out to be quite a divisive character this season. In part because she's a non-white woman in the lead of her own show, but also because she's an angry, bullheaded 17 year old who leads with her fists and doesn't know what to do with the immense global powers and responsibilities she's incarnated into. (And also, lonely is the head that wears the crown, especially on the head of a young woman.)

Of course, it's possible that I will eventually swing around and agree with the rest of fandom that Korra as presented in this current season is intensely unlikeable for no reason, but I'm maintaining optimism. As of right now, I am really sympathetic to this character because she reminds me very much of me at this age.
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