This isn’t about animation.
It’s about justice.
I love Kyoshi.
I had some thoughts about Korra and I started writing them down, as I tend to do. It got… really… long. Here’s a DW link if it’s easier for you to read/bookmark/comment on.
Basic worldbuilding should have included answering at least some of these questions! Instead: a mess.
- spending years behind a mask doesn’t change your skin color that drastically
- all of his makeup dissolved in the water, so that wasn’t ultra pale powder
- you don’t need to change your skin color to adopt a new identity
- a dark-skinned character bleaching their skin is in no way comparable to a white person tanning and if you think that’s true you are racist
- coloring errors? ‘oh it was just a mistake on bryke’s part?’
- YEAH A RACIST MISTAKE ON THE PART OF TWO WHITE MEN
- lighting? we’ve seen amon’s hands multiple times and they were ALWAYS lightskinned
the fact that you’re trying so hard to justify the whitewashing of a character says a lot more about you than it does about the PoC offended by this.
Exactly. It’s a legitimate complaint fans have. I don’t understand how anyone could have watched those scenes with Amon as a brown-skinned child, then saw him without the mask as a pale-skinned man and saw nothing wrong with it. What world are you living in? And it’s not just Amon. Katara and Sokka received the same treatment, without explanation. I do get that skin complexions can change over time (not in terms of getting a tan, but something biologically within us) but this is a form of realism that I have a feeling the show was not going for.
Also, in regards to what I’ve bolded, don’t animators have model sheets they use? How hard is it to use the eye-drop thingy? So making him pale was intentional.
And what’s most annoying about this is that I just know Bryke aren’t going to address it.
There are already justifications for it? (My earlier post about it was more questioning how something so obvious could be inconsistent).
It’s a pretty serious sight in a show so positive about other cultures, and people with darker skin.
And that’s what so confusing about it.
This show was all over the place in regards to race, which I thought was disappointing, since AtLA was (as far as I know? but I’m white so take this with salt) pretty good about it.
I came to tumblr.
I saw a Shang/Iroh crossover.
Post with 4 notes
Okay, I can understand why people didn’t like this episode of Korra, but honestly, it was the first episode this far where I felt like I got to know any of the characters and really care about them.
(Besides Bolin and Naga, who are perfect and I have loved from day one.)
Though I do wish the show would make up its mind on whether it’s a sports story or a plotty scary revolution story. I feel like this episode and the last episode would have been better if the two stories had been more evenly divided between them.
(and when is this show gonna start passing the Bechdel test again bc i mean i love korra but she never talks to any ladies about anything other than boys)
OH MY GOOOODDDDR
working in a factory
being all cool
by which I mean I WANT TO KNOW MORE
I mean the worldbuilding— the WORLDBUILDING— it’s so amazing but so far it’s only hinting at this much deeper socioeconomic current and I need to know everything right now oh my god
like, first of all, the existence of the Equalists - what are they actually protesting? At first I was watching today’s episode and being like, “this concept of the ‘bending elite’ is bullshit, because if benders are so ‘elite’ then why are Mako and Bolin dirt-poor-working-class being shamelessly exploited by the pro-bending institution, why is Mako working in a factory to make ends meet, how can anyone be elite when they are engaging in GLADIATORIAL COMBAT for a fucking living? and if the benders are so ~elite~ then WHY ARE THEY ALL IN GANGS”
but then I realized— holy shit, this is a world that has INDUSTRIALIZED bending. Mako works in a factory, in a power plant, doing assembly line work— but it’s assembly line work that only a firebender could do. How many other jobs keeping Republic City running are bender-only? How much better do those pay than jobs not specific to benders? Do they at all? Or is the Equalists’ protest simply a frustrated attempt to pin the blame for a deeper-running employment problem on a class that’s really easy to blame?
And, well, benders ARE really easy to blame— I mean, IRL people will tell you “get a college degree because no matter what job you’re looking for, if it comes down to a guy with a degree and a guy without they’ll take the guy with the degree”
Now imagine that a fourth of the population (or whatever, I wish I knew how bender genetics worked) IS BORN WITH A FUCKING COLLEGE DEGREE
and you can start to see the Equalists’ point
BUT it’s not clear yet the extent to which that’s actually a problem, as being the ~bending elite~ doesn’t seem to have helped out Our Heroes much at this point and there’s not a wide enough picture yet of the world or the differences between classes (outside of the existence of bender-specific jobs, the secluded Airbenders, and the Equalists’ general pissiness) to determine whether non-benders are actually facing real economic oppression in comparison to benders
BASICALLY I JUST WANT GRAPHS
GIVE ME A GRAPH OF THE BENDER VS. NON-BENDER LABOR MARKET
GIVE ME PILES OF STATISTICS ON THE FUNCTION OF REPUBLIC CITY’S INDUSTRIAL SECTOR
GIVE ME DATA ON PER CAPITA INCOME FOR BENDERS VS. NON-BENDERS
I WANT TO KNOW
OH GOD I WOULD KILL FOR GRAPHS
As for what the Equalists are protesting, I saw a couple of different possible things (I’m assuming it’s a combination of them)
1. The economics/ college-degree thing talked about above: Mako has two jobs that are bender exclusive. (Also a quick point: Saying “how can there be a bending elite when Our Heroes are benders and poor” is like saying “How can there be a white elite when Our Heroes are poor and white”) (Also about pro-bending: pro-bending is not forced, nor is it exclusively for the entertainment of non-benders, nor is it particularly dangerous; it reminds me way more of MMA than “gladiatorial combat”)
2. THE POLITICAL STRUCTURE OF REPUBLIC CITY WHAT IS IT TELL ME
We know basically 1 thing: Tenzin is on “the Council”. NOWHERE is it implied that the Council is elected. Tenzin only real distinguishing characteristic is his status as Airbending Master/ Avatar’s son… so it’s unlikely that he was elected.
Who else is on the Council? We have *NO* idea. But if Tenzin is on as a representative of the Air Nomads/Nation then… who else? Other bending masters? Representatives of pre-unification political units (a Firelord, Earth King, King of Omashu, etc?). And as the old nations were defined by bending…
We have to ask the question, Are there non-Benders with political power?
3. The police force: We’ve so far seen 2 beat-cops: both are displayed as over-weight and ineffectual (Korra has twice evaded them). But we’ve also seen the chief of police and those who are stationed in the airships: ALL BENDERS. The entire upper echelons of the police force are not only benders, they are benders who can swoop down from the sky and bind you up with their minds. Benders (like Korra) can fight that. Non-benders, not so much. That kind of power differential does not make for a noble and equality-serving force.
4. The forth thing is the converse of something OP mentioned: ALL THE GANGS ARE BENDING BASED. Benders can fight them. Non-benders don’t have a chance. Not only do non-benders not have much of a chance fighting the gangs exhortation and terrorism, they can’t even join. Our Heroes, Mako and Bolin, were able to pick up work with the gangs, earn a little money. Non-bender orphans whose parents were cut down by firebenders wouldn’t even have that.
So yeah. I mean, Mako and Bolin are being exploited by the pro-bending institution, yeah, but they have a place to live (because of bending), have a job (because of bending - both the factory and the pro-bending), and have the ability to join or fight the gangs (because of bending).And frankly, Korra’s behavior (which is not her fault because she was raised in an all-bending, isolated, and *extremely* privileged environment) does not particularly make me want to route against the Equalists.UGH SHOW JUST GIVE ME ALL THE INFORMATION.
a good post for everyone on my dash not quite into the whole “bender privilege” thing yet! smart questions to be asking as the show progresses
Yes, yes, all this. Considering that a) some people get born with potentially lethal magic powers, b) there’s a hell of a class inequality going on in the city, c) the police force and at least a visible fraction of the government consist of dudes with lethal magic powers, and d) the gangs consist of and are led by people who have no issue with showing off and USING those magic powers, it’s really, really, REALLY unsurprising that there’s a thick seam of fear and resentment for the Equalists to tap into. In our world, the disenfranchised working poor have been whipped up to charge off after way flimsier scapegoats than a bunch of people who can melt their faces off and apparently frequently do.
oh my god this is so beautiful get on my blog
Sums up my thoughts on this far more eloquently than I could.
Yes yes yes
but also: pffft, Our Heroes being poor orphans equalling no bending elite. If they hadn’t been benders, and their parents had been killed, how would they have gotten along? They probably couldn’t have worked for the gangs. They couldn’t be pro-benders. They couldn’t get factory jobs exclusive to benders. Yeah, so Our Heroes had a rough life. If they hadn’t been benders, would they be alive? Would they be in a position to help the avatar?
I’m really excited by this whole plot line and Bryke’s previous record with portraying complexity in situations like this, but right now every part of me is just screaming for more information, because they are playing Amon as Totes Ebil and I just keep thinking BUT HE HAS SOME VALID FUCKING POINTS.
(i also keep wishing this entire season came out at once, because I would like to move on into Korra’s character development where she’s no longer an obnoxious privileged brat telling people they’re oppressing themselves, because I love her and i need her to stop saying shit like that why is she so dumb)
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