‘Korrasami’ & Same-Sex Romance

29 Dec

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may know that I’ve been a big fan of Nickelodeon’s TV shows Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra (LOK).  I mean action, adventure, elemental magic/bending, martial arts… What’s not to love?

Speaking of love…

Korrasami: It’s Real

(That’s not the ending, btw. Just a little nerdy humor.)

Since Nick recently released a somewhat controversial ending regarding a romance between two same-sex characters, there’s been a lot of discussion and debate amongst fans as to whether the titular character and her friend Asami Soto were an actual “item”…

…at least, until one of the co-creators of the show released an official confirmation on their blog. The official answer is yes: the “Korrasami” romance is considered canon.

"Korrasami - By The Fire (SLVV)" by SandraLVV on DeviantArt.

“Korrasami – By The Fire (SLVV)” by SandraLVV on DeviantArt.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with this decision; that’s not my hang-up. What gets me about their decision is that, in my personal viewing experience, it truly seemed to come out of nowhere. Unlike other character romances, I felt there were not enough unambiguous cues that would suggest a romance between Korra and Asami.

What also gets me is Bryan’s statement regarding those of us who did not catch onto the possible romance between these two characters until the final episode:

“If it seems out of the blue to you, I think a second viewing of the last two seasons would show that perhaps you were looking at it only from a hetero lens.”

…or maybe it’s just showing your writing wasn’t as effective as it could have been. Plenty of shows have been clearer to their audiences about their intentions regarding same-sex romances. Granted, this is a show geared towards a younger audience, but that’s just all the more reason to make these things more obvious. If you have full-grown adults who didn’t see the signs, what makes you think younger viewers are going to have a better time of picking up on them?

I can understand the creators’ initial hesitation, but if you’re going to go for anything worthwhile in a story I say really go for it. After all, no expenses, so to speak, were spared on the other romances on the show (Opal and Bolin, Asami and Makko, etc.).

Those are just my thoughts, anyway.

Same-Sex Romances

While I’m not an active champion of same-sex romantic relationships and am not bi or lesbian myself, at the same time, I don’t see a reason to actively censor or not include such relationships and characters in some writing, TV shows or other art forms and mediums. However, “It never occurred to me” or “it’s not something I wanted to focus on or write/draw/etc. about,” for examples, are perfectly reasonable reasons not to, in my opinion, just as “I just wanted to write about a bi [or lesbian] character” is a perfectly acceptable reason to include one. “I don’t think gays and bisexual people should exist” on the other hand…not so much.

They do exist and to acknowledge this, even in fiction, is simply a nod to reality.

Don’t get me wrong: it can be so much more. You could be setting out to make an outright statement, though it isn’t necessary to. Sometimes having these elements can simply add to the variety of your cast, and if you’re going for verisimilitude that’s not a bad idea. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this.

Of course, what you do with such characters and topics in your works with be a source for open interpretation and derived meaning for readers, viewers, etc. Though, that’s another subject entirely.

What Do You Think?

What are your thoughts on including same-sex romances in fiction? Also, if you’re a fan of LOK, what did you think about the ending and how the Korrasami thread was handled overall?

And boy, it’s great getting back to proper blogging. 🙂

(Kudos to Deviantartist SandraLLV on the Korrasami artwork!)

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4 Responses to “‘Korrasami’ & Same-Sex Romance”

  1. deshipley December 29, 2014 at 11:16 AM #

    My guiding philosophy, in this and all matters of storytelling, is to be true to the characters. If characters are people, they’ll do things you like and things you don’t. (One of my favorite people in my head slurps his soup, I was most distressed to learn.) I believe it is the writer’s job to present them as they are, regardless of whether said writer disapproves, champions, or cares in the least.
    This /doesn’t/ mean that every truth needs to be told; a large part of writing is deciding which truths make it into the text, and which stay unaddressed behind the scenes. What gets revealed is between the author, character, and story to work out amongst themselves. Just deal with it honestly, and I’ll only complain so loud.

    Like

    • Tiyana January 3, 2015 at 10:57 PM #

      Well put! I think that is a great code to live by, as a writer. Covers so many bases.

      Like

  2. Anthony Lee Collins December 29, 2014 at 12:12 PM #

    It is odd to be so coy about a same-sex couple in fiction these days, when it’s at least somewhat acceptable. I remember in the Legion of Superheroes comic book at one point there was a coded relationship between two female heroes, but in those days you weren’t allowed to show that kind of relationship in a comic books. A lot of readers got it, though. 🙂

    In my current story the main relationship is between a boy and a girl (spoiler: the boy was born female — that’s not what the story is about, though).

    By the way, I persisting in trying to comment on your Tumblr sites, but I’m finding Tumblr very difficult to deal with — I’m trying the app next.

    Like

    • Tiyana January 3, 2015 at 11:02 PM #

      I thought it was odd, too. I mean it’s like out with it already!

      Oh yeah, commenting on Tumblr blogs isn’t always easy. Depends on each blog’s settings, really. On some comments aren’t allow, or are only allowed if you’ve been following the blog for a certain amount of time, etc. Some blog themes let you add Disqus to your blog, which is a lot easier to manage comments on. I know mines does, so I just might do that!

      Like

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