Wednesday, August 14, 2013



There have been a lot of talks about how the bending in The Legend of Korra has strayed from the roots established in The Last Airbender. I really want to talk about how Bryke pretty much just gave up on trying to make sense. There are two different kinds of bending in The Legend of Korra that irk me to no end: Psychic Bloodbending and Psychic lightning generation. These are performed by Yakone and Noatak/Amon, and Mako, respectively. I also want to talk about how Bloodbending is supposes to debend someone, with some Mako complaints on the side.

Psychic Bloodbending

So yeah. Bloodbending without moving.


I’m no expert on martial arts or how bending was based on it, but from my understanding bending directly relates to the movements that are used. We see this with all forms of bending. Bloodbending had a specific type of movements associated with it.


This is how Hama did it.


This is how Tarrlok did it.

I have no problem with the styles being different. There are plenty of different styles of martial arts, so why not Bloodbending? I don’t even have a problem with Bloodbending outside of the full moon. I can accept that there are benders powerful enough to do that. 

I can accept that Yakone could Bloodbend a roomful of people


I could accept him doing it through minute muscle movements.

You know what I can’t accept?



I tried to figure out how this works, but I just can’t.

What about this makes sense?

When Tarrlok first started talking about this I was like


I thought it was a rouse from Tarrlok. As it turned out with a lot of stuff with the Legend of Korra, I was wrong.

I don’t understand it at all. What happened to bending being based on martial arts? Gone, apparently. This is a trend in the show, so it’s really not surprising that Bryke would forego logic just for something cool.

I just have to wonder why. Why would they do something like that? I really don’t see how there was any need to come up with something like this. You already had Bloodbending outside of the full moon. You already had a Bloodbender strong enough to Bloodbend a courtroom full of people and the Avatar. Aang had to go into the Avatar State to break through it. Psychic Bloodbending seems completely unnecessary. Did Bryke ever stop to think that they were going too far with these abilities? Probably not.

Then we have Detective Mako saying that Amon used psychic Bloodbending to win fights. Thank you Bryke for devaluing your main villain further. He couldn’t possibly have won those fights fairly, he had to be cheating. I think they wanted us to hate  Amon with that finale. There was no reason to pull that out in the finale. It’s already bloated with exposition from Tarrlok. This also came out of nowhere. There was no evidence to prove that Amon used Bloodbending in his fights. It seems that Mako became a mouthpiece for Bryke to tell us things, but that’s bad writing.

I really don’t know what else to say on this. Psychic Bloodbending is ridiculous, unnecessary, and makes no sense.

How does Bloodbending take away bending?

This was a big WTF moment in the finale.

Bloodbending can remove/disable bending.


Thank you Tarrlok for making absolutely no sense.

What is wrong with you Bryke? All we get for an explanation is Korra saying that Amon “somehow” takes away bending with Bloodbending.

That’s it.

I just can’t get over this. People have tried to rationalize it by saying that he manipulated chi, or messed with the blood in the brain, but none of that makes sense. We have no canon explanation for how this is done, and from what I’ve seen I don’t think we’d get a decent answer.

Was it really that hard to make him an Energybender?

Would it really be implausible that he was given Energybending by the Spirits? It would have been a brilliant way to deal with the complaints of Energybending being a deus ex machina from the last series. Have the completely not spiritual Korra go up against a very spiritual Amon. That’s what I was saying when I saw “The Revelation.” Again, I was wrong because Bryke thought that it was better for Noatak to be a Bloodbender and for him to use a contrived asspull to take away people’s bending. It seems like they thought of the character before they bothered with an explanation and then were like “Oh, yeah, we have to explain this. Bloodbender.”

My opinion on these choices is that they thought that making him a Bloodbender would make Amon scarier. The problem with this is that we already had a bunch of Bloodbenders. Tarrlok being a Bloodbender was scary. Yakone was scary because he could Bloodbend the freaking Avatar. Noatak ruined Amon by taking away his mystery and replacing him with a subpar character with little development. They make him a Bloodbender, but by this time it’s comedy. I didn’t think it was scary. I was more disappointed. The more you have of something the less of an effect it will have. Add on to this a lack of development and you have a recipe for bad writing.

A similar thing happened with Firebenders killing everyone’s parents. Mako’s story was sad, Amon’s story was a little weird, and Asami’s story was sad because you could care about the character, but it just raises questions. Why are Firebenders so bad? I’m sure that there are still leftover feelings about the Fire Nation from Ozai’s reign, but why would Bryke use something like this without utilizing it for the story? I could go on about this but I need to get back to psychic bending.

Psychic lightning generation

Ok. This one is even worse than the Bloodbending thing for me. Chalk it up to Mako being a God Mode Sue, but I cannot stand how he breaks all the rules in the finale to stop himself from being debended.







All Mako does is point. He’s being Bloodbent right here, but that’s another matter entirely. The rules don’t apply to Mako. Amon even faces Mako towards him unlike every other character he’s debent.

Let me give some statements about lightning that Iroh gave in The Last Airbender episode Bitter Work.

Book 2 Episode 9 Bitter Work

(6:58) “Lightning is a pure expression of Firebending, without aggression. It is not fueled by rage or emotion the way other Firebending is. Some call lightning the cold-blooded fire. It is precise and deadly like Azula. To perform the technique requires peace of mind.”

(7:28) “There is energy all around us. The energy is both yin and yang. Positive energy and negative energy. Only a select few Firebenders can separate these energies. This creates an imbalance. The energy wants to restore balance. And in the moment the positive and negative energy come crashing back together you provide release and guidance, creating lightning.”

Lightning redirection

(17:51) “Waterbenders deal with the flow of energy. A Waterbender lets their defense become their offense, turning their opponents energy against them. I learned a way to do this with lightning…..If you let the energy in your own body flow the lightning will follow it. You must create a pathway from your fingertips, up your arm, to your shoulder, then down into your stomach. The stomach is the source of energy in your body. It is called the sea of chi…. From the stomach you direct it up again and out the other arm. The stomach detour is critical. You must not let the lightning pass through your heart, or the damage could be deadly.”

The lightning redirection quote isn’t really relevant to this, but I wanted to put all the important info from the episode on lightning here.

There are movements associated with lightning generation. I know some people complain about how common lightning generation is in LoK, and how the necessary movements aren’t the same, but that doesn’t bother me so much. What bothers me is Mako. Being. A. Sue. So he can generate lightning, which by the rules of TLA already makes him special. He can redirect it while being electrocuted. And he can generate lightning without moving.

Mako breaking the rules

Not even kidding. I tried to bring this up on the Korra Headscratchers on TV Tropes and someone else got so angry that someone else told us to stop because things were getting unruly. Unsurprising. Mako stans run rampart on that site.

It’s what I’ve come to call psychic lightning. No longer does Mako have to separate the positive and negative energies. All he has to do is point and shoot.


I just can’t get over this. It’s a betrayal of the rules established in The Last Airbender. It shows how much Bryke care about continuity.

Not at all.

There’s no explanation for how Mako did that. All we get is a compliment from Amon (WHAT?!). We’re just supposed to accept that Mako can do that. I will admit it’s freaking awesome, but just because something’s awesome doesn’t make it good or right. Mako’s abilities put him at a level above even Azula. Listen, Bryke. I know you want Mako to be all awesome and stuff, but this is not the way to do it. Mako can be a skilled Firebender, but he lived on the streets. I doubt he was taught  how to do things like lightning generation and redirection, unless you want to tell us that he was taught. Those are very difficult skills that only a few Firebenders could do. At least deal with the implications of this.

Unfortunately, this was really to make Mako look good. If they were bothered to try and keep things consistent with rules established in The Last Airbender, they wouldn’t have had Mako break through Amon’s Bloodbending and shoot him.

At least we got this


And here’s a video with lightning generation in The Last Airbender (with unnecessary music)

Lightning in The Last Airbender


Bryke don’t care about trying to make sense with bending this Book. Psychic Bloodbending and lightning generation make no sense. Bloodbending loses its impact when we have a bunch of Bloodbenders in the story. Amon’s and Yakone’s psychic Bloodbending is practically comedy. It’s fanfiction material at best. Mako shooting lightning without moving while being Bloodbent is just ridiculous. Iroh laid out the rules for lightning in The Last Airbender. Bryke are lazy writers to just make their main villains Bloodbenders and to ignore the rules of lightning generation that have already been established.


  1. heartsofobsidian reblogged this from charmed7293
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  6. mysillylittlesoapbox reblogged this from coolman229 and added:
    All of this! I especially loved the “creator’s pet” image.
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  9. kurozu501 reblogged this from coolman229 and added:
    Nice rant! i also really hated the fact that Bloodbending is now a super power that needs no martial arts. And the fact...
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