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luneko
I've heard the theory that Mako's terrible relationship decisions are a result of his upbringing making him a bit of an opportunist. Personally, I think he's just another victim of a rushed story. He's still awful though.


SCREW YOU PERSON!! I dont like the way you talk about mako.HES NO FLIPPING AWFUL!!!!
annette le gateau's avatar

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I like Mako . u. I think the fact that he's had a messed up childhood and had to take care of his little brother since he was a kid, all the while homeless on the streets, and such has messed up his head a bit. But he cares about Korra. It's cute .w.
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Mako's horrible for stealing Bolin's girl!!
luneko's avatar

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katniss2
luneko
I've heard the theory that Mako's terrible relationship decisions are a result of his upbringing making him a bit of an opportunist. Personally, I think he's just another victim of a rushed story. He's still awful though.


SCREW YOU PERSON!! I dont like the way you talk about mako.HES NO FLIPPING AWFUL!!!!

Episode 5: Tells Bolin he doesn't think Korra is girlfriend material. A few episodes later that changes dramatically.

End of episode 9: Tells everyone to get out of the way so Korra can get some air. Immediately carries Korra keeping her all to himself as Asami watches.

Episode 10: When Asami confronts him about his kiss with Korra, he's surprised she knows about it and immediately tries to pin the blame on his brother.

End of episode 10: Walks off with his arm around Korra and the others without waiting for Asami. Asami clearly looks like she's tired of his bullshit. You go gurl.

Oh and he never owned up to or mentioned the kiss until Asami had to find out the hard way. He just wanted to think it would just go away if he never mentioned it and everything would be great.
olive17's avatar

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My two cents.

I don't necessarily think Mako is a terrible person, but I think he was written really, really badly. The original picture that is painted of his character is someone who has experienced a lot of loss and trauma and who is fiercely protective of his brother. After that, his character becomes very fuzzy. Is he the kind of person who pushes people away from himself and his brother? Is he loyal as well as a protector? Is he the type of guy who keeps people close and has trouble letting them go? Your answers to these questions will probably differ from mine, because there are a lot of contradictions in his behavior.

But contradictions in a character are okay. Being a jerk is even okay, in fictional works! You can still like a character who is a complete a*****e! It is possible! The problem that I have with Mako's character arc is that when he was jerk (e.g. when he told Bolin not to get involved with Korra 'cause he was just jealous, when he didn't tell Asami about the kiss and blamed Bolin when she found out, or when he got mad at his girlfriend for doubting his loyalty and then proceeded to flirt with Korra at every opportunity) he was almost never called out on it. No one is expecting him to be perfect, but they are expecting the writers to be aware of when he is making an a** of himself and treating all the other main characters with very little respect. But no, he "gets the girl" and his choices are not examined or even portrayed as less than noble!

The "just a normal teenage boy" defense is insulting to teenage boys everywhere. I mean, unless you're trying to say that all teenage boys are sexyfine emotionally incompetent orphans who cheat on their girlfriends because they're "confused"?
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I myself just don't like Mako. It's kinda like that one color you don't like just because, you never can explain why but you just don't take a shine to it like all the other colors.

My personal opinion on Mako is, he could have been so much better. in the beginning he was a pretty well rounded character when he explained his parents story you could see why he acted the way he did.
"We've been hurt before and I wont let that happen again" kinda attitude and really liked that.
Then he just changed to where I couldn't tell why the hell he was acting the way he was.
"i had a bad past so Im treating my girlfriend like dirt" that dosen't made sense at all (I've heard some one try to argue this. hell my child hood wasn't sweet and flowery either but i don't treat my loved ones like s**t because of it"
"he's a teenage boy" stereo typical much. and that's all i'll say for that bit
"Hes never been in a relation ship before" lol my first relation ship was kinda acward too(or should i say crush sense we were friend most of the time) but really. It's your first girlfriend and you just have to cheat on her and treat her like shes unimportant good job dude.

anyway I don't hate Mako i just don't like the things he did around the last few episodes
I'm tired of the "Teenage boys are like that" argument for Mako. Just because "most" boys act like that, doesn't make it right neutral
Where did "majority of boys do it" equals "Its okay for them to do it" come together?
He doesn't take responsibility for his actions and he gave a half a** apology to Asami. I won't support a ship that rises at the expense of another character (Asami) Seriously, why would they take a perfectly likable character like her and make her get the s**t end of the stick? If you have to make another character get the bad end just so your ship is set, is your ship really that good? Lol
I won't even compare Zuko to Mako. Zuko made some bad choices but he self reflected, took responsibility, knew he was wrong, apologized, and made things right. Mako didn't. Just "Sorry got things mixed up between us Asami."
He could've been like "Hey Asami, I'm sorry for getting my feelings mixed up and keeping you stringing a long." Obviously a little more detailed then that but yeah.

There, that's my 2 cents.
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Mako's definitely not a bad person. He's a normal teenage boy who is sensitive when it comes to matters of the heart. His fickleness was annoying, but he had a lot to deal with and two cute girls vying for his attention.
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Nariana
Mako's definitely not a bad person. He's a normal teenage boy who is sensitive when it comes to matters of the heart. His fickleness was annoying, but he had a lot to deal with and two cute girls vying for his attention.


...People keep using this as a defense. How is Mako a normal teenage boy? As I said above, he is an orphan with superpowers who is disrespectful to those closest to him (and totally gets away with it) and cheats on the person he is dating because he is confused about his feelings (and pretty much gets away with that too because Asami is not the main character and we're not supposed to care about her feelings apparently?). Normal teenage boys would catch a lot more s**t for that kind of behavior. And, complex human beings though they are, they would probably have clearer reasons for doing all that in the first place.

Also, I don't really interpret him as sensitive. He certainly isn't sensitive to other people's feelings, that's for sure. I mean, he might be a bit over-emotional, so maybe that's what you meant.

(Oh no two cute girls like him that is definitely the worst things ever!)
Nariana's avatar

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olive17
Nariana
Mako's definitely not a bad person. He's a normal teenage boy who is sensitive when it comes to matters of the heart. His fickleness was annoying, but he had a lot to deal with and two cute girls vying for his attention.


...People keep using this as a defense. How is Mako a normal teenage boy? As I said above, he is an orphan with superpowers who is disrespectful to those closest to him (and totally gets away with it) and cheats on the person he is dating because he is confused about his feelings (and pretty much gets away with that too because Asami is not the main character and we're not supposed to care about her feelings apparently?). Normal teenage boys would catch a lot more s**t for that kind of behavior. And, complex human beings though they are, they would probably have clearer reasons for doing all that in the first place.

Also, I don't really interpret him as sensitive. He certainly isn't sensitive to other people's feelings, that's for sure. I mean, he might be a bit over-emotional, so maybe that's what you meant.

(Oh no two cute girls like him that is definitely the worst things ever!)

I knew you were going to say something later. rolleyes

He's a normal teenage boy because he has no experience dealing with relationships. He's bound to screw up without proper direction, and he did. What's not normal about that? I say he's sensitive because he reacts strongly to the emotions of others around him.

If you're going to state your opinion, cut the sarcasm or whatever crap that was. You sound like you have a chip on your shoulder, despite whether or not you do.
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I don't hate him, he's just a boring character. Like, his character was basically angsty teenage boy. Yeah, he lost his parents, but Bolin doesn't act that way.
olive17's avatar

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Nariana
olive17
Nariana
Mako's definitely not a bad person. He's a normal teenage boy who is sensitive when it comes to matters of the heart. His fickleness was annoying, but he had a lot to deal with and two cute girls vying for his attention.


...People keep using this as a defense. How is Mako a normal teenage boy? As I said above, he is an orphan with superpowers who is disrespectful to those closest to him (and totally gets away with it) and cheats on the person he is dating because he is confused about his feelings (and pretty much gets away with that too because Asami is not the main character and we're not supposed to care about her feelings apparently?). Normal teenage boys would catch a lot more s**t for that kind of behavior. And, complex human beings though they are, they would probably have clearer reasons for doing all that in the first place.

Also, I don't really interpret him as sensitive. He certainly isn't sensitive to other people's feelings, that's for sure. I mean, he might be a bit over-emotional, so maybe that's what you meant.

(Oh no two cute girls like him that is definitely the worst things ever!)

I knew you were going to say something later. rolleyes

He's a normal teenage boy because he has no experience dealing with relationships. He's bound to screw up without proper direction, and he did. What's not normal about that? I say he's sensitive because he reacts strongly to the emotions of others around him.

If you're going to state your opinion, cut the sarcasm or whatever crap that was. You sound like you have a chip on your shoulder, despite whether or not you do.


I'm not allowed to make jokes on an internet forum?? I did not realize that talking about fandom was such serious business. Sorry if I came across as caustic or like I was attacking or belittling you just because I don't agree with what you say. That is honestly not what I was going for. I just make jokes kind of on instinct. They often get my point across in a lot fewer words, even if I lose some finesse in the process.

But saying that he's a normal teenager just because he has no experience with being in a relationship is completely ignoring the entire rest of his character! Which is that he is a jerk with superpowers who lost his parents at an early age and still doesn't know how to deal with that! Calling him a normal teenager is reducing his character to something it is not.

The main problem I have with calling him a normal teenager, particularly when the subject of his bad choices and approaches to relationships, is that it sounds like some sort of excuse for the writers not being aware of when he wasn't behaving admirably and communicating "hey, Mako's being a jerk right now, audience. Let's all be annoyed with him and have something bad happen as a direct result of his jerkiness! Okay, now he's realized he was a jerk and apologized and wants to redeem himself, so let's feel better about him now and know that he has learned something and grown from the experience and he won't act like that so much anymore"

Not only is it an excuse for the writers, it is an excuse for teenage boys to also act like jerks! What does it say about us when we consider cheating and disrespect normal behavior from a normal teenage boy? Does this make the behavior any more acceptable? No. But does it make us more likely to accept this behavior in real life? Possibly! I think the lack of consequences for Mako's behavior sets a poor example for all the kids at home.

Isn't there some middle ground here? He can be a jerk without being a terrible person, and he can be confused about relationships without being a normal teenage boy. Neither of these is necessarily an either/or situation.

Re: Sensitiveness, I still think that Mako more just worries a lot (both when he should and when he shouldn't) and reacts to things he perceives as attacks on himself. The way you put it, it sounds closer to a description of empathy, which I do not believe Mako has in spades.
Nariana's avatar

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olive17
Nariana
olive17
Nariana
Mako's definitely not a bad person. He's a normal teenage boy who is sensitive when it comes to matters of the heart. His fickleness was annoying, but he had a lot to deal with and two cute girls vying for his attention.


...People keep using this as a defense. How is Mako a normal teenage boy? As I said above, he is an orphan with superpowers who is disrespectful to those closest to him (and totally gets away with it) and cheats on the person he is dating because he is confused about his feelings (and pretty much gets away with that too because Asami is not the main character and we're not supposed to care about her feelings apparently?). Normal teenage boys would catch a lot more s**t for that kind of behavior. And, complex human beings though they are, they would probably have clearer reasons for doing all that in the first place.

Also, I don't really interpret him as sensitive. He certainly isn't sensitive to other people's feelings, that's for sure. I mean, he might be a bit over-emotional, so maybe that's what you meant.

(Oh no two cute girls like him that is definitely the worst things ever!)

I knew you were going to say something later. rolleyes

He's a normal teenage boy because he has no experience dealing with relationships. He's bound to screw up without proper direction, and he did. What's not normal about that? I say he's sensitive because he reacts strongly to the emotions of others around him.

If you're going to state your opinion, cut the sarcasm or whatever crap that was. You sound like you have a chip on your shoulder, despite whether or not you do.


I'm not allowed to make jokes on an internet forum?? I did not realize that talking about fandom was such serious business. Sorry if I came across as caustic or like I was attacking or belittling you just because I don't agree with what you say. That is honestly not what I was going for. I just make jokes kind of on instinct. They often get my point across in a lot fewer words, even if I lose some finesse in the process.

But saying that he's a normal teenager just because he has no experience with being in a relationship is completely ignoring the entire rest of his character! Which is that he is a jerk with superpowers who lost his parents at an early age and still doesn't know how to deal with that! Calling him a normal teenager is reducing his character to something it is not.

The main problem I have with calling him a normal teenager, particularly when the subject of his bad choices and approaches to relationships, is that it sounds like some sort of excuse for the writers not being aware of when he wasn't behaving admirably and communicating "hey, Mako's being a jerk right now, audience. Let's all be annoyed with him and have something bad happen as a direct result of his jerkiness! Okay, now he's realized he was a jerk and apologized and wants to redeem himself, so let's feel better about him now and know that he has learned something and grown from the experience and he won't act like that so much anymore"

Not only is it an excuse for the writers, it is an excuse for teenage boys to also act like jerks! What does it say about us when we consider cheating and disrespect normal behavior from a normal teenage boy? Does this make the behavior any more acceptable? No. But does it make us more likely to accept this behavior in real life? Possibly! I think the lack of consequences for Mako's behavior sets a poor example for all the kids at home.

Isn't there some middle ground here? He can be a jerk without being a terrible person, and he can be confused about relationships without being a normal teenage boy. Neither of these is necessarily an either/or situation.

Re: Sensitiveness, I still think that Mako more just worries a lot (both when he should and when he shouldn't) and reacts to things he perceives as attacks on himself. The way you put it, it sounds closer to a description of empathy, which I do not believe Mako has in spades.

If that was a joke, it seemed nothing like it. My bad. Jokes are hard to read online.

Again, I'm not saying he's normal talking about the firebending and such. I'm only talking about his personality and interaction. Cheating and such are not acceptable, but it all happens on a regular basis. It's nothing new.

In a way, he had consequences. He hurt his relationships with Bolin and Asami. He had an embarrassing performance in the arena. The consequences weren't huge to us, but they were probably serious to him.

I don't empathize with him, but I get it. Like I said, his behavior is nothing new. He's a firebender for a reason. He's pretty passionate.
And I doubt kids will think, 'Mako did it, so it's okay.' If I was still that kid-tween age, I'd pay more attention to the action parts of the story and not much of the romance.
olive17's avatar

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Nariana
olive17
Nariana
olive17
Nariana
Mako's definitely not a bad person. He's a normal teenage boy who is sensitive when it comes to matters of the heart. His fickleness was annoying, but he had a lot to deal with and two cute girls vying for his attention.


...People keep using this as a defense. How is Mako a normal teenage boy? As I said above, he is an orphan with superpowers who is disrespectful to those closest to him (and totally gets away with it) and cheats on the person he is dating because he is confused about his feelings (and pretty much gets away with that too because Asami is not the main character and we're not supposed to care about her feelings apparently?). Normal teenage boys would catch a lot more s**t for that kind of behavior. And, complex human beings though they are, they would probably have clearer reasons for doing all that in the first place.

Also, I don't really interpret him as sensitive. He certainly isn't sensitive to other people's feelings, that's for sure. I mean, he might be a bit over-emotional, so maybe that's what you meant.

(Oh no two cute girls like him that is definitely the worst things ever!)

I knew you were going to say something later. rolleyes

He's a normal teenage boy because he has no experience dealing with relationships. He's bound to screw up without proper direction, and he did. What's not normal about that? I say he's sensitive because he reacts strongly to the emotions of others around him.

If you're going to state your opinion, cut the sarcasm or whatever crap that was. You sound like you have a chip on your shoulder, despite whether or not you do.


I'm not allowed to make jokes on an internet forum?? I did not realize that talking about fandom was such serious business. Sorry if I came across as caustic or like I was attacking or belittling you just because I don't agree with what you say. That is honestly not what I was going for. I just make jokes kind of on instinct. They often get my point across in a lot fewer words, even if I lose some finesse in the process.

But saying that he's a normal teenager just because he has no experience with being in a relationship is completely ignoring the entire rest of his character! Which is that he is a jerk with superpowers who lost his parents at an early age and still doesn't know how to deal with that! Calling him a normal teenager is reducing his character to something it is not.

The main problem I have with calling him a normal teenager, particularly when the subject of his bad choices and approaches to relationships, is that it sounds like some sort of excuse for the writers not being aware of when he wasn't behaving admirably and communicating "hey, Mako's being a jerk right now, audience. Let's all be annoyed with him and have something bad happen as a direct result of his jerkiness! Okay, now he's realized he was a jerk and apologized and wants to redeem himself, so let's feel better about him now and know that he has learned something and grown from the experience and he won't act like that so much anymore"

Not only is it an excuse for the writers, it is an excuse for teenage boys to also act like jerks! What does it say about us when we consider cheating and disrespect normal behavior from a normal teenage boy? Does this make the behavior any more acceptable? No. But does it make us more likely to accept this behavior in real life? Possibly! I think the lack of consequences for Mako's behavior sets a poor example for all the kids at home.

Isn't there some middle ground here? He can be a jerk without being a terrible person, and he can be confused about relationships without being a normal teenage boy. Neither of these is necessarily an either/or situation.

Re: Sensitiveness, I still think that Mako more just worries a lot (both when he should and when he shouldn't) and reacts to things he perceives as attacks on himself. The way you put it, it sounds closer to a description of empathy, which I do not believe Mako has in spades.

If that was a joke, it seemed nothing like it. My bad. Jokes are hard to read online.

Again, I'm not saying he's normal talking about the firebending and such. I'm only talking about his personality and interaction. Cheating and such are not acceptable, but it all happens on a regular basis. It's nothing new.

In a way, he had consequences. He hurt his relationships with Bolin and Asami. He had an embarrassing performance in the arena. The consequences weren't huge to us, but they were probably serious to him.

I don't empathize with him, but I get it. Like I said, his behavior is nothing new. He's a firebender for a reason. He's pretty passionate.
And I doubt kids will think, 'Mako did it, so it's okay.' If I was still that kid-tween age, I'd pay more attention to the action parts of the story and not much of the romance.


But his personality is shaped by his experiences, which have not been ordinary. And as I said before, you cannot divorce one part of Mako's character from the whole. Again, the whole reason I hate the "normal teenager" defense is that it feels like an excuse to not examine Mako's behavior further. It was used by someone who worked on the show when he was asked if he thought there would be this much Mako hate. It was essentially an excuse to not look at why people were so annoyed at Mako, and not examine the way the writing had been botched.

I know that there are in fact consequences for Mako, but once we reach the finale, they pretty much evaporate from the screen. If they aren't shown to the audience, they might as well not exist! We don't even see Mako's breakup with Asami (or do we? This is apparently pretty controversial.) We just see Mako romantically twirling Korra about and making kissy faces at her. The consequences that we are left with, and that are therefore emphasized, are that Mako gets to date the Avatar. So we should really just get over all of his jerky behavior in this and other episodes, because he is obviously an Alright Guy.

But the whole point of characters is to get the audience to empathize with them! (Unless they are simply a clown or villain who we are not meant to care about.) If not even people who are defending him empathize all that much with Mako, that goes to show what a poorly handled character he is.

Perhaps not, but kids still learn a lot from media (we all do), and are affected by it. Seems like a good enough reason to me to show people and actions for what they are and not gloss over a character's mistakes.
Being normal isn't an excuse for not thinking about what you've done. Nor is being a teenager, nor being a boy.

Considering that Mako is 18 and has been taking care of his emotionally immature younger brother for ten years or so, I wouldn't call him a teenage boy. He's a young man at least; supposedly mature, responsible and all that stands between Bolin and the streets. Or worse.

He can kill someone with a bolt of lightning; a style of bending which famously requires absolute calm and control of onesself. It's really telling about what kind of guy he should be, but his actions later in the series are erratic, immature, and confusing.

I don't hate Mako, mostly because he keeps changing his defining personality traits too fast for me to have any sort of opinion beyond: "What the hell are the writers trying to do with this guy? Is he his own character, a Zuko analogue, or what? This doesn't make sense and frustrates me. I'm gonna go like Tarlokk, Amon, Lin and Tenzin instead. At least they're consistent."

PS: To whoever said that the writing in this was good enough because it was a mini-series? No. No it isn't. No matter the medium, a writer should always strive for excellence in all that they do, whether movie, TV show, comic book or mini-series sequel. Legend of Korra is, without a doubt, a great show. The writing, however, needs more polish.

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