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The problem with Mako is that he is not written consistant with his shown actions or implied role. Remember Bolin telling Korra that Mako had to grow up at a young age to take care of both of them as street orphans? Or Mako's concern over Bolin in the first part of the series?
Where is that later in the show? Even ignoring the whole "my brother took you out, now is a good time to mention I kinda like you back despite how brusque I was earlier", because that is an example of a moment of hormonal teenage idiocy, he just doesn't show his mature-beyond-his-years protective side towards Bolin later in the series.


This. I personally believe Mako is written inconsistently as well. There is a clear difference in his character after episode 5 and the caring, brotherly, cautious, I'm-suspicious-of-you-screwing-over-the-life-I've-fought-for-for-me-and-Bolin dynamic character that I caught a glimpse of in the first five episodes made me like his character despite the rushed romance and sudden character changes. While I love Korra and her hardheadedness to death Bolin and Mako have to be my favorite and I absolutely love their brotherly relationship.

I think a lot of the hate honestly comes from girls who pick the kind of guy they like and then side with him, although of course there are male fans and female fans that don't do that (I'm one of them). I just find it hilarious how everyone acts like Mako is a total douchebag for being confused, unsure and hesitant in a relationship. If you honestly think what happened between Mako, Korra and Asami isn't a common place relationship issue then you're naive or never had a serious adult relationship, no offense. As a person who doesn't sternly support any ship or who doesn't heavily focus on the romance and as an older sibling myself I find that I can really relate to Mako and understand him a bit more than a lot of people bother to.

I also tend to make the argument that everything is technically Korra's fault. It really is. After Bolin admitted he liked Korra to Mako, Mako backed off of Korra and ignored her (to which fans bitched that he was being an a*****e) and then despite knowing that Mako was someone else's boyfriend she kissed him anyways (something which we all know in real life would have her being branded as a boyfriend stealing whore). He did kiss her back in a moment of confusion and weakness and then instantly regretted the slip up of judgement when he saw that it had hurt Bolin. Even after that she clearly ignored Asami's relationship with Mako and continued to pursue him, brushing it aside when Ikki admitted aloud that Korra liked Mako. I mean don't get me wrong I love Korra to death but seriously, that whole love triangle issue certainly wasn't helped by her.

But he just brushed Asami aside when Korra was in danger! He was more concerned about Korra being kidnapped by a bending-stealing public enemy number one masked villain while Asami is perfectly safe by his side! Um....okay... Unlike Korra who was in the clutches of Amon, Asami was perfectly safe by his side where he could protect her and make sure she was okay, as was Bolin. I also agree completely with the person who posted earlier saying how even though they didn't break up in a dramatic scene of tears and screaming Asami and Mako still ended the relationship.

I think it's the same thing that makes people fall in love with Tahno despite him being nothing but a cheating a*****e with literally two seconds of pity on screen (don't get me wrong I love his character too). It's the same thing that has people hating Asami despite her handling things extremely well, being generous, friendly, forgiving and supportive simply because she's a love rival to Korra; and the same thing that has people loving Bumi's character despite him literally having like five seconds of screen time with no actual dialogue! We've actually been given so little of their characters and back stories that people are filling in gaps with their imagination and adding personal details to the characters that shapes their own opinions of them. Honestly I think rather Mako is a jerk or not is up to personal interpretation and how deeply you read into the characters.

*sheepish* Sorry for the rant and if it appears a bit unorganized, it's rather late and I swore I wasn't going to write a whole essay on the matter but as a fanfic writer it's something I've become frustrated with lately. That and all of the hateful, biased people who get caught up in this whole silly shipping war mess instead of focusing on the amazingness that is LOK! rolleyes
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I didn't even know people thought of his character that way?
I see where your coming from, but first you have no evidence that Asami and Mako broke up, but at the same time we don't know their still together. And I personally don't hate Mako or love him, i get he has a bad past but i cant stand cheaters. Say what you will, he cheated and that is enough reason for a person to not like him.
“I don’t get why Mako and Korra like eachother.”

I see this coming from a lot of people who don’t ship Makorra and really, it baffles me because how can you NOT see it.. but okay, I think I get what you’re saying. You know why YOU like Mako or Korra, but you don’t know why they like eachother in the context of the show. Let me just give my two cents on the matter. And yeah, it’s a doozy of a post. Grab some tea and get comfortable.


First of all, I think too many people in this fandom want things spelled out for them. They want to be TOLD everything with long declarations of love and feelings. I’m personally one of those people who want to be SHOWN more than TOLD. Actions have always meant more to me than words.

I think we can all agree that Korra became interested in Mako because of his bending, right? Now, if Bryke had Korra say something like “Mako, I became interested in you the moment you won that match. Your bending was just amazing and I was in such awe.”

You can see exactly what I just typed, yeah? Does Korra really need to say that when her expressions and action speak it? There are some things that should be said, yes, but not everything has to be. You want to know why Mako and Korra like eachother? Well, let’s see:

Korra’s interest in Mako started with him winning that much. His good looks probably factored in—how can they not? I’d even venture to say that Mako was probably attracted to her as well or at least acknowledged that she was attractive. Not that he’d ever show it, especially not right before he was about to play in a match. (Keep in mind how important probending was for him—paying the bills and keeping Bolin safe and off the streets. Flirting with girls before something that important is not something he does. His focus, as Bolin says, was probably the glue that held their team together.)

But anyway, back to Mako and Korra. There is a reason that once he wins, his eyes lock on Korra. I mean he’s standing in a huge arena, surrounded by people. He’s used to Bolin having fangirls in their box—and yet, his eyes still find Korra. Maybe it’s attraction, maybe it’s something else, I don’t know. All I know is it’s something.

But then when Bolin is showing Korra his earthbending style, Mako is still being a cool guy. He’s not treating Korra any differently just because she’s the Avatar. Even though she had never left the southern water tribe, I’m going to guess she’s used to people putting her on a pedalstal because of her title.

She’s got her arms crossed all boss like with that smile..”Yeah, I’m the Avatar.” But Mako doesn’t give her special attention and then this scene happens:

“Not bad.”

“What does it take to impress this guy?”

“What? I said not bad.”

Korra was not amused. Now, I don’t think she was trying to impress him because she liked him at this point, but because she’s not used to someone not being impressed with her. Even though she doesn’t acknowledge it, I think this is actually another reason she starts to like him. Because he doesn’t treat her as some Godly being and he doesn’t hold her up to high expectations just because of her title. He doesn’t let her get away with things because she’s the Avatar and he certainly stands up to her. (Like in EP7)

So I think that is something that appeals to Korra. Someone who treats her as Korra and not by her title; someone who is willing to challenge her, who won’t crumple because of her title.

Now looking at EP3 because this is when her crush becomes apparent. (I also think this has more of an effect on Mako then what we see, but I’ll get to that in a minute.) At this point, we know Mako and Korra are teammates. We know, by the end of EP2, that Mako acknowledges how good of a bender Korra is and that he can rely on her as his teammate. Their relationship at this point hadn’t branched that of teammates, but that changes in EP3.

Korra is very eager and willing to help Mako find Bolin. I personally think her eagerness was simply because she wanted to spend time with Mako.

Not exactly the face of concern for Bolin. [I’m not saying she wasn’t concerned at all, just that her overeagerness was more so because she’d be spending time with Mako.] Mako on the otherhand is purely concerned. He’s not here to see Korra; he’s looking for Bolin.

So how does Korra’s aid effect Mako? To him she was his teammate—he didn’t expect anything from her. But she offers Naga. She fights along side him against some equalists. She helps him search the entire city all night. No sign of Bolin. She could go home after that, but she doesn’t. She suggests the protestor in the park and they wait most of the morning. They find out about the rally and Korra goes willingly into the heart of the equalists.

From Mako’s perspective, that means a hell of a lot to him.

He might never have found Bolin without Korra. Or if he had, Bolin’s bending could have been taken away. Especially after everything that happened, when he looks back and sees how bad things could have been had he not found Bolin. And he might not have, without Korra.

You can tell he’s used to bailing Bolin out of trouble…”Bolin has a knack for getting into stupid situations.” But what’s more is that he’s used to doing this alone. When Korra first said she’d help, he said “No, I’ve got it.” He’s always carried his and Bolin’s weight on his own. But for once, someone else is helping him willingly. Korra becomes someone who helps him shoulder some of the weight he’s carried since he was 8.

Mako doesn’t know Korra’s eagerness comes from the fact that she wants to spend time with him—so from his perspective, he admires that his teammate, whom he didn’t expect anything from, was willing to go through this much trouble to help find his brother, who means the world to him.

And for Korra? What did she take away from this? She got to know more about Mako.

She got to see how much family meant to Mako. A value that she probably admires because she too cares for her family—Tenzin’s as well. Also, this episode shows how responsible and problem solving Mako is. Both traits I can imagine Korra would appreciate. He’s smart as well as talented. This is the episode that I think built their relationship. This is when they go from reliable teammates to trusted and reliable friends.

So what makes Mako become romantically interested in Korra? Well, I think it’s a combo of everything I’ve just talked about plus spending more time around her. After EP3 and how that effected Mako, I think it’s pretty obvious why he’d like her. At that point she proved she was a reliable teammate, talented bender, and loyal friend. And attraction probably played a factor as well. What’s not to like? The big compliment he gives her in EP11 is that she’s the most “loyal, brave and selfless person he knows.”

Just some examples: Korra proves she’s loyal to Mako and Bolin in EP3. She proves she’s loyal to her duty as the Avatar in EP7. She proves she’s brave countless times—fighting against Amon, equalists, etc. She proves she’s selfless when she agrees to just be friends during the tourny because it’s in the best interest of their team. Also when she tells Mako to go to Asami, despite how much it hurts her.

So to me, it was obvious why Mako liked Korra. Not just from my perspective but from his.

For Korra? Just a brief summary:

EP2 - A guy who is an exceptional bender and doesn’t treat her any differently as the Avatar. Who treats her like a person first.

EP3 - A guy who is responsible and smart, with the ability to problem solve. A guy she works well with in the dynamics of fighting. A guy who cares deeply about his brother, his only family left.

EP5 - A guy who admits he likes her, but knows better than to pursue a relationship because A) he’s already in one; B) his brother likes her; C) because they need to concentrate on probending and not let this get in the way. I stand by this arguement because Mako did not pursue Korra. In fact, he lied to her by telling her he wasn’t interested. Only once she pursued the topic did he finally admit it.

EP8 - A guy who acts as her voice of reason, who gets her to be cool under fire. A guy who jokes playfully around with her and smiles softly.

EP9 - A guy who makes her feel safe.

EP10-12 - A guy who is there for her always, who learned from EP7 to trust her judgement. A guy who knows he might die in the process but stands by her side. A guy who fights alongside her as an equal. A guy who saves her life.

Not everything I wanted to say but it’s long enough. At the end of the day, I could see why Mako and Korra like and even love eachother. Their dynamics, their similar values, the way they compliment one another, how they aren’t afraid to challenge the other person, the way they can help shoulder eachothers weight that they’ve always carried—Mako as a protector and caretaker and Korra as the Avatar.

They are, essentially, what the other needs and wants. A balance.
Mako is such a badass! And hes a fire bender which are my favorite!!!!!
Whoever says Mako’s apologies are not sincere..I’m just going to disagree completely. If someone says “None of his apologies are sincere. He says he’s sorry that ‘things happened’, but never that he’s sorry for what he has done.” They are talking about two things: either all of his apologies or just the one with Asami.

With Asami, I don’t see how that scene didn’t look sincere. Or any other time he apologies. Honestly. I’m not even sure how to argue that because Mako LOOKED and SOUNDED very sincere to me.

I would haved like Mako to have added something about wishing he would have told her about the kiss or something along those lines, but there wasn’t much time for a detailed apology. I actually think Mako and Asami talked things through BEFORE that scene.

2. Actively pursuing Korra and ignored Asami’s feelings. I’m not sure what people mean by “ignoring Asami’s feelings.” Ignoring what feelings? In EP9, everyone was looking for Korra, who was MISSING. Had Asami been gone, I don’t think anyone would be complaining about Mako “ignoring Korra” or whatever. That claim is ridiculous to me. Mako wasn’t ignoring Asami’s feelings..he just wasn’t aware that his behavior was bothering her.

I’d have to disagree about Mako pursuing Korra, too. That implies that he’s aware of it. It was clear to me that he wasn’t aware that his actions meant more then he realized.

And then he and Asami break up. It’s hard to expect Mako to “do the right thing and end things with Asami because he loves Korra” when he doesn’t realize that himself, you know? I think that is probably what Mike and Bryan were going for—that the Masami break up would end when Mako realized his own feelings.

3. I don’t know if Mako tried to kiss Korra in EP11. She leaned away before he leaned forward, so it’s iffy. If he was going to kiss her, that would be really stupid and I wouldn’t have approved.

4. I’d say if people think Mako felt no guilt they need to rewatch the show and look at his face in every apology scene, especially when he leaves with Korra. It’s obvious he feels bad.

I think all the characters learn from their mistakes, but Bryke doesn’t have time for each character to reflect that. I mean Mako can’t sit around and say everything he learned for our benefit. I’m assuming Bryke gives us a little credit and figures we can piece that together. razz

To say he got everything he wanted by being a cheater is laughable and doesn’t even deserve a rebuttal, lol.
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Mako was dating Asami to fund his sports career, and he was keeping Korra as his bench girl.

Oh! But Mako lost both his parents and is taking care of his little brother. He doesn't know how to get in touch with his feelings =3=... nope. That's not gonna wash. The very fact that he has been through such emotional trauma should make him a person more in touch with his feelings. Having lost someone, his immediate reaction should be either to emotionally detach himself from other people, or to hold close the people he learns to care about.

The latter seemed to happen with Mako when he was worried about Korra, but he treated Asami like dirt. Which makes his character contradictory in itself.

You can't help but hate a character who seems to lack the basics in relationship ethics.


Actually, Mako was clearly NOT just dating Asami for her money, because you could tell that he liked her even when they first met, and then they went to Hiroshi the day after their date, where it was THEN brought up that the Fire Ferrets would be funded.

Two: How can you decide what someone's reaction should or should not be in the event of losing a loved one? People deal with things differently. He did not treat Asami like dirt at all, because if he had, she most likely wouldn't have stuck around. That's why she didn't suspect that Mako had mixed feelings until Korra got captured.

And again, about the relationship thing? I WILL SAY AGAIN that he is a normal teenage boy. They do this all the time. The whole mixed feelings thing. I don't blame him for not knowing what he felt at the moment. I mean, how was he supposed to? Korra only JUST confessed her feelings toward him that night. It all sprung on him, which in turn, made his feelings for Korra surface themselves, all in one night, when he already had a good thing going with Asami. Of course he was confused. No one in their right mind would blame him for that.


Always with the "HE'S A NORMAL TEENAGE BOY" s**t.

News flash, sweet cheeks, that doesn't absolve a ~teen boy~ from being the jerk they can be. And Mako was an a**.
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Mako was dating Asami. I thought that was cute!! But then, Korra kissed him and he DIDN'T push her away (korra isn't absolved either. she knew better, even if she is socially inept). And then he kept that to himself and never coming clean to his girlfriend. Once he was FINALLY cornered on that, he blamed Bolin for ratting him out, took that out on Asami, made it seem like HE was the one who was in the right the entire time, still never apologizing, and goes on his way. HE blames everyone ELSE for HIS mistake. Classy.

Then he's all OMG KORRA, WHERE'S KORRA, OMG when the others were mysteriously calm about it. TENZIN should have been the one who was torn up about Korra being kidnapped cause HE was the one who actually had some kind of connection with her, made time to connect with her. Hell, even Bolin should have been a little more OMG than his brother. Mako never did and suddenly HE'S the batshit crazy one when she gets kidnapped?

Please.

His characterization was all over teh damn place. One minute he's all over the rich, powerful Daddy's Girl (i love you asami) and barely glances at Korra. Once Asami loses all that and can take care of herself (he seems to have damsel-in-distress kink) he drops her and is distant with her, WHILE STILL DATING HER, to get all crazy and ~in wuv~ with Korra, who's now the one who's more emotionally vulnerable and has been kidnapped.

He's a flip-flopper who strung two girls along and doesn't even seem to care about his own flesh and blood (he was more OMG over korra than he was his own damn brother when bolin got kidnapped).

So, yeah. Mako is a ******** a**-hat who needs to get his s**t together and learn not to string people along.

People don't like asses who do that s**t IRL, I can't see how he, as a fictional character, is suddenly absolved of that.

And the "HE'S A NORMAL TEENAGE BOY" isn't gonna fly either. You know what I did with ~normal teen boys~ who tried to pull that with me? Dumped their ******** asses. I wasn't gonna put with that s**t.

He may not be an actual bad person. Some accusations that say that are over the top, but his actions do not speak of a nice, caring person. Not the nice caring person we saw glimpses of in the beginning and were then summarily dropped to "develop" that horrid love-triangle.
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His character was written poorly. Step one is to grock that people criticising that aren't saying they personally dislike Mako.

Admittedly, how he acts in canon is flat out shitty! But we've had characters before who were full-throttle jerkasses, grabbing at being a shmuck out of the jaws of decency. (Zuko is an obvious example, since he got the redemption arc, but everyone had their moments, from Sokka to Toph to Azula.)

The problem with Mako is that he is not written consistant with his shown actions or implied role. Remember Bolin telling Korra that Mako had to grow up at a young age to take care of both of them as street orphans? Or Mako's concern over Bolin in the first part of the series?
Where is that later in the show? Even ignoring the whole "my brother took you out, now is a good time to mention I kinda like you back despite how brusque I was earlier", because that is an example of a moment of hormonal teenage idiocy, he just doesn't show his mature-beyond-his-years protective side towards Bolin later in the series.

Nor is jerking around two girls consistent with a character whose core is serious maturity and responsibility forged from painful loss; especially not when that extends to blowing up and blaming anyone but himself when Asami (inevitably) found out and confronted him about Korra. It would still be thoughtless coming from Bolin or even, say, Tahno, but either of those characters, it *could make sense* that they would act like Mako did (the former because he really is innocent and capable of tripping over his own feet when it comes to emotions, since, again, Mako mothered him; the later because he was shown in canon to have an entitlement streak and wasn't show/given backstory to contradict that extending to his interpersonal relationships.)

The way Mako was written in terms of how he treats Asami, Korra, and Bolin, is not consistent with what we are *told* and *shown* about him in the first few episodes. Not to mention that the writers utterly failed to show *why* Korra and Mako like each other, just the switch where he's the only character allowed to be concerned over her kidnapping, which dammaged the characterization of not just Mako but the whole "good guy" supporting cast.

It's not a case of "Oh, he's gonna be a jerk in the show and then he'll be redeemed". It's a case of the writers belly-flopping so hard that instead of a charming-but-human romantic hero they painted a picture of a jackass who is never called out on his actions. It's like how in the dub of Sailor Moon changing Neptune & Uranus to "cousins" without editing their body language just made them appear to be *incestuous* lesbians.

I don't hate Bryke for writing Mako (and the whole mess that was character relationships in this show) as they did– disappointed, sure, but hate's a straw word to throw out for those of us who went into the show expecting the writing to be in the same realm as ATLA.


You said this more succinctly than I did. Bravo and you get a tip.
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Because he is a b***h-a** bender.
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Over the course of the series his characterization slipped such that by the end his actions formed a clear pattern of callousness to those around him. If you can't see that, I can't force your eyes and mind, and honestly don't have interest in doing so even if I could.

The emphasis here is on the word later. There are plenty of times when people other than Korra, including Bolin, are in peril during the course of the season, but the second half is pretty much devoid of Mako showing the sort of concern that the triad incident we both alluded to showed the audience to expect from him.

He was not honest with Asami about his uncertainty, never mind his infidelity (the action itself may be justifiable from a writing standpoint, but that doesn't make it kosher). Based on the fact that they went swimming and were in snow before things began to come to light, that is at bare minimum a month and change (let's say an "indian summer" fall heat wave, about Novemberish for northern hemisphere, so snow within driving distance but not in the city makes sense) where Mako was dating Asami and keeping her in the dark. Not considering the feelings of someone dear to you who has rapidly had their world shaken, lost a parent and their home? Not a nice thing, and *also* not a thing that makes sense for Mako.
If the exact phrase "jerking around" has too many connotations of deliberate action, that's fair enough, but there is no question that Mako did not take the time to figure out his feelings in a fair and mature way. That would have been Mako being truthful with Asami about being conflicted (if not about the exact moment that crystalized the conflict for him) and tamping things down to platonic until he got himself sorted.

It doesn't matter if you plan to treat someone poorly– whether it's cheating on them, lying to them, blaming them for your mistakes or whatever all else we humans think up– what matters is what you do. That Mako didn't ~mean~ to hurt Asami by favoring Korra right in front of her when she already had a clue that there was mutal affection between them doesn't change that he did and was in no position to actually claim ignorance (either of Asami's knowledge or his own actions.)

Writing so that Mako was the ONLY person crazy concerned about Korra, to the point of using his bending to threaten a non-bender (a big character break for him, given his feelings on the gangs and usual demeanor), did disservice to the whole cast. Tenzin, Korra's mentor and caretaker, showed no more concern for her well-being than Korra's sponsor/acquaintance in comparison to Mako. Making it so that nobody else's actions show the fear they are going through so that Mako's shines brightest is poor writing.

And while we were given increasingly obvious "Mako LIKES Korra" from his actions, we were not shown why. (Another emphasis clarification here.) Why does Mako like Korra? In the finale he gave her that little speech, but we aren't *shown* and a minnow of a character expositioning doesn't make up for not showing. And why does Korra like Mako? I honestly can't tell you one reason that's absolutely canon for why she likes him, because we're never shown why. We knew why Sokka was impressed by Suki the first episode we met her, and as far as we knew, that was all the Suki we'd get!

Heck, to really go into left-field and compare to something usually derided as poorly written through and through (not just the character interactions), I haven't read Twilight but I can tell you that Edward likes Bella because, aside from not filling his head up with thought chatter, she inspires him to rise above his vampire nature an Bella likes Edward because he's handsome and she likes that he's not like other people her age, since she doesn't feel like she is either.

I loved Avatar and I like Korra a lot (I wouldn't critique it as in-depth as I do if I didn't think it was capable of living up to Avatar; I came to the show expecting it to surpass it) and I can sa as a fan: no. Mako's development was not great, and the series as a whole suffered from the writing in areas that it's predecessor excelled. When you're writing a sequel to a firmly established and popular franchise, it is not unreasonable to have it meet that level. It's not like this was a BFA thesis project.

I think everyone is hoping for the next three seasons to really shine, so we can certainly agree on that.


Another tip~
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I'm fairly neutral. He did a lot of sweet, nice things, and a lot of things that would probably earn him a slap in the face and a slammed door in the real world. People do that in real life, too. I dunno. I enjoy his character, regardless. It makes for something interesting to watch.

I should add onto the stream of "regular teenage boy" comments, though. Um, that is very broad and unfair There are quite a few teenage males that I know of personally... they would be really unimpressed by some of the behaviour that went on in this series. The same goes for just teenagers in general, and Korra's behaviour. Mistakes were made, and openly recognized by a lot of people as "NOT THE BRIGHTEST". That's really all there is to it, but don't assume that those mistakes are made by everyone. Yeah, it's not uncommon, but it's still not common enough to warrant passing off that sort of immaturity as just "being a teenager".
He's just so terribly generic. Stoic, and brooding, oooh. Snore.
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please view other characters missing one/both parents that dont act like mako:
bolin
katara
sokka
aang
zuko
asami

wow look at that it looks like they werent turned into assholes because their parents died/left the family

lets look at other characters who have never been in a relationship before who dont act like mako when entering their first relationship:
sokka
katara
aang
zuko
korra

wow look and they're all younger than him, looks like inexperience isnt an excuse

now lets look at other characters who have had the burden of responsibility thrust upon them from a young age but dont act like mako:
korra (avatar duties)
aang
katara
sokka

wow looks like mako has no excuse for his actions
Personally, I don't think Mako is a bad person, though I like Bolin better. It's just that I think Mako is better off with the other girl that has long, black wavy hair. Korra is better off with Bolin.... sweatdrop
Mako is ok...But he betrayed his ex-girlfriend. That isn't really EVIL, but I would kill my boyfriend if he dumps me.

Sorry if this reply is long. I like typing. dramallama

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